Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (and Ready. Set. WRITE! Update!)

 
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 this
 
My dear friend Karen Amanda Hooper wrote it and my awesome CP and friend Alexandra Shostak designed the cover. GORGEOUS writing inside; beautiful cover outside. Oh—and the story is heart-wrenching and page-turning from the get go and breath-taking throughout. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel!
Currently I'm reading MY LIFE NEXT DOOR (Huntley Fitzpatrick) and I am IN LOVE. With George. With Jase. With EVERYTHING.
What I'm Writing:
 
 
My goal this week was to write 5K on the new story. I wrote 7K. BUT before you gasp and clap and yell WAY TO GO! please know that I write VERY crappy first drafts full of lots of CRAP. 
Okay, really it's not THAT BAD, and there are definitely some diamonds in that crap, but I know…I just know I'll probably only end up keeping half those words. This is how I have to write, guys. I have to force the inner editor into sleep mode (REALLY HARD, btw) and just WRITE. It's forward progress. Nonetheless. J
Last week I shared a little and I wanted to thank you for all your kind words! It's very scary to share work period, but I'm getting braver. And, um…I'm going to share again! *hides*
 
And just in case you missed out on my little (haha) excerpt, my story centers around seventeen-year-old twins Alexandra and Axle Reed whose interests (and personalities) are about as connected as baseball and the theater. Perfect twin Alexandra is the glorified virgin of Titan Heights; Axle's the celebrated punk. Last week I shared a blurb from Axle. This week I thought I'd share a little excerpt from Alexandra, my  wannabe drama diva. In this draft, at times, she feels a little too on the surface, so I have a lot of notes to myself about going back in and layering her, giving her more depth, (which is weird because she is so much like ME), and making her slightly more likeable. But this part I'll share shows a bit more of her vulnerable side (I think)…
 
Okay, so I will just shut up and share already. J
 
On my way to study hall I have to pass by the auditorium again and that wretched callback list disparages me from its spot on the auditorium doors. Cassidy French stands in front of it—back to me—and I wonder if this is the first time she’s bothered to look at it all day. I would like to say that I keep right on walking, force my chin up, and ignore her and all her glorious beauty, but I’m frozen several feet away from her. I’m drawn in by her leather mini-skirt and her knee-length boots and her flawlessly teased blond hair and it dawns on me how much she looks like Sandy at the end of Grease. My heart falters. She’s stolen my future husband and now she’s going to steal my part.
            As if I’ve stirred her thoughts, she turns around, sees me staring, and flashes me a condescending grin before strutting toward me and offering me a “congrats” through popped gum. She even sticks out her hand. Dramatically. Like it’s a challenge. Yes, like I’m going to shake her hand. No telling what she’s been doing with it.
            And then my mind zips to Michael Titan and yes, I do know what she’s been doing with that hand. She probably snuck into the in-school suspension room and gave him a hand job during lunch. My eyes well up with tears, my breathing escalates to embarrassing rhythms, and it’s all I can do to not run away from her. Instead, I gurgle out an awkward “thank you” and beeline for study hall. Normally, I’d take solace in the fact that I get to see Michael at the end of my day, but not today. Today he’s in in-school suspension, getting hand jobs from his girlfriend, and not thinking about me.
 
 Poor Alexandra. L
This week, I want to write another 5K. I'm in the Fun and Games section of my story and um…I'm having some fun with my crew (insert maniacal laugh). How about YOU?! What are your goals for the week?!
OH—and just a few things I would encourage you to think about as you post your goals for the week
1) please make sure you sign up on the What's Up Wednesday linky. (go here!) That way we can all stay connected and hop around and share with each other!
 
2) If you get a chance, we would love it if you could  surf the RSW link list (click here!) and try to comment on a few new blogs each week, since the whole point of Ready. Set. Write! is to meet new writers and support each other in our goals. Who knows—you might find your writing soul mate and new betas or critique partners by branching out and visiting new blogs!
3) Join in with us on a twitter writing party. Or host your own! They're so fun and SO productive. I think Elodie has most of us in a group list now. Just visit the group or hit up the hashtag #readysetwrite to see when we'll be hosting another one!
What Inspires Me Right Now: So, last week I said YOU and it's still YOU. All these inspiring progress reports on twitter! I truly believe that's what motivated me to such a great writing week! I can't wait to blog hop today to see what you've accomplished!
What Else I've Been Up To: The husband had minor heart surgery last Thursday (I know…WTH?!?!). No, it's fine. I mean, he has a weird heartbeat (I know... double WTH?!?!) It's not like a regular arrhythmia (forgive the oxymoron), but he still has a weird thing going on with his heart every now and then. His doctor was going to try to do a heart ablation (apparently a pretty common procedure), but wouldn't you know his heart decided to work PERFECTLY that day and they couldn't find it. BUT since then, he hasn't had an episode *knocks on wood*and has been out coaching soccer and doing his normal thing. So…

