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 posting quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. Join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, or a great way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you.


Can you believe Ready. Set. Write! is over?! *sob* Not that I’m going to stop goal-setting and writing and participating in What’s Up Wednesday, but still… Our fantastic summer writing intensive is all said and done!

ready set write button

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 enter via the Rafflecopter below…
(Giveaway is international. Open to those who participated in Ready. Set. Write!)

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Best of luck! 


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

What I’m Reading: I finished Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer. While the writing was lovely and the characters were well-drawn and likeable, this was a tough story to get through. The inevitableness of a tragic event is made clear early on, and the entire book is a journey to a heartbreaking conclusion. Yet, there’s a sense of hopefulness that keeps it from from becoming unbearably sad. More next week for YA Book Club. Now, I’m reading The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, which is predictably awesome and packed with beautiful prose. Big thanks to Krispy, who generously loaned me her ARC!

What I’m Writing: Guys, I’m busting through my WiP. I wrote 6,831 words this week, and I think most of them are good words — yay! Since Ready. Set. Write! began a few months ago, I’ve written just short of 50K words, a number I’m thrilled with. The other day I completed what I’m pretty sure is the strongest, most emotionally charged scene I’ve ever written. We’ll see what my CPs have to say down the line, but for now I’m feeling encouraged and successful and really excited about my writing. I’m rolling with it.

Daisy is excited too.

In addition to working on my WiP, I started revising another project I’ve been working on off-and-on for the last couple of years. There are a few issues with the conflict and, with the help of my super savvy agent, I’m going to solve them. In an effort to assess the story’s pacing and reacquaint myself with its structure, I put the Plot Dot Test to use. I love visual aides (and graph paper!).

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Other than reading and writing, I’ve mostly been spending time with my girl, which is sort of funny since she’s in school almost all day now. Quality over quantity, I suppose. We’ve been making the most of our afternoons and weekends, reading books, doing art projects, having special breakfasts, and going on girls-only shopping trips. It’s been fantastic!

Perfect morning beach walk with my favorite girlie. We love California!

The start of a new soccer season. Coordinating practice uniforms are important.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: I recently rediscovered Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb while watching my boy Leo in The Departed (love that movie!). Even though this song isn’t country, its tone and lyrics fit my WiP extraordinarily well. Plus, it’s really chill writing music. I’ve been listening to it on loop.

Also, from blogger/mama/Aussie/super creative person Chantelle (AKA FatMumSlim), a very cool compilation of “what to blog about” ideas. A great list to check out next time you’re in a bit of a blogging rut.

So, tell me… What’s up with you this week?


59 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Elodie says:

    Wow, you´re doing great Katy!!! 🙂
    Those pictures are gorgeous as always! And you and your girlie seem to have a wonderful time together!
    Oh and love love love that movie!

    • katyupperman says:

      I recommend it, Matt. I’m a visual person, so stuff like this helps me sort through my plot and see where it might be lagging. Let me know what you think!

  2. Lola Sharp says:

    You’re really getting there with you wip! Way to go, Katy-DID! 😀 An almost 7k week is a very nice writing week.

    OMG, I feel VERY old…because how are you just now hearing that song? It’s a rock classic. That band and their songs are like my parent’s generation anthem music (especially growing up in NoCal)….I grew up listening to their records CONSTANTLY. As much as I appreciate their talent, I could never hear another song by them and be quite happy. That said, if you do like that song, they have LOTS of other atmospheric songs you’d likely love. (strangely, now that I think about it, my parent’s also listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, especially their Rumors album, during that same time period, and I still can listen to them if a song pops up. I don’t know why I can listen to them happily and not PF.)

