March 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop to help connect writers with others 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 of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love around! 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 are using:

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 finished Splintered and really liked the fantastical feel to it. I wrote a review if you're interested in hearing my thoughts about it in more detail. After I finished that, I finally picked up Kimberly P. Chase's The Apollo Academy, a self-pubbed NA sci-fi that I've been meaning to read for a while. I'm not very far in, but I'm already enjoying it. And check out that awesome cover in my sidebar!

WHAT I'M WRITING
Thanks to another productive Skype session with my sister, I feel like I actually know what to do with my WiP. Finally. For as long as I've been working on this story (3 years) and revising/querying/rewriting/revising the thing (2 years), the stakes have never felt high enough, which is obviously a big problem. After my chat with Erin, I think this has become more clear and I'm eager to start fixing it. Again. *sigh*

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
I find it inspiring and uplifting that when it comes to my WiP, there always seems to be an answer to nearly every plot-related issue that crops up. Don't get me wrong, it usually takes AGES to wade through all of the "this is impossible" and "this is a turd" and "I should just scrap it" before I get to that moment of clarity, but it's nice to know I can still reach that point. It really kind of wipes out all of my excuses.

Seeing things come together for my friend and CP, Elodie, in her self-publishing journey. It's inspiring to see her make her dreams happen.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Well, it's been feeling super springish here this past week (yay!), so I kind of wanted a new WUW button to reflect this melty, warm, non-snowy weather (the flowery tree) and a couple that were just totally different. The last two are a little wacky, but then we never claimed to be anything but. Feel free to use them if you'd like. You can find full-sized versions to resize however you want under my WUW tab above.

The things I do when I should be writing...

Aside from fidoodling with WUW buttons, I haven't been up to much worth noting. I went on an afternoon date with my husband the other day only to be served by one of my former students. In a lounge. It took me the length of our meal to actually figure out where I knew this young woman from. I taught her when she was fourteen and now she's serving me beer.* Awesome. I now have a raging case of the olds.


SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU, FRIENDS?


* The legal drinking age in Alberta is eighteen, so it hasn't been that long, but still. O_o

58 comments:

  1. I almost decided to read THE APOLLO ACADEMY next, but then I settled on IGNITE ME. I know you've been wanting to discuss that one, so I figured I better get on it.

    After that latest Skype session, I was mulling over everything we discussed about your WIP, and I think it's going to be awesome once you make the necessary additions and changes. I already liked it before, so that's saying something! I think you've hit on the thing that's going to make it all click together perfectly and that will probably make a big difference in the rewriting.

    I totally feel old this week too, seeing as Liam just hit fourteen. That makes my head spin. How weird that one of your students served you beer. I wonder if she thought it was funny too. It probably would've been weirder if you'd ordered several beers. :P

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    1. Yes, I definitely want to hear your thoughts on IGNITE ME. Well, APOLLO ACADEMY as well, but that can wait. After that one, I might have to tackle Marie Lu's books finally.

      I'm so relieved that we were able to hammer out the conflict in my story a bit better. Now comes the colossal task of figuring out where everything should happen in the story. Fun, fun, fun. I think our writing retreat will be super helpful for finally making some headway. I really hope it all comes together.

      I can't believe Liam is fourteen now and could technically get his learner's. Eek! That crept up on everyone. It was totally weird being served by a former student. The funny thing is that the whole meal I thought she was someone I'd gone to school with or worked with. I finally mentioned it to her when I figured it out and she said she texted a friend (another student from the same class) and said, "I think I'm serving our grade nine teacher right now." LOL. Good thing it wasn't beers plural. ;-)

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  2. When I bump into one of the children I've looked after when they're 18, I will feel ancient, seeing as most of them were babies ;)

    Sounds like you and Erin make a great team :D Good luck with the revisions!

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    1. Yes, that would definitely make me feel old, too. This was only about five years since I taught her, so that's not too bad. ;-)

      Erin's help has been invaluable. I think because I can sort of talk out the issues out loud and she jumps in and helps me sort through it with ideas/solutions. It's so, so helpful. Now I hope it will be smoother sailing with this revision.

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  3. I really enjoyed 'The Apollo Academy' its good and different. I want to read splintered, but I haven't found a kindle version yet. Being in a Australia sometimes it can be a be hard to find printed version and ordering it in is expensive.

    I totally get the frustrating feel of having a wip that you have written, re-written, edited, re-written for a long period of time. I gave up on my WIP and put it in the draw. So you are doing much better than me. I still think about it now and then, though.

    Love the new badges for WUW :)

    Have a good week.

