Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Last RSW Edition (sniff)

So…it's the last week of Ready. Set. WRITE!  *cries*

And while I'm sad that it's over, I definitely want to celebrate your success! So, my fabulous co-hosts and I would like to thank you for participating by offering our fresh eyes (or in Alison's case . . . old eyes) on the first ten pages of your story. Yes—that's FIVE critique giveaways! All you have to do is enter via rafflecopter at the end of this post!
OH—the giveaway is open internationally and is only open to those who have participated in Ready. Set. WRITE! Thank you SO MUCH for participating in the summer writing intensive!
And now for 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 read AMY AND ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR which was beyond epic. Also, I have found new author love in Morgan Matson who is a writing genius, IMHO. More on that next Tuesday when I review SECOND CHANCE SUMMER for YA Book Club. Have you read either of these works of awesomeness yet? You should. Like, this week. Just sayin'.
I'm currently finishing up an incredibly awesome beta read and re-reading THE FAULT IN OUR STARS for my IRL book club.
How about YOU? What are you reading this week?

What I'm Writing:


This week I wanted to finish out RSW with a teensy more ambitious goal: either write 8K or hit the Black Moment and write it.

I wrote a little over 8K (I think it was around 8500, but I've been skipping back and forth between scenes, and I lost track a little bit). I did not write my Black Moment. Okay, lie. I wrote a teensy part of it two weeks ago and wrote two pages in my journal  of random bits of dialogue and stuff I want to happen. But I didn't write all of it. So, that's this week!

No snippet again (I know - HATE ME) but, I will share that I finished out my writing session yesterday by writing a scene in which my goody two-shoes gets pulled over for driving by herself with an expired driver's permit. Prompted many google searches. Oh, the things I've googled in the name of this WiP: musicals with food songs, what guys dickname their penises, athletes who've performed on Broadway. Twinning. Lots more. Sometimes a little TMI, but - won't lie - research can be all kinds of fun.

What have you researched lately? And what are you writing this week?!

What Inspires Me Right Now:
 
 Just so you know—I used to HATE that quote. I mean, I'm an educator. Do your best was my classroom motto. But last year, teaching math-challenged seniors who needed my class to graduate, that quote really spoke to me. And to them. They didn't have a choice but to pass my class. There was no try involved (okay, so there totally was), but the message was loud and clear: they couldn't just try to pass my class. Either they passed it. Or they didn't.
Same thing with writing—it’s how I motivated myself to finish revisions on a three-year project this past year; it's what keeps me going now. There is no trying to finish a story. You either finish the story. Or you don't.
And I think that's what differentiates us from most people. I think a lot of people have story ideas in their heads, but you, me—we're actually putting those words on the page. We're doing it.
Yoda's getting me through my draft. What's getting you through yours?

What Else I've Been Up To:
Thinking about my kids, my husband, my teacher friends, and my former students and hoping they have an amazing year. Everyone's heading off to school, and, for the first time in my life, I'm not. And while I feel a lot guilty about that, yesterday I was able to walk my son to his classroom on his first day of fourth grade. That's the first time I've been able to do that with him. Ever. This was me after



Being a mom is the best job in the world.

What's up on YOUR Wednesday?! And if you've been participating in RSW, don't forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (14): The Catch-Up Edition

First—can you believe that RSW is ending in ONE WEEK?!?!?! Yep—next week is it, folks. Not that I'm going to stop goal-setting and writing after that, but still. The summer writing intensive is almost over. *cries*

On that note, my fabulous co-hosts and I would like to thank you for participating and celebrate your success by offering critiques. Now, let me disclaimer all that by saying in no way do we think we're super experts who can make your work best-seller material, but we do know how nice and helpful it can be to get some fresh eyes on our stories. SO…each one of us is offering our fresh eyes (or in Alison's case . . . old eyes) on the first ten pages of your story. Yes—that's FIVE critique giveaways! All you have to do is pop in next Wednesday (August 28) and enter via rafflecopter.
OH—the giveaway is open internationally and is only open to those who have participated in Ready. Set. WRITE! Thank you SO MUCH for participating in the summer writing intensive!

Second—guys, I am SO sorry I failed to post last week. All is good. I read, even met my writing goals. Just had a blah couple of days. I'm all good now though and ready to share!
And now for 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 reading 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma). I wasn't a huge IMAGINARY GIRLS fan, but this one? BLEW. ME. AWAY. So good, guys. SO good. I am a renewed Nova Ren Suma fan!
And just when I didn't think my summer reading could get any better, I read SECOND CHANCE SUMMER (Morgan Matson). It's part of the YABuccaneers Reading Mutiny this month and it’s also the YA Book Club read for August. I'll post a review on September 3 for YA Book Club and thank goodness because right now my review would probably look like this

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guys, if I could give this book 20 out of 5 goodreads stars, I would. BEST book I read all year. Read it. But arm yourself with tissues. Just sayin'.

