February 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop with other folks on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you would like 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.

For those of you who are new to WUW, here are the headings we use:

WHAT I'M READING
WHAT I'M WRITING
WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO


Welcome, and thank you for joining us!


WHAT I'M READING

I started reading The Burning Sky, a YA fantasy by Sherry Thomas. I'm having a bit of a tough time getting into it (the world-building is a bit...odd and confusing), but I feel confident that it will probably suck me in soon enough. I do have to say that I'm tempted to set it aside for a bit to devour my copy of Cress that showed up yesterday. I've been waiting for that one FOREVER.

WHAT I'M WRITING

I actually wrote somewhere in the neighbourhood of 600 words the other day, which I had said I wasn't going to do until I have this thing all completely brainstormed, plotted, and planned. I have been doing a bunch of all three (which has been lots of fun), but then I had an idea for a scene and wanted to type it out before I forgot it. It's wonderful to feel excited about writing again.


WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Susan Dennard's recent Pub(lishing) Crawl post, Increase Your Writing Productivity: The Productivity Pyramid. I used to be so disciplined about my writing. I had a routine that I stuck to pretty well every day. But then I started to stray from The Routine* and eventually that led to straying from writing. It has been ROUGH getting back into a writing routine again. Susan's Productivity Pyramid feels like a fantastic place to start to get back on track.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Nothing worthy of flashing lights and fanfare, but I did fiddle around with my blog design which was fun. The blue morpho butterfly in the header is a nod to the manuscript I kind of sort of (Maybe? Still not sure.) shelved last week. (Ideas to fix it are still trickling in, so...???)

And I've been binge-watching Merlin on Netflix, which I'm actually enjoying quite a bit. It's not without its cheesy moments and laughably bad CGI, but there have also been some really, really good episodes. I'm about to start the fifth and final season, and I'm sort of bummed that I'm almost done with it. It's been wonderfully inspiring for the YA fantasy I'm in the middle of planning.





SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU, FRIENDS?



* Which I can't even type without thinking of THIS. (There is a Friends reference for everything. Just ask Rebekah Faubion.)


62 comments:

  1. I'm jealous that you have your copy of CRESS already, although I need to get off my duff and order it. I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that Wolf is in it a lot.

    It's exciting that you got down 600 words on this new idea, and I'm so glad you're enjoying all the brainstorming and research, I have a feeling this one is going to turn into something amazing. Granted, I still have tons of faith in your other stories as well.

    I really need to implement some of Susan Denard's ideas from that post. I thought it was super helpful too. I especially like her habit of writing 1000 words before doing anything else and keeping track of her word count on a spread sheet. Both great ideas.

    And you know I always think of Ross and Monica whenever I hear the word "routine" too. They have such sweet moves lol :)

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    1. I really can't wait to dive into CRESS. Oddly, I still haven't. I haven't done any reading in the last few days. Having a splitting headache and the barfs doesn't make for ideal reading conditions lol. I expect it to be just as awesome as the first two in this series.

      I haven't been doing any writing/planning either which kind of sucks, but I'm hoping to get back to it soon. I hope this story turns out the way I want it to. I'll definitely be picking your brain a lot for help! And who knows? Maybe I'll fiddle around with WoN a bit too. Ugh. I wish I could just make up my mind what to work on.

      I'll definitely be using some of the tips on that Productivity Pyramid. The crazy thing is that I used to do some of these things already but got horribly sidetracked months ago. I hope it helps me reclaim that routine I once had. All of this routine/Friends talk is making me want to binge watch Friends. Hmm... ;-)

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  2. I saw Susan Dennard's post as well. To be honest, it overwhelmed me because I don't feel like I'm in a place to absorb it yet, but maybe in a few weeks when things settle down, I'll be able to implement a strategy for productivity.

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    1. I used to rock the productivity/routine thing but somewhere along the line got seriously sidetracked. I'm hoping her ideas will help me get back on track again.

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  3. Pretty new design! I opened your page and was all "huh... that looks new..." ;)

    Hooray for getting back to writing, yay! :D

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Cole! Different people have been fiddling around with their blog designs lately and it kind of inspired me to do the same. Then again, it's probably just me procrastinating lol. I haven't done any writing the last few days because I've been sick (ew), but I'm hoping that changes in the coming days. Hope you have a great week too!