    You’re so cute, Katy. ❤ I love that you heart-doodled your plotting. ❤

    Have a marvelous week!!!!!!!!!! <333

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, lovely! And don’t feel old… I REdiscovered Comfortable Numb. I’ve heard it lots of times (and liked it a lot), but it never resonated with me quite like it did when I applied its lyrics to the draft I’m working on. Funny how that happens. 🙂 Come to think of it, you’re right… Pink Floyd’s entire song library would probably make very good mood music for my writing sessions. Off to see what I can download…

  3. Kris F. Oliver says:

    Congrats on 50K for Ready Set Write!! That’s amazing! And how wonderful that you are happy with how the words are coming out. That is the best feeling in the world, isn’t it?

    And spending time with your gal looks like so much fun. I totally agree with the quality over quantity assessment too. 🙂

    Hope you have a great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Kris! Yes, being happy with how scenes are coming along makes me want to write MORE, which is a million times better than dreading a tricky scene. Isn’t writing fun? 😉

  4. Alison Miller says:

    I am SO JEALOUS of your DREAM THIEVES read!!! But, I’m okay with it. I plan to reread THE RAVEN BOYS and then buy the sequel the day it hits the shelves. I may just devote the whole day to reading. *sigh*

    Also, this scene of which you speak is making me super charged and dying to read this story! So glad you’re excited about it!

    Soccer pics. LOVE. And love the plot-dot test! Must try!

    Have a great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      TDT is awesome so far, Alison. I’m about 100 pages in and wanting to read all the time (which isn’t so great for my WiP, but whatevs…).

      I’m sort of tempted to send you that scene that I think is charged and actually pretty good, but I’m making myself wait because it’ll make zero sense until you’ve read everything before it. But I can’t wait to hear whether you think it actually is good, or if I’m just crazy.

      Hope you have a great week too, friend!

  5. Miss Cole says:

    Oooh that beach picture is so dreamy and pretty! I wanna go back to California now more than I already did! And your little one is just adorable.

    Congratulations on getting so much writing done! Hooray!!!! 😀

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, lady! We love California, and we’ll be very disappointed when it’s time for the next Army move. Such a beautiful area!

      Hope you have a great week of writing!

  6. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    Love that Pink Floyd song!

    I’m in the middle of SECOND CHANCE SUMMER and I’ve had to put it down a few times to compose myself. Pretty much anytime the dad is there, looking a little thinner and moving slower, I get a lump in my throat. Heavy stuff!

    I can’t wait for THE DREAM THIEVES!

    Woo hoo for all the work you’ve gotten done on your WIP and for having a new(old) MS to explore!

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes! Every scene with Taylor’s dad hurt my heart. I can’t imagine being in her shoes, or going through what her family went through. So heartbreaking. 😦

      On a brighter note, I hope you have a great week of writing, Jen!

  7. Rebecca B says:

    I have to try out the Plot Dot test! Such a cool revision trick. Congrats on all the words, and writing a scene that inspires and excites you! That’s amazing.
    And thanks also for RSW this summer!

  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    Congratulations on your writing progress! I think I wrote 7,000ish words this past week.

    I can relate to having a song on loop while you write, or do other things. In the past, I’ve frequently listened to “Revolution No. 9” on repeat. It’s such a great mood piece for writing.

  9. Melissa Sarno says:

    I can’t believe you wrote 50,000 words this summer! This is inspiring me to get my butt in gear this fall. I also love the Pink Floyd song. And It’s always wondering when a song relates to the WIP.

    • katyupperman says:

      I agree, Melissa. Such a cool feeling when a certain piece of music speaks perfectly to a story or scene. Best of luck with your writing in the coming week. 🙂

  10. Temre Beltz says:

    Katy, hearing about your writing progress this week was so awesome, but even better was completely sensing your excitement and joy! It leaped off the page, and I am SO thrilled for you! It’s these sorts of weeks that keep us pushing through, along with the hope and exhilaration that some day these very words might have a home and resonate within someone else’s heart too! I hope it’s every bit as wonderful of a writing week this week – cheering for you!! As always, I love hearing about your time with your sweet girl. You are such an amazing mama! And I particularly loved the soccer pic. E had so much fun this summer and V asks nearly everyday when she’ll be old enough to play! It’s so fun to see our girls trying new things and having new experiences. Hugs, Katy ❤

    • katyupperman says:

      You’re right, Tem. Writing weeks like this last one are what get me through all of the tough/confusing/frustrating spots. It’s such a thrill to feel good about how things are coming! I’m sure the doubt monsters will return soon, but for now, I’m enjoying my time without them.

