WUW: Chugging Along

winter wuwWHAT I’M READING

I’m still working on The Book Thief, and it is still wonderful, but my weekend was unexpectedly busy (aren’t they all like that?) and I didn’t get a lot of writing time in. ALSO, I got this gem in the mail the other day:

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That’s the ARC for my CP Kate Scott’s new book, Counting to D! I’m so excited to read it I think I’ll put Zusak on hold so I can devour this gem. I’ve critiqued two other books for Kate and I have high expectations for this book. Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“The kids at Sam’s school never knew if they should make fun of her for being too smart or too dumb. That’s what it means to be dyslexic, smart, and illiterate. Sam is sick of it. So when her mom gets a job in a faraway city, Sam decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem. Without her paradox of a reputation, she falls in with a new group of highly competitive friends who call themselves the Brain Trust. When she meets Nate, her charming valedictorian lab partner, she declares her new reality perfect. But in order to keep it that way, she has to keep her learning disability a secret. The books are stacked against her and so are the lies. Sam’s got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight—without being able to read.”

Sounds awesome, right? I’ll read it this week and report back next Wednesday.


I just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who read my incredibly long post last week and then offered encouraging and/or commiserating comments. I appreciate y’all’s support so much! My revisions are coming along steadily, if not always smoothly. I’m so rusty! But I’ve been adding about a scene a day–I have a whole sequence to add. Then I’ll start going chapter by chapter. Some big things that need fixing: the MC’s character arc (it’s all over the place–evidence that I took 2 years to write this first draft), add more side characters, and flesh out the end (which I’ve already mentioned). Dudes, I ended a scene with the line, “Because obviously.” ^_^

And I got my marked up manuscript back from my SIL this week. I’d given her my own semi-marked up version, so she got to read my notations as she made her own. I was skimming through to see her comments, and when I saw this I could not stop laughing:

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The purple is my note, and the penciled “Yes” is hers. Is this hilarious to anyone else? It was really late, so maybe it’s just me.


Not a whole lot. Trying to figure out what my new exercise solution will be when my gym contract expires next month. I love working out at the gym, but it’s so difficult to get there these with a small one–and it’s only going to get harder–so I think I’m going to get some free weights, bands, and DVDs and just work out at home. Also, I think I’m going to go no ‘poo on my hair, but either the honey water or aloe vera gel/coconut milk route. Anyone done this?

You know, just TONS of super exciting stuff. :D


These two songs came on Pandora while I was working out last night and they spoke to my soul:

The Mumford and Sons one isn’t like my life at all, but the emotions in his voice, the lyrics, and the music really touched me. It’s going on the playlist for my next planned WIP.

How’s your week going, you fabulous people you?


What’s Up, Wednesday?

DON’T FORGET TO UPDATE YOUR BOOKMARKS!! MY NEW BLOG ADDRESS AS OF 7/24/13 WILL BE KRISATKINSWRITES.WORDPRESS.COM. (you can access it there now; your browser will redirect you back to krisatkinswrites.com until the 24th)


I’m still on Year of Wonders. My revisions last week were way more time and labor intensive than normal. I had to move two scenes, write two new scenes to fill their place, and then make everything agree and all that jazz. Moving scenes is hard! So, now I can dedicate more time to reading. Yay!


Well, those heavy-duty revisions last week set me back and I won’t finish my revisions until the 28th, and thus won’t start writing the third act until the 29th. But I’m not discouraged because, while doing all of that was hard and took a lot of time, it improved the story and hopefully my first round of revisions on the whole first draft won’t be as intense since I’ve spent so much time editing the first two-thirds. Hopefully.

ALSO! I realized I’ve been entirely too nice to my characters, and decided in the midst of all these edits, to do something quite devilish. Mwahaha. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out. >D


Pinspiration boards for WIPs and SNIs! Last week I spent some of my writing time creating and filling them. And when I mean some, I mean like an hour. But it’s SO fun! And it’s totally inspiration and brainstorming, so it counts. (To a certain point, after that, it’s all diminishing returns.) (I’m so married to an accountant.) I have a public one for RED SKY, FRACTURED RADIANCE, and my SNI/planned NaNo novel. Yay! I also created a super top secret board for FR because I found some awesome pins that are total spoilers. So … can’t share that one, sorry! Aaaaand, a top secret board of ideas for my one-day YA epic fantasy.  Five boards? That couldn’t have taken too long, riiiiight?

Do you make inspiration boards for your WIPs? I think they might be even more addictive than playlists.


FIRST OFF, this:


[Pic redacted.]

My friend, Scott, is a super awesome human being and photographer and has a Kickstarter project that expires in 47 hours. His plan is to travel across the US and Canada taking pictures of places of worship of all religions and then publish books using these images. Seriously, y’all, he’s crazy talented.

Second, Flula Borg. You’ve seen him right? No? Oh goodness, please watch this:

This man is hilarious. And slightly crazy. I spent hours watching his videos while folding laundry the other day.

Also, I’m on a full-house straightening/organizing binge. Whenever the house has looked clean, there’s actually been one room (usually the guest room, but sometimes ours) with all of the junk in it. Not this week! Or rather, that’s my goal! And I’m moving chemicals to high cabinets because apparently babies can die if they drink bleach. So I should probably avoid that because I like Turbo.

And speaking of Turbo, he has slept all the way through the night the last two nights!!! Yes, this deserves boldenation!!! (That should be a word.)

