What’s Up, Wednesday? //10\\

Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY,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

Well, let’s see. As predicted, I cried my way through the last 50 pages of Code Name Verity. It was agonizingly beautiful and I already picked up Rose Under Fire from the library.

I’m almost done with Adverbs by Daniel Handler. I loved A Series of Unfortunate Events by Handler (written as Lemony Snicket) and I didn’t expect Adverbs to be the same, it’s an adult book after all. But I don’t love it the way I wanted to. The vignettes are all woven together with a common cast of characters, but none of them feel compelling. None of them feel fleshed out nor the world well-developed enough for me to really be hooked.

The Great Harry Potter re-read is still underway, and I’m currently working my way through Order of the Phoenix. I expect to sprint through the first four hundred pages and have to force myself to finish it. I’m not ready for that kind of emotional pain.

What I’m Writing

That Golf Story – I’m making some serious progress! Just about three chapters to go if all of my plotting and pacing in my outline is accurate. Everything’s coming together and it’s equally exciting and nerve-wracking because I’m not ready to let go of these characters yet. But only one more golf match to write (thankfully – you can only make them so interesting) and there are relationship developments happening between the main characters. It’s all coming together.

Delia – I’m trying to use the weekends to revise, but *insert panicked laughter here* oh boy is that difficult to dive into. So I’m still just trying to jigsaw the plot of the first half together, re-tooling character introductions and meet-cutes alike.

What Works for Me

Bribes. I’m not even kidding. Once, I put off writing a kissing scene for literally weeks until Kate bribed me with a bottle of wine to finish it. And now it’s not been explicitly stated or anything, but I really revel in it when Bailey and Kate send me positive feedback and general exclamation points as they read new chapters. It gets me excited to keep writing and to think of how they’ll react to what’s to come.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I heard back from grad schools! I got in! The relief and joy have now taken a back-burner to my frantic list-making. I have a spreadsheet of pros and cons and costs and benefits for the two programs I’m seriously considering, so that’s been my main focus.

What’s Up, Wednesday? //9\\

Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY,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

I just finished The Wonder Boys. It was like reading a mid-life crisis.

Tonight I’m very excited to re-start Code Name Verity. I started it last summer and put a pin in it because, while I loved it, it had to go back to the library. Then, because I couldn’t bear to see the story disappear from my life, I bought a copy. Unfortunately it arrived right after I got distracted by my Great Book Marathon of 2014 when I got Unmade, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue and had to re-read all those series before I could sink my teeth into the new additions. But now I’m ready to start it again and give it the attention it deserves because I was so in love with it last summer and I can’t wait to revisit that feeling.

What I’m Writing

That Golf Story – Last night I finished up a super fun chapter for Bailey and Kate. I can’t wait for them to read it for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I know something about how the chapter ends that they don’t. Making them wait for the next chapter will be really fun for me to torture them with.

Delia – I think I might implement a system where I force myself to revise a chunk of Delia for every chapter of TGS that I finish. Since there aren’t that many chapters of TGS left to be written, this might be a good ramp-up to the serious revision this story needs.

What Works for Me

I’d been using Google Docs to work on my WIP while away from my laptop and it was fine. Sometimes it got laggy, but on the whole it was good. My problem was actually that I kept my outline and draft in the same document and it felt cluttered. Last week I switched to using Celtx as my browser platform and I really like it. It feels cleaner and more efficient than GDocs. I also like that I can insert chapter breaks that correspond to a handy navigator. I’d only used Celtx for screenplays in the past, but it’s really easy to use and I’ve been really productive since switching to it.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Despite having the cold from hell last week, Friday was a great day! I woke up from a nap to an email that notified me of my acceptance to grad school!!! Immediately after, my roommate invited me to go see Jupiter Ascending (which was a-mah-zing), and on the way to the theater we stopped at a book store so I could finally get my hands on a copy of VE Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic.

I’m also obsessively refreshing the Classic Alice indiegogo page. Please donate if you can!

What’s Up, Wednesday? //8\\

Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY, 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

I’m still reading Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. I’m struggling through it a bit, because it’s very, uh, self-aggrandizing. I absolutely think that is due to the main character and not the author, though. It’s written in the first-person perspective of a struggling author who’s working on his masterpiece novel. Bye-the-bye it’s also about a white dude’s mid-life crisis and I kind of want to tell Michael Chabon to stop wanking. After I give that some thought, though, I wonder if that’s spectacularly effective writing. Because the writing is good, and I’m obviously still reading. I want to see where the story goes. I’m just a little bit over reading about self-destructive white dudes.

What I’m Writing

That Golf Story – I’ve made it back to a chapter that I am deliriously happy to be writing. It’s fun, playful, and energetic, and there will be kissing.

