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…

What I’m Reading: I read Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse back in November, kind of begrudgingly, actually — it didn’t sound like my jam at all. But I ended up LOVING it (in the same way I love the Graceling Realm and Lumatere Chronicles novels), and waiting for its sequel, The Winner’s Crime, has been torture. But I finally have this most-anticipated sequel in my hot little hands, and I’m almost done reading. Guys, it is gLoRiOuS. It’s rare that I have physical reactions to books, but this one’s got my face flushed and my heart racing; I’m pretty much obsessed with these characters. Highly recommend! (Also, if you’re curious like I was, Marie Rutkoski says Arin like “Aaron” but advised the audiobook reader to pronounce it “R-rin” because that’s more in keeping with the Herrani language. The more you know!)

What I’m Writing: Now that my latest project, Stars Like Dust, is with some brilliant and trusted readers, I’m taking a bit of a break from my own stuff. I’m using my time to read one of my CP’s middle grade manuscript and, oh my gosh, I am so lucky! This story is fanciful and emotional and beautifully written. It’s magic on a page, and I’m loving it!

What Else I’ve Been Up To: We’ve been having lovely, sunny weather in Florida, so my little family and I have been exploring the panhandle…

  
This weekend we went to Falling Water’s State Park, home of Florida’s highest waterfall. We’ve been to Yosemite so, honestly, the waterfall wasn’t all that impressive, but the rest of the scenery was beautiful.


We also visited the Seacrest Wolf Preserve, which was very cool. We got to interact with and pet wolves, and we learned tons about wolf conservation. Definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in the area.

What Works For Me: Positive feedback. I appreciate constructive criticism as much as the next writer, but sometimes I just really need to hear, “Hey, I LOVE this thing you wrote.” I let my husband read Stars Like Dust over the weekend, and he seemed genuinely impressed. I’m not sure what he was expecting, or what he thinks I’ve been doing over the last many years if not improving my craft, but yeah. He had complimentary things to say, and that made me feel really good. He even said my story was better than all of the Nicholas Sparks movies I’ve made him watch over the years, so there’s that. ❤

Tell me… What’s up with you today?

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32 responses to “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I agree – sometimes you don’t want constructive criticism, you just want someone else to like your book. It definitely makes fixing it easier 😉

    Enjoy the CPing and the lovely weather ^_^

    • Thanks, Cole! I agree — absorbing constructive feedback is so much easier when you know it’s coming from a person who’s rooting for your story. Have a great week!

  2. Constructive criticism is great, but sometimes it’s so nice to hear people say they love what you’ve written. 🙂

    I’d say you’ve definitely earned the break – I think I’ve said this before, but I really love the title of your WIP – and I hope you continue to enjoy the sunshine. Have a great week!

  3. mandiebaxter

    Aw!!! That’s such a sweet comment you got from him. And I laughed when you said not sure what he expected. Haha.
    Awesome job on finishing it. And yay for a break.
    Beautiful pictures! We’ll have to check out both those areas…maybe in the fall. Summer is approaching and I’d rather not get heat stroke. Haha.

  4. 🙂 Ha-ha! I think he’s just even more in awe of your writing 🙂
    I can tell you I love the story and your writing…I am so lucky to be part of your process so thank you so much for letting me read it!
    And I love love love those pictures. The wolf preserve looks so interesting!

  5. Aww….don’t you just love husband comments? Mine tries to pull out comparisons to the VERY limited amount of YA he’s read and it never makes any sense what he’s saying, but I appreciate the sentiment anyway 🙂

    Love the pic from the wolf preserve – it looks like the wolf is photobombing you 🙂

    • At least your husband has some YA to compare too. Mine does not. Yet he still offered some helpful feedback. And yeah, I thought that about the wolf too! He licked one man’s bald head from his vantage point. 🙂

  6. This is why I have an email folder just for nice feedback – sometimes I really need to hear it on bad days! Have a great week! 🙂

  7. Okay, I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks book or seen any of the movies, but that seems like a pretty big compliment to me. 🙂 Looks like you had a fun week exploring – now that the weather is improving here, we may start venturing out to hit our 23 parks. Have a great week!

    • I’ve read a few of his books and seen a lot of his movies. I love The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, but as a whole, his stories are pretty cheesy. My husband rolls his eyes constantly while watching. 🙂 Have an awesome week, Sara!

