What’s Up Wednesday (And Superlatives!)

Before I get to my What’s Up Wednesday post, I’d like to take a moment to feature one of my favorite annual blogging events — one that’s coming up soon!

For the last two years, Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and I have hosted The YA Superlatives Blogfest, an interactive way to highlight our favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements of the year. (My previous Superlative posts are HERE and HERE.) We’ve had a fantastic group of bloggers sign on to participate in the past, and it’s so much fun to hop from blog to blog to find out how our friends awarded their superlatives.

Jess, Tracey, Alison, and I have had such a great time talking about awesome books and getting to know new bloggers through this blogfest, we’ve decided to do it again! There will be lots more information about the specifics of the The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest in the coming weeks (I can tell you that it will take place during the third week of December), but we wanted to give you a heads up now, so you have plenty of time to beef up your books-published-in-2013 reading list (there’s a comprehensive catalog of titles HERE).

Just like 2011 and 2012, the The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest will be all about FUN and promoting fantastic novels! Don’t worry if your 2013 reading list is on the short side, or if you don’t have a book/character/cover/element for each category; we just want you to jump in and participate any way you can! Happy reading! 

Autumn WUP

“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…

What I’m Reading: I finished Bennett Madison’s September Girls, and now I understand why this is such a polarizing novel. It’s graphic and it’s haunting and it’s obviously not for everyone, but I loved it. It’s a surreal, trippy sort of story, beautifully written, and with a setting that felt both dreamlike and entirely real. Plus, main character Sam’s voice… Wow. Now, I’m reading April Genevieve Tucholke’s debut, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, a novel with one of the best settings I’ve seen in a while. I would love to visit Echo and the Citizen!

What I’m Writing: My WiP! You know how when you take an extended break from a project, it’s really had to pick it back up again? Well, my WiP and I have had a bit of a hiatus over the last few weeks, and I was dreading that moment when I’d have no more excuses and would have to sit down and attempt to recover the groove I once had. Last week I finally bit the bullet and dove back into the story and guess what? My groove has been recovered safe and sound! I’ve written about 6,000 words over the last seven days, and I’m thinking I have about 10K left to go.

My story is told in a rather untraditional format. Most of it takes place over the course of a year, but there are scenes from one transcendental present-tense night sprinkled throughout, a now-and-then structure, if you will. I am *almost* done with the “then” scenes (which make up about 85% of the story) and I can’t wait to get started on the “now” scenes. Progress!

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Mostly, I’ve been reading and writing and hanging out in the kitchen. This week I made Lentil Soup, a family favorite, plus Snickerdoodles and a Hootenanny (a really easy melding of a pancake and French toast that bakes in the oven). I also indulged in another fall dessert…


Apple Crumb Cake, which I thought was tasty and my daughter loved. She even ate it for breakfast (there’s fruit in it — why not?). My always-honest husband, on the other hand, declared this “not a favorite” of the treats I bake. He’s a peanut-butter-and-chocolate kind of guy, though, so let’s take his opinion with a grain of salt, shall we?


I’ve also been hanging with this girl, who plays soccer like her mama used to — timidly and lackadaisically. Contact sports have never been my thing (I swam in high school and now I run), and I’m pretty sure they won’t be my daughter’s either. Nevertheless, my husband and I have been working on the fundamentals of soccer with her. We’re trying to teach her how to be aggressive without being a jerk. It’s a pretty fine line when you’re six.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: The incomparable Laini Taylor‘s thoughts on Writing and “Found” Objects and Beachcombing, or why it’s awesome to be a plotter and a pantser all at once, as well as 2014 debut author Sara B. Larson‘s honest and thoughtful post On Overcoming Doubt…

Oddly enough, television has also been inspiring me. I don’t watch TV much, but I’m a faithful fan of a few shows — Breaking Bad being my favorite. Sunday night was the series finale, and I can’t express how anxious and sad I felt in the hours leading up to that last episode. I’ve grown so invested in Walt and Jesse and Skyler and Marie, and I’m continually blown away by the show’s amazing writing and no-holds-barred take on storytelling. There will be no finale spoilers here, but I will say that I was extraordinarily satisfied with the way the series wrapped up. For me, it was perfection. And on the other end of the television spectrum, the Uppermans have started watching The Voice, which is one of those rare shows that’s perfect for family viewing. My daughter loves it for the singing and the young talent, and I love it because it’s positive and clean and stresses the importance of hard work and perseverance. Even my husband, who was skeptical at first, is charmed by the humor of the coaches. I totally recommend The Voice if you’ve been living under a rock (like me) and have yet to catch an episode.

Tell me: What’s up with you today?

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46 responses to “What’s Up Wednesday (And Superlatives!)

  1. …I need to stop coming to your posts when I’m hungry… 😉

    Hooray for a well-recovered groove. Write on, Katy 😀

    Football is such a fun sport to play. There’s a boy I look after sometimes who I frequently have a kick about with and he has NO trouble with the aggressive side of the game… my poor shins!

