Thursday, December 19, 2013

Superlative Blog Fest: Best in Show

 
Hard to believe that it’s the last day of the blog fest! Hope you’ve had fun!
  
Today’s topic: BEST IN SHOW
 
I read over 60 books this year, but these are the 2013-published YA books I read: REQUIEM (Lauren Oliver), HYSTERIA (Megan Miranda), THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER (Megan Shepard), JUST ONE DAY (Gayle Forman), ELEANOR AND PARK (Rainbow Rowell), NOBODY BUT US (Kristen Halbrook), ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill), THINGS I CAN’T FORGET (Miranda Kenneally), THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey), TAKEN (Erin Bowman), 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma), FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK (Matthew Quick). THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater), FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell), SMOKE (Ellen Hopkins), WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller), REVEALED (PC Cast and Kristin Cast), THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US (Lauren Myracle)
 
Again, I may mention THE DREAM THIEVES. A lot. Again – I apologize for nothing. :)
 
Favorite Cover: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater) and FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell)
 
Cutest Couple: Levi and Cather (FANGIRL, Rainbow Rowell)

Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz Winner.): THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater)

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (Book you just couldn’t put down!) THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater)

Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up.): THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater)

Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel: REQUIEM (Lauren Oliver)

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath: Wren and Charlie (THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US, Lauren Myracle)

Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.) ELEANOR AND PARK (Rainbow Rowell), TAKEN (Erin Bowman), ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill), and NOBODY BUT US (Kristin Halbrook)

Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, BEFORE 2012.): SECOND CHANCE SUMMER (Morgan Matson)

Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry: FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK (Matthew Quick)

Most Pleasant Surprise (Best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.): 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma)

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater) and ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill)
 
Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.): WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller)
 
Favorite Outlier BIRD BY BIRD (Anne Lamott)

Your turn! Pick your own superlative category and post it at the end this day’s list. Blog hoppers will be able to drop by and vote for their pick in the comments of your blog!

Character who deserved the biggest hug: Adam (THE DREAM THIEVES, Maggie Stiefvater) and Leonard Peacock (FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK, Matthew Quick)

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL holiday! Thank you so much for participating this week! Oh, and don't forget to add your link below!
 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Superlative Blog Fest: Elements of Fiction


Having fun? Me too! Today's topic: Elements of Fiction

I read over 60 books this year, but these are the 2013-published YA books I read: REQUIEM (Lauren Oliver), HYSTERIA (Megan Miranda), THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER (Megan Shepard), JUST ONE DAY (Gayle Forman), ELEANOR AND PARK (Rainbow Rowell), NOBODY BUT US (Kristen Halbrook), ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill), THINGS I CAN’T FORGET (Miranda Kenneally), THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey), TAKEN (Erin Bowman), 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma), FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK (Matthew Quick). THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater), FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell), SMOKE (Ellen Hopkins), WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller), REVEALED (PC Cast and Kristin Cast), THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US (Lauren Myracle)


Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.) FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell)

Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.) THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey)
 
Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.): JUST ONE DAY (Gayle Forman)

Loveliest Prose: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater) and REQUIEM (Lauren Oliver)

Most Dynamic Main Character: Gansey (THE DREAM THIEVES, Maggie Stiefvater)

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending: NOBODY BUT US (Kristin Halbrook)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Kat (WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE, Trish Doller)

Best Use of Theme: THINGS I CAN’T FORGET (Miranda Keneally) and FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell)

So, what were your favorites in these categories? Sign up on the linky and tell us all about it!



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Superlative Blog Fest: Popularity Contest


It's Day Two of the Superlative Blog fest and today we're choosing our faves yearbook style. If you want to join in the fun, click here for a recap of the "rules" and hop aboard!

I read over 60 books this year, but these are the 2013-published YA books I read: REQUIEM (Lauren Oliver), HYSTERIA (Megan Miranda), THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER (Megan Shepard), JUST ONE DAY (Gayle Forman), ELEANOR AND PARK (Rainbow Rowell), NOBODY BUT US (Kristen Halbrook), ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill), THINGS I CAN’T FORGET (Miranda Kenneally), THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey), TAKEN (Erin Bowman), 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma), FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK (Matthew Quick). THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater), FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell), SMOKE (Ellen Hopkins), WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller), REVEALED (PC Cast and Kristin Cast), THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US (Lauren Myracle)

