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.


First—can you believe Ready. Set. Write! is ending in ONE WEEK?! Not that I’m going to stop goal-setting and writing when summer is all said and done, but still… Our fantastic writing intensive is almost over!

On that note, my fabulous co-hosts and I would like to thank you for participating and celebrate your success by offering critiques. Of course, we don’t presume to be experts, but we do know how helpful it can be to get a fresh perspective on our writing. So… Erin, Jaime, Elodie, Alison, and I are offering feedback on the first ten pages of five Ready. Set. Write! participants’ stories. That’s FIVE critique giveaways! All you have to do is pop in next Wednesday (August 28th) and enter via Rafflecopter. (This giveaway is international and is open only to those who have participated in Ready. Set. Write!)


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

What I’m Reading: For starters, I’m about halfway through a captivating beta read. It’s been awhile since I’ve read any manuscripts but my own, and I’m having a blast spending time with this romantic contemporary YA. I feel so fortunate to be able to read work by such talented writers! On the published book front, I read Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway last week and fell head over heels for Audrey and Victoria and James and all their crazy misadventures. This was a truly funny book with exceptional voice (I’ll talk more about it in tomorrow’s Bookanista post). I also read Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments, an enviably clever and amusing adult novel. I adored Lincoln, and I thought the dynamic between Jennifer and Beth was fantastic. Recommend! Now, I’m reading Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer, this month’s YA Book Club selection. It’s lovely so far, though it’s making my heart sad.

What I’m Writing: I have to say, I kind of rocked my WiP this week. My goal was a conservative 3,000 words, though I mentioned I was really hoping for 4K or 5K. I ended up with 6,512 words for the week, which I’m excited about, and I also cleared 50K words. Seeing as how I started Ready. Set. Write! with about 9K words, I’m feeling pretty great about my first draft progress. My goal for this week is to write 3,000 words on my WiP, and to begin working on a light revision of another project, which I hope to complete in the next three weeks.

Me and Daisy, my writing buddy.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Oh, you know… melting down about things I can’t control — what I do best. I had a heart-to-heart with my husband the other day and told him all about how I feel like a failure in several aspects of my life, and he (sweetly) told me that there’s something to be said for personal growth. To which I replied, “But I’m growing into a crazy person!”
So, yeah. Living with me can be really fun.

In more cheerful news, on Saturday morning I supervised while my girlie made breakfast. She wanted Blueberry Muffins, so we chose this healthy recipe and they turned out really tasty. I love when blueberry muffins are packed with blueberries, and these definitely were. Yum!

Mostly, I’ve just been spending time with these three, my favorites, and lamenting the end of summer.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Attachments inspired me, and made me think about writing dialogue in a new way — I posted about it on Monday.

Also, I Hate Strong Female Characters, a must-read article from Sophia McDougall, who shares brilliance like this: I want a wealth of complex female protagonists who can be either strong or weak or both or neither, because they are more than strength or weakness. Badass gunslingers and martial artists sure, but also interesting women who are shy and quiet and do, sometimes, put up with others’ shit because in real life there’s often no practical alternative.

And then there’s this fantastic post, In Which I Go Into Cheerleader Mode by Shannon Messenger, which is honest and true and timely, something I totally needed to read this week. It’s almost like Shannon was in my head when she wrote: Like there’s some ticking clock determining how long they’re allowed to be “aspiring” before they must cross over to “published”, and any second someone is going to realize they still don’t have a book deal and show them to the door. If your journey to publication has ever made you feel like a fraud, please drop by Shannon’s blog and read the full post — you’ll feel better!

And finally, I’m finding serious writing inspiration in this quote:

Tell me… What’s up with you today?
{Don’t forget to link your WUW posts to the list on Jaime’s blog this week!}


50 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Tonja Drecker says:

    I just visited Shannon and really enjoyed it. Thanks! It’s something we know but need to hear over and over and over again.
    Congrats on reaching over 50,000 and the huge 6,000+. This is all over next week already. Wow.

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Tonja! I hope your writing is going well, and I’m so glad you could relate to Shannon’s post too. Makes me feel a little less nutty. 😉

  2. Elodie says:

    SECOND CHANCE SUMMER also made my heart sad but I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!

    Your husband is wise and your reply to it kind of made me laugh cause’ that’s something I’ve told my husband before too. Going through those phases is tough but let me tell you that for me you’re definitely an inspiration and I feel very lucky to have “met” you online!

    Big hugs!

