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.

{Please make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, other participants can visit your blog and check out what you’ve been up to. In that same spirit, I urge you to visit as many new blogs as you can every Wednesday. The most awesome aspect of What’s Up Wednesday and Ready. Set. Write is that they include a built-in support system. Let’s make sure we’re rooting each other on and offering as much encouragement as we can. Who knows… You might make an awesome new writing buddy, or a find a fantastic beta reader, or hook up with an amazing critique partner!}

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

What I’m Reading: I finished Jessica Spotswood’s Born Wicked. It’s an awesome book, but the ending! Cate… Finn… My heart! I need to get my hands on Star Cursed as soon as possible! I also read a middle grade story, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, which was absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for recommending it, Tem! And in a jarring change of literary pace, I started Dare You To by Katie McGarry, which is pretty darn good so far. In fact, I think I like it even better than Pushing the Limits. Plus, there’s a fantastic scene-related playlist that includes tons of country music — yay!

What I’m Writing: I’m glad I scaled down my word count goal for the last week. Because we had family visiting, I knew my writing time would be limited, and I didn’t want clouds of guilt and pressure hovering over my head while we had company. I was shooting for 2,000 words and ended up doubling that with 4,012 words. The surplus is courtesy of a few bouts of insomnia (boo!), but I passed the 20K mark and I still like my story, so I can’t complain. In the next week, I’m hoping to add another 3,000 words to my story. Here’s an excerpt:

It’d been a weird month. Despite his parents’ not-so-subtle discouragement, Tyler had managed to leap into a new relationship just weeks after moving to Clayton City. This thing he’d started with Jenna was good, new and different and intoxicating, but it was far from effortless. The girl was sweeter than honey and the mere sight of her got him all hot and bothered, but her mood was precarious at best. She was never bad-tempered, exactly, but her timidness had a way of blurring into unjustifiable panic, and that scared Tyler shitless.

He was polite and considerate, had always heeded signals and treated girls with respect. He’d learned by example: Tyler had never heard his father utter a discourteous word in his mother’s direction. But when it came to Jenna, good manners fell just short of enough. Tyler was always on his toes, endlessly aware of and adjusting to her moods for fear of upsetting her.

He took off his hat and ran a hand through his sweat-dampened hair. Jenna… She was wound tighter than a monkey’s nuts and she made him anxious as hell, but she was exhilerating in a way he’d never experienced—a prize just out of reach. They’d been making out for a month and the kissing was really freaking good, but Tyler wanted more. Of course he did.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: I’ve gone a whole week without baking, so no tasty recipes to share, but I have been keeping busy with other things…

For starters, last week I hit a big running benchmark: I ran my 1,000 mile of 2013. I’ve been keeping track of my distances each day (whether they be on the road, treadmill, or elliptical), and as I inched closer and closer to the 1K mark, I started pondering physical locations 1,000 miles away that I could have run to. For example, Monterey Bay to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Or, Monterey Bay to Spokane, Washington. Not that I have a burning desire to go to Santa Fe or Spokane, but still… Fun to think about.

We had a wonderful visit with family last week. My daughter enjoyed plenty of cousin time, and we did lots of fun touristy things: the aquarium, Carmel, the beach. We also ate lots of yummy food and indulged in plenty of treats and laughs. Just look at those smiles…

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Lately I’ve read a couple of craft posts that have been both helpful and inspiring. First, Why the Hero’s Journey is a Tourist Trap by Lisa Cron (at Writer Unboxed), about focusing on your story, trusting your intuition, and continually asking why?. And second, Trouble Shooting Deep Point of View and Voice by Susan Dennard (at Pub[lishing] Crawl) about understanding your POV character’s world view, and the questions you can ask to get to know that character on a deeper level. I highly recommend both articles! What else…

A cool new book-related Instagram photo challenge, hosted by RaeGunRamblings. I’m having all kinds of fun with this one!

And, of course, gorgeous summer sunrises. The promise of views like the one above are what get me out of bed early each morning.

Tell me: What’s up with you this week?


58 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Tonja Drecker says:

    Way to go over your word count goal! I managed to step over that 20,000 mark this week too – makes us twins 😉 And I’ll have to check out that MG.

    • katyupperman says:

      Yay for writing twinsies! And fantastic job with your climbing word count! Definitely check out EDWARD TULANE… It’s a fast read, and it’s gorgeous.

