Category Archives: Inspiration

What’s Up Wednesday

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“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to. And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and oh, my gosh… It was incredible. Like, so, so good. I already suspect it’ll be among my most-loved 2015 releases. Now, I’m reading Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy, which is fantastic so far. Incidentally, if you’re not listening to Sarah Enni’s First Draft podcast, you should be. Last week she interviewed Julie, who was endlessly delightful. It was their transparent and engaging conversation that made me want to rescue Side Effects from my towering TBR pile.

What I’m Writing: I got feedback on my road trip book, The Road So Farfrom my agent. I’m pleased to report that she loved it — phew! Of course, this book’s a follow-up, so its predecessor has to sell first, but it’s such a relief to know that she understands what the story is meant to be and is on-board.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been dragging my feet on finishing my NaNo book, Stars Like Dust, and I’m starting to realize that the reason for my procrastination is… I screwed something up along the way –> the pacing of what will eventually be the final third. I was discussing the problem with my husband the other day and he said (plainly, like the solution was obvious), “Why don’t you just have [important event] come before [other important event]. And I was like… “Huh.” Negative: The fix is going to be a pain in the butt. Positive: The fix is going to make the story much stronger. Goal: Adjust what’s already written, then replot the end of Stars Like Dust so I can tackle it during February’s writing retreat.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: We’ve been playing tourist in our own area, which is always fun. We move A LOT and in order to make the best of it, we make a point to see as much of each new “home” as possible…


We visited Destin’s Gulfarium, an aquarium that’s literally on the beach. My girl and I have been once before, but we wanted my husband to see how awesome it is, too. If you’re ever on the Emerald Coast, check it out!


We also visited Fort Barrancas, a centuries-old military fort and National Historic Landmark overlooking the Pensacola Bay. It’s very cool (especially if you’re into military history, like my husband) and the views are gorgeous.


This girl started her basketball season. It’s been so fun to watch her improve with every game. My sweet, gentle child is becoming so aggressive!

What Works For Me: What works for me? THIS…

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

What’s Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to. And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. It’s incredible. I’m in awe of the brilliant plotting, plus the complex characters the authors created. And, there are some wonderfully steamy moments which, of course, I loved. I also read The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson, which is poignant and evocative and cold and lonely, just as beautiful as her Tiger Lily. She’s quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. Now I’m reading All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and even though I’ve only just started, I’m loving Finch and Violet and their authentic voices.

  

What I’m Writing: Continuing to read through my NaNo manuscript, (which still doesn’t have a conclusion). I’ve left myself tons of notes about things I need to research/revise, and I’ve cleaned up a lot of its messiness. I’ve also got a plan for The End, which (GOAL) I’m going to carefully plot in the coming week. I’m going on a most amazing writing retreat in February (yay, yay, yay!), during which I hope to do the actual writing.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Playing around with Tumblr. I just signed up and though I have no idea what I’m doing, I’ve enjoyed posting (reblogging?) pictures of books and Disney characters and Taylor Kitsch and inspirational images, plus quotes on writing and success. Do you Tumbl? Is that even a word? I’m HERE if you’re interested in linking up!


Spreading the word about Cavalcade of Authors West, a literary conference for Western Washington middle school students. My longtime friend Kari Bradley is one of the organizers and their list of participating authors is aMaZiNg — Kimberly Derting, Peggy Eddleman, Kristin Halbrook, Mindy McGinnis, Richelle Mead, Marissa Meyer, Alyson Noel, Lisa Schroeder, Liesl Shurtliff, and Staia Ward Kehoe, to name a few. You can learn more about COA West on the post I shared last week, or you can visit the official site. If you’re able, I highly encourage you to donate to this fantastic literary event.


And, since one of my 2015 goals was to fix more treats, I present… A plate of super rich, super delicious Rocky Road Fudge. (You’re welcome.)

What Works For Me: Vlogagrams! Author Megan Whitmer had the brilliant idea to initiate a weekly vlogagram challenge on Instagram, and it’s been so much fun! I find vlogging daunting, normally, because I’m shy and I hate the pressure of coming up with a topic and having to speak in an entertaining manner for minutes upon minutes. Vlogagrams are short (fifteen seconds) and Megan is hooking participants up with weekly themes, which makes the process much less intimidating. I’ve loved “meeting” fellow writers and building on the sense of community I’ve already found via IG. If you’re interested, check out the vlogagram hashtag. The videos I’ve done so far are HERE

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

What’s Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to. Here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner which, so far, is just as fabulous as their co-written debut, These Broken Stars. I haven’t had tons of time to read lately, but each and every one of my spare moments are being spent with Flynn and Jubilee.

 

What I’m Writing: I’m slowly cleaning up my NaNo project and prepping to write its climax and conclusion, which I *think* I’ve finally figured it out. Additionally, I spent a few days reading and offering feedback on Riley Edgewood‘s super hot, super amazing upcoming contemporary NA. I wish I could give you hints as to all of this story’s awesomeness, but let’s just say, it’s very much a Katy Book, and I loved it.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Trying to get back into a routine now that my husband’s back to work and my daughter’s back to school. Plus…


I participated in the YA Buccaneers‘s #12DaysOfBooks photo challenge and made some new Instagram buddies along the way. Above are two of my favorite photo prompts (with assistance from Daphne): “Bookcase” and “Spine Poetry” (mine reads: if i stay / through the ever night / what’s left of me / cracked up to be / something like normal / forever…). Thanks for hosting, Buccaneers!


