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.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: I finished April Genevieve Tucholke’s debut, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which was unique and twisty, then moved on to Kimberly Derting’s Dead Silence. I’ve loved all of her Body Finder novels, and this one is no exception. These murder mysteries are spooky and super well done, and Jay, the series’ love interest, is adorable. Now I’m reading Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan. It’s a story that requires major suspension of disbelief (spellseekers and cursecasters!), but I’m invested in Stephen and Elizabeth’s story, so I’m not having trouble letting go of my skepticism.

What I’m Writing: Still plugging away at my WiP. I keep thinking the end is in near, but then… my word count keeps climbing. I am a wordy first drafter, that’s for sure, but I’m hoping to wrap up this first phase in the next few weeks so I can tackle the revisions I already know are needed, and then let my CPs take a look. Yesterday I posted about my writing goals for the remainder of the year, if you’re interested in taking a look.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Well, I tried to take my daughter apple picking, but unfortunately the orchard shut down its “you-pick” option two days ago. Mom fail! Luckily, we were able to buy a big bag of already-picked apples, so there’s still an apple pie in my family’s immediate future — yum!

There were pumpkins at the the apple orchard, so the day wasn’t a total bust.

On Saturday, my husband and I headed up to Berkeley to watch our Cougs play Cal. We had such an awesome day! We met up with some friends from college, drank cheap beer, and cheered WSU on to victory even though it was hot, hot, HOT in the stadium. Sometimes it’s fun to pretend we’re still wee college kids. 😉

Sunday morning I had some bananas to use up, so I searched online for a banana-y cookie. I came across a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies and whipped up a batch. I substituted an extra banana for the stick of butter and threw in some peanut butter chips, and they turned out tasty. Though they do have sugar in them, these cookies have enough healthy ingredients (bananas, peanut butter, oats) to be considered breakfast, too.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: A post from agent Jennifer Laughran about common manuscript problems, specifically show-don’t-tell spoilers and rhetorical questions, called Nutshell Spoilers and the Rhetorical No-No. Come revision time, her tips will help me to take an extra critical look at my writing.

Also, one of my daughter’s best school friends is a little girl from Pakistan. Her mom invited me and a few other ladies over for lunch the other day and the food was aMaZiNg. Like, indescribably so. The conversation was fascinating as well. Hearing stories about life in Pakistan was incredibly inspiring and eye-opening. One of my favorite things about Army Life is meeting new people and learning about cultures that are different from my own.

Tell me… What’s up with you today?


46 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Miss Cole says:

    That food looks delicious, yum!

    Wordy first drafts are a habit of mine, too. Good luck getting it all finished 😀

    Aaaah, college. Sometimes I really miss those days! I definitely miss the basketball.

    Have an awesome week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, lady! College was such a fun time for my husband and I — it’s where we met and started dating! Fun to relive those days every once in awhile. 🙂

  2. Tonja Drecker says:

    Yummy, yummy, yummy! My kids want to come up with a new variation on oatmeal cookies today too, but I don’t think the banana thing will fly. We’ll probably shoot for cranberries 😉

    Thanks for the head-up about that revision post. I’m heading over there now!

  3. Nicole Rivera says:

    Thanks for the Jennifer Laughran link. I am in the rewrite phase right now and I can use all the tips I can get!
    Also, those banana cookies look delicious and sound like they might be safe for my gluten free insides!!

    • katyupperman says:

      I’m not sure if those cookies are gluten free, but I bet the recipe can be adapted. Let me know if you give it a try! Also, best of luck with those rewrites, Nicole!

  4. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    I keep looking at my climbing word count and cringing – thank goodness for edits 🙂

    Fresh apples are sooo much better tasting than store ones. My dad used to run a small apple stand when I was a kid and YUM!

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, how fun to have easy access to fresh apples as a kid. I’m looking forward to making a pie — I’m normally a cookies-and-cakes kind of baker, so this will be a fun new challenge. 🙂

  5. Carrie-Anne says:

    I had a friend from Pakistan in junior high, Qudsiyah. She was such a nice, sweet girl, though I never tasted any of her food. One of my co-counselors at the day camp this summer was also Pakistani on her father’s side, descended from the small Jewish community still left in Pakistan.

    The nutshell spoilers are something I used to be guilty of, though to be fair, that was a big influence of the old-fashioned writing style I was used to reading. Now I realize it’s highly annoying and obnoxious to break into the story to give away pivotal plot developments, future events in another book, or the ending. Though somehow that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from squeeing all over a certain massively overrated book from recent years, where the narrator constantly rains into the narrative with a parade of spoilers. At least it saved me the trouble of finishing, since I already knew the ending.

    You might feel your first drafts are wordy, but in comparison to some of mine, I’m sure they’re extremely short! It’s so odd to me that my books under 100K tend to be the ones needing the most editing, revision, rewriting, and restructuring, while my door-stoppers were planned at that length and don’t need so much revising.

