(I plan to do a “Currently…” post every other Tuesday. You should join me! Find the origins of the idea HERE.)



There’s a lot about living in Northern Virginia that bugs me — the crowds, the terrible drivers, and the allergens, for starters — but one thing I’ll never complain about is the abundance of restaurant options. Coming from a small Florida town where the dining-out choices were Panera Bread, Firehouse Subs, and a mediocre sports bar, the possibilities in D.C. are mind-boggling. We’ve had amazing Latin American, Lebanese, Thai, and Iranian food, and most recently, we had “fast” food from Burger Tap & Shake, which was incredible. I had a falafel sandwich, sweet potato fries, and a cookies-n-cream shake — yum! If you’re ever in Foggy Bottom or Tenleytown, grab yourself some lunch.


I recently finished Katie Van Ark’s The Boy Next Door, a YA romance set in the world of competitive pairs figure skating. It’s utterly unputdownable, and the character arcs are steep, which I loved. I also read Shannon Parker’s The Girl Who Fell, a contemporary YA about a girl who gets wrapped up in a manipulative, eventually abusive relationship. It’s really well done, and really frightening. Up next? Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Kiss, which is out TODAY and is hands down my most anticipated read of the year. Excuse me while I disappear with my new book!


Twinsters, which is the most heart-warming documentary I’ve ever seen. It’s the story of Korean twin girls who were split up as infants and adopted by two different families. They grew up on different continents, not knowing about each other until they serendipitously connect via YouTube. So good! Also, I saw Zootopia with my husband and daughter, and we all rate it 5 stars. It’s clever and deep and timely and funny. And, finally, the other night my husband and I watched As Above, So Below, a freaking scary movie set in the Catacombs of Paris. I’m kind of over the “found footage” thing, but I’m willing to forgive it in this case because the story was creative and wildly intense, and the atmosphere was dark and exceptionally terrifying.

Listening To

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier — for some reason, I’d pegged this YA a super serious fantasy, but it’s actually a humorous and entertaining time travel novel full of voice and adventure. To me, it reads on the younger side of YA, but it’s fast-paced and all kinds of fun. The audiobook narrator is excellent, too.

Thinking About

Plotting. Why is it so hard?! I’m in the process of drafting my sixth(-ish) manuscript, and I’m no better at planning a book than I was way back when I wrote that first (awful) story. And so, I’m reading Libbie Hawker’s Take Off Your Pants, a clear and concise book about plotting with the goal of increasing drafting speed and commercial appeal. I’m learning a lot, and having a lot of duh moments. Highly recommend reading it if you’re someone who’s struggling to become a more successful plotter, like me.


Camp NaNoWriMo! I’ve got a 20K word goal for April, and I’m part of an excellent cabin of writers. I’m such a bad drafter, guys, and I love the idea of community when it comes to slogging through the muddled middle of a new manuscript, which is exactly what I’m in the midst of doing. Can’t wait to get busy in the new month!


That you’ll check out the following Goodreads lists: YA Novels of 2017YA Debuts 20172017 Debut YA/MG Novels, and Books Published by Swoon Reads. Kissing Max Holden has found its way onto all of them, which is so exciting! Maybe you’d like to vote for my debut, or add it as “To Read”. 😘

Making Me Happy

Springtime in Virginia. We’ve been having such beautiful weather.

Did you post a “Currently…” this week?
Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to visit! 


39 thoughts on “Currently…

  1. Elodie says:

    Ahhhh plotting…I saw that book on Instagram when you posted the pic the other day and I got it. I need all the help I can get with plotting…Might check out April bootcamp. Oh and those movies sound pretty awesome! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I think you’ll really like TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS, Elodie! (That title… 😳) Hope you find it helpful. Let’s get together soon so we can write/chat/eat — we need to catch up. Hope all’s well!

  2. Alexa says:

    I love your new banner Katy, very pretty. The photos of Spring are beautiful, we still have snow here but it is finally melting!
    The Boy Next Door sounds great, I love anything about figure skating. I’m also looking forward to reading the plotting book. It takes me at least two drafts to figure out my plot, which is a bit of a time waster!
    We loved Zootopia too, my son keeps speaking like a sloth 🙂
    I wonder if there is still time to join Camp NaNoWriMo, I saw it a while ago and forgot about it.
    I did a Currently this week
    Have a great week Katy! Enjoy Spring 🙂

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Thank you! I wanted to lighten my banner up for spring/summer. 🙂 I’m so bad at plot, too, but TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS makes so much sense and really simplifies outlining while still letting your imagination run wild. I really enjoyed it! Can’t wait to check out your Currently post. Have a wonderful week!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Yes! I’m so excited about Camp NaNo. I need the motivation and camaraderie bad. As I mentioned to Alexa, TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS is cool because it makes outlining seem so simple, while still letting your imagination go wild. Let me know what you think if you check it out. Can’t wait to read your post, lady!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I have a lot of thoughts on THE GIRL WHO FELL, too, Rachel, some of which I’ll chat about in my upcoming March Book Wrap-Up. I really enjoyed Shannon’s style, above all. Looking forward to checking out your review. Have a great week! ❤

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I’m kind of obsessed with falafel, Rebekah. If there’s a falafel salad/sandwich on a menu, I’m ordering it. 🙂 Also, I’m literally sitting by the front window waiting for my mailman to bring THE WINNER’S KISS. All the swoon! Can’t wait to check out your post!