      C had a blast at her first soccer practice. She ran around like a crazy girl and was exhausted last night when she got home. A win for all involved, I think. 🙂

  11. Rebekah says:

    Katy! I love your What I’m Writing section. It’s so encouraging, and filled with excitement. I am so happy for you.

    I am going through a bit of the same quality vs. quantity time thing since my son is now full-time in school as well. Our time feels very special, which makes it also more fun for both of us.

    Happy writing this week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Rebekah! I’m hoping the positive mentality sticks around for awhile… It sure makes the writing much more fun.

      Best of luck with your writing, and enjoy your time with your kiddo!

  12. Alexa says:

    Ooh you have The Dream Thieves! I am jealous, but glad it’s awesome. I can’t wait to read it.

    50k is amazing, congratulations!

    Lovely photos, it looks like you’ve been having lots if fun.

  13. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Wow, 50K for the summer is amazing! Congrats! I hope I’m as productive as you this fall. 🙂 Thanks again for hosting Ready. Set. Write! It was really great!

    I just started SECOND CHANCE SUMMER yesterday and it’s good so far, but I can tell it’s going to be a tearjerker. Hoping to participate in YA Book Club next week!

    • katyupperman says:

      I hope you finish SECOND CHANCE SUMMER in time to post for YA Book Club, Ghenet… I’m really looking forward to discussing the story with everyone. And I’m so glad you jumped into Ready.Set.Write! with us. I had a blast reading your updates each week. 🙂

  14. Emma Adams says:

    Congrats on the writing progress! 🙂 I’m looking forward to The Dream Thieves – The Raven Boys was fantastic!

  15. Rebecca Barrow says:

    I so agree with you about SECOND CHANCE SUMMER–it’s heartbreaking, but hopeful at the same time. The kind of book that makes me think, “Why am *I* writing?!” I’m looking forward to the book club discussion next week 🙂

    Your 50K is AWESOME! RSW seems like it has been super productive for everyone. (Sidenote: I wish I had a loyal pet to keep me company while I write. My cats get far too bored and wander off in search of a patch of sun or a bit of grass to eat…so much for loyalty!)

    • katyupperman says:

      I had that same “I’m not worthy!” thought a few times while reading SECOND CHANCE SUMMER too, Rebecca. I strive to write stories that pack emotional punches like SUMMER, as well as Sarah Dessen’s and Jessi Kirby’s books.

      My dog is certainly a loyal writing companion. She’s also much more high maintenance than most cats. So, kind of a trade off, I think. 😉

  16. Tracey Neithercott (@T_Neithercott) says:

    You are killing that WIP, lady. Congrats! And way to go on that emotional scene. (That’s my way to suggest-but-not-suggest that one of your betas on this should have a first name that starts with Tracey and a last name that rhymes with Feathercot.)

    So Ready, Set, Write! *has* be awesome and so helpful in getting me writing. First off, thank you ladies for thinking up that brilliant idea. Second, I think we need to make 10 pm EST / 7 pm PAC the standing writing date.

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes! I am so down to write almost every evening at around that time. And I would be thrilled to have you beta for me when the time comes. Of course, I’d be more than happy to return the favor. 🙂

  17. Liz Parker (@LizParkerWrites) says:

    So excited for you on your WIP! (Also I’m with Tracey but a first name that starts with Liz and a last name that rhymes with Sharker). Thanks for doing RSW, and thanks for writing with me. It’s felt a little like last year’s NaNo time. 🙂 Can’t wait to swap! You know…once mine’s ready to read.

