What’s Up Wednesday

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“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: So… I had to put Holly Black’s White Cat aside. I only got about ten pages into the story and while I’m intrigued, I’m just not in the right mood for urban fantasy these days. I’ll definitely go back to it, but for now, I’m going to stick with contemporary YA. What can I say? It’s where my heart is (just look at those covers below!). I finished Jolene Perry’s The Summer I Found You, which I’ll review in detail in tomorrow’s Bookanista post, and now I’m reading Sarah Ockler’s The Book of Broken Hearts. Loving Juju’s voice so far!

  

What I’m Writing: I talked about my revision of Good Girls in Monday’s #WriterRecharge post, but let’s review: I finished my Cut All the Crap round, and now I’m going through my revision to-do list and fixing the issues I know exist — mostly having to do with character development and cohesion. I’m also doing some polishing and shifting and texturing. I think this baby’s going to be ready for readers by the end of the week!

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Other than rocking my revision goals, I’m still watching Friday Night Lights like a feign. I’m nearly done with season 3 and holy crap… I love this show so much. I actually met one of its creators, Peter Berg, a few months ago and it’s a good thing I hadn’t started watching FNL yet. I probably would’ve fangirled all over the poor man. (Incidentally, I did tell him about the enormous crush I have on Marky Mark Wahlberg, so there’s that.) 


I made Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, which turned out wonderfully. My girlie thought I was kidding when I told her I was fixing bread with zucchini *and* chocolate in it, and that would end up tasting like a treat. She loves it. 🙂


It’s been gorgeous in Florida lately, and we’ve been spending lots of time outdoors and at the park. Hearing about the crappy weather the rest of the country’s dealing with makes me thankful for this beautiful location the Army has moved us to. We’ve been so lucky these last few duty stations!


Oh, and I bought a garden gnome. She’s reading, and she reminds me a little of Moaning Myrtle. She makes me smile.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: My WiP is full of characters who make terribly selfish choices. Yet, I want readers to empathize with them and, at the very least, understand their motivations. When Flaws Go Too Far: Avoiding Unlikeable Characters by Angela Ackerman for Writer’s Digest has  fantastic tips for creating characters who are flawed, yet still relatable. I’m also inspired by this piece by Ruth Harris for Anne R. Allen’s Blog called From Pathetic to Professional: 8 Ways to Beat the First Draft Blues, which shares strategies for shaping and refining first drafts. Super helpful. Also, I’m loving Miss Megan Whitmer‘s latest vlog called Censoring Characters: Where Do We Draw the Line?  It’s an awesome conversation starter about writers staying true to their characters vs. remaining socially acceptable. Like Megan, I’ve yet to nail down my stance on this — tough stuff. Lots of great thoughts in the comments section too!

And, on a much more personal note, this week my former neighbor and dear friend Brittany wrote about the birth of her angel baby Bella Joy. It’s a heartbreaking story, but so beautiful and inspirational too. Brittany and her husband are amazing people and incredible parents (their five-year-old is one of my daughter’s favorite friends) and I wish them peace and love and all the best. ♥

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

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38 responses to “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Congrats on the revision progress! Thanks for sharing those links, they’re super-helpful! 🙂

  2. Aww! I hope you really give white cat another try. I loved that book so hard. But yeah, contemporary YA is awesome

    • I definitely will, Sarah. I know it’s going to be good, but I just have to be in the right mood to absorb all of that world-building. Right now… Not so much!

  3. I’m not going to succumb to weather-envy, Katy. Really. I mean, it’s not like I’m only a few states north of you… *sigh*. In fairness, we’ve been getting some warmer weather, but I don’t think we’re to the picnic-in-the-park stage, yet. We’ll all enjoy it through you. Vicarious sun-bathing. 🙂

    Zucchini and chocolate? Why not! Chocolate makes anything awesome… though I like zucchini, and the combo sounds a winner to me!

    Great going on the revisions, and all the best for being reader-ready by the end of the week. I’m looking forward to your last #WriterRecharge update–I’m sure there’ll be lots of YAYs! 🙂

    • Thanks, Colin! I’m looking forward to hearing about the end of your #WriterRecharge as well. Best of luck knocking out that short story! And if you’re in the mood for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, that recipe is a winner. 🙂

  4. Congrats on your awesome revisions! And oooh, both those contemps have BEAUTIFUL covers!

    Also, that zucchini bread looks delicous!!! 🙂 Have a great week!

  5. I saw the “Flaws” article from WD and I really needed to read it, too. My characters do some pretty selfish, silly things and I’ve made a few tweaks in my revisions b/c I was starting to hate them myself 🙂

    The Summer I Found You cover is so pretty!

  6. I love the garden gnome! She is too cute. I’m not a gnome person, but I still want one of those.

    Good luck with all your reading and revising. Have a wonderful week!

  7. Oh, way to go with your revisions!
    It seems like you guys are loving Florida so far!
    Have a great week!

  8. Brittany Merkl

    Oh tears! Thank you so much for the mention! We miss you girls so much!

