January 21, 2015

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 would like to encourage participants to swing by other WUW blog posts, 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. Also, please remember to link back to the host blogs and/or use one of the fancy schmancy WUW buttons provided. We'd really appreciate it! For those of you who are new to WUW, these are the headings we have been using:

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

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
WHAT ELSE IS NEW


*We have three new Winter 2015 buttons under the WUW tab above!*
WHAT I'M READING
Still working my way (slowly but surely) through THIS SHATTERED WORLD by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I also finished beta reading a very well-written YA contemporary, so now I just need to compile my thoughts and send them off.

WHAT I'M WRITING
I met my goal by spending the bulk of my week on my outline. It has a lot more meat to it now, which is already helping me on the drafting front. I didn't draft as much as I would have liked, but I'm satisfied with what I did manage to get done.
Writing goal for the week → Continue to outline and research. Write for an hour minimum at least three days this week.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Calendars.
Not the day timer kind, though that really does work for me too. I'm talking about using calendars as a WiP timeline tool. My first WiP had a countdown angle, so plotting everything out on calendars was pretty necessary. The historical aspects of my current WiP take place from December 1916 to April 1917 and encompass actual WWI events, so using calendars is an absolute must to keep everything straight. During my planning sessions this week, I was able to use these in conjunction with my more detailed outline and was then able to plot scenes around these pivotal historical moments. So, so helpful!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
My week in photos...
(Clockwise from top left) This little twit ate a ribbon, so I spent the next three days waiting for it to reappear. *sigh*/
I dumped 
my WiP outline into a Word table which was VERY helpful when it came time to bulk it up and plot scenes. /
Another day, another knitting 
project with beautiful grey-blue yarn and gorgeous birch needles (a gift from the hubs). /
We made a trip to our local Chapters, and I bought this 
pretty Kate Spade journal. Love the Oscar Wilde quote so much! /
I was feeling the urge to bake, so I fell back on a personal fave: Banana cranberry chocolate chip loaf. Yum sums it up. /
Another #candyminimal photo using Pixlr Express: 
The Alberta Prairies, just east of here, in the summer of 2013. /
Another Chapters purchase and my first 2015 release, Jennifer Niven's ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES. Can't wait to read it!

Oh, and I finally saw Into the Woods in the theatre and was completely underwhelmed by it. About fifteen minutes in, I was already sort of wishing it was over. I do get the impression the stage play would be so much better, though. And I will say I was highly amused by Chris Pine as Cinderella's prince. So cheesy and funny. Emily Blunt also continues to amaze me.


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


47 comments:

  1. I loved hearing about your calendar system! The project I am outlining now is going to be set during the start of WW2 so it is really useful to hear about how you are managing this. Your cat is gorgeous - hope the ribbon incident is over with no harm done :)

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    1. It's cool because you can print off free calendars online and then just fill them in. Even better, I was able to dump "December 1916" into the template and it filled in the dates on the correct days. Love it! Honestly, I don't think I could write this thing properly without calendars. As for the Great Ribbon Incident of 2015, it's over without any harm done, thank goodness. Guess I'll have to be more diligent about kitty-proofing from here on in.

      Have a great week, Carrie! :D

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  2. The calendar idea is a good one - I'll have to try it out. Good luck with your writing goals!

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    1. I know it's a great organizational tool for me when I'm writing. Hope it helps others, too! Have a great week, Laura! :D

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  3. Chris Pine as a prince... I wish even his attractiveness was enough to get me through a musical ^^;

    I need to use a calender to keep track of how many days by book takes. I always surprise myself to discover it took two weeks rather than two days :P

    Good luck with the planning and writing this week ^_^

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    1. Chris Pine as a prince who looks like Don Johnson in Miami Vice. Yep. Super cheesy. LOL I didn't so much mind the musical thing, but I prefer my musicals either animated or on the actual stage. This one felt like it *should* have been on the stage. It meandered and certain plot points felt like they were left dangling. Boo. But Chris Pine made me snort laugh, so there's that.

