WUW: I’m baaaack!

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!

wuw robotWHAT I’M READING

I’m actually writing this on Tuesday afternoon, and as of this moment nothing. But! By Wednesday, I hope to have my copy of Dreams of Gods and Monsters back in my grubby little paws. See, when it arrived, I was woefully behind on book club and beta reading, so I lent it out to a friend. And then to another. But now I’m all caught up, and they’ve all read it, and it’s coming back home tonight or tomorrow morning. Yay! I’m sure I won’t get any sleep on Wednesday night. :)

That reminds me, I need to remind the Mister that I’d like a book light for Mother’s Day…

WHAT I’M WRITING

Well, my break from FR (now ILLUMINATE THE NIGHT, but I’ll still refer to it as FR because … I want to) officially ended yesterday. Technically, it was supposed to end on May 1st, but I just wasn’t ready to part with THROUGH CLOUDED EYES yet. I still really wasn’t yesterday (I’m in the middle of a scene!) but I’m staying disciplined and focused. TCE is turning into the book of my heart, y’all. I love that story so much, and I’m bummed I didn’t get as far in it as I’d hoped. (More on that below.) But I want to query by the end of the year, and I have a really good chance of getting FR into query-able shape by then.

So! I have all my feedback in from my readers, and I discovered two important things: 1) I still have structure and pacing issues to work out. (I wish I’d read K. M. Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel three months sooner!!) 2) While I loved the positive things my readers had to say, the happiness they gave me in no way compares to the sheer euphoria I feel when I finish a book.

And isn’t that wonderful?

I was so so so happy when I realized that. I write not for praise, but for the love of it. I’d wondered whether that was the case, and I’m so happy it is. Because it means I’m doing it for the right reason. So yay!

Monday I used Weiland’s advice to identify the key events and plot points in my novel, which showed me that some of them were happening way too late. Tuesday I wrote my query (that was so hard!!). Wednesday, I’ll start my read-through, and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be tackling this bad boy. Laying out the structure of my novel makes it seem like it will be easy to fix, but I know it won’t. Time for scene juggling! But it gives me a very clear road map, and that is priceless.

WHAT INSPIRES ME

I officially switched from TCE’s playlist to FR’s on Monday, which was kind of jarring (SO different in tone) but also fun. I forgot what an awesome playlist this is. Also, my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper. I’d announced to the Mister a few weeks ago that I was ready to give up caffeine (they make a decaf variety, bless their sweet little hearts), but Turbo is on week two of waking up at 5 am, so I need that caffeine!

WHAT I’M UP TO

Okay, y’all. Babysitting a 16 month old when you have an 18 month old is like having twins. And it very nearly drove me insane. The little girl I watched (she and her family have moved to Texas now) was sweet as can be, and nowhere near as destructive as Turbo. But chasing after two toddlers was … kinda crazy. And very exhausting. Not to mention the fact that the first two weeks they didn’t nap at the same time, which not only nipped nap time writing in the bud, but it also made for one frazzled and exhausted Kris. By the time I got Turbo in bed, I’d have enough energy to clean the kitchen and straighten the toys, and sometimes not even that. There were many early bedtimes for me, and not much writing done. Which also added to my mounting insanity. I need to write. Really and truly need it. (Which is so, so wonderful.)

So mothers of twins, I salute you.

Also, during the last week of watching Little Girl, my MIL flew into town and we sodded our yard. Ourselves. It was a completely nuts weekend. The patio is poured, the dog run is in, the yard is leveled, and the sod is … installed? (Does one install grass?) And the result … is beautiful:

2014-04-28 11.27.16 2014-04-28 11.27.45

For reference, here’s what it’s looked like for the past 5 years:

2014-03-22 12.16.11 2014-03-22 12.16.29

The two week Stay-Off window ends Saturday and I can’t wait to get my feet on that lush organic carpet. There’s obviously stuff left to do in the backyard (resetting and moving the flagstone patio, landscape rock around the sheds, finishing touches on fence of dog run, install French doors onto concrete patio, and put roof over concrete patio (that one not until the fall), but this is a HUGE step forward.

