What’s Up, Wednesday? //5\\

Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY, which is hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. To learn more about it, you should really visit their respective pages. I use it to keep me writing, to make myself think about writing, and to force myself to think positive and find things to look forward to.

What I’m Reading

This weekend I resisted the urge to read fanfiction and knocked out the first 500 pages of Goblet of Fire and started my re-read of Unspoken in preparation for Unmade. This weekend I will be re-reading Raven Boys & Dream Thieves so I can finally sink my teeth into Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

SPEAKING OF, I saw BLLB at an indie in Louisville on Saturday and panicked. So hard. Like, waves of anxiety crashed down upon my mortal frame, and I was a’feared that I would drown. It wasn’t to be released for 3 days. (Happy Book Birthday, BLLB!) I already had an autographed, doodled-in copy on pre-order. Whatever was I to do? One friend suggested buying it and auctioning it, but I decided that was immoral. So instead – maybe proving once and for all that I am not a Gryffindor because I cannot talk to people about how they accidentally put a book on a shelf that shouldn’t have been shelved yet – I chose to simply be happy for whomever is lucky enough to stumble across it.

What I’m Writing

I have now worked on That Golf Story in 4 states, The District, and somewhere in the sky, possibly over Pennsylvania. I have successfully waved goodbye to the 1/3rd mark on this draft!

Even though I’ve been teasing Kate with it for weeks now, I have yet to make the protagonists make out. I have been diligently working towards setting that up, raising the general sexual tension, and introducing conflicts, so there’s that. The prospect of writing such a fun scene is really keeping me motivated, so there’s that.

What Works for Me

I’m constantly trying to find good sources of motivation. Sometimes that’s to stop writing right before a really fun scene so I have something to entice me to sit down and write again soon. Sometimes it’s making a tumblr and fan-casting my characters. At the moment, it is the prospect of Publication Tattoos.

Back in (oh god) December of 2012, I promised myself that if I got my WIP-at-the-time published, I would get a tattoo commemorating it. I didn’t finish the draft until July of this year, but I have a sketch of the tattoo both floating around my head and on a scrap of paper in my apartment. Of all the tattoos I want, it’s the most thought-out. I know what it will be, and where it will be, and I am so, so excited for it. But I won’t get it until that story is published.

So now I’m working on a different WIP, and I’m dreaming up a new tattoo idea. I’m tempting myself. One day this book will be born and it will exist, not just in my mind, but in the world and on my skin. That’s pretty motivational.

Now I just have to think of a good way to make a golf story into a tattoo.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Oh my goodness, I’m surprised I wrote at all last weekend because I was too busy having the perfect day. My friend/roommate Amanda and I went to visit our friend/old roommate Anne who now lives in Louisville. From my inaugural trip to Waffle House, to seeing Blue Lily, Lily Blue in the wild, to knowing that Alabama shut-out Texas A&M to eating Blue Bell with my friends, to having the most amazing coffee ever, and seeing the Avett Brothers live, nothing could compare to being reunited with Anne.

I honestly can’t remember having a better weekend or being happier than the 60 hours I spent in Louisville, and I’m so, so glad I made that trip (and Anne) a priority.

