April 12, 2016

Currently...

It's been AGES since I last posted here on the blog, so I figured I'd join Katy Upperman this week and do up a Currently post.


Gemma Charlotte
 
I've been bombarding my Twitter and Facebook and Instagram friends with photos of this little chicken for a month and a half now (#sorrynotsorry), but I just can't help myself. We think she's pretty cute...even when she's being kind of a turd.


Sitting down with a book for any length of time has proven to be a challenge (see above), but here's what I've been reading:

THE WINNER'S KISS
I've been waiting on this series finale for ages now, but it is taking me just as long to read it, unfortunately. Lately, I've been finding that reading books on my phone's Kindle app is easier when I'm holding the baby. A thick, heavy hardcover? Not so much. Needless to say, chances to sit down with this one are few and far between. If only the baby would nap consistently...

STEALING PARKER
I read CATCHING JORDAN, the first in the Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series, some time ago and enjoyed it. I've been looking for lighter reads lately as I find that they're easier to pick up and put down without losing the train of what's going on in the story. (Yet another reason why it's taking me so long to read THE WINNER'S KISS.) While I liked STEALING PARKER and found I could really relate to Parker's struggles with her church and the control it had over her life, I liked this one less than other contemporaries I've read recently. Parker read as young to me, even for a high school senior. Still, I do plan on reading more in this series and would recommend them to those who like sports in their contemporaries.

THESE VICIOUS MASKS
This one has been on my radar since Swoon Reads put out the call to vote on its cover. It's been described as an Austenesque X-Men, which hello. Right up my alley. I'm not very far in, but I'm already enjoying Evelyn's voice.

...A whole lot of Netflix and HGTV these days. I recently rediscovered HGTV and, in particular, the show Fixer Upper. I love all of the homes that Chip and Joanna Gaines renovate and decorate. I'm pretty much ready to pack up and move to Waco, Texas at this point. (A really small, not overly nice house here costs more than $300,000. Many of the houses featured on this show cost a mere fraction of that even with an "all-in" reno budget. And the final product is to die for.) As for Netflix, I've recently started rewatching Friday Night Lights, one of my favourite series ever. This show features some of the best characters I've seen on a TV show. Tim Riggins, Tyra, Matt Saracen... And if I can be even half as awesome a parent as Coach and Tami Taylor are, well, I'm golden. Julie Taylor, though...ughhhh. Worst character ever. On any show ever.


A whole lot of white noise to calm a fussy baby and get her to sleep. Good times.


When I actually had time to do things and it didn't take me a million years to actually do up a post like this, to finish reading a book, to make myself look halfway presentable, and on and on. Real talk: We've had a rough couple of days, Gemma and I, and more than anything I'd like to just push pause and catch my breath, without a fussing, screaming baby to deal with. I've cried more in the past six weeks than I have in years. Parenthood is hard, guys. So very, very hard.


More beautiful spring days ahead. To be honest, the winter went really fast and it was actually pretty mild this year, but with all of the gorgeous weather we've been having, I'm anticipating all of the even nicer weather to come. We got out for a walk for the first time this past week, and it was glorious. Gemma slept the whole time, which was absolutely wonderful.


That my family could actually meet my daughter. My siblings are spread out across the country and my parents moved to Ecuador at the start of the year, so there hasn't been the opportunity for visiting. More than anything, I'd just love to sit down in person with my sister and my little girl and just hang out. Skype visits will have to suffice for the time being.


So many things despite some of the grumping above: 

I'm so very grateful for the many friends--online and in my daily life--who have been so supportive, encouraging, and helpful with advice while I've been adjusting to this whole mommy role. Seriously, it has kept me sane when I thought I was legit losing my mind. 

Seeing my husband take on the role of daddy and doing such an awesome job of it. He's the best!

Stealing the odd moment (when I can) to read, pretty up my planner pages, or knit for a bit.
One day soon, I hope this list will include working on one of my many WIPs. Here's hoping.

This amazing slideshow my husband's cousin's wife put together of photos from the newborn shoot she did with Gemma. I love all of the pics, but my favourites are the one where she's yawning and the one where she has the flower in her hair in the basket. Todd and I didn't get nice wedding photos done (I so regret that), so we wanted to capture these early moments with our little sweetheart in the nicest way possible. Thanks again to Bree Friesen Photography for making that happen!

Also: STICKERS.



So what are you currently up to?


August 31, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! (Wrap-Up)

Wow! Hard to believe it's already time to wrap up Ready. Set. WRITE! for another summer. We really hope this was a productive few months for all of you and that that productivity carries right on into the fall and beyond. We also hope you felt encouraged throughout this summer because that's such a big part of RSW.

As you know, today we're not only sharing how things went this summer, we're also showing off our Manuscripts & Manicures. Can't wait to see all your nail pics!

