Wednesday, 28 August 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Ready. Set. Write! #11...or #12

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I didn't post last week so I guess this is my RSW week 11 and 12 update...and it's going to be short because I'm exhausted right now. Summer fatigue? Depression? Too much Coke Zero in my system? It couldn't possibly be the last one, right? RIGHT?!

 Onwards...

What I'm Reading:

1. SISTER ASSASSIN by Kiersten White--I really got into it. I like not-entirely-nice characters and I think Fia falls somewhere along that spectrum.

2. KEEP HOLDING ON by Susane Colosanti--this was a little heavy handed re: Bullying Is Bad (and the last page or thereabouts sounded like the author preaching to readers) but it was a quick read and decent enough.

3. SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo--oh, middle books. You are so slow and strangely paced, yet you are so vital to the last book's existence. Not that I'm saying S&S wasn't great, but it was definitely slow. THe ending picked up, though. And worryingly, I'm still crushing on the Darkling...

4. POP PRINCESS by Rachel Cohn--an oldie and a goodie, I'm re-reading this for the billionth time. It's still just as great, and I'm finding myself getting caught up in examining the voice in the story--Rachel Cohn is an absolute voice master. Definitely check out one of her books if that's an area that gives you trouble.

What I'm Writing:

My 500-words-a-day goal has been suffering a bit because I've had days when I just haven't managed to find the time or when I've been too tired to even think about it or lazing around doing nothing just seemed like way more fun. I did, however, get down a rough outline from where I was two weeks ago to the end of the story, and yesterday I finished off a scene that's waaaay too long and had sucked me in completely. Hopefully I'll be back on track soon...or I might take a couple of weeks off because I really. am. exhausted.


Have we really come to the end of RSW? Say it isn't so! I guess summer is coming to an end (although England always seems to get great weather in September when school starts up again). To recap, my goals at the beginning were:
  1. Finish revisions on my MS FATE AND OTHER GAMES, 
  2. Start querying.
  3. Make good progress on my rewrite.

Snaps for me because I've done all those things! I think I did a couple of rounds of revisions before I started querying, and I've had a few requests and a few rejections so far. As for the rewrite, it's coming along. Slowly, but at least it's coming. I guess I've been experimenting with my drafting process this time around, with the whole not-watching-my-word-count thing, and I'm also writing knowing that once this draft is done I can start the real work and revise! I love revising so much more than drafting. 

This summer has been really inspiring; it's been so awesome seeing everyone's progress and cheering people on :) Confetti explosion for the brilliant minds behind this: Alison, Elodie, Katy, Erin, and Jaime. Next summer, ladies? :)

What Inspires Me Right Now:

A year behind everyone else but I don't care:


(UGH all these playback restrictions are pissing me off but I'm too lazy to go find another video...you get the idea, though.)

What Else I've Been Up To:

Got a tattoo (from HOLD STILL by Nina LaCour):


Ate my first scone:




Also dyed my hair, spent some time in McDonald's, one BFF turned 21, I learned that late night FaceTime is the best, and Game of Thrones is my New Thing. WINTER IS COMING!

xoxo

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Ready. Set. Write! #10

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What I'm Reading:

(Sidenote: I'm having real issues remembering what I'm reading lately...too many books? Too little sleep?!)

I got a late (very late, birthday-was-ten-months-ago late) present from a friend in the form of STORY OF A GIRL by Sara Zarr. This one really surprised me--not with how good it was, just with how the story unfolded. It was just different to what I was expecting, in a really good way. I think it's safe to say I'm a pretty big Sara Zarr fan now :)

I also read something I picked up from the library on a whim, called LIFE ON THE REFRIGERATOR DOOR by Alice Kuipers. I mostly got it because I thought it would be a quick and interesting read, and the format seemed similar to Jaclyn Moriarty's FEELING SORRY FOR CELIA. It was alright, but kind of underwhelming--I think it didn't deliver the emotional impact it was going for. Still, it was fast and I do like books in different formats like this was (literally all in letters between a mother and a daughter).

I've just started another library book, my first Kiersten White! I follow her on Twitter and she is a delight, so I thought it was time I actually read something of hers. At work yesterday I spotted SISTER ASSASSIN (a.k.a. MIND GAMES--UK edition, yo!), so that's what I'm reading now

What I'm Writing:

You may or may not know that it's WriteOnCon right now, and yesterday I had some time to kill when I was stranded in my broken down car, so I took the plunge and threw my query up on the forums. Not only have I gotten some excellent feedback, but I also got a request from one of the ninja agents! Probably the most fun request I've ever gotten. (Also, if you're on the forums, direct me to your posts--I want to check out everyone's work!)


