What’s Up Wednesday

WUW

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

What I’m Reading: This week I finished Jessica Verdi’s debut My Life After Now and enjoyed it. It read as a very entertaining PSA, and featured a protagonist who experienced some profound personal growth. I also read Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, which I adored. It’s a raw, real story about a teen alcoholic who has deluded himself into believing he’s the life of every party, and that he’s helping (rather than corrupting) the shy girl who’s falling for him. Now that I’ve finished, I want to see the movie EVEN MORE. Check out my friend Erin Bowman‘s fantastic review of the novel and film. Now, I’ve started Bennett Madison’s September Girls, which has received some rather controversial reviews, but sounds mesmerizing. I’m excited to see what it’s all about!

What I’m Writing: I didn’t do much in terms of word count this week, but I did thoughtfully reassess the last several to-be-written scenes in my outline. I brainstormed some ways to raise the stakes, as well as streamlined things a bit. Now that I know exactly where I’m headed, I’m really excited to draft through the end of my manuscript. Of course, once the draft is finished, it’s going to need TONS of work (I’ve discovered a lot about these characters through the drafting process and have a long To-Do list in terms of revisions), but more often than not, I think this story has potential. Yay!

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Over the last few days, my husband, daughter, and I have played tourists in the area surrounding our town — a little “stay-cation” if you will. Now that our time in California is winding down, we’re trying to pack in all the fun things we’ve yet to do. Since Sunday, we’ve visited…

 
California’s Great America, a sweeping and surprisingly clean amusement park in Santa Clara, with lots of kickass roller coasters, and Snoopy!

 
The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, a “gravitational anomaly” amongst the redwoods which was, in a word, weird.

 
Also, we toured Alcatraz and checked out the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco — both very cool. It’s been an incredible few days, but I’m exhausted! This old lady is ready for a few days of relaxation at home.

 In other news… I baked my first pumpkin-y dessert of fall, Pumpkin Pecan Bars, which tasted warm and homey and sweet and amazing. My husband is a big pumpkin fan and he devoured these treats, as did my daughter and I. Yum!


Also, my parents visited over the weekend. My girlie is the only granddaughter on my side of the family, so I’m sure you can imagine the abundance of spoiling that occurs when Nana and Poppy are in town. We had a great time!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: A fantastic post from my friend Jaime Morrow (What’s Up Wednesday co-creator) about taking a break from writing to appreciate everything else about life (without guilt!). This one hits close to home because I always feel like I should be putting writing before everything else. Jaime made me feel better, and much more normal! Also, this cheeky post from Bethany Myers: Top Nine Signs You’re Living in a YA Novel. Totally made me laugh. 🙂 And, as always, gorgeous California scenery…

   

Tell me… What’s up with you today?

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47 responses to “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. The Spectacular Now sounds oddly, annoylingly familiar (will have to look into!) and hearing you say you adored it makes me so intrigued! Glad to hear writing is going well! You can do it! Word count is important at the end of the day but more so, I think direction is key. At least now you have a better idea of where the story is going and now that that’s out of the way, you can get back to writing. See, focus on the positive! Also, those pumpkin, pecan bars look YUM. Come cook for me please! Whenever I stop by on Wednesdays, I always leave with a grumbling tummy 😉

    • The Spectacular Now might sound familiar because you’ve seen the movie trailer, Rebecca. It’s a fantastic book! And sorry to give you sweet treat cravings. I promise I’d share if I could!

  2. Oh! Your staycation looks so fun and you and your family look so happy!! What a fantastic idea.

    I also really want to read September Girls to see what all the fuss is about. Let me know what you think when you finish!

    • I will definitely share my thoughts on September Girls, Valerie. I’m about seventy pages in and really enjoying it so far. It’s very much an upper-YA story, and I can see why it’s polarizing, but so far, so good. Hope you have a great week!

  3. You always have such interesting day-trips! I’ve never been to California (farthest West I’ve been is Colorado), but I’d love to go someday. The state has so much to see and do.