Delia – Oh, god. I actually started revising Delia and I hate everything. I  made myself a note to “cut everything that doesn’t involve kissing, snark, or blood.” Which actually sounds like a pretty solid revision strategy. And then I realize that I’ve already cut 20k and it feels like nothing happened. Regardless, I’ve written a new opening scene and I’m cutting and pasting and crying and writing. Definitely trying not to think about the complete overhaul the first half needs.

What Works for Me

I’ve never written more quickly or been as excited to finish a section than I have since I started talking to Kate and Bailey about my work. In the past I’ve always been supremely reluctant to talk about my writing at all, but having two people that I like and trust to bounce ideas off of and get positive reinforcement from has been a blessing.

Though I may change my tune when I need them to start actively critiquing.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Last week I went to an event at the Smithsonian where I got to meet Martin Sheen! Not to sound dramatic, but it was everything I’ve ever dreamed of (and more!). The whole event was basically a conversation about his character on The West Wing and he was wonderful and funny and kind and we made so much eye contact. Watching him watch The West Wing is also my new favorite hobby.

On Friday I officially tendered my letter of resignation! Keep your fingers crossed that I get accepted to grad school or I may be in Cleveland for more than the summer. But that’s alright (eh), because I’m pretty okay with my contingency plans.

What’s Up, Wednesday? //7\\

Happy February! Welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY, 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. I know the Northeast is covered in snow, but the DC area hasn’t been able to accumulate more than an inch (it seems), so this weeks’ WUW sidebar is a little idealistic.

What I’m Reading

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. I started it ages ago, re-started it last week. I love Michael Chabon and wanted something to immerse myself in, but so far it just seems like a white dude’s mid-life crisis. But I’ve barely begun so I’m reserving judgment. Summerland was one of my favorite middle grade books and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is a masterpiece, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

On the non-fiction front, I’m reading The Great Cat Massacre by Robert Darnton. It was on the required reading list in a college course (Enlightenment Europe) and I finally have the time to sit down and read more than the few assigned sections.

In retrospect, I should have planned my book-pairing better because they both feel ‘adult’ and serious. Because, as I’m learning, everyone was too busy working themselves to death in 17th century France to have a little fun and frivolity in their lives.

What I’m Writing

That Golf Story – Kate and Bailey finally received Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 is off to, well, a start. The last couple of chapters had kissing, and drinking, and a lot of music but only a little bit of golf. So now I get to write a lot of golf. All of the golf. But in a fun way. Good news, though: I’m officially working on the final third of the draft.

Delia – Delia is what I’m calling the project I finished last summer because the main character’s name is Delia and I’m truly abhorrent at naming things. And she’s not getting written so much as getting revised. But that’s a part of the writing process, so she still counts. Poor Delia is a stagnant first half tied to an action-packed second half right now, but I promised myself that when I finished applying to grad schools I would start to revise her, so here we are.

What Works for Me

Outlining (apparently). That Golf Story is the first time I’ve outlined a story in its entirety before I began writing it. I wrote an overall outline for plot. Then I broke the plot into three sections and made sure there was rising action, and conflict, and resolutions. Which worked in that I found an organic way to split the draft into sections. Then I broke down chapter-by-chapter scenes. And sure, some stuff has been cut, characters have been added and others have merged; there’s a lot of stuff I hadn’t originally anticipated. Overall, though, having a guide has been a blessing. It’s easier for me to brainstorm. I can play with structure now that I actually have one.

This is all a far cry from Delia. She’s a hot mess. I developed my main character and had a vague idea of what I wanted for her, but I pants-d it. When I did outline, it was as I wrote. And I kept the outline in the same document as things that I cut and ideas that didn’t quite fit. So poor Delia’s all over the place, and the mythology struggles because of it. Revision will be harder because of it and that’s not really an exciting prospect as a first-time reviser.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

It was my birthday recently, so I planned myself the perfect day (and executed it pretty flawlessly). Let me just say: Wine jell-o shots are my new favorite thing. But before I drank, I got my first tattoo! To balance out all the fun, I’ve been productive – I’ve already filed my taxes, completed my FAFSA, and am officially done applying to grad schools! Now it’s just a waiting game.

What’s Up, Wednesday? //6\\

Happy New Year and welcome back to WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY, 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

I finally finished my great re-read of 2014. Well, most of it. I’m still halfway through the Harry Potter series and in the middle of Summerland, but those will keep. New year, new books! Yesterday I finished  Making Headlines by my good friend Erin Brown. It was just as delightfully scandalous as I expected with a bonus helping of Veronica Mars-esque sleuthing and tons of chemistry. It’s a companion novel to her first book, Taking Flight (which I also highly recommend). It was a fun page-turner and it flew by.

Now I’m reading Eternal Night by Carina Adly Mackenzie. I’ve followed Carina on twitter forever and I’ve really been looking forward to having a chance to read it. I love the premise – a bunch of eternally young gods have lost their powers as people stopped believing in them and the apocalypse seems to be imminent – but there’s something about it that’s just not clicking with me. I think it’s the perspective shifts each chapter. There are a lot of characters and I’m having trouble getting as familiar with them as the writing leads me to believe I should be. But I’m only 13% in, so I’m excited to see how it comes together.