Popularity Contest

Mostly Likely to start a Riot: Ronan (THE DREAM THIEVES, Maggie Stiefvater) and Will (NOBODY BUT US, Kristin Holbrook)

Biggest Flirt: Alex (WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE, Trish Doller)

Fashion King and/or Queen: Aphrodite (REVEALED, P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast)

Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF: Tessa (THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US, Lauren Myracle) and Parker (THINGS I CAN’T FORGET, Miranda Kenneally)


Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School: Heath Luck (REVEALED, P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast), Adam (THE DREAM THIEVES, Maggie Stiefvater), Levi (FANGIRL, Rainbow Rowell), Alex (WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE), or Finn (ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, Cristin Terrill)

Most Likely to Become President: Gansey (THE DREAM THIEVES, Maggie Stiefvater).


Quirkiest Character: Eleanor AND Park (ELEANOR AND PARK, Rainbow Rowell)

Villain You Love to Hate: Asher (FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK, Matthew Quick)

Favorite Parental Figure: Greg (WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE, Trish Doller)

Coolest Nerd: Levi (FANGIRL, Rainbow Rowell)


Add your name to the linky below and join in the fun! Can't wait to see your choices!


Monday, December 16, 2013

SUPERLATIVE BLOG FEST: Head of the Class


The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest is hosted by Katy Upperman, Tracey Neithercott, Jessica Love, and me, and is a fun and interactive way to highlight and share your favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest will span four days, beginning today and culminating Thursday, December 19th. And…AND if you participate all four days, you could win your choice of a 2013 book!
The rules for participating are simple:

1. Select books/characters that apply to the superlative topics for each day of the blogfest. Feel free to give explanations for your choices. You can go into as much detail as you like!

2. Add a link to your post on Katy's, Jessica’s, Tracey’s or my blog.

3. Take a few moments to hop around and check out the superlatives of other participants each day.

See? Fun AND easy! But wait, there’s more!

Some additional information:

- Unless otherwise indicated by the topic, stick with books published in 2013.

- Of course we want you to participate in all four days of the blogfest, but if you’re only able to commit to a day or two, that’s cool too! (but…BUT if you do participate all four days, you could win a 2013 book of your choosing. Just sayin’)

- Don’t have a book or character to fit a particular topic? No biggie—just skip it!

- For the sake of continuity, focus on YA books only.

- Pretty please keep your posts spoiler free

Today’s topic:
Head of the Class
I read over 60 books this year, but these are the 2013-published YA books I read: REQUIEM (Lauren Oliver), HYSTERIA (Megan Miranda), THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER (Megan Shepard), JUST ONE DAY (Gayle Forman), ELEANOR AND PARK (Rainbow Rowell), NOBODY BUT US (Kristen Halbrook), ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill), THINGS I CAN’T FORGET (Miranda Kenneally), THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey), TAKEN (Erin Bowman), 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma), FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK (Matthew Quick). THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater), FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell) (technically NA, but I'm including it), SMOKE (Ellen Hopkins), WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller), REVEALED (PC Cast and Kristin Cast), THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US (Lauren Myracle)

Also, I may or may not mention THE DREAM THIEVES. A lot. I apologize for nothing.

Favorite Dystopian: TAKEN (Erin Bowman) and REQUIEM (Lauren Oliver)
Favorite Science Fiction: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater) (it has some science-y elements in it) and ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill)
Honorable Mention: THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey)

Favorite Fantasy: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater). The story has some pretty fantastic fantastical elements.

Favorite Contemporary: FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell), WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller), and JUST ONE DAY (Gayle Forman)
Favorite Action/Adventure: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater) and ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cristin Terrill)

Favorite Historical Fiction: ELEANOR AND PARK (Rainbow Rowell)

Favorite Comedy: THE DREAM THIEVES (yes, I know…not technically a comedy, but Ronan makes me laugh)
Favorite Mystery: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater)

Favorite Romance: THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US (Lauren Myracle) and FANGIRL (Rainbow Rowell)
Favorite Paranormal: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater) and 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma)
Favorite Family Drama: WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller)

Favorite Genre Bender: THE DREAM THIEVES (Maggie Stiefvater)

Add your name to the linky below and join in the fun! Can't wait to see your choices!



