April 24, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

{Feel free to grab the button if you want.}
I don't know about you, but I'm finding it harder and harder to come up with blogging topics. And all too often, it takes me far more time than I actually have available to write a thoughtful post or even a very interesting one. I'm blaming this on the brainpower that's going into the R+R I've been working on. Anyway, my sister and I were talking, and we thought it might be nice to have a blog hop that would allow us to touch base on a weekly basis with our blog friends. We pooled our ideas and came up with this:

WHAT'S UP WEDNESDAY

It's similar in some respects to the Currently... post, but it's been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You're invited to join us if you're looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what's been going on with you. Next Wednesday I'll probably include some kind of link widget for you to use if you're interested.

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What I'm Reading


Rebel Heart by Moira Young

No, this isn't some Civil War era bodice ripper, despite how it sounds. It's the sequel to Blood Red Road. (Though, if bodice rippers are your thing, I know for a fact that there are a handful by the same title on Goodreads.) So far I'm struggling to really get into this one, but I fully anticipate reaching a point where it's tough to put down. That's what I'm hoping, anyway.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I'm already well aware of what this story is about since I've seen at least two versions of the movie based on this book. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm really not going to like it, but who know? Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. (Hahahaha...right.) Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
What I'm Writing
I'm currently ripping Watch of Night, my YA light sci fi to shreds. Based on the feedback I received from an agent who requested a full, I've been reworking aspects of the plot, deepening my characters, and working to ensure that the romance doesn't take centre stage. It's been challenging, but I can honestly say that I like where this story is heading now so much more than the version I queried this agent with. She was totally right about everything and it made me see my story and its potential in an entirely different way. For the time being, I've put my YA contemporary on the back burner, but I think it's worth it.

What Else I've Been Up To
For some time now, I've been fascinated with the mandolin. I listen to bands like Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and Imagine Dragons, all of which feature the mandolin in some of their songs. So I was pleasantly surprised when my husband came home with a mandolin for me! It has the same string lineup as my violin (GDAE), but that's pretty much where the similarities end. I've never played this kind of stringed instrument, so it should be interesting. Hubby did some research on my mandolin, and it's mostly made of mahogany. I couldn't resist giggling at that little tidbit for HG reasons.



What Inspires Me Right Now
• (*whispers*) The fact that spring might finally be here after seven months of snow
•  the feedback Awesome Agent gave me—both the encouragement and the criticism
•  it's weird, but at the end of the day, seeing all of the tasks I'm crossing off in my day timer
•  watching many of my blog friends find success in their writing and in their lives in general

So what have you been up to lately?

P. S. Don't forget to enter my Madman's Daughter Giveaway. {It comes with nail polish and a journal too!}

39 comments:

  1. I love this idea! I shall have to take part next week :D

    How exciting to get great feedback on a full! GOOD LUCK! Did the agent ask for a revise and resubmit or is that top secret? I'm excited for you!

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    1. Yes, she did ask for a revise and resubmit. :) The crazy thing is, every issue she had with my story was exactly what I was trying to pinpoint for months. I knew something wasn't quite right, and she showed me what it was. This thing is going to be so much better in the end now. :)

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  2. LOVE the idea, and as I wrote on Erin's post I'm definitely keen to take part. YAY! Such a great idea!

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    1. I'm glad you're going to join in! It's nice to have a bit of a framework for posts, because right now I don't have enough brainpower to be completely creative. :P Looking forward to reading what you've been up to!

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  3. Crossing off tasks = one of my favorite parts of the day. Thanks for creating this new meme--I'm definitely going to borrow it!

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    1. It's weird just how satisfying crossing off tasks can be. It's one of the best motivators for me. I remember having to read a particularly tedious book in college, and the only way I got through it in a timely fashion was by making a checklist with the chapters. I couldn't wait to get to the end of each chapter just so I could check it off. I'm definitely a weirdo. O_o

      Can't wait to hear what you've been up to! :)

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  4. I'm glad you and Erin did this, A-because it's great and in a few weeks I plan on participating and B- I had followed your blog but for some reason none of your posts were showing up in my feed so I was missing a lot of great stuff! Luckily, Erin linked your blog and I was able to get it all sorted out.

    Edits recommended by an agent, huh? That's awesome! Good luck! And good luck with learning the mandolin! Loved the mahogany reference.

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    1. When you signed up for my blog I had briefly changed the url to jaimemorrow.blogspot.com, but that created problems with most of my blog followers no longer seeing my posts. Whoops! So I changed it back to what it originally was and linked a domain name to it via Blogger. Anyway, long story short, the url should be jaime-morrow.com or jaimereadingandwriting.blogspot.com. For it to show up in your dashboard, you'd have to stop following and then re-follow with this address. What a pain the butt, right? So sorry about that.