How my summer of revisions went...
Well...it wasn't completely awful. Ha! I changed horses midstream a couple times over the past few months. I started out drafting one project, piddled around with revisions on another (briefly), then finally settled on revisions of my WiP ONLY ANNIE (a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen's PERSUASION). I really wanted to finish a major round of revisions on ONLY ANNIE this summer, and I came pretty close, I think. The ending is still corny as all hell, but it's totally fixable. A major change I made was to the tense (it's now past) and to the POV (now third), and I think this story is better for it. If nothing else, I'm most happy with that.


Manuscripts & Manicures
You know, I really couldn't think of a single great manicure idea that reflected my WiP. Plus, as you can probably tell by the way I flaked out toward the end of RSW, I haven't had a whole lot of time to get creative these days. (Thanks in large part to the new job.) Since this summer was all about the words--the writing of words and revising of words--I opted to go with a manicure that is sort of word-y or, I guess you could say, font-y. Thankfully, Jamberry took care of the creativity for me. ;-)

So, here's a snippet from ONLY ANNIE. It's still desperately in need of more revisions, much better prose and whatnot, so bear that in mind. Sharing my writing is not something I'm super comfortable doing (I stress far too much about it), but I figure it's something I need to get more used to doing. So here goes nothing:



The rich scent of coffee finally reeled Annie into the café. With her head ducked against the rain, she stepped toward the entrance.
Right into someone who was just leaving.
And not just anyone. Went.
The coffee he gripped in his hand sloshed up onto his shirt on impact, nearly reaching the stunned expression on his face. “Annie?” he said at the same time that she gasped, “Ohmigod, I’m so sorry.”
Annie froze for what felt like ages, then snapped out of it and reached inside her purse, snatched a handful of tissue, and began frantically sopping up the mess she’d made. It took her only a moment to realize she was actually rubbing and patting Went’s chest--his chest, for God's sake--while he just stood there awkwardly letting her. More likely, she mused, he was unsure what to do about this all-hands girl who was suddenly groping the heck out of him. A girl he was supposed to hate. And with good reason, she knew only too well.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to—”
“—totally my fault.” Annie’s arms dropped to her sides, crumpled tissues clutched in her trembling fist. “Your shirt… It’s ruined.” In all the scenarios she’d played out in her mind, this was not how she’d imagined things going. For starters, she hadn’t planned on literally bumping into Went.
Raindrops rolled down her face and off the tip of her nose, but Annie didn’t move from where she stood, rooted to the sidewalk, mere inches from Went’s coffee-stained chest. And Went, wonder of wonders, didn’t step back either.

#

All of us--Alison, Katy, Erin, Elodie, and I--would like to thank all of you for taking part in Ready. Set. WRITE! this summer. I know, speaking for myself, that I've appreciated the accountability and encouragement you've provided. It means a lot! 

Wishing you all the best with your WiPs and your writing journeys!



August 24, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! (Week 12)

Welcome to WEEK 12 of Ready. Set. WRITE! We hope you all had a productive week! For those of you who are just joining us and are wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive through which we write/revise/plan like crazy, cheer each other on, and hold each other accountable with weekly updates. We will be sharing our goals and giving updates on our progress on Mondays and keeping our posts as brief as possible so we can save our words for our WiPs! Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and don't forget to hop around to encourage other RSW participants.

As part of Ready. Set. WRITE! 2015, AlisonKatyErinElodie, and I will be giving away writerly care packages throughout the summer. At the end of the summer, to celebrate making it through three months of RSW, we will be rewarding ourselves with what we we're calling “Manicures and Manuscripts.” (See below for more details about this!)




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




MANUSCRIPTS & MANICURES (!!!):
The end of RSW is upon us, and for this final week we will be treating ourselves to manicures! (You've probably noticed us mentioning Manuscripts & Manicures in the intro to our posts all summer.) Since everyone has been working so hard this summer, we thought it would be nice if we rewarded ourselves with manicures. And even better, manicures that somehow reflect our WiPs! Here's how it's all going to go down if you'd like to join in:


   • pick a nail polish colour(s) or design that reminds you of your WiP in some way
   • snap a pic of your manicure for your wrap-up post on Monday, August 31st
   • if you'd like, you can include an excerpt from your WiP to go with the photo
   • and/or just include an explanation of how your manicure reflects your WiP
   • feel free to share your manuscript manicure pic on Twitter and/or Instagram

Simple as that! We hope you'll join in the fun!



Happy Writing/Revising/Planning!

August 17, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! (Week 11)

Welcome to WEEK 11 of Ready. Set. WRITE! We hope you all had a productive week! For those of you who are just joining us and are wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive through which we write/revise/plan like crazy, cheer each other on, and hold each other accountable with weekly updates. We will be sharing our goals and giving updates on our progress on Mondays and keeping our posts as brief as possible so we can save our words for our WiPs! Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and don't forget to hop around to encourage other RSW participants.

