RSW – Update 8

RSW9

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

RSW2

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

RSW9

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

RSW7

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

This (incredibly easy) Chocolate Cake recipe. My favorite (free!) yoga videos: Yoga With Adriene. Washi tape — I am officially obsessed. Pura Vida bracelets. This fantastic “beYOUtiful raglan t-shirt,” of which 1/4 of the price is donated to First Descents, providing free adventure experiences for cancer fighters and survivors. And a recent Pub(lishing) Crawl post by Erin Bowman, all about how to support authors before, during, and after release day.

Reading

Jessica Park’s Flat-Out Love (NA at its most adorable), and Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap (one of the weirdest, most beautifully written books I’ve read in a long time). These two stories couldn’t be more different, but I loved them both, particularly Bone Gap — pure magic. Now, I’ve started All the Rage by one of my favorite authors, Courtney Summers. More about this recent release soon!

   

Watching

Guys, I finished Gossip Girl! I thought the series finale was quite satisfying — though I wanted more Chuck and Blair (always). I’ve just finished watching the first season of The CW’s The 100 which, as promised by many, has drastically improved since its fist few episodes. It definitely has its cheese-tastic moments, but it also has enough twists and romance to hold my attention. So far, so good. Hurry up and make season 2 available, Netflix!

Listening To

Echosmith‘s Bright, which is so damn cute. It’s the perfect theme song for my WiP, Stars Like Dust, too.

Thinking About

My Shiny New Idea! It’s in its very earliest brainstorming stages, but I’m *really* excited about it. I was at the dentist a few weeks ago and during my cleaning, two songs from the same movie soundtrack played — one of my favorite movies. I was suddenly super inspired, and I’ve been stewing over plot-ish things ever since. I’ve named my main characters, and I’ve made a mood board that’s now my computer’s desktop –> progress!

Anticipating

I can’t wait to randomly select the winner of my 5 Year Blog-iversary Giveaway! I’ve got YA books, notecards, a travel mug and Jelly Bellies up for grabs. If you haven’t already, enter HERE. The giveaway closes this Thursday, April 23rd at midnight, and is open internationally. Good luck!

Wishing

That the people who picked up the novels my daughter and I left around our community during last week’s Rock the Drop will love the stories they scored!

Making Me Happy

My family, always. ❤

What’s currently making YOU happy?

5 Years & Counting

{BLOG-IVERSARY GIVEAWAY!}

Today, my little blog turns five. When I started blogging, I’d just finished drafting my first manuscript (it was awful), and my daughter was still napping twice a day (giving me plenty of time to figure out how Wordpress works). Over the years, I’ve posted about writing and books and life, and I’ve met dozens of wonderful people who’ve showered me with support and friendship.

I appreciate you all so much, and to demonstrate my gratitude, I’ve assembled a prize package to send to one lucky reader!

This giveaway is open internationally, and will close on Thursday, April 23rd, at midnight EST. The winner will be selected randomly. He or she will be notified Friday, April 24th.

Here’s what’s up for grabs…

Giveaway

Novels by a few of my favorite authors (Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone), plus a Tervis travel mug, a bookmark and book-ish pin, a poppy notepad and package of thank-you cards, and Jelly Bellies — yum!

How To Gain Giveaway Entries

1. One easy automatic entry for all who comment on this post.

2. Follow me on Twitter for an additional entry. (Please note that you’ve followed or are already following in your comment.)

3. Tweet about the giveaway for an additional entry. (Please include a link back to this post and mention of me [@katyupperman] in your tweet. Don’t forget to note that you’ve done so in your comment on this post!)

4. Share about this giveaway via any other form of social media — Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, or your personal blog. (Please mention where you’ve shared in your comment, including appropriate links. Earn one additional entry for each and every share.)

There you have it!
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for commenting.
Thank you for being generally awesome.
And good luck!