January 7, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Welcome to 2015!

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 would like to encourage participants to swing by other WUW blogs, get to know other writers taking part, and spread some writerly encouragement around. Before you go, make sure to leave a link to your post in the widget at the end of this post. Please remember to link back to the host blogs and/or use one of our WUW buttons. We really appreciate it! For new participants, these are the headings we've been using:

WHAT I'M READING
WHAT I'M WRITING (+ WRITING GOAL) 

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
WHAT ELSE IS NEW



WHAT I'M READING
Since we last did WUW, I finished reading MAYBE SOMEDAY by Colleen Hoover. I really liked this NA romance, particularly the fascinating and ultra-charming love interest as well as the musical component. As an added bonus, there is an online soundtrack of original songs that was created to go with the book. Now I'm rereading Tamora Pierce's SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet and am currently on Book 2, IN THE HAND OF THE GODDESS. It's mostly for research purposes. #vague


WHAT I'M WRITING
Short answer: nothing for a while. (I blame Christmas.) But I intend to jump back in this week now that the holidays are over. I was lucky enough to have my sister here for a week, so we got to talk about our WiPs and whatnot. Erin even read some of my not-at-all-revised pages and gave me great feedback and encouragement. I feel ready to tackle this thing now.
Writing goal for the week → Spend at least 1 hour a day writing, at least 5 days this week. (Incorporate planning + research)

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Erin and I are trying something new that I hope works for both of us. (I'll report back on its success, you can count on it.) For years now, we've been sending each other fun care packages, dating back to when I was a freshman in college and dinos roamed the earth. We've decided that for every week we meet our writing goal, we'll throw something fun (but inexpensive) into a care package to be sent out every few months. So at the end of the three or so months, I'll get a super fun care package from Erin and she'll get one from me. Everyone loves getting fun mail, am I right?

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
• As I mentioned, Erin was here with her family for a whole week of good times. It feels quiet and boring with them gone.
• I'm starting bagpipe lessons this month! Next time my neighbours keep me up all night, there will be piping at dawn.^
• Erin and I made Rememberlutions Jars. In a nutshell, they're jars to collect snippets of stuff that makes us smile in 2015.
• I was tagged in the Terrible Titles blog hop and posted 8 Totally Terrible Titles for my WiP, IN THE END. So much fun!

^ Mwahaha! (*twirls mustache*)

And finally...
There are TONS of awesome YA books coming out in 2015, so I decided to compile them in a list HERE on my blog. Releases are broken down by month/day, linked to Goodreads, and colour-coded by genre. As I'm sure will come as no surprise, this list isn't exhaustive, but I think it's still somewhat extensive. It's kind of fascinating to spot this year's trends and to see the way particular genres appear to be releasing in clusters. Sadly, there seems to be a marked lack of releases in certain genres. (I'm looking at you, Historical Fiction. #lame) From time to time, I will add to the list as I come across more new releases, and I'm totally open to any suggestions for additions. May this be a great year of reading, and may your wallets not be totally empty as a result. ;-)


42 comments:

  1. Wow, the bag pipes! I am super impressed. Good luck! :D And yes, definitely use them as an alarm clock for your irritating neighbours should it be necessary ;)

    Good luck getting back into the swing of writing. And I love the care packages. Such a brilliant idea ^_^

    I'm going to keep that list bookmarked for future reference ;)

    Have a great week!

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    1. Who knows? Maybe I'll totally stink at the bagpipes lol. I've always loved them, so it just felt like the right time to give them a try. As for writing, I plan on diving into some drafting as soon as I'm done responding to comments. Wish me luck! Have a great week, Cole!

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  2. This list is so awesome!!! I do a weekly post for my day job online community of cool things on the Internet for school librarians and I am totally including this next time. THANK YOU and Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie! It took forever to make, but it was kind of fun too. I hope it's super useful for everyone who has checked it out. Have a great week! :D

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  3. That list is fantastic! So many amazing books coming out this year.

    Have a great week! :)

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    1. Thanks, Emma! I hope it's super useful. Have a great week! :D

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  4. I love the writing package idea. That's so smart! Also, I know I said this already, but thank you for putting that list together and sharing it :)

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    1. It's kind of fun having someone else put together something fun for you when you've actually met your goals. Like double the incentive in a way. I'm so glad you like the list! I really hope it's helpful. Have a great week, Liz! :D

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  5. Have I mentioned that I love your YA release breakdown??? But at the same time I'm shaking a fist at you b/c my TBR-list has exploded ;)

    Have fun with bagpipe lessons - that's awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! And I know what you mean about TBR list explosions. Mine is completely out of control lol. Have a great week! :D

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  6. I love the writing package idea!
    Good luck on your writing goal. Mine is pretty much the same one!