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Thankful Edition

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 finished my reread of CATCHING FIRE and am currently rereading THE LIST. I don't know what it is about November, guys, but every year my reading slows and practically stalls. I do write and revise a lot in November. Maybe that's it. ANYHOO—MUST get my read on for the Superlative Blog Fest! More on that in a bit. J
What I'm Writing:
I'm past my midpoint. However, there are two scenes I must write and two that need serious addressing in the front half of my script so, I'm trying not to get too excited about getting into the second half. But I'm further along than I was last week at this time, so . . . progress.  

As I revise, I encounter all kinds of notes I left myself on first draft. Here's one of them.

 
Does anyone else leave themselves crazy comments?

Also, does anyone else keep a journal or notebook with all kinds of crazy unorganized scrawl about their stories? The other day, I discussed my neurotic journal with a writer friend. I've always had a journal for bits of dialogue and outlines and various scribbles. The current one comes incomplete with cast lists, baseball rosters, who's who for most of the cast, and a whole lot more. It's a WiP too, but, swear, by the time I finish, my journal might rival Gansey's.

 

I'm neurotic to a fault. J

How about you? What are you writing this week?!

What Else I've Been Up To:

1) We were in Atlanta this weekend for a soccer tournament (my husband's the coach, my daughter plays). Had a wonderful time with a great group of girls and an awesomely cool group of parents. Oh, and the girls took second place. Pretty good weekend.

2) CATCHING FIRE anyone?
 

Saw it Thursday at 8 with my son and my daughter and about a hundred of her friends. I am not a BTMA girl, but I was very okay with THE HUNGER GAMES. This one? AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3) My story CHICK MAGNET was selected as an entry in Authoress's 2013 Baker's Dozen. (insert BIG smile) The entries go up on her blog Friday. Agents bid on them Tuesday. *bites nails* Feel free to break from your Black Friday shopping to send some love my way. Or a constructive critique. Or a glass of wine (I may need several). You can monitor all the exciting action here.
4) Just feeling thankful. I can complain about a lot of things, but I really do have so much to be thankful for. My family, my writing, my friends. YOU.  I could go on, but I already rambled about what I'm thankful for at YA CONFIDENTIAL . You can check it out here. 
What Inspires Me Right Now
The 2013 Superlative Blog Fest! Jessica, Tracey, Katy and I posted about it yesterday (click here!) and I am super excited about sharing my favorite reads of 2013. Which is all of twelve books *headdesk* But I am INSPIRED to kick this reading slump  and get my read on before December 16!
The Superlative Blog Fest is so much fun and I hope you'll join us!

Happy Thanksgiving! What's up on YOUR Wednesday?!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's Almost Time for the 2013 Superlative Blog Fest!

Last year, Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Katy Upperman, and I hosted The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest—a fun and interactive way to highlight our favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. It was amazing fun and we are gearing up to host it AGAIN!  


Tracey designed our button and banner, guys. One word: GORGEOUS!!!

Today I’d like to share with you some specifics about the blogfest—dates, categories—so you can prepare to join in the fun!
The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 16th – Thursday, December 19th and will highlight favorite books of 2013.  There'll be a giveaway (YAY!), and here are this year’s categories:

Head of the Class 

Favorite Dystopian

Favorite Science Fiction

Favorite Fantasy

Favorite Contemporary

Favorite Action/Adventure

Favorite Historical Fiction

Favorite Comedy

Favorite Mystery

Favorite Romance

Favorite Paranormal

Favorite Family Drama

Favorite Genre Bender

 
Popularity Contest
Choose characters who fit each topic from ANY YA book!

Class Clown

Most Likely to Become a Rock Star

Mostly Likely to Start a Riot

Biggest Flirt

Fashion King and/or Queen

Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF

Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School

Most Likely to Become President

Quirkiest Character

Villain You Love to Hate

Favorite Parental Figure

Coolest Nerd


Elements of Fiction

Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.)

Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.)

Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.)

Loveliest Prose

Best First Line

Most Dynamic Main Character

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending

Best Performance in a Supporting Role

Best Use of Theme

Best in Show

Favorite Cover

Cutest Couple

Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz Winner.)

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (Book you just couldn’t put down!)

Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up.)

Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath 

Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.)

Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2013.)

Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry

Most Pleasant Surprise (Best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.)

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle

Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.)

Favorite Outlier (Your favorite middle grade or adult 2012 book) 

Your turn! Pick your own superlative category and post it at the end this day’s list. Blog hoppers will be able to drop by and vote for their pick in the comments of your blog!

