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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday - November 12

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. This picture is very appropriate for this week. I don't think it's ever going to stop snowing.


What I'm Reading: 
Still Dead to You. I haven't had time for pleasure reading in a while.

What I'm Writing: 
I'm so close to the end of LP I can feel it. I have most of the remainder planned out and I can't wait to write it. Unfortunately I'm going on vacation for a week starting Saturday so it might have to wait.

What Works for Me: 
Instrumental music. Sometimes I need background music to help me block out everything that's going on around me but songs with words are even more distracting. Instrumental music is the perfect combination. I really like movie soundtracks because some of them (Pacific Rim, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings) have that undertone of urgency that works as an extra motivator.

What Else I'm Up to: 
Literally everything. I'm waist-deep in grad applications. Essays and presentations due within the next few weeks. The vacation is a professional one so I'll be missing a week of school. The week before Thanksgiving break. So while everyone else has two weeks of classes left, I only have one and it's very frantic. 

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: November 5th

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. NaNo started on Saturday so a big "Good luck!" to everyone participating. I thought about doing a personal one, just writing 50k in general rather than on one new WIP (since LP is so close to being done) but then I remembered that I don't have time.

What I'm Reading: 
Dead to You by Lisa McMann. It's good so far, though I haven't been able to read it as much as I would like.

What I'm Writing: 
LP hit 60k and climbing this week. I have most of the rest of it outlined now so it's just a matter of putting it on the page. I thought up some really exciting things over the weekend and I can't wait to write those scenes. Some characters will be playing parts that I didn't expect.

What Works for Me: 
Getting out of my usual space. I've had so much to do the past couple weeks that I've found myself in the library a lot, just to get away from all the distractions at home. Sometimes it's hard for me to get work done when I'm in my usual chair, even if I shut my bedroom door. At the library I can find a secluded desk next to an outlet and just block everything out.

What Else I'm Up To: 
So much to do so little time. Classwork is coming to a peak as the semester winds down. My first round of grad school applications need to be in over the next couple weeks. It's all very frantic.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: October 29

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.


What I'm Reading: 
Still nothing for fun. I'm probably going to pull Wolf-Speaker by Tamora Pierce off the shelf tonight. It's a stressful week and I need an old favorite.

What I'm Writing: 
LP. I had a total brain blast in the shower this morning where I finally managed to figure out some very important components of the ending. It's mostly a matter of bridging the gap between where I am now and there. 

What Works for Me: 
Brainstorming sessions. If I'm stuck on what to do with a chapter, where to go next, or what needs to happen in the ending, I brainstorm. All it takes is an empty word document. I use bullets for organization and just type whatever comes into my head. If there are questions that I need to answer, I write those down too.

What Else I'm Up To: 
I watched How to Get Away With Murder over the weekend on my girlfriend's suggestion and...I'm hooked. I seriously can't wait for Thursday for the next episode. I didn't want to watch it because the initial promos made me confused on what the show was even about and then the later ones made me feel like it was extremely over-dramatic. I'm glad that I did anyway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: October 22

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. Saw the first frost of the season this morning and snow over the weekend, though thankfully it didn't stick. I know winter is going to hit us hard this year, but I'd rather it wait until after Halloween at the very least.


What I'm Reading: 
Uh. I'm determined to move on from Blood and pick a book off my shelf today. I just haven't decided if I want to go for an old favorite, the next book in Game of Thrones, or something new that I've had for a while but haven't read yet.

What I'm Writing: 
After a week's hiatus, I'm back to working on LP, though with a word count goal of only 250 a day again because my to do lists are getting lengthy and I need to focus on other things. It's up to 55k and I'm starting to get the feeling it's going to end up being closer to 80k now all told.

