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: Last week I finished Tiger Lily, and I absolutely adored it. Such a beautiful, bittersweet story. In fact, I’m sort of sad that it was a library book. I might just have to buy a copy for my collection. Yesterday I finished Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (my fiftieth book of 2013!). It’s awesome. The worldbuilding is stellar and totally unique, and The Darkling… what a fascinating character. A big recommend if you’re a fantasy fan, or if you like books that have super high stakes and are full of surprises. 

What I’m Writing: My WiP and I have mostly made up. She’s still challenging me at every turn, but that’s what makes writing fun, isn’t it? I’m one scene from finishing my read-through of the first half of the story, which is a pretty great feeling. I’m glad I decided to read and reassess and make adjustments as necessary, even though I’m still very much drafting. I rediscovered bits of the story that are lovely and well-written, and I reconnected with my characters. It’s been a motivating experience, and I feel  good about drafting the second half of the story. Here’s a tiny excerpt…

Sometimes Jenna thought of her parents, their expectations and the church’s. Sometimes she thought of Dylan, whether her best friend would ever find the escape she was searching for. Often, she thought of singing. How much she missed it and how, after years of projecting clearly and resonantly from deep within her soul, her song had gone mute in the space of a night.

But mostly, Jenna thought of Tyler. Tyler, who made her feel beautiful and melodic and lucky. Tyler, who, after Saturday night, might very well have written her off. 

My goal for the coming week is to add 3000 new words to my WiP. 

ready set write button

What Else I’ve Been Up To: I spent most of last week planning and hosting my girlie’s sixth birthday bash (even as I type those words, I can’t believe I have a six-year-old). The music-themed party was a big success, and we had a fantastic time celebrating with lots of wonderful friends. Here are a few pictures… 

I made that purple guitar out of poster board for a “Pin the Pick on the Guitar” game. My mom made the birthday girl’s super-cute party dress. 

Lots of stars and guitars and bright colors. Taylor Swift provided the soundtrack. 

I’ve said this about a thousand times in the last few days, but I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that six years have passed between the days these two pictures were taken. I am *way* too young to have a six-year-old. 😉 

And, since I’m blathering about the too-quick passage of time, let’s all pause to appreciate the first day of 1st grade, which is TODAY! Lots of extra writing time in store for this mama!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: This post on the Plot Dot Test by agent Natalie Lakosil, because I love a good visual representation, and this one goes a long way in solving pacing problems. And this link, inviting us to “do nothing” for two full minutes. It’s way harder to relax and zone out than I thought it would be, and probably far more important than any of us realize. Try it! Also, this quote…

What’s up with you today?


39 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Alison Miller says:

    I’m so glad you are making progress on this WiP because I REALLY WANT TO READ IT. But I’m enjoying the snippets. Love this: “after years of projecting clearly and resonantly from deep within her soul, her song had gone mute in the space of a night.”

    And yeah okay Miss way too young for a six year old. Try having a fourteen year old and taking her to high school orientation today! 😦 Where does time go?

    BUT I do love the pics! And you are just so crafty! Love the purple guitar and everything! And enjoy first grade (and the time to write). My son’s going into fourth and I can’t wait to help out in his classroom!

    Oh – and fifty books?! You go, woman! I hope you have a wonderful week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, lady! I’m thinking of you today as you take your girl to her orientation! Good thing neither of us look as old as we actually are. 😉 Best of luck with your writing this week!

  2. Temre Beltz says:

    Loved this post so much, Katy! As a mama, I can’t tell you how much my heart swells and connects with your feelings for your sweet girl. Yay for being six AND for first grade!! Also, you may be the coolest mom ever! The rock star party was absolutely adorable!! I am so happy you are feeling good about your WiP, and was so moved by the snippet that you shared. Katy, this is BEAUTIFUL writing, and it is already plain to see you are doing something absolutely FANTASTIC with these characters. Wow! Keep following your heart! Go Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Tem! You have no idea how much I enjoy reading your comments (and your blog posts!). Your kind words always make me smile, and they make me want to be the best mama and writer I can be. Thank you a million times for your support. ❤

  3. Kris Atkins says:

    Oooo, Tigerlily and Shadow and Bone are on my TBR list and I’m so glad you loved both of them!
    I love that snippet from your book, especially, “after years of projecting clearly and resonantly from deep within her soul, her song had gone mute in the space of a night.” I’m glad you made up with your manuscript. Were you thinking about chucking it? I think some of the sweetest moments I’ve had while writing are those times when I feel like all is lost with this story (don’t mind me as I wax dramatic), and then I read one of those snippets that remind why I LOVE this story. Ahh, writing… non-writers just don’t get it, do they? I watched this documentary about a famous snowboarder (don’t ask who, Chris Something maybe?), and he made the comment that if you’re not out doing crazy things all the time than you’re not living. And I’m like, “Hey! I’m totally living! I’m living multiple lives! So neener!” (Because I’m really grown up.) Okay, end tangent.