  3. Alison Miller says:

    I am so glad you got to read AUDREY, WAIT!! I heart James and Audrey so much! Also, I will not say anything about SECOND CHANCE SUMMER other than it is truly the best book I read this year and arm yourself with tissues. And OMG what great writing progress you’ve made this week! GO YOU!!! I’m super happy for all this progress because that just means I get to read this that much sooner. =D

    Also, again. I think our husbands should get together and have a beer. Hee. Love that heart-to-heart. Dave would’ve probably told me there’s no “growing into a crazy person” because I’m already one. 😉

    And love the pics – as always. And now I’m hungry. Those muffins look AWESOME!

    Hang in there, friend. If you need to rant, you know where to find me!

    • katyupperman says:

      Ooh! SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is the best of your year so far?! That makes me so eager to finish. I’m about halfway through and loving it. And yes, let’s meet up someday so our husbands can have beers and complain about their crazy wives, and you and I can talk books and writing and everything else (and also have beers ;).

      So glad your writing is going well, Alison. I’m blown away by your progress! You are such an inspiration. ❤

  4. Rebecca B says:

    Sorry about your meltdown, but your husband’s advice seems both very sweet and very true. The cheerleader post from Shannon Messenger is perfectly put. And congrats on rocking your WIP! Now I’m off to read your dialogue post. 🙂

  5. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    My husband lovingly reminds me I’m acting “bat shit crazy” when I have meltdowns 🙂 As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized sometimes I just need to have mini freakouts from time to time to work things out in my head.

    • katyupperman says:

      Huh. Maybe your husband should join Alison’s and mine for beers and complaining about their bat shit crazy wives. I think they’d all get along very well. And yes — meltdowns totally help me to get it together and refocus on what’s important. Which means I should just go ahead and keep having them. 😉

  6. Temre Beltz says:

    Aw, Katy, I loved everything about your post. First, your progress on your WiP was AMAZING – way to go, Katy! You are rocking this WiP, and I am so proud of you! I also loved your comments about the female characters post. I relate to it so much, that sometimes we just need to let women be, that whether we elevate them or lower them we are still creating something that we are supposed to fit into and that strength comes in so many different forms – even when we are “broken.” And finally, I am sending you the world’s biggest (!) hug because you being a failure at anything is impossible. Seriously. The love and inspiration that you give to your family and friends is incredible. I am so thankful for you!! My writing journey would honestly not be the same without you. It’s amazing what having a friend who believes in you can do ❤ That being said, I have had this exact same conversation with my husband, so I know and thank goodness for our ever patient hubbies 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      “…sometimes we just need to let women be, that whether we elevate them or lower them we are still creating something that we are supposed to fit into and that strength comes in so many different forms – even when we are ‘broken.'” <— This is very much how I feel, Tem. I don't think I'm "strong" in the traditional sense of the word. In fact, sometimes I'm weak and sometimes I let people walk all over me, and sometimes I make terrible choices. But, I'm trying, and I want to read books about females like me — not just "strong" females who kick butt and have it all together.

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. I felt better after my meltdown, and I feel better reading super encouraging comments like yours. Thank you so much for being an amazing friend!

  7. Margo Berendsen says:

    Yes I know what you mean about lamenting the end of summer, too. And, hmmm, melting down about things I can’t control sounds about like me too. But woohooo on the 6000+ words! You’ve inspired me! Off to write…wait, going to check out that dialogue post first

  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love that your daughter is already starting to learn to cook! It’s never too early to start learning this valuable life skill, contrary to how my ex’s vile mother still makes him almost all his meals at now 36 years old.

    Congratulations on all this week’s progress on your WIP. I think I wrote 10,000ish words this week, which is starting to get back up to my normal writing speed. Hopefully I can somewhat keep that level of progress after the semester starts soon.

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Carrie-Anne. Baking is one of my favorite things to do, and I love sharing it with my girl. She has a sweet tooth like her mama. 🙂 Best of luck with your writing this week. Your word counts always inspire me!

  9. Stephanie Allen says:

    I sort of wish I’d known how to cook more than mac & cheese before I started living on my own. So it’s nice that you’re starting your daughter so young!

    Congrats on your WIP progress this week!

  10. Liz Parker says:

    I’m with you on that Margaret Atwood quote. I’m so glad you shared it on Pinterest and again here. Your meltdown sounds a lot like the way I’ve been feeling–so yay for solidarity? And growing into crazy people? I’ve really loved writing with you this summer–felt like NaNoWriMo all over again, only with far better words.

    • katyupperman says:

      “I’ve really loved writing with you this summer–felt like NaNoWriMo all over again, only with far better words.” <— Yes! I was just thinking about this as I read about your progress on your blog this morning. I think I'm even more excited about YOU finishing your draft than I am about finishing my own! Solidarity for sure. 🙂

  11. Kris F. Oliver says:

    I LOVED the description of your meltdown and “growing into a crazy person”. We all feel like that sometimes. Some of us more than others. *raises hand*

    And those pictures of your and Daisy and your favorite three are adorable.

