March 19, 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! Remember to leave a 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
Well, I had every intention of picking up Legend by Marie Lu (a reread so I can continue with the rest of the trilogy), but then Rosamund Hodge's Cruel Beauty arrived in the mail, so I decided I was going to read it next. And then I remembered I still had to finish my reread of Half-Blood Prince, so that's what I've actually been reading. (So many books, so little time...) This has never been one of my favourite Harry Potter books, but I'm much more into it this time around.

WHAT I'M WRITING
My sister and I spent this past Saturday doing our own little writing retreat over Google Hangouts. Armed with tea, treats, and a plan, we went for about 12 hours. We took breaks every so often to chat, discuss what we worked on, and to set new goals for the next leg of our writing session. It was a very productive day for both of us and we're planning to do it again this week. This was EXACTLY what I needed!

I worked out a detailed plot diagram with all of the changes I want to implement, then I went to work on the beginning chapters of my WiP. 

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
I feel like this was a great week for progress in a few different areas of my life. I've felt stagnant for so long now, and it's so awesome to see some forward movement finally. All of these positive changes inspire me to bring about even more positive change in my daily life.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Clockwise from top left
1) The pipe band I'm a part of did our annual St. Patrick's Day pub crawl. I spent the evening fundraising until the final set when I was more or less forced to perform publicly for the first time ever. It was terrifying, exhilarating, and practically impossible not to be distracted by the shenanigans going on around us (like people trying to flip up kilts and worse). I didn't play all that well, but I'm glad I took that first big step.

2) While pub crawling, I actually drank a pint of Guinness for the first time ever...and enjoyed it! As someone of Irish descent, I feel like it's somewhat pathetic that I'm only getting into Guinness now. That said, we'll see if I indulge in another pint before next St. Patrick's Day. ;-)

3) My sister and I decided to get off our butts and get exercising. I can't speak for Erin, but I really kind of detest exercise. I've tried various treadmill challenges, but nothing seems to stick. This time around, Erin and I are watching Roswell (for the millionth time) while we speed walk (maybe eventually jog?) into a less sedentary lifestyle. I have to say, the accountability is what's keeping me going. Well, that and the appeal of teen aliens, of course. (I watch Star Crossed, but I suspect I will always prefer the late 90s/early 2000s Roswell aliens.)

4) Before our writing retreat, Erin sent me a care package in the mail! Ever since I was in college, my sister has sent me the best care packages, so this was a pretty great treat. I mean, come on. She stuck Thor and Captain America to the box! There was tea, a pretty mug, writing supplies, and comfy socks, all of which came in handy during our writing retreat. What can I say? I'm a pretty lucky girl. ☺


SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU, FOLKS?


70 comments:

  1. Your writing retreat sounds fun!!! Glad you and your sister had such a great time over Google Hangouts :-) Love those pictures and I´m so happy you feel good about the progress you´ve made <3

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    1. It was lots of fun, but most importantly, productive. :-) It's been so hard getting back into some kind of writing routine, so I'm happy we're doing this from time to time. Have a great week, Elodie!

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  2. Oh i love Roswell :) Well done on the progress with your writing. The writing retreat has worked like a charm.

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    1. I have all the seasons of Roswell on DVD, so every so often I pull them out and watch them again. This time it just happens to be while using the treadmill. :-) I'm thrilled that our little writing retreat was so productive. Very helpful!

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    2. I just popped by your blog to read your post, but for some reason I wasn't able to leave a comment. It looks like the comment option is missing. Thought I'd let you know!

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    3. Thanks. I wonder why that happened. :)

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  3. I LOVE the Half-Blood Prince. Might have been my fav ;-)
    I have never seen a single episode of Roswell. I know. You'll have to ban me, OR I'll just start watching it this week since it's still winter and keeping me mostly on my stationary bike for cardio...
    I did some Facebook word count challenges w/ a couple of fast-writing friends. I cranked out about 15 K until copyedits came... I'm stoked for you and the google hangout thing. I totally want to try this now.

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    1. I definitely like HBP so much more this time around. It's funny, but OotP was my absolute least favourite of the series, but now I think I might be my favourite! Funny how that changes. As for Roswell, it's not without its cheesiness, but I've always liked it. And I think it definitely helps make the whole treadmill thing suck a little less. ;-)
      It's wonderful to be able to work with other writers, and Google Hangouts worked really well for both of us. You should totally give it a try sometime!

