May 1, 2013

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. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of this post. We really hope you will take part!

What I'm Reading
I'm partway into Wuthering Heights, my Chapter A Day classic, and I'm surprised that I don't hate it just yet. Colour me shocked. That could change, but so far, so good.

I'm also just about to start reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, which I'm kind of excited about. I've heard only good things, so that's always a major plus when starting a book.



What I'm Writing
I've made some really good strides with my rewrite, so that's certainly a plus. I'm discovering how fun it can be to rework what I've got. Really, it's kind of like a giant patchwork quilt made up of stuff I already had, new material I'm sewing in, and parts that have been snipped apart, switched around, and stitched back together again. It's exciting to watch this thing evolve.

What Inspires Me Right Now
This "practice makes perfect" notion that has been pounded into our brains since infancy actually might have merit. I've given up on a good many things in my life because I wasn't seeing progress quickly enough. There are two things in recent months that I haven't ditched—learning to drum and writing—and, lo and behold, I've gotten much, much better. The progression to this point is noticeable. I remember thinking I was never going to get the hang of drumming, but I've somehow managed it. The same goes with writing. Who knew I'd be able to write a whole book? But I did. Two, actually. I thought my writing would be complete crap. It (mostly) isn't. It still needs work, sure, but knowing that I'm improving is all the inspiration I need to keep at it. Practice makes progress and eventually proficiency. (Because perfection is one of those unattainable goals.)

What Else I've Been Up To
• I've been watching Battlestar Galactica with my husband, trying to get all the way through to the end this time around. We've always enjoyed it, but for whatever reason we got sidetracked and never finished the series.

• I'm no longer just practising the side drum on a drum pad, I've moved on to playing on the real deal. Holy cannoli, is that thing loud. Seriously, my ears ring forever after playing it, especially when you throw the bagpipes into the mix at practice. Oh, and it weighs 20 lbs. It's kind of a workout wearing that thing strapped to your chest and concentrating on playing it right.

• Speaking of workouts...After a long winter of sitting on my butt (reading and writing, of course), I thought it was high time I got some exercise. I've started using the treadmill for 42 minutes a day → the exact amount of time it takes to watch a Veronica Mars episode. That's right, I'm getting my marshmallow on while becoming a little less marshmallow-y.


So what have you been up to lately?


42 comments:

  1. Ta da! Here's mine!

    I know what you mean about suddenly getting something. I feel like that with violin. I'll start a new piece and I really griiiiind my way through it, screeching and generally sounding awful... and then suddenly, it's there! I can actually play Beethoven or Handel.

    Keep us all up to date with your rewrite!

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    1. That is just awesome that you're playing Beethoven and Handel now! Good for you, Cole! You're really making me want to get playing my violin again. Between all of the instruments kicking around our place right now, I could spend my whole day making music...if I had the time. ;-)

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  2. I'm so glad your rewrite is going well, and I can't wait to see the final result. I also can't wait for you guys to finish Battlestar, because the last episode blew me away, and I want to know what you think of it. Ugh. I need to get back on the treadmill too. At least the weather is getting nicer FINALLY, so I can walk outside without freezing to death or getting stuck in a snowbank. :)

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    1. We definitely need to do a Skype date again soon so we can talk over our respective WIP changes. We're coming along pretty well with Battlestar. I think we're almost done Season 2. Hopefully, we'll get it all done before Todd heads back to work. As for the treadmill, I figured it was high time I got up of my rear end and did something healthy. My knees have been bothering me from sitting at the computer writing, so exercise definitely helps. Plus, it means I get to watch VM--win-win. :-)

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  3. So happy that your rewrite is going well! Like Erin I can´t wait to see the end result! What you mentioned in your email makes me even more excited! <3
    And YAY for not giving up! :-)
    I need to start working out again. I was doing pretty well but the past weeks I have pretty much done nothing - exercise-related.
    42 minutes is great! (and I guess I should start watching Veronica Mars at some point)
    Thanks again for the What´s Up Wednesday idea! I´m loving it!

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    1. It's kind of weird how much is the same and yet so much is different, too. I think I'm finally getting into the swing of things, so that's good. Now if I can just work in everything I mentioned to you in a way that feels natural, I'll be thrilled. :-)

      Getting started exercising is the worst (as I'm sure you know), but I think once it becomes routine it's that much easier. I'm hoping that's the case, anyway. :-)

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  4. Wuthering Heights has been on my list, too. Especially so once I read that C.S. Lewis liked it. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it once you finish.

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    1. WUTHERING HEIGHTS is a fairly quick and easy read, so I'm happy about that. I was prepared to hate it because I already know the story, but it's not that bad so far. Of course, none of the totally crazy stuff has happened yet, so that's probably why. :-) Thanks for taking part in the meme!

