October 15, 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 to What's Up Wednesday, 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 finished LETTERS FROM SKYE by Jessica Brockmole, which was more enjoyable than expected. There were unanswered questions that left me guessing until the end, interspersed with fascinating WWI and WWII details. After that I moved on to Caroline B. Cooney's BOTH SIDES OF TIME because it has a similar element to the WiP I'm planning. It’s…interesting, I suppose. You know, once you strip away the serious cheese, the mid-1990s feel, and the raging case of InstaLove. Even so, I want to know how it will play out, so for now I'm going to keep reading. And I'm still working my way through HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS via audiobook while doing dishes, baking, whatever. It's at the really good part now.

I'm also reading my sister’s YA sci-fi manuscript, ENGRAVE, for the first time. The plan is to perform my CP duties on the second read-through. Ten chapters in and, no big surprise, I'm loving it already. Hope you all get to read her books one day!

WHAT I'M WRITING
Still researching. I’ve been taking copious notes on Canada’s role in WWI, in particular at Vimy Ridge in France. I knew a bit about this battle already, but I’m learning so much more through all this research. Another addition to the What I'm Reading section: I just finished up a book of Canadian and British poetry from soldiers who were killed in the Great War*. So many great pieces of poetry and war art in this one. I hope to find a title for my WiP in one of these gripping poems.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Immersion.
I like to immerse myself in all things WiP-related. In this instance, watching movies about WWI or set somewhere around this time period. My reading material--for entertainment or research purposes--is often in the same genre, about similar subject matter, or employs similar elements. I've already mentioned creating a mood board (that I turned into wallpaper for my computer) and music (YouTube videos included) that I like to listen to while I work on my WiP. Since I visited WWI battlefields and monuments recently, I frequently flip through those photos and souvenirs. (And hey, what better form of immersion is there than actually visiting your story's setting? Not always possible, but awesome if you can swing it.) I guess it's a bit like being a method actor in some respects. For me, immersion leads to inspiration.

WHAT ELSE I'M UP TO
A little bit of this. A little bit of that.


• This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada, so I made up another pumpkin streusel pie for my in-laws. Yum!
• Because I don't have enough projects already on the go (ha!), I started knitting a sweater for my friends' baby (due soon).
• Have you seen the new HARRY POTTER covers? They're AWESOME. The hubs and I are gradually collecting all of them.
• I'm kittysitting for my parents. This little girl, Katniss, is the quintessential Halloween kitty, and she has thumbs!**


IN FLANDERS FIELDS: AND OTHER POEMS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR, edited by Brian Busby.
** She's a polydactyl cat, which means that she has extra toes on her paws. Her little paws look like mitts. ♥


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


46 comments:

  1. Enjoy the research ^_^ And belated Happy Thanksgiving.

    I hope we all get to read Erin's work soon, too.

    Hah, what an appropriate cat name Katniss is :P

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    1. Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes. :)
      While I like the name Katniss for a cat, I was thinking the other day that I would have named her Toothless (even though Toothless was a boy in How to Train Your Dragon). When she hisses (which is a lot, unfortunately), she looks like Toothless. So cute!

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  2. Have fun researching! I need to be totally immersed in a project to write my best (and it's fun when researching, too!).

    Katniss is an awesome name for a cat! ^^

    Have a great week! :)

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    1. Since my story takes place during WWI, I've been sort of obsessed with poppies lately. I'm even knitting myself a pair of fingerless mitts with poppies on them for Remembrance Day, but also for wearing when I'm writing. Immersion: it's where it's at. ;-) I'm thoroughly enjoying all of the research too. Have a great week, Emma!

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  3. Katniss! Adorable!

    I saw the new HP covers whilst shopping and had to drag myself away from them, mumbling "Put them on the Christmas List, put them on the Christmas List" to myself as a barrier. And don't they *feel* amazing! Ahhh, I can never have enough Harrys...

    Immersion is a great way of getting into a WIP! When I was writing Robyn Hood I almost 100% convinced my boyfriend that our summer holiday should be spent in Nottingham ... but then saw the price for a flight to the UK and figured maybe I should save it until I'm a ridiculously wealthy author ;-) Have a wonderful week, Jaime!

