WUW: 100 Words is Saving My Life 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

So, I took last week off because I was bad blogger and I was behind on my commenting. Y’all saw comments from me because I visited your blogs, but yeah, no blogging. It’s a new enforcement technique to help me be a good community citizen. I do like reading y’all’s blogs, but sometimes I look at the sheer number and feel very overwhelmed. There are too many good writers to befriend out there! :)

And speaking of writer friends, I read my CP Kate Scott‘s book Counting to D this weekend! I loved it! I received an arc from her publicist, and here’s what I wrote about it on Goodreads:

counting

Click the picture to pre-order it from Amazon!

“We’re different people, and that’s okay. Different doesn’t have to mean worse. But it also doesn’t have to mean better. Different only means different.”
That is, I think, the crux of this story. The characters all find different ways to feel superior to each other–whether it’s through brains, brawn, or beauty–when they’re all aching to be “normal” and accepted. But, as dyslexic Sam discovers, there’s really no such thing as normal–and that’s a blessing.
You won’t find lyrical writing or lush imagery, but that’s not Kate Scott’s style. You will find snappy dialogue and three-dimensional characters that are interesting and familiar. Not because you’ve read about them in a dozen books, but because you could’ve gone to high school with any of them. I love how the author showed that everyone can be nice and mean. Nerds can be jerks and popular kids can be sweet and sincere, and vice versa. Sam’s struggle is about dyslexia, but anyone who’s felt “weird” and “abnormal” will recognize themselves in her story–and that’s everyone because we all have something that we feel sets us apart, and not in the good way. This is a story with heart and soul, and I found myself thinking about the characters and missing them only a half hour after closing the back cover.

Next Wednesday Kate will be guest posting on here, and then the Tuesday after that (the 11th), her book will go on sale. Yay!

WHAT I’M WRITING

My first order of revisions-business was to add a whole sequence. I finished that last week and it turned out to be so awesome. Things happened and characters stepped into roles that I didn’t anticipate. Don’t you just love when that happens in your writing? The next order of business was to do a chapter-by-chapter outline of my book, taking note of certain types of events, and just really getting a good feel for how everything flows. I finished that yesterday, then had a nice chat with my SIL about the pacing, flow, and character arc. Today, I will start my chapter-by-chapter revisions. This is where the real work begins! Time to smooth it all out, plump what needs plumping, and help my characters really come to life.  Last night I had a little panic–some of that silly fear of how much work this is going to be. Then I thought of this quote:

That’s my new go-to for shooting down that silly writerly-fear I’m prone to.

WHAT INSPIRES ME

Well, the quote above, obviously. Also, the alumni from my MFA have a private group on Facebook where we chat about whatever we like. Someone read a book (or a story/article? something like that) about an author who vowed to write 100 words every day, and ended up writing much, much more than that. My friend started another FB group for those of us who were interested in participating in the 100 Words a Day Challenge. We all post on there every day that we get at least 100 words down. This has changed my whole life. Okay, maybe not, but it has helped me tremendously. So, I’ve devoted nap times to writing, yes? Well, there have still been days when I don’t feel like writing, for whatever reason. On those days, I said to myself, “Just get 100 words. That’s it.” So I start writing with just that goal in mind, and every. single. time. I’ve ended up getting at least several hundred words written, sometimes even over a thousand. It really is a mental block and nothing more, but 100 words is so easily attained, that even on days with the worst mental block, I can talk myself into getting my butt in the chair.

Give it a try. You won’t regret it.

WHAT ELSE I’M UP TO

Not a whole lot. Life’s pretty quiet–which is nice. Things were too crazy last fall and during the holidays. Time for a break!

Oh! I did finally get a synopsis up for my MFA thesis and literary YA contemporary novel, RED SKY:

Two years after being raped, 17-year-old Audrey Winters feels like her life is finally stabilizing. Then her best friend Graham declares his supposed love, her mother announces her engagement, and her new lifeguarding job becomes almost too much to handle. Somehow she finds the courage to keep it all together, but when she runs into her attacker at work—as a fellow employee—Audrey must decide just how brave she is.