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  5. Ooohh, I love the idea of this! I'll have to put together a What's Up Wednesday post. :D

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    1. You definitely should! We'd love to hear what's going on in your (seriously awesome) corner of the world. (I can hardly believe it's been almost a year since we were in your neck of the woods. I'd LOVE to go back.) Looking forward to your What's Up Wednesday post! :-)

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  6. Love the idea of What's Up Wednesday! I had to read Wuthering Heights in high school and I liked it then. Glad you're making such good progress on your rewrite!

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    1. I like having a framework for a blog post at least once a week so I don't have to strain my brain thinking of stuff to write about. :-) I have to say I'm really surprised by WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Of course, it's still building up to the crazy parts still, so we'll see. I think I'm enjoying more than I expected because the last classic I read was BRAVE NEW WORLD, and I pretty much found it boring and kind of ridiculous (though, interesting that he wrote all of this in the 1930s--I'll give him that).

      The rewrite is definitely coming along well and I'm really happy (and relieved) about that. :-)

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  7. Chapter a day classics is a great idea, seeing as I've been reading A Tale of Two Cities for over a year now... Based on this whole post, I'm going to recommend Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell to you, a great book about success and the idea that "practice makes perfect".

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    1. I stalled out partway through GREAT EXPECTATIONS and I really need to get back to it. Maybe that should be my goal after I finish WUTHERING HEIGHTS. It's not a bad book, I just got sidetracked.

      I've never heard of OUTLIERS before. I'll have to check that one out. Thanks! :-)

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  8. I'm participating in your meme this week - yay!

    I recently got a copy of Seraphina so curious to hear your thoughts on it when you're done! I'm glad to hear your revisions are going well, and that you feel good about your progress in writing and drumming. :)

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    1. Yay! Glad you joined in! I'm eager to get started on SERAPHINA, though I was kind of bummed to hear that it was light on the romance side of things. I'm such a sucker for a good romance. Even so, it sounds pretty darn fantastic, and I've heard nothing but good things about it. Sounds like we're both making strides on our R+Rs. It's exciting to see it take shape, isn't it? :-)

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  9. Ooh, I like that you're multi-tasking on the treadmill! I always read on the elliptical because I have to use the one at the gym, but I'm envious of your Veronica Mars time. I still have never seen an episode of that show!

    Let me know what you think of SERAPHINA. I've heard great things!

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    1. The multi-tasking while treadmilling has everything to do with keeping my brain occupied while I'm on the thing. It's WAY too easy for me to give up before I've gotten any kind of decent workout. 42 minutes is totally manageable and it gives me an excuse to watch VM, so I'm a happy girl! :-)

      I'm eager to get reading SERAPHINA, and I'll definitely let you know how it is when I'm done!

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  10. I wish I had room for a treadmill so I could do that! I really need to join a gym. I'm useless at exercise.

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    1. We had this mostly useless (except for storage) basement, and my husband had the bright idea of putting a TV down there with an area rug so we could use exercise videos. My in-laws were off-loading their treadmill, so we snagged it for dirt cheap. So basically now I have no excuse not to get off my butt, right? :-)

      And I agree, exercise is just...ugh.

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  11. Hi Jaime! I found your blog through Ghenet's. :) I'm stoked to follow your literary adventures. Love the idea of "What's Up Wednesday!"

    Kudos to you for sticking with writing and drumming! Since I technically don't believe in the idea of perfection, I like to think of the "practice makes perfect" notion more as a "never give up" mantra. It's amazing what we can accomplish if we tell ourselves to just keep going!


    Ooh, I'm supposed to start watching Battlestar Galactic with my boyfriend once finals are over. He loves the series and I promised to give it a try! Hope you're enjoying it!

    I think it's really clever how you spend the exact amount of time exercising to watching a television show. Maybe that will motivate me to go work out as well when Glee is on. :P

    ~Wendy Lu

    The Red Angel Blog

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    1. Hi Wendy! It's nice to meet you. :-)
      I have to agree with you on the "never give up" mantra. I'm just now realizing the truth to it. Up until now I've been a bit of a quitter, which is never good. That's kind of cool that you're thinking of watching Battlestar. You'll have to let me know what you think. As for exercise, in the past I used to listen to music while I worked out (which was pretty well never), but I found that it was too easy to say "I'm done after this next song" or whatever. This way, I know I have to be on the treadmill until that 42 minute episode is done. It's perfect! :-)

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  12. You and Erin are brilliant. I'll have to put one of these together this afternoon! I've been looking for an easy weekly blog idea, and I really like this one. Also, exercising to Veronica Mars is genius.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! We were both coming up blank for blogging ideas (me more than Erin), so something like this felt right. It can be as brief or involved as people want it to be. I'm glad you decided to take part! :-)

      The treadmill/TV show combo originally started with Gilmore Girls, but then we didn't have a treadmill for a while, so that kind of destroyed that exercise plan. I find 42 minutes is completely manageable. I'm only speed-walking right, but at some point maybe it will turn into a run.

