Wednesday, 30 October 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Query Exhaustion Edition

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What I'm Reading:

Like everyone else in the (YA) world, I read ALLEGIANT over the weekend. More thoughts to come since it's our YA Book Club pick for November (join us!) but I'll just say that although the book as a whole wasn't completely perfect for me, I definitely found the ending very satisfying.

Now I'm reading FAULT LINE by the wonderful Christa Desir which I'm fully prepared to weep/rage over.

What I'm Writing:

I have eleven (and a half) scenes left to write. However, every scene I think is going to be short turns out not to be, and I keep adding scenes all over the place, so who knows? Maybe I'll be done by Christmas!, I'm kind of burned out right now. I got two rejections on my birthday (ouch, right?!) and I'm feeling very much in need of some good news right now. Nothing big necessarily (although I wouldn't turn down some big good news--hint, hint, agents), but a little something to tell me that yes, I am on the right path, I should keep going, and one day it will happen for me. I probably don't need to tell any of you this, but when you see good things happening to other people, it can sometimes be hard to remember that 1. we're all taking different paths and 2. we have no idea what they went through before the good things finally started happening for them. Actually, it's probably good to imagine that at one point, they were all feeling as burned out and weary as I am right now, because look where they are now! One day that could be me with the six-figure three-book deal* and movie rights optioned**!

So, on I go. (And anyone that's feeling the same way as me right now: keep going.)

What Inspires Me Right Now:

This song by Banks is definitely going to soundtrack a story one day.

What Else I've Been Up To:

Like I mentioned, it was my birthday this week, and I turned 22. Which feels weird because in my head I'm either forty (I get a lot of enjoyment from homeware and I refer to teenagers as "youths") or sixteen (I really like glitter and I don't understand taxes). Speaking of homeware, I got a lot a baking-related presents: stackable three-tier cooling rack (ooh), rainbow measuring spoons (aah), a heart-shaped cake tin...looks like I'll be doing some baking soon!

Until next time,


*yeah, that's never going to happen.
**probably not going to happen either.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Cheating

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What I'm Reading:

After finishing OUT OF THE EASY, which I thought was great but lacking the ending it needed (which is the same way I felt about BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY, actually), I made about a thousand reservations at the library. I'm trying to cut back on buying books (and other things). (So please ignore the fact that I did actually buy two books on Friday and may be waiting on a book delivery...)

Anyway, one of the books I reserved was Cora Carmack's FAKING IT, because I was super surprised that it was even available in our library system. Of course I hadn't actually read LOSING IT yet, so that's what I did last week. (Yes, I downloaded it, but that doesn't count as buying a book, does it? It does? Oh.) Well, LOSING IT was not the best but it was a pleasant and quick enough read. FAKING IT, however, is showing much more promise. There's more character development, much more backstory, more world building...yes, it's another romance with a heap of drama thrown in, but what's so bad about that?

What I'm Writing:

Rewriting, 500 words a day, nearing the end, blah blah blah you don't care because you've heard it all before!

Here's something new: I'm cheating on my WIP.

 photo tumblr_m39lf6hTEf1qgiqcpo1_250.gif

Yes, you read that right. See, the first YA story I wrote/queried/shelved featured these two characters who I adore. I still write snippets of pointless scenes with them, find myself typing their names instead of the characters in my WIP, and trying to come up with ways to rework that MS and fix everything that's wrong with it. Which is impossible.

But I thought those characters and a scene the other day, and I started writing. A couple hundred words, I think,  so it's not like I'm suddenly 5K into a unexpected story and woo! Of course not, that's not how I work. And I'm not writing this as a Thing, anyway. I think I (and others) can get caught up in the idea of writing towards publication: the draft always needs to be finished faster, the revision always needs to be cleaner, the characters and the plot and the romance all need to follow an established pattern but be different enough to entice readers at the same time...God, it's exhausting. So writing something where I don't need to worry about any of those things is nice.

Oh! Epiphany as I write this: perhaps I will turn it into a short story, linking into other short stories...yes, that sounds fun. Yay writing!

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Okay, this is going to sound seriously cheesy, but: YOU.

I was at work (the library) yesterday tidying the teen section, and I suddenly thought: one day I'm going to know the people on here.

Like, right now I look at the books and feel as if I know some of those authors from reading all of their books or following their blog/twitter/instagram, and it's kind of cool. But one day I'm going to see a book on the shelves of libraries and bookstores that bears the name of one of you and I'll be able to say, "I know her!"

"I knew her when she got an agent!"

"I knew her when she was writing her first manuscript ever!"

"She read my work and made me a better writer and is THE BEST!"

And I just got all verklempt knowing that one day I'll see all your names up in (figurative) lights. How amazing is that?

What Else I've Been Up To:

Baking, dancing, playing this game Dots on my phone which you've probably all heard about and seriously I am addicted, listening to my boo Drake's new album, video chatting with my transatlantic twin Jess, wishing I could sleep, drinking a ton of water because I'm determined to kick my Coke Zero habit....huuurrrrgh but I love it so! Sigh.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What's Up Wednesday: It's October!

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What I'm Reading:

This weekend I finished THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay. I wept. And then I gave up on writing (for an hour or two). This has definitely earned a place on my favourites list: dark, intense, emotional, beautifully written...I could go on and on. Oh, and Nastya? Josh, Drew? All such vivid and layered characters, flawed and fucked up and okay I really will stop now.

Now I'm about a hundred pages into OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys, which I'm finding really different to BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY but enjoying just as much.

What I'm Writing:

When will this draft/ ever end /seriously it's been like/ a month or ten/ writing is hard/ plots are dumb/writing is hard wait did I already say that

I am nearing the end. I can feel it. The drama is coming. (Well, as dramatic as my stories get.) I would like nothing more than to give myself a break right now, but I'm so close to finishing and so on a roll with knowing what I'm writing that I don't want to stop. Hopefully it won't be too much longer!

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Y'all remember JoJo? Of "Leave (Get Out)" and "Too Little, Too Late" fame? You're probably thinking, "Yes, Becky, I remember her, but she disappeared years why exactly are you talking about her?"

Yes, I follow JoJo on IG, and what?

I'm a big fan of JoJo's and I've been listening to her latest mixtape a ton this last week. You see, JoJo still puts out music, but she has to do it on her own and for free, because her label won't put out any music from her. They also won't release her from her contract. You read that right: her label won't release any music by her, but they won't let her go so that someone else can. And this has been going on for years.

But JoJo does not give up: she makes music, releases mix tapes, plays live, and keeps on going. I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty inspiring.

What Else I've Been Up To:

Mostly, I've been car shopping. My car just about passed its MOT with a long-ass list of advisories which would cost more to fix than I paid for the car, so I decided to upgrade. And when I say upgrade, I mean that my new car has a radio that doesn't pop out, and a blippidy thing to lock it. Whee! I'm going to pick it up on Friday. Whee again!

Also, now that Breaking Bad is over it seems like the perfect time for me to start watching it again. Right? Only 51 episodes to go!

Also, it's October which is my favourite month because 1. Autumn and 2. birthday! Yes, it's my birthday at the end of the month which means I'm allowed to start freaking out about all the things I said I'd do since my last birthday but haven't yet. Yikes.