Awesome Things

First of all, I realized that I didn’t do a recap on my 2012 goals. I mean, I failed all of them, but I post goals in part to be held accountable. So here goes:

1. Do everything I possibly can to get an agent. Which can be broken down into the following subgoals:

a. Write the best damn book I can. FAIL.

b. Write the best damn query letter I can. FAIL.

c. Send those damn awesome things out! FAIL.

2. Read 50 books this year, with at least 30 of those being YA. FAIL.

3. Finish and edit FRACTURED RADIANCE and RED SKY (and query one of these). FAIL.

4. Draft a 3rd book TBA. (Not TBD though … I already know what it is in my li’l ole head.) FAIL.

Wow, good job me. Now on to better things. Awesome Things, to be exact.

1) A Memory of Light

This is the 14th and last book in the epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. I started reading the series the summer before my freshman year of high school (1999), so you can bet I’m excited for this book! AND, my parents were awesome enough to go to a signing for me in my hometown of Charleston, SC, (also the hometown of the original author, Robert Jordan), and snag a signed copy for me. Score!

2) Days of Blood and Starlight

Seriously, y’all? This book is more than knock-your-socks-off awesome. It’s explode-your-socks-and-subsequently-your-feet-because-you’re-wearing-this-particular-pair-of-socks awesome. It’s Amazing dipped in Awesome Sauce served on a WOW platter with a garnish of Blew My Mind. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is really, really ridiculously good. This … is almost perfect.

3) They’re making a movie of Daughter of Smoke and Bone!!! And it has a producer!

4) This image that I repinned from Laini Taylor on Pinterest:

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Remember how I have a major crush on Laini Taylor slash I want to be her?

That’s become even more stalker-worthy.


But seriously … that woman can write. And pins awesome stuff.


How’s your week? What’s awesome?

I had a baby!

Yep, I’m a mom now. Be afraid, world, be very afraid.


In all seriousness, though, my little Turbo* was born last week and things have been going pretty well so far–on the baby front. The writing front? Not so much, but no one’s blaming me, least of all myself. So until I post again, here’s a funny video for you to watch:

Does this video make anyone else hopeful for the rising generation?

Have a Happy Friday and a Happy Undetermined-Amount-Of-Time-Till-I-Post-Again! ^_^


*NOT his real name.** I used it as a placeholder name during pregnancy, and it’s become his nickname.

**Because I love my child and don’t want to ruin any hope of him having a decent career. Can you imagine a Dr. Turbo Atkins? Sounds like a wrestler. Who eats a low carb diet.

So … About That …

Life has been crazy and it’s getting crazier. Baby Atkins is due in 11 days (yes, I will be a parent. fear for the world.), and my house looks like a war zone (if wars are fought with baby gear). I’ve been thinking for a while of going on a blogging hiatus, but I’m so pooped these days that even three hours of work has me ending the day like this:

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(Seriously, this picture kills me every single time. Crazy cats.)

But! I’ve quit my day job (yet again) and I’m reluctant to do anything official on my blog, but at the same time I know that I will go temporarily insane once the baby’s born, so I don’t want to make any promises about posting. HOWEVER, I’m going to focus on being a good blogging friend. AKA, reading and commenting because I’ve missed you lovely people. And who knows! I might even finish FRACTURED RADIANCE before the bambino arrives (but that’s entirely dependent on his schedule, since he could come tomorrow and I definitely can’t write 20k words in a day).

So, yes, I’m alive still. Because I know you’ve been dying to know what’s going on in my life.

Another cat picture for the road? Of course.

[Pic redacted.]

RTW: He Works Out

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

We’d love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link — or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week’s Topic:

What movie have you seen that actually (gasp!) improved on the book?

It didn’t take me long to think about this. See, I’m not a huge Twilight fan. I read all the books like everyone else, but mostly because of my long-standing fascination with vampires (I read Interview With a Vampire in High School, so see, I already liked vampires, neener neener). I have a low tolerance for mushy romance stuff and actually skipped through most of that in these books.

The movies? Not a whole lot better. But I would say New Moon was a definite improvement on the book. For two reasons:

1) We didn’t have to hear Bella’s thoughts as she held her torso because it felt like there was a gaping hole there since Edward left. Instead, we had to watch it, which was still painful, but luckily shorter than pages of description.

2) Jacob Black. Shirtless. ‘Nuff said.

Ode to the Frozen Burrito

Ode to the Frozen Burrito

(and other microwaveable meals)

Oh, yon frozen burrito-

So full of beans

And … meat?

Purchasable in bulk or a la carte,

Your mass will sear my mouth,

Fill my stomach,

And keep my GI tract busy for days to come.

And yet, I shall never regret your consumption;

‘Twas in the middle of a scene of the highest excitement-

Sparks sparking, dialogue dialoguing, bad guys bad-guying …

My stomach rumbling.

I needed to eat-

‘Twas pretty sure I ate sometime the day before-

But did not want to spare the time.

Hark! Off to the freezer!

Grab well-wrapped package of questionable meat-products,

Plunk into fair microwave for obligatory two minute cooking time.

Hark! Ideas are raining!

Mind is churning!

Back to the computer,

Fingers fly.

I pause for a moment,

To partake of your offerings.


But at least it was fast.

(YA Highway’s hosting a Valentine’s Day Blog Lovefest. Hop on over to see other Highwayers’ declarations of love.)