June 5, 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
This is kind of bonkers, but I'm currently reading three books at the same time. By choice. I'm still plugging away a chapter a day on Great Expectations, but I'm also reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce—my second adult read in under a week. What? I know, it's totally weird. {See more about this below.}

WHAT I'M WRITING
So this is kind of random, but I had this shiny new idea, jotted down a couple of thoughts relating to it, and then cranked out 2,500 words on it today. And the weirdest part about it is that I totally pantsed for probably the first time ever. I am SO not a pantser, but it was kind of fun! I feel like I'm cheating on my rewrite, but at this point I feel like all words are good words. I'm way too excited about this new idea, which is just, well, it's a distraction I really don't need right now. Ah well. This feels like a good place to mention Ready. Set. WRITE! again. {For details about this summer writing intensive, go HERE.} I hope to complete my rewrite, send it off to my CPs, then hopefully resubmit it. I've got a ton of other stories I'd love to get working on, so I'll be happy to be done with this WIP.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
This EW interview with George R. R. Martin regarding the infamous Red Wedding. ***If you haven't watched the most recent episode or anything leading up to it, DON'T read the article. Spoilers abound.*** Without being spoilery, I was inspired by Martin's motivation behind the choices he made for this major plot point and others that were just as difficult to write. Let's just say it cast certain things in a different light for me, and I respect the reasons behind the decisions he made even if I don't exactly like them.




WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
•  I joined a book club hosted by some local ladies who are all roughly my age. Actually, a couple of guys from my pipe and drum band mentioned that their wives were in this club and they hooked me up. From what I can tell, it's going to be all adult reads which wouldn't be my first choice, but the opportunities here are twofold: 1) To meet readers my age {who aren't enamoured of  Fifty Shades of Grey and other similar offerings}, and 2) to broaden my reading horizons, knowing this will only help my writing.

•  Speaking of my pipe and drum band, we're doing a battlefield tour of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in August 2014. We'll be visiting and playing at a number of historically important landmarks which will be FANTASTIC. I'm going to brush up on my fairly rusty French since it will be helpful in 2 out of the 3 countries we're touring. To that end, I borrowed a couple of books in French from the library that I've read in English Anne of Green Gables {Anne...La Maison aux pignons verts} and The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones {Les 39 clés: L'énigme des catacombes}. I'm sure there are better approaches to this, but we'll see how it goes.

•  This past Saturday, my husband and I spent the entire day out of doors enjoying our city and the sunshine. We started off at the Farmers Market where we bought some rhubarb to make a pie with and also enjoyed listening to a local folk band, then we just wandered the downtown and the surrounding area. It was a great day all around and it made me appreciate this place more.
{Clockwise from top left} Beautiful flowering trees; a sunny day with bright blue skies and fluffy clouds; me and a bronze statue of Rev. Leonard Gaetz, a man that a major street in our city is named after; a bridge we happened upon on our walk; and Waskasoo, a local folk band.


SO, WHAT'S UP WITH YOU THIS WEEK?

50 comments:

  1. I just bought a copy of THE 5TH WAVE this past weekend. I keep hearing how awesome it is, so I decided I'd better check it out. You should try and subtly sneak some YA into your book club. Just start slipping YA books into people's purses on the sly, and then they'll get hooked. Looking forward to hearing about your new story idea!

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    1. I like THE 5TH WAVE, but I'm having a hard time getting into it because I keep picking it up and only getting through a chapter or two before I have to do something else (like sleep). If I could just sit down with it and read a bunch, I'm sure I'd love it.

      I'm not sure about suggesting YA reads to the book club just yet. I have this idea that they'd scoff at it or something. We'll have to see. :)

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  2. The Internet has shown me this week that I need to watch Game of Thrones when I find a spare weekend to do so :P

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    1. I thoroughly enjoy the TV series, and I've been thinking about picking up the books. My husband has read them (and sometimes gets a tiny bit spoilery), so it's tempting. They just feel like they'd be a massive commitment. :/

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  3. Thanks for the link to the George R. R Martin article, the Red Wedding was a tough one to watch, but I do like that you never know what's going to happen in a Game of Thrones.