 
Get your 2013 read on and get ready to join us for some incredible fun! I can't wait to see everyone's superlative choices!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

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 finished LORD OF THE FLIES and am currently rereading CATCHING FIRE in anticipation for the premiere (OMG) tomorrow night.
What I'm Writing:
I did achieve my goals last week, revising through page 140 (now page 132!), and I feel like those pages are almost polished enough where I could send them out to readers. (Yay!) Currently I'm working on the scenes leading up to the midpoint and have a few holes to fill. I hope to stream edit through to the midpoint by Friday, then fill in the gaps this weekend. *fingers crossed*

How about you? What are you writing this week?! 

What Else I've Been Up To: So, last week I went exclamation point happy over some soccer. My husband's boys team played in the State Championship game Saturday. They were down 4-1 at half, came back to tie it up twice (4-4, then 5-5), and then lost in the final minutes when the other team scored to make things 6-5.
I will say only a few (haha) things about this.
1) The game was seriously heart-fought on both ends. Every single player left it on the field. It was some incredible soccer to watch.
2) While I know this is going to sound like poor loser Coach's wife of me, the officiating was beyond questionable (and why our boys were down 4-1 at half). A sketchy handball at the top of the box led to score number one. Another questionable call  led to the opponent's third score. A few goal kicks (that were clearly goal kicks) were deemed corner kicks for the other team. The boys were justifiably rattled.
It's a shame that in a game this big that the officials had a hand in the score.

I'm sure I sound like the sorest loser ever, and I wouldn't have ranted about it, except this back story is key to What Inspires Me Right Now, so…
3) I HATE watching teenage boys cry. Thirty minutes after the game, they walked past me and they were still sobbing. This was my heart.

 
It's still in recovery.
4) Our fans, the Cardinal Crazies, filled the stands. They're adorably obnoxious, and they have a pretty wicked chant that gets everyone hyped during games:

I believe
(I believe)
I believe that
(I believe that)
I believe that we will win
(I believe that we will win)
When the other team received their championship trophy, they huddled in front of their fans and did the Cardinal Crazy BELIEVE chant. Except they rudely inserted
I believe that we have won
I can handle sore losers. I cannot tolerate poor winners. And I have one thing to say to that
KARMA

Okay, I'm off my rant horse now. Thank you for allowing me to vent. J
What Inspires Me Right Now

1) My husband's boys. Rattled by the (questionable) officiating, down 4-1 at half, they could have easily packed up their tent. A lot of teams might have. But my husband said one thing to them: Win the second half. And hoo boy did they.
They didn't win, but they put up the most incredible fight ever. To overcome adversity and give it EVERYTHING you got? Freaking INSPIRING.
2) My writer friends Katy and Elodie. We send each other progress reports and excerpts just about every day. Katy blogged about it last week (so sweet). Their feedback and encouragement is beyond inspiring. Thank you, ladies!!!
3) Last week as I was drooling over my writer friend SaraBiren's chicken schwarma lunch outing, I casually commented that I was ditching my revisions for the afternoon and watching THE AVENGERS instead. She immediately replied with

 
How can I NOT be inspired by that? (Of course, if Mark Ruffalo said jump…)

What's up on YOUR Wednesday?! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (24): BELIEVE edition

Guys, my husband's soccer team just won the Eastern Regional Championship and are officially State Championship bound!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, if my post is peppered with a few (haha) exclamation points (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) please forgive me. I'm still on a massive high from that win. J


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:
Um…let's not go there.

What I'm Writing:

In my first week of NaNoReviseMo, I edited 45 pages—which is almost as many as I did in the previous month! I'm currently up to page 110 and am looking to edit up to 140 by the end of the week. *fingers crossed*

How about you? What are you writing this week?! 

What Inspires Me Right Now:
My husband's boys. They've had a few really tough games in their march to the State final. Their tenacity is beyond inspiring.
Also, their team motto: Believe: Believe in yourself, believe in each other, believe in your dreams.
Kind of sums things up on my incredible writing community (aka YOU GUYS) too. J
 
What Else I've Been Up To:
Soccer. Obvs. J (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
The nine-year-old received his first report card and he had all As. The fourteen-year-old's lowest grade on her last progress report was a 95. SO PROUD.
My mom's in Honduras on a dental mission trip. She does this just about every year, but I still worry about her. But very proud of her and the work she does too. J
Also, it snowed here last night. Yet this weekend, the temperature's supposed to be in the seventies. CRAZY November weather!

Finally, I'm super excited about this Saturday's STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!! but I'm also excited about seeing CATCHING FIRE next Thursday night. Anyone else seeing the premiere?! What are your plans? And what's up on YOUR Wednesday?!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (23): The Revising Over Reading Edition


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:
Um . . . my story?