      The calendar thing is more for plotting what happens on what days in the story I'm writing. You know, for continuity reasons. Seems to really help! Highly recommend it. Have a wonderful week, Cole! :D

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  4. I felt the same about Into the Woods - I thought I must have missed something, because everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. Glad it's not just me!

    Good luck with the WIP! :)

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    1. Well, I think a lot of people were blindsided by the musical thing. For anyone unfamiliar with the play, the trailer was really misleading. There's no real indication that it's a musical. Mostly I just felt it meandered and left plot points dangling. Also, it was just weird. Though, I did snort laugh my way through just about every Chris Pine scene. :P

      Hope you have a great week, Emma!

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  5. I love that idea about using a calendar. It's one of those things that the second I read it I thought "Why haven't I thought of this before?" Especially when I'm trying to write a book with co-authors, I think using a calendar to keep events straight would be really useful. Thanks!

    I haven't seen Into The Woods yet. Although I really love the play, especially the first half, I can't imagine enjoying it so much on the big screen. Part of the joy of the play is the set, and how they manipulate things. Like the cow is purposely supposed to be a really bad prop--it's really funny in a play, but it would seem sort of dumb in a movie. But I'll see it when it comes out on DVD. Good luck this week!

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    1. I felt all clever when I first started using the calendar as a WiP organizational tool...until I realized others were already doing it, and then I felt like a tool. LOL It really is helpful, though. Especially when you have a tricky timeline or specific dates you need to keep track of. Highly recommend it!

      I wish I had seen the play version of Into the Woods before the movie version. I think I would have appreciated it a whole lot more. From what you mentioned, I can totally picture this playing out on the stage in a much more comical/engaging fashion. The movie was certainly humorous, but it just felt like it was lacking that magic that only comes with stage plays, you know? Hope you have an awesome week, Melanie! :D

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  6. Awww...poor kitty. Hope everyone has recovered from "the incident" :)

    I use calendars, too, to keep track of what happens on what day in my WIP. Also to remind me that most of my characters are in high school so their funtimes are limited until afternoon/evenings/weekends.

    I haven't seen Into the Woods yet, but I enjoyed the school musical versions I've seen of it.

    Have a fantastic week!

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    1. Everyone has well and truly recovered from "the incident". Lesson learned. Well, I'm not so sure he learned any kind of lesson, but we at least learned to kitty-proof a little better going forward. *sigh*

      I honestly don't think I could properly write this WiP without the aid of calendars, especially because of the historical component. But I just find them useful in general for continuity purposes when drafting. It's so easy to lose track of the passage of time in a story.

      You know, I'd never even heard of Into the Woods before the movie came out, so I was bewildered by the whole thing. The whole time I was watching it, I couldn't help but pick out all the ways it would have been so much better to see it on the stage. It just felt like it was lacking some of that magic you get with a stage production. Overall I was just bummed by how little I liked it. :-( Ah well.

      Hope you have a wonderful week, Jennifer!

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  7. One of my biggest annoyances is when my stories have to happen within a certain frame of time, because I often forgot what day/time/etc it is so I have to write in the notepad area of Scrivener and then if i change one day, it screws up all the others. But that was how my last WIP was, it happened over the course of two weeks and the events were all really important date-wise. I should've thought to use a calendar, I'll have to try that out next time!