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    1. I'm about 1/4 into THE APOLLO ACADEMY and it's good. I'm hoping to finish it today or tomorrow. Not sure what I'll read next!

      It's definitely frustrating spending so much time on a WiP, with all of the highs and lows that go with that. But I think that also means it's not meant to be dropped. It just keeps evolving and, I hope, getting better. We'll see, I guess. Have a great week, Angel!

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  4. Hi, Jaime! Love the new WUW badges. They're so fun! Glad to hear you've figured things out with your wip. Have a great week!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I felt like something fun and fresh, so new buttons it is!
      I'm so, so relieved that things are sorting themselves out with this WiP. It feels like a long time coming, that's for sure. Have a great week!

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  5. I love that being able to fix your WIP is what is inspiring you right now (: all the good thoughts!

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    1. After all of the frustration this WiP has caused, it's definitely inspiring to finally figure it out. :-) Have a great week, Fifi!

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  6. The new WUW buttons are ADORABLE! :) Glad you've figured out a way to raise the stakes in your WIP. Hope the revisions go well! Have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. Thanks, Kaitlin! I always have way too much fun fiddling around with these buttons. :-)
      I'm so, so relieved that I finally figured out the stakes thing. It's a long time coming, that's for sure.
      Have a wonderful week!

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  7. I find you're What's Inspiring me section inspiring! Belief in your own story, the drive to continue to improve it, is an amazing feeling. I LOVE THE NEW BUTTONS! I can't wait to use one next week. It's been feeling like spring here too. It was 79 degrees yesterday. *sigh* Though, in a couple of months, we'll be firmly into the 90s with no looking back.

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    1. Honestly, I think breakthroughs in the revision (or drafting) process are such a rush. It's a massive downer to be constantly beating your head against the wall, unable to figure out the solutions to the problems in your WiP. I suppose we need the high of breakthroughs or we'd just toss that thing aside, right?

      I can't even imagine temps in the high 70s. That's awesome! Though, I don't envy the 90s temps one bit. That's a little too warm for me. ;-) Have a wonderful week!

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  8. Love the new buttons!! The Apollo Academy sounds cool, so I might have to give it a try!

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    1. Thanks, Steph! I really kind of enjoy fiddling around with these buttons way too much. ;-)
      I'm only about 1/4 into THE APOLLO ACADEMY, but I'm enjoying it. I want to spend more time with it today.
      Have a great week!

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  9. I loved Splintered! :) It's great to be inspired by your own story, too. Glad you've thought of a way to up the stakes!

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    1. It was totally wild and different, which feels very appropriate for a Lewis Carroll inspired story. I'll have to get to UNHINGED sometime soon. As for my WiP, I'm so relieved that I finally figured out the issues with the stakes. Now to apply all of the changes. :-)

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  10. Those Skype sessions with Erin really seem to help, Jaime. That's wonderful--and a testimony to the need we have to interact with each other on our work, whether it's a spouse, a sibling, or fellow writers.

    The new WUW buttons are cool--I couldn't resist using one today. :)

    And as for a raging case of the olds, how about when you realize you are now older than the entire pastoral staff of your church? And when you start referring to 20-somethings as "kids," that's when the olds *really* kick in. Seriously, though, I don't recall 20-somethings looking so young. I'm sure they didn't when I was that age... ;)

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    1. The Skype sessions with Erin are invaluable to this process, that's for sure. Plus, they're always fun. :-) I really do think that everyone needs a good sounding board or two when writing a story. I just so happen to have a sibling who also writes, which is awesome.

      I totally had fun making the new buttons. I felt like something a little wacky and I think the robot and alien buttons will do nicely.

      I actually caught myself referring to a 20-something as a kid recently. O_o I guess that definitely makes me old-ish. ;-)

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  11. Elodie's path to publication is inspiring me as well. I'm so excited for her! And I continue to be envious of your Skype sessions with Erin. You are so lucky to have a sibling with YA/writing interests that match yours. Something tells me I'll never get my brother on that path. :-) Best of luck with your revision, and have a wonderful week!

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    1. It's so neat to see the process of self-publishing unfold. I've especially enjoyed watching the cover evolve. So fun!
      Honestly, I don't know what I would do without the Skype sessions with Erin. I've felt a bit adrift when it comes to writing for months now, and those chats with Erin are kind of like a lifeline. It's so nice to finally have some idea how to fix the mess I've made of my WiP. You know, we could always adopt you, Katy. ;-)
      I hope your week is the absolute best!

