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 recently read In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell. It was… weird. Very literary and very dark. If you like adult fiction that steps way outside the box, you might want to check it out. Now I’m reading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, a futuristic dystopian/thriller. It’s action-packed and pretty fantastic so far.

What I’m Writing: Still plugging away at my WiP. I made a Love List for it and, despite all its 1st draft flaws, I do really and truly love this story. I wrote 5,913 words this week (my goal was 3,000) and I’m up to 32,592 total. Considering that I started Ready. Set. Write! with about 9,000 words, my forward progress makes me really happy. This baby is starting to feel like a story that’s finishable! A favorite bit written last week:

He’d just shredded a hole into his already precarious acquaintanceship with Dylan, a hole that could very well be beyond mending, yet here he was, instantaneously and inappropriately enamored with her sexy black underthings. But really… Who could blame him? It’d been months since he’d seen a bra.

My goal for the coming week is 3,000 words, which should be doable. I’m finding that writing at least 500 words a day is becoming a routine, one I definitely want to keep up as the summer begins to wind down.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: I’m honored to have been chosen to help judge the August Pitch+250 Contest held by one of my favorite blogs, Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing. Submissions will be accepted starting Wednesday, July 31st at 6:00pm EST, and will close August 3rd at 11:00pm EST, or when 50 submissions are received, whichever comes first. If you’ve got a complete and polished manuscript, consider submitting a pitch (not a query) and the first 250 words of your story. All the details of the contest are HERE.

 Also, over the weekend, we visited the The Old Mission in San Jaun Bautista. The Catholic church’s construction began in the early 1800s, ending in 18 12. The building and grounds are ornate and beautiful. We also explored San Jaun Bautista, which is a charming little town with some cool antique shops and a fabulous Mexican restaurant, Jardine de San Juan, that we totally pigged out at.

And, finally, I’ve been doing the mom thing, carting my girlie from activity to activity, supervising playdates, giving pedis, and reading countless stories. School starts August 7th in these parts, so I’m already beginning to mourn the end of summer. It’s flown by so quickly!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: My WiP’s new setting, based on a mash-up of a few small agricultural towns near us. I’m calling my tourism “research.”

What’s up with you today? 

(If you’re a Ready. Set. Write! participant, don’t forget to enter our fantastic giveaway. Alison MillerElodie NowodazkijErin FunkJaime Morrow, and I will be sending an awesome Writer’s Care Package to one lucky winner. The giveaway closes in one week. Find the Rafflecoptor and more details HERE.)


54 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Erin Funk says:

    You and I are more or less at the same point in our stories, Katy. I’m so glad you’ve been making such great progress. It’s both inspiring and a relief when the story finally starts to take shape. And that was quite the little snippet! Yowza! 😉

    Love the pictures as always! You’re really selling me on a future trip to California. Good luck with your goals this week!

  2. Elodie says:

    As always, love the pictures! And so glad it’s part of your WiP setting 😀
    And YAY for a snippet!!! The voice is great! (and you got me smiling at that last line…)

  3. Kaitlin Bartlett says:

    Oooh, loving that snippet, Katy! And wowzers on your word count, congratulations! Care to pass some of that my way? My word count has been hurting for the past week. :p

    Your daughter looks like she’s having so much fun in the pool! I used to love swim lessons when I was younger. 🙂 Good luck with your writing goals for the week, 3,000 should be no problem after your word count this week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much! I used to love swim lessons too, and it’s so much fun to see my daughter learn and improve now. Best of luck getting back into the swing of writing in the coming week. 🙂

  4. Alison Miller says:

    I am so glad for your forward progress because these snippets are such a TEASE (love them, btw) and I really want to read this story NOW. Also, the pictures – as always – are incredible. I can’t believe school starts so early for you. I have until the 27th. I’m sad for you. 😦

    Also, congratulations on being selected to judge! That IS an honor! Go you!

  5. Temre Beltz says:

    Wow, Katy! AWESOME job on all of your writing progress! So glad to hear too how much you’ve been enjoying your summer – it sounds like you and your sweet girlie have been having so much fun 🙂 I also love that I never knew manicurist/pedicurist was part of a mama of girls description! I absolutely can’t wait to read more about the setting in your WiP. I hope you are having fun with your research, and congratulations on being chosen as a judge for the pitch contest – so exciting!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Tem! I’m really excited about the contest and the opportunity to read some really fabulous undiscovered writing. Pedicurist has only recently become one of my many job titles. C likes polka dots and crazy colors on her little toes. 🙂

  6. Rebecca B says:

    Love the photos of the mission! California Spanish architecture is, somewhat randomly, one of my favorite things.
    Congrats on exceeding your goal!