    Your book club sounds good fun, are you enjoying Harold Fry? I felt it meandered a bit.

    Have fun with your shiny new idea!

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    1. George R. R. Martin definitely keeps you on your feet! Everyone has been saying since day one not to get too attached to anyone, but foolishly I succumbed to the temptation. I'd like to get to the books one day, but who knows if that will happen.

      I'm enjoying HAROLD FRY so far. I just love the way the author writes, even if a book about a 60-something man would hardly be my first choice. :)

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  4. That trip sounds AMAZING! How exciting! And what a fun way to brush up on your French! (I wonder if I could read Anne in German...I feel like the harshness of German wouldn't quite match the feel of that book, though.)

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    1. I can't wait for that trip. Seriously. We're going to be playing at so many wonderful sites and even taking part in a last post ceremony at the Menin Gate. And I'll finally get to see Anne Frank House, which is something I've only dreamed about doing up until now. I think ANNE OF GREEN GABLES in German would be kind of great, but then I love the German language. :) It's amazing how much you can actually remember when you read in a second language. I think it's the forming sentences in the right tense and actually saying them thing that always trips me up.

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  5. The blossoms are beautiful! The unexpected 2500-word-story, what a great problem to have! I'll keep hoping for something like that...

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    1. It's so nice to see flowering trees and green after a very loooooonnnng winter. I'm trying to soak it all in because it won't be long until it's snowy again. (Canadian problems lol.) And that whole 2500 words on a new story thing came totally out of left field. I'll take it, though! :)

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  6. I think my comment disappeared. I'll try a redo-- hopefully you can introduce the book club to a YA read now and again. They'll get hooked. :0) I loved your weekend photos. I saw them on twitter and they looked like something out of a magazine spread. Your city should use you to promote tourism!

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    1. I think once I'm a regular at book club, I might work up the courage to suggest a YA book. (I always worry that people will scoff at YA because I've run into that attitude too many times before.) Honestly, though, I think it's probably good for me to branch out a little bit, because I'm firmly lodged in the YA only bracket.

      You know, my city could actually use someone to promote tourism. What they've got right now is mostly non-existent and uninformative. My husband and I have been checking out all kinds of things around our city, trying to find things we love about it. So far we've been pleasantly surprised! :)

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  7. I haven't started watching GoT this season yet! There's too much going on ... when things calm down, I'll watch it for sure. Everyone is talking about the Red Wedding and I'm going crazy wanting to watch it lol
    Shiny new ideas are always welcome, even if you can't write it to the end right now.
    I'm a hybrid pantser and plotter - tried being 100% of each and it didn't work.
    Oh, I hope you like your book club ;)

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    1. Definitely get caught up on GoT when you have time. Fingers crossed you don't run into spoilers in the meantime! Shiny new ideas are pretty great, and new words are always good no matter what they're on, right? You know, to some extent I think I'm a bit of a hybrid pantser/plotter too. I make a plan and then when I write, I tend to pants a bit within that plan, which sometimes requires changing the plan lol. :)

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  8. I'm reading The 5th Wave right now too, but I don't think I'm liking it quite as much as everyone else seems to.

    And, as I type this, I am watching the first episode of season one of Game of Thrones. I'm gonna catch up with the rest of society.

    Love the photos and enjoy the book club!

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    1. You know, I'm having a bit of a tough time getting into THE 5TH WAVE right now too. I think I just need some time to sit down with it and plow through a bunch of it instead of picking it up and reading a chapter here and there. I think maybe I'm just more in the mood for a light summer read.

      So cool that you're just getting into Game of Thrones. I love the series so much, and I'm actually thinking about reading the books now. They're just SO huge and kind of a big commitment, you know? :)

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  9. Hurray for pantsting! And how awesome is your upcoming battlefield tour???

    I'm heading to my local Farmer's Market this weekend, although I have never tried rhubarb and wouldn't recognize it if I saw it :)

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    1. I think the pantsing thing will only go so far. I'm already thinking about making a plan to follow. :P I'm pretty excited about the battlefield tour even if it is over a year away. That actually gives me time to get better at the drum, so that's a bonus.