      I'm glad you swung by, and I'm looking forward to hearing about what you've been up to! :)

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  5. I haven't read Wuthering Heights in years. I should do that!

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    1. I keep hoping I'll end up liking it. We'll see, I guess. :)

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  6. A mandolin! Awesome. And it's SO EXCITING to have an R&R the v. best of luck with it.

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    1. I'm pretty excited about both the mandolin and the R&R. My story is giving me a bit of grief, though. Here's hoping it sorts itself out. :)

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  7. I love this new series! I'll definitely participate at some point soon. :)

    Good luck with your R&R edits! As you know, I'm in the middle of the same thing and it's exciting to have such awesome feedback. Happy to hear you're happy with the new direction your book is taking.

    That's so sweet of your husband to buy you a mandolin! Maybe when you get good at it, you can share a video with us of you playing it?

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    1. Oh, yay! I'm glad you're thinking of taking part sometime. :)

      R&R edits are going...all right. I've been struggling with them today, but I think I have an idea where to take things now. Feedback like this is invaluable, and I really want to jump on it. Hope yours are going well, Ghenet!

      At this point Todd has been playing with the mandolin more than I have due to the aforementioned edits. Can't wait to get learning it!

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  8. I fully expect a demonstration of this new mandolin over Skype once you figure it out, just so you know. And I can't wait to see the final product on your new and improved version of Watch of Night. I think it's going to be great. :)

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    1. Hmm...I'll have to get my butt in gear then and start learning something on the mandolin. I looked up the tablature for "It's Time" and it's pretty easy, but still beyond my ability at this point. I brought my drum home from practice last night, so that's probably going to be my focus this week. (My neighbours are going to HATE me. O_o)

      My R&R is coming along, but today was not a good day. I feel kind of stumped on one thing and it's like I'm butting up against a wall, which is keeping me from moving forward. Gah! Need to sort that out and fast. Can't wait for you to check out the new and (I hope) improved version. :-)

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  9. I love this idea, and I love the little graphic that goes with it... I'm totally jumping onboard next week!

    That REBEL HEART cover is so different from the BLOOD RED ROAD cover. I have to say, I like the first book's cover better. I'm interested to see what you think after you finish the book. I haven't started this series, but I'm definitely intrigued.

    Yay for Awesome Agent notes! I got some of those myself today, and I am giddy with the possibilities. I hope your revision is going well, Jaime!

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    1. I'm so happy you're joining us! :-)

      I'm not crazy about the new covers either. :/ I actually really liked the original cover for BLOOD RED ROAD, so I was kind of bummed when they deviated from that for the sequel. Did you know it's the same guy from the cover over TEMPEST by Julie Cross? I read an article on it. Apparently the guy is a writer as well as a Ford model. As for the series, I love, love, love the way it's written--in dialect without quotation marks. Sounds crazy, but it really flows nicely when I'm reading.

      That's great that you got some giddiness-inducing notes! Seeing your own story through someone else's eyes is just awesome. It not only helps you love it more, but it really gives you a vision for what it could be. Hope your edits are going well. :)

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  10. LOVE What's Up Wednesday! I'm going to have to hop a ride on that balloon. And also super excited about your R&R.

    After this last foot of snow plus a couple more inches this week, I was so happy to see sun this week. We're supposed to hit 76 this weekend! With thunderstorms! It's like we're totally skipping spring and going straight to summer. :( boo.

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    1. Yay! I'm glad that you're thinking of joining us! :-) I find blog hops/memes are a great framework when I'm struggling for something to blog about. You can also be as detailed or not as you wish, which is nice for those days when you don't have a whole lot of time to write anything.

      Man, you are getting the most bizarre weather in Minnesota! Too weird. I was just saying to my husband the other day that we're gradually moving into a two-season year--fall and spring are virtually disappearing. Bleh. Those just happen to be my two favourite seasons, so that's kind of a bummer.

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    2. I'm the same - I love spring, I love fall. This has just sucked. We've had a few 70-degree days and now the forecast is 5 days of 30s and 40s and more snow/sleet. 6 inches of SLEET. How is that even possible?

      I'm hoping to have my first WUW tomorrow, although I'm bringing work home, so we'll see.

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  11. I've been loving Imagine Dragons lately. Oh, Rebel Heart... I really hope that you enjoy it more than I did. I agree to what you wrote on my blog. It is VERY slow and very little actually happens, in my honest opinion. Push through it though, because I have high hopes for book three...

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    1. Imagine Dragons is great! Every time I hear one of their songs come on the radio I'm super excited. :) I'm just about done REBEL HEART and it picked up somewhat, so that's good. Despite what she does with the plot, I still love to death the way it's written. The dialect just flows so smoothly in my head when I'm reading. I love it so much! I'm hoping Book 3 is a good solid ending to this series. :)

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  12. I think this is a fabulous idea! I'll definitely be jumping on board with you and Erin every so often.
    And congrats on the R&R - agent feedback is like gold and can often times take you to a whole new destination in your story. Best of luck with this, Jaime - I know how tough they can be, but stick to it!