Thoughts I Had While Shoe Shopping

  1. Okay, I came for rainboots.
  2. No, I don’t need a purse. Well, I do, but I’ve looked at all of these before and I never buy one. Keep moving.
  3. I should check the clearance section. You never know.
  4. Flats! I need new flats for work.
  5. All of these flats are ugly. Or have no arch support. I need arch support.
  6. Oh! These boots are cute. But a little tight in the toes, right? Maybe they’ll have them in a bigger size. Probably not with my luck.
  7. Is the arch support really supposed to be that far up in Sperry’s? God, my arches are high.
  8. Oh they do have those boots in a larger size! These fit better, I think. The toes aren’t loose, but I can try that hair-dryer trick.
  9. Is this real leather? I think this might actually be real leather.
  10. Real leather for only $100! Marked down another 30%?! Oh, $70 for leather boots, I think I need these.
  11. Wait, I need validation. I should send a picture to Mom. I should probably call her, too.
  12. Mothers shouldn’t be allowed to work while I’m seeking shoe advice!
  13. How do I feel about these wide leg-openings? I don’t hate them?
  14. I should ask twitter for help, but the internet is slow here.
  15. I need validation.
  16. What would Twitter think about the wide calf on these boots? I think it’d be okay, because then my jeans won’t get twisted or bunch up if they have wide calf openings.
  17. I think I really like these. The heels are actually comfortable.
  18. I’ll just carry these around while I look at rainboots.
  19. Oh, they moved the rain boots. And they still don’t have black. But they added purple.
  20. Teal or purple, purple or teal?
  21. Twitter had decided on teal. But that’s when it was in competition with black.
  22. Oh. They don’t have the teal in my size. I’ve always wanted purple rain boots.
  23. Are rain boots supposed to be loose or tight? Loose, right? For chunky socks?
  24. The 8s are weirdly tight in the middle of my feet. Probably because my arches are so high. And the 9s are kind of loose. But they won’t fall off my feet when I’m walking, so that’s all that matters.
  25. 8s or 9s? 8s or 9s?
  26. 9s? 9s.
  27. Okay. Boots. I’m getting both pairs. So many boots.
  28. Oh yeah, those were on clearance AND I’ve got a $10 off coupon.
  29. Everything’s coming up Molly.

 

What’s Up, Wednesday? //4\\

Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY, which is hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. To learn more about it, you should really visit their respective pages. I use it to keep me writing, to make myself think about writing, and to force myself to think positive and find things to look forward to.

What I’m Reading

More of the same. The last week has been so busy that I haven’t had the chance to read much at all. But I am looking forward to Making Headlines* by my good friend Erin Brown. It’s going to have scandals and sleuthing and tons of chemistry, I’m sure. I absolutely adored Erin’s first book (which exists in the same universe), so I’m really looking forward to Making Headlines. The characters Erin writes are always such a delight to read, I’m sure I’ll devour this book in no time.

*Making Headlines is a companion to Erin’s first book, Taking Flight, but don’t let that stop you from picking it up! You needn’t have read Taking Flight for Making Headlines to make sense, but you should absolutely read that as well.

What I’m Writing

I’ve promised to send Kate (see What Works for Me) more pages of That Golf Story soon. I’ve been pretty busy the last week, so new new words yet. But I’m pretty excited for what’s about to come: 

 @MollytheGhost Fine, instead of writing you an outtake I will sprint towards a scene fraught with sexual tension between Carter & Butt Boy.

@MollytheGhost They might make out soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What Works for Me

For the first time ever I’ve shown someone the first draft of what I’ve written. I’ve been sending my friend Kate chapters of That Golf Story as I complete them and it’s actually been really great for me. So far, at least. Because I’m sending her chapters as I finish them, I tend to be writing at a faster clip than usual. Though most of that might come down to the fact that I’m not trying to edit as I go instead of put down new words.

I think one of the main things this has been working for me is because she hasn’t been giving me critique. Which is probably a good thing because if she had been I don’t know if I’d ever write again. She’s an indomitable editrix and she kind of scares me. She keeps promising to cut my drafts to ribbons with a machete and make the pages run red with her pen, so I’m wary. But it’s so nice to just hear positive reinforcement, like, “The description of them [redacted] was beautiful. Tomfoolery + amazing imagery. My favorite.” Or when she’s just the most encouraging about me putting new words down because I want her to get to read them. Having someone outside of my head be excited for my characters is a novel experience. It’s nice because, for once, when I talk to her about my characters, she finally has context to understand my frustrations/exaltation.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Last weekend was Memphis weekend! I ate so much food every step of the journey and I have absolutely no regrets! Memphis was so small of a city I almost want to call it quaint. Pretty much everywhere we wanted to go we could walk to from our hotel. We saw the famous Parade of Ducks at the Peabody, walked along the Mississippi River, drank on Beale Street, and ate more barbecue than you can imagine. I even let Mom guilt me into going to Graceland, because giving her the vicarious trip was the least I could do. I found Graceland impossibly underwhelming and the best part of Graceland was the Blue Bell ice cream I ate while I was there. But I did it for my mom, and I’ll have tales to tell her and pictures to show her and gifts to give her, so whatever.