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  4. Your pub crawl looks like so much fun. If we lived closer, Trev and I totally would've followed your band around for St. Patrick's Day. Then I could've heckled you while you were playing. :P

    I'm so glad you liked the care package! (I'll say it again even though we already talked about this) I think I forgot to ask about your reaction to Thor and Captain America inside the box lid. How could I resist sending them along? Liam got a kick out of that. Saturday was such a productive and fun day, and I can't wait for our next writing session on Thursday! As for the exercise, the accountability is keeping me going too. It sucks being the only non-runner in my house. Talk to you tomorrow! :)

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    1. We had a way smaller turnout band-wise this year, but it was still lots of fun. I just wish I'd played from the beginning of the night and actually practised all week leading up to the pub crawl. That would have been fun to have you guys follow us around! And heckling would have been the least of our concerns. We had people dancing in the middle of our circle while we were playing. Oh, and people taking cell phone pictures up a couple of the guys' kilts. Classy. (And, yes, some of them were going True Scotsman. As one does when you're a dude in a kilt.)

      The care package was definitely awesome, as were Thor and Captain America. Loved it! I'm very eager to get going on our writing again tomorrow. No big surprise, but I haven't touched my story since Saturday. Ah well. As for the treadmill thing, I would SO love to be able to work up to jogging at some point. I'm not there yet, not by a longshot, but still. Talk to you tomorrow! :D

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  5. Yes, the Roswell alien kids have the power to make you get in shape! ;) Good luck.

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    1. That is definitely one of their powers, I'm thinking. :-)

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  6. Whoa whoa whoa, hang on. You're part of a pipe band?! That might just be the coolest thing I've ever heard, Jaime. SO COOL.

    I hope you enjoy CRUEL BEAUTY. I really liked it. The writing is just gorgeous. Kind of dreamy, actually. Also, I did a big HP series re-read last year, and I was seriously surprised to discover the books that had been my favorites (PoA and HBP) no longer were, and the one book I hadn't really liked (OotP) was now my top on my list. Weird how your perspective changes!

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    1. I play the snare drum in my pipe band. It's tons of fun!
      I'm really looking forward to reading CRUEL BEAUTY. Anything Beauty and the Beast related is definitely something I'm going to like. I'm so close to finishing HBP, so hopefully soon! It's funny, but I agree with you 100% on the OotP thing. For ages it was my least favourite of the series, but on this reread it became my favourite of the bunch! And I'm definitely enjoying HBP so much more now, too. You're so right about perspective changing. Have a great week, Meredith!

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  7. Awww! I would love to think my daughters would do things like that for each other when they get older. Hard to imagine at the moment... :) And I'm right with you on the exercise thing. The fact that I do exercise three or four times a week has absolutely nothing to do with love or desire: it's sheer willpower and discipline. In fact, I'm probably undisciplined in every other area of my life because I use up all my discipline strength to get up off my behind and wear my body out for a while. Watching classic Doctor Who as I exercise helps. :)

    I once asked my Mum what her family did for St. Patrick's Day since I didn't remember us ever really celebrating it. She said, "nothing." It's something that people from Southern Ireland are more likely to observe, and she's from the North. This makes sense, since the South is predominately Catholic, and Catholicism is far more into the observation of saints' days than Protestantism. I had a Guinness, anyway. ;)

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    1. You know, Erin and I didn't hang out all that much growing up (I'm closer in age to our younger brother), but we're really close now. You never know, maybe your daughters will do stuff like send each other care packages one day! I'm glad I'm not the only one who really doesn't love exercise. A lot of the things I love doing are mostly sitting activities (reading, writing, watching TV/movies). So it's always nice to be able to mix something I actually like doing (watching TV) with something I loathe doing (using the treadmill).

      It's funny, but our Irish background is predominantly Northern Irish/Protestant. There's no way in heck they'd celebrate St. Patrick's Day. In fact, when they came over from Ireland, they settled in Southern Ontario which is very orange, from what I understand. There's even a place called Orangeville in Ontario and it's not because they grow oranges there lol. So, yeah, I should probably not be prancing around wearing green on St. Patrick's Day, but it was tons of fun! And the Guinness was definitely good, too. Have a great week, Colin!

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  8. That care package Erin sent you is amazing! Lucky you! And I loved hearing about your writing retreat -- such an awesome idea. I bet you're feeling pretty great about the progress you're making on your WiP. I'm so happy that you're back to it and feeling inspired. And congrats on your first live performance. Very impressive!

