Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (and RSW Update!)

If you've been participating in Ready. Set. WRITE!, have you entered the RSW mid-way giveaway? You could win a writerly care package filled with a craft book, tea, a mug, a journal and other awesomely wonderful goodies! Click here for details!

And now for
 
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: This week I FINALLY read this

 
Not too many books feel unputdownable to me, but I got a little upset that I couldn't read this one in just one day. The setting makes me want to drop everything and travel across Europe, like, yesterday. Allyson's discovery journey is poignant, relatable, and simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching. My heart was in my throat for two-thirds of the book—haven't felt like that since I read NEW MOON. And the Shakespeare comparisons and references? *dies* If this book wasn't already so swoonworthy, that would've sealed the deal. I love me some Will Shakespeare.
 
And the book left me hoping for two things: a) an ounce, just an ounce of Gayle Forman's talent and b) that JUST ONE YEAR would hit the shelves RIGHT NOW.
Currently I'm reading THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey) and FORGET YOU (Jennifer Echols). I'll hopefully report on those next week. J

How about YOU? What are you reading this week?

What I'm Writing:
 
Last week I set the bar super high and planned to get to my midpoint. Well, I wrote just over 6000 words and um . . .  I think I wrote my midpoint. But before you throw confetti, I will just say that the scene feels like the midpoint, is kind of what I wanted to happen at my midpoint, but it just doesn't feel impactful enough for my midpoint. Which—I know, I know—first draft.

Anyway, I know that I'm missing a few crucial plot items before this midpoint. Also, my draft feels like an unshapely blob. And I'm singing a few my story sucks blues. For those and so many other reasons, my goals this week include…

1) Reread the blob my first draft while resisting the urge to revise it (or throw it out completely) before moving past the midpoint. Yeah. Good luck on that one, right?

2) Incorporate two items I know need to be a bigger part of the story.

3) Try to write at least 3000 words—a little on the low side for me, but I think #1 will take up quite a bit of time this week.

How about YOU?! What are your goals for the week?!

What Inspires Me Right Now:
My WiP love list. I posted it Monday (if you want to check it out!) and I highly recommend writing one of your own. The list reminds me of everything I love, love, love about my story and has been (and I'm sure will continue) getting me through the murky middle and the my story sucks blues.

If you write a love list and post about it, let me know! They're so fun and I'll definitely check yours out!

What Else I've Been Up To:
Last night I hosted book club for six fabulous ladies and guess what we'll be reading this month?


I LOVE this book! Did I mention my book club gals are fabulous? We just have the best time talking about books and um . . . other things. J
Also, Tracey Neithercott and I made it into the Xmas in July contest! The thirty entries go up on Thursday and Friday for agent perusal, and I'm really excited to read about all these stories I've only been title-teased with!

And in family news, the fourteen year old came home from YMCA camp last Saturday only to turn around and go to soccer camp this week. Come Friday, I think she'll sleep for three days.  Anyway, I just love going out in the evenings to watch her and her teammates play. And they play for my husband, so bonus. J Plus, the upside of not seeing my daughter and husband so much—my son and I get a little more Lego time. He's also trying to teach me how to play Minecraft. Mommy's not very good at that. Yet.
What's up on YOUR Wednesday?  And don't forget—if you've been participating in RSW, be sure to enter the giveaway and spread the word!

62 comments:

  1. Congrats on making it into the Xmas in July contest! That is so exciting!

    And your book club sounds like so much fun. I haven't read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, but I've been meaning to for a long time. I'll have to move it up in the TBR pile.

    Hope you have a great week and good luck with all your goals!

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    1. Thank you! And I hope you'll get to read TFIOS soon! Such an amazing book!

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  2. Your WIP Love List inspired me, too :)

    Congrats on the Xmas in July contest!

    I really need to pick up THE FIFTH WAVE - everyone is talking about it.

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    1. Thank you - for all of this! And yes - I got swept up in THE FIFTH WAVE wave too. It's good so far!

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  3. Woo hoo! Congrats on making it into Xmas in July!

    And on hitting your midpoint, even if it's a midpoint that might need tweaking--you wrote over 6000 words!

    Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Thank you! And I hope you have a wonderful week too!

