Category Archives: Inspiration

Mood Boards

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a super visual person. Instagram is my favorite social media forum, and I’m an enthusiastic pinner. In fact, I make Pinterest boards for all of my WiPs, some secret, some not. The drawback to pinning WiP-inspired images on Pinterest, though, is that it’s hard to get an over all picture/mood/feeling for a story without pulling up the whole board. And you can’t use the board unless you’re logged on to Pinterest, which isn’t always convenient.

Imagine my excitement when I heard author Jenny Han talking about mood boards (via Sara Zarr’s awesome This Creative Life podcast). In short, a mood board is an online bulletin board that can be constantly changed, updated, and personalized. Using Mood Share (free!), creative people can “tack” images (uploaded or searched for by way of the site) to their board(s), then save the board(s) for personal use (that’s what I do) or share with other users. It’s fantastically fun, not to mention inspirational. I set the board I made for my WiP, The Road So Far, as the desktop background on my computer so I can access it easily. Every time I look at it, I want to open my doc and write, write, write!

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 2.50.58 PM

So cool, right? Check out Mood Share (and the above-mentioned Sara Zarr/Jenny Han interview) and let me know what you think!

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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and and Siobhan Vivian, which I’m loving (no surprise — I’m a huge fan of both authors). I’m also beta reading for Jennifer Pickrell. Her contemporary YA has been delightful so far.

What I’m Writing: Now that my Where Poppies Bloom revision is complete, I’m back to working on my road trip manuscript, The Road So Far. Normally I much prefer revising to drafting, but after the challenges Poppies presented, I am more than happy to be pounding out new words. More about it all HERE.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: I’ve skipped the last few What’s Up Wednesdays because things have been crazy with family and revisions and life, but I’m happy to be back. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy…

   
We spent Independence Day at the (insanely crowded) beach with my parents, Nana and Poppy, and then we met up with my brother and his girlfriend for BBQ and chocolate cake.


We had tons of fun hanging with Nana and Poppy in humid Florida for a week. :-)

   
I spent last week shuttling my girlie to and from Zoo Camp, which she loved. (Win-win for Mama, who had tons of extra revising time!)


And, we’ve been taking advantage of Destin’s shopping, restaurants, and beautiful sunsets.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Author Sara Zarr‘s “This Creative Life” podcast. I’m new to podcasts (if you have any recs, please do leave them in the comments!), but I’ve been catching up with this one obsessively. It’s awesome because it’s about as close as I’ll ever get to having a National Book Award finalist as a personal mentor. Sara is so wise and gracious and real, and I’ve learned so much from her and her guests (Stephanie Perkins, Nina LaCour, Siobhan Vivian, Nova Ren Suma, Sarah Dessen and Bennet Madison, to name a few). The conversations she has about creativity and balance and why/how/when creative people do what they do make me feel so… normal. And inspired. And like part of a community. All of the anxiety and doubt and fear and joy that’ve bounced around in my head as I try (and try and try) to get published are pretty standard, it seems. If you’ve yet to give “This Creative Life” a listen, I highly recommend it.  

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: Oh dear… I’m still working on Laini Taylor’s Dreams of Gods & Monsters. I haven’t had a lot of reading time lately, what with revisions and writing, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t fall for this last installment of the trilogy until about 200 pages in. That said, when I fell, I fell hard. The Akiva/Karou scenes… SWOON. Hoping to finish in the next day or two.

What I’m Writing: Still working on my Where Poppies Bloom revision (almost done!) and my The Road So Far first draft (about halfway). You can read more about my writing progress in Monday’s RSW post.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: My girlie and I spent the last week in Arizona! Ready for an onslaught of photographs?

   
Traveling is fun… :-)


With Poppy and Nana. ❤

   
This girl had so much fun!


One of my Thirty Before 35 goals was to teach my daughter to swim well, and I think we accomplished that during this trip. She can now swim all the way across the pool, as well as jump in and make her way to the wall. Yay!

