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!}

First, and perhaps most importantly, today’s the day Alison MillerElodie NowodazkijErin Funk, Jaime Morrow, and I get to announce the winner of our Ready. Set. Write! giveaway. 

ready set write button

Congratulations… RAVEN MOORE!

You’ve won an amazing Writer’s Care Package! Be on the lookout for writerly gifts from Alison, Elodie, Erin, Jaime, and I, and keep up the amazing progress you’ve made on your WiP this summer. We’re so happy for you!

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

What I’m Reading: I finished The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, which was harrowing and complex and pretty darn captivating. I also read All I Need by Susane Colasanti, a novel that surfaced just as I was longing for a light, beachy romance — and that’s exactly what I got. Such a cute story! Yesterday I finished Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, a book that came highly recommended by Jessica Spotswood. I loved this one. Main character Josie’s life is brutal, but she experiences moments of such sincere beauty. And the setting (1950 New Orleans) is absolutely fascinating. I urge you to pick it up if you’re looking for a novel that’s historical and gritty and affecting. Now, I’m diving into OCD Love Story by debut author Corey Ann Haydu. Can’t wait to see what’s behind its awesome cover!

What I’m Writing: Before I tell you about my WiP, I have to recommend the following article: 25 Things to Know About Your Story’s Stakes by Chuck Wendig. I came across it at the ideal time, and it’s helping me evaluate my WiP with a fresh perspective. Basically, I need to torture my characters even more. Awesome!

This week I passed my 3K goal with a total of 3,404 words. I reached my story’s midpoint(ish) and did some  honest assessing of what I have so far. I decided to make a few changes to some backstory and motivation stuff, so this week I’m focusing on fixing the first half of the story to match the direction the second half will eventually take. So, yes, I’m revising while I’m drafting, but that works for me. Just as I can’t relax when my house is cluttered, I can’t continue to write when I know there are parts of the story that are incorrect or fragmented. So… This week’s goal: Finish revising the front half of my WiP.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Um… Just getting crazy-pumped about GOING TO SEE KENNY CHESNEY TOMORROW NIGHT. Guys. I’m a pretty chill person, normally, but I am positively giddy about this concert. With a group of friends, we’ve rented a party bus to take us to the venue, a ride which will be plenty of fun on its own. But then… I’ve seen Kenny twice before and he puts on an amazing show. I can’t wait to be reunited with him and his tight jeans. 😉

I’ve been spending lots of time with my little lovely, who turns six in tens days and starts first grade in just two weeks. She was recently promoted to Level 3 at swim lessons, and has discovered a love for costume jewelry, as evident in the above right photograph. Love her.

 The other day I padded my cookie repertoire with a tasty new recipe: Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. They turned out sweet and hearty (thanks to the addition of oats), with a cranberry tang — perfect for summer. Even my husband, who claims not to like white chocolate, managed to choke a few down.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Amazing news from my friend Jessica Love: She has a book coming out with St. Martin’s Press! She’s co-writing a YA novel based on the life of Chelsie Hill, one of the featured cast members on the Sundance Channel’s reality series Push Girls. This story… It’s SO inspiring, guys. I can’t wait for you to all read it! Don’t forget to drop by Jessica’s blog to congratulate her!

Also, I’m inspired every time I snack on yummy European treats and wear my awesome new Ready. Set. Write! t-shirt, both courtesy of Elodie Nowodazkij, who is one of the most awesome and encouraging people I know.
Thank you again, Elodie! ♡

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


49 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Elodie says:

    So…wait, are you excited about the concert? 😛 The entire pre-concert party also sounds like great fun!!!

    Your girlie as always looks adorable 😀 (and glad you found the boots for her!) And I’m also so so happy for Jessica! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the link on the stakes, I need to bookmark it and I understand why you want to go back and fix things, if they’re big it actually will ensure some consistency which is always nice even in a first draft. And to each their own way of drafting! Good luck with your goals for this week, Katy!

    And can I just say: “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww” and I’m totally grinning at my computer reading what you wrote about me. Thank you! And right back at you!!!

    • katyupperman says:

      That article on stakes is fantastic, Elodie. Stakes are one of my biggest writerly challenges (I think that has something to do with the fact that I write contemporary). I’m always looking for ways to raise tension and make things tougher on my characters.

      I hope you have a fantastic week full of writing, friend!

  2. Alexa says:

    Congratulations on reaching the mid point! Hope the revisions go well this week 🙂

    Thanks for the link, that was a really interesting and inspiring article. I always wonder if my stakes out high enough!

    Great photos! Wow six that sounds grown up 🙂 love her necklace. We have a while till school starts again, thankfully, I’ll be a wreck 🙂

    Love the t-shirt! Have.

    Great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Alexa! Stakes are so tricky, right? Torturing my characters continues to be one of my biggest writing challenges.

      I hope you have a great week of writing!

