#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

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!

#WriterRecharge Update Two

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 Two

  • 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. –> Y’all, I suck. I did just about nothing over the last week. Real talk: I’m burnt out — on writing, on revising, on submissions. I’ve taken a step back from Twitter, and I’ve barely been reading. I need, like, a jolt of positivity. Can anyone relate? Anyway, as penance for my bellyaching, here are a few lines I recently rediscovered in my WiP, Stars Like Dust. I hardly remember writing this scene, but I like this bit a lot… His gaze slips to my mouth, again. It lingers. He licks his lower lip, absently I think, but God, I’d trade my Nikon to know what’s going on in his head. Because kiss me, kiss me, kiss me is bouncing around in mine and even though I know he won’t—can’t, damn it—I want him to think about it as compulsively, as fanatically, as I do. He’d be a good kisser, I’m certain. He’s aware and deliberate by nature, but gentle and thoughtful and passionate, too. Plus, his lips… They were designed for making out. He’d be a prodigy—a virtuoso of the kiss. (Obviously they kiss eventually, because this is a Katy Book!)
  • 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’m still working on The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. I’m about 200 pages in and, when I’m motivated enough to sit down and read (see above), I’m loving it. I’ve set a goal to finish it by the end of this week. Next: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. 
  • 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…
  • 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 three times last week. Hoping to do three or four session in the coming week.
  • 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. –> My birthday is this week, and one of our plans for celebrating is to go fabric shopping — my favorite part of quilting. 🙂

Participating in Writer Recharge? 
Head over to Sara’s blog to link your update post. 

#WriterRecharge Update One

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 One

  • 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. –> I spent the week doing a read-thru of what I’ve got so far. And… I wrote new words for Stars Like Dust! It’s been awhile so it was a struggle, but I’m finally starting to reclaim my momentum. Just for fun, I started a short story, too. 
  • 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 read two books last week: Gayle Forman’s I Was Here and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (checking my non-YA goal block). Now I’m reading The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (and crossing off my non-contemporary goal).
  • 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…
  • 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 two times over the last week. Hoping to do three or four session in the coming week.
  • 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! –> Success! We had an amazing weekend. Perfect location, awesome company, inspiring conversation, and lots of productivity. Can’t 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. Baby steps. 🙂 –> We haven’t started yet, but we plan to in the coming weeks.

Participating in Writer Recharge? 
Head over to Sara’s blog to link your update post. 

Writer Recharge

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.

How Writer Recharge Works

  • First week of February: Post your goals for the month on your blog, website, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #WriterRecharge. Link your blog post on Sara’s blog.
  • Every Monday in February: Update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts on our Monday posts.
  • Throughout the month: Use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!
  • Friday, February 27: Post your final update via your blog or twitter.
  • Anyone who uses the hashtag or links their blog posts will be entered to win a fabulous prize package at the end of the month.

This year, we’ve come up with a few categories you might want to consider when making your goals. You can choose a goal (or goals) for one or some or all:

  • WRITE/REVISE – Choose writing goals for the month.
  • READ/REREAD – Read a book that’s been on your TBR forever or reread something that had a great impact on you.
  • STRETCH – Do something outside your comfort zone, from reading a genre you typically avoid to trying a new food or rock climbing when you’re afraid of heights – that kind of thing.
  • SELF – Do something good for your mind or your body.
  • CONNECT – Find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. Make a connection, via social media or in person. Initiate twitter writing parties, have a real-life write-in with writers in your town, or offer to critique or beta read someone’s work.
  • FUN – Make a goal to do something super fun and exciting that you can look forward to.

Writer Recharge sq

My #WriterRecharge Goals

  • WRITE/REVISE – By the end of February, I want to be completely 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 possible project is going to require a lot of musing.
  • 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.
  • 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 before, and some of my favorite writing buddies are coming along, including my Writer Recharge co-host Elodie!
  • 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. Baby steps. 🙂

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s Writer Recharge! 
Head over to Sara’s blog to link your Goals post. 

#WriterRecharge {Final Update!}

Writer Recharge

Writer Recharge is a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! Learn more HERE

Clearly I’m motivated by Internet accountability. If it weren’t for last summer’s Ready. Set. Write!, I never would’ve finished the first draft of my contemporary YA, Good Girls. And if it weren’t for February’s #WriterRecharge, I wouldn’t have finished its first major revision. For me, check-ins are good. Twitter writing parties are good. Like-minded friends with similar goals are good.