    • Carrie-Anne, there is definitely tons to do around here. So much so, I feel guilty on the rare weekends we stay home and don’t see anything. I feel like we’re missing out! Hope you have a wonderful week. 🙂

  4. Katy, your summary of TSN is so succinct and perfect. I feel like my review is a rambling mess now. 😉 Definitely let me know what you think if/when you see the movie. (It was truly something.) And SEP GIRLS!! So excited to hear your thoughts on that one. It’s another polarizing novel, but I thought it was brilliant and powerful.

    • No way, Erin! Your review was fantastic, which was why I linked it. You shared the best parts of the story much more thoughtfully than I could have! And yes, I definitely let you know about September Girls. I’m reading it thanks to your rec. 🙂

  5. Your stay-cation sounds fabulous! I’ve been to SF twice and my aunt and I did visit Alcatraz then. Pretty neat stuff! Glad you are taking advantage of all the cool CA sites!

    Also, must check out all these books! And get to work on that WiP, woman! I want to read it!

    • I’m back to work on the WiP tonight, Alison. Promise! And yes, we’re doing our best to take advantage of CA and all it has to offer before we take off for a new adventure. 🙂

  6. I’ve seen the preview for The Spectacular Now and have wanted to see the movie ever since. I didn’t even know it was based on a book!
    Looks like you guys have had lots of fun!

  7. Thanks for the shout-out, Katy! And I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes. I loved seeing your stay-cation pics on Instagram. It looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I’m very curious about where your next home will be. Can’t wait to find out and see more awesome pictures from there. I hope you love it as much as you’ve loved California. Hooray for a story with potential! Sounds like you have a clear path to the end now, which is wonderful! I really need to rediscover my love of planning and apply it to my WIPs. I’ve been slack that way on the most recent WIP and it’s keeping me from moving forward I think. Have a wonderful week, Katy! I’m going to go and dream about those pumpkin pecan bars now… 😉

    • I’m not sure if my path to the end of my WiP is clear, exactly, but it definitely makes more sense, which motivates me to get back to work. And when you’re in the need of a tasty fall treat, I highly recommend those Pumpkin Pecan Bars. Have a great week, Jaime!

  8. Great America is fun and I think I’ve been to the Mystery Spot too – or at least one like it (both of these trips during college up north). Mystery Spots are so trippy! I still haven’t been to Alcatraz though, even though I lived across the bay from it for 4 years! Your staycation looks like it was tons of fun.

    Not gonna lie, it’s going to be weird when you leave CA and the nature pictures all change. Good luck with finishing your draft!

    • It’ll definitely be weird to head to a new place, but we’re pretty sure we know where we’re going, and I think it’s going to be just as awesome as Monterey. I can’t wait until my husband gets official orders so I can share. 🙂

      Yeah, The Mystery Spot is all kinds of trippy. I’m glad we checked it out (I had no idea what to expect!), and we got to see Santa Cruz in the process, which is such a cool town. Also, the next time you head north, definitely check out Alcatraz. It’s a fascinating place!

  9. I love California, the light there, and the vegetation, and the water…and your pics are glorious as always.

    I love how you talk about drafting and outlining, and hope it all goes well, according to plan or not!

    You sound busy and happy, which is lovely to read. Have a wonderful week, Katy.

  10. What a great stay-cation. But the bay area is a great place to do touristy things. You could probably do a stay-cation every weekend and have both a happy girl and a tired mom.

  11. Your stay-vacation sounds great Katy and the pictures look amazing!!!! I think I need to add The Spectacular Now and search for the trailer 🙂

    And yum, that dessert picture!

    Hope you´re having a wonderful week, Katy (and that the relocation news are good!) ❤

  12. …I love that you are revising your outline. The pantser in me hisses at the thought, but the part of me that occasionally plans is in awe 😉

    I looooove Alcatraz. Such an inspiring place. San Francisco is one of my favourite cities in the whole wide world ^_^ I can’t wait to go back there someday.

    • We love San Francisco too! There’s so much to do there, and it’s a truly beautiful city. I’m laughing at your comments about me revising my outline. It does sound sort of obsessive, but if I can’t see where I’m headed, it’s very hard for me to write. I envy you free and impulsive pantsers sometimes!

