August 28, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Final RSW Edition

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, make sure to leave a link to your What's Up Wednesday post in the widget at the bottom of this page.

WHAT I'M READING
I got about halfway through my reread of City of Bones before seeing the movie. As I was finishing it, I was surprised at just how many pieces of dialogue in the book made it into the movie, which was cool. I've just started Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, this month's YA Book Club selection. I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts on it September 3rd with the rest of the crew. Still plugging away at A Fine Balance, which I really can't wait to be done because ugh, and War and Peace, which I'm actually quite enjoying. What a pleasant surprise to find it not only easier than I anticipated, but that it also holds my attention pretty well. I love when that kind of thing happens!

WHAT I'M WRITING
I'm going to just come clean: I feel like a massive hypocrite, co-hosting Ready. Set. WRITE! and I haven't written a single word in about two weeks. I could make all kinds of excuses for failing to follow through, but I'm just going to offer up one: I've been busy and unmotivated. (Okay, two reasons.) What can I say? After this weekend things slow down A LOT for me, so I imagine I'll get back at it then. September is going to be different for me in a whole variety of ways--writing, exercise, diet, among other things.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Travel Alberta has created these awesome videos/commercials to encourage people to visit our province, and I have to say, they're making me want to do more exploring myself. Seriously, if you've never visited Alberta, you really should. It's so beautiful!


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Exploring my province! Well, some of the areas not too far from where I live, anyway. This past Sunday, we climbed aboard a steam train for the Highland Special with my pipe and drum band as the entertainment. It took us from Stettler to Big Valley and back again through gorgeous prairies and farmland. It was such a fun and relaxing way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.


While you're reading this, I am sitting at my sister's place a province over from my own! My husband knew he had some days off, so we decided to pick up and take a drive to Erin's. It's been almost a year since we last saw each other, so this is AWESOME!

Oh, and I got myself a pair of red plaid rain boots! (There's a very good chance I'm a plaidaholic.) Check these babies out, folks:



And now, because you've been awesome, hard-working, and encouraging, we're offering up a little "thank you" of sorts. We will be giving away "fresh perspectives" (aka critiques) to FIVE lucky participants' first ten pages. Each of the hosts will take one set of ten pages and offer up a fresh set of eyes, thoughts and suggestions on your work. The same rules apply as our last giveaway: Open internationally to RSW participants only. It runs until Tuesday, September 3rd and the winners will be announced during What's Up Wednesday the following day. Thank you again for taking part in Ready. Set. WRITE! this summer. ☺

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?


59 comments:

  1. I wouldn't feel bad, sometimes you need a break and some time to just enjoy life. The thing with writing a book is that it's always hanging about your head, which can be awesome, but also exhausting! Ready, set, Write has been highly motivating for me, so thanks for co-hosting and thanks for the giveaway!

    Love your boots!

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    1. I've been enjoying the time off, so I don't feel horrible about that. It's more that as a co-host of this writing intensive, I feel like I should have written more. Ah well. :-) You're so right about a book always hanging around in your head. I'm perpetually mulling it over, jotting down notes, you name it. I think once I'm ready to sit down and write again, I'll have lots to work with. Thank you so much for taking part in RSW, Alexa! It's been nice getting to know you better. :-)

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  2. LOOK AT THE BEAUTIFUL TRAINS!!!!! :D

    Definitely don't feel bad about not writing. Life just takes over, you know?

    Very nice wellies ;)

    ...I will be hopping on a plane and heading to Alberta as soon as I can. WOW. Beaaaaautiful!

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    1. Oh, yeah! I forgot how much you love trains, Cole. :-) It was so much fun, especially since the pipe band was playing while it was moving at one point. People were standing in their backyards watching it go by and waving. And you're so right about life taking over. It's funny because normally I'm not so busy doing fun things, but for some reason, this summer has been a bit more active than usual. I'm actually looking forward to a slower September. I think it would be fantastic if you came to Alberta one day. (I still think a Fortnum & Mason meet-up where we can giggle over how cute Chris Pine is would be AWESOME! Just sayin'...) :-)

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    2. I want that meet-up to happen. SOME HOW, SOME WAY! Tea and Chris Pine sounds like a perfect reason to cross the pond ;)

