Monday, May 25, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE!

Are you ready for Ready. Set. WRITE!?

 
For the past two summers, Katy Upperman, Erin Funk, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij and I have been hosting READY. SET. WRITE! It’s always so much fun and we all seem to accomplish mucho. Clearly we’d be idiots not to host it again so we are. J. For anyone who missed out last time, Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, or revising. We set goals, write/revise/plan like crazy, and keep one another accountable.  

Here’s how it’s all going to go down.  

1) This summer we’ll continue checking in on Mondays. The start of the week feels sort of appropriate for goal-setting, like laying the groundwork for an awesome week of writing. So, every Monday from June 8th to August 31, we’ll start off the week by updating each other on what we accomplished and then setting goals for the new week.  

2) To help with said updates, we’re going to use headings in the weekly posts. Using headings should allow for a quicker and more concise rundown and will give other participants specific ways to offer encouragement.

Here are the headings: 

●How I did on last week’s goal(s) 

●My goal(s) for this week 

●A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised 

●The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc) 

●Something I love about my WIP 

Accountability and goal setting are super important, but we don’t want RSW to detract from writing, which is, of course, the whole point of this summer intensive.  To that end, WE are going to keep our updates concise—limiting our answers for each heading above to 2-3 lines, and we encourage you to do the same. Save the words for the WiPs, ya know?  

Each Monday there will be a linky signup posted on all of the host blogs. Just leave the link to your check-in post, hop around to other participants’ blogs, and spread encouragement around like sunscreen. (This is a summer writing intensive after all.  

On Monday June 8, we’re going to kick things off with a post of our first weekly goals, and we encourage you to do the same! That day, post your weekly/summer goals, sign up on the linky on one of the hosts’ blogs, and then hopefully have a super productive week. Then, each Monday after that, we’ll post updates using the headings above, link posts to the linky thing, encourage one another, and then . . . MORE WRITING.  

We’re SO EXCITED, guys! Just like last summer, we’re going to have Twitter parties (using the hashtag #RSW2015) and giveaways and SO MUCH FUN. And writing. ALL THE WRITING. And . . .  AND there are RSW 2015 buttons! WE HAVE ALL THE BUTTONS (Thank you, Jaime!) Choose one, choose them all, and use them as your RSW heading.









We hope you can join us back here on June 8 for an awesome summer of writing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Currently...

The fabulous Katy Upperman has recently rejuvenated the “Currently…” posts and I thought I’d jump on that bandwagon on a semi-monthly basis. Here’s what I’m currently

LOVING
As crazy busy as May is, I love it. My husband’s girls soccer team is in the playoffs, we celebrated my baby’s 11th birthday, and I spent Mother’s Day in Myrtle Beach at a dance competition in which my tap class scored a platinum first place. So busy, but good busy.

READING
I just finished MOSQUITOLAND (David Arnold)—a book I would’ve never in a million years plucked off the library shelf except the library had two copies (weird) and as I was reading the jacket flap, slightly intrigued, a teenaged someone snatched the other copy and marched right up to the library counter to check it out like her life depended on it. All righty then. Clearly I had to read it after that. Clearly I did. And it was AMAZING.

Now, I’m reading Katie Cotugno’s 99 DAYS which is making me feel like a writerly schmuck because it’s SO GOOD. I need to find an awful book to read just to make myself feel better about my own writing.

WATCHING
There are a ridiculous number of awesome shows on Netflix I need to see and an arsenal of blue rays I need to catch up on, so what does Alison do in her rare downtime? Watches The Hangover (which I've seen a hundred times). And reruns of Miami Vice. And the Champions League semifinal (my Madrid boys lost L) and the USWNT friendlies. I am so ready for June 6! (Women’s World Cup begins and Champions League final—in case you didn’t know J)

LISTENING TO
Still on my eighties kick. Not seeing an end to that any time soon which is totally fine by me.

