What’s Up Wednesday

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

What I’m Reading: Over the weekend I read Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, and it was GOOD. Super twisty and dark, like a Courtney Summers novel merged with a fast-paced crime drama. I also started listening to an audiobook of Kristin Cashore’s Fire. I adore Graceling and Bitterblue, and it’s taken me way too long to get to Fire’s story, but I am loving it. She’s a fantastic protagonist, and the audio is very well done. As well as listening to Fire, I’m reading Sara Guillory’s Reclaimed. I’ve only just started, but so far, so good!

What I’m Writing: Still plugging away at my revision. I’m past the story’s midpoint and I’ve cut nearly 5K, which feels awesome. I love streamlining, “trimming the fat” as they say. Last night I came across a scene I’d forgotten all about (an anecdote I stole from my husband’s childhood) and it was really fun to reread. This manuscript is coming together, and I’m getting excited about the prospect of sending it off to my CPs. Hopefully that’ll be soon!

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Wrapping my head around our big move to… Florida! We’re leaving California in thirty days and I have plenty to do. Good news: We found a lovely house with a kitchen perfect for baking. Bad news: We’re going to pack our household goods ourselves (instead of letting the Army hire movers to do it like usual) and I am up to my eyeballs in boxes.


On Sunday night I went to The Night of Writing Dangerously, held in the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. It was so amazing! I got tons of revising done, chatted with like-minded writers, met my awesome Twitter friend Kristen Rudd (who graciously invited me as her guest), and heard YA author Gennifer Albin give a heartfelt and inspiring speech — “Your story matters!” All in all, it was a fabulous event. If you’re ever presented with the opportunity to attend, do!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: A repost by Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers  called Conflict vs. Tension. It talks about how the two terms are related but not always synonymous. Great food for thought as I revise my manuscript. Also, a post by romance author Roni Loren entitled My Promise When I Review or Recommend Books. She says: If I don’t like something or have neutral feelings on it, you’ll just never hear about. The books I recommend or rate highly on Goodreads are books I honestly loved… This is exactly how I feel about public reviews. My blog is a positive place where I choose to promote books I sincerely enjoy. Those that don’t resonate with me don’t get a lot of attention, and those with which I can’t find anything good to say don’t get any attention at all. So, if I rave about a book, it’s one that made a true impact on me, one that I’ll recommend to anyone who’ll listen. What’s your book review policy?

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

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45 responses to “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Whoah, Florida! How exciting! And congrats on the house! The packing sounds daunting but just keep telling yourself “it will get done…one thing at a time.” And if you’re going to be anywhere near St. Augustine, I will have to hunt down the name of the bar where my unce works–they have a crazy number of beers on tap, plus I have to imagine my uncle is the world’s greatest bartender (he’s really fun and goofy and laid-back–this is his retirement job after a career as a cop.). Good luck with everything!

    • Thanks, Jess! We’re excited about FL. We won’t be near St. Augustine, but my brother lives in Jacksonville, so I’m sure we’ll make our way to that area eventually. I’ll let you know when, because that bar sounds like fun!

  2. Hi, Katy! I’m so glad you found the Conflict vs Tension post helpful. That lesson was a huge eye opener for me. And best of luck with your move. If you’re going to be anywhere near south Florida, let me know, and I’ll hook you up with one of our awesome critique groups ;).

    • Thanks so much, Becca! We’ll actually be on the panhandle, so if you know of any critique groups/awesome writers in that area, I’d love to know about them. 🙂

  3. Moving is the WORST. Any particular reason you guys are doing it yourselves this time? I hope you didn’t have a bad experience! I have a good friend who’s done the military move before (several times, natch) and in her last move, several items got broken.

    Good luck with everything and welcome to the Sunshine State in advance! Too bad you’re not coming to South Florida! 🙂

    • We always have tons of stuff broken by movers, Meredith. That kind of comes with the territory, unfortunately. We’re doing it ourselves this time because we can make some extra money, to be perfectly honest. It’ll be a lot of work, but hopefully it’ll be worth it. And we’re hoping to make it to South Florida at some point, so I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

  4. Agreed – I only really talk about books that I loved. I like for the blog to be positive. 🙂 Also, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am stoked that you are past the midpoint! GO YOU!

    And good luck with the packing and moving. Bleh. BUT I googled pics of your new locale the other day, and drooled over the beach and blue water. Must save up money for a visit! Anyway – keep the sparkling blue/green sea in mind as you pack. Motivation!

    Have a great week!

    • Good idea about the motivation, Alison. I will definitely be dreaming of relaxing afternoons on the beach as I pack dishes and clothes and toys. And yes, PLEASE come visit anytimes. We’ll have a nice guest room!

