WUW: My Character Bloghop!

What’s Up Wednesday is an easy and fun weekly blog hop that’s hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. All you do is answer the four main questions, then visit the other participants’ blogs to see what they’re up to this week. Join us! Jooooiiiin uussss!

whatsupyoWHAT I’M READING

So, the day after I said I was enjoying The Devil’s Highway I stopped reading it. On page 55. Why? Well, it was technically written very well and the topic was interesting and I know next to nothing about it (illegal immigration through the Sonoran Desert) but it was So. Stinking. Dry. I was reading while making rice pudding and had to put it down to finish the pudding, and when it came time to pick it back up, I just couldn’t. I literally cringed thinking about reading on. And then I had an epiphany about why I love YA so much–it’s all about the feels, and I am allll about the feels, man. So if something has no emotion in it, I’m done.

So now I’m reading Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone. I’m really excited about this one–it’s been on my TBR since it came out. High fantasy? Yes please. YA high fantasy? Mos def! YA high fantasy that’s not Medieval Western European based? Hells yes! I’m halfway through and loving the Russian-ness.

WHAT I’M WRITING

Jaime did the My Character Bloghop and tagged whoever wants to do it, so I considered myself tagged! Iwill now share 5 things about my main character.

1. She has had three names through the life of this story. Violet/Vi then Melia/Lia and now Elitsa/Elle. I’m so in love with Elitsa. It fits her beautifully. I needed something that sounded ancient but not too exotic. Bonus points for it lending well to a nickname because Elle is a nickname type of girl.

2. Elle has an eye on a career in public service and is active in model United Nations. In fact, during the book she’s in a prestigious model UN workshop at NYU.

3. She thinks she’s losing her mind at the beginning of the book when she starts having memories of the past, but not her past if you know what I mean. Think WWII, the French Revolution, and even ancient Egypt.

4. She’s modeled partly after Leslie Knope–I was very inspired by Leslie’s optimism and steam rolling. ^_^

5. She recently dated her brother’s best friend, unbeknownst to said brother. She also just might date him in the future … tsk tsk!

Here’s Elle (though her eyes are a brighter blue and not quite so big)! I love this girl, and good thing since I’ve been living with her for 5 years now.

WHAT INSPIRES ME

Reading YA! It’s become such a fuel to my fire for publication. Especially since I’ve had several moments of Maybe I should give up on this book since this draft will be another big one. But I know it has a good shot and reading other YA novels keeps me hungry.

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

On Thursday Turbo tripped at the park and chipped and cracked his tooth. So badly, in fact, they had to pull it. The top front left one, so it’s really noticeable. It was a sad day and his smile won’t be the same for several years, but I think I’m getting used to it. He got over it pretty fast–he’s such a trooper!

We’ve made more progress on the backyard! The Mister put in French doors onto our new patio while I was gone, and he finished up the last of the trim work last night. It looks awesome and I love all the light the doors let in (there was a window there before). I love being married to such a handy man.

Tomorrow we head up to the mountains–Breckenridge, CO–for the Fourth! I’m so excited for this little vacay with my little family and some of our closest friends. We’re going to swim, and hike, and play lots of games, and just enjoy ourselves. The Mister and his friend are doing a mountain bike race on the Fourth so we’ll cheer them on. And it will be much cooler up there–almost 20 degrees cooler. Yessssss.

For the Character Bloghop, I tag Kitty, Bridgid, and Angelica, but anyone feel free to participate.

Have a Happy Independence Day!! And if you’re Canadian or English, have a happy normal fourth of July anyway! :)

WUW: Goodbye October, Hello NaNoRevMo!

What’s Up Wednesday is a fun blog hop and you should join us! Jooooooiiiiiin uuuuuussssss. 

WUWAutumn60WHAT I’M READING

I’m currently making my way through Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. I’m not sure what I think about it so far, but I’m only 82 pages in. I mean, it’s really, really well written and intriguing, but I don’t know what my emotional reaction is just yet. Which actually, I think, is the author’s intent. Intellectually, I’m extremely intrigued, but emotionally I’m all over the board but that’s kinda how this book is so far. What I can say is that I like it so far, but on a mental level. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but … yeah. :D

WHAT I’M WRITING

I start revisions on Friday and I’m so excited! I think taking the last 6 weeks off from writing has actually been good for me. I’ve gotten a lot done around the house, and in true absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder fashion, I’ve really been missing writing and my story/characters the last two weeks, so I’m raring to go. And I declare November NaNoRevMo, where Rev stands for Revising. I’m going to revise all of FRACTURED RADIANCE in November and pass it off to betas in December. I have to add a significant number of words (remember how the first draft is only 47k? yeah, that … ) and just do lots of general house keeping things. But it feels soooo good to be working on the second draft. Or, at least, it will. ^_^

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

Mostly I’m in shock that October is almost over, but I’m not sad. I’m actually glad to see it go. Which sounds lame, I guess, but it’s been a long, not-my-favorite month. November will bring revising, trips to see family, and my birthday. So yay!

