Wednesday, 10 July 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Ready. Set. Write! #5

Aloha, lovelies! Time for some updates...

Click here for a full list of participants!


What I'm Reading:

I had an excellent reading week! I finished CHARM & STRANGE, which I loved and you should read immediately. Then I read my first Jennifer Echols book, GOING TOO FAR, which I didn't love at all. It's okay, because that was remedied by Erica Lorraine Scheidt's USES FOR BOYS, which was not what I expected it to be at all and which I fell completely in love with. Seriously, this is now on my favourites list. And THEN I read ELEANOR AND PARK, which was also not what I expected it to be, so much so that at the beginning I didn't think I was going to like it, but I did! Now I'm reading LIKE MANDARIN by Kirsten Hubbard. Woo!

What I'm Writing:


I finally wrote a synopsis! Big thank you to Kat Owens for introducing me to Susan Dennard's synopsis post--anyone who needs some help should check it out! It's a massive help. Thanks, Kat!

I'm doing pretty well meeting my daily goals--in fact, this week I even wrote on Saturday and Sunday! I think having a small daily goal (500-ish words) is actually helping me write more, because it's taken the pressure off a bit. And I'm doing a lot more aiming for the end of a scene or a specific section, rather than a specific number, which is new for me and working well.

Finally, I've done something completely new to me this week...I entered the Christmas in July contest! I hadn't even thought about it until Sara mentioned it to me, and then I thought, why not? What's the worst that can happen? I mean, sure, three of my top agents are going to be looking at the entries, but does that scare me? Oh, wait--yes, it does. It really, really does. But I'm getting ahead of myself, since I don't even know if I'll make it through to the next round. Either way, it's already been exciting and at least I've taken the first step into the real world with FATE!

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Beautiful stories. Summer songs. Dancing. Pretty sunsets. Making music. Anything and everything.

What Else I've Been Up To:

It is hella hot in England (I know, what's happening?) so I splashed out (AWFUL PUN ALERT) and purchased a small child's paddling pool.



Laugh if you want, but you should know I'm living the dream. Lying in that, listening to music, and reading books...I've cracked the secret to joy. I have also adjusted my career goals from become a mildly successful published author to SELL ENOUGH BOOKS TO HAVE A POOL, because I need one. Seriously.

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So that's what up with me! How about you--has anyone else entered Christmas in July? Does anyone have any tips on how not to go crazy thinking about contests?! Querying I've done before, so I'm pretty good with the waiting on that, but this is a whole different level of nerves/excitement :) Fingers crossed!

xoxo

32 comments:

  1. I did enter Christmas in July and about the only way I stay sane until winners are announced is to stay really busy! Good luck to you!

    Also, I am so jealous of your reading accomplishments. WOW!!! I really want to get my hands on Charmed and Strange as well as Uses for Boys. I've heard so many good things. And I loved Eleanor and Park. I can't wait to get my hands on Rowell's next one - FANGIRL.

    Have a great week! And love the pool!

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    1. Good luck to you too Alison! I'm actually starting to think it's easier than waiting on queries--at least this way there's a set schedule to everything! I want to read FANGIRL for sure--I think I'll go backwards and pick up ATTACHMENTS, too. She's definitely a talented writer :)

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  2. I'm definitely saving the link to the 1-page synopsis guide! I'm normally terrible at summing up my story in as few words as possible. Thanks for posting!

    And I love your idea of buying a kid's pool. I might have to copy that, it's been SO hot here lately, too.

    Can't wait to hear what you think of LIKE MANDARIN. It's one of my favorites, and I have a total writer crush on Kirsten Hubbard. <3

    Happy writing and good luck with the Christmas in July contest!

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    1. Ooh, glad to hear LM is one of your faves! I have a total writer crush on Kirsten Hubbard, too--WANDERLOVE surprised me with how good it was and how much I loved it :) Thanks for the luck, I definitely need all I can get!

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  3. Charm & Strange is on my to-read list as well. I've read too many amazing things about it to pass it by. Good luck with Christmas in July. I hope you make it to the next round because now I'm kind of curious about your novel.

    And I so wish I had a backyard big enough for any pool any size. ;D

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    1. It really is excellent, so I'm glad you're going to check it out. Thanks for the luck (and the curiousity!)

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  4. Kiddie pool. In awe of your awesome.

    I loved LIKE MANDARIN--I'm eager to hear what you think about it!

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    1. Haha, thanks! Gotta find fun where you can :)

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  5. Yay for summer: great books, writing progress, and kiddie pools, life doesn't get better than that.

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    1. It really doesn't :) hope your summer's going exactly that way, too!

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  6. I enjoyed LIKE MANDARIN. Beautifully written. I hope you enjoy it at least as much as I did. And I noticed the weather's warming up in the UK. The town I'm originally from is supposed to be in the low 80s F (upper 20s C) for the next few days. Of course, here in Eastern North Carolina, it's a good 10 degrees warmer, with thunderstorms to make the air heavy with moisture. Yukk. Care to trade weather? :)

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    1. You can keep the humidity, thanks! Glad you enjoyed LIKE MANDARIN--I thought WANDERLOVE was beautifully written, too :)

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  7. And now you can say that you own a pool - no-one needs to know how small it is. But I can imagine just how lovely it must have been to relax in that with your books and the sun shining down :)

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    1. That's true--no-one needs to know that when I say 'pool' I don't mean Olympic-sized infinity pool! Haha :)

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  8. I LOVED CHARM & STRANGE. Loved it. And I really liked E & P (want FANGIRL now), and LM.