This weekend my Dad is coming to the area for a Civil War photography seminar that he’s been looking forward to since the location was announced last year. So I probably won’t see much of him, but I’ve convinced him to bring my golf clubs down and, weather permitting, we’ll play a round. I’ve also convinced him to go to trivia with me on Sunday, so maybe my team will finally have a chance at winning.

I still haven’t started grad school applications and that’s a thing I should really do this weekend, huh? When investigating last week I discovered that one of the schools I was planning to apply to won’t work out because it requires a portfolio and hahaha I don’t have one of those, so. Hmph. Now I’m left to decide whether I want to apply to the same school for a different program or look elsewhere.

What’s Up, Wednesday? // 3 \\

Well, hello! And let me just say Happy October! That seems to be a thing people are excited about.

Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY, which is hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. To learn more about it, you should really visit their respective pages. I use it to keep me writing, to make myself think about writing, and to force myself to think positive and find things to look forward to.

What I’m Reading

Oh, boy. I’m in the middle of my Harry Potter re-read that I started at the beginning of the Hogwarts term. (For those Muggles out there – September 1st.) I’m currently in the middle of Prisoner of Azkaban which used to be my favorite of the series. I’m looking forward to finding out whether or not that’s still the case.

On my slate are a few big re-reads of the first two books in quite a few series:

  • The Untold trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan;
  • The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin; and
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

in preparation for the third books in each of those series being released. (Yes, I know that Unmade was released in September, but I haven’t had time yet. There’s no time!)

What I’m Writing

I am still steadily plugging along in That Golf Story. I’d say, as of now, I’m about 1/3 of the way in? Maybe? Hopefully. At this rate it will be the shortest ms I’ve ever put together. Which is not a bad thing. So I’ve got about 20k words down. As far as 60k in 60 Days goes, I’m on track. I’m so glad I didn’t pressure myself to do the 60 days consecutively. I’d say I’ve written about 17 days between August 8 – now. My goal is to be done with this draft by Christmas. As the story takes place during the high school golf season, I’ve just (literally just) decided to split the story into three manageable sections – August, September, October – which should help with pacing.

Anyway, I reblogged this excellent Buffy the Vampire Slayer quote the other day and it’s been rattling around my head ever since. God, I love Spike. I love Spike the way that I love Jess Mariano, and Logan Echolls, and Damon Salvatore and all of those other bad boys you want to make out with [the heroine] even though he probably wouldn’t make a very good boyfriend IRL. But this quote, this is exactly what I want to evoke between my main character and her arch-nemesis-cum-love interest. It’s just a matter of making the words on the page reflect that feeling.

What Works for Me

Location, Location, Location

I’ve found that I’m at my least productive when I’m trying to write in my apartment. If I’m on the couch, I’ll be too tempted to turn the television on, and my desk chair is too uncomfortable to entice me to work in my room. If I work at the dining room table, I can be convinced to work, but the table’s rarely clean and we don’t have dining chairs, so it’s a whole production.

On the whole, I’m at my most productive when I can get away a little bit. So I pack up my laptop and go to the lobby of my apartment building, or the roof, depending on the weather. The internet is spotty enough that I’m not even tempted to try and connect and when I am there are enough other people milling about that I won’t pull up tumblr for fear of NSFW things on my dash. So I can unplug and write for a few hours before returning to my apartment for nightly TV.

Writing Music

I still (still!) haven’t put together a writing playlist for That Golf Story, but I have a few Songza stations that I listen to – In an LES Dive Bar, Guitars & PBRs, Art School All-Nighter, the Re-Birth of Alt Pop – that feature drums and rock and the kind of music my MC would play when she’s off the course and behind her drum set. Songs that I can zone out to, and nod my head to, and are perfect for me to get some work done.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Quite a few of my friends have celebrated birthdays recently, so I’ve been going out for drinks and generally helping to celebrate another year of them. I’ve been finalizing my grad school list and plotting to tackle the actual applications without actually doing so.