    Sounds like you're doing a great job to meet your goals :)

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    1. There are a number of online sites that allow you to print off calendars to fill in. Super helpful! I think a lot of WiPs could benefit from the calendar method. You know, just for continuity purposes and whatnot. I know I'd be a bit lost without them. Hope it works for you, too! Have a wonderful week, Kim! :D

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  8. Calendars for plotting is such a good idea! And that journal is great, hope you get to write many wonderful things in it, =)

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    1. I have this "problem" where I kind of hoard journals lol. I buy them and then sometimes get this idea that they're too pretty to put just anything in them. I need to think up something awesome for this particular journal so it doesn't go to waste. As for calendars and plotting, I think I'd be lost without them. So important for keeping track of the passage of time and continuity purposes. Especially when you're writing something that takes place during actual historical events. (In this case, the battle of Vimy Ridge.) Highly recommend using them. Have a wonderful week, Mere! :D

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  9. Oh my gosh, I hope your cat is okay! A few weeks ago, my dog went on an extremely naughty binge (not like him!) and ate a cupcake wrapper out of my daughter's garbage can and an ENTIRE BAG of beef jerky out of my other daughter's backpack!! Ugh! He was okay, though. Apparently he has a steel stomach. :)

    I agree with you - Chris Pine was my favorite part of Into the Woods! But, y'know... it's Chris Pine. :) I also liked the music. I keep meaning to buy the soundtrack.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Puck is totally fine, thank goodness. He barfed up the ribbon in question, which was infinitely preferable to other ways the thing could have "reappeared". 0_o We learned our lesson, even if he didn't. More kitty-proofing! Pets are so ridiculous, aren't they? Still sort of laughing about the beef jerky thing. I mean, that stuff smells so good! I can see how a dog would go bananas trying to get at it. LOL

      That whole "Agony" scene with Chris Pine had me snort laughing. So hilarious! He looked like Don Johnson in Miami Vice with that hair. I just wish I liked the movie more, or better yet, had seen the stage play first. Ah well.

      Hope you have a wonderful week, Kitty! :D

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  10. I use calendars for my WiP timelines too. Kind of obsessively, actually. :-) They're so helpful in pacing and keeping events straight. I'm constantly referencing mine! Best of luck with the outlining and drafting this week, Jaime. I'm hoping to do the same. Oh, and I love that photo of your kitty. <3

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    1. I've used calendars in the past, so I don't know why I didn't immediately think of it with this WiP. Actually, I think it's just because I got so darn impatient to draft and cut my outlining/planning process short. Bad Jaime. I'm paying for that now. At least I'm fixing the problem though, right? You're so right about pacing and keeping things straight. Honestly, I think most people could benefit from this organizational tool when drafting. Really crossing my fingers that this week is better for drafting. For both of us! Have a great week, Katy! :D

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  11. Love your idea of using a calendar. I can see how that would be helpful for almost any project, but especially for historical fiction where actual events play into the plot. Good luck with the outlining and drafting! I'm in the same boat!

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    1. It's really useful for pacing and keeping things straight for continuity purposes and whatnot. Honestly, I think part of my drafting issues have been because I bypassed all of these useful tools in my impatience to get drafting. I won't make that mistake again! Hope you have a great week, Rebekah! :D

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  12. I want to see Into the Woods, but I'm not sure I want to see it in theaters. I love Emily Blunt and have heard great things about her performance though! Great job on completing your goal last week! It must feel great to have that done. I loved reading about your use of a calendar for drafting. I have a friend who needed to know what the moon was like throughout her book (it wasn't a werewolf story) so she had to pull out moon phase charts and plot everything on a calendar (it also led up to NYE). Good luck with your goal this week!

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    1. I really wish I had seen Into the Woods on stage rather than in the movie theatre. The whole time I was watching it, I kept thinking it would be a million times better on-stage. Ah well.

      Honestly, I don't think I could get through this draft without using calendars. Makes me a bit mad at myself for skipping that step in my impatience to get drafting. I desperately need a detailed outline and tools like calendars.

      Have a great week, Crystal! :D

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  13. I wrote a (now-shelved) MS that took place during the American Revolution. Hoo-boy was it hard to keep my dates right. I had sloppily written up notes about historical events and their date and then worked around/through/with them, but it was tough! If I ever revise that, I'll definitely try to be a little more organized.
    I saw Into the Woods done locally probably ten years ago or so. I want to see the movie, but I probably won't get to until it comes out on DVD.
    I need that banana loaf recipe... where can I find it?