     
She’s suddenly a little fish!


Already ready to go back!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: These fun YA-reading-themed activities…


An awesome Summer Reading Challenge from the YA Buccaneers. I’ve already crossed off “Read a Non-YA Book” and “Read a Book by a Debut Author” with the same novel — AN UNTAMED STATE by Roxane Gay, which is incredible.


And a super cute YA Photo A Day Challenge from writer Jaime Morrow. I’ll be participating in this one via Instagram, and I hope you will too!

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun (September, 2014) and it’s now on my short list of YA favorites. It is gorgeous, guys, and I can’t wait for you to read it! My daughter and I also finished Katherine Applegate’s The One & Only Ivan. We both loved it dearly. Over the weekend, I read Tammara Webber’s Breakable (a companion to Easy, of which I am a fan). I was a little worried that it would be gratuitous retelling from Lucas’s point of view, but the story was deeper than that. It gave a lot of insight into Lucas’s past and his character. It was also, like, seriously steamy. Now, I’m reading Laini Taylor’s Dreams of Gods & Monsters, the conclusion to a series I’ve loved from day one. The writing is predictably beautiful and brilliant!

  

What I’m Writing: Still working on my Where Poppies Bloom revision and my The Road So Far first draft. For all the details of my last week of writing, you’re welcome to check out my RSW update HERE.


Knocking out words at the local music store, where my girl takes guitar lessons.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: My girl and I are off to Phoenix to visit my parents, so pardon my slow blog responses. We’re excited to see Nana and Poppy, and to leave the muggy heat for dry heat — yay!

  
Last week we visited the Gulfarium and met lots of water-dwelling creatures. It was tons of fun, and if you’re ever in the Destin area, you should check it out!


We also enjoyed a beach day with our neighbors/friends — I’m sure you’re shocked. ;-) My daughter and I are going to be in for a rude awakening if we’re ever stationed in a land-locked state. Yikes.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: This video, which I’ve watched about a dozen times. I adore a good deployment homecoming clip (trust me: there are few things better than seeing your significant other after a long stretch of time apart) and this one is up there with the best I’ve seen. The couple is adorable, they’re at a kick-ass fraternity party, the soundtrack rocks, and the girl is so obviously shocked… I bet you’ll cry happy tears for these two!


I also read two super inspiring blog posts this week. The first was from Jessica Love, who spoke about the death of her friend Laura (who was clearly an amazing person), as well as kindness and thoughtfulness and trying to be better. I love this beautiful post, and now I’m inspired to be kinder and more thoughtful. And the second, from Leila Austin at YA Highway, about writing and anxiousness and letting go of the things we can’t control. Very timely for this writer.

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

What’s Up Wedesday

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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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished my friend Elodie Nowodazkij’s up-and-coming YA debut, One, Two, Three, and adored it. It’s the perfect read for fans of Simone Elkeles and Katie McGarry — angsty and sexy, with layered characters, a quick pace, and ballet(!). Now, I’m reading Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun (September, 2014). Guys, it is gorgeous beyond description. I’m savoring every sentence — every word. I’m mesmerized by the way Jandy Nelson plays with language and spins a fairly basic plot into this lovely and arresting web of a novel. I’m so looking forward to purchasing a finished copy. And finally, my daughter and I are reading The One & Only Ivan together and oh my goodness, it is making my heart hurt. What a profound and beautiful story. (Fact: The Ivan in Katherine Applegate’s novel was based on a real silverback gorilla — also named Ivan — who lived in a tiny glass “domain” in a sketchy Washington mall for 27 years. That sketchy mall was close to where I grew up, and I have very vivid memories of visiting Ivan with my family and musing, even way back then, about what a sad life he must’ve lived.)

What I’m Writing: The same two projects I’ve been working on for months. I revised a couple chapters from Where Poppies Bloom, and added a few thousand new words to the WiP I’m drafting, The Road So Far. Slowly but surely, friends. Slowly but surely. (You can read more about my Ready. Set. Write! summer writing and reading [and tanning] goals HERE.)