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  4. I feel your pain on the routine stuff. Before I started working I had an awesome routine with all my writing and fun and Important Task stuff set out, and that was when I wrote my fastest/longest draft. Now it's all turned upside down, and it's so hard to get back into habits when you haven't done it for a while. Honestly, Susan's post kind of scares me! BUT, being excited about what you're writing is the best way to get back on track, I hope, so I think you're on your way!

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    1. I've filled my days with so many other things lately that it's been really difficult to work writing back in. I'm all about the routine and I know that I'm at my best writing-wise in the morning. I'm really hoping to reclaim the routine I once had. I think Susan has some really great ideas. I'm not sure if all of them would work for me, but I feel like it's a great place to start anyway. :-)

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  5. I've been meaning to check out Susan's post and really should get to it! (love the butterfly in your header :-))
    Hope you get back into the routine and I'm so happy you're excited about writing again (I miss you writing :-)) - and love the Ross/Monica reference, their routine was priceless :-)

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    1. I figured you would get the butterfly thing. ;-) I haven't given up on WoN, so it felt only fitting to put the butterfly in the header. I really hope I can work writing into a routine again because I used to be SO good at that. My excitement about writing was very tied to that I think. Here's hoping that happens soon!

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  6. I love your new blog header! So clean and the blue is lovely.

    I really enjoyed Susan's post as well. After I read it, I clicked through to her personal blog and found TONS of other helpful writing posts. I always learn a lot from her Pub Crawl posts, so I was pretty excited to find a wealth of advice and writing tricks to read through.

    Yay for new words! I think if you're feeling inspired to write, you should go for it. Maybe getting a bit of the narrative will help your brainstorming along? I'm a total plotter and planner too, though, so I do understand your desire to get all of the basics down.

    Hope you have a wonderful week, Jaime!

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    1. Thank you, Katy! You and Elodie inspired me to do something new with my blog and I was really feeling the blue/turquoise thing. And I love blue morpho butterflies so...

      Susan has SO many helpful blog posts and great writing advice. I find it all very inspiring and informative. This post on productivity really spoke to me because I feel like I used to rock the routine thing. I really want to reclaim that!

      I think you're right about the narrative helping the brainstorming. Maybe I'll just have to settle on doing the two simultaneously as the inspiration hits. Who knows? Though, I do know that I want a good solid plan in place before I really get into writing the thing. Hope you have a great week too, Katy!

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  7. I like your new blog design!

    Susan's post is awesome. I try to have a routine, but weeks like this one (2 snow days) mess with it quite a bit.

    Isn't it so great when you barely plotted an idea and scenes are coming at you and you need to write them down NOW? I've been dreaming with a new idea since the holidays and I have about 15 full scenes in my mind, but I don't have time for it on my schedule. I wish I could skip sleeping lol

    Oh, Merlin. Yes, bad CGI and quite cheesy, but so, so good. I loved the bromance between Merlin and Arthur, and it's so cool to see that the actors became really good friends in real life.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Juliana! I felt like I wanted something new on my blog, so of course I procrastinated from writing and did this instead lol.

      I used to be so awesome with the routine thing, but got seriously sidetracked some months back and haven't been able to reclaim it. I'm hoping Susan's post helps me get back on track. Maybe having this new idea and the urge to jot down scenes will naturally fall into some kind of writing routine. That's the hope anyway!

      I loved the bromance between Arthur and Merlin too. That last episode was so hard to watch for that reason. Such a good series, though! I might have to buy it so I can watch it again sometime. Hope you have a great week, too!

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  8. Thanks for sharing the Productivity Pyramid link! I'm *attempting* to establish a writing routine after years of "eeehh, i'll write when I have time," and the Pyramid is definitely helpful! :)

    Have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. Isn't it awesome? I used to rock the routine thing. I even did some of the things Susan suggests, but I've gotten horribly sidetracked these last several months. I'm hoping to get back on track ASAP. I know I'm at my best writing-wise in the morning, so I'm going to have to start carving out some time then to get writing. Hope you're able to establish a routine too! Have a great week, Kaitlin!

