RSW Update 5


Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and myself. Find the rest of the details HERE.

* How I did on last week’s goal(s).

1. Complete a revision of my contemporary-ish YA, Where Poppies Bloom… YES! I am d-o-n-e with the overhaul of my beloved Where Poppies Bloom. It’s now in the talented and capable hands of CP Alison, and I’m very much looking forward to her feedback.

2. Complete the first draft of my contemporary YA, The Road So Far, by the close of RSW… IN PROGRESS. It’s been a few weeks since I worked on this project, so I reread some of my favorite scenes and prepared to dive back in.

3. Read (on average) one YA/adult novel per week… YES! I read Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers. It’s a little bit Silence of the Lambs and a little bit Dexter written in a fantastic 3rd person teen perspective, and it is fAnTaStIc.

4. Read (on average) one MG novel with my daughter every two weeks… YES! We finished Sara Mylnowski’s Sink or Swim and we started The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. 

5. Maintain my tan… YES! I mowed our enormous lawn. Kind of boring, but at least I got my vitamin D fix.

* My goal(s) for this week.

Write every day. My Where Poppies Bloom revision stressed me to the point of a breakout, and I need to not feel the I-should-be-working! pressure for a week or two in order to replenish my creative well. I’m not taking a break, but I am not going to kill myself in the name of word count, either. Plus, Zoo Camp’s done, so… Write every day — that’s my goal.

* A favorite line from my project OR a word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Sometimes my personal obsessions find their way into my stories…

       Tucker has a thing for Jelly Bellies, if the huge mixed bag he bought from a local sweet shop during our walk through Bell Cove is any indication. Now, we’re sitting on a weathered bench in the town center and he’s schooling me on flavor combinations, like a lemon eaten with a coconut, which taste just like lemon meringue pie, and I’m laughing because he’s weirdly fanatical about his jellies. He’s already picked out all the black licorice beans because they’re “foul” and he “refuses to subject” me to them.

       “Try this one.” He passes me a crimson bean and then a white one with tiny black speckles. “Strawberry jam and French vanilla.”

       I chew discerningly. “Um… strawberry shortcake?”

       He grins like I’ve spouted an ingenious solution to the nation’s debt crisis.

* The biggest challenge I faced this week.

Burn out. In order to finish my Poppies revision, I had to work on it every spare second. I haven’t watched Gossip Girl in weeks! I still love my story, but I’m excited about setting it aside for a while. We need some time apart. 🙂

* Something I love about my WiP. 

Ha! That it’s done! In celebration, a gratuitous mama/daughter pic…

In other news… July is the month of RSW giveaways! 
Congrats to last week’s winner… Stephanie Scott

During the four weeks of July, ErinJaimeAlison, and I will be giving away some spectacular Writer’s Care Packages. All you have to do to be eligible to win is participate in Ready. Set. Write! and enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

A Rafflecopter giveaway!

This week, Jaime’s giving away a fantastic package including a notebook (Joan of Arc quote FTW!), a Things To Do notepad, a pocket/purse notepad, Post-It notes, flags, tea scented erasers (mmm!), bunny-shaped paper clips (cute!), a multi-colored pen, Essie nail polish in “Watermelon” (totally summer appropriate, don’t you think?), pomegranate mint gum, and Swedish berries.

Jaime's Package

I can’t wait to read about how Ready. Set. Write! is going for you. Don’t forget to share the link of your latest post below!


58 thoughts on “RSW Update 5

  1. mandiebaxter says:

    Congrats on finishing!!! Glad you got it in before this post!!!
    I loved I Hunt Killers!! The second one is just as good! So ready for the 3rd one.
    Enjoy your break!

    • katyupperman says:

      I’m thinking about ordering the second I HUNT KILLERS book — I thought the first was awesome. I started BURN FOR BURN last night and so far, I’m really liking it. I’ll let you know!

  2. Dawne Webber says:

    So happy you finished your revisions and maintained your tan 😉 Enjoy getting back into The Road So Far. Glad you’re not going to kill yourself over the word count.

  3. Elodie says:

    Again, YAY on completing your revision. This is AWESOME!!! And yes for taking some time to replenish your creative well. I think that’s another reason why I’ve been so slow in getting back into the swing of things. I needed some time.
    And as always, love the pictures! The one of you & C is adorable!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Elodie! I can only imagine how big a break you needed after your debut! So much excitement can be draining. Hope you’re getting back into the swing of things now. Have a great week, friend!

