November 20, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Snovember Edition

You have no idea how inaccurately this button
reflects the autumn we've been having here.
No, seriously, it's downright snortworthy.
What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop with other folks on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you want to join us, we encourage you to visit a few other WUW blogs each week, get to know some other writers, and spread some writerly love! Don't forget to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post.

WHAT I'M READING
Still plugging away at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Oddly (for me), it's been a hardcover + audiobook combo. (I listened to a chapter while making supper last night.) Did you know that this book is ten years old? Feel old yet? 

Moving on... 

I'm also still working on The Scorpio Races, and it's totally bonkers that I haven't finished it yet. I mean, really. It's a Maggie Stiefvater book, for crying out loud!




WHAT I'M WRITING
The plan is to get working this week or next (probably next) on one of the three stories I have on the go, preferably the one that needs serious revisions (Watch of Night, my YA sci-fi). We'll see if it actually happens. I kinda suck at following through right now.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

I agree with Ben Affleck:
"Batkid. Best Batman ever."
Batkid and the entire city of San Francisco. There's a lot of awful crap going on each and every day in this world, but there's some pretty great stuff too. The kind that renews your faith in humanity and all that. I think this story warmed the hearts of all those who heard about it, including mine.

Turns out another little boy is inspiring me this week: Max, a four-year-old from Edmonton, AB. When this young boy heard about a local mother and her three-year-old daughter who are both fighting cancer*, he decided he wanted to do something about it. He started drawing monsters (how he understands cancer) and selling them--Buy A Monster to Fight A Monster. 50% of the proceeds go directly to the MacNeil family to help them through this difficult time, and the remainder goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. I bought myself a framed "Hand Monster" and can't wait to put it up on my wall as a reminder that you don't have to look far to find goodness in this world.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Nothing anywhere near as inspiring as Batkid's or Max's stories, I assure you. Mostly, I've just been getting our house in order after the move (no surprises there) and trying to get back into some kind of routine. The hope is that by doing so, I'll be able to work writing into my day on a regular basis. I've been reading every so often, cuddling my kitties, and shovelling FAR more snow than I would prefer. (We've had three fairly major snow dumps this month. I'm now calling it SNOVEMBER.) But really, I have nothing at all  worth complaining about, especially when you consider the stories above coupled with news out of the Philippines.

Why yes, I did go out in public in this dorky pom
pom toque. (But only to shovel snow, I promise.)


SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?
HAVE YOU BEEN SNOWED ON YET?




* Amber MacNeil, just finished treatment in October for a brain tumour and not even a month later, she and her husband found out that their three-year-old daughter, Kyla, had leukemia.



43 comments:

  1. Very inspirational stories indeed. Batkid's is too cute.

    Snow? Nope, not yet, but I think it would be the end of the world if it snowed this early here in the south of England. Raining lots though.

    Hope everything settles down soon so you can get back to your writing routine. Best of luck with editing ^_^

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    1. I loved Batkid's story so much. The best part had to be how thousands of people wanted in on the fun. That just makes me want to hug all of SF. As for the snow, I don't mind it NEARLY as much as I mind the -26C temperatures we have this morning. Ughhhhhhhh. The snow, at least, feels Christmas-y. Not so the frigid temps.

      I just really want to get back into some kind of routine where writing, reading, exercising, eating properly, etc. are all part of the picture.

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  2. We had some heavy snow yesterday! It was kind of crazy. Hope you get your routine back soon.

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    1. This was our third round of heavy snow since the start of November. O_o Aside from crummy driving conditions (and all of the shovelling, of course), I don't mind it nearly as much as the -26C temperatures we have this morning. So, so awful. Is it normal to get that kind of snow in the Highlands? You guys are just a bit further north than we are, but somehow I think we get more snow. Weird.

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  3. Oh wow. That story about the mom and her three-year old is heart breaking. But yes - VERY inspiring what that little boy is doing!

    Hope you dig yourself out of the snow soon, Jaime! And good luck with the house-readying and the writing and the reading! Have a great week!

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    1. That really must have been awful news for that family, but I'm sure it helps even a little bit that others know their story and are trying to help out in some small way. It amazes me just how compassionate and empathetic someone so young can be. Definitely warms the heart.