Thank you a million times to Sara Biren, who cooked up the idea for #WriterRecharge and was amazing enough to invite me to be a part of its  planning group (including Alison MillerLiz Parker, & Elodie Nowodazkij). And thank you so much to everyone who participated, posted about their progress, and rooted me on when I posted about mine. Seriously. There’s no way I would’ve met my goal without you guys.

And I did meet my goal! I have a reader-ready draft of Good Girls, and I am elated. Also, terrified. Because now it’s time for critique — yikes. Don’t worry though… My CPs are brilliant and thoughtful and wonderful, and mostly I’m just anxiously awaiting their feedback so I can further improve my little story.

Just in case you need proof, that’s me, all excited about finally finishing this beast of a revision. And also working on my tan, because Florida decided to be awesome this weekend.

How did #WriterRecharge shape up for you?
If you’ve been participating, don’t forget to post about your success and share your link at Sara’s blog

#WriterRecharge {Update Three}

Writer Recharge

Writer Recharge is a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! Learn more HERE

First, a confession: If I hadn’t started watching Friday Night Lights a couple of weeks ago, I’d probably be completely done with this draft of my WiP, Good Girls. I’ve spent several nights hanging with the Dillon gang when I should’ve been revising. But, I’ve still made some really awesome progress, and let’s face it: Tim Riggins is an incredibly worthy distraction.

~ AHEM ~

On Friday, I finished my Cut All the Crap revision round, reassessed my To-Do list (two full pages), and then dove right back in. Now, I’m about a 1/3 of the way done fixing the issues I’m aware of and polishing further. Guys, I’m getting excited! This thing is almost ready for readers, and I’m still thinking it’s got great potential. I can’t wait to see what sort of feedback I get from my brilliant CPs, and I can’t wait to apply their expertise to my future drafts.

Until then, I’ll be pushing hard to meet my goal of having a readable draft ready for readers on Friday. *crosses fingers* *guzzles coffee* *buys Jelly Bellies*

How’s #WriterRecharge going for you?
If you’re participating, don’t forget to post about your progress and share your link at Sara’s blog

#WriterRecharge {Update Two}

Writer Recharge

Writer Recharge is a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! Learn more HERE

This last week has been weird. I had a lot of Army Wife Stuff to deal with (lawyerly will-drafting meetings, Family Readiness stuff, etc…) which took up more time than I would have liked. I also ended up revisiting an old story that I may or may not be breathing new life into. All things considered, I still made decent progress with my revision of my WiP, Good Girls, and I’m feeling hopeful about my goal of having a reader-ready draft by the end of February.

I mentioned in last week’s WUW post that I really like my story. I know that seems like a given, but there’ve been a few occasions where I’ve reached this point in the revision game and thought, This story is SO BORING, and threw in the towel. Because if *I* think it’s boring, certainly everyone else will too. So far, I’m not finding Good Girls boring, thank goodness, because I’ve been working on it for nearly a year . It’d suck to give up on it now! 

Lots of #WriterRecharge friends shared excerpts last week and I love that idea, so I’m going to include one today… 

Begrudgingly, Jenna slipped her hand from Tyler’s and shuffled down the row behind Dylan. When their feet hit the stadium steps, Dylan linked their arms and dragged her to the ladies’ room, where she chose the stall adjacent to Jenna’s. 

“Spill it,” she demanded, her voice carrying under the aluminum wall that separated them. 

Jenna would have preferred to pee in peace, but evasiveness would never fly. 

“I’m having fun,” she said. “I like him.”

“No shit. I saw a lot of hushy-hushy conversation on your end—when I wasn’t slapping Brody’s hand away from my thigh, that is. What were you guys talking about?”

“Baseball.” Jenna smoothed her skirt and flushed the toilet with her foot. When the roar of water quieted, she added, “He wants to go out again.”

“I bet he does.” Dylan emerged from her stall and followed Jenna to the sinks. 

“I think he might actually like me. But that’s crazy, right?”

“Yeah. Totally crazy.” In the cloudy bathroom mirror, Jenna saw Dylan give her eyes a cynical roll. Dylan liked to say that every guy who possessed a working pair of balls considered Jenna covetable yet unattainable. The preacher’s virgin daughter, the songbird with enviable talent, the shy girl with the fiery hair… The way Dylan described her made Jenna blush—it was ridiculous to think that boys might desire her. She was mousy and jittery, cast away in her first day of life by the person who was supposed to love her most.