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  9. Yay to writing again! I've never watched Merlin, but I always sorta love the cheese factor of shows like that.

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    1. I just finished watching it last night. Being laid up on the couch sick for two days straight allows for a lot of TV time. I really enjoyed the series despite the occasional cheesiness. You should check it out. Oh, and it gets better and better, so don't be put off by the initial episodes.

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  10. Love your new blog header! There's a little cafe in Costa Rica called the Blue Morpho. The owners have collected millions of Blue Morpho butterfly wings and wallpapered the entire interior of the restaurant. When the sunlight pours in, the effect is otherworldly. :)

    Congrats on writing again! It's hard to get back into the right mindset sometimes. So I try to view any progress as a success.

    Hope your week is beautiful and feels like Spring! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kris! That cafe sounds FANTASTIC! I would love to see it sometime. :-) I have a real thing for blue morphos. They're probably one of the most beautiful things ever.

      It's been so, so hard trying to get back to writing, but I think I might be almost there. I've done a bit, but I won't be satisfied until I've established a regular routine again. I hope it happens soon because I'm getting impatient with myself.

      I wish it felt like spring again! We're back down to really chilly weather again. I knew the nice weather was too good to last. Ah well. Such is life north of the 49th. ;-) Have a great week, Kris!

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  11. I really want to blame Amazon for the fact I'll be a day or two late receiving my copies of CRESS and IGNITE ME... but it's my fault, as I mentioned on my WUW post. Anyway, I'll be staring at the covers for a while until I get through THE STAND. I'm sure I'll have that same burning temptation to set Mr. King aside for CRESS... but resistance is good discipline. :)

    Yay! 600 words! A great start, Jaime. Hopefully the start of something wonderful. :)

    Have a great week!

    PS: Merlin was a great series. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

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    1. I haven't been able to do any reading this week (sick as a dog for two days straight...ick!) which is a real bummer. Especially with CRESS staring at me all tempting and whatnot. I'm hoping this weekend involves lots and lots of reading.

      I'm really hoping these 600 words blossom into a whole lot more. But before I get carried away, I *really* need to get the plot and everything else hammered out. I refuse to put the cart before the wagon this time around, especially since this one is fantasy and that requires a good deal of world-building, etc. We'll see how it goes, but I Hope it's the start of something wonderful like you say. Have a great week, Colin!

      P.S. Just finished Merlin and loved it! I might have to buy this series so I can watch it again.

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  12. Is that the BBC Merlin series with Colin Morgan? If so, that was an amazing series. I loved the bromance between Merlin and Arthur. So sweet and funny!

    Yay for 600 words! Knew you'd get writing again soon! =D

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    1. Yes, it was the BBC Merlin and I loved it! I just finished it last night and honestly, that last episode was so hard to watch because I loved the bromance as well. I might have to buy this series so I can watch it again sometime.

      I'm really hoping that those 600 words lead to more words, but first I need to plan this thing all out. :-)

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  13. Yay for 600 happy words and having fun plotting. I really like your new look too. I so need to update my blog header and design, but it always falls to the bottom of the priority list. Thanks for the inspiration! And thanks for hosting this linkup.

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    1. Thanks, Laurel! I was fiddling around with my blog while I should have been doing other things. Like writing. LOL. I kind of wanted to update it and come up with something more fresh and clean and I'm happy with how it turned out.

      I'm also happy about the 600 words, but I *really* need to get back to planning this thing out once and for all. :-)

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  14. I started The Burning Sky, but I had to return it to the library before I could finish it. I'll pick it back up again at some point, but there are so many books begging for my attention, I haven't gotten to it yet. I enjoyed what I did read, though, although I agree with you about the world building. (I was also expecting a straight epic fantasy, seeing as how it was blurbed by Rae Carson and Sarah J. Maas, so I was a little disappointed in that.)

    Hooray for getting back into writing!

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    1. I, too, was expecting a straight epic fantasy and I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that it isn't. I know better than to judge a book by the first pages though, so I'm going to keep plugging away at it. I think I just need to spend a good chunk of time with it instead of picking it up and reading only small bits here and there. I'll let you know how it is. :-)

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  15. I love how PRETTY it is here. I also love re-designing blogs. I really need to leave mine alone...
    I found you through Katy Upperman, in case you were curious.
    I just finished watching all of Fringe, and I'm so sad it's over... I miss Walter ;-)
    This is great fun btw.