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    3. It totally does!!! We should make this happen some time. :-)

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  3. It's been ages since I read City of Bones I couldn't really tell what they had taken out, included or changed. I recognised a couple bits of dialogue. Absolutely loved Simon's introduction: I'm Simon Lewis, Keymaster. I can't remember if that was in the book or not but I loved the geeky reference. ^^

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    1. It had been ages for me, too, so the reread was actually kind of fun. There was A LOT of dialogue from the books used in the movies. I only wish Jamie Campbell Bower had been able to deliver the lines in the wry manner book Jace did. I loved movie Simon so much. He was probably the most perfectly cast character. Loved him! That Keymaster line made me snort out loud. Totally awesome geeky reference. :-)

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  4. So basically I need to convince my husband to go visit Alberta :-) When he sees this video though, I might manage! (and I´d finally meet you in person!)

    You know what? I actually think you´ve been a pretty awesome host of RSW! We can cheer each other on for working out in September. I´ve been slacking in this area since the summer started.

    Have fun at Erin´s :-)

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    1. Yes, you do! That would be fantastic. :-) Banff National Park is especially gorgeous, and I think a good deal of footage in the video was from around there, which is not far from here at all. In fact, Todd and I are heading that way this weekend. Can't wait for some mountain time!

      I am ALL FOR cheering each other on in the working out department in September (which is next week...so, better get my butt in gear). I'm trying to get Erin on board, too. I've been lazing about all summer and it shows. O_o And we can look at swapping some more story stuff as well. I think you'll like the story I'm working on right now.

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  5. Cute boots!!

    Really, all of you reading Second Chance Summer need to let me know how it is. It looks so good, but my TBR is soooo big.

    Also, don't feel bad about not writing for 2 weeks. Sometimes you just have to take some time to recharge and live life--and look at all this life you're living! You do cool things every week!

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    1. I love the boots so much! Now I just want the rainy weather to go with it. Because obviously I'm weird. I'm really enjoying SECOND CHANCE SUMMER so far, despite the fact that it's a "cancer book" and given personal (family) experience with the disease, I tend to shy away from them. Morgan Matson is just such a great author, and there's so much about this story I love. I know what you mean about overly huge TBR piles, though. Same here. O_o You're so right about need to recharge and just live. Someone pointed out that it's necessary to actually be able to write. Too true! :-)

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  6. Don't feel bad, we all go through phases where we don't get much writing done, it'll pass :)

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    1. I have a feeling that September will be the month that I dig in my heels and get some serious writing done. Can't wait! :-)

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  7. I am of the belief that writing hiatuses can sometimes be a good thing. Experiencing the world around us and fostering relationships with people who matter make us better, richer writers. So, do not feel bad about doing those things... Think of them as professional development. :-) I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on SECOND CHANCE SUMMER. I'm still thinking about it several days after reading, so it definitely had an impact on me!

    Hope you have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. I think writing hiatuses can definitely be a good thing--this was just unplanned lol. ;-) This has been a busier than normal summer, but it's been a good one. Still, I'm looking forward to September, slowing down, and getting some writing and exercising in. But you're so right about how just living life and building relationships makes us better writers. That's the stuff of writing right there. I'm really enjoying SECOND CHANCE SUMMER (Morgan Matson is a fantastic author), but given personal experience with cancer, and knowing how this is all going to end definitely makes it hard. Can't wait to hear what you think, too!

      Enjoy your week, Katy! :-)

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  8. I LOVE the boots!!! Seriously, those are the coolest rain boots I've seen. And how fitting with your Pipe and Drum band affiliation. I feel like I should be shouting "If it's not Scottish, it's CRAP!" in my best Mike Myers voice.

    And how fun that you and Erin get to spend some quality time together. (I still want you guys to adopt me, by the way.)

    As for the writing...you're not slacking, you're recharging your brain. This is an important step not to be mitigated in its importance. Rested brain is a happy brain. It will express its gratitude by giving you lots of nice words later. :)

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    1. Thanks, Kris! I ripped a giant hole in my last rain boots, so I wanted to get myself some awesome ones this time around. And not gonna lie, the Pipe and Drum band affiliation and my general love for all things Scottish is why I bought them in bright red plaid. Love them!