  7. Lola Sharp says:

    Wow! School didn’t start that early when I was a child and lived in your area. I would have hated that.

    YAY for all your drafting forward progress and I loved your ‘love list’. 🙂


    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Lola!

      Yes, I think CA is pushing toward year-round schooling. Summer break is only two months, but there are several week-long breaks throughout the year, and Christmas break is three weeks. It’s strange, but I actually don’t hate it.

      Looking forward to writing with you in the coming week!

  8. Rachel (writes things/007) says:

    You are so productive, Katy! Love the pictures of the mission. Beautiful beautiful architecture, and woo look at your girly swimming. I created a love list today inspired by your last post- so thank you for that. I also just finished SHARP OBJECTS which means we chat! (and I owe you a BORN WICKED chat as well.) Must e-mail you! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes! We have much book chatting to do! SHARP OBJECTS is actually my favorite of Flynn’s books — it is SO messed up. Can’t wait to check out your Love List, Rach!

  9. Jessica Silverstein says:

    Wow, you’re making a ton of progress! Way to go!
    I actually have a copy of In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods–I subscribed to Indiespensable, a service run by Powell’s that sends out a nice edition of a new book plus a few other surprises every six weeks. That was my first one! I’m hoping to read it before the next one arrives, as the whole point was to diversify my reading.

    • katyupperman says:

      Ooh, Indiespensable sound kind of cool. Nothing like getting surprise books in the mail! I’ll be interested to hear what you think of IN THE HOUSE… I’m still sort of reeling from it. Best of luck with your reading/writing in the coming week, Jess!

  10. Margo Berendsen says:

    I finally got a What’s Up post after visiting many of these and enjoying them! I’ve seen lots of familiar names in those Adventures in YA publishing pitch contests – love tracking those. Been reading a lot to my girlies this summer too thanks to library reading challenge and falling in love with lots of Caldecot picture books.

    • katyupperman says:

      We’re doing our local library’s Summer Reading Challenge too — it’s great motivation to sit down with a few books every day. Looking forward to checking out your WUW post, Margo!

  11. katharineowens says:

    SO much to comment on– I love living vicariously through your trip to SJB– those pics are amazing. Excellent reviews, and I love that snippet from your WIP. Katy, when am I going to get to buy your books?! They sound fantastic. Have a great week!

  12. prerna pickett says:

    I LOVED The Darkest Minds, although the ending kind of broke my heart a little. I love the love lists everyone is making, I need to get on that. So cool that you get to judge the Adventures in YA pub contest, I’m sure it won’t be easy picking a winner.

    • katyupperman says:

      Everyone keeps telling me that the end of THE DARKEST MINDS is heartbreaking, which totally freaks me out. I have a guess as to what’s going to happen and if I’m right, I’ll be crushed!

      Looking forward to checking out your Love List in the future, Prerna!

  13. Colin says:

    August 7? Really? That seems way too early to be going back to school. I hope your school year ends earlier too!

    Well done for breaking, no SHATTERING your word-count goal for the week! It’s so cool when you get “in the zone,” and you’re loving the story, and the words are flowing. Word count goals become irrelevant. 🙂

    I hope you keep up the momentum this week, Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      I think CA is pushing toward year-round schooling. Summer break is only two months, but there are several week-long breaks throughout the year, and Christmas break is three weeks. It’s strange, but I actually don’t hate it.

      Thanks for the encouragement, Colin! I hope to be able to continue write-write-writing!

  14. Jaime Morrow says:

    Tourism as research–I like the way you think. I’ve been thinking a lot about how you changed your story’s venue to an area you’re familiar with, and decided to do the same with my WIP and set it in Michigan. Thanks for the inspiration! I love the snippet you shared, Katy. No surprises there. 🙂 You’re making such fantastic progress on this story. Go you! I need to do a quick word count on mine and see where it’s at.

    Love the pics. Makes me want to visit the area. Oh, and paint my toes Sully colours. 😉

  15. Alexa says:

    Oh I love your main characters voice, add this excerpt to your love list and this book sounds fab!