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    1. Thank you, Jolene! I think the last time I changed up my blog was about a year ago, so I figured it was time for an update. I'm happy with how it turned out. I'm also happy that you decided to join us! Welcome!

      I watched the first few seasons of Fringe and then got sidetracked and never returned to it. I probably should finish it sometime, especially since it's on Netflix. That means I have no excuse. ;-) Have a wonderful week, Jolene!

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  16. Good luck getting back into your routine. I've never been good about following a routine, but am starting to feel like I need to.

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    1. Honestly, I feel like it's the only thing that has worked for me. I got SO much writing done when I stuck to a routine with little variation. I've been derailed so badly for months now and I kind of blame that on straying from the routine. Hope I can reclaim that soon!

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  17. I'm glad that you reconnected with your love of writing! I have been horrible about following a writing routine. The pyramid looks amazing! I can't wait to check out the link.

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    1. I still haven't reclaimed my writing routine, but I'm hoping to do so ASAP. Honestly, it's the only thing that worked for me. I can't just write here and there. I know I'm at my best writing-wise in the morning, so I need to start carving out time then to write. There are so many great ideas in Susan's post, so I'm hoping to implement some of them soon!

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  18. My husband burned through the Merlin series on Netflix; I saw some of it but I was usually writing and not paying much attention (he works while he watches stuff too, but he retains far more of what's on in the background than I do!). It's a fun show, and I think its own awareness of hammy lines and bargain CG helps. It's not always that serious and kind of winks back, if that makes sense. I'd like to revisit it and watch it more when I'm paying attention.

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    1. You're so right about the show's awareness of "hammy lines and bargain CG". That's it exactly. I just finished the series last night and really enjoyed it! You should definitely check it out again sometime.

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  19. Merlin is one of my favorite shows! I love Netflix! Awesome job on the 600 words. I need to get create a plan for my writing and get in the habit of doing it every day.

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    1. I so need to get back into some kind of routine with writing. It's been so hard lately and I don't even really know why.

      I just finished the final episode of Merlin last night and I'm bummed it's done. I really enjoyed it! I'll probably end up watching it again sometime. :-)

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  20. Ah, the Routine! Love that episode!
    I love Merlin too and actually had to wait forever for Season 4 to come in from my library. As soon as I'm finished watching Smallville, I'm going to go back to Merlin and watch the rest.
    Good luck getting back into your own routine.

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    1. All this routine/Friends talk is making me want to marathon watch Friends lol.
      I just finished watching Merlin last night and I loved it! I'm so bummed it's done, though. I'll have to watch it again sometime. Smallville is one that I haven't watched yet, so maybe that should go on the list. Is it on Netflix?
      I'm having the worst time getting back into a routine, but I'm hoping that changes really soon!

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  21. I wasn't able to post a WUW this week but I wanted to pop in to say yay! I am so glad you started writing again and that you're excited about it. That's even better news. It's true, having a writing routine greatly increases your likelihood of actually writing. I love the new blog design too!

    Stick with The Burning Sky, it gets better. I had the same struggle with it and I'm glad I persevered!

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    1. So glad you popped by! I'm late to responding to comments because I've been sick for the past couple of days. Bleh. Of course, that kept me from writing or reading, so that's kind of poopy. I'm hoping to get back into it right away, though. I was all about the writing routine for so long and then strayed from it and it's been nothing but a fight to get back to writing.
      As for the blog, I felt like I needed something new and fresh. I'm happy with how it turned out. I'm glad you like it!
      Good to know that you liked THE BURNING SKY. I'll definitely stick with it now! :-)

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  22. I love the new blog design, it looks so pretty. You're so clever to be able to do things like that.
    The Productivity Pyramid looks excellent, I'll have to check it out, thanks for the link.
    Enjoy Cress, I loved Cinders but still have to read Scarlett.