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  4. Great job on your story progress, Alison! You are doing AMAZING this summer. I think it's such a testament to your story too that you know so clearly what you want your readers to be feeling at specific story points, and that you already have an idea of some additional elements you would like to add! This story is so completely yours, Alison - you've just got to give your fingers time to type it all out :) Yay for soccer for your daughter (my five year old is playing for the first time this summer and daddy is an assistant coach) and for lego time with your son. Also, congratulations on the Xmas in July contest, so exciting <3

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    1. You are always so full of inspiration and wise words, Temre - thank you SO MUCH for your comment!

      And amen to the time to type it out thing. I have to keep reminding myself that writing a story is like running a marathon. Must be accomplished with pacing and patience.

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  5. Congrats on making it into the Xmas in July contest! You're making awesome headway on your story, even if you think it's a blob (believe me, I know what that feels like). It'll take shape eventually, I'm sure. You've set some great goals for yourself this week, Alison.

    Have a great week! :)

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    1. The blob feeling is a familiar one and I know from experience that the blob will take shape eventually, but man is it frustrating right now. And thanks for the congrats! I'm looking forward to the contest!

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  6. Congrats on making it into XMas in July contest!!!! I met so many people through that - they are now my crit partners. Funny how that works. (And I didn't even get in!) Great work on your WIP - you got this, Alison!
    I also created a Love List this week. And I have to say I didn't love JUST ONE DAY as much as everyone else. I do love Gayle Forman though and her writing... IF I STAY...that book makes me cry for 2 hours straight. Did you see they finally started casting the movie? So excited!!!

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    1. I loved your love list! SO glad you shared!

      Oh, and I did see something about IF I STAY movie casting - very exciting!

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  7. I am completely with you on the "my WIP is a blob" feeling, Alison! My first draft lies before me, and I know what the mid-point is, and I know where the emotional highs and lows should be... yet I know there's stuff missing. And the hard part now is identifying that stuff, and putting it in. Which may completely change the direction of the story, and what the mid-point is, and where the highs and lows are. *sigh*. Whoever says this writing lark is easy needs to try it sometime!! :)

    Huge congrats on making it into the Xmas in July contest! I wish you and Tracy all the best with that. :)

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    1. I nodded my head while reading that entire paragraph. Indeed! Which is why I'm taking some time this week to reread and clarify the direction this is taking off in.

      And thanks! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. :)

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  8. Aw, the fault in our stars, i'm sure you'll all enjoy discussing it. Great job getting to the midpoint. When it comes to first drafts it always feels like, for me anyway, that there's still so much missing that needs to get filled in. I haven't read Just One Day, but have heard various awesome things about it so I will have to pick it up.

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    1. Agreed! Still so much missing and so much to cut out. But I'll get there. :)

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  9. I had no idea that you and Trace made it into Christmas in July! CONGRATULATIONS! That news totally makes my morning! Also... JUST ONE DAY -- I love that book so much. And FORGET YOU is my favorite Jennifer Echols book! There are some steamy scenes in that one, and the MC is just so endearingly honest. I bet you'll love it! Happy writing this week, friend. I'm rooting you on!

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    1. Thank you! For all of this! And I am very excited to get back into FORGET YOU. It's my elliptical read. :)

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  10. I totally agree with the awsomeness of JUST ONE DAY. I want to read JUST ONE YEAR now! Why do we have to wait? Publishers can be so crewl.

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    1. I'm just kind of thankful I did wait this long to read it because now I only have to wait a few months rather than a YEAR.

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  11. Yay! Huge congratulations for making it into the Xmas in July Contest!

    I know what you mean about the midway point. I'm approaching that too (I think!) and I've started worrying about all the things that need cutting and adding!

    I really want to read The Fifth Wave and I must be the only person left to have not read The Fault in Our Stars!

    Have a great week Alison and good luck at Minecraft!

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    1. I'm certain you're not, but get on that TFIOS read! I'm sure you'll love it!

      And thanks!

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  12. Congrats on the contest! Please don't give up on this story--it's too good! (But UGH, I totally know that feeling.) I just checked out your love list--I, too, have a tight end with a tight end (although it turns out he's just a plain old ass.) But man, those football jokes just write themselves! Apparently, it's a big deal for tight ends to have big hands...which, you know what they say, etc etc. Anyway, I'm sending you good vibes and encouragement as you tackle some of your story issues--you can do it!

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    1. Haha! My tight end is too. Funny!

      And thanks for the story love! I won't give up - I love these characters too much for that. Just have to trudge through the murky middle!