How’s your week going? Have you read Dreams of Gods and Monsters yet? (Probably. I’m sure I’m the last one.)

Advertisements

WUW: Oh lately it’s so quiet

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!

wuw treeWHAT I’M READING

Still working on Throne of Glass. Good grief. I really do like this book, but the odds haven’t been in reading’s favor for me lately. This does not make me happy. I love to read! I shall do some tonight, no matter what.

WHAT I’M WRITING

I’m about 5k into my new WIP now, which I’m going to refer to as the Book of Eire or BoE. This isn’t a working title, but just something to call it so I don’t have to keep calling it my new WIP. :) The protagonist is originally from Ireland, hence the use of Eire. I had a great writing sesh last night, getting in 1500 words and I only stopped because it was bed time. (Turbo took an incredibly short nap yesterday and robbed me of my normal writing time.) I’m submitting to my writing group tonight and I’m excited to see what they think of the story on Saturday. Also I have been having all kinds of THOUGHTS and IDEAS about the story, which has me very excited about this story. I need to finish this post up quick so I can write!

WHAT INSPIRES ME

The Naked and Famous, obvs. Haha! I wonder how many times I’ve said that on a What’s Up Wednesday post. But seriously. Their music just gets me. Or I get it. Also, I’ve been diving back into Florence + the Machine lately which has been woooooonderrrrrfullll. Florence Welch also gets me, man. Yay music!

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

So, we decided the dog run needs to be somewhere else in the yard. Hah! Whoops! So much for those post holes we already dug. But this is a much better location. Unfortunately, its proximity to our future patio delays its construction until we can get the patio poured. So now we’re waiting on estimates from concrete guys.

I’ve got a blog redesign coming, which I’m very excited about. This layout and design is tired and old, and frankly, not very me. It’ll be nice to have something prettier and more professional looking. And I need your help! I’m going to move my helpful links to their own page, and really want to beef up my writing/publishing resources. So please share your favorite writing/publishing blogs and links! I would be most grateful. Thanks in advance!

That’s about it! Quiet week around here, which is nice. How’s your week going?

WUW: Spring is coming!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop that’s easy and fun. 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!

wuw treeWHAT I’M READING

I’m about 100 pages into Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass and I’m really starting to enjoy it. Truth be told, it took me a while to get into it, but now I’m clicking along. I actually started it over a week ago, but took a break to read a friend’s manuscript. Ahhh, I love critiquing. After published author, my dream job is fiction editor. How fun it would be to critique manuscripts all day and get paid for it! :D

WHAT I’M WRITING

Because I was behind on getting my friend’s manuscript back to them, reading usurped writing time last week. But now I’m back and I’m ready to go. I outlined my three main characters for my book, came up with the Hook and Inciting Event, have a fairly good idea of what my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Plot Points are (and I suspect as I get into the first act, those will solidify), and also have a fairly good idea at what the Climax will be. Outlining my characters has been particularly helpful. Today, I should finally be able to start writing. Eeeee! I’ve been dreaming of this story for almost 3 years, so I’m excited to finally get to it!

WHAT INSPIRES ME

I saw The Naked and Famous and Imagine Dragons on Saturday night. Sooooo good. I love love love TNaF, and it was wonderful hearing them live. Their music really gets me in the feels, man. And while I liked Imagine Dragons, I wasn’t necessarily super excited to see them (I went for TNaF). But man they made a true fan out of me. Those guys are serious performers! While they were on, I kept getting all kinds of inspiration for the LI for my new book.

Also, I’ve found (courtesy of a fab member of my fab writing group) the best writing site: Helping Writers Become Authors. I’ve read at least a few articles every day, and have picked up Weiland’s book, Structuring Your Noveland have been making my way through it. It’s a fabulous book on plot and I highly recommend it. In the last section, when I talked about outlining my characters, I got the idea from this site, as well all that about the Hook, Inciting Event, etc. (That’s awesome because it’s a very boiled down version of the first part of the book. However! I still recommend the book! This chick knows her stuff.) Her series on outlining characters/character arcs is particularly genius:

“Too often, character and plot are viewed as separate entities—to the point that we often pit them against each other, trying to determine which is more important. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Plot and character are integral to one other. Remove either one from the equation, or even just try to approach them as if they were independent of one another, and you risk creating a story that may have awesome parts, but which will not be an awesome whole.”