*Edit: Oh, I forgot that I now have to wear glasses all the time! (But I’m not a good candidate for contacts.) I’ve been glasses wearer for years, starting in 4th grade, and when I got to like 8th grade I refused to wear them except for studying, etc. Then in college I got a new prescription and was admonished to wear them only when reading, on the computer, driving, etc. Well, I went in a few weeks ago for the first time in five years and I’ve been upgraded to a certified Four-Eyed Geek. I don’t mind though. I really like my frames, and I’ve kinda always wanted to be someone who wore their glasses all the time anyway. :)

Here’s my new look!

me

How’s your week going? I hope fabulously.

Six Sentence Sunday

Turbo and I are off to Utah to visit friends and family this week, so an early, easy post is on order: Six Sentence Sunday!

Another excerpt from my thesis because, well, I’m still embarrassed by most of the writing in FRACTURED RADIANCE. Which I totally need to get over, seeing as it’s first draft writing, but still. These are the interwebs, you know? NOTHING ON HERE DISAPPEARS!!! dun dun dun

Aaaanyhow, here’s another six sentence excerpt from RED SKY:

It’s hard not to let my temper flare up. I usually have it under rein, but sometimes it slips away from me. My therapist says it’s a symptom of post traumatic stress disorder. Until my therapist said I had it, I’d only heard of war vets suffering from PTSD. Sometimes I like to speak in a grizzled voice and tell Graham about my days in ‘Nam. He thinks I’m strange.

Babies, Goals, and Such

And really, just one baby. Mine. My little Turbo.

He sleeps! Not all night, but “through the night” (aka 5 hours). And he’s taking good naps again. So I’m no longer a cereal-eating, bathrobe-wearing zombie.

I’m just a cereal-eating, bathrobe-wearing mom. ^_^

Now that I’m more rested and more with-it mentally, I’m back in the blogging game.

Yay!

So, it’s a new year and all, right? I think I’ll post my goals!

1. Write for at least 20 minutes every day. Totally manageable. (Starting yesterday! And I did it! Yay!)

I’m taking part in the Write Despite challenge. Take a look and join us!

2. Complete FRACTURED RADIANCE to queriable quality.

3. Complete first draft of RED SKY.

4. Query agents.

5. At least outline next planned WIP, if not start on the first draft.

6. Read at least 24 books this year. I wish I could do more, but with being a mom and trying really hard with my writing, I think 24 is a good enough goal. That’s two books a month, and I already have 12 built-in with my book club. So, I might even read more, who knows.

*EDIT: I remembered the other one! About 20 minutes after posting, but on the way to bed. Woohoo!

7. Blog (on here) weekly. Comment on blogs weekly as well.

I feel like I was intending to write one more, but I can’t remember it.* Such is life lately for me. I’m super forgetful, but it usually comes back. Eventually. So I guess I’m only slightly more with-it mentally.

Do you have any goals slash resolutions for 2013?

Six Sentence Sunday

I was talking with a CP recently about how she knows that one of her books is the best she’s ever written, and she feels deep down that it might be the best she’ll ever write.

I immediately thought about my thesis. I can say, without a doubt, that it’s the best book I’ve ever written*. By a long shot. I won’t say that it might be the best I’ll ever write, because I’ve only written one other full book besides it, and then my current WIP (which is almost finished, wee!). But I love this book. It is intensely personal to me in so many ways, and I really ripped my heart out and wiped it all over the pages. Kinda messy, often painful, but the result is something that I love.

Anyhow, my goal is to finish it next month, after I get FRACTURED RADIANCE all ended and off to my CPs. So, to show RED SKY a little love, I thought I’d feature it in a Six Sentence Sunday.**

I take a long hot shower, smelling the salt water afresh as it slips off my body. When I get out, the storm has broken. Thunder shudders against the walls. The rain slaps against the windows, begging to be let in. I cocoon myself in oversized sweats and lay on my bed, watching the lightning outside. I feel like I’m still in the water, the rolling sensation of the waves trapped in my muscles and marrow.