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, there’s such a huge difference in the word counts of epic fantasies and YA romances. And you’re right — I think that the shorter a piece is, the harder it is to revise into submission. Wonder why that is? Whatever the reason, brevity is not my strength. 🙂

      Hope you have a great week, Carrie-Anne!

  6. Rebecca B says:

    Those cookies look delicious!
    I can relate to wordy first drafts–especially for upper MG, I always start out with way too many words. But I like–or maybe find it easier–cutting more than adding in revisions. Good luck with your writing goals!

    • katyupperman says:

      I’m the same way, Rebecca… Though cutting is sometimes tough, I find that it almost always makes my stories stronger. I’ve never been in the position of having to add words, but I imagine that would be tricky.

      Have a great week!

  7. Juliana Haygert says:

    I love that you always include lots of pics on your posts!
    Oh, that Jennifer Laughran link comes in hand as I’m in revisions right now …
    I used to have wordy first drafts, but now it’s seems I’m short on descriptions and have to add those during revision.

    • katyupperman says:

      Ha! I’m always description heavy! I think I’m good at writing descriptions, but I’m way too liberal with details. They’re often the first thing I cut when I’m revising.

      Have a great week, Juliana!

  8. Melanie says:

    Those cookies look yum! My hubs took our son to a football game last saturday but instead of it being hot hot hot, they had to wear winter coats, gloves, and take a blanket! That’s Canada for you.
    I’m going to check out that Jennifer Laughran post ASAP.

    • katyupperman says:

      I hope that post proves helpful, Melanie! I love watching football, but I HATE being cold. I’d much rather sweat off my makeup (like Saturday!) than end up with frozen toes. 🙂

      Hope you have a great week!

  9. Rebekah says:

    I may make those cookies, they actually look like something a non-baker like me could handle.

    I love your story about spending time with your daughter’s friends mom, and being inspired by both the food and the conversation. Getting to interact with people of other cultures, or backgrounds dissimilar to your own, was my favorite thing about living in NYC.

  10. Jennie says:

    Your posts on IG and then here always make me drool. 🙂

    We barely made our apple orchard in time for u-pick. As in, they stopped letting people pick three hours after we left.

    I hope this week is productive and you finish that draft!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Jennie! I’m hoping for a productive week too!

      We were a little disappointed by the you-pick shutdown, but we made the best of the day. I’m happy I have apples to bake with. 🙂

  11. Jaime Morrow says:

    Word first drafter and finished drafter right here. O_o I feel your pain. I think it’s great that you’re putting your goals for this story out there. Accountability is definitely a good thing. I should probably consider doing something similar.

    Love all the photos, as per usual. That one of your girlie in the pumpkins is absolutely adorable and totally October appropriate. So cute! I swear I’m turning into a chunk just by ogling all of your Instagram baking/food pics. They all look so yummy!

    Have a great week, Katy! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Jaime! I was really happy with how that picture of my girl with the pumpkins turned out. She kept trying to make a peace sigh (ugh!), but when I finally got her to just smile, it was cute! Let me know if you post goals… I’ll be rooting you on!

  12. Kate Scott says:

    You always post pics of such great baked goods. They always looks so tasty, I’m a little bit jealous. And also shocked that in all your photos you look healthy. If my home regularly contained Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal cookies and Apple Pies I would weight about 300 pounds.

  13. Stephanie Scott says:

    I’m curious on how the cookies turned out with a banana replacing the butter entirely–right, no butter? I tried a vegan banana cookie recipe out at some point and they were really weird, mushy and bascially a disaster. Though I also did a vegan peanut butter cookie that was amazing. I’m not vegan but I try out various recipes since I have friends with food allergies and my mom is diabetic. I like to sub applesauce in for oil and I use a lot of organic coconut oil now, though it doesn’t work for everything.

    Going to check out the agent post now, I bookmark revision posts and go through them every time I start a revision. Thanks!

    • katyupperman says:

      No butter at all, and they turned out really well. They were a little cakier than “normal” cookies (I suspect they would have been a bit crispier if I’d used the butter), but the flavor was great and they held together fine. I’d definitely use that substitution again.

      Hope that revision post proves helpful, Stephanie!

      • Stephanie Scott says:

        Yes! I think I need to find the right recipe.
        Also, I saw your comment on my blog about Cannon Beach. I’m so glad we stayed there. We visited several other towns along the coast (Seaside, Astoria) and Cannon Beach was just the best atmosphere and a great place to come home to after traveling for the day. You said you based a story there–I’m going to set my Nanowrimo project in a fictional Oregon beach town, so I definitely know how inspiring the town can be!

        • katyupperman says:

          I’ve been to all of those Oregon towns too, and I agree: Cannon Beach is definitely the best. Did you know they filmed parts of Goonies there, and also in Astoria? Fun fact for the day. 🙂 Good luck with your NaNo project… The fact that it’s going to be set in a fictional Oregon town makes me all kinds of eager to read it!