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  13. Funny-- lego and minecraft. My oldest is obsessed with both. My book club read TFIOS a few months ago-- we loved it (it was a reread for me). Watch out, my bookclub has experienced a wave of pregnancies. Six of us (out of about 12) are currently pregnant or just had babies. I don't think it's the books... it's the wine. :) Good luck cranking that blob into shape this week. You can so do that.

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    1. OH NO!!! I better warn my book club gals! That's crazy!

      And thank you - I'm actually looking forward to rereading the blob and making a ton of notes. We'll see!

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  14. I LOVE your WIP LOVE LIST!!!! :)Seriously, A. - this MS needs to be finished like yesterday!!! So many things I can't wait for. So. Many. Things.

    Congrats on making it through in the Christmas In July pitch contest!!! I'll make sure to head on over there and check out your entry - fingers crossed!

    Good luck with your writing goals this week, too - and of course, becoming amazeballs at Mindcraft!

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    1. Thank you so much, Erin! And I'm so excited to read yours too - in other words - hurry up and send it!

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  15. I need to pick up Just One Day and The 5th Wave. Loved Forget You though Going too Far is my fav Echols book!!!

    Ah! Soccer was my life back in HS. I played varsity 4 years. I’m so glad my kiddo is loving it. I see yours does too! :D

    Thanks! I’ve gone without caffeine before. Somehow I keep coming back telling myself “just one time”….yeah, turns into every day. I’m over depending on it. No headache today! So…maybe I’m in the clear!

    Good luck on the writing. (I giggled at the blob…I feel like that about mine some days…okay, most days)

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    1. Yay! We love some soccer in our house! My husband's been coaching for years and is now coaching our daughter - so exciting!

      And yes to no headaches! And go you! I could never give up that caffeine, but am awed by your progress!

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  16. WOOT!!! CONGRATS to you (and Tracey!) for making it through into the contest! *crosses fingers for you*

    Ha! Blob. Love that. :) Yeah, I don't plot, so my first (and second...) drafts are indeed blobs. I just never thought to call them blobs...I usually call them hot messes. But, fear not! You'll have that blob shaped up eventually. Stick with your love list and enjoy the process. <3 Just keep writing!

    While I had some issues with JUST ONE DAY, what I DID love was the setting(s). It exasperated my wanderlust bigtime.

    Have a fantastic week!
    <3,
    Lola

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    1. Thank you! And I LOVE that you call your blobs hot messes! I think I've heard someone else that does that too. My last MS I referred to as the beast (it was a beauty and the beast story) so it fit - and then tried to transform it into a beauty. I'll have to think of a fitting name for this one. :)

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  17. Congrats on reaching your midpoint (even if you're not positive this is it)! That's still a big deal!

    And TFIOS=love! <3 That would be such a fun book club book...keep us posted on how the book club goes. I've never belonged to one, but it's definitely something I'd love to do.

    And I'm posting my Love List tomorrow. It's such a fun idea, and it helps with my lack of writing motivation. :)

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    1. Book clubs are wonderful! I hope you can find an amazing group of people to read and share with!

      And can't wait to see your love list! Yay!

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  18. HUGE congratulations on making it into Xmas in July! That's so exciting. Best of luck to you.

    Blob is such a great word for a first draft. Good luck shaping it into something brilliant!

    Go Team Alison! :D

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    1. Thank you! I hope I can shape that baby into something!

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  19. Congratulations on making it into Xmas in July! You might even get a behind-the-scenes request, whether or not you make the final cut.

    I only wrote under 10,000 words this past week, though I was occupied with other things. The heat also made it hard to concentrate on much of anything, coupled with the fact that I can't use my freaking kitchen yet due to having an Orthodox roommate whose level of kosher is stricter than I'm used to.

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    1. Oh wow! 10000 words would be a GREAT week for me! Go you!

      And while I do love the sunshine, I'm not a huge fan of the heat. I hope your place cools down soon. :)

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  20. I love that you're referring to your WIP as "the blob." I mentioned today that my story is taking shape, but it's really kind of a weird and deformed shape at the moment. So glad I'm not the only one whose first draft is the equivalent of a Jell-o salad. I've enjoyed the story excerpts you've shared so whatever the shape, I'm sure it'll all turn out awesome!

    Congratulations on getting into the agent round of Xmas in July! I was so excited for you when I saw your name on the list! Hope that leads to very good things!

    Best of luck working in those other plot points this week, and I hope you have fun rereading "the blob," because hey, it's your blob and sometimes rereading is a great way to remind ourselves of why we started a story in the first place! :)

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    1. Thank you, Erin! I think the reread will be fun, but I have a feeling I'll have a document full of revision notes. :)

      And I love Jell-O salad! Great way to describe it!