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    1. I love getting care packages from Erin. They're always fun! As for the writing retreat, I figure it's the perfect way to throw myself back into revising my WiP. I've been giving it the side-eye for far too long now. I think maybe a solid block of time like that is exactly what I need until I can get to it more regularly. Hope so anyway! Have a great week, Katy!

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  9. I'm so jealous of your care package! And it is so great that you two can write together and support each other.

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    1. It was definitely fun to receive nice mail of the non-bill variety. ;-) And Erin always sends such fun stuff, too. I'm definitely grateful that we have each other in this whole writing thing!

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    2. Oh, and thanks for popping by, Laurie! Happy to see you! :-)

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  10. That is an awesome care package! And your writing retreat sounds like it was such a blast :)

    I think St. Patrick's Day is the reason I last drank a Guinness, but that was many, many years ago. Try as I might, I just can't stomach it.

    Hope you have another great week of forward movement!

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    1. I was pretty happy to get this care package. :-) It was full of awesome stuff for our writing retreat. I'm eager to do the writing retreat thing again tomorrow. I haven't touched my WiP since the last time lol.
      I've tried to drink Guinness before but found it too strong/gross. For whatever reason, I actually liked it this time around. Maybe it was because it was St. Patrick's Day? Who knows. I'll have to try it again and see what happens.
      Have a great week, Jennifer!

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  11. Yay!!! I'm so glad you got some forward momentum this week!

    Congrats on your first pipe band performance! :D And the weekend Google Hangouts writing retreat sounds EXCELLENT. I'll keep that in mind for when Tyler-Rose and I move to opposite sides of North America :'(. I hope you like Cruel Beauty! I thought it was really good. :)

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    1. Me too, Susan! It's taking forever to get back into writing, so a solid block of time to work on my WiP is really helpful right now. We're doing it again tomorrow, so I'm pretty excited about that! You should definitely give it a try with Tyler-Rose. (That's a bummer that you're going to be living so far away from each other.) I'm really looking forward to reading CRUEL BEAUTY. I love pretty much anything Beauty and the Beast related, so I'm sure I'll love this one too!

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    2. If that's the case, I think you definitely will enjoy. :D

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  12. Great job performing in public! That's huge!
    I've had Legend sitting on my shelf for forever and still haven't gotten around to reading it. The library keeps sending me too many books!
    TV shows are the only thing that keep me exercising. If it wasn't for a good show, I would never get on the treadmill.

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    1. Legend is pretty good; I'm not a huge fan of dystopian YA but I did like that one quite a bit. Meeting the author helped because she is fantastic.

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    2. I was beyond nervous, but it helped that everyone in the audience was in a pretty advanced state of inebriation lol. There was no way they'd notice if I sucked! Still, it made it pretty clear to me that I need to practice more. ;-)
      I read LEGEND when it first came out and really enjoyed it. You should give it a try! And the nice thing is that the whole trilogy is done now, so no waiting around for sequels if you love it. As for exercise, I think watching TV shows and/or reading on my Kindle are the only things that would get me on the treadmill. I really don't like working out. O_o

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  13. I love that you and your sister both write and did a google hangout retreat. That's super creative and something so many of us can do! Maybe I'll rewatch Roswell; I've been going through old shows to put on as background noise while I do certain types of writing (I get more done with nothing on but whatever). I finished Gilmore Girls and tried Dawson's Creek, but that one's a no for me. haha.

    Also, I love Guiness but I hardly ever drink it anymore. Not sure why, I should go back to ordering it. I also like Caffrey's if you can find it on tap (not as good in a can/bottle), Newcastle, and Killians; I think those are all Irish beers.

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    1. We were having issues with Google Hangouts a little bit (bad connection, I think) and Skype was not working at all, so it was challenging at first. That was weird, though. It doesn't normally act up like that. Even so, we got a lot done and had fun while doing it, so it was a success all around. And you're right, it's something most people can do! I tried watching Dawson's Creek recently on Netflix (I never really got into it back when it originally aired), and I couldn't do it either. Eek. So, so cheesy. Roswell is a favourite, though, so it's a good treadmill show.

      Every other time that I've tried Guinness I thought it was too strong/gross, but this time around I really liked it. I might have to start ordering it after band practice from now on. (We go to Fionn MacCool's, an Irish pub chain.) I'm not sure if you can find these other beers on tap around here, but I'll keep my eye out for them!

