February 25, 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


*You can grab one of our Winter 2015 buttons under the WUW tab above!*
WHAT I'M READING
(Book titles are linked to Goodreads.)
I finished my reread of RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier. (Next month we're reading the sequel, SAPPHIRE BLUE. Feel free to join in!) I also read Heather Demetrios' I'LL MEET YOU THERE (great book) and Liz Briggs' super steamy MORE THAN COMICS (review to come). I finally started reading BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater mainly because I've been dodging spoilers all over the interwebz for far too long and it's exhausting. Thinking of changing my name to the Artful Dodger. :P

WHAT I'M WRITING
Well, last week I fell short of my #WriterRecharge goal by a lot. (I wrote 3500 words of my 6000 word goal.) That was kind of a bummer, but I more than made up for it by adding 2500 words in one day. That's halfway to my goal of 5000 words for the week with only one day under my belt. I'm hoping to blow that goal out of the water, finish off strong, and surpass my overarching goal of getting 1/3 of this draft completed by the end of February. I'm feeling pretty good about my chances.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Word sprints, a shiny planner, and stars.
I haven't been into word sprints much in the past, but this week they really seem to be working well for me. On Monday, I joined some other writers for a few word sprints, which helped me get those 2500 words written. Thanks, ladies! The same day, my shiny new Erin Condren planner arrived, and I set to work filling in tasks and reminders and adding stickers and washi to make it pretty. I also decided to give the stars for words thing a whirl because it's really nice to see my writing progress, and because in a way it feels like I'm rewarding myself.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
• Like I mentioned, my shiny new planner arrived. Loving this thing already!
• I've been finding so many good things to toss into my Rememberlutions Jar.
• The weather has been gorgeous lately, which makes it feel like spring here.
• Haven't been knitting lately, which means my Etsy shop won't open 'til fall.
• Discovered there are no macaron shops around here. Going to make my own!
• Hubs ordered me the Ladurée macaron book complete with original recipes!



That's my week in a nutshell.
WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?


54 comments:

  1. Your planner is gorgeous! I always start out the year intending to use mine and then end up giving up around March, but if it was pretty... hmmm.....

    I LOVE stars (and stickers in general) as a means of motivation - I think we've all got a little eight year old somewhere in us desperate to earn those shiny little buggers!

    Good luck reaching your goals, and have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I have more fun stickers and washi coming, so I can't wait to go crazy with them. :-) It makes using a planner regularly that much more fun. I'm about to add a bunch of stars to my planner for today, so that's working as a motivator as well. I have to agree with the inner eight-year-old thing. Yep. Have a wonderful week!

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  2. Your planner is so pretty!

    Stickers are very good for motivation. I love seeing how busy my calendar gets every month ^_^

    Have a brilliant week.

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    1. Thanks! I'm having lots of fun using this planner, most likely because of the stickers. Yes, I am a child. LOL Still, adding a bunch of stars for words written is a good motivator. Who knew? I guess you did, am I right? ;-) Hope you have a wonderful week, Cole! :D (With lots and lots of shiny stickers!)

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  3. Ooooo I just bought MORE THAN COMICS and can't wait to read it. Looking forward to your review :) Have a great week!

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    1. It's definitely a quick read. And if you liked MORE THAN MUSIC, you'll most likely love this one too. Returning characters FTW! Have a great week, Carrie! :D

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  4. Good luck with your goals! I'm sure you can do it :)

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  5. Wow, it sounds like you're well on your way to completing your goal this week! Well done, you! :D

    That planner does indeed look very fun and pretty. However if I got one I'd probably spend more time on that than actually writing...

    Have a great week!

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    1. Just met and surpassed my word count goal for the week! :D I'm kind of excited to see what the final tally will be. I'm thoroughly enjoying the planner. It's something I like to look at, so it's always open. That means I'm more likely to remember all of the things I need to do. Win! I would get nothing accomplished if I didn't write it all down. I think I'm getting old. ;-) Hope you have an awesome week, Jess! :D

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  6. I'm not great with using planners, but I love the idea of it...maybe a pretty one would be more successful! Good luck with the yummy macarons :)

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    1. I went for a really long time without using a planner (I heavily relied on one in university), but have discovered that I'm absolutely useless without it. I get nothing done if I don't write it down and check it off. I think I'm getting old. ;-) Hope you have a great week, Mere! :D

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  7. I love planners—but I'm awful at using them. I realize I'm more on a calendar on my Mac/iPhone type of girl. But I totally agree that sprints are amazing. You did really awesome too with your word count, even if you might've ended up a little short :)