    -- Caitie

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    1. I had originally thought of putting the HP books on my Christmas list too, but got impatient lol. I figure if I order one a month and maybe get a couple/few for Christmas, it shouldn't take too long to collect them all. And I agree: you can never have enough Harrys. ;-)

      I figure anything that inspires you when you're working on a WiP is a good thing. Like I told Emma, I'm even knitting myself a pair of poppy fingerless mitts to wear for Remembrance Day, but also when working on my WWI WiP. That's the fun kind of immersion. :-) Have a great week, Caitie!

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  4. Oh gosh I haven't read BETWEEN TIME series since about 2005….my best friend found it in a used bookstore, said "Rachel would love it", he gave it to me and I read both books within a day or two. Such a fun series, regardless of the cheese. :P

    Good luck with your research and reading Erin's WIP this week!!! :)

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    1. I'd never actually heard of the BETWEEN TIME books until recently. I just finished the first one this morning. Haven't decided if I'll read Book 2 or not, though I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least curious about what happens next. There were some great moments and I liked the murder mystery, but whoa, the cheese. There was some mention of a scrunchie, and while I was a high schooler in the mid-90s, it was a little much to handle lol. Have a great week, Rachel! :D

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  5. I'm right there with you on the Immersion tactic. However, mine usually turns into Total & Complete Obsession. I've got to learn to dial it back a bit, because my loved ones are getting a tad sick of hearing about weird preoccupations of the Victorian Era. *grin*

    I love your premise and your setting. WWI would be so fascinating to research. And there are so many good movies to go along with said research. I love it when good films count as "research" :)

    Your pumpkin streusel looks amazing! And your knitting skills are ever-impressive. Also, Katniss is adorable. I LOVE those eyes and the fact that she's polydactyl. I have a big soft spot for black kitties. (as you know)

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    1. Does knitting fingerless mitts with poppies on them count as a Total & Complete Obsession? I'm actually crafting inspiration for my WWI WiP lol. (I plan on wearing them for Remembrance Day here in Canada too, so it's not 100% story-related.) Mostly, I just want to surround myself with all things WWI-related, so I think Total & Complete Obsession applies here. ;-)

      I'm learning so many things I didn't know before, so this research is probably the most interesting I've done yet. I don't think I could ask for anything more. It's such a fascinating time period.

      I love just how black she is. The only colour on her is her eyes and her little pink tongue. That said, it makes her REALLY hard to see. She blends into all the shadows. My cats and my parents' cats are all strictly indoor, so I just about had an anxiety cat when she slipped out the door nearly unseen last time I was kittysitting. Eek! Even so, she's adorable. I have a soft spot for black kitties myself. Have a great week, Kris! :D

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  6. Happy belated Thanksgiving! :-) That looks very very yummy! You and Katy always make me want to start baking more seriously...Maybe when we have a kitchen.

    I loved ENVISION so I cannot wait to read ENGRAVE, lucky you!

    Good luck immersing yourself in your story <3

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    1. Thanks, Elodie! It was a fun day with family. :-) This time of year--September through Christmas--I get baking in the kitchen WAY more than any other time of year. Hope you have a kitchen soon!

      I recently read ENVISION for a second time, but this is my first time through ENGRAVE, so it's kind of exciting. Sure, Erin and I have talked about the contents of this story a number of times, but it's kind of cool seeing it all come together in story form. This is such a compelling series!