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  13. I'm totally doing this meme next week, and oh look, what a cute button you have!

    I'm so excited that you're reading Seraphina. It was one of my favorite books last year, and while it can be a bit slow, I loved the characters and the worldbuilding is exquisite! Makes me wish I was a better fantasy writer, haha.

    Also, YAY for BSG! Sci-Fi anything is actually a hard sell for me (I don't know why since I usually end up liking most sci-fi stuff I get into), but my friend convinced me to watch with him back in college. I kinda get the tapering off thing, even though it's good. I think it's because it's so heavy, and especially in the first season, the overarching plot is a bit unclear. I love marathoning shows, but BSG was one I couldn't do in long stretches like that. Anyway, I hope you get to the end though. It's an excellent, smart show.

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you're going to join us! :-)

      I'm going to start SERAPHINA later this afternoon, and I can't wait. I've been craving a good fantasy for a while, so it should be perfect.

      We're nearing the end of the second season of BSG, so we're about halfway to the end. I can't wait to find out how it all wraps up. I'm surprised I haven't been spoiled already!

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  14. Yay for your rewrite going well! Isn't it fun watching everything come together and being inspired by the work you're doing? Your drumming sounds like so much fun, too! It's so cool that you have a hobby that you're working hard at and seeing the results :)

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    1. It's really fun seeing it evolve and come together. It's amazing how much I've been able to salvage and also how much new stuff I've managed to squeeze in and make work. The drumming thing is totally fun too. Hard, but fun. :-)

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  15. This was a ton of fun - thanks for giving Wednesdays new purpose! :)

    Glad to hear your re-write is going well - doesn't it feel great when the patchwork starts to come together?

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    1. You're welcome, Sara! I think a lot of us needed something to prompt us to blog. I know I sure did. :-) And it definitely feels great when things come together in writing. It's like all of the stressing over it finally feels worth it.

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  16. See, THAT is why treadmills were invented! That is one of the biggest reasons I want to live in my own house--put a treadmill and a TV in the basement, and I'd be in great shape! (I think our wooden floors are too old and creaky to make a treadmill a good idea. But the concrete basement? Perfect.)

    I've been meaning to read Seraphina too--it was one of the books Mike got me for my birthday back in September but it's so darn big I haven't picked it up yet. I'll be interested to hear what you think!

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    1. The treadmill is the perfect multi-tasking instrument of torture...I mean, exercise equipment. ;-) And it just so happens that watching my favourite TV series while I do it seems to work perfectly. Now to just make a routine of it.

      I think I was put off by the size of SERAPHINA too. It's been sitting on my shelf for a couple of months, and despite the fact that people rave about it, I've been slow to pick it up. I only just started it, but the writing is really good!

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  17. This meme is a -great- idea!

    I agree with enjoying reworks--revisions are magical. I love watching a WIP transform.

    And the drumming--so cool!

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    1. I'm so happy people are excited about taking part, even if it's just now and then. I love hearing what other people are up to. :-)

      I think think the revision stage is probably my second favourite part of the process, second only to the planning stage. There's nothing quite like dreaming something up and jotting down all those notes before the hard part starts--the writing.

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  18. I really, really need to watch BG. I hear it's so good!

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    1. You totally should! Especially since you're a sci-fi fan. :-) I'm finding the whole life aboard a spaceship (well, a fleet colony essentially) thing to be very interesting and relevant to my own WIP, given that it's a sci-fi that has to do with a space mission.

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  19. Haha - LOVE the timing on your exercise routine. And this is a great feature! I may have to participate next week!

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    1. Can't beat an exercise and entertainment combo! :-) And I'm so happy you're thinking of joining us next week. Yay!

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  20. Hi Jamie,

    I love how you describe the rewrite as snipping and putting it back together in a different pattern. It's amazing how much switching around a few scenes can change the feel of a story. That's really the skill in story telling, I think, finding a way to connect all the scenes that has the greatest impact.

    I totally loved BattleStar Gallactica as a kid. I should rent it for my adult self ;)

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. You're so right. My story feels very different in so many ways just because of those few changes and switcharounds. Trying to connect the scenes with greatest impact is definitely challenging, but when you do manage it, it's really satisfying. :-)

      Hope you had a great weekend!

      P.S. This is the new(ish) reboot of Battlestar Galactica that started in 2004.

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  21. I'll be doing WUW this week; thanks for the great idea! How are you liking Veronica Mars? I have a borrowed box set of the first season that I haven't had time to watch yet--blerg!

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    1. Yay! Glad you're joining us this week!

      This isn't my first time watching Veronica Mars. I watched it while it was still airing on TV, then bought the boxed DVDs and have watched them a few times since then. It's a great show and it's too darn bad it got cancelled when it did. :/ Hope you get to watch them soon!

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