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. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to.

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Exciting news! It’s time for AlisonElodieErinJaime, and I to announce the winners of our “Fresh Perspective” Giveaway!

Five Ready. Set. Write! participants have been chosen at random to send the first ten (double-spaced) pages of their manuscript to my email address. 
— katy(.)upperman(@)live(.)com [remove parentheses!] — 
Alison, Elodie, Erin, Jaime, and I will divvy up the manuscripts, and each winner will receive a fresh perspective critique from one of us. Congratulations to…

Carrie-Anne Brownian
Prerna Pickett
Robin Moran
Liz Parker
Dawn Allen

Winners, please email your ten pages to the above email address by October 31. 

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

What I’m Reading: I finished The Dream Thieves. Once again, Maggie Stiefvater has made me care about her characters in ways I never thought possible. I loved this book, and I am so excited to see where the series goes. Honestly, I cannot even imagine, but I trust Maggie to rock it. Book 3, please! Now, I’m reading And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I’m only about seventy pages in, but I have high hopes. A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of my all-time favorite books, and I think Afghani culture and history are fascinating. So far, Mountain‘s characters are terribly damaged and flawed, and yet, I’m sympathetic. I love when an author makes that happen.

What I’m Writing: I wrote 4,295 words in my WiP over the last week, and crossed the 60K mark — yay! I also got through a challenging scene (all the feelings) and did some mental reassessing of where this thing’s going. Daunting, to say the least. I need a little time to really think on this manuscript, so I’m going to take a tiny break from it (like, a week) and work on the light revision I recently mentioned. So far, it’s been fun to revisit an “old” manuscript, one that’s all polished and pretty. Plus, the characters of this particular story are some of my favorites. So… hopefully the revision goes smoothly, and then this manuscript will be back in the hands of my awesome agent.

A less verbose writer would be done.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Same old! Spending time with my girlie, watching Breaking Bad with my husband, hanging out with neighborhood friends, running, cleaning, cooking, laundry. All kinds of glamorous stuff!

 
I baked two super yummy treats this week. First, Blueberry Almond Sugar Cookies, which were exceptionally easy (no need to chill the dough!) and incredibly tasty. My husband ate ten in one night — no joke! And second, Paula Deen’s Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, which was rich and dangerously delicious. Peanut butter and chocolate are pretty much the best combo ever.


This kiddo joined the Run Club at school. Running is one my favorite things to do, and it makes me really happy to know that my daughter is interested in it as well. The other day we ran a full mile together, and I was so proud of her!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Mapping Your Book to Ensure it Works, a post from Martina Boone at Adventures in YA Publishing that details a very cool revision technique that involves finding the “core” of your novel and relating each scene back to it. Also, a post from ExPress-O called Best Moments in Peoples’ Lives, in which she shares photographs prompted by a tweet from writer Richard Deitsch that asked: How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life? If so, what a gift! Some of the resulting images made me a little teary! And finally, the string of beautiful weather we’ve been experiencing inspires me. In our part of the world, summer doesn’t really begin until September. The gorgeous days we’ve been having are well worth the wait.

What’s up with you this week?

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30 responses to “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I’m going to have to check out that revision link. Thank you!
    Oh, and I’m reading the Dream Thieves right now. So good!

    • TDT is awesome, right, Sarah?! I hope that revision link proves helpful to you… It really struck a chord with me. I can’t wait to apply what I learned from it!

  2. Congrats on making such great progress with your WIP! I have a scene in revisions that I’ve been putting off… and putting off… and dabbling at… and I really need to just plow through it. It’s a great feeling to get through those, isn’t it?

    A break is sometimes just what we need – good luck!

  3. Can your kid come talk to my kids? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen them run a mile. 🙂 What a great picture of her! She’s so adorable.

    Also, congrats on ALL THE WORDS!!! Wow! Oh, and love the quote under the picture: “A less verbose writer would be done.” *points fingers at self*

    Good luck with the writing this week! I’m usually writing around 9-11 PST. Hit me up whenever you want a writing buddy!

    • I will most definitely hit you up when I’m writing in the mornings… I love to have a buddy. And it makes me very happy to know that I’m not alone in my wordiness. 🙂

  4. *drools over cake* That looks so, so good.

    How cool to have a run club at school!

    I have the same “verbose” style of drafts. At 60k, I’m probably only about halfway done. Which is why I usually cut like half my words during my first round of revisions.

    Good luck with your mini break and your old MS!

    • I cut tons in revisions too, Jen. Lots of my first drafts are me working out details with characters/settings. Once I’m done, it’s usually fairly easy to see what doesn’t contribute to the actual story, and it feels SO GOOD to hack that crap out.

      Definitely whip up your own Gooey Cake next time you’re having a chocolate/peanut butter craving… Yum!