As part of Ready. Set. WRITE! 2015, AlisonKatyErinElodie, and I will be giving away writerly care packages throughout the summer. At the end of the summer, to celebrate making it through three months of RSW, we will be rewarding ourselves with what we we're calling “Manicures and Manuscripts.” We hope you’ll join us for all of the fun!


First of all, thank you to everyone who left congratulatory comments about my new job and offered me encouragement last week. I really appreciate it! I wanted to get around to blogs, but unfortunately I was not able to find the time what with work, studying in the evenings, and falling asleep earlier than usual. This week I'm not doing a check-in post because I didn't end up writing and because I doubt I'll be able to hop around to visit blogs. Again. I hope you all have a wonderful week of writing! (And that everything else about your week is wonderful too!)


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

Woohoo! Congrats, Crystal! 
Alison will be contacting your for your mailing info, 
and will get your care package sent out to you ASAP!



IMPORTANT REMINDER (!!!):
Before we get to this week's awesome care package giveaway, we just want to quickly remind you about one thing: The end of RSW is rapidly approaching, and for our final week (August 24th - 31st) we'll be treating ourselves to a manicure that's a reflection of our manuscript! (You've probably noticed us mentioning Manuscripts & Manicures in the intro to our posts.) There will be more details next week, so stay tuned for that! It's going to be TONS of fun!



It's time for our final Ready. Set. WRITE! 2015 giveaway! This is our way of saying thanks to all of you for taking part, for setting goals and encouraging other participants along the way. Because that's a big part of what RSW is all about!

For each week of participation, you get one entry into the giveaway. (We will be verifying this when selecting a winner.)

Here's what participants can win this week from Katy:


Contents: "If You Obey All the Rules, You Miss All the Fun" journal; floral mini sticky note pad; lined floral notepad; Jelly Bellies; starry pencil pouch; Honey Pear hand cream; Lavender Lemonade candle; peppermint mints; various washi tapes; EOS Strawberry Sorbet lip balm; writerly quote pencils; Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea; and Twizzlers.

{Giveaway goes until Sunday, August 23rd @ midnight
and is open internationally to RSW participants only.}



Happy Writing/Revising/Planning!


August 10, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! (Week 10)

Welcome to WEEK 10 of Ready. Set. WRITE! We hope you all had a productive week! For those of you who are just joining us and are wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive through which we write/revise/plan like crazy, cheer each other on, and hold each other accountable with weekly updates. We will be sharing our goals and giving updates on our progress on Mondays and keeping our posts as brief as possible so we can save our words for our WiPs! Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and don't forget to hop around to encourage other RSW participants.

As part of Ready. Set. WRITE! 2015, AlisonKatyErinElodie, and I will be giving away writerly care packages throughout the summer. At the end of the summer, to celebrate making it through three months of RSW, we will be rewarding ourselves with what we we're calling “Manicures and Manuscripts.” We hope you’ll join us for all of the fun!


1. HOW I DID ON LAST WEEK'S GOALS
I took the week off, so no goals for me.

2. MY GOAL(S) FOR THIS WEEK
• Work on writing at least once.

(Looks piddly, but it'll be tough.)

3. A FAVOURITE LINE FROM MY STORY OR ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED

n/a

4. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE(S) I FACED THIS WEEK
As I mentioned, I didn't work on writing this week, so I'm going to go with The Biggest Challenge I'll Face This Week. I got a full-time job, and I start today, so finding time (and the energy) to write is going to be a HUGE challenge. I'm a daytime writer--I'm useless creativity-wise in the evenings--which is obviously going to have to change if I ever want to write again in the foreseeable future. I'm worried this means that writing will become less and less of a priority because it just doesn't fit in at present. I hope that's not the case, though. I love writing even if I'm not in love with what I'm writing these days. 

(**I should probably mention that I'll be around later to comment on RSW posts.**)

5. SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WiP  

Um...I'm sort of thinking of jumping ship to another WiP, so... 0_o



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

Woohoo! Congrats, Tonja! 
Erin will be contacting your for your mailing info, 
and will get your care package sent out to you ASAP!


It's time for our fourth Ready. Set. WRITE! 2015 giveaway! This is our way of saying thanks to all of you for taking part, for setting goals and encouraging other participants along the way. Because that's a big part of what RSW is all about!

For each week of participation, you get one entry into the giveaway. (We will be verifying this when selecting a winner.)

Here's what participants can win this week from Alison:

Contents: Be Inspired journal with inspirational quotes and writing prompts; Jane Austen air freshener(!!!); sticky notes and flags; I Like BIG BOOKS and I Cannot Lie! bookmark; poly spiral index cards; WRITE journal/composition book; Werther's Originals; Paddy Wax Ginger Peach soy wax candle; Trident Island Berry Lime gum; rainbow spiral memo pad; Sinful Colors Decadent nail polish; post cards with inspirational quotes; mini InkJoy pens.

{Giveaway goes until Sunday, August 16th @ midnight
and is open internationally to RSW participants only.}

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Happy Writing/Revising/Planning!