July 23, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by me and my sister, Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you'd like to join us, we encourage you to visit other WUW blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! Don't forget to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post. ***And please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided. We really appreciate it!***

For those of you who are new to WUW, here are the headings we are using:

WHAT I'M READING
WHAT I'M WRITING

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

Welcome, and thank you for joining us! 
 



WHAT I'M READING
I just finished Morgan Matson's latest, SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE, then promptly added it to my list of favourites. I loved this book just as much as the other two I've read by this author. YA is positively rife with broody bad boys, so it's refreshing to read Matson's stories with sweet good guys. Also loved the playlists throughout (like in AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR) and the awesome friendships. Highly recommend! Now I'm reading devouring DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas. This book is every bit as unputdownable as everyone has been saying! Bonus points for the new, less cheesy-looking cover too!

WHAT I'M WRITING
Nothing since my RSW post on Monday, unless something changes between when I'm writing this post and when it goes live. There are roofers stomping and hammering on my roof, listening to over-loud music which includes both Nickelback (shudder) and that earwormy "Rasputin" song by Boney M (double shudder). Needless to say, if there's an enemy to creativity, it's Chad Kroeger and his talentless hack band members. I do plan on amending my WiP's outline this week, then tackling this rewrite.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Nickelback. #not

Back to back awesome reads that were both impossible to put down and a crash course on how to write like a champ. #GoBooks

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
• Spending time with Todd's family this past weekend at his grandparents' 60th Anniversary celebration. 60 years, folks!
• Trying to stay focused on writing while my mind is too busy thinking about our trip TWO WEEKS from today! Woot!
• Doing the #YAPhotoADay challenge still. Here are some of my favourites from this week: Pic #1, Pic #2, Pic #3, Pic #4
• And then, of course, all of this fun stuff below:

Clockwise from top left: My sister, Erin, sent me a super awesome early birthday care package (I'm in Europe for my birthday);
my new Shakespearean insults mug courtesy of Erin (my favourite insult: "Not so much brain as ear wax"); our new Deathly Hallows
fairy door sitting just above the baseboard at the end of the hall (Two adults with no kids, but we have a fairy door. Not weird at all.);
a signed copy of Susan Dennard's A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY for donating to YA Does a 5K; and fun Chapters purchases.

Well, that's it for me, folks!
WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?


July 21, 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! (Week 7)

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! If you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive with the purpose of writing, revising, planning, and keeping each other accountable. We will be sharing our goals on Mondays, keeping our posts BRIEF (2-3 lines per heading) so we can spend more time writing and less time blogging. You can sign up at any of the other host blogs (KatyErinAlison,) every Monday. And don't forget to hop around to encourage other participants. For additional information about RSW and a link to our super fun buttons, go here.

{And again, please remember to keep your posts BRIEF. Thanks! ☺}

HOW I DID ON LAST WEEK'S GOALS
I met all of my goals for this week: I added 2500 new words to WATCH OF NIGHT while revising a couple chapters of that WiP, fixed some of IN THE END's outline issues, and decided not to cave to the temptation to revise third project ONLY ANNIE. I could have done more, for sure, but all in all I'm satisfied with what I managed to do this week.


MY GOAL(S) FOR THIS WEEK
• add 2500+ new words to either IN THE END or WATCH OF NIGHT
• go over my outline for WATCH OF NIGHT and see if it still works, make changes if necessary
• work on WATCH OF NIGHT revisions and add in a scene or two to what I've already revised

A FAVOURITE LINE FROM MY STORY

"On a spectrum of Ridiculous to Quite Possibly the Worst Idea Ever, a long-distance relationship between Earth and Mars blasts right off the charts." (from my YA sci-fi, WATCH OF NIGHT)

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE(S) I FACED THIS WEEK
In the process of revising my YA sci-fi, I realized that I'm going to have to rewrite a lot going forward. I'm actually excited about this, but I also feel a bit unprepared for it. It's tough looking at ALL these words I've written, knowing that most of them are about to be chopped, and still not 100% sure where to go next. Oh, and I changed my MC's name, which has been difficult to adjust to.

SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP
There's a strong brother/sister dynamic in WATCH OF NIGHT, which is something I absolutely love writing. These two aren't just siblings, they're best friends. Good thing because they have to share a bunk bed on the Mars mission they've been chosen for.



*
Before going any further, it's time to announce the winner of last week's Writer's Care Package:

Woohoo! Congrats, Stephanie! Just send me a
quick email or tweet with your mailing address,
and I'll get the care package sent off to you ASAP!