Outside of that, I've got nothing. We're in the calm before the storm—ya know—relaxing before all the vacations and camps and soccer-related trips start up. And it's very, VERY nice.
 

Also, Sara and I were sharing pics of our "rewards" the other day on Twitter. I filled up my new "retirement" gift (courtesy of the fabulous hubby!) and posted this

 *sigh* I love summer. J
What's up on YOUR Wednesday? Are you participating in Ready. Set. Write!? What are your goals for the week?

60 comments:

  1. I'm crossing my fingers for your husband. Hopefully, all stays okay.
    Congrats on over-shooting that word count goal! I know what you mean about just writing away at that 1st draft. But that's what revising is for, right? Good luck this week!

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    1. Thanks! It's summer, so it's a little easier to block out time for writing. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain a 5K!

      Good luck to you too!

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  2. Sending positive vibes to your hubby!

    I definitely need to silence my inner editor; I've been stuck on the same few pages for a week.

    I still need to read MY LIFE NEXT DOOR!

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    1. Yes you do! MLND is SO GOOD!!!

      Thanks for the positive vibes! And silence that inner editor! (It's so hard, I know!)

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  3. Glad that your hubby is okay! Very scary.

    And congrats on your word count goal, that is amazing!! I agree that you just have to get those words out sometimes, fixing them can come later, right?

    And I can't believe I wasn't following your blog before. (Fixed that and followed) :)

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    1. Awww...thanks! And I just keep telling myself that very thing - revising is exactly that - revising.

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  4. Wow you've been busy! Congrats on the 7K! My List Next Door is on my list to read. Soon I hope.

    Well, isn't that like a husband to do the opposite of what they're supposed to when needed? Glad he's okay! And love the photo!!!

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    1. Thanks! And MLND is so good! I hope you get to read it VERY SOON!

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  5. You had a great writing week! (Even if you say some of it is crappy.) Great snippet again, Alison. Sounds like it's all coming along nicely. :)

    Hope hubby is doing well and that whatever was going on has somehow gone away. That would be awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Jaime! I'm okay with crap on first draft. Even second and third. It's just SO GOOD to be writing!

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  6. I hope your husband has a speedy recovery.

    I think I wrote around 20,000 words this past week. I keep a reference document for each of my books, where I record the word count of each chapter after it's done. Every four chapters, I add up the total again so I won't have to calculate everything at the end. Right now, my total is around 385K.

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    1. Wow! You are a machine! I used to do all my chapters separate. Now I just leave them in one doc and when I revise I section them off. Whatever works, right?!

      Good for you on your WC goals!

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  7. Wow, I hope your husband keeps doing better! Irregular heartbeat is no fun, but a relative had a successful heart ablation that cured hers. Hopefully it'll stay away!
    And thanks for sharing the excerpt! So fun to see the other POV. I love how distinct Alexandra is from Axle.

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    1. Thanks! I heart them both SO MUCH. And they are in that fun stage to write about so I am on a perpetual writing high. It won't last forever so I'm enjoying it while it lasts. :)

      And I hope the weird thing stays away too. Thanks for the well wishes!

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  8. another great excerpt, you can definitely see the difference in voice, which can so hard to pull off in multiple POV stories. Keep up the awesome work!

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    1. Thank you! They are truly distinct personalities (right now) so that makes it a teensy bit easier.

      Good luck this week!

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  9. That's a fun snippet! Now I'll have to look back and find last week's ;) Glad your husband is okay! Those kinds of things are so scary--mine got pericarditis when we were in grad school and that was a rough time.

    Enjoy your relaxing time!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! And I'm glad the husband is better too. It IS scary.

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  10. I'm so glad your husband is doing okay. MLND is one of my favorite books. Loved every word. I loved the internal voice of your MC. I wouldn't want to shake that hand either.