    • Thank you! We don’t have to worry about getting beat up when we practice soccer with our girl; she’s very aware of where she’s kicking and tries hard not to accidentally kick anyone. Silly girl — that’s what shin guards are for!

  2. That fest looks like fun! Almost as good as the apple crumble. Can one write and eat at the same time w/o getting those crumbs in the keyboard?

  3. Laini Taylor’s posts are wonderfully inspiring! I also really need to read Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Congrats on getting back into your WIP! 🙂

  4. Is it weird if I’m still thinking about the Breaking Bad finale? I feel something almost like grief, both for the content of the show and the fact that there will be no more to watch.
    The format of your WIP sounds really cool–congrats for getting back into it!

    • If you’re weird, then I am too. I’ve been thinking about the finale off and on too, and dissecting it with my husband. Such fantastic TV, and I totally get what you mean about feeling a sense of grief now that it’s over. The fact that people are so invested speaks highly to the show’s writing, I think.

  5. Ok, so I definitely want to participate in the Superlatives Blogfest! I was just thinking about the rapidly approaching end of the year, and wanted to pull together some posts about all the books, and book crushes, and so on.

    April Genevieve Tucholke was at ATBF, and she was pretty cute. Soft spoken but clever. I am looking forward to reading her book!

    Soccer was the only sport I actually liked as a kid. I am on the aggressive side (I’m sure that’s shocking to everyone. Not.) I hope she enjoys it and finds her balance between jerkdom and sporty aggression. I never could.

    • Yay! I’m glad you’re planning to join us for the blogfest, Rebekah — it’s tons of fun! I’m envious that you got to enjoy ATBF. I bet it was incredibly inspirational. Hope you have a great week! 🙂

  6. Good luck with the nontraditional format for your WIP. Nonlinear format is more common in Asian novels, but it would be interesting to see more Western books that follow a similar format.

    Re: Breaking Bad, I’ve had a number of people ask me if my ex-roommate has watched too much of that show, because of her conviction that there are drugs being used and manufactured in our building!

    • Yikes — I hope there aren’t drugs being made in your building! I’m hoping my nonlinear story structure works. It’s not done yet and has yet to be read by anyone but me, but I have high hopes. Have a great week, Carrie-Anne!

  7. That superlatives blogfest sounds like fun, thanks for the heads up!
    Good luck with your WIP writing. Sounds complicated! 🙂

  8. Woo hoo to your writing groove!

    Hootenanny (which I have never heard of, how is this possible???) is definitely on the menu next time I make brinner (breakfast for dinner).

  9. I loved Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. It was so atmospheric and creepy 🙂

    I’m totally making some of those recipes. I love baking. YUM!

  10. I really need to pick up BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA. It’s been on my TBR list for a while, and it just might be the perfect creepy book for the month of October (spooky month). One of my WIPs is a now and then format story too! It’s definitely challenging with issues of consistency, but I kind of love it. Happy to hear that you recovered your groove! I’m hoping I have the same success. 🙂 I think your Apple Crumb Cake sounds delicious. The perfect fall recipe, if you will. I always love that kind of thing this time of year. I never did watch Breaking Bad, but it could be one of those shows that I pick up after the fact and then don’t have to wait for new episodes. We’ll see. Have a wonderful week, Katy! 🙂

    • I finished DEVIL last night and it is definitely a good read for October, Jaime. It’s gothic and spooky with lots of twists. You’ll have to let me know what you think. And yes! PLEASE watch Breaking Bad! I cannot speak highly enough of that show’s amazing writing. I’ve learned so much from watching it! Also, it’s one of the few shows my husband and I both really love, so if you’re looking for a series to start with your hubby, this is a great one.

  11. Oh man, I want some hootenanny right now! Yummy. 🙂
    YAy for sinking back into your WiP. It IS hard to get back in after taking too many days off…it always feels (to me) like the story’s gone cold on me and it takes me a while to get back into it. That’s why, when I’m drafting, I try not to skip any days. Even if I can’t write, due to time constraints, I’ll at least read through some of it, or look up some research on it, or add images to my pinterest board or listen to the playlist while driving/working out, SOMETHING, touch it in some way to keep my head in the world every single day.
    Oh yes, I have some TV shows I love…and BB was one of them. I agree, the end was satisfying. Loved that show.
    And Sons of Anarchy.
    And I LOVED Fringe and Lost and Alias (but I came late to them and binge watched them on Netflix).
    And I was very loyal to Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls and Buffy….and once they ended I bought the dvds. I could recite every episode of those 3 shows, I’ve seen them SO many times. They’ll never get old.

    Have a marvelous week, Katy! ❤

    • My husband and I are looking for a new series to start, Lola, and I think Fringe might be the one. I’ve heard great things about it. I love what you said about doing something WiP related every single day. I need to start living by that writerly groove because once I lose my momentum, it’s really tough to relocate.