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Well, I’m the proud mama of a SECOND GRADER. Not sure how that happened already, but I’m very excited for my girl.


I feel like she went from six to sixteen overnight! *sob*


She was awarded a Super Reader certificate, which obviously makes me all kinds of proud. She was also voted “Class Encourager” by her classmates, and my heart bursts with pride knowing that she’s sweet and kind to her peers. Also, her teacher named her Most Inquisitive, which she totally gets from her daddy!


First day of summer break. We love the beach!


I made Spritz Cookies, because when I’m stuck on a writing project, I bake. I normally make Spritz around Christmas time. I use tree, wreath, star, and heart shapes, and color them green, white, and red. My daughter suggested doing summery flowers this time, and I think they turned out so cute! The yellow flowers are lemon, the red are almond, and the blue are coconut. Yum!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Oh, just THIS from YA author Trisha Leaver… 

“With the release date of CREED rapidly approaching, Lindsay Currie and I have been fielding questions about what our co-authored voice sounds like, how psychologically twisted our collective mind is, and do I need to read all of your co-authored pieces with the lights on?

Rather than simply answer those questions, we thought we’d take it one step further and actually show you! We toyed with writing a prequel-type novella to set the stage for CREED, but you know us…why write a novella to CREED when you can give them entirely different book to enjoy!

After much discussion with our agents and an enthusiastic ‘go for it’ from our publisher, we have decided to utilize Wattpad to give the world a sneak peek at what they can expect from our co-authored voice. So here it is, a new, psychologically twisted, co-authored YA Thriller.

SILO

“The darkness would’ve scared me years ago, but not anymore—if you couldn’t see it, then you didn’t know it was there to be afraid of.”

~Jake Holloway, SILO

Starting today, we will be sharing a chapter a week of our co-authored book, SILO, on Wattpad for the world to enjoy, hate, question our sanity, run screaming from… The last chapter of the book will drop the week of November 8th, 2014, the same week CREED releases!

So, go forth and be appropriately frightened as you realize just what our twisted minds of capable of. Spread the word, leave a comment on Wattpad or simply enjoy the book in the dark confines of your own home.”

SILO on Wattpad

Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent dog. Her co-authored, YA Psychological Horror drops November 8, 2014 from FLUX. Her solo YA Contemporary, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, releases April 28th, 2015 from FSG/ Macmillan.
www.trishaleaver.comGoodreadsTwitter, & Facebook

Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. She graduated from Knox College in the heart of the Midwest and has been writing for as long as she can remember. Today, Lindsay is an author, as well as a freelance editor for young adult, new adult and middle grade fiction.  She is a proud member of SCBWI, The YA Scream Queens and OneFourKidLit.
www.lindsaycurrie.comGoodreads, & Twitter

           Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I flew through Gayle Forman’s Just One Night, the eNovella follow-up to Just One Day and Just One Year, and it was a complete joy. I am so, so happy she decided to put a cap on Allyson’s and Willem’s story. I also read Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State, which was the exact opposite of joyful. To be honest, I feel sort of terrible recommending it because it is absolutely brutal. But, it is also brilliantly written and completely haunting (I had nightmares) and, I think, a must-read. Now, I’m reading my friend Elodie Nowodazkij’s up-and-coming YA debut, One, Two, Three, and I am loving it.

    

What I’m Writing: I’m still puttering away at my two related projects. I was going strong on my revision for several days, but then a plot element tripped me up and I realized I need to spend some time thinking on it. So, I’ve switched over to the WiP I’m drafting. I’m hovering at about 27K words and I’m still loving the story. It’s a road trip, so every scene is set in a fresh location and has new minor characters to be introduced. There’s also a mystery to unfold, and helping my main characters along as they discover clues is making it feel as though I’m flying through the drafting process. Also, the romance… This couple is my favorite of all the couples I’ve written. ❤

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Tomorrow is my girl’s last day of 1st grade. *sob* I’m struggling with how quickly she’s growing up, so I’ve been spending more time than usual helping at at her school. So fun to see her in her element!

