RSW – Update 10

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself.

SUPER IMPORTANT REMINDER –> The last week of Ready. Set. Write! (8-24 – 8-31) we’ll be holding a fun virtual event called Manuscripts and Manicures. We’ll each be painting our nails in a way that reflects our current WiP, then posting a photo of our manicure creations. So, get inspired, and maybe treat yourself to a new bottle of nail polish! 🙂

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

1.1a.  Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end. –> Success!
1b. Revise The Road So Far. –> Success! 

No progress on my new WiP, but I did incorporate lots of beta notes into The Road So Far. Hoping to finish up with that in the coming week.

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. This week I read books ten and eleven: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica, and Play On my Michelle Smith.

3. Get stronger. –> In progress. I elliptical-ed two times and practiced yoga three times.

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Success! My girlie and I met up with some old friends (a couple of families from the kindergarten class she was in three years ago when we lived in Monterey) at the National Building Museum. They construct a new, limited-time exhibit each summer, and this year’s attraction is The Beach, which is basically a gigantic, white ball pit. It’s really cool!

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. I’m working on #17 as I draft my WiP, and thinking about picking up a 500 piece puzzle to work on with my daughter in these final weeks of summer.

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Finish applying beta notes to The Road So Far, and send the manuscript off to my agent. Read William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Keep up my exercise routine. Buy a puzzle. Shop for school clothes with my girlie.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

My arms go around her and her head finds its place, the spot where my shoulder and neck fuse, and even though we’ve fixed nothing, we fit together like two pieces of wood in a dovetail joint. We’re better like this. Stronger.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Gilmore Girls. I’m watching the series for the first time, and I’ve got very little self-control when it comes to binging episodes. So good!

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

I feel like I’ve used this answer before, but the romance. It’s what keeps me motivated and inspired. ❤

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your update below.

In other news… Big congrats to Crystal Schubert, lucky winner of last week’s Ready. Set. Write! prize package!

This week we’re offering our final giveaway — a writer’s care package assembled by… me!

Giveaway

My package includes: “If You Obey All the Rules You Miss All the Fun” journal, floral mini sticky note pad, lined floral note pad, Jelly Bellies, starry pencil pouch, Honey Pear hand cream, Lavender Lemonade candle, peppermint mints, various washi tapes, Eos Strawberry Sorbet lip balm, writerly quote pencils, Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea, and Twizzlers.

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
To enter, click the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

RSW – Update 9

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself.

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

1.1a.  Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end. –> Success!
1b. Revise The Road So Far. –> Success! (It’s with beta readers now.)

I’d been hoping to add more wordage to my WiP (sitting at just over 30K, but I was super lazy this last week. I read a lot, but the writing just wasn’t coming. Hoping to do better in the coming week!

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. I finished my ninth book, All We Have is Now by one of my favorite YA authors, Lisa Schroeder. Loved this beautiful story about making the most of each day.

3. Get stronger. –> In progress. I cardio-ed twice and practiced yoga three times.

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Success! We headed to an outdoor amphitheater in Bristow, Virginia to see Toby Keith, who puts on such an incredible show. My husband and I saw him play something like ten years ago, and I’d totally forgotten how awesome he is live.

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. I’ve planted my herb garden, I saw (another) country music concert, and I’m working on #17 as I draft my WiP.

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Apply beta notes to The Road So Far. Add some new words (just SOME — anything!) to the WiP I’m drafting. Read Mary Kubica’s Pretty Baby. Exercise. Hit the pool a few times.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

I have to tip my chin to look up at him; he’s blue-eyed and russet-haired, strong-jawed and serious, but with a smattering of freckles that don’t match, like Converse with a tuxedo.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Motivation. Ugh. I’m lacking it.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

That they’re YA. Occasionally well-meaning (non-writer) people try to sell me on drafting their ideas (which is strange, right?) and often, those ideas are for books that would fall into the adult category. Um, nope. I have zero desire to write adult fiction. I love reading it and I have all the respect for those authors who pull it off, but I’m a YA writer through and through.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your update below.