As for actual writing, it's back to the grind...I picked up my rewrite on Sunday and got around 1k down. Yay! So now I'm back to my regular 500-a-day goal. I still don't know my overall word count and I honestly have no idea whether I'm nearer the beginning or the middle or what is really happening at all...so, pretty much business as usual!

What's Inspiring Me Right Now:

Uh, if you haven't been to the WriteOnCon forums you really should, because there's hella good stuff going on over there. I love seeing everyone helping each other, being gracious about accepting that help (look, if you get a crit from someone, even if you don't like it, you should still say THANK YOU!) and learning. What can I say--I don't like school but I do love to learn.

I also was super inspired by the live Twitter pitch session yesterday, with Suzie Townsend and Kathleen Ortiz. It was so cool to be able to see their instant reactions to all the pitches, and also to see how true "every agent is different" really is in all their different opinions, or comments that the pitch was great but they're not particularly into -blah-. If you didn't watch, I definitely recommend checking it out.

What Else I've Been Up To:

My friends and I were bored last week, so we decided...why not go to the beach?! On Friday we set off for Swansea (with me driving, of course, because the three people I went with haven't got their acts together to get their licences yet), crappy Google directions in hand, plenty of change to pay the toll on the bridge [insert "You have to PAY to get into WALES?!" joke here] and about a million things we didn't really need weighing down the car.

Us being us, we did get lost. We did end up taking the stupidest route back to where we needed to be, down a single lane road where we thought we were going to die. We did follow the satnav basically into someone's house. Of course we did--nothing we do ever goes completely to plan. (That's half the fun.)

But! Eventually we found the beach, and the tanning/reading/eating/swimming/sleeping commenced.





 Yeah, we might not have the pretty golden sand and clear blue sea, but grey and moody is what we get, so grey and moody is what I'll take. There's nothing quite like the British seaside.


Catch you on the flipside,

xoxo


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Ready. Set. Write! #9

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What I'm Reading:

Okay, SHADOW AND BONE? Totally worth the hype. Alina is pretty badass, and even though I'm pretty sure the Darkling is a psychopath, I think I'm in love with him.

I picked up a few books from the library, including DO NO HARM by Carol Topolski. I read her book MONSTER LOVE a few years ago and it was amazing. Disturbing and sickening and terrifying, but amazing. Her latest, though? Did not work for me. It skipped backwards and forwards in time, switched between third and first person, between past and present tense, and it did nothing but confuse me. Plus, I found the plot pretty lacklustre.



I needed something excellent after that, and lucky me, because the Amazon fairy delivered the perfect book: PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Kara Taylor. I haven't been so excited for a book in forever--I'm a sucker for anything involving prep/private/boarding school, the Upper East Side, rich kids, New England fancy, and/or the Hamptons. PSC has four of those things, plus a murder mystery. I mean, come on. How was I not going to read it?! Which I did all in one go, by the way, because it was that good and I had to know how the mystery unraveled. I cannot wait for the next book, WICKED LITTLE SECRETS--Anne Dowling is my new book bestie, for sure.

What I'm Writing:




Nothing! I haven't written since last Thursday (on purpose) and it's nice to have a break. I did get some good words down before that, though, and I left off in the middle of a scene where I knew I could pick it up easily. (At least, I hope I can.) So my goal this week is only to get back into the swing of things on Monday. And also to map out the next few scenes, because I'm not a plotter, but writing without at least a few notes on what's happening next only leads to trouble. For me. In revisions.

What's Inspiring Me Right Now:

I'm reading a biography/coffee table book about Lucille Ball. She was quite the HBIC. I am crazy inspired by the women of Old Hollywood because of the way a lot of them gamed the system that was supposed to keep them down without anyone ever knowing. People might look on the Marilyns and Veronicas and Avas as just pretty little things, but they were smart in so many ways as well as being wonderfully beautiful. Sigh.



What Else I've Been Up To:

Hanging out with my girls at a tea-tail party. "But what is that?" I hear you ask. Well, a tea-tail party is when you want to drink cocktails but it's the afternoon and you also want a snack. We're nothing if not classy!

{Look at me getitng hammered on...lemonade!}


Now back to enjoying my "holiday" and pretending I'm sitting by a pool somewhere hot. If only.

xoxo