Wednesday, 7 January 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Bring Your Shit, 2015

{click here for a full list of participants!}

Okay, it's a new year, 2014 sucked, blah blah blah: we've all got the message by now, I'm sure. But 2015? This is going to be the year I kick major ass (in the six inch heels I got on super sale the other day) (I can barely walk in them but ass kicking is another story). I'm telling you right now, this is going to be The Year of Becky.

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(Yes, I am borrowing that from Happy Endings' Penny Hartz.) (Happy Endings was a great show and you should watch it.) (And Casey Wilson is a boss chick and one of my absolute faves.)

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What I'm Reading:

I started my year with a Sara Zarr because I love, love, love her writing so much and THE LUCY VARIATIONS has been sitting on my shelf waiting for the perfect time to be picked up. This was so the perfect time--I loved the story, and the music, and all of Lucy's flaws but especially her strengths. It also reminded me that not all stories have to be these big, sweeping epics with explosions and secrets societies and passionate romances. Which, duh--but sometimes, being a writer of small, quiet stories, it's easy to be afraid that no one will want to read them. And then I read a beautiful, quiet story and remember that it's not true.

Right now I'm halfway through AUDREY, WAIT! by Robin Benway, which I got because one Tracey Neithercott raved about it so much that I had to check it out. So far, it's living up to the hype--I'm especially loving Audrey's best friend Victoria and of course Bendy the cat. It's definitely a fun read!

What I'm Writing:

My revision-slash-turning-one-book-into-two is complete! Sort of. As it stands, these manuscripts are a kind of duology, and although both are finished drafts, I've been paying more attention to what I suppose is Book One. So it's been revised, read through, revised some more, read through some more, revised some more…basically, I'm at the point where I need outside eyes.

{Imagine a brilliant segue here}

So who wants to read this manuscript? Oh my god, stop screaming! Okay, okay, you all can have a look.


But seriously--if anybody's willing to take a look at this story, I'll be eternally grateful (and of course return the favour). If you want to know a bit more of what it's about…hmm. I was going to say "check out this post and this post and this post!" but it turns out I haven't really blogged any of what this book is about. Instead, I'll share my (rough, very rough, please don't judge me) query:

If Audrey Spencer’s life was a book, it would be one of those cool, glossy coffee table volumes, filled with the pictures she takes: of her adoptive mom laughing with that radiant smile; of her best friend Rose dancing, carefree and careless; of her boyfriend Julian, sweat-slicked and determined behind his bass guitar.  
Only one photograph would ruin it: the pregnancy test and its sneering positive result. Now instead of worrying about framing and aperture, Audrey’s thoughts are filled with this possible baby—a baby that would derail her art school plans, that would turn Julian’s music career dreams into dust.  
Figuring out what to do is driving her almost insane, but the one person she trusts to decipher her crazy is pulling away and Audrey can’t figure out why Rose is suddenly so distant. All she does know is that time keeps moving and the pressure keeps building and then — a letter slips into her hands. A letter from the girl who gave her up seventeen years ago.

It's a story about love and family, and difficult choices, and finding belief in yourself and everyone around you. And this probably goes without saying, but it's a contemp, so if you're into that sort of thing you might like it. Let me know, here or via twitter/email if you prefer.

A goal for this week--I need to get a synopsis written and do some more work on my query.

What Works For Me:

Speaking of the dreaded, awful, hideous synopsis: I'm going to be using Susan Dennard's method. It's the only thing that's ever worked for me and it's magic, I swear. It's so overwhelming trying to distill a 70k MS into one page and making sure you're hitting every important plot point. I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

(Okay, think about something else, distraction, distraction…yes, Charlie Hunnam, picture Charlie Hunnam, good, good…)

Aaaand I'm back. So yeah, writing the synopsis sucks but Susan Dennard rocks and if you struggle as much as me, try her method.

What Else Is New:

Well, I currently have a chest infection, which is so totally super fun! But I have the twisty weirdness of Twin Peaks to distract me (I got the box set for Christmas) and I also just picked up some books on knitting from work--one of my goals for the year is to knit something more than a scarf and I'm going to need a little help. Actually, a lot of help, probably.

So that's what I'm up to in the first real week of The Year of Becky! I hope 2015 has started sweetly for you all.