And now for this week's Ready. Set. WRITE! giveaway, courtesy of Katy:

Owl mug, chai tea, dark chocolate, Smarties,
"Think. Write. Create." journal, candle, owl notecards,
pens, lip balm, and the latest Writer's Digest. 

Just like the last two weeks, you get an entry for every week you have actively participated in Ready. Set. WRITE! 
***BUT, to make entering a little bit easier this time around, you no longer need to provide a link to each check-in.*** 
When the giveaway closes, we will just verify the winner's entries. To be eligible, you must post weekly check-ins  
and take some time to hop around to some of the other participants' blogs to offer up some writerly encouragement. 

{Giveaway goes until Friday, July 25th
@ midnight and is open internationally!}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*

Happy Writing/Revising/Planning!


July 16, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by me and my sister, Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you'd like to join us, we encourage you to visit other WUW blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! Don't forget to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post. ***And please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided. We really appreciate it!***

For those of you who are new to WUW, here are the headings we are using:

WHAT I'M READING
WHAT I'M WRITING

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

Welcome, and thank you for joining us! 
 




WHAT I'M READING
I finished reading WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER by Jenny Han, and while I really liked this one, I did have one issue with it: Brother #1 was turned into a complete douche for the sole purpose of making Brother #2 shine. It cheapens the outcome, in my opinion. Like the MC has no choice but to go with Right Guy because Wrong Guy is so horribly wrong. Anyway, loved the book but could have done without the character besmirching. Now I'm reading A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller, and I'm really enjoying it. The combination of art (specifically the Pre-Raphaelites) and the Suffragette movement feels both fresh and compelling. 

WHAT I'M WRITING
This week was a struggle as far as focus, motivation, and productivity went. I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked or actually could have. For a moment or two there, I was seriously tempted to work on a third project, but nipped that in the bud pretty quick. That will do nothing  to help with the focus problem. Anyway, I buckled down yesterday and wrote just over 1000 words and made a slightly more detailed outline for IN THE END, which I think should help move me forward. Hope so anyway.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
I'm not sure if "inspires" is exactly the right word, but I do appreciate when an author can so perfectly describe how I'm feeling: 

Thank you, John Green and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
This past weekend we went to Edmonton (about an hour north of here) for a football game and a friend's birthday party. The hubs won the football tickets to see our favourite CFL team, the Edmonton Eskimos. It was my first time going to one of their games and it was TONS of fun. They won too, so that was an added bonus! We stayed at a nice hotel and did a bit of shopping at West Edmonton Mall. It was a great weekend! And it was wonderful to hang with old friends that we don't see nearly enough.

Clockwise from top left: Todd and me at the Edmonton Eskimos game; green and gold nail polish for the game;
canola fields lining the highway heading north; giant Canada flag and the national anthem at the game; some fun
stuff from DAVIDsTEA and Papyrus; Friday Night Lights...Edmonton style; the River Valley view from our hotel.

Other random stuff:
• I got my hair cut this week and I actually  like it. That's got to be a first! It looks much, much nicer now. (I think.)
• I've been planning and prepping a packing list for our trip to Europe in August. I'm the WORST for overpacking.
• We've been taking photos around the yard with our new camera and we're blown away by how detailed the pics are.
• I've gotten myself hooked on homemade iced tea lattes with DAVIDs Toasted Coconut agave syrup. So bad, but so good.
• I've been binge-watching THE MINDY PROJECT now that it's on Canadian Netflix. Oh, the uncontrollable giggles.
• Still having so much fun with the #YAPhotoADay Challenge. These are my favourites this week --» Pic #1, Pic #2, Pic #3


Well, that's it for me, folks.
WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?



July 14, 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! (Week 6)

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! If you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive with the purpose of writing, revising, planning, and keeping each other accountable. We will be sharing our goals on Mondays, keeping our posts BRIEF (2-3 lines per heading) so we can spend more time writing and less time blogging. You can sign up at any of the other host blogs (KatyErinAlison,) every Monday. And don't forget to hop around to encourage other participants. For more information about RSW and a link to our super fun buttons, go here.

{And again, please remember to keep your posts BRIEF. Thanks! ☺}



HOW I DID ON LAST WEEK'S GOALS
I only ended up writing 2000 new words, but weirdly it was for the one I'm revising, so it was sort of double duty. I set a goal of revising one chapter, and ended up revising about two or three. I also went off on a WiP #3 bunny trail (it's already mostly drafted) all thanks to an agent's #MSWL on Twitter. This involved reading 1/2 of this WiP, wondering if I should revise it. 0_o

MY GOAL(S) FOR THIS WEEK
• add 2500+ new words to either IN THE END or WATCH OF NIGHT
• sort out issues in both of these WiPs (namely order of events) and revise some of WoN
• decide what to do about bunny trail WiP, ONLY ANNIE--revise it or set it aside for now?