  5. Let me be the first Florida resident to say “Welcome to Florida”! You are going to LOVE IT!

    The Night of Writing Dangerously sounds so amazing. How fun that you were able to attend.

    Hope you have a fantastic week! 🙂

  6. Florida! Congrats on the big, cross-country move. I agree with Roni Loren and you about book reviewing. If I didn’t love a book, you won’t hear much from me on it (at least not publicly), and if I do choose to talk about it I will never bash. Reading is so subjective, and as a writer I understand the emotional drain of letting anyone read your work, so bashing is unacceptable.

    I get the strong sense that you love the book you’re revising, and I think that is totally inspiring. Keep up the fabulous work!

    • Reading is definitely subjective, Rebekah. Even some of my most trusted book besties and I sometimes have differing opinions. It’s fun to chat with them about what we loved/disliked about books we have in common, which can definitely be done without bashing. And you’re right: I DO love the book I’m working on, which is partly why it’s so scary — I want others to love it too!

  7. I like what Roni Loren said about book reviewing. I do the same thing. Any books that I didn’t like or that I didn’t even finish, I don’t bother mentioning. I’m always careful about negativity.
    Great work on your revising and good luck with your move!

  8. Enjoy Florida! My favorite aunt and maternal grandparents live in the Sarasota area, and my favorite spin instructor and his wife permanently relocated to St. Lucie a few months ago. It has beautiful weather and colors.

    I tend not to review books I was just neutral about or found mediocre on my blog, though I’ve reviewed them on Amazon. On my blog, I tend towards only reviewing books I loved or hated. Over the summer, I had a number of posts lighting into the garbage by the late fraud Beatrice Sparks. Her books are like a lesson in how NOT to write YA!

  9. Florida? Very cool! We got suckered into a timeshare in Florida (long story), so we’ll definitely be in that neck of the woods again. I’m curious what part of the state you’ll be settling in. I’m so happy you were able to find a place to live! And one with a good kitchen too!

    I feel much the same way you do about reviewing and/or talking about books on your blog. Books that I don’t like much get pretty well no mention on my blog. Sometimes I really want to rant about a particular book, but I know that would be something I’d end up regretting.

    Good to hear your revisions are going well. Good luck with the next stretch!

    • We’ll be on the panhandle, Jaime, fairly close to the Gulf of Mexico (that feels sort of surreal to type!). We’re looking forward to it, though the move itself is making me a little crazy. Hoping to finish this revision before it’s time to start seriously packing. Hope you have a great week, friend!

  10. How exciting that you’re moving to Florida! And congrats on finding a house! Good luck with the moving and the revising. 🙂

  11. I’m the same way about book recommendations. I’m a writer, not a reviewer. So it doesn’t feel right for me to give bad reviews of other writers work. I list all the books I read on goodread, just because I like keeping track of everything I read. But I only star books and write reviews for books I love. Even for books I’d give 3 stars, I opt to say nothing. My decision to never give 3 stars came when I realized that simply never giving 2 stars would make it to obvious what books were getting a 2 star rating (because they were the only books unrated). So now I’m a 4 star, 5 star, or no star type of girl.

    • I like your thoughts on stars, Kate. I struggle with that too. It’s been ages since I gave 2 stars (because I’m trying to be professional and positive), but I’ve certainly read 2 star books in the recent past. I might adopt your star policy in the future.

  12. I’ll take some of those words!! My drats are alway so short. The write night sounds like it was a lot of fun! Glad you got to experience that before the move. Good luck with packing. Its my least favorite thing ever. Can’t wait to meet you in person.

    • Ditto! Knowing that I’ll have one writing/book friend in FL makes the transition feel far less scary. And thank you again for all your help as far as info about the area goes. I feel so lucky that we’ve connected onlline. 🙂

      • Me too! Crazy small world. It’ll be nice to have a book/writer friend so close! And so gald to help. Anytime.

  13. Oooohhh, FIRE is actually my favorite of the 3 books in that series — I just love Brigan!!! I hope you like it, too!

    And you and I have the opposite problem with our revisions…while you’re trimming, I’m trying to add (a problem I’ve NEVER had before!). It feels so different to be on this side of revisions, but honestly, I think it’s better than having to figure out what to cut! Best of luck getting yours finished!

    Best of luck getting packed and moved to Florida! And better you packing your things sometimes…movers don’t always care about what it is they’re moving, like you will. Fingers crossed it all goes off without a hitch!

    • I am loving Brigan too, Erin! Can’t wait to see how this book plays out. 🙂 Thanks for the well wishes as far as my revision and our move. I’ll take all the positive vibes I can get. Hope you have a wonderful week, lady!