Last week I hosted this month’s book club meeting and we discussed Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Normally, I clean the house, make some goodies, and call it good, but I decided to get into the decorating a little more this time:

2013-10-24 19.37.14

Nothing super fancy (there were only 5 of us, after all), just a little Daughter inspired fun. (I already had the flowers and just kept them on the table because, duh, flowers. :) And Michael’s didn’t have gold feathers (Akiva’s burning wings), so I chose the blue and white ones because the blue matches the cover and they have gold dots all over.

WHAT INSPIRES ME

The love interest/second main character of FRACTURED RADIANCE is Korean, so I’ve been watching the Kdrama Shut Up and Let’s Go for research. I love it. Great writing, good acting, and music! Love the music. And it’s really fun to learn about another culture, not just how it relates to Jin (my character), but also seeing the differences between American and Korean TV and storytelling techniques. I highly suggest checking it out!

And, while this may not be inspiring, per se, it’s very entertaining! 18 Weird That Things Authors Do

How’s your week so far?

What’s Up Wednesday: Two Year Anniversary Edition

whatsupyoWHAT I’M READING

Seraphina by Rachel Watson. It’s awesome and the writing is wonderful. Aaaand the other night I had a fun dream that Rachel Hartman was on the same plane as me. Sadly, I woke up before I could meet her. Bummer.

WHAT I’M WRITING

Would you believe I’m still making my way through my edits? See, I rearranged a bunch of scenes and shipped it off to my writing group … who thought the order needed a bit more tweaking. THIS TIME I THINK I’VE GOT IT! And I’m charging full steam ahead. So, we’ll see if that bites me in the butt later.

So, you might want to ask: Kris, why are you editing the first 2/3s of the book when the last 1/3 hasn’t even been written yet? Shouldn’t you just always go full steam ahead in the first draft?

That’s a very good question. I’m glad you asked. As I’ve mentioned before, I was plugging along quite nicely when I hit the third act and got stuck. Beyond stuck. So I sent it to my brother who gave me lots of helpful critiques. As I went through these, I began to have a question in my mind about the essential premise of the book. I debated it for a long time, asked several people who are very familiar with the story and all had differing opinions, and fully decided we were all too close (me especially) and I needed a completely fresh opinion. Once I got that, the changes needed were huge. Aaaand I also realized I had written some scenes with one possibility in mind, and others with the other one. So, things were a bit goofy, obviously. And, as I’ve been going through these edits all sorts of new developments have been, well, developing and the tension is being amplified by, like, a million! See, I now realize part of my problem with getting stuck was I had killed the tension and there wasn’t enough to sustain the final act. (I’m a notorious tension killer. Good thing I have critique partners to yell at me when I do it!) The ending will be much different than it would’ve been. (Also, still not entirely sure how it’s going to all play out and I love that.) So, now this is all getting fixed and I can feel the third act finally within my grasp!*

Huzzah!**

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

There’s been a rash of Love Lists lately, and I need to update mine for FR. So, here we go!

  • Lia and Jin
  • Their interactions and dialogue–so much fun to write
  • Gavin, the brother
  • Jor, the neighbor
  • Astrid, the best friend
  • The Antangonist (who shall not be named)
  • Fire!
  • The UN
  • Karaoke
  • New York City, specifically:
  • NYU
  • Columbia
  • Upper East Side
  • Coney Island
  • Summer time
  • THE kiss
  • Cute, post WWII neighborhood in New Jersey
  • Fire!
  • Unexpected connections
  • Unexpected genetic traits
  • Fortune telling gypsy
  • Rocky coves in the Pacific Northwest
  • Shattered windows
  • Kicking butt and taking names
  • The League of Nations
  • Rooftop pool
  • Red herrings and political intrigue
  • Old photographs
  • Pez dispensers
  • And more fire!

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

First off, I just celebrated my blog’s two year anniversary! And by celebrate I mean I got an email from WordPress and said, “Oh, cool.” Yay!