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    1. I'm pretty reliant on my planner. I don't think I would ever get anything done if I didn't write it down and check it off. I do use my phone for reminders as well, mainly because of the notification feature. The two things in conjunction mean I actually accomplish stuff in my day. I really should have been doing word sprints sooner. I've managed to meet and surpass my weekly word count goal in only two days all thanks to sprints. I think they're my new favourite thing! Have a wonderful week, Kim! :D

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  8. Yummy, macarons. Sounds like your hubs is hoping to get some too ;)
    The planner is so pretty! I'd do it, but then I know it'd end up laying in the corner...and yet, they look so nice. Good luck with writing this next weeks. Sprints can be amazingly helpful.

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    1. We had macarons when we were in Paris this summer, so we're both pretty excited about learning to make them. Hubs was a chef, so he might be a little more well-versed on this type of thing than I am. Should be fun! As for the planner, I'm pretty dependent on it, so it's just an added bonus that it's nice to look at. ;-) And sprints...oh my gosh, they are the best. I should have been doing them sooner. I've already met and surpassed my weekly word count goal in only two days of sprints. Love them! Hope you have a great week, Tonja! :D

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  9. I love 2500 word days!!! i haven't had one of those in a while. I had to check out your link to see what a Rememberlutions Jar was. A fantastic idea. I keep a 1000 gifts list, which is similar, I think. But without the pretty jar. I do it digitally (actually, it's my other blog) adding photos to make it pretty.

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    1. Me too! Just had another great writing day (3200 words) all thanks to writing sprints. I should have started doing these things ages ago! I think I have another thing or two to add to my jar now. :D I really think jotting down great things that happen throughout the year is a good way to remind myself that there is more good than bad in my life. And I really need the reminder more often than I care to admit.
      Hope you have a wonderful week, Margo! :D

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  10. I'm so eager for you to open your Etsy shop! I think I'll be a frequent shopper, especially since we're moving to a colder climate this year. *sobs* I love that our "What "Works" sections are nearly identical. Great minds! Looking forward to sprinting with you today. We will write All the Words! :-)

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    1. Well, I did some knitting last night, so who knows? Maybe it will be open sooner than expected. I'm working on something Harry Potter-related right now. ;-) I'm so, so curious about where your next move is to. Bummer that it's to a colder climate, though. (Says the girl living in piles upon piles of snow right now. :P) Hope wherever it is is cool enough in the right ways to counter the cooler weather. As for our "What Works" sections, I think I have you to thank for all of those things, so thanks! Have a great week, Katy! :D

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  11. I got less writing done than you did this week. 2500 words in one day is awesome! I love days like that!
    I have yet to try a real macaron. One day I will. I don't want to even attempt to make one myself since I don't really know what they're supposed to be like. ;)
    Have a great week!

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    1. Last week was definitely tough for writing. Busy, busy, busy. And motivation was sorely lacking. Thankfully, this week is going ~much~ better already. Hope you're having the same kind of week! Macarons are so good, especially certain flavours. Though, not all macarons are created equal. We had some in Paris that were AMAZING, but elsewhere in the same country they weren't as good. I tried tracking some down here in Alberta and apparently Calgary has a few shops that sell them. They look pretty authentic and tasty too. One place even teaches you how to make them! I think they can probably be trusted. ;-) Have a great week, Melanie!

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  12. 2500 words in a day is fantastic! Glad to hear the planner is working out for you! :D

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    1. Thanks, Emma! I'm having a really good writing week so far. (Thank goodness.) The planner is definitely helping. As are the writing sprints. Hope you have a great week!

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  13. I'll keep my eye out for your Etsy shop later on! Also: macaroons are sooo good--WHEN they're good. I had one at an event the other day and they were just OK. Though a bakery by my work makes amazing macaroons that make my mouth water just thinking of them. A friend made some that were amazing,so maybe it's the freshness.

    The YARWA (YA romance writers chapter) is starting up sprints soon--hosted by me! They will likely be Friday nights alternating on Facebook and twitter. I will promo them on twitter and all are welcome, so stay tuned if those are working for you.

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    1. Guess I better get going on the knitting then, huh? I actually sat down last night and got started on a project, so hopefully that spawns other knit goods. As for macarons, we had some in Paris this past summer and they were amazing. We had other ones elsewhere that were nowhere near as tasty, though. I think you're totally right about the freshness. I'm looking forward to attempting them myself. Maybe I'll become a macaron baker next... ;-)

      I'll definitely keep my eye open for your writing sprints. They're my new favourite thing. Have a great week, Stephanie! :D

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  14. Oh but I am excited for your Etsy shop! Keep us posted on it because I for one will definitely want to order something. :) You are doing awesome on your writing goals! I am also, VERY glad you started BLLB. We must discuss once you've finished.