    Also go you on 6K! That’s fantastic. Hope you have a great week! 🙂

  12. Stephanie Scott says:

    Sounds like I must read Second Chance Summer. I’ll add it to the list…maybe for next summer lol.
    The article about strong female characters is compelling; the discussion has been going on about the Joss Whedon lexicon; everyone thinks of Buffy as the strong female character, which she is, but so is Willow, whose quieter journey is actually a bit more complex and layered.

    • katyupperman says:

      SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is a great summer read; definitely pick it up this summer or next. 🙂

      Great points about Buffy/Willow. I think there are a million different ways for a female to be “strong,” and I think it’s okay for females ot have their weak moments as well. That’s what makes us complex, and normal!

  13. Alexa says:

    That is a fantastic quote you ended on! I need to stick it over my computer. I just wrote a scene yesterday that I thought was really great, but then I started thinking about people reading it and got uncomfortable.

    Congratulations on all those words! It must feel brilliant to cross the 50,000 word mark. Hope it goes as well this week.

    Audrey Wait! Is such a fantastic book, I just loved it. Attachments is also fantastic. I can’t wait for Rainbow Rowell’s next book, she’s on my must buy list now.

    Have a great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      That quote really stuck with me because I can remember the exact moment I “found” my voice a few years ago. It was the moment I vowed to stop worrying what my husband/friends/parents would think of my writing if they were to read it. Letting that anxiety go allowed me to write with so much more freedom. Of course, I still have those moments of discomfort and doubt (especially with this WiP!), so that quote was a great reminder.

      I can’t wait for Rainbow Rowell’s next book either. I’ve heard amazing things about FANGIRL!

  14. Colin says:

    Well done for blasting through word count this week, Katy! Awesome!! 😀 And those blueberry muffins look tasty. The more blueberries, the better, I say. 🙂

    I hope your writing week is even better than last week. And embrace personal growth–even if it’s toward the crazy. We’re all well along that path as it is… 😉

  15. Melanie says:

    I absolutely loved Attachments and Eleanor & Park. Rainbow Rowell is a genius at dialogue!
    I feel like a complete and utter failure at all apsects of life on a daily basis. I’m an okay cook, an okay cleaner, an okay writer, an okay mom… But there’s no way to be perfect, it’s like your hubs said- it’s all about the growth. It’s about trying. As long as we keep trying to be better, that’s what counts. (At least, that’s what I tell myself.)
    Congrats on ALL the writing!

    • katyupperman says:

      “As long as we keep trying to be better, that’s what counts.” <— This is pretty much my mantra these days. I know I won't ever be perfect an anything, but I'd like a little forward progress, you know? I think I was feeling especially stagnant that day, but reading so many encouraging comments today has really helped. Thanks so much, Melanie! ❤

  16. Rebekah says:

    Katy, great overall post. I read that same article about Strong Female Protagonists, and agreed with many points. I think I will be adding Audrey, Wait! to my TBR pronto, I’ve heard some good things about it, and this definitely makes me want to read.

    I completely relate to the crisis you mention, and want you to know your aren’t alone in that. Being female and a mother often go hand-in-hand with this kind of guilt induced freak out. I have always felt I lived on borrowed time, and that no matter what I did, the true version of me would never catch up with the version I wish I was. The truth is, we never feel accomplished, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t.

    • katyupperman says:

      I hope you get to read AUDREY, WAIT soon, Rebekah! It’s such a fun book, and a lesson in incredibly strong, unique voice. I truly loved it!

      Thanks so much for your sweet, encouraging words. Though I’m not happy that others feel the same way I’ve been feeling, knowing that I’m not alone definitely makes me feel better.

      Hoping we can write together via Twitter this week!

  17. Erin Funk says:

    Oh wow, where to start commenting? You’ve had so many inspiring and informative things on your blog lately–like that awesome Plot Dot Test. As soon as I’m done WUW stuff, I need to go read those links you posted.

    I love the picture of you and Daisy, especially how you have this enthusiastic expression and she’s completely sacked out. So cute! Also, your heart-to-heart with your husband sounds way too familiar. Rest assured that you’re not the only one growing into a crazy person. And I’d be willing to bet you’re doing a better job on all those “failings” than you think you are. Now I just need to tell myself the same thing.

