Wednesday, May 22, 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.

What I'm Reading: Recently I read this

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

I really enjoy Miranda Kenneally's stories—they've got great messages, but also light-hearted stories with extremely relatable characters. And they're easy reads (I read this one in the car on Mother's Day) I very much liked CATCHING JORDAN (it's about football—what's not to like?!) and loved STEALING PARKER (which, btw, if you read TICF, you get to spend a lot of time with Parker and Will again!), but I think out of the three—I like this one most of all. And while I was not a big Kate Kelly fan in the beginning, she grew on me—BIG time. Her story (and that of her crush Matt) is HUGE—thought-provoking, swoon-worthy, and well…it hit pretty close to home. I'm certain this one will stick with me for a long time.

Currently I'm reading this

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

I've been wanting to read this novel for a while and when my book club put it up for selection, I was all over that choice. I'm only 30 pages in but WOW. I want to drop everything and finish it tonight!

What I'm Writing: Tweaking my synopsis (they are pure evil) and editing the front pages of my unnamed SNI. Yes, I did say UNNAMED. Which is okay—I know this—BUT I have nine other projects on the backburner and they all have names. They may not have formulated plot lines or even strong premises right now, but they have titles. This is just a little weird for me, that's all.

Regardless, I get wicked excited about this little no-named WIP every time I work on pages or think about parts of the plot. I comment to myself when I edit or reread. There are a few a lot of these: LOVE! And YES. But don't worry. The story's not all peaches and roses. I also have a lot (seriously…a LOT) of these comments: FIX ME PLEASE!

Also—just so you know—I am not a funny person. Seriously. Comedian would be the LAST choice on my personality profile, but I can do funny in stories. Last week, while sitting in the doctor's office with my daughter (boo ear infections) I edited pages and couldn't stop snickering. I'd share one of said funny passages, but um…Alison's a little afraid you won't think it's funny. But I at least make myself laugh. 

*sigh*

Don’t you love the giddiness of new WIP relationships!

What Inspires Me Right Now:




Why? Um, well the entire soundtrack constitutes the SNI playlist.

I've performed in the stage version twice, helped choreograph the show for my high school, and my daughter's musical theatre group is currently performing songs from GREASE this year. About a week ago, we went to Myrtle Beach for a dance competition and her troupe performed it. They were absolutely incredible! And my writing heart was all allegro while watching, just thinking about elements of my story.

Am I making you want to gag with my SNI gush yet? Yeah, probably. I'll be quiet now. ;)

This has served inspirational purposes too


Yep. NINE more school days until I give my last exams. The rumor that I'm leaving the hallowed halls of teaching has taken off exponentially and my kids are all mad at/disappointed with/happy for me. But they get it. And they really are happy for me. Actually, most of my students this semester are seniors and we're all ready to GO!

But if there's one thing about the job I will truly miss—it's them. June 10 will be rather bittersweet.

What Else I've Been Up To

Um, so you know that little Writer's Voice contest I entered?

CUPID PICKED ME FOR TEAMCUPIDLC13!!!!

*ahem*

Last week was exciting and awesome and all kinds of exhausting, but it was such an honor and a pleasure to work with some other amazing writers as we tightened up queries and first pages and man, do they have some killer stories! Our polished entries are up on Cupid's blog this week (here's mine if you want to check it out) and agents will vote on them Thursday and Friday. I'm just a little a lot nervous and I'm REALLY going to have to restrain myself from refreshing Cupid's page every five seconds. But again—I'm flattered and honored to be a part of this competition.

And I just totally sounded like a legit VOICE contestant. But it's all true.

Sorry if I sounded all gaggy and gushy. It's been a whirlwindy two weeks.

So…what are YOU up to? Let me know in the comments!!!

33 comments:

  1. Congrats on the Voice contest and good luck!

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  2. Is the SNI the one about you-know-who? :D Oh and if you want to send me excerpts as you go, you know, hmmm, don´t hesitate to send them my way :-)

    I have to read THINGS I CAN´T FORGET...I started a while back but didn´t get into it right away and it was one of those times when I was quite impatient with my reading.

    Crossing my fingers for you in the Writer´s Voice. I know I will be cheering you on and I simply know someone has to fall in love with JD and the entire cast of characters the same way Katy and I did!

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    1. Hee - not the SNI about you know who. Sorry! One day, Elodie! One day!

      Also, yes. You must finish TCIF. My favorite one. And thank you for all the love and support!

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  3. Wow! You've been busy. I'm getting ready to publish some short stories and working on two drafts, hoping to publish by 2013.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    Gone Girl sounds really good.

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    1. Awesome!!! Sounds like you've been busy too!

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  4. Congrats on the Writer's Voice! And speaking of which, I just reread your entry and I love the voice in CHICK MAGNET. :)

    I finally settled on a title for my WIP a week or two ago--halfway through the first revision. I've always had titles with concepts, so it freaked me out for a long time that it was untitled. You'll find the perfect one for your SNI soon!

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    1. I'm certain I will...I just don't like not knowing - ya know?