ONE PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED
A heated discussion that ends in a truce and a plan to join forces, for better or worse.

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE(S) I FACED THIS WEEK
No big surprise, but my focus was all over the flipping map this week. Need to rein it in big time. Plus, I was away all weekend and didn't get enough done during the week beforehand, so add to that lack of foresight and planning as well. Shame on me.

SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP
Let's go with my YA sci-fi, WATCH OF NIGHT, again this week: When I received an R&R for this particular WiP, one of its biggest flaws according to the agent (and she was SO right, by the way) was a bad case of InstaLove with too much focus on the hot love interest. Now there's more of a love-hate, slow burn romance, which is so much better and so much more fun to write!


*

Before we go any further, we need to announce the winner of last week's Writer's Care Package:

Woohoo! Congrats, Stephanie!
Just send Erin a DM on Twitter with your 

address and she'll get that sent out ASAP!

And now for this week's Ready. Set. WRITE! giveaway:

{It's pretty obvious what most of this is, except for the
tea-scented erasers and bunny-shaped paper clips.
The polish is "Watermelon" by Essie. Fun + summery!} 

Just like last week, you get an entry for every week you participated in Ready. Set. WRITE! Of course, that not only means posting weekly check-ins, but also hopping around to some of the other participants' blogs to offer up writerly encouragement as well. 

{Giveaway goes until Friday, July 18th
@ midnight and is open internationally!}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*
Happy Writing/Revising/Planning!


HOW I DID:
Monday --» added 1060 new words to IN THE END and worked out a slightly more detailed outline
Tuesday --» DAY OFF
Wednesday --» DAY OFF
Thursday --» added 1000 new words to WATCH OF NIGHT and continued to revise/merge a couple chapters
Friday --»
Saturday --»
Sunday --»



July 9, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by me and my sister, Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you'd like to join us, we encourage you to visit other WUW blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! Don't forget to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post. ***And please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided. We really appreciate it!***

For those of you who are new to WUW, here are the headings we are using:

WHAT I'M READING
WHAT I'M WRITING

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

Welcome, and thank you for joining us! 
 



WHAT I'M READING
I finished LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR and it was just as wonderful as the first time I read it. (No surprises there.) After that, I picked up MORE THAN MUSIC by Liz Briggs...and plowed through it in one sitting. Meep! It was pretty darn unputdownable, that's for sure. Then one of Katy's #YAPhotoADay pics was of Jenny Han's Summer series, and it reminded me that I still hadn't read past the first book, so I read IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU next. I was so-so on this one, but I'm eager to find out what happens next in the Conrad + Belly + Jeremiah triangle in WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER and how it all works out in the end.

WHAT I'M WRITING
Speaking of in the end... (Segues* that actually make sense, FTW!) I got so completely sucked into drafting my WiP, IN THE END, that I actually added 3000 new words in one sitting. Which is totally bananas.

This is so far outside the norm for me, you guys. I have never written that many words in one day. Needless to say, it was a banner day. (Hardy har.)

I followed this up Sunday with a word count of nearly 2300 on my other WiP, WATCH OF NIGHT, so who knows? Maybe this is becoming a thing? I seriously doubt it, but wouldn't that be kind of awesome? {Yes, it would.}

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Still sharing stuff that I love (and what inspires me) about YA...


In a word: NOSTALGIA.
I love revisiting all of the firsts,
the struggles that seemed insurmountable,
the promise of possibility and wide open doors.
Who wouldn't want to spend time there?

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Mostly writing and blogging (I feel like I live at my computer, especially on Mondays and Wednesdays), mixed in with running errands (ordering euros and buying luggage for our trip to Europe in less than a month!), visiting family, and hanging out with the hubs (except for last night when he weeded the gardens while I drank beer and worked on my WiP). Summer is so darn busy, you guys. Before I know it, I'll be up to my eyeballs in snow and wondering what the heck happened to the nice weather. Eeeeek!

I've also been taking part in the #YAPhotoADay Challenge I whipped up for July. It's been so fun coming up with great YA reads for each prompt and seeing what everyone else has come up with. I've gotten some great recs too! It's not too late to join us!**

From left: Best Book Abroad, Superior Second Book, TBR Book On My Shelf, and Could Be YA...But Isn't.

I'm very seriously considering continuing this in the coming months, it's been that much fun. We'll have to see how things go.☺



Well, that's my week, folks.
WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?


* Not to be confused with Segways with ridiculous people riding them.
** Like I said to my friend Jess, we're basically the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. #geekyStarTrekreference