      Rhubarb kind of looks like red celery and it's very tart. Often times people will pair it with apple or strawberry in a pie to offset the tartness. It's pretty darn yummy! Have fun at the Farmers Market this weekend. :)

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  10. I haven't read or seen Game of Thrones, but based on the Internet buzz something really crazy must've happened recently. One of these days, I'll have to check it out!
    Hope you enjoy your book club!

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    1. So far I've only watched the TV series, but hubby has read the books and sometimes wanders into spoiler territory until I set him straight. ;-) The series is totally addictive, though. :)

      The biggest thing I'm getting from book club right now is interaction with intelligent women who love to read. I've felt like a bit of a recluse for so long because I just didn't know many people with similar interests. That can be horribly depressing. These ladies are just so friendly and great to talk to, and I can't stop smiling when I think about the possibility of friendship. :)

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  11. Oh wow! Your pipe and drum band tour sounds AMAZING. I want to know more about this pipe and drum thing, perhaps I'll have to dig deeper into the archives of your blog : ) It sounds pretty fascinating. I've been reading a bit more adult fiction lately too, ain't no shame in your game. ;)

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    1. The pipe and drum band is through our local legion (a place for veterans to hang out). It's comprised of bagpipes and three different types of drums and everyone wears kilts and other traditionally Scottish apparel. It's pretty fun! And loud lol.

      I've read adult books more in the past, but my interest mostly lies in YA. I think there are just SO many books to read that sometimes you just have to narrow it down to what you love, you know? My participation in this book club is mainly for the interaction with the other ladies, so I'll read whatever they put before me. :)

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  12. Yaaaay for pantsing! Way to embrace the dark side! LOL. I love it. It's totally how I work. And LOVE the pics. Your outing looks like it was so much fun. I want to go back to Canada!

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    1. I know I will never be a full-fledged pantser, but it's definitely interesting to try it on for size. I'll always be 3/4 plotter and 1/4 pantser or some kind of split that accurately reflects just how much I love the heck out of planning. ;-)

      Oh, and Canada wants you to come back and visit sometime too. :)

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  13. I'm reading THE 5TH WAVE right now, too - and I'm sooooo loving it! Can't wait to hear what you think?

    And considering I recently found myself plotting my latest WiP, when normally I'd just fly by the seat of my pants - I commend you for trying the "other side" out! It's almost fun writing in a way you've never wrote before and now I can totally see my writing style change to absorb a little of both ways, in the future!

    I am so far behind on watching GOT!!!! But I heard last weekends episode was killer! Ugh...must refrain from watching that video, but I've earmarked it for later when I finally get caught up!

    And yay for joining a book club! Who knows, maybe you'll be able to sway them to read a few YA reads? I mean, after all, Rowling, Meyer, and Collins have all inspired more than just sixteen-year-old's to read...and besides, your group might just learn a thing or two as well! Also - your pipe and drum band tour next year sounds A-MAZING!!!!! I can't wait to see all the pictures from that!

    Happy Wednesday, Jaime!

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    1. It's definitely fun and interesting trying to write in a way that I don't normally migrate toward. I wouldn't say I never pants, but usually it happens within the parameters of a fairly detailed plan. I guess you could say I'm a bit of a hybrid, heavy on the planning.

      Last weekend's episode was, um, definitely killer. O_O You should totally watch it before you run into too many spoilers. Hubby's read the books, so sometimes he lets things slip that I wish he wouldn't. Ah well.

      I think once I get more comfortable at book club I might be brave enough to suggest a few YA reads. I have this idea that people will scoff at it based on past (and current) experiences.

      Happy Wednesday to you too, Erin! :)

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  14. I must read The Fifth Wave! And WOW!!! I am so impressed by this tour news! WOW! How cool!

    And book clubs FTW! I love mine. My group is very diverse, but very awesome. I hope you have fun!