My husband, daughter, and I spent a day exploring downtown Pensacola. We walked a ton, hit up a history museum, ate amazing burgers (and drank a spiked Almond Joy milkshake), and watched a professional hockey game.

  
I’ve been playing with minimalism and candy-colored photos on Instagram, which is all sorts of fun. I first learned about the look on the IG feed of blogger extraordinaire Fat Mum Slim (Chantelle), who talks about #CandyMinimal HERE. She was inspired by photographer Matt Crump, whose IG feed is gorgeous. He gives a fantastic candy-colored editing tutorial HERE.

What Works For Me: Writing has been sporadic over the last few weeks, but my girl’s back to school and my husband’s leave is over and I’m trying to buckle down. That means butt in chair and accounta-buddies, plus the knowledge that if my MS-on-sub doesn’t sell, I’ll be far less depressed if I have something shiny and new to present to my agent (don’t ask how I know this). My WiP, which is tragically ending-less, inspires me too. After all the work and heart I’ve put into it, it deserves a conclusion!

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

Present in 2015

While I’ve set some goals for the New Year, I haven’t made any traditional resolutions, and I didn’t the last few years either. Instead, I’ve chosen a focus word to keep in mind. In the past, those words have been resolve, acceptance, and stoicism. I think I’ve done a decent job of making them a part of my daily attitude and behavior.  

I’ve put a lot of thought into my 2015 focus word, and I’ve come up with…
I want to concentrate more on enjoying and appreciating moments as I experience them. I want to minimize stress and worry and distractions. I want to delight in what’s happening now, not stew about what happened yesterday, or brood about what might happen tomorrow.

So, PRESENT. That’s me in 2015. 

Do you have a focus word for the New Year? 

What’s Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to. And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski and loved it SO MUCH. Amazing world-building, and a super-swoonworthy slow-burn forbidden romance. I also read Caroline Tung Richmond’s debut, The Only Thing To Fear, a reimagining of the outcome of WW combined with some genetically modified people with X-Men-esue super powers — it was excellent! Now, I’m reading Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award winning historical verse story. It’s beautiful so far.

  

What I’m Writing: I’ve been revising my road trip book, The Road So Far, according to notes from my amazing CPs. They have helped me SO MUCH and I am endlessly grateful. I sent the manuscript off to my agent yesterday, so we’ll see what she thinks. *crosses fingers* Now, I’m back to drafting the end my NaNo story, Stars Like Dust. Hoping to finish by the end of the month.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: All the holiday prep…

I baked my husband’s favorite Christmas treat, Mexican Wedding Cookies

  

And made a Christmas craft, Cinnamon Star Garland

And addressed Christmas cards with my little elf. <3

What Works For Me: Amazing published novels as inspiration. Luckily, 2014 has been full of exceptional reads! Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and I are celebrating with our 4th annual YA Superlatives Blogfest, a fun and interactive way to highlight our favorite books published during the last year. The blogfest begins Monday, December 15th and runs through Thursday, December 18th. We hope you’ll join us!

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Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

L♡VE LIST

Guys, I won National Novel Writing Month!

I still have about 10K left to write in my story (the end — scary!), but I’m so super happy to have made it this far, and with time to spare. Yay!

To celebrate, I thought it’d be fun to share the Love List I made for this WiP, tentatively titled Stars Like Dust. Love Lists are kind of my favorite. <3

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

Castle Turrets
Cemeteries
Chai
Cottages
Dandelions
First Kisses
Flower Gardens
Foreign Words
Fortune Cookies
Goldendoodles
Hand Holding
Milkshakes
Photography
Poetry
Prayer Rugs
Princesses
Rumi
Sandy Beaches
Salty Water
Shooting Stars
Star-Crossed Love
Wishes

And a few of the visuals I’ve spent hours staring at…

         

This a kissing book, obviously.
Would you expect anything less out of me? ;-)

What’s Up Wednesday

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“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to. And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished Losing It by Cora Carmack and thought it was a fun read. Perhaps not my favorite of all the NA I’ve encountered, but some trusted sources tell me her All Lined Up is excellent, so maybe I’ll try that one sometime. Now, I’m reading Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid, a series of lovely, interconnected short stories about delightful people (so far). This one’s a contemp written in 3rd person which, when done well, I love. Luckily, this one is done VERY well. Plus it’s about a road trip, and road trip books are my jam.

What I’m Writing: Still NaNo-ing, and I’m getting SO CLOSE! Hoping to finish today (before Thanksgiving) so pardon me if WUW comments go unresponded to for now. I will get to them ASAP. Goal: Win NaNoWriMo!

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Other than tons of writing, I’ve been doing Thanksgiving prep. We’re having a quiet meal at home (with Seahawks football!), but the many foods Thanksgiving are my husband’s favorite, so there’s a lot of cooking in my immediate future. He deals with the disgusting turkey carcass, and I do everything else. Fair trade! :-)

 
This little lovely has had all week off from school, so we’ve been hanging out plenty. Lots of coloring and puzzles and books and shopping.


I received the most EXCELLENT package from my #SipSwap buddy, Sarah Marsh, who is so generous and kind, and obviously has amazing taste in Harry Potter commodities. Plus, Chocolate Strawberry Tea, friends. So yummy!

What Works For Me: I spent all month making my way through Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and I found it incredibly inspiring — especially in the midst of the all the NaNo craziness. He’s so real and frank about his process and the industry and his past, plus he’s drily funny, which I dig. I highly recommend On Writing if you’ve yet to read it. What’s your favorite craft/writing/creativity-focused book?

What’s up with you today?