  3. Alison Miller says:

    SO many wonderful things, Katy! I can’t wait to hear about the concert – even if it is country. 😉 I hope you have a BLAST!!!

    And congrats on hitting the midpoint! I feel the same way about my front end – definitely some fixing before moving on. I can’t stand my house to be cluttered either!

    And happy early birthday to Claire! They grow up too fast. 😦

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, lady! I’m kind of glad I’m not alone in my messy front end challenges. Here’s hoping we can both make sense of the craziness! Have a great week of writing, Alison!

  4. kiperoo says:

    Yes! I loved that Stakes post, especially the NEVER, EVER REMOVE THE STAKES part. 😉

    Your little girl is so cute–so nice you get to spend lots of time with her before school starts again. My girls will be in Kindergarten this fall, so I’m soaking up every second too.

    Good luck with the revisions on your first half of the WIP this week. I know lots of people make it all the way through a first draft first, but I often have to take part-way revision breaks to stay on track, or change course as necessary.

    Have a great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Kip! I always hear to just “keep writing through the first draft” but it’s very hard for me to focus on moving forward when I know there are issues to be addressed. Whatever works, right? 🙂

  5. Lola Sharp says:

    I’m a bad Lola and not posting today…I haven’t the time. But I wanted to pop in and say hi and see what you’ve been up to. And, wow!, you’ve been reading a lot! And yes, KChes is AWESOME in concert and I love his tight jeans and sleeveless shirts and arms. HAVE ALL THE FUN!! 🙂

    Have a marvelous week <3,

    • katyupperman says:

      I’m glad you popped in, but I’ll miss your post this week! I’ll definitely share photos of Kenny… How could I not? 😉 Have a great week, lady!

  6. Tonja Drecker says:

    That concert sounds like so much fun!!!

    Cute pictures. Mommy-daughter time is so important 😉 My youngest daughter starts 1st grade this year too, but isn’t sure if she’s excited or not.

    Congrats on hitting the half-way point! I know what you mean about wanting to do revisions. This time, I actually forced myself only to stop and revise when the revisions really affected the plot, and the rest I put on a list.
    Good luck with them!

    • katyupperman says:

      My revisions will mostly impact how the characters end up growing and changing, so I want to make sure I have them right in the beginning, if that makes sense. Ugh… writing is hard!

      I hope your youngest has a great end to her summer… I bet she’ll end up having lots of fun in first grade. 🙂

  7. Rebecca B says:

    Congrats on hitting the midpoint! Your revising-while-drafting plan makes a heck of a lot of sense to me. Good luck finishing up the first half!
    And have an awesome time at the concert. 🙂

  8. Stephanie Scott says:

    Ah, the midpoint. I hope you’re able to forge ahead, that midpoint can be scary. But thinking through it and reassessing are great steps. I just looked at the cookie recipe, I have white chocolate chips at home so I might have to try this out. I almost always have a giant bag of Craisins from Costco and I’m out so I’ll have to make a trip… look at me, thinking about cookies suddenly at the mere suggestion of them.

  9. Martina at Adventures in YA Publishing says:

    I loved DARKEST MINDS, and OUT OF THE EASY is amazing. The voice is so clear and simple, but fantastically compelling. And who wouldn’t keep reading when it starts with, “My mother’s a prostitute.”

    Also, that Chuck Wendig post? Fantastic! Hope your WIP writes itself after the midpoint, Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Martin! I totally agree about the stakes post, and about OUT OF THE EASY. There’s something very classic and beautiful about that book, despite its very dark themes.

  10. Kaitlin Bartlett says:

    I love the link you posted about stakes, especially #9 on the list. I totally agree with “Plot is the result of characters making choices and acting on those choices.” It took me SO long to grasp that when I first really started writing.

    Those. Cookies. Sound. Delicious! And I love your RSW shirt. 🙂 Good luck with your writing this week, Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      Dude, Kaitlin. I *still* have a hard time with the “plot is the result of characters making choices and acting on those choices” bit. It’s so much easier to just lead characters along. Doesn’t make for a very exciting story, thought. 🙂

      Definitely try baking those cookies next time you have a sweet tooth!

  11. Rebekah says:

    I love costume jewelry too. You daughter seems lovely. I won OCD Love Story in an arc contest and plan to dig into it next! Have fun at your concert and please, you torture me with your cookie pics. I am salivating.

    • katyupperman says:

      Sorry for the torture! I always make sure to link to recipes, though, so you can make some too! I am totally loving OCD LOVE STORY. Bea, the protagonist, is awesome. Let me know what you think!