In other news… Big congrats to Tonja Drecker, lucky winner of last week’s Ready. Set. Write! prize package!

This week we’re offering our fourth giveaway — a fantastic writer’s care package assembled by Alison

Alison's RSW Package

Alison’s package includes: a “Be Inspired” journal with inspirational quotes and writing prompts, Jane Austen air freshener, sticky notes and page markers, “I like BIG BOOKS and I cannot lie!” bookmark, spiral index cards, WRITE journal/composition book, Werther’s Originals caramel hard candies, Paddy Wax Ginger Peach soy candle, Trident Island Berry Lime gum, spiral memo pad in a rainbow of colors, Sinful Colors Decadent nail polish, post cards with inspirational quotes, mini Ink Joy pens.

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
To enter, click the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

RSW – Update 8

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself.

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

1a.  Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end. –> Success!
1b. Revise The Road So Far. –> Success! (It’s with beta readers now.)

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. I finished Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not, one of the grittiest, most intense YAs I’ve read. Think Courtney Summers, but with a gay male protagonist, set in the Bronx. Loved it. Eight books down, four to go! (In case you missed it, last week I posted my July Reading Wrap-Up. Find it HERE.) 

3. Get stronger. –> In progress. I hit our elliptical up once and practiced yoga four times.

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Yesterday we visited the American Girl store in celebration of my daughter’s 8th birthday (which is today!). We had lunch and cake, and got our shop on, which was tons of fun.

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. I’m working on #17 as I draft my WiP, and last week we finally got around to planting our herb garden — yay! We have rosemary, parsley, tri-colored sage, two types of oregano, and apple mint. Hopefully I don’t kill it all. 😉

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Go back to my non-contemp WiP (even though I met the RSW goal I set for it, I’m nowhere near done drafting) and add more words — at least 2,o00 this week, to be specific. Read Lisa Schroeder’s All We Have Is Now. Celebrate my daughter’s birthday BiG tImE. 🙂

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

We sat in the sand and she freaking wept, these gasping, body-shuddering sobs that sucked the spirit out of me even as I held her close. After, she apologized, face flushed, eyes red, voice raw, and I had a very clear, very singular thought: I will never be the reason she cries.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Nit-picking The Road So Far. It was “done” days before I sent it to my (amazing) betas, but I couldn’t stop going over it, obsessing about the tiniest things. Finally my (incredibly wise) husband said, “You’re just changing happy to glad. Send the thing off already!” So I did.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

The romance. Always the romance. ❤

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your update below.

In other news… this week we’re offering our third giveaway — a fantastic writer’s care package assembled by Erin

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Erin’s package includes: “Embrace the Journey” journal with cork cover, “Enjoy the Little Things” notepad, Ink Joy mini pens, 2 pack of “Write On!” mini notebooks, Scrabble pencils that say: jot, note, write, create, compose, and inscribe, “Do One Thing Every Day That Makes You Happy” pencil case, 2 packs of paperclips shaped like rabbits and crocodiles, manicure kit, Eos Fresh Flowers hand lotion, Revlon Fashionista nail polish (teal), David’s PomTango tea  (makes 34 oz.), Strawberry Fusion Tic Tacs, Cadbury Jelly Popping Candy chocolate bar, and Trident Very Berry gum.

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
To enter, click the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway!

RSW – Update 6

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself.

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

1.  Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end. –> Success! I’ve reached 30K in my messy, confusing, crazy-making story. And now I’m going to put it aside for further reflection. I need to work some stuff out, and I’m thinking I need distance to do so. But summer’s only half over, you’re probably thinking, and that’s true. Which means it’s time for a new goal…

Revise The Road So Far, the story I drafted during last summer’s RSW. It’s been hanging out in MS purgatory ever since, and it’s in desperate need of attention. Also, it’s my favorite of all the things I’ve ever written, so I’m excited!

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. I’m working my way through my fifth book of the summer, Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything, which is wonderful so far. (I need to pick up my pace to reach this goal!)