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  12. Love the new buttons - it is spring-like in my part of the world, too, although winter will be back tomorrow. Ah well, a few non-freezing days were nice :)

    Good luck with your WIP this week. And don't get discouraged - you wouldn't still be fighting for the story if it wasn't something special :)

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I really enjoy playing around with the WUW buttons, even if I should be doing something else lol.

      Our whole week is supposed to be spring-like, but I've lived here enough years to know that this is not the last we've seen of the snow. We're probably due for some crap weather right into May, unfortunately. Better enjoy the nice weather now!

      I think you're right about this WiP. For some reason, I just can't part ways with it. I'm hoping these new ideas will make it so much better. We'll see, I guess. Have a great week!

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  13. LOVE the new buttons! I've got Spring on the brain too. Gonna have to steal that one. *yoink*

    And hooray for fantastic sister Skypes to renew your oomph for your novel! Rewriting is hard. Fixing things is HARD. Having another brain to help you figure it all out. Priceless.

    Hope you have an amazing week and that you get to enjoy some of that Spring-ish weather! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kris! I'm definitely loving this nicer weather, though it will most likely pass and we'll be slammed with more snow. Such is life in Alberta lol. Better enjoy the nice temps while they last!

      Seriously, the Skype sessions with Erin are so fun and productive. We're actually planning a writing retreat together over Skype, which will be awesome. Having her brain helping out is definitely invaluable.

      Enjoy your week!

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  14. Love the buttons. That middle one makes me think of Monsters, Inc.
    I've got a case of the olds too- yesterday I bought my oldest daughter her first bra. Yikes.
    Good luck with your WIP. I went through the same journey with a now-shelved MS but I still have ideas about how to make it better and one day hopefully I'll get the chance to go back and fix it. You can do it!

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! I totally thought Monsters, Inc. with that alien button, too. I think it's partly the colour scheme. Well, and that giant eyeball is reminiscent of Mike Wazowski. ;-)
      I'm definitely relieved about my WiP and how it's gradually getting better. This breakthrough feels like a long time coming, though. I really hope I can do this thing justice. Have a great week!

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  15. I love the new buttons! They're awesome. Good luck fixing your WIP :)

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I had way too much fun making them. :-) Have a great week!

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  16. Those buttons are rad! You are so talented, Jaime. I've got a raging case of the olds as well. Ah well, better to embrace it ;)

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    1. Thank you! And I love that you used the word 'rad'. ;-)
      I'm thinking of ways that I can embrace the olds, and they're all making me laugh, so there's that.
      Have a great week, Jessie!

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  17. I wish I had a sister who was into writing and could talk about it all day long LOL So cool that you two can do this together.

    I love the new buttons! Did you design them? Amazing!

    Have a great day!

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    1. I love being able to talk writing and books with my sister. It's so helpful and fun! We're even planning a Skype writing retreat very soon where we can work on our stories together.

      I'm glad you like the buttons. :-) I always have way too much fun making them. You know, when I should be writing lol.

      Have a wonderful week, Juliana!

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  18. Love the new badges! And yay for figuring out how to fix your manuscript! Good luck with your revision. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ghenet! They were fun to make. :-) This breakthrough with my WiP was definitely long overdue, so I'm pretty eager to get working on it again. Have a great week!

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  19. I love the new badges! Good luck getting your WiP in order. It may be a long time coming, but you are making progress.

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    1. Thanks, Kate!
      It's nice to know that even though this story is taking forever, it can still evolve and get better. Makes me excited to really get working on it. :-)

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  20. I love the new badges too! They are adorable.

    I'm so pleased your writing is going well, it must be great to have Erin to bounce ideas off. Hope it keeps going well.

    I still can't believe I have a child who is in school, feeling very old!

    Have a lovely week jaime, I'm happy to be back What's Up Wednesdaying - I missed it :D

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    1. Thanks, Alexa! They were fun to make and I'm glad people seem to like them. :-)
      I'm happy you're back! Life just gets so busy sometimes, doesn't it? I definitely love having Erin to bounce ideas off of. I don't know what I'd do without her help. Have a great week!

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  21. Cute new springy badges! We are finally starting to see the initial signs that spring might actually exist. Hurray!

    Good luck with your revisions - you can do it! :)

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    1. Thanks, Sara! I felt like the spring buttons might make me feel more springish. The weather definitely feels that way.
      Hope you're having a great week!

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  22. Yay for finding a direction with your WIP!! And this is the first time I've realized that you and Erin are sisters...COOL!!!