I’ve also been taking part in my new favorite hobby: shopping for British real estate. I know I can’t actually buy any of those places, but oh boy would it be neat to live in a castle in Scotland or a cozy flat in Brighton, or a renovated church in Sussex.

October is also full of trips and visits with friends and family and I’m so very excited about all of it. Friday morning will see me flying out to Memphis with a few friends, just because! I have no concrete plans while we’re there other than to eat my weight in barbecue and drown myself in booze. I have high hopes that the trip will feel rejuvenating because I really need to get out of town and away from work for a few days.

High-Five Romance

Credit for the original gifs (which I made into one giant gif) goes to tinamy.co.vu

Credit for the original gifs (which I made into one giant gif) goes to tinamy.co.vu

Almost a year ago, on a rare trip home to visit my parents, Dad and I painted a familiar picture: sharing the living room as one of us clicked around on our laptop while the other vaunted control of the TV. Aside from golfing and visiting the West Side Market, watching TV together is our greatest bonding experience. Maybe one day I’ll enumerate all of the weird and wonderful moments that have come from that.

But not right now. Right now I want to focus on this one particular moment, where Dad and I were reunited in our natural habitat. For the life of me I can’t remember what we were watching, but whatever it was gave my dad pause. He looked over the screen of his laptop at me and said that it was beginning to dawn on him that he and my mom didn’t necessarily do a great job of being affectionate around each other when I was growing up. He wondered if they set a good example of showing me a relationship to aspire to when I was younger.

I had to think about that, because I have never doubted that my parents love each other. They’re still together after 31 years of marriage, they must love each other. But at the same time, I have the kid-goggles of thinking of them as my parents – a unit, but not necessarily a couple. My parents are loving and affectionate, but not in the way that I ever had to worry about walking in on them making out in the kitchen. My parents are not prone to PDA, a fact for which I am eternally grateful.

So after agreeing with him that they aren’t the most romantic of couples, Dad asked what I found to be my ideal standard for judging a good relationship. It wasn’t something I’d given a lot of serious consideration before, despite being surrounded by couples in every day life and pretty much every bit of media that I consume. In the end, it wasn’t difficult to pick one  factor above all others: high fives.

High-Fives are great couple behavior. When I think of the couples on television that I grew up watching, shipping, and envying, they are, overwhelmingly, the ones that would high five. (Or seemed like they would high-five off screen.) There’s a reason that my tag on tumblr for Chandler and Monica is “OTP: high fives”.

The innate knowledge of when is acceptable to high-five is half the challenge. They can be celebratory, like if your team is better at Celebrity, or your fantasy football team won, or something truly excellent happened at work.

In sharing a high-five, you’re acknowledging your SO’s partnership, you’re congratulating them, you’re rewarding them. You’re sharing something. It seems kind of cool. (But also know when you should keep your hand to yourself, because few things are worse than the disappointed little shake of the head you get when it’s “not the time”.)

Unlike it’s cousin Relationship Theory, the High Five Romance is a real-world desirable relationship standard. And that’s kind of the point; whereas the relationship theory demands a passionate, roller-coaster of emotions, the high-five romance is calmer. Yet it still manages to be a thing of passion – I’m not looking to high-five someone over something I’m ambivalent about, rather something I find so exciting and exhilarating that I need an outlet outside of my body. I’m looking to high-five when I have so much joy and such a sense of accomplishment that I literally need to share it with someone else. A high-five can be comforting, but still fun. It’s lighthearted but has significance. And I like that.

High-fives can be flirtatious and/or the product of inside jokes you think are a-mah-zing, but make your friends want to vomit:

Displaying IMG_2126.GIF

Or be a celebration in-and-of themselves AS WELL AS your amazing shared pop culture knowledge:

Or maybe it’s “an expression of elation and teamwork” (shut up, fist-bumps totally fall into the same family as high-fives, especially if they’re done with that beatific expression of joy):

Relationship Theory mainly portends to fictional couples and our desire to live vicariously through them. High-five romance, however, is about how I’d like to apply some of the rules of fictional relationships to real life. Obviously high-fives accompany other relationship habits, but they’re a very good stop on the affection spectrum, and they deserve some recognition.

tl;dr High fives are great and I hope they play a significant role in my next relationship.