3. Get stronger. –> In progress. I ran twice and practiced yoga three times.

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Success! We visited Mount Vernon, George Washington’s beautiful historical estate. The house’s exterior was a mess of scaffolding thanks to a roof replacement project so no pictures, but here’s my girl at one of the farmsteads on the property.

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. My weird0 WiP will fulfill #17 (if I ever finish it!). And I’m planting an herb garden this week — for realz!

* Stretch Goals: Success! I wanted to journal every day last week, and I did. I also wanted to see Taylor Swift, which I did. My girl and I road the train into D.C. to watch her perform. She was predictably amazing, and we had the BEST time!

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Make The Road So Far work. Finish Saint Anything and start A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij. Cardio twice, yoga three times. Continue journaling. Plant an herb garden.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

“She’s after Colby,” Antonia says, tugging on her swimsuit’s straps. “She had breakfast duty with us this morning and you should’ve seen the way she was flirting with him. It was wildly inappropriate, and I was right there. So were two hundred guests, all trying to digest their omelets while watching Gretchen hump my boyfriend’s leg.”

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Figuring out how to turn The Road So Far, which was written as a sequel, into a novel that stands all on its own. Way harder than I anticipated.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

Tricky as it is, it’s been really fun to think about The Road So Far again. I adore its characters, and I think road trips are pretty much the greatest.

In other news…

Big congrats to Liz Parker, lucky winner of last week’s Ready. Set. Write! prize package. More giveaways coming in August… Keep working hard and linking to your RSW posts so you’ll be eligible to win!

Are you participating in RSW?
Don’t forget to link to your update below.

RSW – Update 5

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself.

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

1.  Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end. –> In progress. This week I wrote 5,490 words, putting my WiP at a grand total of 28,962 words.

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. I read Robin Benway’s Emmy & Oliver, and Trish Doller’s The Devil You Know. Highly recommend them both!

 

3. Get stronger. –> In progress. I ran twice and practiced yoga three times.

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Success! We kayaked in the Occoquan River, which was lovely. My husband and daughter also went on a West Virginia camping trip, but I stayed home because camping… ick.

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. I’m working on #17 as I draft my WiP. Also, I think I’m going to plant an herb garden in the next week or two.

* Stretch Goals: Organize our basement and get a library card. –> Success!

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Write at least 2,500 new words. Read Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything. Run twice, and practice yoga three times. Journal every day. GO TOMORROW NIGHT’S TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT!

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

I’m not tired; I’m buzzing. I remember last night, how safe I felt in his arms, how my skin tingled beneath his fingertips, how my heart sought the rhythm of his pulse and matched it beat for beat.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Writing-wise, the last week has been productive. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but I haven’t hit any real snags. Weird.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

I’ve decided to incorporate these little backstory vignettes into my manuscript. They come every few chapters, they’re each only about 300 words, and they’re written in 3rd person, while the rest of the story is written in 1st person. Too soon to say if they’re working, but for now I’m kind of loving them.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your update below.

In other news… Big congrats to Susan Crispell, lucky winner of last week’s Ready. Set. Write! prize package!

This week we’re offering our second giveaway — a fantastic writer’s care package assembled by Elodie

giveaway 2

Elodie’s package includes: a mini “Believe in Yourself” gallery, a to-do note pad, Twizzlers Bites, Ritter Sport Chocolate, a “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” notebook, stars stickers, and nail files.

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
To enter, click the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

RSW – Update 4

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself.

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

1. Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end. –> In progress. I drafted a total of 4,085 words this week. Feels good to be back to writing!

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. I read Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu, which was absolutely fascinating.

3. Get stronger. –> In progress. This week I ran twice (a total of 7 miles — I’m trying to get back into running without destroying my old lady joints) and practiced yoga three times. I’ve been keeping track of my workouts in my planner, which is super motivating.

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Success! We visited D.C. and saw the Lincoln Memorial, The White House, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. So cool. We also visited the Antietam Battlefield in Maryland, an interesting and sobering experience.

 

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. I’m working on #17 as I draft my WiP.