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    2. The other beers I mentioned are all lighter, btw.

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  14. Yay for productiveness! :) I love that feeling of making forward progress. Have a great week!

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    1. Yay indeed! It feels like a long time coming, that's for sure. But it's so worth it when it finally happens. Love it! Have a great week, Emma!

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  15. I love the humour in Half Blood Prince, it has some great comic relief moments. "There's no need to call me sir, professor." Gets me every time.
    Glad you're moving forwards, it really is a great motivator.

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    1. It is pretty funny, that's for sure. I think part of the humour definitely comes from these kids being at an age where they're all angsty and pushing back a bit at authority. I feels so familiar to me as a former high school teacher lol. That line you mentioned made me laugh out loud when I came across it again. Too funny!

      Any kind of forward movement is a good thing, so I'm definitely loving it! Have a great week, Laura!

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  16. I feel so inspired by your blog post today. I'm so happy for you having a great day over Google Hangout with your sis. TWELVE HOURS? Wow. I've never tried Google Hangout, and maybe I should. Love that idea. I also find myself wanting to move my treadmill in front of the TV - or put a TV in the garage where the treadmill is located, so I can try Roswell. And I want to send somebody a care package. How awesome is that?! You are indeed very lucky. Keep up the great work on your novel!

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    1. Thanks! I feel inspired this week. :-) Twelve hours is definitely a long time, but we broke it up into increments with lots of time to chat and whatnot throughout the day. It worked really well when Google Hangouts wasn't being silly and booting us out. Having a TV near a treadmill is the best thing ever. Ours isn't near a TV at the moment, but I put my laptop in front of the treadmill and watch Netflix episodes. Fortunately, Roswell is on Netflix right now, though I could just watch my DVDs in my laptop too. You should totally send someone a care package! I love putting them together. It's so much fun. :-) Have a great week, Laurel!

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  17. Roswell makes me feel old! I remember watching that when I was younger. There were so many awesome shows about in the late 90s/early 00s.

    I would have loved to have celebrated St Paddy's Day but it was on a Monday! No chance of properly celebrating when you have to be in work for the next day. I'm of Irish descent too and I'm not much of a Guinness drinker either. I should like it but the taste is too bland for me. I drink Magners though. :)

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    1. Oh, tell me about it. I remember when it aired on TV too. Eek! And you're right, there were some pretty great shows on around that time. Makes for a great distraction from exercising!
      Having St. Paddy's Day fall on a Monday was kind of terrible. It meant that our band was whittled down to very few members, which isn't the best thing. Fortunately, the pubs were all pretty busy, so it wasn't like we were playing for an empty room or anything. I'm a big Magners fan, too! All of the pubs around here have started carrying it on tap, but it's kind of on the flat side, which I don't love. I'll just stick to buying the bottles and cans of Magners from the liquor store. ;-)

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  18. I am so bad about exercise. If I could work out while watching 90's TV, it might inspire me to get my butt in gear, but I would probably cheat, a lot. I really do hate exercise.

    Have a great week!

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    1. I wish I was one of those people who love exercise. I honestly don't think I will ever be. I mean, I don't mind walking somewhere, but that's usually a lot more leisurely than I'd prefer for exercise. Watching 90s TV definitely helps though! Have a great week, Kate!

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  19. You and your sister have such a great relationship! Love it. The retreat sounds like it was so fun - I've never thought to do one over Google Hangout before but it's a great idea! And her care package is so sweet.

    I have a treadmill and want to get better about using it. Watching TV while on it definitely helps!

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    1. Erin and I are definitely lucky to have each other. We've gotten so much closer through this whole writing process too. The retreat (write-in?) was so productive and exactly what I needed. We're doing it again tomorrow, so I'm pretty excited about that. Google Hangouts really makes it feel like you're working in the same room. Love it!

      I've been trying to get better at using the treadmill for what feels like ages now. It definitely helps to have good TV to watch while you exercise! I'm headed downstairs to do today's round after I finish WUW stuff. Can't wait! (Not.) Have a great week, Ghenet!

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  20. Your online Writers' Retreat sounds like a blast and just the ticket to get your oomph back. Yay for fabulous sisters! And that care package, hah too funny. I'm a big fan of the Put the Thor Back in Thursday campaign because REALLY. ;)

    And congrats on playing live with the Band! I'm sure you sounded awesome. And besides "beer goggles" works for eardrums too. The Guinness-laden patrons probably thought you were the most talented hot-lady drummer EVER!