      I am all for adopting you Kris. As, I'm sure, Erin is as well. You would make us infinitely cooler by association. :-) (And you could teach me how to swim and kayak!)

      Brain recharging = so necessary. This hiatus was unintentional, but it's been good. My story is never far from my mind, but when I'm ready to sit back down again, the words will be so much better. Have a great week, Kris! :-)

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  9. Dude, SAME. Aside from some scattered pen to paper notes for SNI, I too haven't written ANYTHING in 2 weeks. Haven't been revising either. And my excuse is simply that I've been too busy. (I am motivated, but I just haven't had any time. And I have my kid's 17th birthday parties this week...one w/ family tonight, then I have the 2-day Made in America concert this weekend, then back to school next week on Thursday...but they're only half-days...and it's only Th. and Fri., so that doesn't buy me much time, now does it?! BUT, the week after THAT? Yeah, shizz is gettin' real. Some serious writing shall commence.)

    Love those rain boots!

    And, I enjoyed the TMI CoB movie for Jonathan Rhys Meyers shirtless in black leather pants! I don't care how evil he was, he looked hot. Actually. lots of cute boys in leather pants were in that movie, so I enjoyed. ;)

    Have a marvelous week!

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    1. I think the end of the summer has a tendency to get crazy busy all of a sudden, sometimes with no good reason. In my case, everything seems to be happening right now. September will be a welcome break and a great time to get back to writing. And exercising. O_o You sound like you're crazy busy, too! Hope it slows down a bit where you are.

      I definitely enjoyed the heck out of the leather pants and runes. Seriously, every dude should have them. :P

      Hope you have a great week, too, Lola!

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  10. OMG - I want those boots!!! They're AWESOME!!!

    Also, I have had many weeks like that - not writing and then feeling bad for not writing. Blah. But sometimes our brain NEEDS that break to refresh and we need to allow the subconscious to do a little work. So, no worries! You'll get back at it when your brain is ready! Also, Alison's new SAHM job allows her to write during the day now. So, if you ever need a writing buddy during the day, hit me up on Twitter. :)

    Awesome pics, btw! Must come see you in Alberta some day! Have a great week!

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    1. I kind of love them, too. I wrecked my last pair (cheap Walmart ones), so this time around I wanted to get some really fun ones. And since I'm a plaidaholic, I had to have these guys. Now I just need the rain to go with them so I have an excuse to wear them!

      My brain definitely needed the break from writing, even if this hiatus was unintentional. I feel like September is going to be a good month for a lot of things, but namely getting back into writing. We can totally do the Twitter writing thing during the day. :-)

      You really do need to see Alberta sometime, especially the mountains. It's so pretty! Have a great week, Alison!

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  11. Don't feel bad--breaks are good! How will we have anything to write about if we don't allow ourselves some time to enjoy the world off the page (or simply to recharge)?

    It's so great that you are seeing your sister! I'm heading off to see mine tonight.

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    1. The break was totally unintentional, but it's been good. And you're so right about enjoying the world and how it gives us something to write about. Even while I haven't been writing, my story has never been far from my mind. I have a feeling the words are going to start flowing soon. Can't wait!

      Have fun with your sister, Rebecca! I'm having a great time at Erin's. :-)

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  12. Thanks for sharing some pictures!

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  13. Those boots are fantastic! And Alberta is beautiful - I'm a sucker for places with mountains :)

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    1. I'm totally in love with the boots. Now I just need rain so I can wear them without drawing confused looks. Alberta is definitely a beautiful province, especially the mountainous regions. But there's a sort of beauty in the prairies, foothills, and badlands as well that I kind of love. :-)

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  14. Jaime, you have done an amazing job on RSW - not to mention all of the inspiration you've given us fellow writers! Sometimes it's a good thing to take time away then you can come back with clear thoughts, a fresh perspective and sometimes even great travel memories :) I absolutely LOVE those boots, so cute!!

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    1. Thanks, Temre. :-) I'm so happy you joined us for RSW! I think time away is good, even though this was totally unplanned. For whatever reason life just got super busy all of a sudden. I think September will be a good month for a lot of things, and I'm looking forward to it. We have more travel plans this weekend (the mountains!), so more great memories. And is it weird that I'm hoping for rain SOON so I can wear the boots? :-)

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  15. I, for one, think a little slacker time is essential to being a good writer. Scratch that--a good human being! Plus, it sounds like you've been having a ton of fun :) hope you're having a great time with Erin!