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    1. Thanks! And I am LOVING MLND! Great summer read!

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  11. I feel your pain about trying to shut off your inner editor and just write. My goal for my first draft is to just get from beginning to end. Once I do, THEN my obsessive editor can come out. The only times I'll go back and edit something is if I make a massive change that impacts the entire story. Good luck with your goal for this week! :)

    Also, I love your excerpt! I was in the school musicals all through high school and HATED the dreaded callback/casting announcements. Our director hated the drama/complaining about casting so much that she put our individual roles in envelopes and handed them out instead of posting a list. She wouldn't let us open them until we were out of the building and going home for the day!

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    1. Thank you! I try REALLY hard to turn off Evil Inner Editor. I succeed most of the time. :)

      And I WISH I had a drama director that did that - I experienced one too many hyperventilating crying fits after seeing cast lists. Boo

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  12. I loved your excerpt! This is my fave line: "She stole my future husband and now she's going to steal my part."

    I hope your husband gets well and feels better soon!

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes! And yes - that line sums up the dramatic flair of my mc. LOVE HER

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  13. Yikes! Hopefully your husband will continue to be A-OK.

    Somehow I managed to miss last week's snippet, but I went back for it and I love them both! The contrast in voices is so strong, and I'm a sucker for anything and everything related to high school theater. I hope to see more of this!

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    1. Thank you! And theatre plays a big part (pun intended!) in this story. So, yes. There's more.

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  14. I really enjoyed MY LIFE NEXT DOOR - I hope you love it, too!

    And I just signed up for Ready. Set. Write! - I have been debating it since I'm stuck in this absurd bout of writer's block - but realized it's probably the best thing to snap me out of it. So I'm going to give it a whirl and see how it goes.

    Awesome job on beating your writing goals - and even if some of it gets edited out later, you're still writing!!!! Loved the excerpt BTW - Axle's last week was fantastic, too! Now I'm dying to know which part Alexandra got in the play??? :)

    I hope all continues well for your hubby and his heart. Thinking about you guys and sending good thoughts your way.

    Wishing you a happy Wednesday, Alison!

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    1. Thank you! And so glad you're joining us for RSW!

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  15. That Solo cup is aWeSoMe! I think I need one. :-)

    Love your excerpt, as usual. I can't wait for you to finish this story so I can read the whole thing. I miss your writing, friend!

    Way to go on all your Ready. Set. Write! progress, and here's to even more in the coming weeks! Let's have another Twitter party soon!

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    1. Yes - you totally need a red solo cup wine glass! And yes to another Twitter party! That was SO FUN and very productive!

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  16. I'm slowly learning to love the awfulness that is a first draft. You've got to love simply getting the idea out!

    Good luck hitting your goals for next week too!

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    1. Same to you! And yes - the newness of first drafts is what makes it SO fun! I don't mind the messiness (mostly)

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  17. I'm glad your husband is doing okay.

    I loved your excerpt. Especially the lines, "She’s stolen my future husband and now she’s going to steal my part." And "She even sticks out her hand. Dramatically. Like it’s a challenge. Yes, like I’m going to shake her hand. No telling what she’s been doing with it." Very funny!

    And congrats on meeting word count goals, at times getting down words is all that matters.

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    1. Thanks for the story love! And I'm glad the hubby is doing okay too. Here's too continued health and progress!

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  18. I write the worst first drafts known to man, so I completely understand. Like...my first drafts aren't coherent, even to me, to the point where I completely start over from scratch on the second draft. Unfortunately, this isn't something that has changed since I became a plotter.

    I loved this week's snippet! I love how distinct each twin's voice is - that's so hard to do when you're doing dual-POV first person. Feel free to share more :)

    Congrats on beating your word count goal! I'm sure you'll do it again this week :)

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    1. Thanks! I really hope I keep this word count thing up. It feels so good to make progress! And thank you for the story love!

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  19. First drafts ALL need work, that's why they are first drafts! It's getting the words out that counts which you are TOTALLY doing!

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    1. Agreed! I don't mind the messiness (mostly). I'm just so glad to be WRITING!

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  20. I am a fan of the shitty first draft, or second, but by the 3rd I like things to be smelling rosy. I think it's ok to get high word count that then you can hone. Great job. And I like your excerpt!

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    1. Thank you! I'm right there with you on first (and second and third) drafts!

