Monday, February 23, 2015

Writer Recharge: The Final Stretch

Writer Recharge is once again hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerElodie NowodazkijSara Biren, and myself! This 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.


Write/Revise: I'd like to make it halfway through this ghost story I keep talking about. 
I'm about two chapters shy of the halfway mark, but I've hit snag. The story is starting to hit a little too close to home for me, so I'm having to take a step back from this one for a little while. Instead, I'm working on a new fairy-tale retelling idea that I have. I'd like to have a rough outline done by the end of the month! (maybe...we'll see)

Read/RereadIf I Stay.  & Vivian Apple at the End of the World 
This goal is complete! I'm now reading Dark Places to round out my month.

Stretch: I have a goal in mind for this that I can't share right now, but know I'm working toward it!
Still working on this one. Making progress!

Self:  I want to do yoga 4 out of 5 weekdays 
Ice storm=limited ability to get out of the house. Managed one day of hot yoga.

Connect: I'll be reading chapters for a writing friend who's getting ready for submission. 
Goal complete!

Fun: I want to get at least one pedicure this month. This sort of fits the self goal, too, but still.
Success!

If you're providing an update on your goals, be sure to post a link on Sara's blog!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bad ass books: Vivian Apple at the End of the World

As a part of my Writer Recharge goals, I threw in a book in a genre I don't typically read. While technically I guess Vivian Apple is post apocalyptic, it felt contemporary, so there you go. This is one of my favorite books I've read so far this year (and yes, I did read This I Stay for the first time just a few weeks ago).

Here's a summary (from Goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed "Rapture," all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn't know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn't looking for a savior. She's looking for the truth.


Why I read it: I have my own storied history with religion (include some dark places that have left me a little wary and a lot jaded), and as a result, I like stories that take a serious look at what religions can be capable of. I also really loved the cover and title of this book.

ZOMG Yes! I love Vivian Apple. Talk about character growth. From her first choice to the distinct change in her very last at the end of the book, Vivian has decided that she's the hero of her own story, and I can get behind that. This book also goes into the depths of friendship of two unlikely people. It's so raw and honest that I couldn't help but loving them both.

As you read in the description, Vivian's parents were sucked into this religion, and she was not interested. I'm a sucker for parent-children dynamics in YA (even if the parents aren't there for the story itself). I have mommy issues (there, I said it), so I like seeing how this is examined with teenagers, because that's when mine started. Vivian Apple did not disappoint.

I also have a soft spot for YA's with unapologetic cursing. I really, really love a well-placed curse word, and Katie Coyle nailed it here.

kthxbai This was a fabulous story that left little to be desired, if anything. I'm excited to see where she goes with Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle.

Five Chiweenies to Katie Coyle!





Monday, February 16, 2015

Writer Recharge: Two Weeks to Go!

Writer Recharge is once again hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerElodie NowodazkijSara Biren, and myself! This 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.




We're halfway through February! You know what that means: spring's on it's way, and we're still writing. I hope you had a productive week! And if you haven't been writing along with us, it's not too late to start. Post your goals on your blog or on Twitter. And don't forget to join us with #WriterRecharge.

Write/Revise: I'd like to make it halfway through this ghost story I keep talking about. 
Update: Making progress. I'm about halfway to this goal, so that's good!

Read/RereadIf I Stay.  & Vivian Apple at the End of the World 
Finished Vivian Apple! It's amazing. I strongly recommend it. I'll have a review up later this week.

Stretch: I have a goal in mind for this that I can't share right now, but know I'm working toward it!
Still working on this one.

Self:  I want to do yoga 4 out of 5 weekdays 
Only managed one day of yoga. I had an allergic reaction to something on my leg and had to have it bandaged most of the week, so hot yoga was sort of out of the question.

Connect: I'll be reading chapters for a writing friend who's getting ready for submission. 
Goal complete!

Fun: I want to get at least one pedicure this month. This sort of fits the self goal, too, but still.
Success!

If you're providing an update on your goals, be sure to post a link on Sara's blog!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Writer Recharge: Check-in!

Writer Recharge is once again hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerElodie NowodazkijSara Biren, and myself! This 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.



Well, we've made it to the second week of February, which means the first Writer Recharge check-in. Before I even go into my goals, let me start by saying that last week made any writing very difficult. Work has been pretty rough, and then my husband and I celebrated the 10th anniversary of our first date. So that was great! (but also resulted in a killer hangover on Saturday)

Onto the goals...

Write/Revise: I'd like to make it halfway through this ghost story I keep talking about. 
Update: Not anywhere close. I tinkered with the first three chapters, but I did manage to fix a big problem I was having with one of my main characters. 

Read/Reread: If I Stay.  & Vivian Apple at the End of the World this month.
Finished If I Stay! So that's pretty good.

Stretch: I have a goal in mind for this that I can't share right now, but know I'm working toward it!
I did put some work to this goal this week.

Self:  I want to do yoga 4 out of 5 weekdays 
Managed 3 weekdays of yoga.

Connect: I'll be reading chapters for a writing friend who's getting ready for submission. I'm so excited for her (but not sure she wants me to share it...so no names).
In progress!

Fun: I want to get at least one pedicure this month. This sort of fits the self goal, too, but still.
Success!

Now if I can just get some of my writing goals done :)

If you haven't joined us this month, it's not too late! And if you're providing an update on your goals, be sure to post a link on Sara's blog!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Writer Recharge: Let's Make February Count!

It’s February, which means it’s time for Writer Recharge! Those of you who participated last year will remember the almost daily twitter parties and, of course, camaraderie. Last year I managed to finish up STARS & STRIPES and get it submission-ready. I started querying, and now, a year later, I'm on submission again (only this time with an agent)!

Writer Recharge is once again hosted by Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Elodie NowodazkijSara Biren, and myself! This 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.

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.



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 at 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.
Here are my goals for the month:

Write/Revise: I'd like to make it halfway through this ghost story I keep talking about. It's been on hold since last November for edits on STARS & STRIPES and then work. I want to see some real progress this month!

Read/Reread: I'm choosing If I Stay. That's right: I haven't read it. But I'm going to. I'd also like to read Vivan Apple at the End of the World this month.

Stretch: I have a goal in mind for this that I can't share right now, but know I'm working toward it!

Self: I made all these hopeful goals at the start of 2015, and my job sort of took them out from under me. So for myself this month, I want to do yoga 4 out of 5 weekdays (provided the studio is open when I can go...sounds like me may get some snow this month). I also want to breathe more, stress less, and take what parts of my anxiety that I can into my own hands.

Connect: I'll be reading chapters for a writing friend who's getting ready for submission. I'm so excited for her (but not sure she wants me to share it...so no names).

Fun: I want to get at least one pedicure this month. This sort of fits the self goal, too, but still.

I hope you'll join us!