Wednesday, 14 May 2014

What's Up Wednesday, Brace Face Edition

{click here for a full list of participants!}

Oh lordy, it's been so long since I managed to get my act together and put up a WUW post! But I'm here now and ready to catch up with everybody, so let's get it going.

What I'm Reading:

Right now: ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein, which I'm probably going to put aside for one of the many more anticipated books in my towering TBR. I enjoyed CODE NAME VERITY but I did find it hard to get into (and long), even though it was worth it in the end. It's hard to keep going with a book you're not head-over-heels for when there's so much else to choose from.

Recently: I beta-read a GREAT manuscript and all I will say is you should probably check out ILLUSIVE by Emily Lloyd-Jones, coming out in July. Especially if you like heists and crazy cool powers and such things.

I also read CRAZY by Amy Reed which I adored and wept over. I happen to love epistolary novels (like FINDING CASSIE CRAZY by Jaclyn Moriarty, one of my all-time faves) and stories about girls with weird brains, so my love for it was no surprise, really. I totally recommend it if you're into that sort of thing.

What I'm Writing:

That MS I'm Drafting: still going, slow-and-steady. There was a little while where I was stressing about how to get the story where it needed to be, but a pretty intense plotting session fixed that. Sort of. I'm still not sure exactly where I want to take one particular plot point but I can figure that out later.

That MS I'm Revising: dunzo, yo. For now, anyway, and sent off to a few people to read, including Sara who possesses magical critiquing powers, I swear.

That MS I'm Querying: just trying to stave off the insanity. Tips appreciated.

What Inspires Me Lately:

I've been reading so many great books lately that I'm really feeling inspired to push myself in my writing. For example, I adore magical realism and I've always wanted to write it, but I've been afraid that I'm not good enough to pull it off or that I won't know how to actually do it. And the truth is, I don't really know how to write it or how to pull it off, but if I don't try, I'll never know--and it's not like trying something equals some magical permanent commitment. Plus, I never want to rest on what I already know I can do; I always want to be working and improving, and becoming a better writer. That's what I'm feeling inspired about lately.

What Else I've Been Up To:

--Getting braces: (this is turning out to be a loooong process…I mean, I was/am fully prepared for the amount of time I'm going to have these things, but I was NOT prepared for the likely three month gap between getting my bottom braces and my top ones. NHS, I love you, but you drive me crazy.)

[pre-bands and wires]

--Eating a lot of ice cream: (see above)

--Hanging out with my brother's puppies, Lulu and Shuttlesworth:

 Aren't they cuties?

--Over Easter some of my friends came home from uni/London life and we had a nice night at our favourite pub. Which then turned into going out-out and me, the sober one, trying to make (drunk) people dance, as always. (Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?) It also involved taking my friend's South African boyfriend on a tour of Swindon by which I mean I drove around the Magic Roundabout a couple of times because that is, quite literally, our main attraction. (Google it, if you dare.)

That's about it! Off to sit out in the sun (fingers crossed it stays for the whole afternoon) and catch up with everybody else's happenings.



  1. Yay, it's awesome that you're feeling inspired to try something new! I try to push myself harder with each book, and trying new genres is a great way to do that.

    Ah, the querying insanity. All I can do is write more books and try to ignore the madness!

    Have a great week!

  2. Aww, cute puppies! Regarding querying: I think you're doing the best possible thing by continuing to work on other projects. That's the only thing that kept me sane during my multiple query efforts. It was comforting for me to know that if the book I was querying didn't snag me an agent (the first two didn't!), then at least I'd have something to try again with later. Also, writing is the ultimate distraction. :-) Enjoy all of that ice cream. Braces perk!

  3. I have CODE NAME VERITY sitting on my shelf. It's been there (unread) for well over a year now. I've heard mixed things about it, so I'm not sure when I'll get to it. ILLUSIVE sounds really good! I promptly added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the rec! As for querying, I have to agree with Katy about working on something while you're waiting to hear back from agents. Nothing like putting your energy into something that excites you to (sort of) distract your brain. I have to agree with your What Inspires Me section. I feel like that right now, too. Hope you have a great week with lots of ice cream, no braces pain, and even more sunshine! :D

  4. I loooooooved CODE NAME VERITY but I totally agree with you about the pacing. It does start out slow and not particularly gripping. I think that's why I haven't read ROSE UNDER FIRE yet, even though I've had it since it was released. I'm looking forward to it, but I have so many other books that I know I can get through faster. (Plus, I have a feeling ROSE will be somewhat like CNV in that it'll be devastating.)

    Love the puppies! And omg, braces! I had mine for most of high school. It felt like I'd never get them off, lol, but they do make a pretty smile. :) Congrats on finishing your revisions!

  5. I think I had my top braces for about a year before my bottom ones were put on. Took them a while to realise they needed to balance everything out :P

    Funnily enough, I'm posting about coping with querying on Friday ;) Hang in there.

  6. Illusive sounds great! I loved CNV but I only liked Rose Under Fire. It didn't have quite the same impact, but still a good book.
    I never planned to write magical realism, but the MS I wrote for NaNoWriMo falls under that category. I say, go for it! I don't know if I pulled it off or not, but I didn't let genre worry me while I was writing. :)

  7. Ugh, I feel your pain on the braces. I had them a couple years ago and it took forever, plus I ended up with major complications (meaning the orthodontist was an idiot and made my bite too small). Now I'm going through the whole dental implant fiasco. Loads of fun. I hope your experience is much better (and quicker) than mine.

    I'm amazed that you have a manuscript at each stage of the process. Impressive! I can only ever work on one project at a time. I think it's great that you want to tackle a magical realism story and that you're inspired by pushing yourself to improve. Go for it! Have a super week!

  8. I've heard awesome things about ILLUSIVE. I can't wait to read it! I was fortunate to not need braces. I can only imagine the maintenance for them!

  9. My CP's and I developed a Query Survival Game where for every 10 queries you send or rejections you get, you buy yourself and amazing prize. Something you wouldn't normally get yourself. Trust me, it works wonders.

    I'm going to be right there with you in the query trenches soon, so I'll be over here offering chocolate and a shoulder if you need it. :)

    And I love your attitude about pushing yourself as a writer. I think if you want to try something new, you should go for it. How do you know if you can do something, if you never try, right?!

    Hope you have an awesome week with lots more puppies and ice cream. :)