* Stretch Goal: Unpack and organize our home office. –> Success!

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Write at least 2500 words. Read Robin Benway’s Emmy & Oliver. Run at least twice, and practice yoga at least twice.Take my daughter swimming. Get our basement in order. Get a library card.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

I didn’t want to come to Camp DeLuca. It was a pull, a compulsion, an obsession. A constant, dogged whisper: closure. In hindsight, that’s stupid as shit–there’s no easy fix. And now, instead of reclaiming the peace that was wrenched from me thirteen years ago, my life’s complicated to the tenth power. All thanks to the russet-haired girl sitting cross-legged beside me.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

I’ve come to terms with the fact that this first draft of my WiP is an absolute disaster. I’m figuring things out about the characters as I go, which means that sections I wrote earlier are all wrong now, plus I’ve got plot holes the size of the freaking Grand Canyon. Discouraging. *breathes deeply* *chants drafting mantra: revisions are my friend, revisions are my friend*

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

Last week I wrote a Big Reveal scene I’m kind of proud of. And the main characters… I still love the main characters.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your first update below!

And… Remember how, at the beginning of Ready. Set. Write!, we mentioned giveaways? Well… this week we’ve got our first — a gorgeous writer’s care package assembled by Jaime

Writer's Care Package

Here’s what’s included: a coiled journal with Every Summer Has A Story on it, a to-do checklist pad of paper, heart-shaped Post-it notes, Fineline markers (fine tip), a pencil case with flip-flop pattern, mini binder clips in fun colors, two rolls of washi tape, a Revlon sparkly nail file, Haute in the Heat Essie nail polish, EOS sweet mint lip balm, Maynards wine gums, Smarties, and a Cadbury Dairy Milk Cookie Crunch bar.

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
To enter, click the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Currently…

(I plan to do a “Currently” post every other Tuesday, and I think y’all should join me… Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Currently

Loving

Author Natalie’s Whipple’s (wonderfully transparent) When It Feels Like Everyone Is Getting What You Want blog post. Free (quick and intense) workouts on Cassey Ho’s Blogilates YouTube channel (thanks for recommending them, Jennifer!). Writerly/YA-ish podcasts: This Creative Life, First Draft, and The Oral History. This adorable dandelion travel mug (thanks for pointing it out, Jaime!). And old-school notecard plotting:

Reading

Last week I read Erin Bowman’s Forgedwhich was a fantastic conclusion to her Taken trilogy. I love when a series wraps up in a gloriously satisfying way. You can read my thoughts on Forged and all of my April reads HERE. Now, I’m finishing up Emery Lord’s The Start of Me and You, which I’m loving, possibly even more than her debut, Open Road Summer.

  

Watching

I’m nearly done watching the first season of Gilmore Girls, which I adore. Lorelai and Rory have such an interesting relationship, and I’m totally crushing on Luke. I’m still now sure how I didn’t catch this series in the early nineties, but I’m so glad to have found it now.

Listening To

Hozier… Take Me To Church is grossly overplayed on the radio, but I’m loving Like Real People Do and Someone New. Good writing music.

Thinking About

My WiP. I still haven’t started to draft, partly because I’m scared, and partly because I’m not entirely sure if I want one narrator or two, or if I want to use first-person or third-person. I know what my instincts are telling me and I know what is traditionally an easier sell. Unfortunately, this time instincts and marketability aren’t meshing, and I’m so torn! What would you do?

Anticipating

Home! My husband and I have been house-hunting for the last four days and I miss my girlie. Can’t wait to see her! ❤


Us, on one of our many trips to the hotel’s bar. Because finding a nice rental in Virginia is really freaking hard!

Wishing

That you’ll all be able to read my friend Elodie‘s latest manuscript soon. I’m beta reading it now and oh, my gosh… It’s uber creepy, in the best sort of way. She knows how to write a thriller, that’s for sure!

Making Me Happy

The beach. I’m going to miss living on the Gulf Coast — it’s truly beautiful.

What’s currently making YOU happy?