  2. Alison Miller says:

    WOW!!! Boo to the insomnia, but YAY for exceeding wc goals! Also, that whole excerpt is like WHOA, but that last paragraph? LOVE. Can I please, please, please read this now?!

    Also, congrats on your HUGE milestone! And I love Edward Tulane! I’ve read it a few times with my kiddos and I always require a box of tissues.

    Have a great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Aww, thank you lovely. I’m always so excited/NERVOUS to post excerpts, so it’s fun to hear positive feedback.

      EDWARD TULANE was fabulous. I got my copy from the library, but I’m going to buy a copy to read with my girl. I loved it that much!

      Have a fantastic week… Let’s try to write together again!

  3. Rachel (writes things/007) says:

    Congrats on exceeding your word count goals, finishing all those books and your running milestone. It sounds like your summer is going great! I’m so glad you loved Born Wicked and OH MAN, if you think BW had a cliff hanger JUST WAIT until you get to Star Cursed!!!!!!! I haven’t read any Katie DeCamillo and it’s a shame – I have a bookseller friend who says it’s unexcusable lol!! and so I must get on that. *stares at never ending TBR*

    Good luck at kicking your goals for this week, Katy 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      I can’t wait to read STAR CURSED, Rachel! BORN WICKED was fab! And yes, definitely get your hands on some Kate DiCamilo. I’ve read BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE and now EDWARD TULANE, and they’re both fantastic.

      Best of luck with your goals as well, Rachel!

  4. Kaitlin Bartlett says:

    Wow, 1000 miles? That’s amazing! I’m trying (once again) to get into running. The first week of getting on the treadmill is always the hardest! Can I steal some of your motivation? :p

    • katyupperman says:

      You can definitely steal some motivation. 🙂 Best of luck getting back into the running groove. I definitely agree that the first week’s the toughest. You can do it!

  5. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    1,000 miles is awesome!
    I am imagining Tyler’s voice like the boys I grew up with – they didn’t have a thick Southern accent, but you definitely knew they were good ol’ country boys 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Jennifer, yes! I’m definitely going for the good ol’ boy vibe. Hopefully I’ll do it justice. 🙂

      Best of luck with your writing this week!

  6. Patrice says:

    That sunrise is beautiful. It’s always nice when you write more than you intend, I feel so proud & happy. Congrats on your 1,000 miles & your writing ones, good luck on next weeks 🙂

  7. Temre Beltz says:

    YAY, Katy! Amazing job at exceeding your writing goals and getting so much good family time! Also, 1000 miles is so impressive! I am not a runner, but always love hearing about your running milestones and, of course, those gorgeous sunrises always take my breath away. Katy, I am SO excited to read your WiP!! And I absolutely love that you are writing a boy POV. I am not at all surprised, however, that you are completely nailing it. Thanks for sharing this excerpt and wishing you all the best this week. Hugs ❤

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Tem. Excerpt sharing is SO SCARY, so it’s encouraging to receive positive feedback, especially from people whose writing I admire. Wishing you all the best for your writing goals this week. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Fourth of July!

  8. Lola Sharp says:

    Woot! for going OVER your word count goal, Katy!! 😀 (way to make a positive out of insomnia! ❤ )

    I grew up near where you're living…in Santa Cruz, Los Gatos and Boulder Creek.
    1,000 miles…holy frijole! That might be what I put in my "what's inspiring me now" column next week!

    Happy Fourth Of July!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thank, Lola! I’m so glad you’re joining us for Ready. Set. Write! It’s seriously saved my summer of writing. 🙂

      I’m in love with the Monterey Bay area, and I never want to leave. Unfortunately the Army has other ideas for us. We’re hoping to come back one day though. It’s so gorgeous here!

      Best of luck with your writing goals for the week. ❤

  9. Raven says:

    I want to live in that sunrise. It’s so beautiful! And yay for doubling your word count. Also, I love love LOVE the teaser. The voice is distinct, and the writing/imagery is perfect. The last line really struck me the most, and so did Tyler’s descriptions of Jenna.

    I’m glad you’re having a good summer so far.

    Happy writing/good luck with your goals for this week! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thank you so much, Raven. Teasers are so scary for me, so it’s fun to get positive feedback.