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    1. We both thought it would be fun to put together fun stuff for meeting our goals. It's like double the incentive because you get a little something for meeting your goals, but it's also a surprise. Can't wait to get started! Have a wonderful week, Sarah! :D

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  7. "When dinos roamed the earth" lol! I don't believe it! That care package idea sounds so fun! I should just start sending care packages to my sisters for fun. What a great idea. I saw the rememberlutions idea somewhere and that also sounds so wonderful. I have decided that this is going to be a year of positivity for me - both of those things would put me on the right path! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. I started college in 1996, so... That qualifies as prehistoric, right? ;-) I'm really looking forward to the care package idea. Not only is it great incentive to get a little something for meeting our goals, but the little somethings will be a total surprise. Double the reward! I've already got a few happy things in my Rememberlutions Jar, so hopefully I continue to pop things in there as the year goes by. Have a wonderful week, Kitty! :D

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  8. I think it's really cool when books come with soundtracks! Happy 2015, enjoy the bagpipe lessons! =)

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    1. I only listened to snippets of the music--it wasn't so much to my taste--but I thought it was really cool that she had someone do this for her. Have you read AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson? She included musical playlists in it and I think it would be awesome to go back and listen to the songs listed while reading the book. Must do that sometime! Have a wonderful week, Mere! :D

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  9. That colour coded YA release list is fabulous! Thank you for sharing it, I'm going to update my TBR list now :)
    I hope the care package idea works, it sounds very fun.
    Have a great week and good luck with getting back into writing, I'm trying to do that too after nearly a month off.

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    1. Thanks, Alexa! I wanted a detailed release list for myself, but then I got to thinking that others might find it useful as well. I'm really looking forward to the care package thing with Erin. Nothing like getting surprise mail for meeting your goals! Have a wonderful week, and good luck getting back into writing! :D

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  10. I hope you can keep up with your writing goal! The care package idea is great - I hope it works to stay motivated. GOod luck writing!

    My WuW post.

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    1. I hope so too, Majanka! I'm hoping to dive into some drafting right after I'm done responding to comments. Have a wonderful week! :D

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  11. I can't wait for all the new books! And the care package idea sounds cool!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to all of these great books and to the care package thing I'm doing with Erin. Should be fun! Have a great week! :D

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  12. Okay, I love this care package idea of yours and Erin's. I wish I had a writerly sister to do these things with! I know I already told you this, but your color-coded 2015 book list is aMaZiNg. I will be visiting it often in the coming year. Best of luck getting back into the swing of writing. I'll be attempting to do the same thing. Have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. We both kind of thought it would be cool to not only get something fun for meeting our goals, but this way it's a surprise as well. You know, you have some writing "sisters" you could always do this with. Sisters from different misters and all that. :-) As for the 2015 Releases list, I was making one up for myself because I always seem to forget about books, and I thought others might find it useful as well. Seems to be working! Have a wonderful week, Katy! :D

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  13. I already put a few books on hold at the library thanks to your list!
    That care package idea is awesome- have fun with it!
    I'm trying to get back into writing after the holidays too. It's tough but also it feels good to get back into a routine. Have a great week!

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    1. Oh, good! This past year, I always felt like I was missing out on releases and completely forgetting about others, so I thought I'd make myself a list broken down. I figured it might be useful for others as well. Glad that seems to be the case. I'm really looking forward to doing the care package thing. It feels like even better incentive because Erin is putting together these little surprises for me and vice versa. Good luck getting back into writing this week, Melanie! :D

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  14. The care package idea sounds so fun! I'm a big believer in writing rewards, but how much more exciting would it be to get them from somebody else? I love the fun things you and Erin do for each other :)

    And your list is going to bankrupt me, I'm 100% sure of it. Oh dear...

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    1. We were thinking the exact same thing about someone else providing the incentive. It makes it more of a treat/reward for following through with our goals. It really is great having a sister like Erin to do this kind of thing with. Though, I'm of the firm opinion that we have lots of other "sisters" around the interwebz/writing community.
      Ha! I know what you mean about bankruptcy and that list. I'm so there. Have a wonderful week, Rebecca! :D

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  15. Thanks for the book list! I think that all the great books I read over Christmas break came from your recommendations! Also, I wish I had someone to send me care packages!

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    1. You're most welcome! I was making it up for myself and thought I might as well share it with everyone else. I figured it might be useful. :-) I'm so happy you enjoyed the recommendations! Honestly, I really rely on my writer/reader friends for great recs because there are just too darn many books out there. Need a filter of some kind, you know? Have a wonderful week, Niki! :D

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  16. I think I could've used another week of relaxation at your place! It was fun sitting in your office talking about writing, and I'm glad you gave me a peek at what you'd written on your WIP so far. I'm excited to see how it all unfolds! I'm also excited about our reward system. I'm going to have to push through the brain fog this week to meet my goal. Treats are definitely a motivator though. I need to start thinking of some fun ideas for you.

