October 1, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop created by me and my sister, Erin Funk, to help writers connect. With that aim in mind, we encourage all participants to stop by other WUW blogs, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly encouragement around. But before you go, be sure to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post. ***Also, please remember to link back to the host blogs and/or use a WUW button. We really appreciate it!*** For those of you who are new, here are the headings we are using:

WHAT I'M READING
WHAT I'M WRITING

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO


WHAT I'M READING
I'm just about done SABRIEL by Garth Nix, and I'm only so-so on it, unfortunately. I've heard so many people raving about this series, but so far it's not really my cup of tea. Such is life, right? Next up is Jennifer Robson's SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE, an adult historical romance set during WWI, and I'm really excited about this one. The cover blurb says "fans of Downton Abbey will devour this novel", so between that and the fact that I'm currently plotting a WWI story of my own, I'm hooked!

WHAT I'M WRITING
Not writing, researching. Research, research, and more research. Like I mentioned, I'm planning a WWI story, so getting the historical details right is hugely important. It's amazing just how much there is to learn and how incredibly interesting it all is. That said, there's an abundance of WWII resources and a good deal less about WWI, which means this will require some digging. The WWI battle at Vimy Ridge is of particular significance to Canadians, so I want to do this story justice.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
I'm sure this isn't a novel idea for most of you, but I've found creating a mood board for this story has been all kinds of inspiring. Yes, I'm on Pinterest. Yes, I have secret boards for my WiPs. Which is great, but mood boards are even better because they take those inspiration pics and cluster them together into one giant picture/collage. I'm using my mood board as the desktop wallpaper on my computer right now. That way every time I turn the thing on or use it throughout the day, I'm reminded, "Hey there, you should be working on your story" and I'm (not always, but usually) inspired to do exactly that thanks to the mood board pics. I wanted it to look a bit like a stack of photos tossed haphazardly on a table, which I think it sort of accomplishes, so YAY!


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
• trekking to the library to sign out and/or pick up books on the First World War
• watching period TV dramas like Endeavour (UK) and Murdoch Mysteries (CAN)
• knitting the sweater to the right from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits book
• attending a Dessert Gala in support of the pediatrics wing of the local hospital
• laughing myself silly at the cheesy and clich√© magician* at this Dessert Gala
• substitute teaching and getting stung by a nasty wasp while on the job (OUCH!)
• drinking cup after cup of tea, eating ginger crinkle cookies, enjoying autumn
• seeing THE MAZE RUNNER movie, disliking the excessive shaky cam technique

* Purple shirt/vest combo, zipper/buckle pants, and lame tricks to a soundtrack of "The Final Countdown". Oh, the snickers and snorts.


WELL, THAT'S IT FOR ME, FOLKS. SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?



40 comments:

  1. I keep meaning to try the mood board thing! I think it would definitely help. Also, omg you have to show us your finished sweater. That is such a cool pattern!

    As for Sabriel, sad to hear that you're so-so on it, but like you said, everyone has different tastes! I have to admit myself that my great love for it stems from the 1 time I read it when I was like 15 - one of the few YA I read as a YA! - and I just remember being so taken with the world. That's probably my favorite part: the world-building (such a fascinating system with the Bells and Death) and Sabriel as a more than competent female MC and Mogget. :) I haven't re-read the book since so I'm honestly a little scared about how it will hold up!

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    1. You should definitely consider whipping up a mood board for your WiPs. It's just one more thing to provide inspiration, you know? Mine is really keeping me inspired. :-) I'll definitely post pics of the sweater once it's complete. The back pattern is supposed to look like owls, but I'm not sure that mine is quite so obvious. It looks nice, but not quite as owly is one.

      SABRIEL is definitely well-written, I just wish it had a few more characters in it. For the longest time it was just Sabriel and Mogget before the other dude showed up. A lot of setting description too, which always makes it feel bogged down to me. Ah well. Like you say, everyone has different tastes. I also tend to like a bit more swoon in my books too. ;-)

      Have a great week, Alice!