  8. I tried to use my ex-“fiancé” as a critiquer at one point, but that didn’t last long. He was so typically OCD and unnecessarily nitpicky, like wanting to be outright told the story opens in 1917 and not understanding a woman using makeup in that era wasn’t an anachronism, particularly not when that character is a regular fashion plate.

    I love wolves, and would really enjoy the wolf preserve if I were ever in that area.

  9. I had to laugh “I’m not sure what he was expecting, or what he thinks I’ve been doing over the last many years if not improving my craft, but yeah” 🙂 Positive feedback is always lovely. I try hard to do the sandwich method- which is positive, constructive, positive. and I um have to work on it because I tend to be super blunt (but…in a well meaning way!). The wolf preserve sounds AMAZING!!!!!!

    and I am apparently horrible at updating my blog and remembering that it was Wednesday. *headdesk*

    • I’m looking forward to your WUW post next week, Rachel. 🙂 And yes, I’m a fan of the “sandwich method” as well. I’m so lucky to have CPs who write stories I truly love, so it’s not hard to come up with lots of positive comments to sprinkle in among more critical suggestions. I wonder if I’m blunt? Have a great week, lady!

  10. Lol- your story is better than all the Nicholas Sparks movies you made him watch over the years!
    I can’t wait to read The Winner’s Crime! I was also super impressed by the first book.

  11. Wow! Better than a Nicholas Sparks movie? That had to make you feel good! 🙂

  12. I saw this Venn Diagram online, in one circle it says “Absolute Narcissism” the other is “Crippling self-doubt” and where it overlaps in the middle it says “art”. That is the constant state we are in as artist and it’s okay to enjoy positive feedback. It keeps our sanity intact.
    Thanks for sharing 😀

    • That’s such a perfect description, Leslie. Though, I think my Venn Diagram is probably a bit lopsided. I tend to experience self-doubt more often than narcissism. Though, narcissism definitely has its place. 😉 Have a great week, lady!

  13. Flushed face and racing heart? High praise, for sure! I’m not all that far into THE WINNER’S CRIME, but I’m already loving it. I just need a really good reading day to devour the thing. That’s so great that your husband was impressed by your story. Yay! If you ever want another beta reader, I happily volunteer. Enjoy your break from writing and have an awesome week! 🙂

    • There are some scenes in THE WINNER’S CRIME that are so full of (sexual) tension and it’s so amazingly well-written. I love when books make me FEEL something. 🙂 And thank you so much for your offer to beta. There’s a very good chance I’ll be taking you up on that. And of course, I’m happy to return the favor anytime, Jaime! You know how intriguing I find your WiP! Have a wonderful week!

  14. I have no doubt your stories are better than Nicolas Sparks. 😉 That said, yay for positive feedback (esp. on Stars!!) and for CPing great MGs!

    The wolf preserve thing is so cool. I love wolves; wrote a research paper about wolf conservation in high school. I think there’s one sort of near here in CA that I just recently found out about. Been loving your Florida adventure pictures! Have you seen wild gators yet?? (I’m kind of super excited to see your DC adventures!)

    • Ha! Thanks for the compliment. I’m pretty sure Nicholas Sparks is my husband’s only experience with fictional romance, so it was a good comparison point for him. We have not seen any wild gators! I know there are some on the panhandle, but maybe not as many as farther south? I think it’d be cool to see one from a safe distance, though. 🙂 Have a fantastic week, Alice!

  15. Yay for constructive criticism!
    When one of my crit partners reads my work now, we have a code. He asks, “Okay is this a ‘Yay, you did! It’s awesome!’ critique or an ‘I’ll give you helpful suggestions with the parts you’re struggling with critique.'”

    And most of the time I pick the first one : )

    • Sometimes it really is nice to hear: “This is fantastic!” My CPs are very good at mingling compliments with critical suggestions, which makes those suggestions so much easier to absorb. 🙂

  16. It’s definitely great to have cheerleaders who do nothing but praise. In fact, I think it’s essential! Hooray for getting a book out to beta readers! I’m sure that feels good. And holy cow, I’m so jealous you got to pet wolves!

    • The wolves were definitely cool! And I am SO relieved to have my manuscript out for feedback. Now, I just need to revise and get it into my agent’s hands. 🙂 Have a great week, Kris!