      Have a great week, Elodie! (And I might have to pick your brain sometime for France-related things for my WiP. :D)

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  7. Wait? Canada's Thanksgiving in in October? There is so much I don't know about other countries, even the closet one...
    Good luck getting though the Deathly Hollows. I haven't reread the books yet. I want to, but there are so many other series I need to read and it's an investment of time. Maybe someday, just not right now. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yep, our Thanksgiving is a month earlier here mainly because we're further north and therefore the harvest happens sooner than south of the border. We're lucky because we get Thanksgiving and Halloween in October. Lots of pumpkiny occasions. As for HARRY POTTER, my husband and I have found that listening to them on audiobook has been kind of nice. There are so many times when your hands aren't free to hold a book, but you wouldn't mind having something to occupy your mind (cleaning, exercising, driving, whatever). Audiobooks are perfect for that. That said, I much prefer holding an actual book in my hands. :-)

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  8. I love your immersion idea! (and the pie ;) ) I had to laugh at your too many projects comment. I had some time to kill this last week and went into a quilting store (yes, our small town has basically nothing but there's a HUGE quilting store - go figure). So many cool project ideas! My fingers itched, but I behaved, reminding myself of all the other projects sitting at home.

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    1. Oh my gosh, quilting. Another of my crafty hobbies. :-) I have a quilt that needs finishing too. *sigh* One day I'll actually finish all of my projects lol.

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  9. A polydactyl! *hugs, smothers kitty with affection*

    I saw a few Caroline Cooney books at a library book sale last week and I think BOTH SIDES might have been one of them. I almost bought all of the old-school YA, just because, but I managed a tiny bit of restraint :)

    Have an awesome week!

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    1. Unfortunately, this polydactyl kitty doesn't let me get too close to her all that often. Granted she's away from home right now, so she's a bit out of sorts, but I just want to squoosh her.

      I don't remember reading much in the way of YA when I was a teen in the 90s. I wonder if I would have noticed the cheese then? Not sure. When she mentioned putting her hair back in a scrunchie I actually groaned out loud. *shudder* Hope you have a great week! :D

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  10. I need to check out those poems you mentioned! And oh the kitty (:

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    1. Some of the poems are hard to read because you can tell that the soldier who wrote them was in a bad frame of mind, but I think they're so important. We don't ever want to forget how terrible these wars were.

      The kitty is super cute, but she doesn't let me get too close. She's away from home, so she's a bit out of sorts.

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  11. Love those Harry Potter covers! Love, too, that you're capable of knitting a baby sweater. I bet it's going to be adorable! Best of luck with your continued research, and your title search. Can't wait to hear what you eventually decide on. Have a wonderful week, Jaime!

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    1. Aren't they great? They could keep releasing the HP books with all different awesome covers and I'd probably buy ever version lol. I might have a problem. As for knitting, baby sweaters are usually one of the most fun things to make. They whip up quickly, so you see it take shape so much sooner than an adult sweater. Hope this one turns out well!

      I have a few title ideas, but I'm not sure if any of them is the one. I'll have to run them past my husband and my sister and see what they think. Have a great week, Katy! :D

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  12. Ohmygosh that pie looks positively DELICIOUS and the kitty is so cute! Sounds like a lot of great reading going on for you! Hope you have another great week!

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    1. The pie was really yummy, if I do say so myself. I've had WAY too much of this kind of pie lately. (This is third one I've made in under two weeks.) I'm all about the pumpkin this time of year. Have a great week, Alison! :-)

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  13. That's exciting you're reading Erin's book!!!! I can't imagine family beta reading for me… well, it happened once and didn't turn out so well…

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    1. Erin and I do a lot of WiP discussion, bouncing ideas off one another, so it's great to read the finished product. For whatever reason, we work well together when it comes to critiquing and whatnot. I'm so thankful for that! Have a great week, Morgan! :D

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  14. So cool you can CP for your sister! (My attempts to find a CP have been disastrous. I just gave up on the idea entirely. :/)

    Immersion can be really helpful. Maybe I need to spent some time doing that to get back into the grove of my current WIP.

    KATNISS THE BLACK KITTY!

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    1. It's so tough to find compatible CPs, so I'm pretty fortunate to count my sister as one. And the fact that I love her stories is the icing on the cake. Immersion, for me, is one of the most fun parts of the process. There are so many tedious aspects of completing a story, but this isn't one of them. :-) You should give it a try! Have a great week, Tori! :D

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  15. Oh my gosh, polydactyl cats are AMAZING! And that pie looks so good.

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    1. I love polydactyl kitties. Her paws look so cool! :-)

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  16. Don't strip away the cheese. I love cheese!