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  2. Jaime - Ahh! I just lost my entire comment! Here's the gist of it:

    I LOVE the sweater pattern you're working on. I knit as well.

    I use Pinterest in a similar way! I have multiple boards for each book. I've found it helpful to have an MC board for clothing choices and so I can see the MC's room and visualize the things they would choose to surround themselves with. There's something magical about having these boards at your fingertips!

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    1. I've been knitting for years, but hadn't done it for some time. In the past year I've really gotten into it again. I loved this pattern when I saw it, so I wanted to give it a whirl. I'm not sure mine looks as owl-y as this one does, but it's still turning out really nice!

      I love how you're using your Pinterest boards. I might have to consider doing that as well. I'm a very visual person when it comes to writing, so that might help inspire me. Have a great week! :D

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  3. I've had SABRIEL sitting on my shelf for years now, and for whatever reason I've never gotten around to reading it. Can't say I'm terribly excited to get to it now either, because you and I usually have the same taste. That's too bad. SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE on the other hand, sounds really good!

    I'm happy that your research is going well and that this story idea is starting to take shape. You already know that I love your mood board, but I'll say it again. It feels so Canadian and patriotic, and those poppies are such a powerful symbol.

    That sweater is gorgeous! Seriously, why did I never learn to knit? I have to say, I'm really wondering if this magician dude was cheesier than that medieval jester we saw at the library that time. Do you remember that guy? Anyway, I could comment on a bunch more, but I'll rein it in there. Have a great Wednesday! :)

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    1. I'm not sure that you'll like SABRIEL much either. It's not like the other fantasies that we both love. For much of the book there's only Sabriel and a cat-like creature until they're joined by a male character. It just felt like it really could have used more characters, you know? Lots of setting description too, and you know how I feel about that. O_o I can't wait to start reading SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE. I didn't mention this, but the love interest is a Scottish surgeon/soldier. Yowza! This book has everything, apparently. The author worked at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial too!

      I have SO much research to do, which I don't mind. I just need to make sure that I'm being diligent with it. I've found some really good resources at our local library and brought some others in, so that's good. I'm kind of bananas over poppies lately. I've been knitting them, looking at pictures of them, and thinking of ways to decorate with them lol. I realized the other night that one of the pictures over our bed has giant poppies on it. Love it!

      You noticed that the pattern on the sweater is owls, right? I'm not sure mine is turning out quite like that, but it still looks nice. I've really been enjoying knitting again lately. Probably too much! (I should be writing...) It is sweater season, though. I maintain that anybody can learn to knit. There's such a wide range of projects at different levels of difficulty, so that certainly means there's a project for everyone. It's pretty stinking expensive to knit an adult sweater, though. Not really cost effective when you can buy nice sweaters in stores.

      I definitely remember the jester at the library. I had a whole pile of photos on my old phone from that event. Kris pointed out that Gob, Will Arnett's character on Arrested Development did his acts to "The Final Countdown" and now I'm dying from snickers. I mean, seriously?! So ridiculous. :P Okay, I need to wrap up this crazy long comment. Hope your Wednesday gets better!

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  4. Somewhere in France sounds like my kind of book. Let me know what you think of it :-) and I neeeed to hear more about this new idea of yours :-) I´ve been so out of it the past few weeks that I totally missed it!

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    1. SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE sounds so good, and I'll be sure to let you know if it *is* good. It's exactly the kind of thing that I'm in the mood to read, especially with the WiP I'm planning. Hard not to be inspired to write something set in that seriously gorgeous country you're from. ;-) Hope you're settling in all right in the U.S.! :D

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  5. I use secret Pinterest boards, too - visual inspiration is great, especially when I'm researching/planning. Best of luck with all the research! :)

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    1. I like the secret boards on Pinterest, but I also wanted a mood board that was more like a collage and could be set as wallpaper. That way I can see it all the time. :-) So inspiring when you're planning/drafting! Have a great week, Emma!