  
Hula hooping at recess, and an end-of-the-year Water Day celebration.


Last week the Scholastic Book Fair was held at my daughter’s school, and then we took a trip to Books-A-Million over the weekend. We’ve amassed a nice little summer reading pile. (Thanks for the excellent recommendations, Temre!) Looking forward to diving into these with my girl! Where should we start?

What’s Inspiring Me Now: My friend Jessica Love, whose debut novel Push Girl (co-authored with Chelsie Hill) released yesterday. I adore this book, and I enthusiastically encourage you to read it. My Bookanista review is HERE. Also, Ready. Set. Write! Have you heard about the summer writing intensive I’m hosting with Alison MillerJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk? We’re setting goals and cheering each other on through a summer of fun and productivity… Join us!

What’s up with you today? 

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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah. It’s one of those books where you’re not entirely sure what’s going on, or whether the narrator is reliable or not. I’m obviously not going to give away the ending, but let’s just say… You should definitely read it when it comes out this fall. Now, I’m halfway through Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. I’ve been wanting to read the Syrena Legacy books for ages, but somehow they’ve continuously slipped through the cracks. This first installment is a lot of fun. Cool mythology and a narrator who’s feisty and funny. Very entertaining so far!  

What I’m Writing: I crossed the 22K mark with my WiP and I still love it — yay! I also got revision notes from my agent on an old story I want to overhaul. She gave me awesome/insightful/brilliant feedback, which I’ve already started to incorporate. The incredible thing is, the new WiP I’m drafting and the old WiP I’m revising have the potential (in a perfect, perfect world) to be a duology. Working on them simultaneously is sort of amazing. The stories are narrated by different characters, so I’m having a lot of fun bouncing between POVs, and I’m finding that both narrators’ characterizations are becoming much stronger than they were before, which is so motivating. I’ve high hopes for these projects, guys.

Speaking of writing… Drop by Monday, June 2nd for the lowdown on this summer’s writing intensive, Ready. Set. Write! 

What Else I’ve Been Up To: So much… It’s been such a busy week!


My girlie and I went to another Blue Wahoos baseball game in Pensacola. This time we went with two friends and had a great time. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, take advantage. It’s gorgeous. At what other minor league ballpark can you watch dolphins swimming as you walk from the parking lot to the stadium? Plus, good food. :-)

  
The more I write/revise, the more inclined I feel to whip up yummy treats. This week I made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from a tried-and-true recipe (the chocolate chips are my personal addition), and I also tried a new recipe: Almond Butter Cookies. I’ve recently developed a peanut allergy (tHe WoRsT), so I’m trying to get used to almond butter as a substitute for peanut butter. These cookies turned out so well! I took them to a barbecue and they were gobbled up by kids and adults alike. Yum!

  
I got a new Stitch Fix shipment, and I loved all five pieces. I had so much trouble narrowing them down to fit within my budget, but I eventually decided on a very cool striped date dress, a cute sleeveless printed top, and the adorable patriotic scarf pictured above. The stylist who put together my box visited my Twitter profile and, after seeing that I’m an Army wife, included it. Love! If you’re interested in Stitch Fix, you can learn more HERE.


Yesterday I volunteered at First Grade Field Day. It was hot (just over 90 degrees), but awesome, too. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to join my daughter at her school activities from time to time. So fun to watch her with her friends!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Marriage. Romance. True love.


My husband and I marked our 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday. Here’s to many, many more happy years! 