    • katyupperman says:

      Haha… I’ve got plenty of work to do before my little project is ready to read, but YES, I’m super excited to swap. I’m so intrigued by everything you’ve shared about your WiP. 🙂

  18. Jaime Morrow says:

    Oh, that is so awesome that you finished such a pivotal/emotional scene in your story. I bet it’s totally fantastic! And such a great feeling, too. You’ve totally kicked your WIP’s butt this summer, Katy. Very inspiring! I’m super curious what you’re working on in CMH. If you need a pair of eyes on it, I volunteer my own (if you want/need it). I love that picture of Daisy cuddled up next to you. She’s adorable. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Jaime! I think I’ve just about got CMH figured out. The issues are with the conflict — needs more tension, more believability. Ugh. It’s hard, but I am determined to make it the very best I can. Thank you so much for your offer. I’ll let you know if I need another read-thru, but I might send it straight back to Victoria, depending on my confidence level. Thank you again — your support and feedback mean the world to me!

      Best of luck getting back into the swing of writing in the coming weeks. Of course, I am more than happy to offer my beta services should you need them. Shoot me an email anytime. 🙂

  19. Amy Brashear says:

    I really enjoyed RSW it really helped this summer. It’s crazy how fast this summer went. I can’t believe that September 1st is Sunday. Congrats on accomplishing your writing goals this summer! Have a great weekend!

  20. Erin Funk says:

    I’m so jealous of everyone who has gotten to read THE DREAM THIEVES early! You’re so lucky!

    Your word count this week was incredible, and even better that you wrote one of your strongest most emotional scenes ever! And your plot dot test looks so neat compared to mine. I don’t know why I didn’t think to do it on graph paper. Glad to hear your writing projects are going so well! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      I am lucky to be reading THE DREAM THIEVES! I’m so thankful that Krispy was willing to share her ARC with me!

      My Plot Dot Test is on graph paper because I am anal and couldn’t have it any other way. I bought a package of 100 sheets just so I could have ONE to do the test on. *sigh*

      And hello… Your word count this week was amazing as well! Yay for RSW kicking us all into gear. 🙂

  21. Colin says:

    Way to go with the WiP, Katy! 50K in a few months is great going. You’ll have that thing finished in no time. 🙂

    Have a great week with both writing and mommy-daughter time. 😀

  22. Rachel (writes things/007) says:

    Yay WIP! Yay Jenna! *waves pom poms* I’m about to hit 34,000 words and feel ya. It feels sooo good. 🙂 Congrats on all the wordage, time with C and sunshine! Also thank you so much for that link about what to blog about…. I’ve been in a slump this summer (see: naked blog LOL!) so I am excited for these suggestions and to use them!

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, yay! I’m glad you found that blogging link inspirational — I did too! And way to go on your awesome word count… You’ll be done with your draft before you know it!

  23. Krispy says:

    I’m glad I could spread The Dream Thieves joy! I’m not often in the position of having such a coveted ARC, so it only felt right to share. 🙂

    You did amazing with your writing goals during Ready.Set.Write! So inspirational and awesome. I had so much fun joining you and the other RSW ladies. Thanks again for hosting! (Random aside, Daisy is the cutest. I wish my dog were calm enough to do that, but he’d lick the computer.)

    Will check out the Plot Dot Test (so cool and nerdy!), and definitely will bookmark Chantelle’s list of blogging ideas. I need them! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Trust me: Daisy hasn’t always been so calm. She’s an old lady now, but she used to be nuts. Loki will chill out soon, and then you’ll miss all the silly puppiness. 🙂 So, THE DREAM THIEVES is kind of sabotaging my word count. I’m loving it SO MUCH and I want to read it all the time. It’s such a strange, fascinating story, and Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is enviably amazing. I’m going to have to buy myself a copy after I finish the ARC. 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend, Krispy!

  24. Robin Moran says:

    I’ve come across a couple of songs that a perfect for one of my WiPs. Love it when things like that happen!

    Congratulations on your achievements, especially getting to 50k!

  25. Stephanie Scott says:

    Intrigued about the plot dots. I love those graphs, though getting all the data points kind of makes me want to run for the hills (pantser, not a plotter).

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