July 17, 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
Still working my way a chapter a day through North and South and A Fine Balance. I finished up The Story Of Us by Deb Caletti, which I thought was fantastic, and I've moved on to Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. It's really cute so far! I especially like all of the nods to familiar fairy tales. That said, I can't help wondering if I'm missing some of the less familiar references. Such a fun book, though!


WHAT I'M WRITING
Well, as it turns out, I didn't touch my revision of Watch of Night at all this week. Whoops! I guess I was more inspired to work on the new WIP while thinking off and on about what needs to be done in those revisions. I only missed a daily goal once, but I more than made up for it on the following day, so I'm okay with that. I'm having a lot of fun with this story, and that's pretty much all I can ask for right now. Here are my goals for this week:

          Wednesday, July 17th
          •  250+ new words on WIP and/or long overdue planning/outlining - DONE! (825 words)

          Thursday, July 18th
          •  500+ new words on WIP and/or revisions on Watch of Night - DONE! (tons of planning!)

          Friday, July 19th
          •  500+ new words on WIP and/or revisions on Watch of Night - FAIL. :-(

          Saturday, July 20th & Sunday, July 21st
          •  DAYS OFF

          Monday, July 22nd
          •  500+ new words on WIP and/or revisions on Watch of Night - DONE! (1350 words)

          Tuesday, July 23rd
          •  250+ new words on WIP and/or revisions on Watch of Night


***As always, I'll be tracking my progress each day right here on this checklist. But unlike always, this week I'll be allowing myself to substitute legitimate planning days for any of the daily goals listed above. I feel like it's high time some planning takes place.***


WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
I don't know what it is, but every now and then I go through periods of intense nostalgia, which can be very useful when you're a writer. There's nothing quite like mining your own experiences to enhance the stories you're working on, whether it's digging deep to recall how you felt in a particular moment, or actually using that experience with a few minor alterations to the details. This past week, I borrowed from my (awesome) memories of regular family trips throughout Northern Michigan to add flavour to my WIP which is set in that state. I guess this is a case of writing what you know. Personal experience can be all kinds of inspiring!


Tea + Chocolate + A Good Book:
The perfect combo for a rainy day!
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

One day this past week, I stepped away from everything (namely, my computer aka the ole ball and chain) and spent the day at the lake with a good friend. It was wonderful to set things aside temporarily and just relax on the beach in the sunshine. Aside from that, I've mostly been hunkering down while Hubby's away, writing, reading, and catching up on TV series I've fallen behind on (Haven, Covert Affairs, FNL...). I lead a very exciting life. Right. Oh! And I've been enjoying yummy German chocolate from my lovely CP, Elodie. (Thanks!)


Quick reminder: Don't forget to enter our super rad Writer's Care Package Giveaway for all Ready. Set. WRITE! participants. You can find the Rafflecopter form HERE. Best of luck!




SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU THIS WEEK?


71 comments:

  1. Nostalgia is so much fun, and you're right, it's really helpful when you're writing! Best of luck with the new WiP! If that's the project to work on, go with it. The muse knows best ;)

    Have a fantastic week, Jaime!

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    1. I think this is the first time I've ever really mined my memories for my stories, and it's been fun. I'm really enjoying this new project, so I'll be sticking with it for a while. :)

      Have a great week, Col! :D

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  2. The new WIP sounds fun, I'm glad you're enjoying it. Good luck with your goals this week.

    The day at the Lake sounds lovely. We've been enjoying the hot weather here in Ireland too. Although there was sadly no reading at the beach for me, but a lot of sandcastle building :)

    Have a good week

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    1. I think the idea for my new WIP is tons of fun, but I'm still too chicken to share it with everyone. But I've been enjoying working on it, so that's great.

      I always forget just how many lakes there are around here, so it was fun to take off and enjoy one for a day. And sandcastle building sounds like something I would enjoy too.