      Hope your revisions are coming along nicely, Alison! Have a great week. :-)

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  4. That's such an inspiring story, I love stories like that which help put my faith back in humanity! There are some awesome people out there :)

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    1. Me too! Especially since both of these stories come up at a time when it seems like there's only bad news on the news. It never ceases to amaze me how compassionate and empathetic people can be. :-)

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  5. "Snovember" love it! Besides a short visit to the frozen Hinterland of my birth, I won't be getting any snow this winter. So I'll just have to live vicariously through you.

    I love it that you bought a monster. Thanks for sharing such amazing stories. It does renew your faith in humanity.

    Good luck with settling into your new house. Very exciting! :)

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    1. I don't mind the snow nearly so much as the -26C (-15F) temperatures we have this morning. O_o Ughhhhhh. So awful. I doubt very highly you want to live vicariously through me right now lol! At least I don't have to leave the house today, and I can stay cozy with my kitties and some tea. (Now I'm curious where this frozen Hinterland of your birth is...)

      I can't wait for my monster to get here. I especially wanted the one that was a tracing of Max's hand (with a monster face in it), because the size of the hand is a reminder never to underestimate someone so young. :-)

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  6. I teared up reading your account of what the little boy is doing for the mom and her daughter. Oh gosh, children have such a knack for putting everything else in perspective. I'm also glad to hear you plan to get back to writing! And finish The Scorpio Races because it is incredibly satisfying. Maggie S. blows my mind with her ability.

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    1. Like I said to Kris (just above), I purposely bought the "Hand Monster" from Max because it was a tracing of his hand with a monster face in it. The size of the little hand is a great reminder not to underestimate someone so young. It never ceases to amaze me just how compassionate and empathetic people can be.

      I'm really enjoying THE SCORPIO RACES, I just wish I had a little more reading time these days. That's where a routine will be very, very handy. And, of course, to slip in some writing finally! :-)

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  7. Oh my goodness, that is so amazing--the little boy drawing monsters. I just want to hug that kid, and his parents, and the people he's trying to help. I love kids!

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    1. It really is a great reminder not to underestimate someone so young. If Max can make a difference, we all can! :-)

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  8. Inspiring story! :) We don't have snow yet, but this winter is supposed to be terrible. Good luck settling into your new house!

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    1. We have more than enough snow right now, and while I kind of wish it would stop already, I'd much prefer a change in temperature. We woke up this morning to -26C (-15F). O_o So, so icky. The house is nearly in order, but there are still those things that need to find a home. Hopefully it will be done soon. :-)

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  9. The story of Batkid really is super sweet.
    We've had a lot of snow too, big surprise. It was so cold this morning that I had to drive my kids to school even though it's only down the road. :(

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    1. The Batkid story had me smiling and choked up all at the same time. I really want to hug all of San Francisco right now. :-)
      Yeah, it's -26C here this morning. So, so gross. I don't mind all the snow (it makes me feel Christmas-y), but I really don't like the frigid temperatures. Stay warm!

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  10. I hadn't heard the monster story yet *sniffles* what a sweetheart of a little boy!

    Snow??? No signs of it so far where I live, other than some flurries. Not that I'm complaining...

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    1. The compassion and empathy of people, especially one so young, never ceases to amaze me and warm my heart. So awesome! So this was our third major snow dump of the month, but that pales in comparison to the -26C (-15F) temperatures we woke up to this morning. Bleh. Ah well. :-)

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  11. That's so cool about Batkid! I'd not heard this story, but I'm glad you shared it. Thanks, Jaime. :)

    We had a surprise snow flurry last week, but aside from that the temps have mostly been too warm for anything approaching autumnal weather, let alone winter. I think that's about to change this week: only one day forecast to be hitting 70. And some of our lows will dip below freezing. About time...!

    I hope you get to some writing/revising this week, Jaime, and that the unpacking and organizing goes quickly and smoothly.

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    1. Hahahahahahaha! Dip below freezing? We're currently sitting at -26C right now. I don't so much mind the snow, but I wouldn't mind just below freezing temps. ;-) I'm sort of envious right now.