    My trick for loving exercise, is don't exercise...Play. Remember when you were a kid and you got all that exercise playing tag and swinging on swings and building rafts and then paddling (read: sinking) them out on the lake?! Do that. Do the things that are fun, the things that you love to do anyway. You won't even notice you're getting a workout. (Okay, that was a longer piece of unasked for/unwanted "exercise" advice than I meant it to be. Sorry about that.) :)

    Hope you have a marvelous week and that all that great momentum keeps on flowing!

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    1. It really was a blast, not gonna lie. We're doing it again tomorrow, so that's pretty exciting. This whole process is made a million times easier by having a sister who does this whole writing thing too. And care packages make it that much more fun!

      You're so right about the beer goggles for eardrums too. I think that was one of the only things keeping me reasonably calm while I was up there. Having shaky hands really sucks when you're trying to play an instrument. Eek. But at least I got it out of the way, right? Maybe next time I'll drink more beforehand to calm the nerves lol.

      I'll have to come up with some good "play" ideas to add to my occasional treadmill stints. It would be nice not to have to think of it as exercise. The crummy thing is that we have such a short spell of truly nice weather in these parts. I guess that's where the treadmill comes in handy. There's just something about bundling up and heading outside in less than stellar weather to exercise that just does not appeal to most sane people lol. Have a wonderful week, Kris!

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  21. You and your sister are so cute! I live a few miles from my sister and we see each other every day, so no need for care packages, but the idea is very cool. Well done on your public performance. I know how nerve racking that can be...but it's always best to take risks and put yourself out there! #amiright

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    1. It would be wonderful to see my sister more often, but we live in two separate provinces so that doesn't happen often. I guess we'll have to settle for frequent Google Hangouts! They're definitely fun. :-) I wish I was the type of person who is willing to put herself out there more. I'm a colossal chicken, so public performance is always a challenge. That said, I really wish I'd worked up the nerve earlier in the evening and played at the other pubs. Ah well. Next time! Have a wonderful week, Jessie!

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  22. Yay to writing retreats! It sounds like you two had a great time. That's so sweet of you to send care packages. But then, I think it's neat that you two both are so into writing and get to support each other like that. :)

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    1. We're doing another writing retreat tomorrow, the first one was so successful. Can't wait to get more done! The care package thing has been going on for years now and it's always a treat to get non-bill mail. It's like Christmas in March. :-) It's wonderful to have a sister who is into reading and writing YA like me. I wouldn't trade that for anything. Have a great week, Tonja!

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  23. I really want to read Cruel Beauty. Despite Beauty and the Beast being one of my favourite fairy tales I don't think I've actually read any retellings of it yet, and that one sounds really cool! I read Legend last year and I have to admit I really didn't like it that much, but I know a lot of people really enjoyed the trilogy. :)

    That care package is great! Anything with a picture of Thor/Chris Hemsworth stuck to it would make me smile.

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    1. I've heard only awesome things about CRUEL BEAUTY, so I'm hoping I love it. I also enjoyed OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay which is another Beauty and the Beast retelling that was very interesting. BatB is one of my favourite fairy tales, so I'm always eager to read other spins on it.

      And I have to agree: Anything with Chris Hemsworth stuck to it is pretty fantastic! Have a great week, Jess!

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  24. Care packages are the best! We just got a super one from our friends in Washington. now I have to make a Brit themed one to send back :)

    Yay for having such a productive time and feeling like things are finally moving forward. I'm so happy for you. Long may it continue :)

    Also congratulations on playing in public, I find things like that completely terrifying so I am full of admiration for you. Hope you get to do it again soon.

    Happy Wednesday

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    1. That would be so fun to come up with a Brit-themed care package. I wish I had someone to send a Canadian-themed care package to! My sister and I are doing another writing retreat tomorrow, so I'm fully anticipating getting more writing done. Can't wait! I hope it continues. :-) I was completely terrified performing publicly, which is kind of problematic because it's super hard to hold drum sticks when your hands are shaking lol. Hopefully it gets easier from here on in. Hope you're having a great week!

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  25. The writing retreat sounded like a lot of fun. I recently started watching Roswell on Netflix. I'm loving it so far. Have a great weekend!