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    1. I just need a good solid chunk of time to sit down with THE 5TH WAVE and really get into it. It's not the kind of book you pick up and read a chapter here and there, which is what I've been doing.

      This book club feels like a great opportunity to meet some cool women, so I don't mind too much that we're reading adult literary books. I'm looking forward to all the ways that this will broaden my horizons. :)

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  15. Actually, your French should see you through all three countries. I knew people from both Belgium and the Netherlands at University, and they were fluent in French. The Dutch are amazing linguists, BTW. They put us native English-speakers to shame. I'm sure you'll have great fun on that trip. :)

    Pantsing is fun. Definitely the way for me to go right now... though I might dabble in some plotting now and again, if I feel I need to. I guess whatever works for the story is the way to approach the whole pantsing/plotting thing. Don't get stuck in a rut because you think that's the only way to do something, or the way you have to do something. If your SNI demands you pants the whole thing, go for it! :)

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    1. I've been to all three countries we're visiting, but I don't remember how much I used my French back then. Still, it will be useful for asking directions, reading menus, and the like. Plus, I think people like it when you make an effort, you know? Instead of being just another tourist yelling in English like it will somehow be understood. ;-)

      I don't think I could ever pants a story all the way through, but there is definitely value in giving it a whirl. Normally, I think I'm a hybrid of the two, heavy on the planner. Often times, my plan will end up changing based on a direction my story takes me through sort of kind of pantsing. :)

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  16. I'm envious of your book club opportunity! I've wanted to join one forever, but it's hard to find a group that actually wants to focus on the reading and book discussion, at least part of the time. And I love all of your photos from your day outdoors. Looks like you guys had a lovely time!

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    1. It's funny, because our last book club meeting didn't result in a whole lot of discussion of the book. I didn't mind because I'm mostly going for interaction with girls my age who actually like to read. (Sadly, I haven't met a whole lot of people like this around here.)

      We're finding so many interesting things in our city that we didn't know about before, so going out and wandering around on a nice sunny day is pretty much the best thing we could possibly do. :)

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  17. Where are you going to be in France? We need to make a meeting happen :D I´m sure your French isn´t that rusty!
    And I very much look forward to hear about your new idea! :D :D :D :D

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    1. We're going to be in: Paris, Versailles, Rouen, Caen, Honfleur, Dieppe, Beaumont Hamel, Vimy, and Ieper. Basically, where all of the Canadian significant battlefields, cemeteries, etc. are located. We might be able to squeeze in a quick visit. :D (They have us on a seriously tight schedule. Craziness!) My French is totally rusty. Well, I guess I should clarify: I can read and understand French no problem, it's the conjugating and speaking that's seriously out of practice.

      I'll have to send you an email with details about this new idea. I think it's good. :)

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  18. OH, you must report back on The 5th Wave (please)!!

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    1. I'll make sure I do. Though, I think it's safe to say that this is one that most people are loving. ;-)

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  19. All words definitely are good words--something I need to remember :)

    And France! I've been to Paris a few times but never anywhere else, and the last time I actually spoke some French :) I don't think I could anymore, so I'm jealous of you reading whole BOOKS in French! Very impressive :)

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    1. All words are good words, which is something I often forget. I get this sick feeling in my stomach like I'm stepping out on THE story I'm supposed to working on, which is just bonkers. The more I write, the better I get, so it's all good. :D

      I've really only spent time in Paris when I visited France before {aside from driving from point A to point B}, so I'm VERY excited about seeing some of what else the country has to offer.

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  20. I love the pictures!!! And congrats on getting those words down on the page. I'm DEFINITELY not a pantser, but the impromptu pantsing has also happened to me. Sometimes the idea is flowing so fast that we just need to get it down on the page as quickly as possible, and let the plotting happen later!

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    1. I think that's EXACTLY what it was. I had jotted down some ideas and they just started to morph into whole sentences and I knew I needed to write them before I lost them. And then 2,500 words happened, which I am absolutely not complaining about. :-) But in the end, I will always be more of a planner than a pantser. I'm already itching to sit down and make some kind of framework for this thing.

