July 16, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by me and my sister, Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you'd like to join us, we encourage you to visit other WUW blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! Don't forget to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post. ***And please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided. We really appreciate it!***

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 reading WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER by Jenny Han, and while I really liked this one, I did have one issue with it: Brother #1 was turned into a complete douche for the sole purpose of making Brother #2 shine. It cheapens the outcome, in my opinion. Like the MC has no choice but to go with Right Guy because Wrong Guy is so horribly wrong. Anyway, loved the book but could have done without the character besmirching. Now I'm reading A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller, and I'm really enjoying it. The combination of art (specifically the Pre-Raphaelites) and the Suffragette movement feels both fresh and compelling. 

WHAT I'M WRITING
This week was a struggle as far as focus, motivation, and productivity went. I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked or actually could have. For a moment or two there, I was seriously tempted to work on a third project, but nipped that in the bud pretty quick. That will do nothing  to help with the focus problem. Anyway, I buckled down yesterday and wrote just over 1000 words and made a slightly more detailed outline for IN THE END, which I think should help move me forward. Hope so anyway.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
I'm not sure if "inspires" is exactly the right word, but I do appreciate when an author can so perfectly describe how I'm feeling: 

Thank you, John Green and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
This past weekend we went to Edmonton (about an hour north of here) for a football game and a friend's birthday party. The hubs won the football tickets to see our favourite CFL team, the Edmonton Eskimos. It was my first time going to one of their games and it was TONS of fun. They won too, so that was an added bonus! We stayed at a nice hotel and did a bit of shopping at West Edmonton Mall. It was a great weekend! And it was wonderful to hang with old friends that we don't see nearly enough.

Clockwise from top left: Todd and me at the Edmonton Eskimos game; green and gold nail polish for the game;
canola fields lining the highway heading north; giant Canada flag and the national anthem at the game; some fun
stuff from DAVIDsTEA and Papyrus; Friday Night Lights...Edmonton style; the River Valley view from our hotel.

Other random stuff:
• I got my hair cut this week and I actually  like it. That's got to be a first! It looks much, much nicer now. (I think.)
• I've been planning and prepping a packing list for our trip to Europe in August. I'm the WORST for overpacking.
• We've been taking photos around the yard with our new camera and we're blown away by how detailed the pics are.
• I've gotten myself hooked on homemade iced tea lattes with DAVIDs Toasted Coconut agave syrup. So bad, but so good.
• I've been binge-watching THE MINDY PROJECT now that it's on Canadian Netflix. Oh, the uncontrollable giggles.
• Still having so much fun with the #YAPhotoADay Challenge. These are my favourites this week --» Pic #1, Pic #2, Pic #3


Well, that's it for me, folks.
WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?



46 comments:

  1. I love that quote from Fault of Our Stars. Have a great week, and have fun on your trip to Europe next month too. I'm jealous.

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    1. It's a great quote and it pretty accurately describes the state of my mind right now. What with trip stuff and RSW and just general life stuff, my brain is feeling a bit swamped! ;-)

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  2. Congratulations on resisting that third idea ;)

    Looks like you had a great week, and hooray for liking your haircut :D

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    1. Haha thanks! I knew it was a bad idea even considering it. ;-) It was a pretty great week overall. Hope this one is good too!

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  3. That is one of my favorite quotes from TFiOS.

    Beautiful pictures! Glad you had a great time at the football game. :)

    I tend to over pack too! But I've learned from past experiences when I've tried to avoid overpacking, that's it's best to be overly prepared than underprepared. Have a great week!

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    1. I had actually forgotten about this quote until I saw the movie recently. It so perfectly describes the state of my brain right now: all over the place. All of this trip planning coupled with RSW is sort of making my brain a bit tired. Ah well. It will all be so worth it in the end! :D

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  4. Okay, I want to sneeze even looking at that picture of the canola field. They're so pretty but so terrible for the allergies. I'm glad you guys had a good time at the football game. Trev & Liam are getting all geared up to see the Riders next month, so I hope they win too.

    Seriously, I think you and I have disagreed on maybe a total of two books ever. My feelings on Jenny Han's series were exactly the same. Overall I loved the series too but wished that aspect had been a bit different. A MAD WICKED FOLLY sounds so good, especially the bit about Pre-Raphaelite art--my favourite, as you know. I'm still kind of kicking myself for not picking up the copy I saw on the new releases table at the library, but in all honesty, now that I'm drafting I'd probably crawl through it and have to return it before I was done.