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    1. Aw, yay! I actually sat my butt down last night and got started on a Harry Potter-inspired project. (Specifically, Ravenclaw-inspired.) I'm hoping this leads to many more knitting projects so I actually have something to sell. It feels so good to ~finally~ be meeting and sometimes even surpassing my writing goals. I thought I would never get back into a routine again. I'm not all that far into BL,LB, but I'm hoping to devour it. It's been too long since I last visited this world. We'll definitely discuss when I'm done! Have a great week, Rebekah! :D

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  15. Congrats on avoiding spoilers. I suck at it! I've never gotten into word sprints, but they seem to work for a lot of writers, so I might have to give it a try. Good luck with your goal this week!

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    1. It has been SO hard, let me tell you. Especially between all the fangirling and general chitchat on Twitter and Tumblr. (The latter is the ~worst~ for spoilers.) Up until now, I haven't been into word sprints. All too often, I'm sitting down to write and nobody else is. Or I know that I'm just going to be distracted by checking in on Twitter. BUT for whatever reason, they're 100% working for me lately. In two days of sprints I've already met and surpassed my writing goal for the week. I think I'll keep at it! Have a great week, Prerna! :D

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  16. If I am ever in Canada, I will definitely stop by for some macaroons. :)

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    1. Macarons are the best. We had some for the first time when we were in Paris this past summer, and now I get what everyone was raving about. Hopefully we'll be able to do them justice! :D

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  17. That is a really shiny planner! I love planners, but am so inconsistent with using them that they quickly become clutter. (See, I know myself. Yes I do.)

    Keep up the consistency, and your word count will climb!

    Have a great week.

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    1. I'm loving it so much. I'm pretty planner-dependent, so it's just really nice to have one that I actually like using and like looking at. Mine is getting pretty cluttered, so I'll have to work out a better system to avoid that in future. There are stickers you can get to use in place of words, so that should help. (Like a recycling bin is pretty self-explanatory and takes up less space than writing out "Take out recycling".) I'm having a great writing week so far, so I'm pretty happy about that. Hope it continues. And I hope you have a great week too, Wendy! :D

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  18. I'm excited for your Etsy shop! I really want an Erin Condren planner. Have a great week!

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    1. I'm getting excited about the Etsy shop again myself. I finally sat down last night and started working on a Harry Potter-inspired project. I think it's going to be awesome! (Hope so, anyway.) The Erin Condren planners are pricey, but I think they're totally worth it. My productivity is going WAY up already, so that's pretty great. Hope you have a wonderful week, Amy! :D

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  19. I find word sprints really helpful. Even though you feel short of the goal, 3,500 words is still a goodly amount of words so congrats.

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    1. I was never really into word sprints before, but so far this week I have met and surpassed my weekly word count goal in only two word sprints, so I think I'm a convert. :-)

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  20. 2,500 words in a day? Wow--amazing! Even though you fell short of your goal, you're making progress, and that's what's important.

    I love your planner. I keep seeing everyone using these and the star system for writing. I want to, too, but then I wonder if I'll really see a sticker as reward enough for writing. Maybe I'm just greedy?

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    1. I had an even better writing day yesterday all thanks to word sprints. I think this is something I'm going to start doing regularly. The planner is really helping too. I just feel more organized using it all the time. Plus, it's just fun to look at something pretty and to make it pretty in the first place. I was seriously skeptical about the stars for words thing, but it's weirdly motivating for some reason. :-)

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  21. I only have a little bit of RUBY RED to go and so far I've really enjoyed it. Glad I already have the other two on my shelf! I'm eager to hear what you think about BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE. I have a feeling your opinion will be similar to mind. We'll have to discuss these two over Skype sometime.

    Even if you didn't reach your goal, you still got in a solid week's worth of writing, so that's great! I'm rooting for you to hit your overall goal by the end of February. Let me know if you need to discuss any plot issues or other such things. I'm not too busy for that!

    Your new planner looks awesome! I have a bad habit of starting day planners and then letting them go by the wayside, so I stopped using them. I think I do better with consolidating all my lists periodically. Right now they're spread out all over the dining room table lol.