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  21. Hi! How exciting that you'll be going to Europe next year! I've always wanted to go to Belgium, which is where my dad's family is from. Also, there is a town in Belgium called Halen. That is Birdy's real name, although we named her after Van Halen, not the town in Belgium. I thought it might be cool to go there. :)

    I'm glad you'll be joining a book club. I've been in one for about four years and those ladies have become some of my dearest friends. I don't get there every month, but I don't know what I'd do without them. AND it's possible to infiltrate with YA. I did it - and we're now on our fifth YA and I'm not the only one choosing them! Just give it time.

    Enjoy the rest of your week - and yay that you've gotten some sunshine!

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    1. Hi! I'm totally excited about this band trip. I've been to all three countries years ago, but this will be SO much more involved, so much better. So, Birdy's name is Halen. Very cool. :-)

      You've given me hope that I can sneak some YA into this book club at some point. I think many of these people would thoroughly enjoy YA if they were handed something really good.

      I hope your week is going well!

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  22. Wow look at all your comments! Scrolling for ages to get to the bottom!
    The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is on my to read list, I've got it sitting here so you'll have to tell me if you enjoyed!
    So cool about this new sneaky little idea! If that's what you're mind is telling you to follow, then go with it! For now at least!

    Re. Game of Thrones... my Facebook literally exploded the other day, I really should read it/watch it!

    So exciting about your trip! I'll be living in London then - you should come visit me! :D

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    1. I'm really enjoying HAROLD FRY. I'm not much of an adult book reader, but the writing is just so engaging in my opinion. I mean, who would think that a 60-something dude going on an extra long walk would be interesting, but it totally is.

      Yes, you should definitely check out GoT. It's so good! Infuriating at times, but good. :D

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  23. Honestly, as bad as That Scene was on the TV show, it was a million times worse in the book because at least this time I knew it was coming. When I read the book last year, I had no idea, and then it just started happening, and I couldn't even cry because I was so taken aback. (Next question: great plot twist, or greatest plot twist?) Also, there's just the fact that reading the book allows you to visualize it and all that, and what happened on the TV show wasn't as bad as what I'd built it up to be over the past year.

    My friend just finished listening to the audio book, which he listened to on his way to work. He said he almost wrecked his car when it started. You saw how suddenly the scene happens, so you can probably understand why :)

    Hooray for farmer's markets! I went to ours over the weekend, too, although I didn't buy anything - I just like looking around!

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  24. Ahh, shiny new ideas. :) Good for you for writing so many words! I don't see anything wrong with taking a little break from your rewrite, especially if it's been stressing you out. As long as you're writing!

    Your European tour sounds AMAZING! I hope you share tons of pics when the time comes.

    I hadn't seen an episode of Game of Thrones but I really want to start watching it now! Even though I sort of know what happened in the last episode. Yikes. :)

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  25. I was just talking about George R.R. Martin and his utter ruthlessness when it comes to his characters. NOBODY is safe and NOTHING is sacred. Gotta love that!

    So jealous of your European tour! You're going to have amazing experiences.

    Awesome pics! I'm loving the weather this time of year.

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  26. Your trip sounds amazing and fun. I like how you're so open to the ladies in the book club too. I'd probably be a little reluctant if they didn't include a few YA titles.

    My coworkers have been talking about Game of Thrones (books and show) too and I might end up picking up one of the books at some point once I get through my TBR pile ahead of it. I'd love to know what you think of the books once you read them.

    I hope you keep enjoying the new idea you have. Welcome to the dark side of pantsing! *shares cookies*

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  27. Oh, no! Pantsing! (just kidding- 2.5 K is awesome. And running with energy like that is a rush, isn't it?) The book club move is brave but smart-- I usually can't stand most "book club pick" adult novels, so I just shy away from them all.

    Your European tour sounds awesome! I can't wait to follow your adventures :)

    And your city looks beautiful. *cue Canada travel cravings*

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  28. After 2 years of reading almost solid YA, I've read more non-fiction and adult market fiction this year. An in-person book club sounds so fun.

    I'm going to check out the ready set write thing now :)

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