What I’m Writing

Still working on That Golf Story. I’m about two-thirds of the way done, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I’m so glad I thoroughly outlined it before I started so I know what’s coming up and what I have to look forward to. It makes the prospect of sitting down and writing less daunting. Now I just have to worry about making sure there’s a cohesive, compelling plot buried under all the fun I’m having.

Short-term goal: Finish the second section / Chapter 12 by this time next week.

What Works for Me

For Christmas my roommate got me a few bottles of wine and a giant wine glass. Sometimes there’s no better writing companion than booze. I can disassociate just enough that I can write, and write a lot, without second-guessing what I’m putting on the page. Sure, some of it may get scrapped later, but it’s kind of freeing to see what kind of ideas I’ll have next.

I’m also excited because the gifts will pair perfectly with Write Drunk, Edit Eventually, Kate and my pet project, when our schedules align.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Oh boy. I’ve taught myself how to crochet, though not very well. I took a bunch of days off and went home for Christmas. I visited my extended family. I bought myself a bunch of books at Half Price. I’m almost done with my grad school applications (I better be, the first is due next week). I went to the driving range.

And I watched so, so much TV. Most recently I caught up on the US version of Shameless. I’m addicted. Next up: Looking.

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.

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.

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!

What’s up, Wednesday? Inaugural Post

WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY is a blog meme I heard about from my dear friend Bailey Knight and have decided to implement on my own blog. This is happening in the vain hope that it will get me to a) think about this oft neglected blog more often, b) post here more, and c) write more.

As it has once again been months since I’ve posted here, I thought it was about time to breathe some new life into this blog. Look, I even gave it a facelift. What more could you possibly want from me?

What I’m Reading

I finally, finally picked up a copy of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I’ve been meaning to read it for months since I saw Meagan Spooner at the NoVa Teen Book Festival way back in March. She sold it as a sci-fi ship wreck and so far it has delivered. Really enjoying the cross between Titanic and Firefly that somehow totally works.

Last week I finished Vicious by VE Schwab and oh my god, you guys. It was so good. I can’t recommend it enough. The protagonist might be a villain the villain is believed to be a hero, there are superpowers and intrigue and death and gunfights. So, so much fun. I’ll definitely be picking more books up by Schwab in the future.

What I’m Writing

I made a big deal out of it on tumblr, but didn’t mention it here and here it is, the big news: I finished the first draft of that novel that wouldn’t end! It is currently way too long, and has a few plot holes, and some things just don’t make sense BUT that’s what revision is for! The draft is done and in a metaphorical drawer so that I can get some perspective on what changes will need to be made for the first round of edits. While I wait to do those…

I started a new project! I got a jump-start and outlined it in its entirety before I started writing. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s a contemporary YA novel about a girl playing golf on the boy’s team. There will be snark and banter, angry make-outs and rock shows, but for now I’m still trying to figure out just who the characters are.

Because I’m insane, I’ve challenged myself to write 60k in 60 Days, like a more reasonable version of NaNoWriMo. I’m not going to count the days consecutively (otherwise I’m already way, way behind schedule) but after 4 days I’m already at ~5000 words, so I’m feeling good!

What Inspires Me Right Now

My friends have been passing around the DVDs of the one-season show Life As We Know It for a few months now and it’s finally my turn with them. So I’m using those as the proverbial carrot to make myself study for the GRE.

As I just got home from a week with my parents, I can honestly say they’ve been a good source of inspiration. I talked to them about my grad school plans, and my worries, and were really helpful. They were so supportive, and helped me realized that this is the best decision for me. I know it’s time that I leave DC, and they’ve been so understanding – about my plans to move home next summer, about moving hundreds of miles away for grad school, about my aspirations – that it’s really helped assuage some of my fears, if not my anxieties.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Last week I went home and Mom and I took a little road trip up through Michigan. We were originally supposed to hang around the beach reading for two days, but the weather didn’t cooperate. We climbed Sleeping Bear Dunes, and saw a few lighthouses, but for the most part, Northern Michigan was cold and dreary. But we managed the better part of five days together in a car and didn’t kill each other (or even fight once!) so I consider the trip a resounding success. I also got to play in the first annual Bay Girls Alumni Scramble while I was home, and catching up with the golf team was a lot of fun. I even went to the drive-in while home, even though I had to endure the Expendables 3 in order to fall asleep during re-watch Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now that I’m back in DC, I have plans to take the GRE this Sunday. Which means that this week is dedicated to studying for the GRE. Next month grad school applications open, so I’ll start in on those and email some former professors to beg ask for letters of recommendation. Keep your fingers crossed for me!