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#AmReading

RavenBoystweet

I love reading the Raven Cycle books because the writing is so good that I ache.

That was true when I read the first book almost a year ago today, it’s true now, and judging from the excerpt of the next book, it will remain true.

The third book in the series, Blue Lily, Lily Blue comes out in 6 weeks. You can pre-order it here (among other places) and it will come all autographed and pretty. I can’t recommend this series highly enough.

What’s up, Wednesday? // 2 \\

I’ve been working on a really fun follow-up post to my Relationship Theory, and hopefully it will be up later this week. But for now, yet another What’s up, Wednesday!

WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY is hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, and to learn more about it, you should really visit their respective pages.

What I’m Reading

I stayed up too late reading last night. First because These Broken Stars was so good. Second because I really wanted to have another book to talk about for this post. With TBS, I found it was really interesting how, for a book set on a deserted planet because of a Titanic-like spaceship crash, the more I read, the more sci-fi it became. Sure, it started off with spaceships and hyperdrive engines, but by the end the science-fiction was so much more. More developed, more important to the story, more interesting. It went from feeling like a ‘stranded on a deserted island’ story to an episode of Stargate SG-1, so of course I was all over it. There were moments that were so interesting, and creepy, and confusing that I looked up from the pages as if to check that I wasn’t stranded on that planet, too.

This morning I began my re-read of Summerland by Michael Chabon. I really wanted to fit it in while it still feels like summer. At this point, I’m not even sure how many times I’ve read it, but I think the first was back in 2005 around the same time my mom was reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (which I also love). Summerland is very important to me – is has everything I could have wanted in a MG/YA book: it’s long (500 pages); it plays heavily with mythology (Norse and Native American and American folklore); the characters, though children, never feel like children. There are miniature adults and the book is written toward miniature adults as well, not children. There is nothing simple about the book. Summerland is about a boy and his dad, it’s about baseball and dirigibles, it’s about werefoxes traveling through dimensions, and friendship, and trying to prevent Ragnarock. It’s amazing.

What I’m Writing

Copying Bailey, who is working on That Ghost Story, I’ve decided to refer to my newest WIP as That Golf Story. I’m still chugging steadily ahead. I’ve roped my friend Kate into reading each chapter as I finish, and her cheering for me (and frequent threats to edit the finished product to hell and back) has been excellent encouragement. I’m so happy to be writing off of a detailed (and complete!) outline. It makes everything feel so much easier. I’ve removed one character and made another one better and I think I wrote one of my favorite sentences ever when I have the MC describe her antagonist-cum-love interest. I managed to write another 1600 words on Friday, finishing Chapter 2. I’m hoping to finish chapter three before I go on vacation this weekend.

What Inspires Me Right Now

During the Emmy’s on Monday night, my best friend texted me to say, “My new dream is for you to become a successful writer and win an award and have to give a speech. Literally make my whole life.” And I guess the fact that he has faith enough that one day, maybe I can have the potential to win an award by writing things is kind of cool. Even if it was evil of him to make me want to give a speech in front of countless people just so I could squirm and flounder and be generally uncomfortable.

Thinking about what inspires me is also a gentle reminder that I have yet to create a writing playlist for That Golf Story. For each story that I write, I create a writing playlist based partly on mood, but mostly on the music that my MC likes. Sometimes it’s not my favorite kind of music, or what I want to listen to at that moment, but I’ve found that it really helps me get inside the head of my characters.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Aside from writing 1600 words on Friday, I also drank 3/4 of a bottle of wine and saw Calvary. The movie was amazing. The cinematography, the acting, the accents, brilliant all. The movie did well at not giving away the ending. I laughed, I gasped, I recommend.

Sunday I took the GRE. I didn’t fail. I could have done much worse than I did. I did better on math than I had anticipated and not quite as well on verbal as expected, but still, a good showing! It’s those damn reading comprehension questions. They got me on the ACT and they got me again on the GRE. But that’s okay. It is! I’m sure of it. Now I just have to reach out to old profs for recommendation letters and begin the application project. I’m on schedule!