May 28, 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 just finished up THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN by Meredith McCardle. (I haven't had much time to read this week.) I really enjoyed this one! I'll definitely be following this super fun series now. Next up: WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. I haven't read anything by E. Lockhart, but I know I'm long overdue, and I've heard  nothing but awesome things about this particular book.

WHAT I'M WRITING
Yeah...so. Turns out this was the week that ALL the people wanted to do ALL the things. I don't think I've ever been this busy socially. I'm only mentioning this because it was so far outside the norm for me. I tend to prefer hunkering down at home doing homebody things. Right now, I'm looking to the week ahead, hoping it will yield more time and hopefully more chapters revised.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Summer writing intensives! That's right, folks. We're kicking Ready. Set. WRITE! into full gear, reporting on MONDAYS this time around starting in June. Stay tuned for details on Monday, June 2nd. I think this might be the kick in the butt I desperately need.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Oh, you know. Lots and lots of visiting, chatting, and eating out with friends and family. (The latter part of that is so not good for the wallet or the waistline.) It's been loads of fun, but for someone who is by nature an introvert, it's a little mentally exhausting. 

BUT I did get to spend a good deal of time digging in the dirt this week as well. My stepmother-in-law has a total green thumb, so she helped me pick plants and seeds for our yard and veggie garden. I went a little bit nuts, especially considering anything I've grown has been limited to flower pots, but I'm really excited about the possibility of vegetables and flowers that I grew myself.

In no particular order: Argeratum, fushias, petunias, dahlias, gerberas, lobelia, dracaena, impatiens, stargazer lilies, Japanese cedar,
lily of the valley, carrots, sugar snap peas, radishes, green onions, garlic, Swiss chard, pansies, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers...

Last night I watched the first season (three episodes) of THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE, a British miniseries currently on Netflix. It's about former WWII codebreakers nine years after the war, solving a case of serial murder. It's interesting and also infuriating to see the way these women, whose role was integral to the war effort, are patronized and forced back into mundane roles. They take the skills they have (pattern recognition, data collection...), apply it to the case, and solve it. If you're into this kind of thing, you should totally check it out!*

Oh, and I got new TOMS!** I love their cause and practically live in their shoes all summer long, so mine are all starting to wear. Since I can fit into kids' sizes (women's size 6 = kids' size 3), I got a pair of super cute seersucker girls' TOMS. They were quite a bit cheaper price-wise and feel a bit sturdier, likely because kids are rougher on their footwear. Cute, right?



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


* After typing this up, I found out this series hasn't been renewed for a third season. Boo. That said, it's still worth watching!
** TOMS' slogan is One for One, meaning that for every pair of shoes you purchase, they purchase a pair for a child in need.

May 21, 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 just finished THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB (Colleen Gleason) yesterday. I thought it was a fun YA steampunk, though I wanted a wee bit more out of a few elements, namely the romance and the time travel aspect. This is the first in a series, so I'm fairly certain To Be Continued  is kind of implied. After that, I started reading THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN (Meredith McCardle) before bed last night. I was bummed that I had to, you know, go to sleep instead of reading more because I think it's going to be great!

WHAT I'M WRITING
Still working on my YA sci-fi, WATCH OF NIGHT, which is both surprising and a bit of a relief. (I haven't given in to the temptation to project hop again, thank goodness.) After chatting with my sister, I decided that I need to go the index card route so I can actually see what needs to happen and where. When my story is 'trapped' on the computer, it's so much harder to visualize the flow of events and the big picture. Does that make sense? Physically moving scenes/ideas on index cards around my office floor might help this rewrite/revision gain some traction. I really hope so, anyway. So that's the current plan of attack.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
This...
(I don't think you need to write every single day, but I do love the image of
wearing books as crazy hats. Oh, and I'm a book sniffer of the worst variety.)

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Honestly? I don't even know where the week went. I've been knitting, reading, revising, working on my French course (I aced my first written assignment), messing around with images on Corel Paint Shop Pro and pickmonkey.com, Skyping with Erin, Skyping with the hubs (he's in Texas for the next several weeks), pulling weeds in the garden, exploring the yard and finding new blossoms + sprouts every day, enjoying the occasional stint in the sunshine, wasting too much time piddling around on social media, wasting even more time binge-watching shows like Gossip Girl and really kinda lame rom coms (thank you, Netflix)...