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    1. The writing retreat was fun and really productive! Win-win. :-) We're doing it again tomorrow and I can't wait to get more writing done. Isn't Roswell great? So fun! Hope you're having a good week!

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  26. Yay for playing in public! Scary but fun, right? I hope so, anyway :) And your mini retreat with Erin sounds like it was so much fun--and productive, too. One of my writing goals is to go on a real-life retreat one day, but maybe I could start out with a virtual one!

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    1. It was definitely scary but fun. I imagine it will get much easier the more I do it. Since most of the audience was inebriated, it was kind of the ideal first time to play in public. Who would notice if I sucked? LOL Erin and I have another retreat planned for tomorrow, and I can't wait. I would love to go on a real life retreat one day too. That would be fantastic!

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  27. YAY for progress in various areas of life and for your first performance! It couldn't have been that bad, right? Congrats!

    Love your care package. That is so sweet of Erin! I also love the watching TV + exercise. I too am not a big fan of the exercise thing but having something like TV to distract me definitely does help! Speaking of, I never really watched Roswell, but I have a friend who was obsessed with it when it aired. I watched the first episode of Star-Crossed (because heeeey Matt Lanter), but haven't continued. I think it'll be added to my watch-later-sometime stable of shows (of which there are many) because I already watch waaaaaay too much TV.

    Have a great week!

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    1. My playing was kind of bad but that was mostly because I was so nervous that my hands were shaking. Hard to properly manage drumsticks that way. ;-) Still, it was a fun experience.
      I'm a big Matt Lanter fan too, and even though I'm watching Star Crossed, I find the cheese factor a bit much at times. I'm watching it, but it will most likely be shoved to the back burner. I watch way too much TV too, so it would be one of the first ones to go I think. Hey, I could stock them up and then exercise to them maybe.
      I think any care package that comes with Avengers glued to it is the best kind of package. The only thing it's missing is Loki. Obviously. Have a great week, Alice!

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  28. D'awwww! That care package is so awesome. It's cool you have such a good relationship with your sister. My sister lives in another state and I miss her terribly but I'm glad I had the chance to hang out with her this past weekend. And a Google hangout retreat sounds fantastic!

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    1. Isn't it awesome? I was pretty excited to receive it. I'm so thankful for my sister. Her help and friendship is invaluable. My sister lives a province away from me, so these Google Hangout sessions are a great way to feel like we're actually visiting. Plus, since we got rid of our long distance plan, it's free! We're doing another retreat again tomorrow, so I'm pretty excited about that. :-)

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  29. So many books, so little time is like the motto of my life. I want someone to invent a time stopping machine so I can do some serious catchup work with my TBR list. The care package is so awesome! I absolutely love how Thor and Captain America and yelling surprise :)

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    1. I think we all just need to get our hands on Hermione's time turner, wouldn't you agree? Then we could read ALL the books. ;-) The Thor and Captain America thing was one of my favourite parts of this care package. Well, that and the super awesome contents.

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  30. Wow! Best sister ever! And I'm so jealous of the writing retreat. I'm hoping to take myself on one sometime this summer. That is so cool that you are part of a pipe band. I have a brother who owns an Irish Pub just an hour and a half away from me and I've never managed to make it there on St. Patrick's Day. One of these days!!

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    1. Yes, she is a pretty great sister. I'd love to go on a writing retreat somewhere sometime, though I'm not sure how much I would actually get done. This setup with Erin works great! And we get to visit a bit too, which is nice. That's awesome that your brother owns an Irish pub! So cool. I would probably visit way too often. ;-)

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  31. That Google writing retreat sounds really groovy. Sometimes the best writing help and/or inspiration comes from something like that instead of an expensive conference.

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    1. It's a really great way to feel like you're actually visiting with someone. We don't talk to each other on the phone anymore. This is so much better! And it's nice to be able to work on writing with all of your stuff around you, in comfy pants, with a fridge/kitchen just down the hall. Perfect!

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  32. Ooh, pub crawls are so much fun! Though I had to take my share of ribbing, because I never got into beer. I've tried, really, especially being from Wisconsin, but I don't really like it. *sorry!* But a good pub crawl on St. Paddy's weekend is still a blast:)

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  33. "So many books, so little time." TRUTH! (I feel that way about blogs too, which is why I'm commenting almost a week late. Whoops!)
    Sounds like your writing retreat was awesome! I might have to steal that idea, if that's okay. :)

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