  13. Your pictures are lovely and it sounds like you have been having a great time. I would love to visit America one day, especially San Francisco. I have always been drawn to San Francisco. No idea why. Your pictures have made me want to come over to America even more. It looks like great fun 🙂

  14. You guys have been having quite the fun staycation! My kids are the only grandchildren on my side of the family. My mum doesn’t get to visit often, but, yeah, she likes to spoil them a bit when she does. 🙂

    I hope you have a great week, Katy, and that all your WiP ideas work out wonderfully. 🙂

    • I think grandmothers are good for spoiling. My husband and I joke that our daughter needs a detox after every grandparent visit. 🙂 Hope you have an awesome week too, Colin!

  15. I’ve loved following your “stay-cation” photos on Instagram! 🙂 You all look like you had so much fun!!! There are always so many adventures to be had close to home.

    I second the inspiration of Jaime’s post. Juggling writing and anything else, whether it’s work, family, a social life…it’s easy to feel guilty about not writing. Even when I’m in school and writing is my major, i still manage to give myself a hard time somehow! I definitely think it’s important to take a vacation from writing when/if it’s needed. Even though writing isn’t always fun, I’d say deep down it should be!

    Have a great week Katy!

    • I agree, Kaitlin. Writing breaks can be an awesome way to stay motivated and keep a healthy perspective. I try to remember that if I don’t experience life, I won’t have anything to write about. That helps ease the guilt a bit.

      Hope you have a wonderful week too, Kaitlin!

  16. I’m so jealous of your Reacquaint Ourselves With California Vacation. Looks like so much fun! Looks like the little jelly bean is loving playing tourist. So adorable.

    Okay, fun’s over, Katy. Time to revise that MS so you can send it off to readers such as me. 😉

    • Yes, the little jelly bean DEFINITELY enjoyed being a tourists, as did I! There’s so much to see around here, and we’re trying to take full advantage. Sadly, yes, the vacationing is over. Not all bad, though, because now I get to start writing seriously again, which I’ll be doing tonight!

  17. Sounds like your writing week was similar to mine. I did a lot of reassessing too and, as a result, didn’t have the highest word count. I think that’s probably par for the course when you’re closing in on the end and trying to tie things up nicely though, right? Best of luck with those last chapters!

    Your pictures are so fun! It looks like your family had a very full week. And once again you’ve reminded me that I need to get in the kitchen and bake something–preferably something pumpkiny! 🙂

    • I hope this slowing down and reassessing is par for the course. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything right, but mostly I just feel like I’m drifting aimlessly through this process.

      Next time you’re looking for a pumpkin recipe, I definitely recommend those Pumpkin Pecan Bars. 🙂

  18. Your staycation sounds like so much fun! I’m hoping to have one of those before we leave FL. It looks like we might be here a few years yet which is good because there is so much to see.
    I’m on my way to check out that poem 🙂

    • Ooh, I love Florida… You’re lucky to live there! I’ll miss California when we go, but I’m looking forward to the adventure of a new place. Hope you have a great week, Sarah!

  19. Taking some time off writing to work out scenes brings me such clarity. I hope this next week you can put some of those thoughts into words. 🙂

  20. A staycation and playing tourist sounds like a lot of fun. Good luck with drafting! It’s always a great feeling when some of the snags get worked out. Have a good week!

  21. The Mystery Spot – whoa, awesome!

    I’ve read another one of Tim Tharp’s books (name escapes me, it was an impulsive used book sale buy and enjoyable), but haven’t gotten to The Spectacular Now. I’ve heard fantastic things about it.

    Adorable girlie/grandparent pic 🙂

  22. The Spectacular Now has finally come to Fayetteville. I can’t wait to see it. Those pumpkin pecan bars look so good. I’ll have to try and make those. Good luck with your writing! Have a great weekend!

    • Lucky! I wish my town would hurry up and start showing it. I have a feeling I’ll be watching that movie On Demand before I ever see it in a theater. Hope you have a great weekend too, Amy!

  23. As always I’m so impressed by your family time. Always inspiring. Your currently reading is impressive. I really need to expand my reading spectrum, 1. by volume and 2. by quantity (though 1 might cancel out 2 if I’m not careful.)

    • Thank you so much! I do most of my reading on the elliptical and before I go to sleep at night. If I’m not immersed in a book, I just don’t feel right. Hope you have a fantastic weekend, Dana!

  24. Good luck with your outline. Raise those stakes! 😉