What Works for Me: 
Reward system. I usually use episodes of whatever TV show I'm working my way through at the moment. This week is Stargate SG-1, season six.  If I finish a certain number of tasks on my list, then I get an episode. Short tasks (like writing this post) mean that I have to do more than one. Longer tasks (like reading a chapter for class) get a reward by themselves. Some days, when I'm easily distracted and work takes a backseat to binging episodes, I have to finish all of the tasks on my list before I can watch. It all depends on the mood I'm in, exactly how much work I have to get done, and whether the episodes have cliffhangers.

What Else I'm Up To: 
Grad school applications. November is roaring up like a train and I was not prepared for that. I got all my letter of recommendation stuff in order on Monday and now I'm working on my materials. Hoping to send in my first application as early as Friday. It's a horribly nerve-wracking process. 

Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Up Wednesday - October 15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. I can't stop listening to Fall Out Boy's new song, "Immortals." It's actually getting a little worrying.


What I'm Reading: 
Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (last book in Heroes of Olympus which is the sequel to Percy Jackson and the Olympians) arrived Friday. I started it around two and read it in one unstoppable spree of nine hours. I considered slowing down, actually savoring it since it's the last book, but it just wasn't possible. I wasn't going to sleep that night without finishing. This could not have been a more perfect ending to the series. I don't think I have ever loved a conclusion this much, and that's including Deathly Hallows. I haven't actually started reading anything else since.

What I'm Writing: 
Still LP, though I've been taking this week off writing.

What Works for Me: 
To do lists. I have multiple sets of them in an Excel spreadsheet so that I can stay organized. There's one for the day, one for grad school stuff, one for homework, one for things to get done that week, and another for things that I need to do but don't have a set time frame.  It helps me to make sure that I don't forget to do anything and makes me feel accomplished when I delete things from the list.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
It's been an insane week. I just got a job as a tutor for a stats class that I took last year, overseeing a study group. I started yesterday and it's been a steep learning curve. The class I'm tutoring for has a different professor and let's just say she has different methods from the one I had. I'll be doing a lot of stats review this weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's Up Wednesday - October 8

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.

What I'm Reading: 
I finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher in a few days and I'm still reeling. I haven't been so absorbed in a book in a long time. It's not one I'll read often but it is one that I'll carry with me. Now I'm biding my time waiting for Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan to arrive. Really hoping it's going to be here Friday because I need it.

What I'm Writing: 
LP hit 50k a couple days ago. I'm aiming for 70k (my first drafts tend to be on the short side and I was hoping this one might be a bit more substantial, since it's high fantasy) but I think it might actually end up being longer. There's quite a bit left to go. 

What Works for Me: 
Brainstorming sessions. I got stuck on where to go with LP so I sat myself down with my little notebook (in class...shhh don't tell my professor) and jotted down everything that came into my head. Some of it had to be thrown out because it wouldn't fit with the rest of the plan, but I have a lot of great ideas for scenes and a general direction for the rest of the plot. 

What Else I've Been Up To: 
I had family up for the weekend. It was a horrible weekend weather-wise, cold and rainy, but we still decided to hike out a short distance to a waterfall that I'd never seen before. 


Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Up Wednesday - October 1

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.


What I'm Reading: 
I finished Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston over the weekend. It was good but underwhelming. I could definitely tell where Preston took over the writing. I loved the characters and the concept but the execution was a little disappointing. Now I'm on Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher to tide me over until Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan arrives next week. 

What I'm Writing: 
LP

What Works for Me: 
Keeping bulleted lists of future scenes. I've always been a pantser when it comes to writing fiction, but sometimes I get ideas for scenes or think of questions that need to be answered or bring up things early in the story that I can't forget to tie in later. Instead of writing out an outline, I just keep a bulleted list of these scenes in a rough order. That way I don't forget anything but I don't feel restricted to sticking to an outline. 

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Fall TV season has started. Agents of SHIELD started last week. NCIS LA last night. Once Upon a Time started on Sunday but I haven't watched that yet. I'm giving it a few episodes before I decide to give it up. The Flash and Arrow start next week. I've also started watching Forever. Not sure if it'll last but I'm starting to like Henry Morgan so I'll give it a chance.