    It looks like you had a fun week, great photos. I love your daughters pedicure. The whole time I was pregnant I had blue toe nails as I knew I was having a boy 🙂 I really need to treat myself, my feet are embarrassing now!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Alexa! I love the idea of blue toes for a boy. We’re hoping to add another munchkin to our family in the near future… I might just have to copy your pedicure idea. 🙂

  16. mandiebaxter says:

    Okay…I’ve got to get on board with this love list I keep seeing today!! And WOO HOO for beating your goal! Love that last line in your excerpt. Good luck this week!

    Wow, early school start. Doesn’t start here til Aug 19th. And I’m not looking forward to it. My baby boy will be in kindergarten!

    Sounds like you’ve had a fun summer! Love seeing all the pic updates!

    • katyupperman says:

      Yay for Love Lists! I definitely think you should make one, Mandie!

      I was pretty much beside myself last year when my girlie started kindergarten. I’ve since come to appreciate the time away and her growing independence, even though I totally miss her all day while she’s at school. 🙂

      Happy writing/reading/blogging in the coming days!

  17. Carrie-Anne says:

    The trip to San Juan Bautista sounds fabulous. It’s right up my historical alley, and I love exploring houses of worship. Congratulations on being chosen as a judge!

    There’s been so much heat in Upstate NY I haven’t been able to get as much writing as usual done this past week, coupled with camp, moving, and frequent arguments/discussions with my Orthodox roommate about establishing a kosher home. It’s ridiculous we still can’t use our own kitchen this late into the month!

    • katyupperman says:

      San Juan Bautista really is awesome, Carrie-Anne. I highly recommend visiting if you’re ever in this area. Good luck work things out with your roomie. I’d go crazy without my kitchen!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thank you!

      I remember starting after Labor Day in Washington too, Steph. That’s why this August 7th business seems so crazy! I’m pretty sure California is pushing for year-round schooling. After a year of this strange schedule, I have to say, I don’t hate it.

      • Stephanie Allen says:

        I remember doing two years of school down there in 8th and 9th grades. I remember liking all the breaks in between, plus it wasn’t such a huge shock to my system going back to school after summer vacation in 9th grade because it was so much shorter.

        • katyupperman says:

          I don’t mind the school schedule at all. It’s close to year-round and I think the shortened summer is really good for retaining information. I’ll be sad when we have to leave and deal with a more traditional school schedule.

  18. Bridgid Gallagher (@bridgidlee) says:

    I love living vicariously through your “research”! 🙂 I’ve heard a lot about the various Mission churches in California, but haven’t seen any in person – and I just love your photos. Thanks for sharing!

    And that’s awesome about the August Pitch Contest – what an honor! 🙂

    Good luck with your writing goals this week!

  19. Rae says:

    Another snippet! I loved it!! The variance between the long and short sentences made that last line perfect and really added to the humor.
    And wow, your writing progress is encouraging and inspiring. It feels like it’s only been a few weeks, but it’s great to be reminded of how much can be accomplished in just a short time!
    Good luck with your writing this week!

  20. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    I love your pictures, as always. 🙂 That snippet was amazing too! 500 words a day seems totally reasonable (I’m hoping to get into the swing of writing that much per day too).

    Congrats on being chosen as a judge for that contest!

  21. Liz Parker (@LizParkerWrites) says:

    Loved the photos from the Mission–very jealous of that (even if your girlie didn’t share the same sentiment!). I always love your instagram posts. I’m excited for you about this WIP–the snippet got me even more curious. I hope the change of setting is going well. I know how hard that can be. Enjoy your “research” and have a great weekend!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Liz! The setting change really is going well. I’m glad I decided to make the switch. I hope the writing’s still going well for you. I seriously cannot wait until I get to read it!

  22. Tif Johnson says:

    I love your snippet!!! If you ever need a beta, let me know! I’m writing in third person close, and I love reading it as well. I find it’s such a tightrope, balancing the person’s thoughts but remaining some distance. In my revisions, I keep asking myself: have I given enough insight into that character?

    Anyway, I’m totally rambling. 🙂 I miss Monterey! (I’m from San Francisco). The weather, and the missions, the Cali-laidback-style.

    Have a wonderful week! Way to go with your goals!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Tif! I might just take you up on the beta offer one of these days. Of course, I’d be happy to return the favor! And yes, I’m enjoying the challenge of writing in 3rd person. It’s tricky, but I *think* I’m getting the hang of it. I suppose time will tell. 🙂

      We love living in California! We have to move in December (no idea where yet) and I’m already so sad. I wish the Army would let us stay here forever!

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