      Wishing you the best with your word count goals for the coming week. 🙂

  10. Rebecca @ Reading Wishes says:

    Katy! I love it! I know it must hard to share excerpts but it makes me want MORE and just like I thought, you’re doing a great job! Have I mentioned that I love that your writing a male POV? I do, so much! Yay for doing so well on all your goals wheather it be writing (woot!) or running (go you! That’s seriously impressive. I think I’ll just stick to a Running With Friends (it’s a game, an addictive, awesome game. Beware) instead. Also, yay for Born Wicked reading! I loved it and look forward to getting round to the sequel!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Rebecca. It’s terrifying to share excerpts, but the positive feedback is SO encouraging. I’m having lots of fun with my male POV. Hopefully I’m doing him justice! Hope your reading and writing are going well. 🙂

  11. Kari Marie White says:

    I loved PUSHING THE LIMITS, so I’m all over DARE YOU TO. I’m in awe of your 1000 miles. That’s awesome. And I’m heading over to check out the POV post right now.

    Good luck on your goals this week.

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Kari. Hope that POV post helps you like it helped me… I thought there were some fantastic tips in it. And I hope you love DARE YOU TO!

    • katyupperman says:

      Haha… I like that line too. 🙂

      Thanks, Tracey. I’m trying to keep up the momentum I’ve found lately. Plus, the evening Twitter parties are helping A LOT. Anytime you’re up to write, let me know!

  12. Liz Parker (@LizParkerWrites) says:

    Awesome on surpassing your goal, even if it did mean losing sleep. And 1,000 miles? Holy hell, girl. I’m beyond impressed.

    I love your excerpt. I really like Tyler’s voice. I like the idea of a polite boy but one who, in his head, doesn’t really speak like one. Can’t wait to see more! Who knows, maybe we can trade manuscripts by the end of the summer. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes! I hope so! And thank you… I hope I’m doing Tyler justice. He’s rather complicated and ends up making some bad decisions. I’m trying hard to make him likable early on… We shall see!

      Best of luck with your rewrite, Liz. Sounds like it’s going very well!

  13. Alexa says:

    Sorry about the insomnia, but at least you were productive! I usually end up watching very old episodes of Friends are roaming the internet! I loved the excerpt!

    I like the look of that new Instagram photo challenge, I’ll have to check it out.

    Good Luck with your writing goals this week and congratulations on that 1,000 mile.

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Alexa! You should definitely join in on the photo challenge… I’m having lots of fun with it so far. Best of luck with your writing goals as well!

  14. Jaime Morrow says:

    Great snippet, Katy! I love the way you write YA boys. Love this glimpse of Tyler and Jenna through Tyler’s eyes. You’re doing awesome with your RSW goals. And crossing that 20K line is pretty fantastic. As is crossing that 1000 mile line with your running! Congrats. 🙂

    I’m really enjoying the book-themed Instagram photo challenge too. It’s a nice little change from the other one we’ve been doing. Plus: books. Enough said. Have a great week, Katy! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      I think the photo challenge is a great change of pace… It’s making me look back over my bookshelves and reconsider books I haven’t thought about in awhile.

      And thank you got your sweet words regarding my excerpt… Scary stuff sharing, but it’s very encouraging to get positive feedback.

      Best of luck with your writing goals this week, Jaime!

  15. Jessica Silverstein says:

    Oh, man. I am DYING to get to know Jenna better. I’m so fascinated by the little bits of her you’ve shown us in your excerpts!

    Congrats on your writing and running progress!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Jess! The writing has been fun because I feel like I’m finally getting to know Jenna myself. It’s been very cool and different to dive into her personality. 🙂

  16. Rebekah says:

    Cousin time is the BEST. My son is currently — possibly forever — an only child and cousins somehow make that not seem villainy on my part. Thank you for posting the inspiration articles, awesome stuff.

  17. prerna pickett says:

    I really enjoyed Born Wicked,hope you do too. And 1,000 miles! That’s incredible. I run pretty much every day, but I have no idea how many miles I’ve clocked since the beginning of the year. And I really enjoyed your excerpt, keep them coming!

  18. Carrie-Anne says:

    I only wrote about 10,000 words since last week, since camp is in session again. Being in the nursery bunk again wasn’t my first choice, but it’s giving me lots of practice for if I ever have a child before I’m too old. I now have experience with cleaning up accidents and putting diapers on kids who aren’t fully toilet-trained! Changing a toddler before and after sprinkler time is also quite a workout.