    Thanks for doing these WUW posts. I'm just now joining in--but I've thought they were fun for a while! :D

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    1. It feels like a long time coming, but I'm so happy that I've resolved this major plot issue. Erin is definitely a big help that way!
      I'm glad you decided to join us for WUW. It's just nice to touch base with other writers regularly, you know? Hope you have a great week!

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  23. Well, the kids from the classes I had during my student teaching are going into high school in the fall, so that's super weird. And I work with a couple high schoolers at my other job and while I haven't had either of them in my classes so far, I could, which is super awkward, I guess, because that job is waaaaaay more relaxed than teaching.

    Good luck with your revisions!

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    1. Oh, wow. That would definitely be awkward if you ended up working with students you could potential end up teaching. I hope for your sake that never happens!

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  24. I love the new buttons. They are beautiful!

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  25. The new buttons are very cute, particularly the alien one.

    My mother frequently runs into her community college students, both past and present, at restaurants, grocery stores, bookstores, etc. Sometimes she hasn't recognised them right away either. When I was working as a bagger at Stop and Shop when I was nineteen, one of my customers was my Italian teacher from my senior year of high school. I don't know if she recognised me, since she never said anything.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie-Anne! They were pretty fun to make. :-)
      I think it's always a bit awkward running into teachers or students in a completely different context. So weird to think these people actually have lives outside of school lol.

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  26. I love the new buttons!!! And yay for productive Skype chats that help you break through in your writing -- those are the best, especially to help get those creative juices flowing.

    And I know exactly what you mean by a case of olds. Ugh. I started a new job at Microsoft in December and the average age on my team is somewhere around 23. In most cases, this is their very first corporate job - so there's a lot of feeling entitled, gossip, arguing, crying...you name it. I completely remember being there myself, but now I've somehow had to come to grips that I'm the old one on the team. So. Gross.

    Hope you've been well, Jaime - it's been forever!!!! Best of luck with your WIP, too!

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    1. Thanks, Erin! As for the Skype chats, I think I would have given up on this story a long time ago if it wasn't for Erin helping me sort through the issues and come up with good solutions. So helpful!

      I worked at Starbucks again recently (after teaching for two years) and everyone I worked with was barely out of high school. I was already in my 30s, so it was a bit trying at times, not gonna lie. I have to agree that it feels gross. :P

      Nice to chat with you again! It has been forever. :-)

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  27. It's so great that you were able to find the right stakes for your WiP! Chatting with other writers always helps energize me as well :) Glad your sister was able to help you! Good luck on revising.

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    1. Such a relief! I've been so ready to shelf this thing so many times, but this breakthrough feels like that thing that will keep me going until it's finally finished. Thank goodness for that! I'm so lucky to have my sister to help me out like that. :-)

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  28. Your buttons are always so cute! Love them. It's been feeling like downright summer hereabouts. I hear we're going to hit the 90s this weekend because apparently California has no idea what winter/spring feels like. :P But I love sun, so I'm not really complaining.

    I always think it's so great that you can talk to your sister about writing stuff. My sister and I have a lot in common, but writing is not one of them, haha. It's ok. I need someone to binge-watch TV with. Good luck with getting that WIP in shape! You can do it!

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    1. Thanks, Alice! :-) While I'd love even nicer weather than we're having right now, I think temps in the 90s would be too much for me. Is it humid too when it gets that hot? The hubs and I were in the Orange County area back in July of 2006 and couldn't believe how humid it was. It felt like walking into a brick wall of moisture lol. Then again, Alberta is pretty darn dry most the time, so we were probably just shocked by the difference.

      It's awesome being able to talk writing and reading (both YA) with my sister. I honestly don't know what I would do without that. My hubby's the one I get to binge watch TV shows with, so that's pretty cool. :-) Hope you have an awesome week! And enjoy that sunshine!

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    2. It's actually not humid at all, at least not in LA County. Once in a while we get humid days, but I think if you're not by the ocean, it's pretty dry. We are, after all, a desert. Maybe you were in the OC on one of those weird days? I feel you on the humidity though. I can take heat, but if you add humidity (like the types of summers you get in NYC or say, Taiwan), it is miserable. I spent one summer in Taiwan, and it felt like I was breathing water sometimes, haha. It was so humid!

      Thanks and you enjoy your nicer weather too! :)

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  29. Cute new WUW buttons! I love them all. You are a woman of many talents!
    I'm so glad you were able to figure out solutions to your WIP. That's so awesome you and your sister are both writers.
    I had a case of the olds at an Imagine Dragons/The Naked and Famous concert last night. Most of the kids there were just that--kids. Like, 14-18 years old. But I probably had more fun than them because I was not afraid to dance and sing along. :)

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