Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's Up Wednesday - April 16

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 Battle Dress by Amy Efaw last week and it's a highly recommend. It's about Andi, a girl going through "Beast" (Cadet Basic Training at West Point), and it's fantastic. A quick read, great voice, and I really felt like I was at West Point while I was reading it. Every time I settled down to read, I didn't want to step away. I'm almost done with In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, my last class read of the semester, and just started Just One Day by Gayle Forman.

What I'm Writing: 
Playing with a few ideas, but I'm not committing to anything until after finals. I have two papers due next week and those are what I need to be writing.

What Inspires Me: 
The Stanley Cup playoffs start today! The Wings/Bruins series doesn't start until Friday, but that's okay. Despite injuries--including the captain's back injury that's had him out since the Olympics--to many of the top players and some less than satisfying games, they've made it in for the twenty-third consecutive year.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Easter is this weekend and I'm starting to think it's never going to stop snowing. I want to go outside and enjoy my last few weeks here before I go home, but I'd like it to be warm for that.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: April 9

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. Surprise snowstorm last week caught us all off-guard, but it only took a few days of nice weather for the new snow to melt. I wouldn't mind a day or two of 60s at some point, but until then I can more than live with these 40s and 50s.

What I'm Reading: 
About two-thirds done with Battle Dress by Amy Efaw and still loving every bit of it. I'm also neck-deep in In the Time of the Butteflies by Julia Alvarez. It's my last book for class this semester and I must admit I'm enjoying this one too. I'll talk about them both more when I'm finished.

What I'm Writing: 
Mostly short pieces and class essays at the moment. I don't have a WIP that I feel particularly passionate about quite yet. 

What Inspires Me: 
For those of you who don't know, I'm a psychology major in college and I've been working in a lab for the past two semesters trying to get research experience.  Because of a study I've been helping a grad student with this semester, I have partial authorship on a poster that we're presenting at my school's display of student research. It's my first research credit so I'm really excited about it.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Two and a half weeks until finals doesn't give me much of a chance for other things. I'm more than ready for the semester to be over, though I'm definitely going to miss this place and my friends when I go home. I'm dying to walk down to the lake, but I need the snow to melt first. When I get to the beach I want there to actually be a beach.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: April 2

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. I'd say something about the potential arrival of spring but I don't want to scare it away. Suffice to say, I have managed to sneak out of my winter coat and boots this week.

What I'm Reading: 
I did finish Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire on schedule last week. If you like memoirs or have any interest in life in Cuba, I highly recommend it. It's a fascinating inside look at one Cuban boy's life growing up in the time of the Revolution. I also finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and he did not disappoint. The story itself was a little odd but only in retrospect. Interesting concept, fantastic execution, beautiful writing. Now I'm on Battle Dress by Amy Efaw. Every time I start reading, I don't want to come out.

What I'm Writing: 
I have a presentation due today for Carib Lit so I've been spending a lot of time writing up notes on Caribbean nations, but very little time writing fiction. I'm planning to read through what I have of Siren in the next couple of days to decide if it's worth pursuing. My 2012 NaNo, Hacker, has been calling to me for a while so I'm thinking I might see what needs to be done on that rewrite.

What Inspires Me: 
Sun. Warm. Melting snow. The fact that I wore my tennis shoes yesterday for the first time since November.  Granted it's supposed to snow again this weekend but I'm trying not to think about that at the moment. It's spring. 

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Nothing? I'm really having trouble thinking of something for this week. I've been desperately watching every Red Wings game. I've seen some truly great games (Penguins, oh my God) and some games that made me glad I watch them alone. Less than two weeks until the end of the season... 

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Check-In

We're a quarter of the way through the year now and I can hardly believe it. The next time I do one of these, it'll be finals week.

Word count: 9,975 words
I was hoping to beat out last month's record but I didn't quite make it. Though, there's still today left. I did start a new WIP, Siren, but I'm considering scrapping it because I'm not feeling the voices. I have two male main characters and they both sound the same to me. I do think the concept is worth saving for later.

Read: 6
This is a new record for me this year, bringing my total up to 13. At this rate I'll only make it to 52 books for the year so I'm going to have to step up my game. This month included Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul, Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Watched: 1
I didn't quite realize how horrible I was doing with this until now. I watched John Carter while it was on TV one day and it's quite strange but not as horrible as it's reputation suggested. I've been watching more movies than this, but all ones that I've already seen.