      I'm glad I shared Batkid's story, too. I think everyone should hear about this! As for writing/revising, I really kind of feel out of the loop because I haven't been writing or blogging. I think it's high time I got back to writing at least. Have a great week, Colin. Especially visiting with your Mum!

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  12. I kind of love that hat, Jaime!
    We've only gotten a bit of flurrying here so far, but it is pretty chilly outside. Hope you get a break from shoveling soon!

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    1. It was nice and warm, which is exactly what I was going for. I actually bought myself a trapper hat at Target last night, so the hat situation just got a little weirder. (Though, if the stereotypes are to be believed, we ALL wear trapper hats and plaid jackets ALL the time up here. *snort*)

      I don't mind the snow so much, but I definitely mind the -26C (-15F) temperatures we're getting today. Brrrrr!

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  13. I've gotta say... I kind of love your pom pom hat. Though, I wish you didn't have to wear it so early. I commend you for dealing with the snow so gracefully. I would totally be whining. :-)

    I am so happy to hear that you're nearly ready to dive back into your writing and revising, Jaime. I'm itching to read your work, so please keep me in mind when you're considering betas. I'm officially offering my services!

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    1. Well, the hat is pretty warm, so that's good. Though not quite as warm as the trapper hat I bought at Target last night. :P (You know, part of that whole stereotypical "Canadian uniform" lol.) I'd say I can't wait to wear it, but I think the whole frigid temps thing is kind of a turn-off. I don't so much mind the snow, but I mind the -26C (-15F) temps we woke up to this morning. Eek!

      I will definitely seek out your super beta skills! (Though, after reading your awesome work, I'm super nervous!) Best of luck with packing and moving. Believe me, I feel your pain. But once it's over, it's such a massive relief. Hope it all goes well!

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  14. What inspiriing kiddo's. Thanks for sharing. Also good luck with all your unpacking. You'll be back to writing soon, I have faith.

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    1. It's a great reminder never to underestimate kids, that's for sure! The unpacking is so close to being done, I just have to finish up that last bunch of pesky boxes. And finally get my office in order! Thanks for having faith in my ability to get back to writing. I appreciate it. :-)

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  15. Batkid and SF, so very much inspiring to watch that entire day unfold, not to mention, read the comments that people were posting (not a negative one in the lot!). And Max -- I jumped right over to his site to buy one of his drawings for my sister (she's an Oncology nurse at Seattle Children's hospital) for x-mas, but they're ALL sold out! I just sent an email to see if they plan on having any more...love this idea -- thank you for sharing!

    I hope you're getting settled in, in the new house and I also hope writing / revisions come your way soon! And the hat? LOVE. You totally need to wear that out for more than just shoveling snow (sorry about all the snow, too -- feels just like yesterday we all were fed up with the snow and wishing summer was here...how fast it goes, right?).

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    1. Batkid and SF made my whole week. Honestly, I could not stop smiling whenever I saw updates on the whole day. I love how amazing people can be! Like I mentioned on your blog, on the Max's Monster's page, if you scroll to the bottom of the page to the "Framed Monster Prints" link, there are some prints available there still. How awesome that you want to get one for your sister. :-)

      I, too, hope revisions/writing start up around here soon. I feel like the longer I'm away from it, the easier it is to be away from it, which just isn't good. I just need to force myself to get started I think. As for the hat, the sucky thing about hats like this is that once it's on, it's on for good. Especially when you have bangs. :/ I actually bought myself a trapper hat at Target last night. I suppose I'm only reinforcing stereotypes about Canadians, right? (That we basically dress like trappers and miners year round. *snort*) And you are SO right about how fast the summer went. I'm so not ready for another long ass winter. O_o

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  16. At work a couple weeks ago someone came in and asked if we had any toques, and the only reason I knew what they were talking about was your blog. So thanks for that ;)

    We don't usually get a whole lot of snow in my area - it's mostly rain. In a really bad year, we might get two or three storms, but usually we're lucky if we only get one. (I think last year we got dusted overnight, but it was all gone by noon.)