    Opening your Etsy shop in the fall might be the best business strategy anyway. I'm sure people will be scrambling to buy knit goods once the weather gets all crisp and autumn-ish. Hope you have a great week! We should talk soon! :)

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    1. The RUBY RED books are just lots of fun. And I'm a pretty big fan of Gideon, so... I'm only about 100 pages into BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE and while I'm obviously loving the prose, I'm not super hooked on the story. To be honest, I wasn't particularly in the mood for it when I picked it up, which is never a good thing, but I'm so tired of nearly getting spoiled. We'll definitely chat about them when I'm done with BL,LB.

      I'm killing my word count goal this week and it's not even half over yet. I think I'm going to finish strong for sure! I'll send you some stuff sometime, though I think it might be kind of boring. Lots of words, not all of them great. :-/

      I have long been a fan of the planner as a means of keeping myself organized, so it's just an added bonus that it's fun to work with and pretty to look at. Honestly, the post-its and lists everywhere thing drives me a little batty. This feels neater to me, which I really need. Clutter kills my productivity and creativity. Plus: stickers and washi!!! So much fun. :-)

      So I've gotten to work on a Harry Potter-inspired shrug. The one I'm working on is in Ravenclaw colours and is turning out really nice so far! Anyway, it's getting me excited about building up some stock, which is good because I haven't been knitting for the past few weeks. Hope you have a great week, and we'll definitely schedule some time to talk soon!

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  22. Macarons and planners, you are speaking to my soul! Good luck with your goals this week and congrats on getting so many words in. I love sprinting on Twitter. It definitely helps me feel like I'm not alone.

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    1. Two things I'm pretty much addicted to myself. ;-)
      I was never into word sprints before, but I think I've now found my new thing. It's certainly working this week! Hope you have a great week, Adrianne!

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  23. I haven't looked at Ruby Red before, but that looks good! I still haven't read any of The Raven Cycle, and I know I should.

    I'm glad sprints are working well for you, I've always been a sprinter. I love stickers and planners, too. I recently picked up some cute Hello Kitty stickers from the dollar bin. Love it.

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    1. The RUBY RED books are totally fun. I love books that involve time travel and popping back in time to cool points in history. As for the Raven Cycle, I love Maggie Stiefvater's prose. Not yet hooked into this one, even after 100 pages, but the prose is definitely good. As for word sprints, they weren't my thing before, but I think they've become my thing now. The week is only half over and so far I've met and surpassed my word count goal for the week. Love it! Hope you have a great week, Faith!

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  24. Pretty planner! Each time I see someone blog about them, I want one even more :)

    I have never had a macaron which seems crazy because my favorite food group is snacks. When you make them, definitely post pics!

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    1. Thanks! I'm sort of in love with this thing, especially with the stickers and washi. :-) Honestly, I think that's what keeps people using and checking their planners: the fact that they're pretty and fun. Smart thinking, Erin Condren. Macarons are amazing, especially when they're done exactly right. There are sub-par macarons--no big surprise--but when they're good, they're so, so good. Looking forward to baking some! :D

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  25. Sadly, I've never had a macaron, and finding things like that in a vegan variety is mighty difficult in Tucson. Seems like I should have gotten one when I was in Portland last.

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    1. Macarons are amazing! Yeah, I'm not sure how you would make them vegan, though I imagine someone is doing it! If you ever do find vegan macarons, you should definitely try them!

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  26. Ooh fun planner! It's funny how giving ourselves stars, or smileys or stickers really feels like a reward. It's probably a holdover from Kindgergarten. I think we're all still five-year-olds at heart. :)

    And wow on the macaroon cookbook! So lovely. My niece quit her day job and now just bakes and sells macaroons..so you know if your Etsy shop doesn't go as planned, there's a plan B for you. *grin* I ate some in Paris and I've never quite recovered.

    Go you on your writing goals! 2500 on day one, hells yes you're going to blow your goal out of the water!

    Hope you have a glorious week filled with shiny new words, less cat herding and maybe some tasty macaroons. :)

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    1. I'm seriously in love with this planner, which is good because it means I'm using it. :-) Stars and stickers really do motivate me, which I never would have expected. I think you're right: we are just five-year-olds at heart. ♥

      I can't wait to try making these macarons. The recipe book arrived in the mail yesterday, and it is SO beautiful to look at, let alone think about baking them. I was actually talking to the hubs about becoming super proficient at macarons and the like and opening up a patisserie. LOL Not sure how that would fly in Central Alberta, though. ;-)

      Writing sprints seem to be the thing for me these days. So far this week, I've written almost 6000 words through word sprints and the week is only half over. Woohoo! I guess it's just great accountability on a short timeline, you know? Anyway, going to keep at it if it's working. Have a wonderful week, Kris! :D

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