    That's so cool about your sister's manuscript. I've got one sister who is slightly into writing, but she'd never be brave enough to put anything in front of me. It would be awesome if she was though.

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    1. I find cheese hard to palate in the books I read, but I do love me some cheese of the dairy variety. ;-)

      I consider myself very lucky to have a sister who not only love writing too, but who also reads what I write and gives me great feedback at all points in the writing process.

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  17. I love the new Harry Potter covers, I've been looking for a good box-set for ages - I'll be getting the new one on Friday as soon as I get paid.

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    1. Aren't they fantastic? I'm so excited about collecting all of them. :-)

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  18. I am all about the immersion myself!

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    1. It's easily one of the most fun parts of working on a project, in my opinion. :-)

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  19. There are so many WW2 books but very few WW1 books. I love that you are working on a historical novel set during that time period. Enjoy your research and have a great week!

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    1. Right? I love WWII stories, but give me some WWI stuff as well! I find that time period fascinating, so I'd love to read more books set in that era. Hopefully this one turns out well! Have a great week, Kate! :D

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  20. That pie looks delicious and I like the new HP covers. Immersion really works for me as well

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    1. The pie turned out really well and tasted yummy, if I do say so myself. Can't wait to collect all of the HP books in the new covers!

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  21. I love your immersion technique. I've done that before and think it helped my writing- although, I had to the myself some distance after for a little while.
    Good luck with the research- it sounds like it will be awesome!

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    1. I think this is the most I've ever immersed myself in the era and whatnot of my WiP. I'm really enjoying it so far! And it's definitely helping inspire me.

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  22. Oh wow, I don't think I've seen those new HP covers. That one makes me want to trade in my old copies! Have you seen the new Anne of Green Gables and Emily covers? I spotted them at Indigo recently, and they're so pretty. I'm thinking of doing a blog post sometime soon to show them off.

    As you know, I'm big on immersion too. I need to get myself in the right mood for working on my WIP--not just ready to put words on the page but to write for that particular atmosphere. And I find if I start getting into that frame of mind long before I sit down to write, it helps a ton. I'd be lost without my sci-fi soundtracks (so much Ender's Game lately) and I have to admit that I spend an awful lot of time staring at my moodboards. That might have something to do with Lionel Clerc though, ahem. We're getting into poppy wearing season soon, so I'm sure that will fuel your inspiration.

    I forgot about the cheese aspect of those Caroline Cooney books, seeing as they're older. Oops. It's been a while since I read them. The time travel aspect is the main reason I suggested them anyway though, so hopefully that will be useful to your research.

    Glad you're enjoying Engrave so far! I'm eager to hear your thoughts on it. :)

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    1. I love the new HP covers. My only beefs are that Harry doesn't appear to age from the first to the last cover and I'm not crazy about the font under HARRY POTTER. It feels a bit bland. They're still pretty great, though. I think I know the L. M. Montgomery covers you mean. I just googled them and if they're the ones I'm thinking, I really like them.

      I'm kind of taking the immersion thing to the next level this time around. I forgot to mention above that I'm knitting myself a pair of fingerless mitts with poppies on the back of them. I figure I can wear them leading up to Remembrance Day if it gets chilly enough and then use them when I'm typing this winter, hopefully on a draft of this WiP! I actually piddled around with mock covers tonight too. You know, because I don't have better things to do or anything. *sigh*

      I finished BOTH SIDES OF TIME this morning and I'm not sure if I'll read Book 2. There were things I liked, but mostly it was just super cheesy. There was no explanation whatsoever of how the time travel aspect worked. It came across as very muddled to me. Ah well. Here's hoping I can do better!

      We'll have to Skype soon. I'm not sure if it will be before next week, though. Possibly tomorrow, Friday, or Saturday? I'm still hoping to get that baby sweater knit before Sunday, but we'll see. We'll touch base!

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  23. Uh-oh. There are cats with thumbs now? We're all in big trouble... ;)

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  24. Your parents have a cat named Katniss! I love that. Also, pumpkin streusel pie... tell me more!

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