Things I've Never Done: 
I couldn't think of anything new for this month, and then I remembered last week I learned how to give rats injections which is definitely not something I've ever done before. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: March 26

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. I'm slowly forgetting what spring is supposed to be like. Every time it warms up and the snow starts to melt, the temperature drops and it snows again within a day or two. I am more than ready for spring.

What I'm Reading: 
Still working on The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I hate that I don't have the time to read it that I wish I did. I'm also reading Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire and I'll be finishing that up today. I usually sell back all of my books at the end of the semester, but I might actually keep this one. It's a fascinating memoir, beautifully written, with an inside look at Cuba before and after Fidel Castro.

What I'm Writing: 
Big zero on this one. I still haven't been able to actually start writing the scenes I had ideas for last week. I'm hoping tomorrow there will be some room in the to do list for a bit of writing time.

What Inspires Me: 
First off, I went to my university's Relay for Life on Friday. For those of you who aren't aware, Relay for Life is an event raising money for cancer research. Here, there's a track for walking and student organizations set up booths selling all sorts of things around it. It's a twenty-four hour event, but I've never been there the whole time. A friend and I started a tradition of going after dinner and stayed all night. This year we walked 25 miles and didn't sleep a wink. Anyway, what inspired me was all the stories--heartbreaking and full of hope--from all the cancer survivors and caregivers.

Second off, it's this dance from Dancing With the Stars. Amy Purdy is a double amputee, bronze-medal winning snowboarder at the Paralympics, and now a contestant. She did swing dancing this week and it was phenomenal.

What Else I've Been Up To:
I registered for Fall semester classes yesterday. It's exciting but also terrifying because I only have to go through registration (for undergrad courses, anyway) one more time before graduation. One nice thing about that, though, is I had first pick of classes. I think this might be my first semester where I don't have to stalk anything hoping that someone drops so I can get it.

Have a good week everyone! May your spring actually feel like spring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: March 19

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. The end of the semester hit me like a train. It always seems like the second half is busier than the first half. It's warmed up a bit outside but for some reason that's only translated to "It's never going to stop snowing."

What I'm Reading: 
I've had to take a break from The Graveyard Book for work reasons but I'm more than halfway through now and loving it. The style does take some getting used to, but once that happens it flows well. For class, I'm reading Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire. It's a memoir of a man growing up in Cuba and leaving for America when he was only eleven. It's raw, blunt, and poetically written at times. I'm enjoying it a lot more than expected.

What I'm Writing: 
Siren is just under 4k at the moment. I had a major breakthrough on Monday where I finally figured out how the two main characters are going to meet, but I haven't had time to actually write it yet. I have a major term paper due tomorrow (we could choose any mental disorder, I picked PTSD) so that's the only thing I've been writing for the past week.

What Inspires Me: 
Agents of SHIELD did an inside look at Marvel studios last night in place of a normal episode and it was fantastic. It was amazing to hear them as an independent studio starting out with Iron Man and how things continued and to know how far they've come. 

What Else I've Been Up To: 
I'm completely drawing a blank here right now. The last week has kind of been a whirlwind of homework, work, and class. I haven't had much time for anything else. Once Upon a Time has been back for two weeks and I haven't seen a single episode (though I did catch the promo for this weekend's episode yesterday and I need to get caught up now).

Have a great week! I hope that your impending spring is more spring-like than mine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: March 12

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. It was spring for two days and now it's nine degrees and the wind chill is negative something. It's sunny so it looks nice out but I know that it's not. Fingers crossed that this is winter's farewell. Also to everyone getting even more snow, stay warm and safe.

What I'm Reading: 
I finished Seraphina by Rachel Hartman last week and if you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. Beautifully imagined world, characters that I never want to let go of, and great voice. Also dragons.  Now I'm onto The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (I must admit that I've never read any of his work before) and while I was thrown off by the style at first, I'm really starting to get into it now.

What I'm Writing: 
Siren is coming along very slowly, but steadily. I'm already seeing a lot of things about the opening that need to be fixed in revisions, but that's okay. I also have some ideas for how to fix my old NaNo project, Hacker, so I might start looking at that again soon. It needs a lot of work but the MC that the novel takes it's nickname from is one of my favorites I've ever written so she makes it worth it.

What Inspires Me: 
I was going to say the arrival of spring, but it turned out to be doing a quick drive-by. I'm drawing a bit of a blank.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
The class list for next semester was released yesterday so I spent more time than I should have scrolling through it and working out potential schedules. I was excited for about five seconds until I realized three of the classes I want to take are at the exact same time. The idea of picking classes is also kind of terrifying because I'm going to be a senior and I have every intention of graduating on time in the spring.