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    1. It's so hard to keep track of important historical events without the use of calendars. I'm a bit mad at myself for bypassing the detailed outlining and organizational tools that I normally use before drafting. I just got so impatient to start drafting. I'll have to make sure I'm more diligent next time.

      I think I would have enjoyed Into the Woods if I had seen it on-stage first. It felt like it was missing some of that stage production magic, you know? Too bad, because I was looking forward to seeing it. As for the banana loaf recipe, I can email it to you. I just had a banana cranberry loaf recipe that I added chocolate chips to. Super easy, though it does take a bit to bake. Yummy and worth it, though.

      Have a wonderful week, Melanie! :D

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  14. I love old calendars! I used to use the perpetual calendar in the old almanac, but now I use Hebcal. Even if my characters aren't Jewish, it still provides the full calendars for past years, and it also lets me know when the phases of the Moon are. If it's the middle of the Hebrew month, I'll know there's a full Moon, and the start of the new month means a sliver of a Moon.

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    1. I honestly don't know how I could get through this draft without the use of calendars. For continuity's sake and keeping major events straight, they're invaluable. I'm just disappointed in myself for not doing this sooner with this draft. Ah well. Live and learn, right? Have a great week, Carrie-Anne!

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  15. I love your goal for writing at least an hour a day for three days! Research also takes up huge amounts of time. But I like it, all part of the writing job. :)

    My What's up Wednesday post.

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    1. I feel like if I put that writing goal out there, I might actually do it. LOL I'm really finding the kitchen timer method useful for ensuring that I write for that one hour. As long as it's going, I need to be writing and doing nothing else. You're so right about research and the sheer amount of time it takes. Especially when writing a historical! I'm kind of a fan of research, too. The trick is not to fall down that research rabbit hole and never reemerge. I done that too many times to count!

      Hope you have a great week, Majanka! :D

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  16. I'm a calendar girl myself. I'm a very visual person and have to see it down on paper to make sure that everything is right in the timeline. Another reason why I love office supplies. Ha.

    I've seen a lot of people mention All the Bright Places I'm going to have to check it out. Thanks! Have a great week!

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    1. I'm so addicted to office supplies and will come up with any reason to use them. LOL I'm a visual person, too. The plot of this story requires some kind of organizational tool like a calendar to keep important dates straight. So far it's working, so that's good.

      I haven't started ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Have a wonderful week, Amy! :D

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  17. I once saw a copy of the calenders Rowley made for one of the later Harry Potter books and was amazed. Nothing I've written goes over a long time period like that, but it looks like a perfect way to handle it. Have fun writing this week! (And glad the ribbon appeared ;) )

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    1. I cannot even fathom the amount of planning and organizing that went into J. K. Rowling's books. All of the foreshadowing she did from the very first book would require extensive planning that is probably so far beyond my ability. I'm amazed by that woman. My story really only takes place over a four-month period, but since there are actual historic events in there, I really need to plot them on a calendar and plot around them. It's working so far!

      I'm pretty happy the ribbon reappeared, too. Phew! Have a great week, Tonja! :D

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  18. Oh, I am so sad you didn't like Into the Woods! It's one of my favorite musicals. And surprisingly the movie adaptation stayed pretty close to the stage play. I think I just really enjoyed the intertwining of all the fairy tales. But I understand it's not for everyone. And yes to calendars - mine is really tripping me up right now. Working on that this week actually. Good luck with the planning and drafting!

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    1. The whole time I was watching Into the Woods I was distracted by the fact that I would have much preferred it on-stage. I could actually picture it playing out on the stage. It just felt like it was lacking the magic that stage productions have, you know? That said, I probably would have enjoyed it so much more had I seen the play beforehand. Ah well.