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    1. Yes! It totally is. Even if it was unplanned. And while I'm not writing, I'm still thinking about my story, jotting down notes, and so on. So I guess I'm never really completely away from it. And you're totally right about how it's essential to being a good human being. It's been loads of fun, and we're headed off to the mountains this weekend, too! But for right now, we're having a great time at Erin's place.

      Have a wonderful week, Rebecca! :-)

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  16. We all go through slow writing times. We all struggle with inspiration. These things are not abnormal, and you are definitely entitled to experience them once in a while. Your trip looks like a blast! Thank you for hosting RSW, it has been a fun and productive summer!

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    1. For me, it's just been an unexpected busyness that's keeping me from writing. There has been a lack of motivation as well, but mostly it's the busyness. (Which doesn't really end until after this weekend.) September will be a good month. I can feel it!

      I'm so happy you joined us with RSW, Rebekah! It's been fun getting to know you a bit better over the past couple of months. :-)

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  17. Love the pics--your inspiration and travel pics are what made me last-minute upload a few pics to a draft post before I left the house this morning.

    I also didn't write this week (booo) but I went out of town and also shed a few summer pounds before that, and the extra fitness stuff ate into my writing. OK EXCUSES! I will get back to writing.:)

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    1. I'm happy you enjoyed the pics! Sometimes I forget to look around and marvel at how beautiful my surroundings are. This was a good reminder for me. :-)

      Going out of town is (almost) always a good thing, and shedding pounds? Envious! I'm hoping September will bring more discipline both on the writing front and the exercise front. We'll BOTH get back to writing. Have a great week, Stephanie!

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  18. Those boots are amazing!

    Breaks are good for your mind, I think. At least that's what I tell myself. :-)

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    1. Thank you! I kind of love them myself. I just need rain to go with them! ;-)

      I think you're right about breaks and how they're good for the mind. I think September will be a much more productive month because of these breaks. I hope anyway. Have a great week, Jennie! :-)

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  19. Alberta DOES look gorgeous! I've only ever been to Montreal in Canada but I'd love to see other areas!

    I totally understand your lack of motivation because I've been in the same boat. I also hope to be much more productive in September so I'll be rooting you on!

    Have a great weekend with Erin! :)

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    1. I'm not even sure if I've been to Montreal myself. I don't think I have, but I would love to see it! (I've been to Quebec City, elsewhere in Quebec.) Alberta has a lot of beautiful areas to see, especially the mountains.

      I think September is going to be our month, Ghenet. We'll rock writing and a bunch of other things that have been put on hold this month. :-)

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  20. I love the Mortal Instruments series and can't wait to see the movie! Don't feel like a hypocrite for not writing. Life happens, that's just the way it is. And Alberta looks like a mystical land. Hopefully I'll make it there someday.

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    1. I'm really enjoying rereading the Mortal Instruments. It was totally fun to see the movie so close to reading CITY OF BONES again. Can't wait to continue on in the series. I've only read the first three thus far.

      I think I feel like a hypocrite more because I'm co-hosting RSW. The not writing thing is not bothering me all that much, if I'm being honest. I needed the break, and I've been enjoying recharging. I think September will be a good month to get going on a bunch of things again. Have a great week, Prerna! :-)

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  21. This is where you have to be so so so so careful with writing advice. I'm sure you've read 100 times over, "Writers write, so if you're a writer, you write!" And then you hit a slump, where life and lack of motivation derail your writing for a few weeks. You tell yourself, "I'm a failure! I'm not a writer anymore because I'm not writing... and I've let everyone down because I'm not writing an hour every night like all the books say I should be..." HOOOEY! I bet even Stephen King and J. K. Rowling had weeks when they didn't have time, or weren't loving their story, or simply didn't want to write. I think it's well to remember that much of this advice is written for those who doubt their ability. You, Jaime, know you can write, and you are capable of being highly motivated, and you can sit for hours churning out hundreds of words. So you took a couple of weeks off. That just means you're a writer like all the other great writers! :)

    Have a great week, writer buddy!