Ding ding ding! Of course plot and character are integral to each other. So yes, this site (and that series in particular) is a top recommendation from me.

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

We’ve lived in our house for 5 years (in June) and the backyard is just plain embarrassing. It really belongs to the dogs. BUT! This year we take it back! And it’s starting this weekend. My MIL is coming in town, and we’re going to put up the dog run and cement our plans (patio, sod vs. seed, patio covering, what we’ll do ourselves vs. what we’ll hire a contractor for). I’m so excited! Turbo’s always dying to go out there but it’s a veritable mine field, thanks to the pups. So it’ll be nice to let him loose. And I’m going to have so many get-togethers to enjoy the patio. Heck, I’m sure I’ll read out there at least once a week. The cute new WUW picture has me even more stoked. So yay!

How’s your week going? Do tell!

WUW: Kpop Edition!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop that’s easy and fun. 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!

winter wuwWHAT I’M READING

Almost done with my re-read of Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and it’s just as lovely as I remember it. I picked it for book club, and my friends are reporting that they love it. Of course! Why wouldn’t they? I’ll see what the rest of book club says next week. :) At the suggestion of Bridgid Gallagher, I picked up Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas from the library. She sold me as soon as she said it’s about an assassin. I’m excited to start it when I finish Seraphina. Anyone else read it? What did you think?

WHAT I’M WRITING

Still click-clacking away on my revisions! This weekend I got sick and while I continued to hack away at the manuscript, I was feeling pretty uninspired. But now I’m feeling better and the muse is back. I have NINE chapters left! Ahhhhh! Home stretch, y’all! Of course, these chapters are largely summarized or dialogue-only, so I have a lot of work still left to do. But still. I’m also done with this round of revisions! What!

WHAT INSPIRES ME

Are y’all ready for some Kpop overload? Hah! I’ll try to avoid that, but there’s just so much good stuff out there. I’ll keep it to my favorites.

T.O.P’s song “Doom Dada” is my go-to for getting into the creative mindset. The video’s kinda cracked out, but that’s the point. (Check this video out if you’d like an explanation, starting at the 5:23 mark. Pretty brilliant stuff.)

Next up is T.O.P’s AWESOME hip hop song with his BigBang band mate G-Dragon. This was the song that solidified my love for Kpop. And Turbo loves dancing to this song. As soon as he hears it, he starts doing the diaper bump. So freaking cute.

Third is the song that got me interested in Kpop in the first place! Junhyung, the rapper for the group Beast, is the star of the second Kdrama I watched, Monstar. This boy is a quadruple threat! He can act, dance, sing, and rap. I love love love this song, and the whole album is reminiscent of late 90s R&B. Good stuff, y’all.

Can’t forget the ladies! 2ne1 is kinda crazy and that’s why I love them. This video features guns, straight jackets, and fierce clothing, and it’s called “I Am the Best.” Nuff said!

EXO are new and taking the Asian music scene by storm! “Growl” is my second favorite by them (“Machine” usurped it as #1 last night. THE DANCING!!! Kai is a beast.) and their most famous. This video was filmed in one-shot and its simplicity combined with the choreography make it genius.

And last goes to my new favorites, the band Led apple. Rock bands are pretty rare in the Korean music industry, so this indie rock loving girl was delighted to stumble upon these guys. (Thanks to a member of my Kpop facebook group! Yes, I’m in a group devoted solely to discussing Kpop. ^_^) The lead singer, Hanbyul, has some serious pipes. They’re doing this Music Note series where they cover a famous pop song every week, and his version of Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” is simply incredible. This is their newest single and it infuses my entire body with joy. These guys also preform with a lot of heart which I love and appreciate.