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

First, congratulations to Alice (AKA Krispy), winner of last week’s The Baby Name Wizard giveaway! :-)

What I’m Reading: I finished Kristin Rae’s debut, Wish You Were Italian, and thought it was super cute. I’m not a big “clean teen” reader (I generally prefer my books on the edgy side), but Italian is a fun, summery romance I’d definitely recommend. The last few pages had me grinning ear-to-ear. I also read super-hyped We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and yeah… There’s a reason for all the attention this book’s getting. It is incredible. And that’s all I’ll say because you simply must read it for yourself. Now, I’m reading Of Scars and Stardust by my agent-mate, Andrea Hannah. I’m not very far along yet, but so far it’s gorgeous. 

   

What I’m Writing: This might sound weird because hello, I fancy myself a writer, but I hate drafting. Like, it really and truly pains me. I love to outline and I love to revise, however, the in-between stage of actually getting words into my document  is a pain in the ass. But, good news! This story I’m working on now? Drafting it has been so. Much. Fun. A total joy. I’ve been writing close to 2K words pretty much every day, and I’m loving it. I’m up to 17K+ words now, and hoping the magic sticks around for a good, long while. #HappyWriter

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Have you heard of the show H2O: Just Add Water? It’s an Australian show that ran from 2006-2010 about three teenage girls who transform into mermaids when they get wet, and it is awesome. My daughter and I are halfway through the third and final season (thanks, Netflix!), and we’re obsessed. Now, I should warn you… The cheese factor is off-the-charts, but the show is super cute and quite creative. It’s also appropriate for kiddos, yet entertaining for parents — a rare combination, if you ask me. So, yeah… We’ve been watching H20: Just Add Water. A lot.


We spent Saturday at the beach with a couple of friends and had a great time. You know what’s fun about exposing your daughter to a show concerning mermaids? Every time she dips her toes into the ocean, she pretends to be one!

 
We had a much-welcome break from the stifling humidity over the weekend, so my girlie, Daisy, and I made the most of the lovely weather by eating ice cream, playing frisbee, and watching the sun sink below the trees.


I got a haircut! I haven’t had so much as a trim since December, so this was a Very Exciting Event, one that obviously had to be documented photographically. ;-)

What’s Inspiring Me Now: My WiP, and the Love List I made for it. Also, Twitter’s #IreadYA hashtag. So many excellent book recommendations and inspirational anecdotes from writers sharing why they read (and write!) YA. And, finally, the A Beautiful Body Project (FYI: there’s nudity all over this site — really beautiful, artistic nudity, but still… Maybe don’t click the link while you’re at work). The ABBP is a “movement of women coming together to tell their stories and celebrate their ever-changing bodies so that future generations of women can live free from self-suffering.” It was founded by Jade Beall and her partner,Alok Appadurai, and it’s pretty amazing. Appreciating women and their natural, non-airbrushed, beautiful bodies? Count me in! 

What’s up with you today? 

Love List ♥ ♥ ♥

Many moons ago, I read an inspirational guest post about Love Lists by contemporary young adult author Stephanie Perkins’ for author Natalie Whipple’s blog. Here’s what Stephanie had to say on the topic:

Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas as I discover them during my push through early drafts. I use this list as a touchstone to remind myself during the hard times why my story is worthwhile. It’s easy to forget the GOOD STUFF when I’m wading through the muck, and the end is still months away, and it feels pointless and hopeless to continue. This list becomes a crucial reminder: Yes! This is a story worth telling! 

Brilliant, right? I made Love Lists for my stories Cross My Heart and Good Girls, and since I’ve crossed the 12K mark on my (currently untitled) WiP, I thought it might be time to write a Love List. Here’s what I’ve come up so far…

Bridges
Bubble Gum
Cold Noses
Crashing Waves
Diners
Drinking Games
Half Truths
Hearts
Highway 1
Hot Air Balloons
Impossible Choices
Jelly Bellies
Kissing (always kissing)
Kitsch Hotels
Light Houses
Lilacs
Lonely Roads
Lost Love
Love Songs
Mexican Food
Mysterious Disappearances
Reunions
Route 66
Sea Glass
Swimming
Travel
Tree Houses
Victorians
Winter

And, visual inspiration…

  

  

   

Have you ever made a Love List for one of your projects? 
What’s inspiring you today?