  9. Congratulations on the revision progress! I have less than 200 pages to go with the edits I’m doing, then moving to editing something much shorter (only a bit over 120,000 words), and then back to the much-longer book for final edits and tweaks.

    That chocolate zucchini bread looks groovy. I’d love to make that if I got some bread pans.

  10. You can’t force yourself to like a book, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Hope that some day you find an Urban Fantasy you love. That bread looks amazing, I’m sure it tasted just as good. Awesome job with revisions! I honestly am not surprised by how fast you’re watching FNL. My husband and I watched the whole series in less than a month. Kind of wish we’d taken our time because it’s so spectacular, but I’m also not patient when it comes to awesome shows.

    • Yeah, I’m starting to wish I’d slowed down with FNL in the beginning, Prerna. It’s such a bummer to watch as the episodes diminish on Netflix. What an amazing show!

  11. You sound like you are killing those revision goals. That’s so great and exciting!! I also love all the links you posted about flawed characters and being true to them. All good stuff to think about.

    I have to say, I was also skeptical of the zucchini bread thing, but was so amazed by how it looked in the finished product pic. It looks delicious, and that’s totally not a combo I would’ve though of!

    I hope you get approved for WE WERE LIARS. I think you’ll really like it. It’s a fast read too! I’m surprised I’m as far in as I am!

    • Alice, my mom used to make zucchini bread all the time. It’s really similar to banana bread, minus the banana-y flavor. And the chocolate chips totally send it over the top. Yum! And I’ve heard nothing but awesomeness about WE WERE LIARS. I’m certain I’ll love it!

  12. I don’t know Greg and Brittany, but I’m heartbroken by their story. And yet I’m so moved and inspired by it as well. Thank you for sharing this, Katy.

    Thanks for the other links you shared as well. I’ll be checking all of them out today. I watched Megan Whitmer’s vlog and I have to say that the question of where to draw the line is something I often struggle with as well. Definitely a conversation worth having.

    I know what you mean about reading where your heart is. I like to think that I read widely, but I know some of those books are a slog to get through because they’re not my genre or category of choice. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with always coming back to what we love, or spending the bulk of our time there. 🙂

    • I totally agree about reading tastes, Jaime. I’m very glad to have branched out because I’ve found books I love that I might not otherwise have known about. The GRACELING trilogy and THE RAVEN BOYS come to mind. I wasn’t interested in reading those books at all, but I’m SO glad I did! Hope you’re having a great week, lady!

  13. Great job on your revisions! I’m definitely going to have to check out that article about character flaws. Based on beta notes, I’m making my main character a bit harsher than she was and I’m worried she’s going to end up completely unlikeable. Checking it out now… 😉

    • Hope that article proves helpful, Melanie. My current WiP is full of super flawed characters by design, yet I still worry that they’ll end up falling too far on the “dislike” scale. Striking that gray-area balance is really tricky!

  14. Thanks for all the fantastic links 😀 And good luck getting your book to readers this week ^_^

  15. That zucchini bread looks delicious and I’m so happy for you making such great progress. Can’t wait to read!

    The story of your friend Brittany and her family is so heartbreaking. That post brought me to tears. They are inspiring and…yep no words.

    • Definitely no words. It’s such a completely unimaginable tragedy. My heart hurts for them. 😦

      In much lighter news, that zucchini bread recipe was a hit at my house. Recommend!

  16. I love your girl gnome! She’s adorable. Yeah, the weather has been amazing in Las Vegas too. Sunshine everyday. I love it.

    • Living in a sunny place makes me seriously question my sanity during the times I lived in Washington. What was I thinking? I hope I can stay in the warm south indefinitely!

  17. I love that garden gnome! Also, must tell you – one of my first projects made a few (too many) references to Marky Mark. It also had a group called the Funky Bunch. It may or may not be the one I may or may not revise next. 🙂
    Also, I’m VERY jealous of your wonderful weather. It was boots and coats weather today. BOO. 😦
    And I’m so glad you’re getting so close to the end!!! Can’t wait to read, lady!

    • I vote for pulling out that Funky Bunch project! I’ve had a big ol’ crush on him since his Calvin Klein days. I feel like he only gets better too. The Departed and Lone Survivor… So good. Also, please come visit me in FL. We’ll call it a writers’ retreat. 🙂

  18. OMG, that bread looks delicious! I love the baked goods you post here 🙂 I’ve never read anything by Sarah Ockler, but I really need to. Enjoy the great weather & have a good week!

    • I love Sarah Ockler’s books, Patrice. TWENTY BOY SUMMER is my absolute favorite, but they’re all very well done. And try that Chocolate Chip Zucchini bread recipe sometime — so good!

  19. I’m also all contemp YA, all the way. I’ve been reading a handful of other things but contemp is still my go-to! Good luck finishing up the rest of your revision – so exciting that you’re almost read to share it with readers!