  3. kaitlinbartlett says:

    I struggle so much with plotting, too. It’s taken me a long time to realize that just following characters around while they go through their day doesn’t always make for exciting reading! I’m adding TOYP to my list!

    Can’t wait to read and chat about THE WINNER’S KISS! I brought Book 2 on the elliptical at the gym so I can catch up on my reread. I’m enjoying it even more this time around. The first time I kept wanting to smush Kestrel and Arin’s faces together like Barbie dolls, all “kisskisskissnowplease!” This time I appreciate the writing and politics and strategy even more than before.

    Happy reading and writing, Katy! Here’s what I’ve been up to:

    • Katy Upperman says:

      TOYP addresses your plotting problem (and mine!) exactly, Kaitlin, by giving characters overall and chapter-by-chapter goals based on their flaws. It’s really smart, and it’s got my head spinning with ideas and fixes for current MSs. And I totally agree about THE WINNER’S CRIME on second read. I’m always all about the romance, but knowing what was coming and when allowed me to appreciate the story’s many other strengths. Can’t wait for KISS to show up at my house today! Have a great week!

  4. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    “set in the world of competitive pairs figure skating.” That sounds awesome, not sure I’ve read any YA books with pairs skating.

    Plotting…eh. Even thinking about plotting makes me antsy.

    And agreed – the weather has been amazing lately!

  5. literallyalice says:

    I definitely need to pick up Take Off Your Pants then because me and plotting are like oil and water!

    I’ve heard about Twinsters (good things), so your thoughts on it make me want to see it more. Glad you liked Zootopia; it was handled so well. I also agree with you about As Above, So Below. I’m not big on scary movies, though I do always want to know what happens, so my sister sometimes wrangles me into renting some with her, lol. I’m also NOT a fan of found footage (it makes me sick), but I wanted to see this one partly because we had visited the Paris catacombs not long before the movie came out. AND! My sister actually won a trip to Paris (and another visit to the catacombs) in an Instagram promotional contest thing for the movie! (So she felt like she *had* to see the movie.)

    Enjoy The Winner’s Kiss, Katy!! (I need to read book 2 first but am so curious how the series ends.)

    • Katy Upperman says:

      That’s amazing that your sister won that trip! How’d she like the movie? And yes! You must catch up on the WINNER’S books. I know you read lots of fantasy, and I’m curious to know your thoughts. I read the 3rd book in less than 24 hours and… it did not disappoint. 🙂 Have a great week, Alice!

      • literallyalice says:

        It was surreal, and she liked the movie. Same reason that you said. The plot was actually interesting / there were interesting ideas. Yeah, I held off on reading Winner’s 2 because I heard it ended kind of on a bad cliffhanger. But now I can binge-read it all! Will definitely let you know how I feel about it. 😀

  6. mandiebaxter says:

    This small town Florida girl is jealous of your restaurant choices. And also misses panera with you. Good luck on camp nano!! I got the plotting book after seeing your IG post. Going to read and hope to plot soon.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I miss our Panera lunches too! I actually went to Panera with another writing friend the other day and while we totally had fun, I kind of felt like I was cheating on you. 😉 Let me know what you think of TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS!

  7. leandrajwallace says:

    I love sweet potato fries! Burger King had them a few summers ago, and I was so sad when they didn’t bring them back this last summer. =/ And spring is the best for the flowering trees. Where I work, the entire street is lined w/them on both sides, so it’s kind of magical right now. =)

    • Katy Upperman says:

      The flowering trees feel magical to me, too! They look so pretty, but then I spend weeks sneezing and sniffling. Worth it, though. 🙂 Have a wonderful week, Leandra!

  8. Tracey Neithercott (@T_Neithercott) says:

    RUBY RED!!! I love that series so much. I’m so excited for you to read it!

    A couple weeks ago I bought TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS for the same reasons as you. Why don’t things get easier with every book? That should be a thing, right?

    I’m excited for Camp NaNo, though I’m pretty sure I’m going to come in last (is there a competition element?) because I’m such a slow drafter. But I need the accountability big time.

    Hooray for MAX HOLDEN on Goodreads lists! So exciting!! 🙂

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Writing should obviously be easier with every book. What other job is there where there’s, like, no learning curve? At least for me, there doesn’t seem to be. And you probably won’t be the slowest drafter in our cabin because I’m dragging my feet big time — the whole reason I signed up! Have a great week, Trace!

  9. Corinne Cunningham says:

    Playing along for the first time 🙂 I adore reading your posts, and they inspire me to get back into the blogging habit, so thank you! Also? Adding Take Off Your Pants to my to be read pile… I’ve read Outlining Your Novel by K.M.Weiland, but would love to read something else on the process.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I’m so glad you joined us, Corinne! I can’t wait to check out your post, and I’m so happy you’re getting back into the blogging habit. I refuse to let blogging die. 🙂 Hope you find TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS helpful!

  10. april says:

    Playing along! Gets me out of my typing and not publishing rut. I just put the whole Winner’s trilogy on request at my library. Sounds right up my alley – I did adore Ruby Red but I haven’t read it in forever. Might have to pick it up again.

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