    • katyupperman says:

      Haha! I love that you share in my writer crazies, Kris! I wasn’t thinking about chucking my WiP (yet!), but I was definitely hating it for a while there. Not the story, so much, but how much it challenges me. That’s a good thing, though, and finding those little bits that I love has inspired me to keep moving forward.

      I can’t wait to hear what you think of TIGER LILY and SHADOW AND BONE. Very different stories, but both excellent!

  4. Jaime Morrow says:

    She wore her new cowgirl boots! Such an adorable bunch of photos of your girlie, Katy. Love them! And I LOVE the snippet you shared today. My favourite line is the one Alison quoted above. Seriously, so good. I think TIGER LILY might have to be one of my next reads. It’s sitting on the top of the pile beside me, so it’s not like I have to go far to get it. 😉 Have a great week and enjoy the extra time to write!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Jaime! Sharing excerpts is terrifying, but it is SO nice to read comments of encouragement. ❤ And yes, please do read TIGER LILY. I think it's one of those books that hasn't gotten the buzz it deserves.

  5. Elodie says:

    Oh wow! LOVE YOUR SNIPPET!!!! When am I getting this in my mailbox? 🙂
    TIGER LILY has been on my Kindle for ages but I still haven´t opened it…Hmmm. Probably should.
    Claire is adorable as always and I love her boots!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Elodie. She loves her boots too — she wore them today, for her first day of school! Like I told Jaime, I hope you get to read TIGER LILY soon. It’s such a gorgeous story!

  6. Melissa Hurst says:

    Shadow and Bone is one of my favorite reads this year, and the sequel is just as good! Sounds like I should add Tiger Lily to my TBR pile (even though it is huge already).

    Love the snippet from your WiP. It definitely makes me want to read more. 🙂

    I know what you mean about your daughter. I’ve got three girls, and it seems like they’re growing up too fast. They should still be little, right? 😀

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, why can’t our kiddos stay little?!

      I’m really looking forward to reading SIEGE AND STORM… I keep hearing that it’s even better than SHADOW AND BONE. And yes, Melissa, please do read TIGER LILY soon. I loved it!

  7. Stephanie Scott says:

    I considered picking up the audiobook of Tiger Lily at the library yesterday. I may have to go back once my current round of books are done. As always, adorable pictures!

  8. Miss Cole says:

    YOU ALWAYS POST PHOTOS OF SUCH DELICIOUS LOOKING FOOD AAAAARGH! I have such cravings for tea and cake now!

    Glad to hear you and your WIP are making up. Good luck with hitting 3000 words this week 😀

  9. Tonja Drecker says:

    What an awesome party for such a cute little girl! She looks like she’s more than ready to conquer the 1st grade.
    I need to read Shadow and Bone. I’ve been meaning too, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
    Loved your excerpt. And good luck with hitting your next writing goals!

  10. Alexa says:

    That looks a very fantastic 6th birthday party! Glad she had fun and she looks adorable for the first day of school – fantastic boots!

    I loved your excerpt. Glad the WIP is behaving for you again 🙂

    You’re the second person to mention Shadow and Bone. I really must read it!
    50 books! Fantastic. I’m on 34 🙂

    Have a great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Alexa! I was surprised when I counted my 2013 books yesterday… I don’t feel like I’ve read as many as fifty. Thirty-four is awesome as well. 🙂 Hope you have a great week, and let me know if you get around to reading SHADOW AND BONE, and what you think of it.

  11. Rebekah says:

    Glad you posted a snippet from you WiP! Intriguing little bit there. Shadow and Bone was a favorite last year, and Siege and Storm is just as amazing. Love the pics of your daughter’s birthday. Looks fabulous. My son’s Fourth b-day is quickly approaching, and he has lots of plans.

    • katyupperman says:

      Thank you, Rebekah! I keep hearing that SIEGE AND STORM is even more amazing than SHADOW AND BONE. I can’t wait to read it! Looking forward to hearing all about your kiddo’s fourth birthday. 🙂

  12. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    Yay first day of school! My niece is starting first grade soon and my little brother is going to be a senior. Where does the time go??

    Pin the Pick on the Guitar is genius!