      Have a great week, Alexa! :D

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  3. Good luck with all your goals this week! I love looking back on past situations and using them for inspiration, a lot of awkward moment from my teenage years turn into writing gold LOL. Days away from your computer are some of the best :)

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    1. This is the first time I've really used my own memories and experiences in a WIP that I can recall, but it's been fun. There is so much inspiration to be drawn from all of the awkward, difficult, and great moments of our lives, especially during our teen years. :)

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  4. Good luck with your goals! Nostalgia inspires me, too.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! And nostalgia is definitely a good thing when you're a writer. :)

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  5. I'm glad you're enjoying ENCHANTED. I especially liked Grumble, and well, his non-frog form too, of course. I thought it was a really sweet book. Your mention of Northern Michigan is making me feel nostalgic too. I need some Murdick's fudge like right now. I'm so excited that you're devoting time to this new idea of yours. Good luck with your goals and have fun catching up on shows!:D

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    1. Grumble is great. Such a gentleman. (Or would that be gentlefrog? :P) I'd just like some time to sit down and really get into it. I'm feeling SUPER nostalgic about Michigan these days. I'd love nothing more than to pick up and take off to Mackinac Island and smell the manure/lilac/fudge combo again. It's been way too long. We should all go sometime (the five of us). That would be fantastic! :D

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  6. Those bouts of nostalgia can definitely be helpful and those trips sound like a lot of fun! Glad you enjoyed some time off the computer and wishing you the best for this coming week <3
    (and yay still so happy you like the chocolate)

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    1. It's funny how memories just start flooding your mind all of a sudden. I hadn't originally intended to set my story in a particular location, but I got thinking about a place that I loved, that I felt like I really knew, and then the memories started flowing. Great inspiration, that's for sure! The day at the lake was exactly what I needed. It was a gorgeous day, and I could just step away from everything else for a bit. Much needed!

      Thanks again for the care package, Elodie. It was very thoughtful of you! :)

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  7. Personal experience IS very inspiring. Quite a few of my experiences have found their way into my stories.

    And planning is on my plate this week too. I call myself a plotting pantser - more pantsing, a little bit of plotting, but I do need to take some time this week to think some things through. Good luck with your goals this week! And the chocolate IS yummy! Isn't Elodie wonderful?

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    1. I don't really remember using personal experiences much before in my writing, but I think I will be more often from now on. It's been tons of fun!

      I call myself a planner most of the time, but this story has involved more pantsing than I've EVER done before. I think now is the time to rein things in and do some much-needed planning, though. Have a great week, Alison! :)

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  8. Good luck with your writing goals! Smart of you to allow flexibility. Sometimes we need to unplug and unwind. Sounds like you found a great way to do it. Enjoy those German chocolates!

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    1. Flexibility is so important for me with writing. If I lock myself into one thing, the results are often bad. I'd rather get something done rather than nothing. And you're so right about needing time to unplug and unwind. I'd go crazy otherwise!

      Have a great week, Natasha! :)

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  9. Glad you're having fun with your new WIP, Jaime! Go where the inspiration is, for sure. :) And your day at the lake sounds so nice and relaxing...I'm a little jealous!

    Good luck with your goals for the week!

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    1. I really need to get back to my revision, but I'm enjoying following the inspiration where it leads me for the time being. The day at the lake was a much-needed escape, so it was pretty great.

      Have a great week, Kaitlin! :)

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  10. When you finish reading North and South you should really watch the BBC version. (Ummm...Richard Armitage...need I say more?)

    And I go through bouts of nostalgia as well. I love it when your mind suddenly dredges up a wonderful memory in stunning clarity that you completely forgot exisited. I also love it that you are using your memories to add another layer to your MS.

    Your trip to the lake sounds blissful. Stepping away and taking a break from it all is good for the brain. And happy brain equals happy writer.

    Hope you have a fantastic week and good luck with all your goals!

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    1. I've seen the BBC miniseries several times and own a copy of it on DVD. Gotta get my Richard Armitage fix from somewhere. ;-) Once I'm done the book, I'll definitely be watching it again. Talk about seriously hot incentive. :P

      Memories have been popping into my head more and more these days. Things that I haven't really thought about in YEARS. But it's been so, so useful in my writing.

      You're so right about stepping away and recharging the brain. I needed it, and it was worth every sunny second. :)

      Have a great week, Kris!

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  11. Yeah... I've been known to get a bit nostalgic from time to time. :) I think it's part of getting older: with each year that passes, you have a new store of memories and experiences to reflect upon. This is why I think the older you get, the wiser you ought to become, since we should all reflect upon our lives and learn.