  12. yay for finding your grooveness! Love it when inspiration decides to finally get it together and help me out. Loved Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and the setting is fantastic! I think I’ll wait a bit to read September Girls, not sure if I’m emotionally prepared for it at the moment. I love anything with lentils, especially in Indian food.Glad your daughter is enjoying soccer. My oldest is more of an artistic kid but loves playing in team sports even though he’s not the most athletic kid. As long as they’re having fun that’s all that matters!

    • You’re right about fun being most important. My girl is definitely enjoying herself! You’ll have to let me know what you think once you read SEPTEMBER GIRLS. It’s different and there are aspects that are probably pretty off-putting to some, but the writing is brilliant and I found myself really invested in the characters, particularly the protagonist. Have a great week, Prerna!

  13. ohhh! YA Superlatives looks like a lot of fun! Can anyone (ahem me) participate?

    I’m glad to hear some praise for September Girls. I really want to read it but have been holding off (also my TBR pile is out of control). Good luck on your writing this week–progress is awesome. Keep going! 🙂

    I was serious about that walking to your house for that apple crumb cake. I should be there any day now.

    • Absolutely anyone (YOU!) can participate in the blogfest, Valerie. We’d love to have you! I’m waiting patiently for you to arrive for Apple Crumb Cake. Perhaps I’ll make a fresh one — you’ll have earned a treat after all that walking! 🙂

  14. I started watching The Voice last year when I briefly moved back in with my parents, and now I’m completely obsessed with it and analyze it with my dad when I call home.

    That’s so awesome that you’ve been able to get back into your WIP so easily, and that you’re so close to the end! I hope those last 10k come just as easily 🙂

  15. Alison Miller

    So glad you’re making so much progress with the WiP! And love all the yummy treat pictures – as always!

    Dave and I love watching The Voice too, but we haven’t watched television in a while. So hard with everything going on, but soon!

    • We mostly DVR our shows, that way we can watch when we have a spare hour here and there. Or we watch old series on Netflix. 🙂 And by the way, you and all my writing buddies who’ve finished projects are TOTALLY motivating me to finish mine!

  16. I’m totally not a reality TV show person (or a singing show person), but I love the Voice as well – basically for the same reasons you said. There’s real talent there, and there’s just like a good overall vibe.

    Your baking projects always leave me starving, haha. I think I seriously should try to pick up baking. Everything you make sounds and looks delightful!

    Yay for jumping back into your WIP and syncing with your groove so smoothly! That is always the best. Not only is there relief, there is joy too. 🙂 Here’s to more smooth sailing! (Oh and I have to add, I am SO EXCITED for the Superlatives blogfest!)

    • You should try baking, Krispy. It’s my second favorite creative outlet. 🙂 My sailing certainly hasn’t been all smooth, but yes… Here’s to a conclusion that writes itself!

  17. The food looks yummy, and I am loving the jelly beans as you work 🙂

  18. That apple crumb cake looks amazing! Apples are right up there with pumpkins when it comes to my fall favorites. I tend to like simple, homey recipes more than the really sweet stuff, so this sounds exactly like something I’d make.

    I can relate to your worries over being able to get back into drafting after taking a break. I’ve felt the need for a break for some time now, but the thought of losing my momentum is scary. I’m so glad you were able to easily pick up where you left off and even have an incredible word count for the week! You’re so close to be done now, and I hope the ending goes smoothly for you!

  19. The apple crumb cake looks delicious. I’ve never seen Breaking Bad but the library has all the seasons available right now on DVD. I want to watch it now. I watch the Voice too. It always makes me sad when no one turns their chair around. But of all the singing shows the Voice is my favorite. Good luck with your WIP. Have a great weekend!

    • I get sad when people don’t get selected for a team too, Amy. I’ve found myself taking this show pretty personally. And I highly recommend checking out Breaking Bad. It’s a fantastic show!

  20. So it’s been waaaay too long since I stopped by your blog! First, major kudos on the progress with your WIP! Very exciting. Your baking photos are lovely, as usual. I love making apple baked good this time of year. Yum!

    I hadn’t heard of SEPTEMBER GIRLS, so thanks for mentioning it. I checked out the description, and I am intrigued – enough to add it to the TBR list. 🙂 It certainly sounds unique.

    Have a great week, Katy! 🙂

    • Thanks, Bridgid! SEPTEMBER GIRLS is certainly unique. I really enjoyed it, and I’m curious to hear what my friends think of it — you’ll have to let me know!

  21. So glad your groove is back! Yay!

  22. Good luck finishing up your WIP! Sounds like you’ll be done soon – exciting!

    You know I also loved the finale of Breaking Bad – I’m kind of sad not to have anymore episodes to watch!

    • I’m sad too, Ghenet! Luckily Homeland is back, and it’s awesome. Also, my husband and I watched the first episode of Orange is the New Black last night, and it’s really good! I’m starting to understand what all the hype is about.

  23. Your WIP sounds AMAZING! Good luck with it! 😀