What’s Up Wednesday – Plus a Giveaway!

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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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

Giveaway details at the end of this post!!!

What I’m Reading: I read a lot over the last week. I finished Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and thought it was absolutely adorable. I can’t wait for the follow-up, P.S. I Still Love You. Next, I read The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bonds, which came highly recommended by Sara Biren, and I thought it was fantastic. Loved the unconventional family set-up, and the budding romance was sweet and different and rather mysterious, which was cool. Plus, the Pacific Northwest, and cougars! Then, I flew though Tammara Webber’s Easy, the most unputdownable book I’ve encountered in ages. I haven’t read tons of NA, but this one was quite different from the ones I have perused. While sexy and wildly entertaining, it was also beautifully written and emotional and deep. I’m so looking forward to reading its companion, Breakable. Now, I’m reading Kristin Rae’s debut, Wish You Were Italian, which is a discordant follow-up to Easy (Italian is very much “clean teen”), but I’m still loving it. Pippa is too cute, and the setting (Italy, obviously) is giving me a wicked case of wanderlust.

  

What I’m Writing: I finally finished my outline (it’s very detailed, but — I think — flexible enough), and I am super excited about this new project, guys. I wrote the opening chapter a few weeks ago and have since discovered that I started in the wrong place (as usual). So, yesterday I rewrote that first chapter. Now it fits nicely into my outline and my beat sheet. Much better.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Still watching Gossip Girl. Still swooning over Blair’s clothes and Nate’s baby blues. I just finished Season 2, which was all kinds of melodramatic and awesome. In other news, on Monday I went to a book signing in celebration of the release of Of Neptune by Anna Banks, who’s a local author. I’ve yet to read any of the Syrena Legacy books, but I’ve managed to acquire them all over the last few days and I’m looking forward to diving into this new series (see what I did there?!). And, finally, I’m having lots of fun playing mama. The school year is winding down, and my daughter and I are soaking up the last few weeks of first grade, and making big plans for summer fun.

 
I had a lovely Mother’s Day! My girlie made me breakfast in bed (toast with honey and blackberries), gave me an adorable coupon book and a piece of art she made at school, and hung with me at the beach. Couldn’t ask for a better day. 


Also, I made easy (yummy!) homemade brownies. Here’s the recipe.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: My WiP! I’m having a blast working on it! I love this stage, when a project feels fresh and new and exciting. Hopefully it lasts a good, long while. Additionally, I’m finding an article by Janice Hardy at Fiction University called Four Questions to Ask to Make Your Scenes Pop really helpful. Great reminders for those drafting or revising. 

And now… Today’s Giveaway

I lost my copy of The Baby Name Wizard during our cross-country move back in December — cue sad face. I searched for it for months because I love it for naming my characters, and because my copy had tons of names highlighted from seven years ago, back when I was trying to name my yet-to-be-born daughter. Anyway. I finally broke down and purchased a new copy, the 3rd edition pictured below, because I have characters who need names, like, yesterday. Wouldn’t you know it — I found my original copy an hour after the new one was delivered. After paging through the 3rd edition, I decided it isn’t all that different from the 1st, at least not in ways that matter for my needs. Plus, my old copy has sentimental value. So, that pretty new 3rd edition is up for grabs! Details below…

*Anyone who comments on this post will be automatically entered in the random drawing. If you already own this book or don’t have a need for it but would still like to comment, just let me know that you’re not interested in the drawing and I’ll exclude you. 

*Giveaway is open through Sunday at midnight, and I will announce the winner in next week’s What’s Up Wednesday post, after emailing him/her.

*Giveaway is open internationally (while this book focuses on name popularity in the US, I personally think it’d be helpful to anyone, anywhere). Writers and actual baby-namers alike are welcome to enter. :-)

Tell me… What’s up with you today?