    Also, as you say, it's great material for stories... :)

    Have a good week, Jaime! :)

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    1. It's funny, but I'm not generally a really nostalgic person. Sure, I think of the odd memory from time to time, but mostly I spend my days stressing about the future. (Not good.) It was great having so many memories flood my brain this week. And useful too!

      Have a great week, Colin!

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  12. I love that your goals include days off. I need to do that. Some days I don't get a chance to write, but instead of taking it as a deserved break I feel guilty. I bet if my plan was a day off, I would feel much less so!

    Yay for having fun with a WIP!

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    1. Days off are definitely important. If I don't schedule any in, I end up taking them anyway and then feel guilty the whole time about not writing. (Like you mentioned.) This way, I'm guilt-free. :)

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  13. It's so awesome to hear how much fun you are having with your story, Jaime. I also agree with you that digging down and sifting through our memories can be so inspiring! I love thinking about why certain things stood out to me as a kid, and how I might be able to make something similarly impactful in my story. Your day at the lake sounds wonderful, and a good reminder that some days (especially when we are feeling a bit stuck), it's good just to get out and enjoy life for awhile :) Happy writing this week!

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    1. It's funny, but I don't recall having borrowed from my memories before for writing. It's a new thing, but it's been a good thing! Even if we don't use the actual experience, we can always mine it for the way we felt in that moment, right?

      Days away from writing and everything else are great for recharging the brain. Much needed, that's for sure. Have a great week, Temre! :)

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  14. I really liked THE STORY OF US, too. And nostalgia...oh, how I love it! Mine usually strikes when the weather starts cooling off in the fall.

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    1. It's funny, but a lot of my Goodreads friends who love contemporary haven't read this one that I know of. It was such a good book! I think I might have to review it to get the word out there.

      I'm not used to being taken over by nostalgia or including it in my writing, so this has been kind of great. I think the memories occasionally pop up when they're linked to a certain season. In this case it was always summer, so it's not that surprising that it popped into my head this week. :)

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  15. I love your idea of finding inspiration from life experiences. I'm a huge fan of living and enjoying life and definitely agree it's a requirement for writing.

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    1. I guess they always say to write what you know, so mining your own experiences seems like a great place to start. Weirdly, I've just never really done it before. I think I like it though! :)

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  16. I still love (though I haven't implemented) your daily goals breakdown. Like you, I am working on revisions AND (sort of) drafting a SNI. So it's kind of hard to be specific...but I like how you broke it down this week to 'and/or', how that makes your schedule flexible yet still holds you accountable. *likes* :)

    I agree with Kris, the BBC TV version of North and South with Richard Armitage is excellent. Highly suggest.

    Yay for summer days at the lake with friends! <3

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    1. The and/or approach was really important to me. I like having options, but options within certain parameters. If I leave it too wide open, it's unfocused and not at all helpful to me. This way I have a choice between limited options. And I'd like to at least think I'll get back to my revision sometime soon. (So far, so not happening.) Flexibility is key in my process.

      I've seen the BBC North & South several times because it's so darn good! I bought the DVD just so I can get my Richard Armitage fix whenever I want. I've promised myself that I'll watch it again once I'm done the book. Can't wait! :)

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  17. Yay for your writing goals! I like your daily breakdowns. I finished my revisions (after a year) so I am taking a break from writing for a whole month. So far...loving it. :-) Love that you took some time off, spent it with your TV/family & friends. Sometimes we just need that, y'know?

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I find that daily goals works well for me. I've given myself limited options, but having even a couple options is so much better than forcing myself to work on one specific task. Congrats on finishing your revisions and for taking a much-needed break. Just in time to enjoy some summer, too! :)

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  18. I think I may follow you into North and South--I keep hearing about Elizabeth Gaskell lately and she sounds like my cup of tea! Maybe in August, once I finish my Little Women re-read.

    You're kicking butt on your writing--keep it up!