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  21. Great job, Alison! :) Crappy first drafts are perfect. They're raw and honest-to-God straight from the heart. :D loved the snippet as well. Good luck with this week's goals. Hope your hubby is okay. :)

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  22. Oh gosh, I'm sorry to hear about your husband. I hope his heart issues go away.

    I enjoyed your excerpt! I didn't think it was bad at all. But I totally hear you on crappy first drafts. For my second manuscript, I'm going to try to finish the first draft as quickly as possible, so I'm expecting some terrible writing as well. There's always revision!

    Also, I still need to read MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. I've heard so many good things!

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    1. Thanks! And yes - you must read MLND!!! So wonderful!

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  23. So much information to process here! So I'll just pick out a few things. First off, hugs to you and your husband. Health issues can be so scary, so I hope the surgery helps.

    I recently read MY LIFE NEXT DOOR too (from Elodie's recommendation months ago) and I loved it as well.

    Great job on surpassing your goals last week! Crappy first draft or no, getting those words down is what you need to take it to the next step.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Haha - I blog once a week and I always seem to overdo it. :) And thanks! The husband is fine and out doing his soccer thing. And I am enjoying writing. Life is good. :)

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  24. There'll be some heavy revising on what I wrote this week too. Still, we're on target and that's a good thing! I really enjoyed this latest excerpt from your story. Your characters feel like real people and Alexandra's disappointment came through so well.

    Hope your husband will stay episode free after this. Best of luck on your word count goal for week two! I'm sure you'll do awesome!

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    1. Thank you! Yes - staying on target right now is important to me. And all the writing is really helping me flesh things out too. So it's all good. :)

      I hope you have a great writing week too!

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  25. Oh wow, I love your story already! I love twins and theater. I really enjoyed reading the part you shared and can't wait to see more. My WIP also involves theater. I did theater in high school, and now I cover the plays for the local newspaper, so theater has always been a big deal for me.

    Maybe I should try that - just writing crap (although I doubt yours is crap!) in order to make some progress. I have to remember I can always go back and change it later!

    Hope your husband is okay!

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    1. Thank you! I did a lot of theatre in high school and college too - actually did Grease three times - and this is the first time I'm writing about it and it's fun! Also, writing crap has been weirdly productive, but it's hard. My inner editor constantly has me stopping and wanting to delete. I give in sometimes, but I just wish I could tell her to go sit in a corner. :)

      And thanks for the well wishes. The hubby is doing much better!

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  26. Gosh I hope your husband's heart continues to work perfectly!

    Yay on the writing progress and the celebrating :)

    I hope you enjoy MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. Jace is swoon-worthy and I loved George too!

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    1. Oh and I loved your excerpt I hope you keep sharing!

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    2. Thank you for the story love! And yes - husband is doing MUCH better. I hope the heart continues to work perfectly too.

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  27. Love Karen's book!

    Also like your excerpt very much.

    But ... am not happy to hear about your husband. So scary! I'm sure he'll be fine, but we will send good vibes your way from down here anyway.

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    1. Thanks, Matt! It was a scheduled thing, but still scary. He seems to be doing great right now! :)

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  28. Yay for sharing writing! I liked the excerpt very much. Glad your husband is doing okay. That sounded very scary. Ah, yes...soccer. I love watching the kids play sports. It's the getting there (Get your uniform on! BOYS! Let's go. Why aren't your cleats on yet? Where are your shin guards. BOYS!!!) and keeping up with the schedule that is trying. You'll get your 5k in again (and then some...with more diamonds than trash, I'm sure, based on your excerpt above!) Christy

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  29. I love your excerpt! Good luck with your goals this week :)

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  30. 7K?!?! ZOMG, Alison! That is certainly worth celebrating, even if you have to toss most of it. :)

    I'm sorry to hear about the health scare with your husband, and I am very, very glad to hear that he is okay. Medical stuff can be so scary! I'm glad his heart is working the way it should and I hope it continues to do so.

    I love the excerpt! I was into musical theater in high school and college (maybe we've chatted about that?) and ohhhh, the call back list. This definitely brings back memories! :)

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  31. Just had to tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE your excerpt!!!! :D :D :D

    (and yay for MY LIFE NEXT DOOR - this book is one of my favorites and Huntley was so kind to answer a few of my questions last year for my blog :D)

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  32. I wish your husband a speedy recovery.

    I just read another post about crappy first drafts. It's something writers have in common.

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