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    1. Thanks, Alexa! I wanted a bit of a change and I'm happy with how it turned out. :-)
      I really need to take some of Susan's ideas about productivity to heart. Better yet, to act on them! We'll see how that goes.
      You definitely have to read SCARLET. It was so good! I haven't started CRESS yet, but I'm dying to dive into it.

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  23. Hiya

    Cress looks very interesting. I've added it to my list as well. And i totally understand about the writing. I have been in the same boat but I am struggling to come back. I love Merlin too, though I haven't watched all of it only parts of the first season. It's something on my to do list.

    Angel

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    1. I haven't started CRESS yet, but the other two books in the series were really good. Such a great spin on familiar fairy tales!
      I have been struggling for ages to get back into writing, so I think this productivity thing will really help. I hope so anyway! You should definitely continue to watch Merlin. I just finished it last night and it was really good.

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  24. Oh man, I don't know when I'll get to Cress! I'm trying to start waiting for series finales before diving in, because re-reading multiple books each time really cuts into my other reading, but this series and Raven Boys might have to be the exceptions. Right now I'm just trying to finish Allegiant (although I took a quick break yesterday for When Audrey Met Alice!)

    The blog looks great! Good luck with planning the new piece!

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    1. I still haven't gotten to CRESS either, but I'm dying to do so. I haven't been doing any reading for the last couple of days due to being sick. I pretty much laid around dozing and moaning lol. I think you're smart to wait for series finales, though that's definitely tough with both the series you mention because there will be more than three of each. That would be such a long wait! It's really nice to burn through a whole trilogy though instead of having to wait.

      Thanks (about the blog)! I was procrastinating (big surprise) and wanted something new and fresh. And as you know, I kind of love the blue morpho butterfly. ;-)

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  25. I love your new blog header. And I'm SO happy to hear that you're getting excited about writing again! I love all of Susan Dennard's writing advice posts. I haven't had a chance to read her productivity post yet but it's in my queue. It sounds super helpful already!

    Happy writing this week. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ghenet! I felt like something new and fresh. Plus, I was procrastinating so... ;-) Susan Dennard's post was exactly what I needed to read this week. Straying from a writing routine has been my number one problem. I was SO productive before when I stuck to a routine. I'm really hoping to reclaim that.

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  26. I like the new blog look. And thanks for that info on being more productive. I need it!

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    1. Thanks, Adrianne! I'm happy with how it turned out. :-) That post on productivity was exactly what I needed to read this week. I hope it helps you too!

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  27. I love the butterfly! And glad to see you're getting excited about writing again!

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    1. Thanks, Alison. :-) I kind of have a thing for blue morpho butterflies lol. It's definitely nice to feel even a little bit excited about writing again. It's been way too long!

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  28. The blog looks nice. :) I hope you like your books! Whatever else may be said about The Burning Sky, that cover is absolutely gorgeous and looks very interesting.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I'm happy with how it turned out. :-)
      I think I just need to give THE BURNING SKY more time. I keep picking it up here and there and only reading a bit at a time. It's hard to really get into a book that way. I'm hoping this weekend involves lots and lots of reading!

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  29. It really is great when the excitement for writing comes back, I hope it stays!

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    1. I hope so too! I haven't been able to get to it for the past couple of days because I've been sick, but I'm hoping to get back to it right away. :-)

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  30. Susan's post is awesome, full of great advice. I need to get back into some of those habits!

    Can't wait to read Cress. Glad you're getting your motivation for writing back!

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    1. Her posts on Pub(lishing) Crawl and her personal blog are always awesome and so helpful! I used to actually do some of the things she mentions in that productivity post, but got horribly sidetracked. I'm hoping to get back on track with some of her suggestions.
      I still haven't gotten to CRESS yet, but I'm hoping to this weekend!

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  31. The cover for THE BURNING SKY is sooo beautiful. I hope the story picks up for you! And hurray for the unexpected writing! What a wonderful feeling. I love when it comes naturally like that. Have an excellent week, Jaime!

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    1. That cover is pretty great. I think I just need to sit down with this book and read for a good chunk of time until I'm hooked. I'm sure it will happen, but it's tough when you're reading bits at a time. This weekend will hopefully be full of reading. And maybe even some writing? Who knows? Hope you have a wonderful week, Bridgid!

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