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    1. I love Gaskell's stuff so much. I read MARY BARTON for a course in university and I remember it standing out as one of my favourite university reads. I've seen the NORTH & SOUTH miniseries a number of times, so I figured it was high time I read the book. So far I have not been disappointed. And the best part is that I got to go into it picturing Richard Armitage as John Thornton (the love interest). Love it! :) I also really enjoyed the CRANFORD miniseries (plural) based on Gaskell's books as well. Have to get to those books sometime too.

      Thanks for all the writing encouragement, Jess. You've really kept me going these past several months. :)

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  19. German chocolate... must find myself some now too. My first What's Up participation (so hello there). Loved your description of how nostalgia can be inspiring.

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    1. This kind is Ritter Sport and they have so many tasty flavours. We get them in Canada, so I'm very happy about that. These tasty treats came all the way from Germany, which is just awesome! I'm so happy you decided to join us for WUW! Hello there to you too. :)

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  20. A day away from the computer sounds like bliss, especially when there's a lake involved! I think nostalgia is one of the best resources we can use for writing--tapping into all those feelings and memories and then using them in a scene adds so much, I think :)

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    1. It's nice unshackling yourself every now and then. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I had my cell with me the whole time and everything (every bit of social media and all my email accounts) comes to my phone, so I wasn't entirely cut off from it all. Still, it was nice not to have to really do anything about any of the dings my phone was making.

      This allowing nostalgia to influence my writing is kind of a new thing for me, but I think I love it. I'll definitely be slipping memories and even just the way I felt in a given experience into my writing from now on. :)

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  21. It's always fun to reminisce about fun past experiences, and it's awesome when you can use it to add flavor to your writing!

    I'm glad you enjoyed your day at the lake, unplugged. You need days like that every once in a while!

    I'm a big fan of Deb Caletti so glad to hear you liked her book. I've read and enjoyed all of her YA and she has a new adult book out that I want to read. Her writing is really wonderful.

    Good luck with your goals this week!

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    1. There are so many things I don't remember from my childhood, so it's always nice when a memory pops into my head. This time around it was very vivid and worked well for my story, so I'm happy about that.

      This is the first Deb Caletti book that I've read, so I'm happy to have a ton more to check out. I thoroughly enjoyed THE STORY OF US and think it's a book that any contemporary lover would love. And a new adult book? Sounds great! I'll have to check that out.

      Have a great week, Ghenet! :)

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  22. Ah, the books you are reading sound great! You're inspiring ME with all of that hard work. Well done!

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    1. So many good reads so far this summer! I love having the opportunity to mix things up with a classic, and adult read, and a YA read all on the go at the same time. It's never confusing and it's always enjoyable, which is totally surprising to me. Love it!

      I'm happy with all of the progress I'm making so far with this new WIP and even happier to have so much support from everyone. :)

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  23. Life has this funny way of getting in the way when it comes to writing. I really enjoyed Enchanted, thought it was a fun, original take on the frog prince and various other fairy tales.

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    1. Does it ever! The best part though, is taking life and using some of those experiences (good, bad, and meh) and incorporating them into your writing. :) It's nice to just unplug for a bit and enjoy life too. I'm really enjoying ENCHANTED right now and looking forward to taking it outside for some sun later today. :)

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  24. Sounds like you've got lots of awesome going on!

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    1. Most of it's awesome, so that's good. Can't complain. :)

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  25. You are more than entitled to indulging in days off from the ball and chain, as well as some WiP planning. I find that my writing goes MUCH more smoothly when I've got a bit of a road map to follow. Best of luck meeting your goals in the coming week, Jaime!

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    1. I'm usually more of a planner, but this has turned into Pantsing Novel Extraordinaire, which is just bizarre. I think I do need to take a step back and make sure I have a framework to work with just so it doesn't stray or meander. So far I'm loving it, though!

      Have a great week, Katy!:)

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  26. The more I get older the more I grow more nostalgic over uni times and high school times. I really start to miss the days of mucking about with friends, nights in with takeaway and geeky stuff etc. It definitely helps when you have a group of characters and want to develop their friendships and relationships with each other. :)

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    1. You're so right about developing friendships by thinking about your own experiences with building relationships in high school and university. For me, my high school years feel so long ago mostly because we moved across the country not long after I graduated. It feels like my life has been split in two and those memories from before feel kind of like they belong to someone else. Weird, but true, unfortunately. That's why it was so great to have those moments of nostalgia this week. :)

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  27. I am intrigued by the books you mention, I'll have to look them up!