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    1. I don't think I'd normally feel guilty about it, it's mainly because I was co-hosting RSW. I feel like it's kind of implied that the hosts will all be writing regularly, you know? Ah well. It'll happen when it happens. :-) I think September will be my month for getting a little more disciplined again.

      Thank you for your kind comment, Colin. I feel a million times better now. :-)

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  22. Sometimes it's good to take a break from writing - I really ought to try it! :P

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    1. It really is good to do from time to time. This was unplanned, but all in all, I think it was much needed. You should give it a try! :-)

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  23. I think not writing can be useful in a lot of ways. It recharges you. It reminds you of your life outside of writing. It allows you time to observe things. All of these things are as important to a writer as writing. Don't feel bad about it. Enjoy it. When you're knee-deep in revision or on a deadline, you'll look back and be glad you took a little breather.

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    1. You're so right, Heidi. How can you expect to be a good writer if you cut yourself off from life, the stuff that inspires you? So, so important to recharge. Have a great week, Heidi, and thanks for the encouragement! :-)

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  24. At least you've been having a blast while not writing. That steam train trip looks like so much fun. (But when kilts are involved, isn't fun a given?) And speaking of A FINE BALANCE, I'm glad you're balancing WAR AND PEACE with something like SECOND CHANCE SUMMER. But good to hear you're enjoying W&P! That, to me, is surprising. (I haven't attempted to read it, so I am impressed.)

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    1. It's is seriously surprising to me how easy and enjoyable W&P is. I think the size and the whole Russian author thing was what I found so daunting. Such a nice surprise to discover I was wrong about how tough it might be. :-)

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  25. On the one hand, I want to enter, and on the other, I'm a little terrified of winning. But I never win these things, so what's the worry? But what if I do win?? Ahh! :)

    I'm really late to post my post for the day; it's been a stressful Wednesday. I'm glad your week has been fun! I like those plaid boots. Congrats for getting so far through War and Peace...it's a book that many wouldn't even attempt.

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    1. Haha! You should totally enter. I can vouch for all of my co-hosts (and myself): we're all kind folks and would never tear anyone's work to shreds. :-) Though, I know how daunting it is to share your work with people. Yikes. Just thinking about it makes me nervous.

      Sorry to hear that your Wednesday was stressful. I hope tomorrow is much, much better! :-)

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  26. Ahhh, awesome boots! I'm just making the rounds to everyone's posts. I'm so thankful for Ready. Set. Write! It's really helped keep me on track this summer.

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    1. I was quite taken with them. I love red and I love plaid, so it's a win-win. :-) I'm so happy you got so much out of RSW this summer. It was wonderful getting to know so many people better!

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  27. It's okay that you aren't writing. You are gaining life experience which will help you write later on. I'm so glad I joined this. I'm going to continue to do my What's Up Wednesday posts because they keep me remembering what I need to do! Thank you so much for hosting.

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    1. You can't replace life experience, so I only feel so guilty. (The guilt is more attached to the fact that I'm a co-host, and I feel that as such, I should be writing. Ah well.) I'm thrilled that you're going to continue to join us for WUW! :-)

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  28. Hey, no guilt-tripping too much on the RSW writing thing. Sometimes, we just have to take a break and/or be unmotivated and not do anything. I mean honestly, I'm probably one of the most slackery of the RSW participants! So no worries. :) You'll get back into it when you're ready.

    On to other topics, I love your boots! I also just started reading Second Chance Summer for YA Book Club. Hope I can finish it in time. I keep hearing nothing but good things and I always enjoy a good Contemp. :) Say hi to Erin! Enjoy the rest of your time hanging out. And thanks again for hosting Ready.Set.Write!!

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    1. I'm thoroughly enjoying the break, but feeling a smidge guilty about being a RSW co-host and not writing. Yikes! Ah well. It officially doesn't matter anymore now that RSW is done, right? I'll get back to it come September. (I'm actually kind of excited about getting back into it.)

      I'm hoping I can finish SECOND CHANCE SUMMER in time as well. I have a 6-hour car ride ahead of me tomorrow, so I figure I can make a serious dent in it then. I'm really enjoying it, though! I'll definitely say hi to Erin. That will make her smile. :-)

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