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


Boring ol' Alison wanted to continue her writing routine with the 5K a week goal. Well, I did make the goal last week (and didn't post—BAD Alison) and then wrote 8000 more this week. And I did surpass the 70K mark, meaning I wrote more than 50000 words this summer with RSW. Guys, could NOT have done this without your support and this feeling of accountability. Granted, that 70K is 75% crap / 25% diamond, but as my astute writing friend Liz Parker reminded me, "The diamonds make it all worth it."

Anyway—not sharing a snippet this week, but I do want to share two things I wrote about.

First - I wrote a bus scene ala Pitch Perfect and there are many similarities. Well, there's no burrito shot. And the bus doesn't run out of gas. And there are guys singing instead of girls. Oh—and instead of singing Miley Cyrus, my boys belt out "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal Mo." (Damn Yankees) and "Greased Lightning" (Grease). BUT, they are singing. And a burst of spontaneous bonding occurs. Did I mention there's singing? On a bus?

Second - in this story, I have a character most everyone calls Yoda. So cheesy Star Wars one-liners may or may not pop into my script. Ya know, like

Impressive. Most impressive.

Do or do not. There is no try.

That's two you owe me, junior.

And (sadly) others. This week, I added this one

No. No, that's not true. That's impossible!

*sigh* Even if no one else ever does, I love this story.

This week I want to finish out RSW with a teensy more ambitious goal: either write 8K or hit the Black Moment and write it.

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

What Inspires Me Right Now:
These guys...
 
 
Oh - and click here.
Last year, my husband's boys won the 3A Soccer State Championship and were ranked number 2 in the country by maxpreps.com. The article I link to shows them as one of the top ten teams to watch. IN THE COUNTRY. Yeah . . . I'm pretty proud.
Also, their motto is BELIEVE. Believe in yourself. Believe in each other. Believe in your dreams.

To me, that's been the most beautiful and wonderful thing about RSW. The belief in and encouragement of one another. I have read A LOT of amazing snippets and have read about so many awesome stories. I can't wait to see them all in print! We can do this, guys. We can DO IT!
What Else I've Been Up To:

Enjoying the last week before my children go off to school. Gearing up for football (GO EAGLES!!!). Oh—and I'm participating in Krista VanDolzer's (Mother. Write. Repeat.) Agent In-box contest this week. Pop on over and wish me luck!
 
What's been going on in your world?  And what's up on YOUR Wednesday?!
 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (13): Turbo 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:

This past week I read
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

After reading a slew of dystopians last year, I suffered a bit of burn out. This book has renewed my love. Even though it reads a lot like HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT (a very GOOD thing), it's a very fresh and fascinating take on a dystopian society with many page-turning twists. Bonus—it's from a male POV, and we all know how much Alison loves her boy books. The only thing I didn't like about reading TAKEN is the fact that I have to wait nine months now for FROZEN. L Fortunately I have plenty of books on the TBR to keep my brain occupied until then, but STILL.
I also finished beta reading an incredible contemporary manuscript and am about to start another beta read—actually I already read the first page and if the rest of the story is just as awesome, I'm in for a reading TREAT. I'm also reading 17 & GONE (Nova Ren Suma). I wasn't a huge IMAGINARY GIRLS fan, but I don't want to put this one down!

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


My goal for the past week was to write 5000 words on the blob. I wrote 6000. And am currently in the middle of writing a scene in which one of my characters gets a little tipsy has way too much to drink. I'm pretty good (I think) at writing angry drunk. Even depressed drunk.  But my character gets a little funny drunk in this scene, and well, it's kind of fun to write.  What does this say about me? Not sure.

Anyway, this week boring ol' Alison wants to continue with the 5K a week goal. Wish me luck!

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

What Inspires Me Right Now:
This guy

 


Not going to lie—was VERY skeptical about this movie. I mean, it's about a snail. Who has super speed. Also, it’s about a SNAIL. But we scored free tickets with a four-tire purchase earlier this summer so off to the movies we went and OHMYGOSH—this movie is INCREDIBLE. It's fun and cute and action-packed and FUNNY. Also, anyone who has ever had a dream should see this movie. I cried (of course I did) and left the theater with two very inspiring quotes…
Guy Gagné: No dream is too big; no dreamer too small.
Chet: What if you lose your superpowers tomorrow? Turbo: Then I better make the most of today.


What Else I've Been Up To:
This morning I'm taking my daughter to her high school orientation. Yep—HIGH SCHOOL. I should be ready for this—she's been playing soccer with the high school soccer team all summer and she's been at tennis tryouts since Monday. But I'm not ready. Where does time go?!
What's up on YOUR Wednesday?!