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    1. They're all really good. I feel pretty lucky to have stumbled across so many great reads at once! :)

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  28. I think it's great you took some time to relax at the lake. It's definitely needed to help recharge the batteries - especially with how much time we spend sitting in front of our computers every day.

    And I totally agree how personal experience can be oh-so inspiring to writing. When I read something I'm totally drawn to, I firmly believe it's because the author wrote it from the heart and blended in their own personal experiences to inspire how it feels. I think you can just tell when this happens.

    Best of luck in reaching your goals this week - and I hope you get all caught up on your TV watching! :)

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    1. The time away from the computer was really nice. I need to do that more often. It's unreal how much of my day gets sucked away by social media and general interwebz wanderings.

      I'm not used to drawing on personal memories for my writing, but I think it's something I might have to do more often. There's so much that would really add flavour to a story! :)

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  29. I am all about the planning. I do more of this in my life sometimes than actual work, it seems, but it's so necessary! It's great to be able to take a few minutes to just sit and think about what you want to do, not what you have to do. That's part of the whole creative process, so I'm glad you're taking a break to plan!

    And without the fun in life, our writing can get pretty dull. Enjoy your breaks!

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    1. Normally, I'm all about the planning too. That's why it's so weird that I haven't done much planning for this story. I really do need to lay out some kind of framework, though. The plan was to plan today, but I ended up writing instead. Oops!

      I agree that writing gets dull without actual fun in our lives. Breaks are so important! :)

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  30. I love the photo of your mug, book, and chocolate. Perfection! :)

    I'm so glad to hear you got to take a break from things - a day at the lake sounds lovely! I don't think I would have stayed sane over the past couple of weeks without frequent NO INTERNET/COMPUTER breaks. It's so easy to lose yourself in all of the computer-related things there are to do.

    And I love that you're having so much fun with your WIP, that you can't help but work on it. Talk about awesome!! :) Good luck with your writing goals this week!

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    1. Thanks, Bridgid! The chocolate tasted like perfection. ;-)

      I think no internet/computer breaks are a great idea and I really need to do it more often. I don't write on the weekends, so lately I've been leaving my computer shut off. Talk about a nice break!

      This WIP is definitely lots of fun, but it needs some planning. I can feel it starting to meander, and I'm not crazy about that. Planning will have to happen this week! :)

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  31. I have one idea for a contemporary kicking around in my head that's a result of my nostalgia for high school marching band. We'll see if I actually ever write it, though :)

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    1. When the agents and editors did that wishlist hashtag thing on Twitter recently, there was one particular agent who said she's still looking for a YA marching band contemp. There you go! You should totally write it. :)

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  32. Sometimes personal experience creeps into my writing and that's usually the stuff that no one believes is possible. :)

    Have a great week!

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    1. Isn't that the truth? I think those are just the most memorable things because they're so weird. I'll definitely be mining my memories more often for my writing! :-)

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  33. I think I'm the last one to comment... and at least the last one to post my link each week. I should come up with my post the day before and set my alarm so I'm the first one to post! Yeah, right like that's going to happen!

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    1. I'm just happy you're swinging by and leaving a link. It doesn't matter when it happens! :-) Have a great week, Dani!

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  34. Hi!

    I forgot to add my post to the link list earlier in the day and I didn't realize the list closed so early, so here's the link to my What's Up Wednesday (or in my case, Monday) post for this week: http://thebloggergirlz.blogspot.com/2013/07/whats-up-monday_15.html

    Thanks for reading! :)
    ~Ella Ink

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    1. Sorry about that! I'll make sure to leave the window open a bit longer next time. Thanks for popping by! :)

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    2. Thanks, Jaime, I appreciate you taking the time to do that! :)

      ~Ella Ink

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  35. Enchanted does sound like a fun read. I might have to add it to my TBR pile.

    Yes, nostalgia can really be great stuff, and when you've experienced a lot, writing what you know is no problem.

    Good luck with your writing goals this week!

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  36. I love me some nostalgia, and it looks like you're already kicking butt on your goals for the week! Here's to more butt-kicking :)

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