  14. “Last night I came across a scene I’d forgotten all about (an anecdote I stole from my husband’s childhood)”

    My husband is convinced he’s always SOMEWHERE in my stories, whether it’s a character trait or incident, etc. Sometimes he’ll even say, “You can use that in your books.” Haha.

    Florida! Wow, that is a big move for you all. Good luck with packing!

    • My husband is somewhere in all of my stories for sure! My love interests’ best traits are stolen from him. 🙂 And I have no shame about stealing his childhood stories. Comes with the territory! Hope you have a great week, Jennifer!

  15. The packing sounds like a nightmare but I am sure it will all be worth it 🙂 And Florida wow!!! very exciting 🙂

  16. Dangerous Girls sounds sooo good! I’m putting it on my list.

    And that writing event looks awesome! How did you find it? I’m always looking for writing meet ups around Philly (but never seem to find any).

    Good luck on the Florida move!

    • Please let me know how you like DANGEROUS GIRLS, Valerie! I’m still thinking about it a few days later — I’m very impressed with how the story was told. So good!

      I found out about The Night of Writing Dangerously when I did NaNo last year, though I didn’t get to go then. It’s a big deal in the central California writing community, and I was super excited when Kristen invited me to go this year. If you ever have the chance to attend it (or another event like it) you most definitely should. 🙂

  17. YAY! Congrats on all your revision progress and also for Florida! I’m guessing we’ll see some DisneyWORLD and Harry Potter theme park pics in the future? 🙂 It’ll be humid though (I’m guessing as I’ve never been to Florida…) The Night of Writing Dangerously sounds amazing. I’ve always been kind of curious about it, so it’s nice to hear from someone who has actually gone.

    It’s funny that you’re reading Fire now. I liked that one, but Graceling is still my favorite. I have yet to read Bitterblue, even though I went out and bought it around the time it released!

    • I think I like BITTERBLUE a *tiny* bit more than GRACELING, though I think they’re both amazing. And I’m loving FIRE too. Kristin Cashore is such an amazing storyteller.

      And yes, Disney World is definitely in our near future! 🙂

  18. That’s so cool that you went to Night of Writing Dangerously… congrats on your revision progress!!

    I never read Fire, I loved Graceling but for some reason never continued post that one, I’ll have to pick the series back up. Maybe I should try audiobook.

    • Yes, definitely read GRACELING’s sequels! FIRE is actually a prequel, but it came second in the group. I love Kristin Cashore’s writing, and I suspect that if you loved GRACELING, you’ll enjoy its companions. Hope you have a wonderful week, Patrice!

  19. I tend to post reviews of everything I finish, even the books I didn’t particularly like, although I always do my best not to bash books, and I do try to find something I liked (which must be there, because I did finish the book, after all).

    Florida wasn’t my favorite place that we lived, but hopefully you’ll like it more than I did. On the plus side, it’s not as foggy as Monterey, so you’ll probably see a lot more of the sun!

    • Where were you in Florida Stephanie? And how is it that we continue to end up in the places you’ve been? 🙂 Also, I frequently read your book reviews, and I think you do a great job with them. You’re always thoughtful and professional!

      • We were near Orlando – Winter Park. We weren’t there very long, just six months while my dad went through some submarine school.

        And thanks! All those years of writing literary analysis essays were good for something…

  20. The cross-country move sounds very intimidating. Having moved about as far, I wouldn’t want to do that again–especially not with all the stuff we’ve accumulated now! All the best with that, Katy.

    And don’t you love it when you’re revising and you come to a part you forgot you wrote, and it’s actually not bad? It’s happened to me a couple of times. Those can be very encouraging.

    Have a great writing week! 😀

    • Yes, I am certainly intimidated by this move, Colin. The distance and the packing are incredibly daunting. But, I think it’ll all be worth it once we arrive. Hope you have a great week too, sir!

  21. My review policy is much the same. If I think there are improvements an author can make, I might one day be brave enough to send them a note and let them know that I didn’t want to post the review publicly. I’d want someone to do that for me. But I keep it positive and don’t post reviews under three stars on my blog or Goodreads.

  22. Ooo, Florida! I’ve gone on many vacations there and the coast is so pretty. Good luck with the move. I’m glad to hear you found a place you like!

    I have a copy of DANGEROUS GIRLS and I’m excited to read it. (I have so many books I’m excited to read, and so little time!)

    So cool that you were able to attend The Night of Writing Dangerously. Good luck with your revisions this week!

    • I’m with you on having too many books to read, Ghenet. Not the worst problem to have, though. 🙂 Definitely read DANGEROUS GIRLS as soon as you can. It’s incredible! Have a great week, friend!