“Come on, Jenny,” Dylan said, flicking water at her. “Why else would he have asked you to come tonight?”

Jenna considered. “Maybe because he’s new to town? Or because he’s nice? Or because he doesn’t know you yet?”

Goal for this week: Wrestle my story’s ending into something awesome. 

Tell me: How’s #WriterRecharge going for you?
If you’re participating, don’t forget to post about your progress and share your link at Sara’s blog

What’s Up Wednesday

0a7bd-buttonlargenoborder

“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…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished Lucy Christopher’s The Killing Woods and found it dark and strange and very compelling. I didn’t love it like I loved her Stolen, but I was certainly entertained. Next, I read Erin Bowman’s Stolen: A Taken Novella, which I adored. It focuses on Bree, my favorite character from Erin’s dystopian debut Taken, and gives all sorts of awesome insight into her history. Her backstory totally broke my heart and made me love her even more. I also read Elizabeth Scott’s Heartbeat, a lovely, romantic contemporary. I’ll talk about it in more detail in tomorrow’s Bookanista post. Now, I’m reading Veronica Rossi’s Into the Still Blue, the final book in her Under the Never Sky series. *sniffle* I’m so bummed that this trilogy is coming to an end!

  

What I’m Writing: I’m still plugging away at my first revision pass. I’m nearly done, only a few scenes to go, but they’re the scenes that need the most work. Back in October I rushed the ending just to get there and I’m pretty sure I’ll be paying for my hastiness over the next few days while I try to make sense of it all. In brighter news… I kind of love my story. It still needs work and I know my CPs will tear it apart in the most loving of ways, but the bones of it — the characters and the romance and the tragedy of it all — I think it’s working.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Congratulating my husband, who has managed to become published before me. I’m much more proud than bitter. Promise. 😉 If you’re interested in how HBO’s “The Wire” can be applied to the special operations and intelligence communities, or any organization that’s involved in irregular warfare or unconventional warfare, you can can read his article HERE.


I made Danish Puff! This is another of my favorite treats. It’s great for brunch: almond-y and not too sweet, simple, and very pretty. My little family and I devoured these in a day. (Also, thanks to Juliana for calling me out on my failure to include a treat in last week’s WUW. I’m back up to speed today!)


Over the last few days, I’ve watched almost all of first season of Friday Night Lights. I have no idea how I’ve neglected this show for so long, especially considering my fondness for teen dramas (Dawson’s Creek, Beverly Hills, 90210, The Vampire Diaries, etc), but FNL is SO GOOD. Tim Riggins… Swoon.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: See above. The romance and angst and perfectly imperfect characters of Friday Night Lights have me all kinds of inspired. I can’t wait to watch more! In other (amazing!) news, my friend Elodie has taken control of her magic and decided to self-publish her contemporary YA novel ONE TWO THREE (you can mark it To-Read on Goodreads HERE). Congrats, Elodie! I’m so excited for you! As far as writing inspiration, there’s this article from Writers Helping Writers about Writing Extreme Emotion Without Melodrama. There’s such a fine line between the two, and this post has some awesome tips. Definitely check it out. And, finally my girlie, who drew Daphne in our driveway the other day. She’s so artistic and sweet. She inspires me every day. 

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

#WriterRecharge {Update One}

Writer Recharge

Writer Recharge is a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! Learn more HERE

#WriterRecharge has whipped me into shape!

I’ve gotten tons of revising done this week, about eight scenes worth, so I’m pleased. I’ve done some brainstorming with Alison, one of my CPs, and made some sense of a few muddled aspects of the story. I’ve also trimmed A LOT of cheesiness — yay! My objective for the next week is to cut everything that isn’t moving the story along. I’m making great progress with that already — my draft started at 87K and is now down to about 77K. Then I’ll need to go back and patch up several holes that need attention. The end of my manuscript definitely needs some major work, and I’m looking forward to tackling it.

Goal for the coming week: Finish this read-through and cut everything that needs to be cut (as of now). Eliminate cheesiness. Improve flow. Nail down main characters’ backstory and motivations.

Totally doable. 🙂

How was your first week of #WriterRecharge?
If you’re participating, don’t forget to post about your progress and share your link at Sara’s blog