THINKING ABOUT
My next project(s). I had three on the brain and I thought I knew which one I was working on next, but then yesterday a fourth one—characters, plot, title and all—wormed it’s way in to my thoughts and yeah. Good problem to have, I guess, but still.

ANTICIPATING
READY SET WRITE! 2015! The past couple summers I’ve been hosting this summer writing program/incentive with my blogging buddies Katy, Jaime, Erin, and Elodie and we’re getting ready to kick things into gear again. We’ll do a big announcement post next Monday with all the details but for now, mark June 8 on your calendar and set some goals for the summer. I’m excited for all the writing and accountability!

WISHING
For a new laptop. I’ve been saving up for a Mac and I’m so ready to just buy one already. Especially now that my son has a new laptop and I gave my daughter mine. Desktops are no fun, yo.

Anyway, for all you Mac lovers out there, any recommendations? Pro or Air?

MAKING ME HAPPY
Family. Writing. Soccer. Tap. Life. Can’t complain, people. Can’t complain. Well, not too much anyway. J

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Currently...

The fabulous Katy Upperman has recently rejuvenated the “Currently…” posts and I thought I’d jump on that bandwagon on a semi-monthly basis. Here’s what I’m currently 

LOVING
The weather. It’s been a consistent seventy-something here in eastern NC and my not-so-tan tan is SO HAPPY. So happy that I’m not even going to complain about how many times I sneeze every day. #stupidpollen

READING
I finished the amazing BONE GAP (Laura Ruby) and PLEASE REMAIN CALM (Courtney Summers) last week and am currently reading
 
I missed out on Emery Lord’s debut (which I heard was amazing and I still plan to read), but the library had this and so far it’s really, really good. So good that I am able to look past a little math faux-pas I read yesterday and not have a crazy research rant like I did here.

WATCHING
 (GO Cards!)



Do you really need to ask?

Side note: I wrote a USA/Mexico friendly into the current WiP. I mean, in my story USA won 1-0 and last week, the US won 2-0, but still. Clearly, a sign. J #wishfulthinking

LISTENING TO

Last year at this time I was jamming to everything Broadway and classic rock. This year, I’m all about the eighties. Billy Idol, MJ, Madonna. Wham is my latest jam. J
All WiP inspired and totally fine by me.


THINKING ABOUT

My story. I know, shut up about it already! But I read through it in mostly one sitting on Saturday and I still love it and the characters and their story. I don’t know if anything will ever happen with it, but it’s given me a huge dose of happy so…

ANTICIPATING
Summer. Time with my family and time at the beach. My son’s eleventh birthday. An upcoming dance competition. Getting notes back from new readers.

WISHING
My synopsis would write itself. My children would stop growing up so fast. *sigh*

MAKING ME HAPPY
Family. Writing. Life. Can’t complain, people. Can’t complain. Well, not too much anyway. J

What's currently up with YOU?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday (the series finale)



What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J 

WHAT I’M READING: I am currently rereading I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN (JANDY NELSON). I don’t often reread books, but I bullied persuaded my IRL book club to read it and, oh darn, I have to read it again. #twistmyarm Anyway, it’s even more amazing the second time around. I’m also reading THE ALEX CROW (Andrew Smith) which I hadn’t planned to read so soon, but after the whole stupid interview drama that went down with him a few weeks ago (please don’t get me started—I’m so Team Andrew), I had to pick it up at the library as soon as it was available. I’ve devoured and loved several other Andrew Smith works of art. This one is just as fabulous so far.  

WHAT I’M WRITING: My query. Which involves a lot of screen staring and me getting mad at myself. Heh. 

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: I sent out my story to readers about a week and a half ago and three of the seven have already finished. That in itself is compliment enough. And the support and feedback I’ve received so far on this story have been overwhelmingly positive, incredibly supportive, and just so, so encouraging. I have some big things to fix, but I just cannot even explain how much it means to have people so behind me and wanting to help me and just enjoying my story. I don’t know if the current WiP will ever go anywhere, but it’s just a great comfort and joy to know that something I created is something other people love to read.  