...you know, the usual.


The picture on the far left was taken on Monday, the other three on Tuesday. What a difference a day makes!


Well, that's my week, folks.
WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?


May 14, 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
Since my last What's Up Wednesday post, I've finished (or started reading) the following books:

•  THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME by Jennifer E. Smith
    Cute at times (when the MC and LI were actually in the same zip code), but overall not nearly as good as her other two books. 
•  SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT by Sarah Strohmeyer
    I enjoyed this one, even if it was a bit predictable. I really liked the love interest and Gigi's female friendships.
•  TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson
    This came highly recommended and it did not disappoint. The writing was gorgeous, the story vivid and thought-provoking.
    Cute but I wanted more out of the premise and the romance. Also, the MC felt a bit MG at times to me. Overall, I did like it. 
(Just popping back in to amend this: I had NO idea that this book was part of a duology. That definitely changes things for me. I feel like we'll get more of that romance I wanted and some things will get sorted out that left me unsettled at the end. Phew!)
•  THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB by Colleen Gleason
    I'm not far into this one, but already liking it. Sherlock's niece + Bram Stoker's sister + time travel + crime-solving = AWESOME

WHAT I'M WRITING
I think I've got WiP-related ADD: The tendency to get distracted when I pick a WiP to work on. I'm back working on my YA sci-fi revisions, though I fully expect that might flip flop and I'll be drafting my YA contemporary again. Writing is writing. C'est la vie.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Magical storytelling, pretty prose that doesn't cross the "purple" line, great voice, unique story premises, eye-catching covers...

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
The hubs and I drove to Northern Ontario this past week to visit his mom. The eighteen-hour drive was not nearly as bad as I was expecting. I managed to get some reading and knitting in, so that's good. I haven't been back to Northern Ontario since I moved away when I was 20, so being back in that neck of the woods was very nostalgic. I didn't realize just how much I missed it.

Clockwise from top: The Canadian Prairies, me and the hubs, crossing into Ontario, my MIL's lake
front property (spring hadn't yet arrived), and Lake of the Woods Brewing Company in Kenora, ON.

Like I mentioned, I had a bunch of time on my hands during the drive, so I worked on a baby sweater for a book club friend.:

I just need to sew up the side seams and sew on the buttons. ♥
Other than that, I've been working on my French course (which is mostly easy), finishing my Veronica Mars re-watch (I got to the end of disc 5 thinking I had another to go, but disc 6 was just extra features--Boo!), and not a whole lot else worth noting.


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


May 8, 2014

Cover Reveal: MORE THAN MUSIC by Elizabeth Briggs

In January/February of 2013, I had the privilege of attending the SCBWI conference in New York City. While there, I also had the extreme privilege of meeting the lovely and super fun Liz Briggs at a hotel room writer party. I've been lucky, as well, to glean writerly wisdom from Liz vicariously through my sister, who Liz mentored during Pitch Wars. (Thanks for that, by the way!) I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was when I heard Liz planned to publish her NA Contemporary. (Grabby hands: I has them.)

So without further ado, I give you MORE THAN MUSIC (Chasing the Dream #1) by Elizabeth Briggs:

Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: NA Contemporary
[Add to Goodreads]


Liz's cover was designed by Najla Qamber Designs. Pretty fantastic and more than a little bit swoonworthy, don't you think?


Here's what it's all about:
Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Come June 17th, I have a hot date with Maddie + Jared, and I can't wait! I could use a little swoon. 



More about Elizabeth Briggs, author of MORE THAN MUSIC


Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.


Want to hear more about Liz's writing? Subscribe to her NEWSLETTER in the side panel of her blog. Or you can find her on the interwebz at the following places:


BLOG  •  TWITTER  •  FACEBOOK  •  GOODREADS


A sneak peek of MORE THAN MUSIC's front and back cover.




Special thanks to Giselle at XPRESSO BOOK TOURS for setting up this cover reveal tour!



May 7, 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! 




{No What's Up Wednesday post from me this week, folks. I'm two provinces away from home visiting my mother-in-law with the hubs. Hope you're having a wonderful week!}