#WriterRecharge Wrap-Up

Writer Recharge FB

It’s February, which means it’s time for Writer Recharge!

Once again hosted by Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij Sara Biren, and myself, Writer Recharge is your chance for a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals for yourself, check in once a week, and connect with other recharging writers. Find all the details HERE.

#WriterRecharge Wrap-Up

  • WRITE/REVISE – By the end of February I want to be done drafting my WiP, Stars Like Dust, and I’d like to have started addressing the revision to-do list I’ve made for it. –> Success! Honestly, I wasn’t sure this was going to happen (and it definitely wouldn’t have without #WriterRecharge), but with the help of sprints with some awesome writer buddies (Jaime, Lola, Alison, Tracey, Sara, Rebekah — THANK YOU!) I managed to type THE END on Wednesday — yay! I’ve already started to attack the revisions I know I need to do, and I’m hoping to have this story off to my CPs in the near future. 

  • READ/REREAD – I’d like to read at least four books in February, at least one non-contemporary, and at least one a non-YA. –> Success! I read I Was Here by Gayle Forman, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson and I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. Find reviews all four novels HERE
  • STRETCH – One of my Thirty Before 35 goals is to write something that’s not contemporary YA, so I hope to start brainstorming what that something might be. I have some vague ideas, but writing anything outside the realm of Real Life is a big stretch for me, which means this project is going to require a lot of musing. –> Success! I have a legit idea and some backstory in mind, and I’ve watched a few documentaries as research. I’m pretty excited, and I’m feeling inspired. I plan to start plotting next month. 
  • SELF – I’d like to pick up yoga again. I’ve been slacking over the last several months, and I hope to practice at least twice a week. –> Success! I practiced yoga at least twice a week (sometimes three or four times a week) all month. Hoping to keep it up into spring.
  • CONNECT – Ooh, this one’s easy! I’m headed to West Virginia for a weekend-long writing retreat. I’ve never done one, and some of my favorite writing friends are coming! –> Success! The writing retreat I went on was amazing, and I cannot wait to do another!
  • FUN – My daughter and I are going to start a quilt this month. Even if we only make it to the store to choose fabrics… it’s happening. –> Success! We’ve picked out fabrics, and we’ll start start cutting and sewing sometime in March. 

Did you participate in Writer Recharge?
If so, thanks so much for joining us!
Don’t forget
 to visit Sara’s blog to link your wrap-up post!

Good news! Sara has put together the most adorable care package (pictured below and including: a cream scarf, a mug, Earl Grey tea, Pink Pineapple nail polish, Beachy nail polish, a 4-pack of Always Anna notebooks, and notecards). Anyone who has participated in #WriterRecharge via Twitter or their blog will be automatically eligible. Winner to be drawn March 6th!

Recharge Prize Pack

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…

What I’m Reading: I finished I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios last week and absolutely loved it. More about why in Friday’s February Reading Wrap-Up post, but for now I’ll just say that it’s totally a Katy Book. Now, I’m reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and I’m digging it. It was a bit of a slow start because it took me awhile to figure out what the hell was going on, but now I’m completely hooked.

   

What I’m Writing: I ~think~ I’m going to finish my first draft of Stars Like Dust (the contemporary YA romance I started for National Novel Writing Month) today. Send some positive writing vibes my way, would you please? More on my writing (plus an excerpt) in Monday’s #WriterRecharge post.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: It’s been awhile since I’ve done a What’s Up Wednesday post, so I’ll backtrack a bit…


My girlie and I had mama/daughter pedicures on Valentine’s Day, courtesy of my incredibly thoughtful husband. He made the appointment in secret, took us out to lunch, then dropped us off at the salon. Best part? He remembered to bring flip-flop so our pretty toes wouldn’t get smudged on the way home. ❤

 
I celebrated my 34th birthday with my husband and my daughter. They got me an antique French blanket chest (above) because I’ve been wanting a new coffee table for ages. I adore it! Speaking of birthdays, I posted a Thirty Before 35 Progress Report last week. One year to accomplish the rest of my goals!