On top of that, one of my CPs sent me a text Saturday telling me she was up until 4:30 AM reading my story because she couldn’t put it down. Seriously the BEST COMPLIMENT EVER. One that will sustain me for MONTHS. 

So, yeah. Lucky, LUCKY writer here.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO: Since I last posted? So much. Obviously I finished my revisions (for now). We celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday, Pi Day, and the hubs and I went to a super fun murder mystery dinner last weekend to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And of course there’s the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club. Soccer season kicked into high gear and since my daughter plays and my husband coaches, I’m watching tons of soccer and I LOVE IT. And next week is spring break so I’m excited just to hang out with the family.

That’s what’s up in my little world. What’s up on YOUR Wednesday?! 

 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Writer Recharge: Final Update

How is that it’s MARCH already?!  

Actually, I’m kind of happy to see February go. Laptop crashing, not getting to see writer friends, abysmal winter weather? Yeah. Good riddance.

The saving grace was Writer Recharge. I didn’t meet all my February goals, but, thanks to Sara’s awesome program, I made great strides on several of them. Here’s a bit of what I was able to accomplish…  

 
WRITE/REVISE – Choose writing goals for the month.
This month I want to finish revisions on the current WiP.  

UPDATE: I did not finish, BUT I did knock a lot of items off the revision list AND my comment count went from 100 to 10. I’ll take it. And I am seeing that pretty clear light at the end of the revision tunnel so I’m hoping, HOPING, I can finish this thing by Pi Day.  

READ/REREAD - Read a book that's been on your TBR forever or reread something that had a great impact on you. 
I bought ALLEGIANT the week it hit the shelves and um…I still haven’t read it. I’m going to fix that this month.
Did not finish, but I did start ALLEGIANT and I should finish that within the week.

STRETCH - Do something outside your comfort zone, from reading a genre you typically avoid to trying a new food or rock climbing when you're afraid of heights - that kind of thing. 
Make strides in re-teaching myself Statistics (for research purposes)
CHECK. And still working on it. Learning all about the beauty of z scores. #sarcasm

SELF - Do something good for your mind or your body. 
I’m already doing this, but I started a tap class before Christmas. I’m going to make it a goal to go each week, no matter how busy things get. 
I only went to two of four. Will try to do better this month.

CONNECT - Find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. Make a connection, via social media or in person. Initiate twitter writing parties, have a real-life write-in with writers in your town, or offer to critique or beta read someone’s work. 
The write-in thing sounds like an awesome idea. So, I’m going to try that. J
Write-in didn’t happen, but I managed a few Twitter writing parties during the day so…

FUN - Make a goal to do something super fun and exciting that you can look forward to.
a)      I know you’re probably still in shock over the ALLEGIANT thing, but here’s something else I haven’t done yet: eaten at Chipotle. Making a date with the daughter to do just that. 

This didn’t happen . . . YET. I’m hoping to get there in the next two weeks.

b) Valentine’s dinner with the hubs. We don’t get many of those date nights. I’m going to make sure we have one sometime this month!
CHECK. Awesome Vietnamese cuisine with the fabulous husband. J

How’d you do?! Also, if you participated at all during the Writer Recharge, you are eligible for this fantastic prize from Sara! Check out the awesome on her blog and be sure to sign up on the linky!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Writer Recharge Update (kind of) and Surf and Surrender Release Day!


It’s hard to believe that it’s already the last week of February. I hope you all had a productive week! I would like to say that I did, but I pretty much failed on all my goals. I won’t bore you with the details, but I blame inclement weather (kids had one full day of school last week), prep for the IRL book club, and the fact that my laptop crashed—again. *sigh* I could spin tales of negativity and defeatism on that one, but that’s not very inspiring. So, instead I’m going to take today’s recharge update to share some super positive news with you. Today, my awesome and amazing friend Riley Edgewood has a book releasing! I’ve read this one and it is all kinds of steamy and AMAZING. Here’s some info so you can check it out too!
 