  5. I still have a couple weeks to go until my copy of THE DREAM THIEVES gets here, and I’m pretty impatient for it. I’m glad you liked it! Almost 4300 words on your WIP is awesome, Katy! You’re seriously kicking this WIP’s butt. Very inspiring. It’s always good to set something aside for a little bit to let it ruminate, I feel. Think how exciting it will be to return to it! (And I hear you on the verbose thing. Same problem here.) That’s so awesome that your girlie is getting into running. Basically, the two of you put me to shame. 😛 Have a great week!

    • Thanks, Jaime! I think verbose writing is not the worst problem to have. I’d rather cut out nonsense than have to try and fill in a too-short draft (I think… I’ve never actually had a too-short draft, so…)

      I can’t wait to hear what you think of TDT. Have a great week, Jaime!

  6. Your daughter makes me want to have a daughter. This is saying quite a lot, since I teeter on the ledge of “one kid’s enough for me, I’m done” daily.

    My drafting was shorter, but my revisions have swelled and then been paired down. I like the words I see on that screenshot. Intriguing…

    • Thanks, Rebekah! That particular kissing scene is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. 🙂

      I feel very lucky to have my daughter… Every day she makes me smile. Though, the pictures I’ve seen of your son are pretty darn cute. I wouldn’t mind having a boy one of these days!

  7. Congratulations on all your writing progress this week! Next to the type of things I often write, you don’t look so verbose. Taking some time away is a good way to help with perspective and getting the spark back.

    I’d love to make or eat that chocolate peanut butter cake, particularly now that I finally have an oven! Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven.

  8. I have A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS on my shelf waiting to be read. I’m embarrassed to say it’s been there since my Mum last visited about 3 years ago. She bought it at the airport to read on the flight over. I don’t remember if she read it, but she left it with me thinking I might enjoy it. Since she’s planning to visit in November, I should probably read it before then! 🙂

    And verbose? I don’t like to refer to my current revision process as “editing,” because “editing” implies a reduction in the number of words, and I am daily adding to the word count as I “edit”! 🙂

    I hope you have a wonderful week this week, Katy. 😀

    • Colin, you should most definitely give A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS a read. That book shredded me like no other has since. I love it so much, and I learned tons about Afghanistan’s culture and history from it, so… double win. 🙂

      I’m so glad to know I’m in good company as far as being verbose (long-winded?) goes. I suppose there are worse writerly problems to have.

  9. You always bake the most delicious-looking things! Om nom nom!

    Congratulations on passing 60k! That’s brilliant 😀

    It must be lovely when your child shares your interests. And wow, running a whole mile is seriously impressive!

  10. Somehow, I’ve never heard of Adventures in YA Publishing, but I just clicked on your link and fell in love with this webpage. So thanks for inspiring me. 🙂

    • Isn’t it awesome! That’s one of the blogs I started following very early in my writing journey. The girls there share all kinds of fantastic information!

  11. I couldn’t even run a full mile so I’m super impressed with her stamina! 🙂

    Congrats on hitting 60K!!!

  12. Congrats on reaching 60K!

    OMG I’m reading The Dream Thieves now and it’s soooo good. I really hope Adam is okay though. He’s my favorite character. 😦

    • I adore Adam too, though Gansey has a special place in my heart. (Who am I kidding? I love all the boys!) I hope you continue to enjoy the book till the end — I did!

  13. I can’t wait to read THE DREAM THIEVES! Your comments are making me even more excited! I don’t have time to reread THE RAVEN BOYS, but I might have to treat myself to at least the last chapter while I wait for the sequel to be released.

    Passing the 60k mark on your WIP is huge! Way to go! Hopefully switching gears for a week will make the reassessing feel less daunting. I’m looking forward to reading that “Mapping Your Book to Ensure It Works” post once I’m done WUW for the day. Thanks for sharing the link!

    Have an awesome week, and I hope the revisions go well!

    • Thanks, Erin! I jumped into THE DREAM THIEVES without rereading THE RAVEN BOYS and I didn’t have any problem falling right back into the world of Henrietta. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the second installment! And I hope that revision link proves helpful to you. Have a great week! 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing the mapping post–I’m excited to read it. I’m so jealous of you getting your hands on The Dream Thieves. I CANNOT wait to read it. I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Good luck with your light revisions! I miss pretty, perfected manuscripts. But messy first drafts of full rewrites are okay too I guess. Hope we get to write together this weekend!

    On that note–maybe we should consider setting up Google hangouts some time for writing with the group we all seem to be in on Twitter. Just a thought. 🙂

  15. I like the last picture. Would love it for the cover to my sequel of Mason Davis and the Rise of the Storm Makers.