  4. Alison Miller says:

    So, I’m not feeling any pressure with that “talented and capable” line. Nope. Not at all. 🙂 BUT I am SO HAPPY for you and excited that you finished!!! (And I’m beyond excited to dive into this story!)

    Also, love the goal of writing every day. I have a similar goal for TMC (or heh – DLLaL) this week. Hopefully we’ll get chances to write together and keep each other accountable. 🙂 Love the pic! You and C are just too cute. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Ha! No pressure. I just need to you to help me fix the mess I made. 🙂 And yes, let me know when you’re working this week, and we can try to coordinate. Good luck with DLLaL!

  5. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    Woo hoo to finishing your revision!!!

    :Love your scene – it really is the little things that make characters so relatable 🙂

    I’m taking it easy on myself for goals, too. As long as I’m writing something, I’ll be happy.

  6. sara says:

    Yes! Writing every day! I’m IN. I’m also now craving some jelly bellies. I’ve never thought to create different flavor combinations. But I DO despise the black licorice ones… I’m still so happy for you for finishing your revision! And I can’t wait to get my hands on it 😉

    • katyupperman says:

      I’ve personally never met a Jelly Belly I don’t like, but to each her own. 😉 And yes, I’m totally going to hassle you into writing with me every day! Thanks for being such a fantastic cheerleader!

  7. Kaitlin Bartlett says:

    CONGRATS on finishing your revision! 😀 You deserve a break from that stress now, but good for you making the goal to still write every day.

    Also, LOVE the snippet you shared. I’ve always just eaten one jellybean at a time…I feel like my world has been greatly expanded now! Oh, the possibilities! The flavor combinations! 🙂

    Happy Monday Katy!

  8. Rachelwrites007 says:

    CONGRATULATIONS ON FINISHING!!!!!! I am so so so excited for you, Katy, and I can’t wait to read POPPIES when it sells (YES I have faith!!!!!). Love the snippet you shared too. I do combo jellybeans – my favorite (solo) is marshmellow though 🙂

    Happy Monday and have a wonderful week!

  9. crystalschubert says:

    You and your daughter are so cute! 🙂 Congrats on finishing your revision!! I hope you get some great feedback. Good luck keeping it more casual and writing every day this week, and I hope you can back to Chuck and Blair soon! (Unless you’re not a Chuck and Blair fan? But what am I saying… that’s basically sacrilege…)

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Crystal! And yes, I am TOTALLY a Chuck and Blair fan. I’m nearly done with season 3, and they are 98% of the reason I’m loving it. And I HATED Chuck in the first few episodes. People kept telling me I’d grow to love him, and I sure did! Hope you have a great week, lady!

  10. Rebekah says:

    Again, super huge congratulations on finishing the revision! I think your goal of writing every day this week is a great one. It is good not to get hung up on word count but just to enjoy writing and being happy to do it everyday.

  11. laboyden says:

    Congrats on finishing your revision. I know how much a weight is lifted when you type: THE END. Good luck with your goals this week. Thanks for sharing. 😀

  12. Jaime Morrow says:

    Congrats again on finishing up your revision! That’s a pretty major accomplishment. 😀 Love the Jelly Bellies snippet, and now I’m thinking I have to try this flavour mixing thing. Not sure why I haven’t thought of doing that before! Have a great week, Katy!

  13. Carrie-Anne says:

    Congratulations on finishing your revision, and good luck with the rest of your writing goals.

    I also amn’t really fond of the black licorice, and haven’t met too many people who are. I like the sweet fruity flavors, and flavors like coconut and chocolate.

    • katyupperman says:

      I don’t care for black licorice itself, but I dig the black licorice flavored Jelly Bellies. Go figure. 🙂 I’m a big fan of the coconut and chocolate too, as well as root beer, marshmallow, and cinnamon. In case you were wondering. 😉

    • katyupperman says:

      That picture was actually from a lunch with my parents, but my girl and I did celebrate the end of my revision with a movie and dinner out. Fun, fun! Hope you have a wonderful week, Karyne!

  14. Rebecca Barrow says:

    Revision done–the best feeling! Ha, I always know I’ve been working hard when I can’t remember the last time I had Netflix open! Hopefully you can spend some quality time with B+S this week 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes! I’m totally hoping to get back to B+S — or, more accurately, Blair and Chuck. I know you’re not a fan of them together, but *sigh* I love them. 🙂 Have a great week, Rebecca!