Surf & Surrender (Summer Love Series, #2)

Riley Edgewood

Publication date: February 23, 2015

Genres: NA, contemporary romance

 
Blurb:  

She wants to forget he ever existed. He'd never give up her memory. 

Quinn Westwood is completely over Sawyer Carson. He broke her heart years ago and disappeared from her life without a word. So yeah. She's over him. Never even thinks of him. In fact, she's spending her college summer break surfing and lifeguarding in the Outer Banks, while nursing a bruised heart from a different relationship gone wrong. She doesn't have room in her mind or heart for Sawyer--until she runs into him at a beach bonfire and the sparks that fly between them are way hotter than the flames heating the sand.

Sawyer never got over Quinn. The only thing stronger than the way he feels for her is the secret keeping them apart, but sharing it would destroy more than just his life--it'd ruin hers, as well. Still, he can't seem to keep away from her, can't seem to keep his hands off of her soft, tempting skin. Especially since she has even less self-control when it comes to reigniting the physical side of what made them perfect together.

But secrets have a way of slipping out, and when Sawyer's is revealed, it threatens to shatter everyone involved. He'll have to face walking away a second time, and Quinn will have to decide if fighting for him is worth it when the fallout could affect more than just her heart, but also those of the people she loves most.

Surf & Surrender is the second book in Riley Edgewood's Summer Love series, but can be read as a standalone! 
 

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
 

About the Author:

Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two. 

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter

 
She and the amazing Liz Briggs are hosting a Facebook party today with a seriously awesome giveaway. You should TOTALLY check it out!

Hope you are having a great week! And don’t forget to sign up on Sara’s blog so I can hop around and check out your progress!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Writer Recharge Update 2




Another week down; another Writer Recharge update. It’s taken a turn for the cold and dreary in NC and, as much as I don’t want the Recharge to end, I do want an end to winter weather SOON. 

Anyhoo, here’s how I’m doing on my Writer Recharge goals…

·         WRITE/REVISE 

Get rid of twenty more comments in the doc           

            CHECK—I am officially at 40 comments left. J

Fix three huge items on the revision list           

            Um…kind of. I fixed two big items and a few small ones. It’s progress. I’ll take it.  

THIS WEEK'S GOAL: I would like to get rid of 20 more comments and fix at least five things on the revision list.

·         READ/REREAD - Read a book that's been on your TBR forever or reread something that had a great impact on you.  

I bought ALLEGIANT the week it hit the shelves and um…I still haven’t read it. I’m going to fix that this month.

            It’s next on the TBR. I just have to finish reading my book club read, What Alice Forgot (Liane Moriarty)

·         STRETCH - Do something outside your comfort zone, from reading a genre you typically avoid to trying a new food or rock climbing when you're afraid of heights - that kind of thing.  

Make strides in re-teaching myself Statistics (research for the WiP). 

            CHECK—I learned all sorts of geeky and glorious things about sampling, bias, dot plots, and pie charts. I shall continue to nerdify myself with this goal in the next week. 

·         SELF - Do something good for your mind or your body.  

Go to my tap class.

            CHECK—I’m going to try to make it there this week, but I’m also hosting my IRL book club. We’ll see.  

·         CONNECT - Find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. Make a connection, via social media or in person. Initiate twitter writing parties, have a real-life write-in with writers in your town, or offer to critique or beta read someone’s work. 

This week I’m going to make it to a Twitter party. I am. I AM.

·         FUN - Make a goal to do something super fun and exciting that you can look forward to.  

The hubs and I celebrated Valentine’s Day Vietnamese style. AWESOME cuisine. And then we went shopping at Food Lion after because that’s how we old married folks roll.  

I hope you’ve had a productive week! If you’re updating, make sure to link your post on Sara’s blog. Have a great week!