    So you decided not to dive into ONLY ANNIE? Two projects is more than I can ever handle at a time, so that makes sense. That's great that you got your outline done for IN THE END! I hope that makes it smooth sailing for the rest of your draft! :)

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    1. For some odd reason, the canola hasn't really been bothering me too terribly much this year. And Lacombe is totally surrounded by it. I still have that allergic cough, but it's not as bad as it has been in the past. (Right now the bigger issue is smoke from forest fires in all the places. We had to sleep with the windows shut last night because of it, which was just terrible.) It was so pretty driving up to Edmonton! So much canola. It was a blast going to the Eskimos game. Todd and I will have to do it again because it's not expensive at all. The only crummy thing is that they're starting all the games so late which makes it hard to drive home after.

      I kind of suspected you would feel the same way about that book. I really did like it, but I think Wrong Guy can be wrong without the author having to engage in character assassination. He didn't even feel like the same character from Books 1 & 2, which really bothered me. I mean, I suppose you could make the point that Belly didn't know much about either brother outside of their stays at Cousins, but still. I guess this is a learning experience for my own writing, right? I'm really enjoying A MAD, WICKED FOLLY. I think you'd really like it too, especially with the stuff about the Pre-Raphaelites. Very cool.

      Yeah, ONLY ANNIE needs way too much work and since my focus is total rubbish lately, I don't need to add to the problem. There's no guarantee that agent with the #MSWL would even be interested in my spin on it, so is it really worth busting my but to buff it up right this moment? I don't think so. I need to finish the other two first! Speaking of, I still need to decided what I'm going to send you to look over. :-)

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  5. After looking at your #YAPhotoADay pictures, I'm kind of kicking myself for not getting involved. It seemed like it required way too much thinking on my part. I hope you have a super productive and wonderful week!

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    1. When I picked the prompts for #YAPhotoADay, I tried to go with ones that wouldn't require *too* much thought, but I'm still finding it tricky to come up with pics for some of the fonts. I've been jotting down ideas on my calendar for each prompt so that when it comes up I already know what I'm doing. It's been tons of fun! I'm thinking of picking up again in September with it (I'm away too much in August), so you could always jump in then! :D

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  6. Writing's taking a bit of a hit with me at the moment, largely because I'm trying to wrap up some other things that needs to get done, and partly because I'm still deciding between projects. It's always tough when you have a couple of compelling ideas and only a limited amount of time and attention. Well done for resisting the lure of idea #3 and sticking to what's on your plate, Jaime! :)

    Have a great week.

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    1. It really is tough to narrow it down to a single project. I'm working on two projects at once, but that only really works because one is in revisions and the other is still being drafted. It makes it easier to switch gears. I hope you're able to decide on a project that gets you super excited about writing it! We've missed you around these parts and hearing about what you're working on. Hope all is going well with querying and that you get some good news soon! :D

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  7. I love that pic of the canola field - so pretty!

    I've never watched The Mindy Project, it's one of those shows I keep meaning to, but just haven't done yet. It's in my long queue of to-watch shows on Netflix :)

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    1. The main highway running north and south through central Alberta is positively lined with bright yellow canola fields. It's so pretty, but it really does a number on allergy sufferers. Though, that said, it hasn't been bothering me quite as much this year. The Mindy Project is lots of fun. I like that the episodes are short too, given that it's a sit-com, so it's easy to watch one here and there. You should totally check it out! :D

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  8. I love the picture of your mug with balloons on it -- SO CUTE! I'm a bit obsessed with coffee/tea mugs. :) And such a great TFIOS quote...such a quotable book overall! Have a great week Jaime!

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    1. The mugs are a matching set and I couldn't resist them. I actually got a bigger version as well with it's own infuser and lid. I might have a wee bit of a mug-buying problem... ;-) I totally forgot about that TFIOS quote until I saw the movie recently. It so perfectly describes the state of my brain lately. And you're right, there are so many great quotes in that book! Have a wonderful week, Kaitlin! :D

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  9. Your trip to Edmonton sounds like it was tons of fun -- yay for getaways! I hope you're able to find your focus in the coming week. That TFIOS quote should help. Have a great one, Jaime!