(If you want to skip all the intro, start at 0:45.)

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

My giveaway ended last night! And the winner is …

winner

Lucky number 5, who is Stephanie Scott. Congrats Stephanie! I’ll mail you my copy as soon as it arrives. (Seriously, Amazon? Don’t you know what the point of pre-ordering is??)

I finally found the Girl Scouts on Monday, and have adopted two boxes of Thin Mints. I promise to give them a good home–in my freezer, and later in my belly. Om nom nom.

How is your week? I hope fabulous!

WUW: GIVEAWAY!!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop that’s easy and fun. 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!

winter wuwWHAT I’M READING

I finished The Book Thief last week and FELT ALL THE FEELINGS!! So wonderful. So brilliant. If you haven’t yet read that book, fix that immediately! Now I’m re-reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and it is as beautiful the second time. Another book you need to read it you haven’t yet.

WHAT I’M WRITING

I’ve now revised 20 chapters, leaving 15 more. I’ve been hovering just below 60k the past few days since I’ve done a lot of cutting, but today I’ll add enough that I’ll finally hit that milestone. The first version of this story, SPARKS, was 57k when I finished the first draft. (I never revised, instead choosing to re-imagine and change the whole story–and that’s how FRACTURED RADIANCE was born.) So I’ve never written a book that was 60k and it feels really good. I’ve also hit that point where I want to do nothing but work on my book. I love that feeling!

WHAT INSPIRES ME

Kpop! I’ve been listening to it constantly and I love it. But I’m not going to share any this week, because I want to keep this post short. Next week, promise!

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

I’m hosting a giveaway of Kate Scott’s new book Counting to D! I actually started it last week and it was supposed to end last night at midnight but for some reason hardly anyone entered. I’m guessing I didn’t do a good job of promoting it. I’ve extended it for another week. So go enter!

How is your week? Wait, don’t answer that. JUST ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!! ;)

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:

2014-01-14 12.10.51

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.

WHAT I’M WRITING

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:

2014-01-13 22.41.31 new

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.

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

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

WHAT INSPIRES ME

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?

WUW: Turning Gears Edition

WUWAutumn60WHAT I’M READING

Still working on Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I did absolutely no reading over the weekend because things were all crazy-fied. Aaaand book club is tomorrow (I’m hosting! and making the most delicious chocolate cake in the whole history of ever) so I need to get cracking! Having another lovely weather week, so I’ve spent Turbo’s last two afternoon naps sitting in my car, in the sun, reading. Heaven.

WHAT I’M WRITING

I’ve been doing recon work on my SNI with that grand idea I had last week. My brain-grape gears are turning. The world is really starting to come together and now I’m really wishing I could do NaNo because I’m ready to discover this story! Don’t you love when you get to that point of writing and it no longer feels like you’re creating it, rather you’re discovering it? I’ve been feeling that way with my world building and it’s awesome. Bye bye poo fest from two weeks ago!

WHAT INSPIRES ME

Laini Taylor. I think that’s part of the reason I’m itching to write. Whenever I read her stuff I feel so inspired and it’s awesome. That’s a huge part of the reason why she’s my fave.

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

TURBO TURNED ONE ON SATURDAY!! I can’t even believe it. We threw a party on Saturday too, which initially was going to be a very small thing but then it grew because I like throwing parties and I haven’t thrown one in years. I even decorated and had a theme! (Bikes, of course.) My MIL drove out because she’s absolutely in love with her grandson (he’s her one and only so far) and I used the threat of party guests to finish some house projects. INCLUDING my mirror!! Here it is in all its bold pink glory:

2013-10-23 08.39.26

2013-10-23 08.39.36

Ahhh, I love it! It’s so pink and big and mirrory. Mmmm …

Turbo’s party was a blast and he got SUPER messy with his mousse pie. So fun. And, again, so crazy. Where has the last year gone??

Also, please listen to The Naked and Famous’s new album In Rolling Waves because it’s awesome.

How was your week? I’m super behind on commenting* so I promise I’ll visit everyone tonight!

*SORRY!!!