    I love that you're hanging in the kiddie pool with books and sunshine! :)

    Yay for reaching all your writing goals and entering the contest (GOOD LUCK!!!!) and writing a synopsis and all the things you're doing to grow as a writer!

    Have a fab week!
    ~Lola

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    1. Thanks for the luck, Lola! This is all very new and exciting to me, however it ends up going :)

      I want FANGIRL, too! E&P really lived up to the hype, so I'm pretty confident FANGIRL will too :)

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  9. Good luck with the pitch contest! I entered one last year and while it didn't land me an agent, I got amazing feedback and my MS is so much better now because of it. I'm about to start sending it out again after making some revisions!

    No judgement on your kiddie pool. In fact, when I saw you post it to Instagram, I was thinking I need to get me one of those! Ha. :)

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    1. Oh, I'm excited for you to start sending your MS out again! Thinking good thoughts :)

      You should def get yourself a little baby pool! Best £10 I've spent in a loooong time, haha!

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  10. Congrats on entering the Christmas in July contest! And congrats on writing a synopsis. It's a huge accomplishment to me. They are so hard to write! I bookmarked that link. Thanks!

    Absolutely no judging on the kiddie pool. If I didn't live in an apartment I would be doing the same thing. I so want a pool too. It's so hot here in Arkansas.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks! Yay, I hope the post helps--it's the most helpful thing I've used in writing a synopsis :)

      Hope you have a great weekend, too--and that you find somewhere to stay cool!

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  11. Good luck with Christmas in July! :D And you've read so much and written plenty too. That's a successful week right there!

    Yeah, it's definitely been beach weather this week. At this time of year, Brighton's a great place to live ^_^

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    1. Oh, so jealous! Brighton is exactly the place to be right now :) Yes, it was a successful week--now let's see if I can keep the momentum going!

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  12. You have such excellent taste in books, Rebecca. I LOVED Eleanor & Park, and I thought Uses For Boys was so compelling. Obviously I need to get my hands on Charm and Strange because if you loved it, chances are I will too.

    Way to go meeting your writing goals this week -- excellent! And I'm thinking all the good thoughts for you in regard to the Christmas in July contest. Best of luck, friend!

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    1. I think you'll definitely love it! It's skillfully written and an awesome twisty tale :) Thanks for the good thoughts--I'm trying not to get too obsessive about the whole thing, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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  13. You ALWAYS crack me up! I love reading your posts because I know I'm 1.) going to feel good by the end and 2.) laugh at something I thought only I would do.

    Um, yes, I bought a kiddie pool for my dog last week - it's been hitting the 90's the past week or so here in Seattle and I knew he needed a way to cool off (he's a giant and very hairy 115 lbs. German Shepherd). What I wasn't expecting is that I'd be in the kiddie pool more than he was. And I love every single moment I'm in it. Totally agree that I want to make enough money to have a pool. A real in-ground one. Big enough so I can float on a raft.

    Best of luck in the Christmas in July pitch contest!!!! I know it's daunting - but just think if you make it through, how many AWESOME agents you'll have access to! I'll make sure to stop by and check it out and cheer you on, for sure!

    Fab job on hitting your writing goals and getting that synopsis done! Care to write mine? No seriously. :)

    Happy Wednesday!

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    1. Haha, thanks E! You always make me smile :) Great minds think alike! Really, I just feel sorry for everyone who HASN'T had the genius brainwave we did!

      Uh, thinking of all those agents is what's scaring me!!! I'll definitely need all the support I can get if I get that far!

      Sure, I'll write your synopsis--if you'll finish my first draft! Sound like a fair deal? ;)

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  14. Good luck with Christmas in July! Pitch contests ALWAYS scare me to death, but every time I've entered I've learned a lot about myself and what I'm working on.

    Also--totally jealous that 1) You sat in a baby pool and 2) You had the guts to sit in a baby pool. You are fabulous. Here's to an awesome week of meeting goals and writing!

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  15. You are reading some good books lately! Wishing you lots of luck and a few winks from fate during Christmas in July.

    And just so you know, I also have a little inflatable pool that I spent quite a bit of time in last week while on vacation. It was lovely.

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  16. Good luck on your contest!!! That's exciting. It sounds like you are enjoying summer :)

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  17. Wow, I'm in awe of how much you've read this week. And still meeting your writing goals! *high five* Way to go!
    I love your kiddie pool! Except the only way I'd pull off one of those would be with a serious privacy fence. ;)

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  18. Love the kiddie pool! Sounds like you've been busy reading and have still found time to write. Way to go! Congrats on conquering the synopsis monster, too! Good luck with upcoming goals.

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  19. I love that you bought a kiddie pool! You are AWESOME! This made me laugh out loud: "I've cracked the secret to joy." Haha! Sounds like you're reading some great books too. I have LIKE MANDARIN on my shelf (and have had for ages now), and I've been meaning to read it. I really enjoyed WANDERLOVE by Hubbard, so I fully expect to like that one.

    You're doing awesome on your writing goals! I agree that setting a small daily goal is a great idea. It's attainable, but you feel so good once you meet it or even surpass it. Good for you! Keep it up! :D

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