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    1. It was lots of fun! Kind of spontaneous, but sometimes that makes it *more* fun. We're definitely going to have to do it again because tickets to these football games are cheap. I'm still struggling with the focus thing. I think a lot of it has to do with everything I need to get done before this trip. My brain just feels really scattered right now. Add to that lots and lots of hot weather and sunshine and the distractions just multiply. Hope you have a good week too!

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  10. A Mad, Wicked Folly has been on my TBR for a while now, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it once you've finished reading it. ^__^

    There's nothing worse than not feeling motivated (trust me - I'm in the same boat right now) but well done on those 1,000 words! :D

    Have a great week!

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    1. I wasn't sure whether I was in the mood for a historical right now, but since it's going to be due at the library soon, I figured I should read it. I'm really enjoying it, so I'm glad I decided on it! My motivation has been terrible this summer, especially with the gorgeous weather and our trip coming up. I suppose it's good that I'm getting back into some kind of writing routine now so I'll be ready come fall to get some serious work done! Hope you're having a great week!

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  11. Um..."toasted coconut agave syrup" how did I not know this existed?!! Yum. (recipe?) :)

    And Europe! How very exciting! I am the queen of under-packing. I show up with one tiny backpack and all my sisters go "That's all you brought?!" (Eldest sister brought 5 matched luggage cases on our trip to Belize. Oy.)

    And I've been a little obsessed with Suffragettes lately, so now I must read A Mad, Wicked Folly.

    Hope you have a spectacular week! :)

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    1. The toasted coconut agave syrup is from DAVIDsTEA. It's so yummy, but probably not great for my waistline. O_o As for travelling, I wish I was an underpacker. I always try to prepare for every situation: cold weather, hot weather, rain, whatever clothing mood I'm going to be in, physical books in case my Kindle craps out... It's super ridiculous. It's especially this time too because I'm going to have my snare drum/harness/sticks as well as my entire uniform, so that's a lot to haul around. I figure if I get started packing early, I'll be able to whittle it down a bit before we actually leave. Fingers crossed, right? Five matched luggage cases?! That's seriously overboard lol.

      You really should read A MAD, WICKED FOLLY then. There's a lot of mention of the Suffragettes, by name even. I'm really enjoying this one. Have a wonderful week, Kris! :D

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  12. Good luck with the packing. I'm another one that seems to always have to empty the closet and then thin things down to what will actually fit. :)

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    1. I pack for every eventuality, it seems. And every single time, I kick myself for overpacking. So ridiculous. I'm going to get a jump on it early so I can whittle it down before we go. Hope that works!

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  13. Ooh, enjoy your trip next month! That sounds fantastic.

    We just bought a new camera, too, and it's awesome when you've upgraded and you see how great the new photos are, =D

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    1. Thanks, Mere! I'm really getting excited now that it's getting closer!
      We bought this new camera in part because we wanted to take great pics on our trip. We're both pretty thrilled at the quality of photos it's taking! :D

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  14. I love the Mindy Project. Such an underrated show. I hope you have a good time in Europe next month. :D Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I really don't know why I didn't get into it sooner. I saw a couple of episodes on a flight to NYC and enjoyed it, then promptly forgot about it again. Thank goodness for Netflix! :D

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  15. That really is a perfect quote, isn't it? I loved the pictures of football fields. I can't wait for it to start back up! August begins the most wonderful time of the year.

    Trip to Europe, sounds like fun!

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    1. It is perfect! It accurately describes the state of my brain right now too. Football in Canada starts up in the spring/summer and goes into November, so we're right in the thick of the season right now. Our team has won every game so far so that's pretty great! :D

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  16. I've gotten better about not overpacking, except when it comes to books. I think my parents hoped I'd pack fewer books when they got me a Kindle for Christmas a couple years ago, but no such luck. ;D

    My eyes itch just looking at that picture of the canola field...

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    1. I always end up packing for every possible eventuality, which is so ridiculous. As for the book thing, I always end up packing physical books in addition to my Kindle because what if my Kindle craps out?! Then what would I do? I'm going to get a jump start on packing so I can hopefully whittle it down before our trip. We'll see how that goes...