      I really should not have skipped the organizational tools I usually use when planning. Like calendars. This WiP requires it, so I really shouldn't have been lazy. Bad Jaime. :-( Doing all of this planning now is really helping, so that's good at least. Hope yours stops tripping you up! Have a great week, Alison! :D

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  19. The calendar idea is so good! The closest I've gotten to something like this is actually writing out a timeline. It helped so much - also in terms of keeping my characters' relative ages straight!

    I think I'm with you on INTO THE WOODS. I liked aspects of it but as a whole I was a little underwhelmed. I think "Agony" was my favorite segment. :)

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    1. Calendars are super useful. Especially when you're working with an actual historical timeline with important events that play a part in the plot. This WiP desperately needed it, so I'm kind of kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Now that I've stopped being lazy on the planning/outlining front, things are starting to come together a bit better on the drafting front. Thank goodness, because I feel like I've been banging my head against a brick wall for so long now.

      I really, really wanted to like INTO THE WOODS. Really. And I know that I probably would have enjoyed it more had I seen it on-stage, but I just felt sort of bored. "Agony" was worth the ticket price, but the rest felt meandering and sort of weird. And how creepy was Johnny Depp? Ugh. Guess it's just not for everyone, right?

      Hope you have a great week, Alice! :D

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  20. I really liked INTO THE WOODS... up until the last thirty minutes. Then I was like, okay, let's be done.

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    1. I wanted to like it so much, but the whole time I was distracted by the fact that it would have been SO much better on-stage. It just lacked the magic that a stage production has. Johnny Depp creeped me out in the worst way (fitting when you consider the original "Red Riding Hood" tales), Chris Pine made me snort laugh, and Emily Blunt is just continually amazing me. That last thirty minutes was basically agony, though. (Hehehe...see what I did there?) Have a great week, Niki! :D

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  21. I'm glad the kitty came out okay after eating the ribbon. Good luck with your goal

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    1. Me too! I was pretty worried about him, so it was a major relief to have the whole ordeal over with. I'll just have to be more diligent with kitty-proofing from here on in. Have a great week!

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  22. Congrats on meeting last week's goal, and good luck with this one!

    I love writing historical fiction, but as of yet I've mainly kept away from writing around/about actual historica events, so I can imagine a calendar is very helpful. :) What a shame that you weren't keen on Into the Woods, I saw it on Monday and really enjoyed it. Then again I am a bit of a musical nut!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! It's amazing how much having a solid outline and good organizational tools does for my productivity. I was banging my head against a brick wall before buckling down and getting this outline figured out. I think it was pretty idiotic on my part to jump into writing a historical with an outline that wasn't fully hammered out. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Live and learn, right?

      I love musicals normally, but I think I much prefer them on-stage or in animated form. Well, but I did really enjoy the movie version of Les Misérables even after seeing it performed in London years ago. I don't know. Something about this one just didn't hook me. I think it's possible that I would have enjoyed the stage production. But then there wouldn't be any Chris Pine looking like he's from Miami Vice and singing "Agony". LOL

      Have an awesome week, Jess! :D

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  23. Gorgeous photos as always! My favorite part...that little kitty tongue sticking out. Hope the ribbon incident resolved itself without harm to said kitty twit.

    Love your calendar idea. I finally had to do something like that for my last WiP because I realized there was no clear indicator of how much time had passed anywhere. (doh!)

    And yum is right on your banana cranberry loaf! That looks soooo tasty. A week of eating at restaurants and roadside fruitstands during our vacation and I'm now baking Everything, because I guess I missed it. Fresh-baked, warm bread is basically my version of crack.

    Hope your week is glorious!

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  24. I've never thought about using a calendar for timelines. Maybe I should! A lot of my WIP ideas are connected to other MSs I've already written, so having all of the timeline stuff straight would be really important...

    The idea of Chris Pine as the prince cracks me up without having seen it, especially since I recently rewatched a movie he did with Lindsay Lohan way back in 2006.

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  25. Ooo knitting! I'd love to learn to knit. ^^ Well done on your writing goal this week.

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