Well, last week I went on a four-day camping trip dressed in pioneer-ish garb with a bunch of teenagers. I know it sounds weird, and it kinda is, but it was so much fun. I’ll be honest, being responsible for 9 teenagers 24/7 (with the Mister’s help, of course) was hard at times, but it reminded me why I write YA. I think teenagers are fun and great, and I want to give them awesome books to read.

Also! My CP, Kate Scott, interviewed me on her blog on Monday. You should check it out because, duh, it’s me! ~_^

*You know, as soon as I finish editing what I’ve got.

**You’re probably Huzzah!-ing that the long explanation is over.

RTW: Wuv, Twoo Wuv

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:

Inspired byStephanie Perkins’ post on Natalie Whipple’s blog, what is your novel’s “Love List”?

I’m actually home on a Wednesday morning and can post! Yippee!!

So what’s my WIP’s love list? This should be pretty easy, because I’m currently in a stage where I love it. (Does anyone else fall in and out of love with their WIP? I swear, it’s like we’ve been married for fifteen years or something.)

-These two:

[pinterest finds, yo]

-Their interactions and dialogue–so much fun to write

-Gavin, the brother

-The UN

-Karaoke

-Revisiting New York (at least in my mind and on paper)

-Evil V

-THE kiss

-Jor Hamdal, the neighbor

-Astrid, the best friend

-A rocky cove in the Pacific Northwest

-FIRE!

-Rooftop pool

-Red herrings and political intrigue

-Pez dispensers

So my brother is almost done with the critique on the first 40k and it’s time to jump back into the manuscript. I’m so excited! I’ve got plenty of edits to throw into those 40k words, and then I’ll wrap this bad boy up. And then, of course, start the revision phase. But I love this book, and this RTW prompt was perfectly timed.

What do you love about your novel?

Confession

Since I became pregnant, I’ve read maybe four books. FOUR! In THIRTY ONE weeks!

The reason? Well, there’s a couple. The first is my reading comprehension is shot to hell due to … oh I don’t know, pregnancy brain or something. I read so much slower these days, and often have to double back on the more complicated sentences. Frustrating? You betcha! The second reason is that infamous word: NESTING. Dun dun dun! Seriously though, I have an extremely hard time sitting down and just enjoying myself these days. When I do, I immediately get the urge to clean something, or finish a project, or start a project. (Pinterest, as you can imagine, is quite dangerous!) Luckily, I can still write without that itch, due to the fact that I’m still “producing,” which is what my pregnant brain seems to demand. So hopefully once the baby’s here, though I’ll be super exhausted for several weeks, my brain will be back to normal, i.e. demanding to be reading every second of the day.

But like I said, I’ve been writing! I was shooting through the manuscript quite swimmingly when I got stuck at 40k. Stuck stuck stuck. So I shipped the manuscript off to my brother and it’s been the BEST. My family make GREAT betas because, while they definitely always point out what they like about my book (which is essential for me and my shaky confidence), they also point out what’s not working. So my brother (who is a certifiable genius, for the record) has been going through the book with me at night via chat, attacking one- or two-chapter segments. I was completely of the mindset that I just need to finish the book, flaws and all, and then look and see what I’ve got. But sending it out for help “prematurely” has made a huge difference. I finally know how to tie up this silly thing! And the bonus is once my other CPs see it, it will likely be in better shape since it’s already been through one fresh set of eyes.

And, for fun, here are some character pics!

Lia, the protag

Jin, the Love Interest

[both found on Pinterest]

Jin is portrayed by the adorable Kim Jong Kook, K Pop singer. Here’s a the video where I originally saw him (and this is the extent of my K Pop knowledge!):

Happy Monday!

RTW: I’m in Love, I’m in Love, and I Don’t Care Who Knows It

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’s your numero-uno reason for writing?

I hope you can keep a secret, because I’m in love. I’m not just talking about Mr. Atkins. There is another that shares my affections.

Most of the time, it’s the best kind of love. When I’m sad, it makes me feel better.

After a long day, it massages my poor muscles.

We find ways to spend time with each other, sometimes against all odds.

Sometimes, the relationship is more one-sided, and I’m left in the cold.

But nobody better say anything about my love, because I will not stand for it!

Because in the end, it makes me feel like this:

I write because I love it. I love words, and scenes, and stories, and characters. I love the creative process. I love finding that one perfect word. I love my protags and antags, and everyone in-between.

I love it all.

That’s why I write.

What about you?