  14. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Sorry you missed out on picking your own apples. Though, honestly, the baked goods that come from them are the best part! Your cookies look yummy.

    Good luck with your writing goals this week!

  15. Erin Funk says:

    Oh dear, I’m in the same boat as you. I should have been done this draft a while ago, but like you, I keep adding more words. I feel like Act 2 of my story has been going on and on forever now. I’m cheering you on though, and I’ll see you at the finish line, all right?

    Love your pictures! The pumpkins are so festive, and the mascot is just funny. I’m making a note to check out the link to that article once I’m done my WUW rounds. Have a lovely week, Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      Haha… I have a neverending Act 2 as well — affectionately referred to as a sagging middle. I have to keep reminding myself that all will be sorted out in revisions. Hope you have a great week, Erin!

  16. Krispy says:

    Katy, please open a bakery or something so I can order cookies from you. Those look and sound amazing. *omnomnom*

    Love that pic of your girl in the pumpkin patch. So cute! Last year, my sister carved a pumpkin for the first time ever and swore never to do it again because it was more work and harder than she thought. BUT it seems like she’s changing her mind. She’s been talking about getting a pumpkin, but she wants to go to pumpkin patch to get one (instead of just going to the supermarket). So that’ll be fun.

    I’m so glad you had a good time at Cal. I love that town and campus so much, and I have so many good memories of sitting in that hot stadium (though you were in the renovated version). Oh college! 🙂

    Good luck with finishing up this phase of your draft!

    • katyupperman says:

      It would be so fun to open a bakery someday! To be honest, though, I’d rather open a children’s bookstore, a la “You’ve Got Mail.” 🙂 Pumpkin carving is fun! Picking pumpkins from the patch and carving them just before Halloween is a family tradition of ours. It does make a huge mess, though, and I kind of hate the way raw pumpkin smells. Oh, and I’m so glad I got to check out Cal while we’re living here in California. I loved it! I think if I would have visited as a high school senior, I might have opted to go there. I see why you chose it!

  17. Temre Beltz says:

    Oh Katy, I totally experienced the same mom fail with apple picking a couple of years ago! It is still so neat just to be in the orchard though and I loved the cozy, fall, small-town feel. Almost like inspiration for a good story 🙂 I also loved the picture of the cookies you made! I just found a breakfast cookie recipe I’ve been making for the girls that they love (but that may just have to do with the idea of cookies for breakfast – totally mama’s girls). It doesn’t have any sugar but does have a fair amount of honey and uses oatmeal and whole wheat flour – yum! It’s even got me baking a bit more with whole wheat flour, do you use it often? It’s also so neat to see you and your hubby having fun at the WSU game. Those times (especially after becoming mommies and daddies) are SO special and memorable. I wish you all the best of luck in writing this week (go, Katy, go!), and loved the picture you shared of your friend’s delicious food! So neat how our kiddos can help us have new experiences too. Hugs, Katy ❤

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, I’m all about sweet treats for breakfast. I would much rather have blueberry pancakes than an omelette. 🙂 And you’re so right about having a little bit of couple time after kiddos come along. Babysitters are expensive, but my husband and I believe it’s worth it every once in awhile. Hope you have a wonderful week, Tem!

  18. Jessica Silverstein says:

    I’m rooting for you to hit those writing goals! You can totally do it! I looked back at your goals and I am impressed in advance: if anyone can do it, you can. (I am thankful that someone as kick-butt as you also endorses breakfast sweets; I stand by that idea wholeheartedly!)

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Jess! I’m rooting for you as well! Oh, and I TOTALLY endorse sweets for breakfast. In fact, I don’t think there’s anything better than an indulgent treat first thing in the morning! Hope you have a great week, lady!

  19. Bridgid Gallagher (@bridgidlee) says:

    I love all of the food pics! Plus the photo of your daughter with the pumpkins – too cute. 🙂 Kudos on sharing your writing goals on your blog. I’ll be cheering you on as you finish this WIP! I’m off to check out that post on Jennifer Represents … Thanks for the link!

  20. Alexis Bass says:

    You’re a Coug!!!??? I grew up in Eastern Washington, so I have many Coug-friends. 🙂 I’m a Sun Devil, but always feel right at home with the Cougs. 🙂

    PS – I just got my hands on Invisibility–it looks soooooooooo good.

    • katyupperman says:

      A Coug for life. 🙂 I loved living in Eastern Washington — Pullman specifically, and I’d totally move back there if we could. How’d you like ASU? It was my second choice!

      You’ll have to let me know how you like INVISIBILITY. There are parts of it I’m loving, and parts that are falling into bizarre territory. We’ll see…

  21. Elodie says:

    Wow those cookies look delicious, Katy! And the pictures are adorable as always. Your hubby and you look like you could still be in college!
    Thanks for sharing Jennifer´s link, I need to check it out! And you go go go with your writing 🙂 You can do it!

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