    Glad you're settled enough into your new house to be blogging again! :)

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    1. Nice! I love that you know what a toque is now. :-) I'm happy to spread the word around. I think I would prefer snow over rain in the winter, because all too often the rain is accompanied by that cold that feels like it's going right through to your bones. Not cold enough for snow, but cold enough all the same. The snow is pretty even if it requires way too much shovelling. It's the -26C (-15F) temps we woke up to this morning that I can do without. O_o I'm hoping this return to blogging will involve more than just the weekly WUW post, but we'll have to see. Right now I think it's more important that I get back to actually writing instead of just talking about doing it.

      Have a great week, Stephanie!

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  17. What an amazing little boy. I love your pompoms lol. Wear them with pride and don't worry about others. I hope the move has gone well and not been to stressful for you and snow, yuck!!! once upon a time I loved snow but no more :) Have a great rest of the week ((Hugs)))

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    1. The pom pom hat is totally comfy and warm even if it is a little funny-looking. Though, the trapper hat I just bought last night will probably look even funnier. :P The trouble with hats of just about any kind is that once it's on, I'm not taking the thing off for anything (in public). Serious hat head issues.

      You know, every single spring I say I hope I never experience cold weather again, but then in the weeks leading up to Christmas I'm so enchanted with the snow (maybe not quite as much as we've been getting though). I think the problem lies with the several months of winter we get saddled with. Bleh.

      Have a wonderful week, Joss! :-)

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  18. Freaking kids are amazing, right? I love that story about the handdrawn monsters, and yes to SF and Batkid! What an incredible story. I was getting all teary just looking at tweets and pics. If I were still up in the Bay Area, I totally would have gone. :)

    I love your Snowvember collage! We're about to get rain this week; I know, so exciting, lol. You finish Scorpio Races!!!

    Re: Catching Fire - ah, go watch it so we can all squee together. Honestly, it made me so excited for Mockingjay; I wish I had felt this way coming out of the first HG movie!

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    1. That would have been awesome to see the Batkid thing play out in person. I'm so thrilled that so many people wanted in on the events of the day. As for the snow, I'm hoping that's the last we get for a while. I think we're good at least until Christmas. :-) I'm not sure when I'm going to get to Catching Fire, but I hope it's sooner rather than later!

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  19. Hi Jaime!

    Snow already?? Omg! (Well, I suppose it's not a shock since you're in Canada) Congrats on the move and I absolutely love your pompom hat!

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    1. Hi Valerie! :-) Surprisingly, this is not normal weather for us in November. We don't normally get this cold or this much snow at one time. There are some winters where we get very little snow. I don't really mind all the snow, but I'm hoping we don't get any more before Christmas. Maybe just enough to keep it from looking dirty. ;-)

      Speaking of hats, I bought myself a trapper hat at Target! Talk about weird looking hats... Have a great week!

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  20. I love your hat, I go out nearly every time like that, lol. Today was -20 here in Saskatchewan, I couldn't walk past the five minutes. The little boy is such an inspiration.

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    1. I would probably wear hats more often in the winter if it didn't completely destroy my hair underneath. It's one of those situations where if I put a hat on, it's staying on lol. We got down to -26C yesterday here in Alberta, and then there was windchill on top of that. Eek! Don't mind the snow, but I absolutely do not like cold temperatures like that. I suppose I should be used to it by now, right?

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  21. I nearly cried when I heard the BatKid story, it's inspiring to know how kind people can be. I haven't read the Scorpio Races but I've heard some amazing things regarding it so hopefully I get to it this winter break. No snow in Boston yet, fingers crossed that I'm home in TX for the worst of it!

    Good luck with your writing!!

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    1. It's hard not to get a lump in your throat when you hear a story like Batkid's. So inspiring that so many people conspired to make the day really special for this little guy. There really are good people in this world. :-) I really need to get back to reading THE SCORPIO RACES. I started reading it about a year ago and set it aside, so this time around I need to finish it! It's really good, so I don't know what the problem is. I can imagine there's quite the weather difference between Boston and Texas! Snow is great for Christmas, but I want it gone after that! Have a great week, Patrice!

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  22. Thanks for sharing all of those inspirational stories! I'd heard about Batkid and it made me so happy to see an entire city band together to create this experience for him.

    I really want to listen to the audio books of the Harry Potter series. I've heard the narrator is wonderful!

    I think your pom pom hat is awesome! I know it's only a matter of time before snow hits us. In the meantime, I'm enjoying these last few weeks of fall. Stay warm!

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