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  6. I LOOOOVE Pinterest. I may or may not have a problem. ;-) But its a really helpful thing for me to be very visual!

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    1. I love Pinterest too. I get sucked into that vortex WAY too often. That's why it's nice to take some of those photos and turn them into a collage. :-) Definitely inspires me to get working on this project more. Have a great week, Rachel!

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  7. That sweater is aMaZiNg! Are you doing that same teal color that's pictured? Can't wait to see photos of the finished product. I'm so happy to see you so inspired by the project you're researching. It sounds fascinating, and I hope you're able to keep up your momentum and start writing soon. Have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. Isn't it a great pattern? I'm not sure if you noticed, but it's an owl pattern on the back. I decided to go with a different colour of wool because I'm already knitting a sweater in this colour. It's too bad, because I love the way *this* sweater looks in the teal. Still, I think the blue/purple/green colour I picked looks really nice too. (That sounds weird, I know, but it's really nice, I promise!) I'll be sure to post pictures when this project is done. You know, assuming it turns out all right. ;-)

      I'm really excited about this new project, but I'm still figuring out the plot. It's just great to feel so inspired to work on something like this. I have other unfinished projects, but I'm not nearly as passionate about them. I think that means I need to jump on this. Hope you have a great week, Katy!

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  8. Somewhere in France sounds exactly like my kind of book. I can't wait to hear what you think of it before I put it on my TBR. I love everything to do with WWI. I've been fascinated with it since grade nine history class. So I know this is way ahead of time, but I'm offering my beta services right now! ;)
    That sweater is awesome!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to starting SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE. I'll be sure to let you know how it is. I took out a couple of others from the library today that sound good: CHATEAU OF SECRETS by Melanie Dobson and LETTERS FROM SKYE by Jessica Brockmole. Both are set during wartime and are romances too, I think.

      I love everything to do with WWI too. Especially after visiting Vimy, Beaumont-Hamel, and Ypres this summer. So, so inspiring! This story is going to be a YA historical/contemporary combo with a magical realism twist. Should be fun to write! Hope it turns out well. I'll definitely remember you when I need betas! :D

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  9. But doesn't The Final Countdown soundtrack make it all worth it? :)

    Tea and ginger cookies are one of my weaknesses.

    That sweater rocks!

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    1. Oh, it definitely does make it worth it. Kris pointed out that Gob on Arrested Development did his acts to "The Final Countdown" and now I think I'll never stop giggling. It must be the anthem of magicians the world over or something lol.

      I think tea and ginger cookies might just be one of my new favourite combos. I might have to make more tonight! Have a great week, Jennifer! :D

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  10. No way was the magician set to The Final Countdown!!! That is hilarious. Hasn't he seen Arrested Development?!! Too funny.

    And I absolutely LOVE, that your new MS is set during WWI. Can I read it now please?....How about now?

    Also, hooray for secret Pinterest boards. I realized the other day that I have more secret boards than public ones. Hmmm... that might suggest something about my hobbies. (namely that they are insane)

    Hope you have a fantastic week!

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    1. Yes way! I totally forgot about GOB and his ridiculous magician acts to "The Final Countdown"! I YouTubed it and then spent the next while laughing my ass off. It must be the magician anthem or something weird like that lol. :P

      I'm so excited about this new writing project. After visiting so many battlefields and cemeteries from WWI and WWII this summer, I was deeply inspired and moved. What better way to remember all of that than to write a story? Can't wait to get writing it! If it turns out halfway decent, I might just send it your way for betaing. :-)

      I don't use Pinterest's secret boards nearly as much as I should. After whipping up this mood board and creating a WWI Story secret board, I think I'll be using it a lot more. I actually kind of prefer the secret boards, so you and I can be weirdos together. ;-) Have a great week, Kris!