  19. Elodie says:

    You know how excited I was about you sharing an excerpt? And now I’m even more excited to read more of this book! I want to know more about the characters…I think writing deep 3rd POV is tough and you’re doing an AMAZING job at it! The voice still shines and well…hmmm…I think I might develop crushes on all the fictional boys you create ❤

    I enjoyed DARE YOU TO more than PUSHING THE LIMITS…I can't wait to hear your thoughts about it 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Elodie. the deep 3rd POV is tricky and I’m sure this manuscript will need lots of work when I finish the first draft, but I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m learning lots too. 🙂

  20. Erin Funk says:

    Firstly, I loved the excerpt you posted from your story. It has great voice! Secondly, a big congratulations for more than doubling your word count goal and for reaching your thousandth mile! Insomnia stinks, but to be honest, it’s the only reason I’ve ever finished a manuscript, so there is an up side to it. So glad you had a nice visit with your family and managed to squeeze in writing too! Good luck with your goals this week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Erin. It has been a crazy week, but I’m feeling pretty accomplished. And a big thank you for the kind words regarding my excerpt. It’s so scary to post teasers, but it’s definitely encouraging to get positive feedback.

  21. Krispy says:

    Your word count and running count are both amazing!!! Congrats! I love Jenna’s characterization in your excerpt. I can feel the tension.

    I am still so blown away by that sunrise picture of yours. It is unreal. I always enjoy your morning run pics. 🙂 Might switch to the Book Photo A Day next month or something. I just love these prompts!

    • katyupperman says:

      The book photo-a-day is a lot of fun so far. It’s fun to revisit some of my past reads. And thank you so much for complimenting my excerpt. I’m feeling much more encouraged about my manuscript thanks to all the positive feedback of today. I’m glad to hear that you’re writing is going well also!

  22. Tif Johnson says:

    Go you!!! Blew away your word count goal and the 1K!

    Love your snippet! “Wound tighter than a monkey’s nuts” almost made me spit out my tea. L.O.V.E :0)

  23. mandiebaxter says:

    OH! Good to know about Dare You To. LOVED Pushing the Limits. Congrats on passing 20K!!! That’s awesome!!!! Love reading all the excerpts people are posting. So fun. 1000 miles?! Crazyness! Great job! YOU are an inspiration!!!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Mandi! It’s been a crazy week, but I feel like I’ve been pretty productive. Glad to know that your writing is going well. Have a great Fourth of July!

  24. Rae says:

    1K miles is fantastic. And very inspiring!
    Your excerpt was so good–I loved the way you described Jenna from Tyler’s perspective. I feel like I got to see so much of him just from the way he thought about her. Such a good example of that POV!

  25. Sara Biren (@sbiren) says:

    Love your excerpt! Any your 1K miles – wow, that’s inspiring! In fact, I’m this close to putting on my tennies and going for a walk right this minute….

    I’m having a lot of fun with the photo a day challenge, too. This is the first one I’ve done and I love that it’s “bookish!”

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Sara! This photo challenge has been fun so far, a nice change of pace from the others I’ve done. I’m a sucker for anything bookish. 🙂

  26. elschneider says:

    1,000 miles – a-mazing, Katy!!!! I love the Cardio Trainer app on my phone because it will actually map out how far you’ve gone, in total – such a great feature! Keep at it, I can’t wait to see your total miles for 2013!

    And congrats for doubling your word count goal, although I’m sorry that was hit, thanks to lack of sleeping. But hey, you made good use of your time awake! Best of luck with this week’s goals – keep it up!

    Hope you have a wonderful Friday / weekend!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Erin! You must be racking up some pretty crazy mileage yourself! Hopefully those hours on the pavement are pushing your writing along too. 🙂 Have a great weekend, and best of luck with this week’s writing (and running!).

  27. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Once again, I love your excerpt! I love that you’re writing in the 3rd person. I enjoy reading that POV in books but have a hard time doing it myself! Maybe one of these days, I’ll try it on a MS.

    Congrats on hitting 1000 miles! That’s amazing!!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much! 3rd person has been a fun experiment for me. I’m sure I’m making some mistakes along the way, but for the most part, I’m liking how the story is coming along. There are three protagonists, so 3rd seemed like the best choice. We’ll see how it all comes out!

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