      Also, thank you!!! Biting my nails about the contest, but I'm honored to be a part!

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  5. Congratulations on the Writer's Voice! That's super awesome! I'm with you on titles. I tend to give mine titles that I don't really LOVE but that work for whatever reason, even if I want a knew one.

    I want to read Gone Girl, and now I want to read it even more.

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    1. I've done that too and usually something will come to me. This one technically has a title but I know that it's not going to be the name of the story. If that makes sense.

      Yes - READ Gone Girl! SO GOOD

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  6. I just bought my first Miranda Kinneally book and I can't wait to get reading it. I'm majorly in the mood for contemporary right now. (Thanks to beta-reading Katy's and Copil's stories.) I've been wanting to check out GONE GIRL for some time now. I read SHARP OBJECTS, and while I thought the writing was fantastic, the content was a bit too gritty for me. Reason #101 why I usually stick to YA. That said, I think GONE GIRL is different than SHARP OBJECTS in that respect.

    Yay for shiny new ideas! I'd love to get working on one or two of mine. I might have to set aside the revision that won't end and try something new for a bit. We'll see. I'm so excited for you that school is winding down. You must be ecstatic even though you'll miss the kids. :-)

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    1. I love contemporary! And I hope you enjoy your reads! I love Kenneally's stories. :)

      When I was in the midst of a revision back in the fall I had to walk away for a while. That's when I started the SNI. A month later I was able to think more clearly about the project I was revising. Go for it, Jaime!

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  7. GONE GIRL -- Loved it. In fact, I love all of Gillian Flynn's books. I hope the rumor that she's writing a YA is true! Best of luck with Cupid... I have the highest of hopes for you and your story!

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    1. Thank you always for all the story love!!!

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  8. I really really don't like synopses either, and have never understood why an agent would ask for one. But who am I to argue? All the best with that, Alison. :)

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    1. Thank you! Stupid synopses! They are so evil.

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  9. Hooray for the contest!! And leaving teaching...it'll be such a change but at least summer break gives you that time to 'get used' to it in a way that seems normal.

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    1. Thanks! I'm excited - will be bittersweet, but still very exciting!

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  10. Wow- leaving teaching! How exciting/nerve-wracking. Can't wait to see what you do next. I have heard good things about Miranda Kinneally's books.
    Just read Gone Girl about a month ago. Loved it so much. It was fantastically executed. I wonder if they'll make a movie??? They should.

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    1. It is definitely exciting and nerve-wracking! Oh, and I think they ARE making a movie version of Gone Girl - with Reese Witherspoon and Bradley Cooper? I think I saw their pictures somewhere. :)

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  11. Congrats on the Writer's Voice contest! That's awesome. I also love Kenneally's books. I think CATCHING JORDAN was my favorite. That said, I could relate to this one, THINGS I CAN'T FORGET, the most. I very much like Kate as a teen and while I never ran into the exact problem she did with her best friend, her inner conflict hits close to home. I can't wait for her next book.

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    1. Her inner conflict did hit very close to home. That and all the religious aspects. I'm excited about her next book too!

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  12. Oh wow, congrats on getting picked in the Cupid contest! Good luck with your entry and with your shiny, new, no-named idea! And ugh, I hear you on the synopsis. Mine needs some work after finishing revisions. I agree that they're pure evil.

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    1. I've been tweaking mine FOREVER. And I don't ever think I'll get it right. Grrr.

      Also, thank you! My poor nails. This contest and querying will be the death of them!

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  13. Oh man, I'm so curious about the SNI! Is it theater-y, or is Grease a part of it in a different way?

    And enjoy your last few days of school! It is hard to leave kids but there are plenty of parts that it feels so amazing to be done with!

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    1. One of my main characters is VERY into theater - so, yes. And it also plays in a thematic way. It's SO EXCITING to think about!

      *ahem*

      And yes - the end of school will be a little bittersweet but a whole lot exciting.

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  14. Good luck with The Writer's Voice!!!! I'm rooting for you!!!

    I haven't read THINGS I CAN'T FORGET yet but I've read her others - I'm happy to hear you liked this one best! I'll have to pick up a copy soon. Enjoy GONE GIRL! It's such a page-turner.

    Have fun drafting your SNI. I'm happy to hear it's going so well!

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    1. Thank you!!! I'm very nervous about today and tomorrow. *bites nails*

      And I am having fun drafting and editing, but then again - I haven't hit the murky middle yet. We'll see, but I'm going to remain optimistic!

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  15. Aw, I loved reading your SNI gushiness! I'm hoping to spend the long weekend falling back in love with my potential next-book after a long time away!

    Congrats on the Writer's Voice contest and good luck!

    Also, YAY for THINGS I CAN'T FORGET! Miranda's one of my CPs and that's my favorite of her books so far.

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    1. Thank you! And good luck to you with your next project! Also, yes on TCIF! Loved that book!

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  16. I literally yelled, "OH MY GOD" when I got to the end of your query. What an awesome twist! I hope we get to read it someday :)

    Good luck with the Writer's Voice and have fun with your new SNI!

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Yay! I LOVE comments!