  12. Jaime Morrow says:

    I revise as I draft too, so you’re not alone. I like how you compare it to a cluttered house. I feel much the same way! You’re making AWESOME progress on this story. It’s inspiring to see you kicking this thing’s butt. I’m close to 25K, which thrills me too. 🙂 I have had a copy of OUT OF THE EASY for a while now, and I really need to get to it already. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much. And how much fun would a Kenny Chesney concert be?! I remember loving “There Goes My Life” so much when it came out. I don’t listen to a ton of country anymore, but I still like it a lot. (Country is really big in our province. As are cowboy boots and hats.) I’ll have to check out that Chuck Wendig link. Not only is the guy hilarious (albeit irreverent as all get out :P), but I could really use some tips on upping the stakes. Always something I struggle with…

    Have a great week, Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      I love “There Goes My Life,” Jaime. Totally makes me think of my daughter and how I had no idea how much I would love her until she was born. Chills. And hello… If I ever move to Canada, I now know which province to choose — sounds like your people are my people!

      Glad to know I’m not the only one who revises while drafting, or who struggles with stakes!

  13. Kari says:

    This is all so fun! I feel like, if I were a writer, I would also be one who revises while drafting. 🙂 Yay for your WiP!!

    C is growing up so fast and I just see her coming into her own, doing cool things like reading, swimming, playing an instrument, playing, etc. and it’s really fun to watch!

    Have so much fun at the concert! I expect pictures/posts/tweets. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, don’t worry… There will be much social-media-ing tomorrow night. I can’t help myself. 🙂 And YES, C is growing TOO fast. I can’t believe I have an almost six-year-old! I’m still twenty-two!

    • katyupperman says:

      I was so excited to share your news, Jess! And yes… Stakes are the WORST. My very first manuscript had NONE. My characters just did stuff, willy-nilly, with no consequences whatsoever. I wonder why it didn’t snag me an agent?

  14. Erin Funk says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed OUT OF THE EASY. I thought it was beautifully written. It felt like reading a classic to me. Also, I love cranberry white chocolate chip cookies! I usually make mine at Christmas, although I enjoy cranberries year round. Congratulations on passing the midpoint of your story! Have a blast at the concert and I hope revising goes well this week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Those cookies would be perfect at Christmas time, Erin. Oddly enough, they totally worked as a summer cookie too. Multi-faceted. 😉 And yes, I agree with you on OUT OF THE EASY. The writing was effortless and timeless. I loved it!

  15. mandiebaxter says:

    Haven’t read those books. Will have to look into them!

    Congrats on passing your goal and making it to midpoint(ish). That’s awesome!!! Good luck this week. Keep it up!

    Love concerts! Hope you have a blast!

  16. Tif Johnson says:

    You had me at PARTY BUS.


    Seriously though…way to go with the midpoint! I’ll have to read Chuck’s article you linked to. He just has a way with words–it socks you right in the gut.

    But wait…party bus!!! You must post pictures.

    Because…PARTY BUS!

    • katyupperman says:

      Tif, we are VERY excited about the party bus. So awesome that nobody has to drive their own car, and that we’ll be dropped off right in front of the venue. Plus, we can drink the whole way up, AND there’s a stripper pole. Considering that most of the people going with us are Army/Navy guys, it should be very interesting. 😉 I’ll most definitely post pictures!

  17. Colin says:

    Congrats on reaching mid-point, Katy! I don’t think I can revise and write–I’d get hung up and it’d take me forever to finish. Mind you, it seems like it’s taking me forever to revise!!

    I think I could quite happily munch down a few dozen of those cookies. They look deeelish!! 🙂 And your daughter is totally adorable. 🙂

    Have a fun time at the concert (like I have to remind you), and have a great writing week!! 🙂

  18. Krispy says:

    As a girl who just had the fangirl-dream-weekend of her life, I can totally understand why you’re giddy about this concert. The party bus is an added plus! How fun! (I think I’m might have to suggest this idea to my friends for when we see the Backstreet Boys in September, haha.)

    Congrats on making it to your midpoint!!! I totally understand the desire/need to revise when you know what’s wrong. I write slowly partly because I have the bad habit of revising as I go, but sometimes I really just can’t continue until I’ve fixed a few things – because I know I’ll have to fix those things later anyway! This is probably one of the few times I don’t procrastinate! (Unless you count it as procrastinating on continuing forward with the story…?)

    In any case, have tons of fun at the concert! And I can’t wait to hear what you think of OCD Love Story. That book has been in my TBR since I saw the cover reveal in what feels like ages ago (I just ADORE the design).

  19. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    I hope you had an awesome time at the concert!! The party bus sounds fun. 🙂

    Congrats on getting to your midpoint! I totally understand your desire to fix things in the first half before moving onto the second. I think as long as you don’t spend TOO much time revising before moving forward, it makes sense!

    Thanks for sharing that article about stakes. I always struggle with making them high enough in my stories.

    Hope you have a nice weekend!

    • katyupperman says:

      We did have an awesome time at the concert, Ghenet… I’d happily do it all over again next weekend. 🙂 And yes, stakes are always a big hurdle for me too. Probably because we write contemporary. Things aren’t always life and death, so it’s sometimes a struggle to make problems and consequences BIG enough. Or maybe that’s just me? 😉

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