Since last week, I've read two chapters of LORD OF THE FLIES and two pages of THE LIST.  Clearly I suck. Clearly, I've not been reading a lot. Clearly I need to fix this.
In my defense, I've been revising. And this month, if I have to choose between  revising and reading, I'm choosing the former.

How about YOU? What are you reading this week?
What I'm Writing:

I FINALLY finished revising a very challenging chapter last week. Actually I wrote two versions of it. And then I fixed another  chapter that finished off the catalyst scenes, and this had me at a great place to start my NaNoRevMo. Don't know what that is? I blogged about my personal RevMo for November (since I'm not doing NaNoWriMo) here. If you're revising this month, check it out!

As for RevMo progress, I'm trying to do 8 pages a day. Monday I edited (like, I might be happy with these pages edited) 13 pages. Yesterday I got through 13 pages, but I still have a scene to add in and some definite tightening to do. BUT, I'm thinking if I can get through 10 pages a day versus 8, I can use Friday for clean-up and polish. We'll see if I can keep up the pace.  

Anyhoo, here's a not-so-smallish excerpt of what I worked on this past week It's a scene between my girl Alexandra and her crush of the century. Enjoy! 

I hum "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" on my way to study hall, take out my notebooks as I whistle "Beauty School Dropout," and even though it’s not a song in the original stage version (the one we'll be performing), I quietly sing "You’re the One That I Want" while waiting for Michael Titan to do geometry problems.
            “You’ve got a really pretty voice." Michael's propped on an elbow, staring at me.
 My face heats up and I redirect to his homework. “Thank you.”
            “The cast list goes up today, right?” he asks. I nod. “Cassidy said you guys are up for the same part.”
              My smile deflates. Any mention of Cassidy is heart-breaking. And while I don’t enjoy thinking about them kissing and, well, other things, the fact that they actually talk to each other? That’s more disappointing than the thought of them hooking up in in-school suspension.
            “We are.” I want to say more—that his girlfriend’s rendition of "It’s Raining on Prom Night" was pitchy, that she had too much shake in her "Shake, Rattle, and Roll." That she tripped me during our dance tryout (true story—Darla's video confirmed it). But I don’t. That’s his girlfriend. He’ll just defend her.
“Cool.” He bites into the cap of his pencil—so adorable. “Cassidy’s pretty sure you got the part. She was so pissed after, what're they called, call-ups? Call—”
“Callbacks.” My heart sings an anthem. Even Cassidy thinks I got the lead! “Cassidy did really well,” I lie. Now's the time to play the humble part, make her sound good (when she is clearly evil—sore ankle as evidence, thank you very much), and let Michael see all of my wonderful qualities. “She sings beautifully." Sometimes. "And she nailed the dance audition." Of course she did. She tripped me.
            Michael’s blue eyes sparkle. The specks of gold in them shimmer. He’s still propped up on that elbow, staring at me, waiting for me to finish looking over the few problems of his Geometry homework. “Well, just between you and me, I hope you get the big part.” 

Are you revising this month? Drafting? Let me know in the comments. I want to cheer you on!  

What Inspires Me Right Now:
1) My daughter and my husband. I think I may have mentioned this, but my daughter is not really crazy about my story's characters. When I brainstormed with her a bit on my troubling chapter six, I also told her she didn't have to read any more of my story. She was a little hurt and replied, "Well, of course I want to read your story. You're my mom."
Cue heart melting.
And then I shared same brainstorming issues with the husband. He was patient (I take FOREVER to tell a story—ahem, HUGE word counts) and supportive and full of awesome advice and good ideas. And made me feel like this crazy idea I was pursuing was well, worth pursuing.
2) The creativity and imagination of my nine-year-old. There is NO END to what this child comes up with. LOVE HIM.
3) The spirit of NaNoWriMo and NaNoRevMo and everyone making word counts and all the encouragement. The Twitter writing/revising parties (one day I will join one at night!). There are a lot of days I'm not so sure I'm cut out for this writing thing. It's encouraging and inspiring when others think the opposite.
What Else I've Been Up To:
Soccer. The husband's team just advanced to the fourth round of the state playoffs (SO PROUD!). I've been tutoring a lot. Oh, and ya know—Halloween.


The nine year old can't just be Darth Vader. Or a werewolf. No, he has to be Wolf Vader.
His creativity is beyond inspiring.

How was your Halloween?! And what's up on YOUR Wednesday?!