  15. Cortney Pearson says:

    Congrats on hitting that end point–such an amazing feeling! And I have totally struggled with stress and the pressure of everything lately, it’s definitely important to take a break! Good luck this week!

  16. Courtney Leigh says:

    You’ve totally earned a little time away from your MS! Plus, it’s always good to step back and let new ideas and thoughts about your story seep in once the mad flurry of writing has slowed.

    I’ve never been a big jelly bean fan, but your excerpt makes me want to try this flavor-pairing idea! Good luck with this week’s goals, but also, good luck and have fun giving your mind a break. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, Jelly Bellies are my writer life’s blood. Hopefully someday I’ll be published so I can thank them in the acks of my debut. 😉 You’ll definitely have to give the flavor combos a try — yum! I hope you have a great week, Courtney!

  17. Zanne says:

    Congrats again on finishing your revision! 🙂

    What a fun package of stuff! Do they really still make those 4 color pens?! Now I want one. 🙂

    Love the Jelly Belly scene. 🙂 How fun to include stuff like that.

  18. Krispy says:

    CONGRATS on finishing your revision!!! That is awesome! Okay, I also super adore the excerpt you shared. It is so cute, and also it is kind of mind-opening – like omg, I have never thought about combining flavors like that! YOU are a genius. (I agree with you/Tucker that the black licorice is blergh!)

    I hope you enjoy your time off because you deserve it! And like you said, you don’t want to burn out. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      I can’t believe how many people have never mixed Jelly Belly flavors! I’m so proud to have enlightened so many today. 🙂 Hope you (and Loki) have an awesome week, Alice!

  19. Stephanie Scott says:

    You made so much progress!! Way to go. I also read that Barry Lyga book, mainly to see how a YA “Dexter” could be pulled off–he did such a great job with it.

    • katyupperman says:

      I thought Barry Lyga did an excellent job too. I’m so impressed by how he, like, *went there* with that novel. He didn’t shy away from gory details or unsavory language or utter creepiness and it felt so real and compelling. Not that I’m surprised — I thought his BOY TOY was equally captivating.

  20. Kitty says:

    Your momma-daughter picture is adorable. 🙂 And congratulations on finishing your revision. I think it’s a great idea to spend some time apart, now. Let your brain rest and let the MS stew. I so, so, so loved THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE. I hope you and your girlie love it too! Have a great week!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thank so much, Kitty! I’ve actually read EDWARD TULANE and I adore it. I’m super excited to share it with my daughter. I hope you have a wonderful week, lady!

  21. Erin Funk says:

    There’s nothing like rereading favourite scenes to get the motivation going! That was a very cute excerpt! I have to admit that we’re partial to Gimbals jellybeans in our house since Jelly Bellies aren’t peanut free & my son’s allergy is so severe. They’re not easy to find in Canada though, and now I’m craving them! Congrats on finishing your revision on WHERE POPPIES BLOOM and I hope work on THE ROAD SO FAR goes smoothly as you jump back into it!

    • katyupperman says:

      Wait, Erin… My Jelly Belly package claims that the beans are made in a “peanut-free factory” and your comment made me curious so I looked at the Jelly Belly website. It also says that Jelly Bellies are peanut, gluten, and dairy free. They don’t bother me either (though I definitely wouldn’t call my allergy severe), so I wonder if the peanut-free thing is a newer development? Hmm… Anyway, thanks for the congrats, and I hope you have an awesome week!

  22. Raven Ashley says:

    Tucker sounds like a keeper! The black licorice jelly beans are the worst thing ever. I’m not even sure why people like them. But I love your excerpt though. Such a fun scene! Also, congrats on finishing Poppies! And good luck with The Road So Far.

    Have a great week. 🙂

  23. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Congrats on finishing your revision!!! I hope you get the chance to relax a little this week.

    I read I HUNT KILLERS last year and loved it! Looking forward to reading the sequel. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Ghenet! I was really impressed with I HUNT KILLERS. When I picked it up, I was hoping it wouldn’t be the sort of book to shy away from disturbing things. Not sure what that says about me, but… 😉 Anyway, I’m glad it was so unflinching and so totally compelling. Have a great week, lady!

  24. Miss Alexandrina says:

    Is it too late for me to post my RSW post for this week? I broke my laptop at the weekend, so I’ve been unable to access internet until today. 😦

    PS. congrats for finishing your revision. You must be delighted! I love that photo with the arrow, and I love that extract about the jellybeans. I’m not a huge fan of jellybeans, myself, but I will admit that I’ve done that flavour combining before!

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