      The canola always gives me an allergic cough, but this year it hasn't been terrible. Where we live is absolutely surrounded by canola. It's so pretty right now!

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  17. Those iced tea lattes do sound addictive. (Hope you haven't started something with me now too ;) ) Good for you for not starting the 3rd WIP. It's always so tempting but seems to do little good. Don't worry about not being productive - sometimes laziness is golden. And yay to the short trip away! Looks like you had fun.

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    1. They are so, so good! Though, since I normally don't drink sweet drinks, I *am* concerned about the whole calories factor. The 3rd WiP is already mostly drafted, so it would just be a revision, but I already have a revision on the go in addition to a story I'm drafting, so it's too much. It'll just have to wait. :-)

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  18. Have fun on your trip to Europe! I'd love to go there someday (apart from the emergency middle of the night landing in Vienna, when I didn't get off the plane). I hear you about the packing issues. On my second trip to Israel, I ran out of room in the two suitcases I brought, due to all the stuff I bought, and had to buy a new suitcase (a beautiful green) on Agrippas Street in Jerusalem the night before we flew home. At least I wasn't the only person on the trip who had to buy a new suitcase to fit all her stuff!

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    1. I was actually thinking it might be smart to pack something flat that can be used to bring home souvenirs in. Like some kind of backpack or whatever. We'll have to see. I just really need to pack a little more wisely than I have in the past. Which is why I'm getting a head start. That way I can gradually whittle it all down before we leave.

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  19. I love that quote! Sounds like a great weekend :) I never like my haircuts, ever. I always dread them, because I know I won't like it. Glad yours turned out well though! Europe?? So jealous! Have fun :)

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    1. I had totally forgotten about that quote until I saw the movie. It so perfectly describes the state of my unfocused brain right now. I hate going to get my hair cut because they *never* listen to what I want. A trim somehow turns into "let's cut off several inches" and "let's add a whole ton of layers she didn't ask for". I've had some seriously horrible experiences. The kind where I'm bawling in the seat when she asks me what I think. Yep. So, I'm pretty happy this turned out well. :-)

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  20. Love that quote! :) Hope you get your focus back soon (and good job on staving off those shiny new ideas! :P). :)

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  21. I think 100 words while you're feeling unfocused is awesome. Be proud of that! And I love that quote from TFioS. Makes me want to read it all over again.

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  22. I hate when character assassination happens in anything! Like you said, it sort of cheapens the outcome, or at the very least make me feel like I didn't know the character at all to begin with.

    Love the John Green quote and the graphic, and love your picture collage. Seems like it was a fun weekend getaway. Sometimes, you just need one of those!

    I totally feel you on the packing thing. I always over-pack, even when I try my hardest NOT to over-pack. It is a curse. So I wish you the best of luck with that. Europe will be so fun though! Where are you going? Also, in another twin moment, I got my hair done this weekend too - just re-colored, no cut, but I'm rather pleased with how it came out in the sense that it's actually what I wanted! My hair lady is great, but sometimes I tell her one thing and she does it but in the way that she thinks best & it's not always the color I want...but still looks nice!

    Anyway, have a great week, Jaime!

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  23. Ooh, green and gold - best football colors ever ;) Our team is green and gold too!

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  24. Your trip to Edmonton looks like tons of fun! I have never been to a professional football game and, while I'm not a big football fan anyhow, I think it would be really fun to go at least once. Sounds like you are making steady progress on the writing front and, you know what they say about "slow and steady." :) Have a great week!

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  25. That's a great quote from TFiOS. That book is full of awesome quotes. The one I remember, though not really quote-worthy is something like, "Congratulations you're a woman. Now die."
    Sounds like your trip to Edmonton was fun! I didn't realize you lived that far from there.

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    1. PS- you asked about beaches- I go to a manmade lake in South Calgary called Sikome. It's in Fish Creek Park. It's small and busy but the sand is really nice and the kids love it.
      There's also Glennifer Lake which is near Innisfail (closer to you) but it's rockier and mudier there and sometimes the water is so high that there's no beach at all so it can be touch and go. We take the in-laws boat there though.

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  26. *waves* I'm new here. Thanks so much for hosting this. It's great to hear what other writers are up to. Very inspiring!

    Way to go on the 1000 words! As well as resisting the temptation to switch to another project. Been there for sure

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