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  21. I haven't read any Gayle Forman yet and am feeling ashamed - must fix that! Fortunately the Fault in Our Stars is currently waiting for me at the library.

    I think I will try that love list thing! What a great idea! Thanks for visiting my first what's up post.

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    1. You should definitely try a love list! SO inspiring and so helpful!

      And I hope you enjoy TFIOS! Love that book!

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  22. Congrats on making it into Xmas in July contest. I went and looked at some of the entires they're really good! I loved TFIOS! I can't wait for John Green's new book whenever that will be. Good luck with your writing goals for the week. Have a great weekend!

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    1. They are really good! I was happy to read more about them since I was only title-teased with them last Friday.

      And thank you! Same to you!

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  23. Ooh, now I have to read JUST ONE DAY. It sounds amazing! And congrats on making it into the Xmas is July contest!!! I'll be rooting for you! :)

    Good luck with the blob. :) I have such a hard time re-reading first drafts and not either tearing them apart (because they are crap) or just getting really discouraged. So yes, I'll be wishing you lots and lots of luck.

    Have a great week!

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    1. I've had the blob syndrome on other projects so I know it can be shaped into something I'm happy with, but ugh - the frustration accompanying it is not always enjoyable. Just got to work through it!

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  24. Midpoints are tough for me, too. On my current WIP, what I though would be my midpoint ended up only being about a quarter of the way through the book... so yea. I need to figure out something that actually happens in THE MIDDLE of the book that's super impactful. That love list sounds like a fantastic idea. I might have to try it :)

    Congrats on the contest and good luck with all your goals for this week!

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    1. Oh, gosh - if that were my case, my book would end up at 200K. And definitely try the love list! Let me know if you do!

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  25. I'm singing the my WIP sucks too. First drafts are always terrible. I remind myself that the important thing is I'M WRITING.

    I'm reading WILD CARDS and very excited about it.

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    1. Exactly! Sometimes I just make the actual writing a goal - 200 words, 500 words - it's SOMETHING.

      And WILD CARDS sounds wild! Must check it out!

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  26. You can make it through your revisions and rereading. Just pace yourself. Take deep breaths, and try not to throw it out.

    The book club sounds fun. It's great when you read books you already know you love.

    Congrats on making it into the contest!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement! I need that this morning as I sit down to work on it. :)

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  27. Congrats on making it into Xmas in July!!!! I'm crossing my fingers for you!!

    It's tough writing first drafts when you know something's not working. Hopefully reading through what you have so far will help. Otherwise, it might help to just keep pushing through because inspiration might hit later on.

    I loved JUST ONE DAY and I cannot wait to read JUST ONE YEAR! I also loved THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I read it last year and recently listened to the audio version. SO good.

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    1. I wouldn't say something's not working as much as something's not there. So, I look forward to filling in the gaps!

      And thank you! Both Tracey and I did very well!

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  28. OMG Minecraft!
    Me and the sprout sat down with tablets for hours the other day, and I *still* couldn't get it all. And he can build a world in about ten seconds. Ah well. I remember trying to teach my mom to use the original Nintendo :D

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    1. Oh, I think I'm HOPELESS. Video games are not my thing. His sister, on the other hand, sat down for a hour to play with him and figured out more in that hour than I could in a month. Jeez.

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  29. I REALLY enjoyed fifth wave! Do let me know what you thought! :)

    And YAY to Xmas in July!

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    1. I will - only about 100 pages in and enjoying it so far!

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  30. Congrats to you and Tracey for making it into the Xmas in July contest!

    I've been trying to get my brother to read TFIOS since he loves John Green's videos so much, but no luck so far. I did get my dad and sister totally hooked on Divergent, though, so I guess you can't win them all.

    Good luck dissecting your blob!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you can turn the brother onto John Green books. I'm certain he would love them!

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  31. CONGRATS for making it to XmasinJuly! I will be crossing my fingers and toes and hair follicles...how exciting. The agents were all over those entries.

    I just about died when you mentioned New Moon because *that* was the first book I ever pulled an all-nighter for. Now I know I have to get Foreman's book. SOLD!

    I need to do a love list. I'm in the murky middle...trudge, trudge...pulls up bootstraps...

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  32. I loved TFIOS. I'm adding the Forman book to my wish list.

    Congrats on the contest.

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