The other night, my daughter played her last basketball game of the season. She knew nothing about the sport when she started back in November, and I’m so proud of the progress she’s made. She’s even starting to throw a few elbows. 😉

What Works For Me: So, I got a new planner. (It’s Erin Condren, and I love it. Thanks for recommending them, Sara and Donna! If you’re interested, check them out HERE!) I’ve been writing everything down in it — chores, to-dos, meal plans, workout goals, errands, water intake — and my OCD absolutely refuses to allow me to skip out on my plans once they’re on paper. Like, yesterday I woke up feeling tired and kind of sick, but I’d already written down that I was going to hit the elliptical, and there was no way I was going to cross that item off without achieving it first. So, I hauled myself out of bed and did the damn elliptical. I’ve also been using my planner to track writing progress. I give myself a literal gold star for every hour of dedicated revising I manage, and every 500 new words I write. I know that sounds kind of juvenile and silly (I thought so too, at first), but seeing my progress has helped so much. Totally recommend this motivational method if you’ve yet to try it.

 

Tell me… What’s up with you today?

Writer Recharge Update Three

Writer Recharge FB

It’s February, which means it’s time for Writer Recharge!

Once again hosted by Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij Sara Biren, and myself, Writer Recharge is your chance for a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals for yourself, check in once a week, and connect with other recharging writers. Find all the details HERE.

#WriterRecharge Update Three

  • WRITE/REVISE – By the end of February I want to be done drafting my WiP, Stars Like Dust, and I’d like to have started addressing the revision to-do list I’ve made for it. –> So. Much. Better! Thank you all for your words of kindness and commiseration and encouragement in last week’s comments — they helped so much! I wrote and/or revised every day last week but one (I took a break on my birthday) and, though progress is slow, I am moving forward. I’m ~almost~ done drafting Stars Like Dust, and I couldn’t be more relieved and more excited. Guys, I love this story. I shared an excerpt last week, so here’s another: Desperate to fix whatever broke him, I coil my arms around his waist, holding him tightly, lashing all our parts together until we’re seamless. Until we’re one. Until we’re us. I’m in tears and then he is too, and we’re such a mess, such a perfectly beautiful mess, I don’t care if time screeches to a halt and we’re frozen in this colorless hallway for eternity. At least I’ll be frozen with him. #WriterRecharge is quickly coming to a close, and I’m hoping to be able to tell you I’ve reached The End in Friday’s wrap-up post. 
  • READ/REREAD – I’d like to read at least four books this month, at least one non-contemporary, and at least one a non-YA. –> I finished The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson — yay! Such a cool book. I also read I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios, which was a heartbreaker, but the amazing kind (also, it was my fourth book for February, so I met this goal!). Now I’m reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I’m not far along yet, but I’m already hooked. 
  • STRETCH – One of my Thirty Before 35 goals is to write something that’s not contemporary YA, so I hope to start brainstorming what that something might be. I have some vague ideas, but writing anything outside the realm of Real Life is a big stretch for me, which means this project is going to require a lot of musing. –> Still brainstorming… Sound familiar? Actually, something real and exciting is taking shape. I plan to start researching and plotting once I finish my draft of Stars Like Dust.
  • SELF – I’d like to pick up yoga again. I’ve been slacking over the last several months, and I hope to practice at least twice a week. –> Success! I practiced yoga four times last week. Hoping to make this a real habit — thanks, #WriterRecharge!
  • CONNECT – Ooh, this one’s easy! I’m headed to West Virginia for a weekend-long writing retreat this Thursday. I’ve never done one, and some of my favorite writing buddies are coming! 
  • FUN – My daughter and I are going to start a quilt this month. Even if we only make it to the store to choose fabrics… it’s happening. –> Success! We picked out fabrics — Hello Kitty was our jumping off point because my girl has decided that this quilt is going to be for our cat. Because Daphne doesn’t have enough places to lounge. 🙂 I can’t wait to start cutting and sewing!
    Participating in Writer Recharge? Don’t forget to head over to Sara’s blog to link your update post!