    I can see why you’re feeling great about your first draft! Your word count this week is super high! Way to go! I hope the words continue to flow. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Erin! It’s definitely been a great writing week. I think all that angst I’ve been feeling is serving my WiP well. Maybe I should stay in a perpetually unhinged mood. 🙂

  18. Krispy says:

    Ah, your inspiration section is SO GOOD. I loved that Female Characters article and your post about dialogue. Must read Shannon’s ; I need a little cheerleading in my life too, though Tracey was kind enough to give me some yesterday when I lamented to her that I felt like a fraud. I also love, love that quote. It’s inspiring me to be more brave with my writing.

    Also, sorry you had one of those meltdown moments! Those are inevitable and always suck, but it seems to me you have a very lovely family (and doggy) to support you. I had a major freakout in mid-July right before Comic Con, which seemed especially ridiculous because I was so excited for SDCC, but you know what? While those few days sucked so much at the time, afterwards, I ended up having an amazing time at SDCC – an even better time than what I had hoped. So I think the universe has a way of balancing itself out, which means I think fantastic things are coming to you soon to make up for the downer days. 🙂

    And on that note, you did beyond great with your RSW goals, and I’m sad that it’s ending! How is it already the end of August???

    • katyupperman says:

      If you’ve been feeling like a fraud, definitely read Shannon’s post. It’s a great reminder, and one of those posts that makes you feel a lot less crazy. 🙂

      I’m sorry you’ve been in a funk lately too, and I’m glad SDCC gave you the boost you needed. This writing stuff is tough. It’s so nice to have friends to turn to for encouragement and commiseration.

      Also, I got a fabulous, much sought after ARC in the mail today — thank you SO MUCH, Krispy! ❤

  19. Amy Brashear says:

    I loved Eleanor & Park and I really want to read Attachments. I’ve heard a lot of people say how good it is. I can’t wait to read Fangirl when that comes out. Congrats on your WIP progress. Have a great weekend!

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, ATTACHMENTS is fabulous, and I am dying to read FANGIRL. I’ve heard it’s amazing! Rainbow Rowell is most definitely making herself out to be one of contemporary favorites.

      Hope you have a great weekend too, Amy!

  20. katharineowens says:

    What a great set of quotes, Katy. You have totally inspired me! It is so hard not to attach a timeline to the writing journey. I struggle with this on about a three-five month cycle. Then I go through periods where I’m comfortable with where I am and what I’m doing. I don’t have any advice, just wanted to say you’re not alone!

    I also love the quote on female characters. I just finished Orange is the New Black on netflix. It took a few episodes for me to get into it, but when I did I found myself amazed with so many COMPLEX female characters. LOVED it.
    Have a great week and congrats on rocking out those writing goals! (PS Your dog is adorable!)

  21. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Congrats on all of your progress this week! That’s amazing that you got so much written this summer. I’m sad Ready. Set. WRITE! is coming to an end, especially because my goals sorta fell apart over the last month, with traveling and moving getting in the way. I hope to be as productive as you’ve been this fall!

    I often feel like I’m growing into a crazy person, too. Sigh. I’ve been in a writing funk lately–I’m thinking about blogging about it–and different things, like that Shannon Messenger post, have made me feel a little better about things.

    Anyway, have a good week! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      I’m with you on the funk, Ghenet. I’ve tried to put all my angst into my WiP, which has benefited both it and me, but some days are just so… blah. Here’s hoping we both snap out of it soon!

      Best of luck with hitting your writing goals in the coming weeks and months. Even though RSW is coming to a close, I plan to continue with my WUW posts because they help to keep me accountable with my writing. I don’t want my “What I’m Writing” section to be empty!

  22. Jaime Morrow says:

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to your post, Katy. There’s so much awesome to comment on here! First off: Over 6K!! That’s fantastic! Also very inspiring. 🙂 And that you’re taking on light revisions as well. Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up a bit. I still have to get to SECOND CHANCE SUMMER, but I’m hoping that will happen in the next day or so. I need to get it finished on time for the discussion, especially since I helped twist Tracey’s arm about choosing it for this month’s read. 😛 Both of the articles that you link to are fantastic. I actually kind of want to write a blog post about the strong female characters thing myself. We’ll see if that happens. Have a great week, Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      I just saw on Twitter that you’ve been dealing with a migraine… Boo. I hope you’re feeling better, and I hope you get to SECOND CHANCE SUMMER soon. I’m just over halfway through and it’s really good. Very Sarah Dessen-ish, with a cute love interest. Looking forward to chatting with you and all the Book Clubbers about it!

  23. Kate Scott says:

    I think your “what inspires me right now” is what’s inspiring me. So many great links. Plus just you yourself are pretty inspiring. 6512 words this week is awesome. Keep up the good work!

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