    You know I'm going to make you play the bagpipes for me over Skype, right? It's very cool that you're taking lessons, although your neighbours might not think so though. Serves them right. Have a super week! :)

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    1. We really enjoyed having you guys here. That week felt like it went really fast. I suppose we should be ashamed by all of the jammy-wearing and cookie-scarfing, but I'm not even a little bit. LOL Thanks again for looking over what I've written thus far. It really gives me the boost I need to push forward on this thing. You can probably expect more bits and pieces coming your way in the future. I need to get going on sending you comments on ENGRAVE too. I want this week to be the week of getting back into a routine. (But not the Friends dancey dance kind.) I agree that little treats are a big motivator. I need to come up with some ideas for you too. You know, we can always assign a point system or something. Like one week of goals met equals one point, and one point equals one dollar or something like that. That way if you want to send a treat that's a bit bigger we know how many weeks it counts for. Does that make sense? We can work out the details as we go.

      I fully expect extreme suckage when it comes to learning the bagpipes. I'll just be learning the chanter for the foreseeable future, so at least I don't have to worry about making a ton of racket just yet. Though, my neighbours deserve every bit of noise I end up making. Hope you have a wonderful week! And don't enjoy that Writers Tears TOO much lol. ;-)

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  17. Happy New Year!

    I'm rather ashamed to admit I've never read any Tamora Pierce. :o I think I need to change that this year!

    Your care package idea sounds like a great way to encourage each other to write - best of luck with meeting your writing goal this week! I love the sound of your Rememberlution jars, too. :D

    Good luck with your bagpipe lessons, and have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! Happy New Year to you too! :D

      I really like Tamora Pierce's stuff. My favourite is the Trickster's duology, though. I love the idea of creating this awesome world and then writing different series within it. I mean, why wouldn't you? (I'm talking to you, J. K. Rowling.)

      I'm really looking forward to this care package incentive thing. It's double the fun/motivator to have someone else putting together a surprise package of treats for you. As for the Rememberlutions Jar, I've already got some things that made me happy in it. Hopefully I can keep it up throughout 2015! Have a wonderful week! :D

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  18. I love mail. Especially when I order something online and then forget about it until it arrives a week or two later. And then it's a nice surprise :)

    Hmm, mysterious research that involves reading Tamora Pierce books? You can't just drop something like that and then not tell us more. That's totally rude :P

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    1. I feel the same way about mail. Especially when it's good mail and not bill mail. Everybody deserves to get good mail from time to time. :-) I think this will be great incentive to get some serious writing done.

      The Tamora Pierce research is only for one aspect of the Alanna series. My story isn't fantasy or anything. I just wanted to see how one particular thing in that quartet was handled. #mysterious

      Have a great week, Stephanie! :D

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  19. Thanks for the list of YA books. Good luck getting the writing going in the new year.

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    1. You're welcome! I was making it for myself and figured others might find it useful as well. :-)

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  20. I love, love, love you care package idea. In my sleep deprived state, I'm afraid I will forget it. Do not forget Melanie! I want to do it for everything!

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    1. We're really hoping it will not only be fun but will serve as great incentive to meet our goals. Fun mail is awesome too! Have a great week, Melanie! :D

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  21. Re. noisy neighbors..."There will be piping at dawn" Hah! That made me chuckle into my tea. (in a very dignified way) Also, I looove it that you are learning the bag pipes. I mean seriously, how freaking cool is that?! Answer: Very Freaking Cool.

    How fun that Erin and her family go to visit over the Holidays! Having a blood-relative writer has got to be such a boon to the creative juices. I, on the other hand, have an Editor for a mother. She red-pencils my letters. Sooo...creative boon...not so much, but my grammar might improve. (big might)

    Love your care packages idea. I think that would be a fantastic motivator.

    Hope you have a blissful week, full of tea and knitting and words and possibly bag piping out the neighbors (at dawn) ;)

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    1. So I probably won't be on the actual pipes for a good chunk of time yet--have to learn the chanter first--but the revenge fantasies are still making me cackle with glee. (Seriously, these bozos have kept me awake at night FAR too many times.) I just hope I don't completely suck. Though, that might work better for my revenge. Mwahahaha!

      Red-pencils your letters? Eek! I confess I'm sometimes tempted to make corrections to spelling/grammatical errors I see in public places. Twice this week I've seen the word pecan spelled pican and peacan. And how weird that it was the same word spelled wrong in two different locations? I so badly wanted to red-pencil the heck out of both.

      Have a wonderful week, Kris! :D

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