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    1. Yay! That's awesome that you're thinking of joining us sometimes. :) I'm pretty excited but also nervous about the R&R. I find myself feeling anxious and guilty when I'm not working on it, like I'm letting an opportunity slip away or something by not finishing the thing as quickly as possible. Realistically, I should be moving quickly, but also making sure I'm taking the time to do a good job. Striking the right balance is key, I figure.

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  13. I enjoyed WUTHERING HEIGHTS. No-one else in my family did, though. I thought it was an interesting POV, and I kinda like that the ending is not exactly your typical romance-type ending. And that the MCs both had major, major flaws... and yet I found myself rooting for them.

    I've awarded you a "Wonderful Team Member Readership Award" as a thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting every now and again. You can find the details on my blog.

    All the best with the review and resubmit--and congratulations again on getting this level of agent interest so quickly into the querying process. Not that I'm surprised, of course... :)

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    1. I kind of have to admit that I'm enjoying it so far. I was bracing myself to hate it because I know the story already, but it just reads really well.

      Thanks for the award, Colin! :)

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  14. Great post! I could never get into Wuthering Heights no matter how many times I tried to read it. I was never keen on the story although I love the song by Kate Bush. ^^ I always envy those who could get into it. I guess I've never been much of a classics girl.

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    1. I'm actually finding it really easy to get into, and I'm kind of surprised to find that I'm enjoying it so far. We'll see, though. Things haven't exactly gone completely bonkers just yet. ;-)

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  15. Wuthering Heights depressed and annoyed me. I think I got half way through and gave up.

    Is that your writing space? It looks so lovely and clean!

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    1. Well, I'm not all that far in, so we'll see just how annoyed I get. ;-) So far I'm actually kind of enjoying it, which has me all kinds of surprised.

      That's actually my dining room table that I'm working on. I needed somewhere big enough that I could spread out all of my writing stuff on. My desk isn't quite as big and it's a bit cluttered at the moment. Must fix that. :)

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  16. Yay about the agent critique-- it can be really gratifying to have just a bit of professional feedback. It makes you feel like you're working toward something, or sometimes crystalizes ideas you had but weren't sure about. Good for you! Love also that you're doing the mandolin.
    I will definitely check out your meme! I am desperate for content ideas. :)

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    1. Thanks, Kat! If nothing else, it's just nice to know that an agent thinks my work has merit. I'm thinking of printing off segments from her feedback and putting them over my computer as encouragement and incentive.

      So happy that you're thinking of checking out the meme! :)

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  17. Ooh, how did you like Blood Red Road? (Did I already ask you that?) I still haven't read it. I heard it's hard to get into but you end up loving it. Hopefully the sequel proves the same!

    And I totally feel you with the whole blog-post writing thing. I definitely go through serious lulls. It takes so much energy to write the posts that if I'm not inspired by a topic, it's super hard to take time out to do. I'm totally a follower of write when inspired ... but that might not be the best for my discipline!

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    1. I really enjoyed BLOOD RED ROAD, but REBEL HEART was a little slower than I'd like for the first chunk of the book. I think it ended up suffering from saggy middle a little bit. That said, I'm really looking forward to Book 3 whenever it arrives. :)

      I agree with the write when inspired mentality as it relates to blogging. Problem is, I haven't felt all that inspired lately. O_O

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  18. YAY! I love this idea and will most probably take part. Great way to keep everyone updated without thinking too hard about a blog post :P
    If you need extra pair of eyes on WATCH THE NIGHT, don't hesitate to let me know <3
    (oh and love the Button!)

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    1. Yay! Glad you're thinking of joining us, Elodie! I figure participants can make it as brief or not-so-brief as they wish, which is kind of nice. It's just nice to know what's going on in people's live in some small way. Plus, I just have no ideas for blogging. ;-)

      Revisions are coming along pretty well with WATCH OF NIGHT, and I'll definitely send it off to you when they're complete. I'm kind of jumping back and forth adding stuff in, so I wouldn't want to send it off to early, you know? How's your writing coming along? :-)

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  19. I just put my WIP out to a critique group in its early stages, and it was really helpful! I didn't ask for feedback on my last story until I had been heavily invested, so those changes were always harder to make. I'm a little excited to rip my WIP to shreds, although it's a lot of work. Feedback is so important!

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  20. Ahhh Wuthering Heights!! <3

    I'm sorry I haven't been commenting lately, but yeah...as you know, school work. 0_0 Most recent accomplishment: making the executive decision to somehow complete this assignment without thoroughly doing the 200+ pages of reading that I should have started last month...

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