This was kind of a random choice, though perhaps inspired by the fact that I miss the beach like crazy (and this is right after a day spent at the beach). I’ll also admit that I’m proud of this little bit of writing–I can admit that, right?

Do you have a book that you love beyond all reason? Do you feel strongly about any of your novels that they are The One? Or are you still searching for that story?

*Yeah, it’s not quite finished yet, but it’s still awesome.

**Idea stolen from another fabulous CP, Kitty!

Lucky 7s All the Way

… across the sky …

Anywho! Kristin has been on a tagging binge lately, because she tagged everybody in the whole world to do the Lucky 7 Meme. And honestly, it’s fun so I did it twice! Once with FRACTURED RADIANCE and once with RED SKY. Obviously, FR’s is … super rough. Because it’s NEVER BEEN EDITED. So … don’t think too lowly of me, eh?

And, for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet (aka anyone living under a rock), here are the rules:

  1. Go to page 77 of my WIP
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy the next 7 lines, AS ARE (no cheating, no tweaking, no polishing for any reason at all) and paste them into a blog post (thus here we are) to share with the world
  4. Tag 7 other authors
Here are the lines from FRACTURED RADIANCE:

“Do you have them, too?” Lia asked.

“I do, but different ones. We each have our own unique abilities. And that’s something you need to remember: V is powerful. And she’s incredibly intelligent, so don’t underestimate her.

“One more thing.” Dr. Hamdal’s mood lightened, though serious. He stood up straight and cast one more sweeping look around the street. Then he smiled. “It’s up to you, of course.”

Umm … there are definitely stronger 7-line-segments in this novel, but oh well! Rules are rules!

 

And now for the selection from RED SKY (because it’s still a work-in-progress, even if it’s not my active one):

“Julie needs to see you in the office,” he says. I climb down and he fills the empty seat. Another guard sits on main stand. I guess Connor’s been talking with Julie. I hadn’t even noticed he was gone.

“I’ve got my water now,” Connor says after straightening his hat, still wet from jumping in.

“Thanks,” I say. “You saved me.”

“I saved the kid,” he says, his eyes already on the pool in front of him.

And … there it is. Wow, lots of dialogue tags. I’m itching to edit this, but I resist! It’s probably pretty obvious what’s going on here, but I won’t say just in case there is some mystery. Ooooooo O_o

And I tag … anyone who hasn’t done it yet. Because I’m super behind on blog reading, but so far, it seems like I’m the last to play. So if there’s anyone out there that’s even later to the party … here’s your invite!

Resolutions Schmesolutions

About three years ago on my personal blog, I decided to post Yearly and Monthly Goals. Because it seems like, in our culture, resolutions are doomed to fail. But goals are more attainable. Plus, when I achieve a goal, I can act like a Soccer Announcer:

Gooooooo-

-aaaaaaaaaal!

But I’m pretty sure people will look at me like I’m crazy every time I yell “GOAL!” when I work out. So, maybe not so much.

However! I still call them Goals. So there! Nyah nyah nyah. And what are my goals, you ask? I have a lot this year. In fact, I would say I have a plethora of goals, but I’m only going to list my writing goals so I won’t bore you.

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.

b. Write the best damn query letter I can.

c. Send those damn awesome things out!

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

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

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

I’m really excited about these goals. Seeing as last year I worked on “perfecting” the 130 pages of RED SKY I turned in as my thesis, and started a second draft of SPARKS, only to realize how terrible it was, then completely re-plot it and start over, and only read 25 books (I read a lot of articles for my paper last winter), I’m excited for more forward progression on actual books. My writing improved a lot. Now it’s time to put it to use.

So … if you haven’t yet posted your Schmesolutions for Oh-Twelve (hahaha) (and I recognize I’m very behind on this, but whatevs), what are your goals? And if you are awesome and have already posted your Schmesolutions, how’s it coming 11 days in?