  13. Rebecca Barrow says:

    I love that moment of reading something you wrote and actually liking it…I think it’s the most motivating thing there is! Glad you found it this week 🙂

    Your little cutie just kills me with her adorableness! But I can’t believe she looks so happy to be going to school! Maybe if she (and you) are lucky, she’ll keep that enthusiasm the whole way through 😉

    • katyupperman says:

      I hope she does keep up her enthusiasm for school, Rebecca. She loves to read and she loves all the social aspects, so she’s on the right track. 🙂

      Here’s hoping for lots more of those “I love this!” writing moments for both of us!

  14. Erin Funk says:

    I think it’s so funny that your daughter had cupcakes with green icing for her 6th birthday, because that’s the plan for my hubby’s birthday this weekend, and well, he’s turning much older than six. In our case, it’s green for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, our football team. Judging by the cute pics, it looks like she had a super day!

    I love what you said about your WIP challenging you. Writing would get boring without those challenges, wouldn’t it? It sounds like your story is really taking shape. I loved the excerpt (as usual) and hope drafting the second half of the story is just as rewarding an experience. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Erin! I’m hoping the drafting goes well too — challenging, but not TOO challenging. 🙂

      Happy birthday to your husband. Green cupcakes are the best!

  15. Carrie-Anne says:

    Reconnecting with your characters is an awesome thing. It really gives us the push to continue writing their stories.

    Happy birthday to your daughter! I love her birthday theme, which is such a refreshing change of pace from all the Disney Princess-themed stuff little girls these days are into.

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Carrie-Anne! We’ve done our share of Princess parties, so I was happy when she asked for a music party this year. It was fun to put everything together!

  16. Colin says:

    Kids grow up way too quickly. I keep telling my teens they’ll always be my babies and my kids. They don’t seem to appreciate that. 😉

    I like that Plot Dot Test. I’ll have to remember that, maybe try it with my WIP after this round of edits. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great week, Katy! 😀

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Colin! Every year we tell our girl that she’s not allowed to have another birthday. She has to stay frozen at that age forever. Somehow it never works. 🙂 Glad you like the Plot Dot Test. I can’t wait to try it myself!

  17. Rachel (writes things/007) says:

    TIGER LILY is AH-MAZING! I also might have to buy a copy- especially since the paperback is out and that is a little cheaper 🙂 The author actually wrote a contemporary trilogy before TL, called Peaches – it is really cute. I bet it would be up your alley! Also, SHADOW&BONE. <33The Darkling! Though in Book2 you meet Sturmhond and boy, is that guy my sorta hottie. Snarky and delicious 😉 I am constantly questioning who is better- The Darkling or Sturmhond. LOL
    Also…to make you feel even OLDER (gosh this makes ME feel old)- the 90's are considered historical fiction. YUP. I know. WHAT THE HECK.
    (It's so weird to read snippets of your ms bc Jenna is your main character and my main character in my novel too!)

    • katyupperman says:

      Yay for another Jenna! I’m not even sure what possessed me to use that name, but now that I have, I really like it. I’ve heard of that PEACHES trilogy. It seems fun… I’ll definitely check it out!

  18. Krispy says:

    THOSE PICTURES ARE TOO ADORBS! Congrats to your girlie on turning 6 AND being a first grader! So much excitement in this week for her AND you! I also adore her dress. Your mom is seriously talented (and clearly you’ve picked up her craftiness because I’m always impressed by your baking/crafting skills).

    On the book front, I’m so glad you liked both Tiger Lily and Shadow & Bone. S&B got a lot of hype, but Tiger Lily was one that snuck up on me and I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it when I read it. But it was lovely and difficult and all around wonderful. I loved that it was a “realistic” take on the Peter Pan story that also managed to keep some of that magic, touch on the story we’re familiar with, and that the focus was on Tiger Lily.

    Your inspiration section rocks this week. I will definitely be using that 2 minute break link. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      I totally agree that TIGER LILY deserves more hype than it’s gotten. It’s such a beautifully written story, and I really appreciated that it didn’t have a predictably happy ending. Some stories just don’t need that, and I like when an author is courageous enough to show the bittersweet side of life.

      Good luck with the 2 minute break… It nearly put me to sleep!

  19. Liz Parker (@LizParkerWrites) says:

    Oh man I love that quote. That’s how I feel about what I’m writing now–by the way, I decided to keep drafting. You’re right, we have a trade coming up, and I need to have a manuscript to actually trade. I can’t believe your little girl is starting first grade. I can’t imagine what that’s like, but I’ve loved the pictures you’ve been posting. Glad you’ve mostly made up with your WIP, because I love the excerpt you shared 🙂 Hope this week is starting off well!

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