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  11. I have never tried secret mood boards at Pinterest. Good tip! Thanks for that.
    I'm not at all surprised to hear that you're working on a WWI book, given your recent trip to the battlefields in France. I'm fascinated by the period, so really look forward to seeing what you come up with.
    Another vote for the sweater pattern; it's gorgeous!

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    1. I like using the secret boards on Pinterest, but I kind of prefer creating a mood board like this that I can see all the time without having to go into Pinterest. It makes a great desktop wallpaper for inspiration. You should definitely check the secret boards out, though.

      This battlefield tour we did was so inspiring. Hard not to be deeply moved walking the very places our soldiers fought and died all those years ago. What an experience, and what better way to remember it than to create something that pays tribute to it? I can't wait to get writing it once the research and planning are all done! :D

      I'm not sure if you noticed, but the pattern on the back is a series of owl heads. I'm not sure that mine is turning out quite so well, but it still looks nice. I think the wool I chose (colour and texture) kind of detracts from the owl pattern. Ah well. I'll be sure to post a photo once it's done! Have a great week, Wendy! :D

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  12. Good luck with the researching. I love the mood board idea. I might try that. Thanks for sharing. :D

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    1. Thanks, Leslie Ann! It's nice when you're actually enjoying the research process, and I definitely am. :D You should definitely make yourself a mood board for your WiP. It really helps!

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  13. I enjoyed Sabriel but thought the sequels were better. Sometimes you just can't get into a book for whatever reason. Research looks like fun, but I'm sure it's also exhausting. Good luck with all the progress you're making!

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    1. I've heard that the sequel to SABRIEL is better, but I'm not sure if I'll continue on with the series. There are so many other fantasy series that I much prefer. To each his/her own, right? The research is definitely involved, but I'm enjoying it, so that helps. I hope it all works out! :D

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  14. I often fall down the research rabbit hole, do you?

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    1. I *always* do. Thank goodness I'm enjoying this research. :D

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  15. Hi, Jaime! I just wanted to introduce myself and thank you for organizing/hosting this wonderful blog hop with Erin. I participated for the first time back in August and said hello over on Erin's blog. (I think you were away that week.)
    I love your mood board. I've been wanting to do something like that for my novels.
    Good luck with the research!

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    1. Hi, Sheri! I"m glad you swung by and did WUW! It's always nice to meet new writer folks. :D
      I really enjoyed making my mood board. It works well for inspiration, but I suppose it was partly procrastination too. If it helps, it helps! You should definitely give it a whirl. Have a great week!

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  16. Research is fun. Enjoy and good luck with the sweater and the story

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    1. I love researching, so that's a good thing. :-) I'm learning so much too. Have a great week, Jana!

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  17. I love your mood board! I don't even know how to make something like that, and to make it wallpaper, but I shall have to learn. Great tip! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Laurel! I used PowerPoint to make a collage of photos. It lets you choose what size you want it to be, so it works really well for creating wallpaper for my computer. There are lots of different ways to make one, though. You should give it a try! Have a great week! :D

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  18. I love the mood board! I need to make some secret boards for WIPs. Great idea! Good luck with your research!

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    1. Thanks! It's really inspiring me, so that's a good thing. Secret boards are pretty great too. Anything that helps keep me writing or working on my WiPs. Have a great week! :D

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  19. Your mood board looks great! I have a couple of secret boards as well and they are so inspiring. Good luck with your writing and research this week.

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    1. Thanks, Adrianne! I suppose it's probably partly procrastination creating a mood board, but I figure if it's inspirational then it's not all bad. :-) Have a great week!

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  20. I hear you on Garth Nix. I really tried with the Keys to the Kingdom. But I have to admit, so far I haven't finished book one.
    I love making mood boards, too!

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    1. This is my first time reading a Garth Nix book, but after just finishing SABRIEL this morning, I can say for sure that I won't be continuing on with the series. It just didn't hold my interest and there was a good deal of skimming going on for the last 100 or so pages. There are just too many books I love to spend time on those I don't. As for the mood board, I see this becoming something I do from now on! Have a great week! :D

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