What’s Up Wednesday: the Getting my Sh*t Together Edition

WUWAutumnWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s blog.

(It’s been a while for me, I suck and please don’t throw tomatoes at my face. My fair skin thanks you. I bruise like a peach.*)

What I’m Reading

I binge read over the holidays. It was an avoidance tactic I employed, with great success, for everything from gift buying to food preparing to my emotional state. It was a fun time. I won’t list ALL THE BOOKS, but I did just finish These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner. I can’t decide what I think about that book yet. It was compelling, and the voices were pretty distinct, and the romance was pretty hot, but…there’s something I just can’t put my finger on. Although! The world building was pretty fantastic.

I am now reading UnSouled, book three in the UnWind dystology by Neal Shusterman. I mean, these books are pretty heavy.

marty

You don’t necessarily enjoy them. You more survive them.

What I’m Writing

Well. My Muse and I took a break from each other. Then I had to revise my pages for the Djerassi Workshop in February (in Northern California, in the mountains. Yes.) so I had to get in touch with her, and she was grumpy and maybe hung over from too much New Years celebrating, and wanted none of it. But, hot coffee and a firm hand seemed to do the trick. Then she went off again after I finished my pages, and I considered ditching her ass. She’s back now, because apparently all she needed was to know she was replaceable. I’m making progress with multiple projects (something I’ve never attempted that seems to be a stressor as well as a motivator). It’s going to be an interesting year.

What Inspires Me

Monday I was impersonating Oscar the Grouch all over the internet and Sara Biren discovered it and gave me a good talking to. (Apparently, all I need is a firm hand, too. And maybe she was actually the one who made my Muse return.) It’s not that anything prompted my grumpiness, which made my attitude all the more pathetic.

This article from Publishing Crawl by Susan Dennard (with input from Sarah J. Mass) on Maintaining Passion for your story. Not only does Susan Dennard give accessible, applicable writing advice, but the relationship she and Sarah have is truly adorable. I emailed this article to a friend, who is also one of my CPs, and we had a good laugh. (We want to grow up and be just like them.)

What Else I’m Up To

My son has wanted a dog of his own (he’s 4-years-old, so “of his own” is used loosely) since we moved back to Texas. When a friend came to us with a six month old Yorkie-Maltese mix in want of a more active home life, we couldn’t say no. And I’m glad we didn’t. My son —for the foreseeable future — is an only child. That can be lonely, even when you are surrounded by family and have two devoted parents. This puppy, whom he named James (I know, James!), has already provided him with such joy and companionship, given him confidence and responsibility, and created a new kind of joy in our home.

samandjames

*You’ll have my eternal respect, and a shout out on the next What’s Up Wednesday, if you can tell me which FRIENDS character also bruises like a peach!

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37 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday: the Getting my Sh*t Together Edition

  1. Next time your muse is uncooperative, let me know and I’ll have mine give her a good talking to. And, yes, we do want to be them when we grow up. I mean, we’re already mostly there anyway, I think. And yay for new dogs. Sam looks so happy, and James looks like “Is Sam really allowed to roll in the dirt, too? Cool.”

    • Or you can slap her for me. I think slapping her works too. 🙂

      We do and we are, right, totally on our way. I wish I could put a blue stripe in my hair and not feel like a royal arse. (British speak again.)

      And I was like, “Not really, but dirt washes off, so what the hell!”

    • UnWind is not for everyone. There is a chapter that had me sobbing while trying to read. It is a hard book, and the series doesn’t let up. My husband couldn’t read it. He got one chapter in and said, “Nope, not for me.” But I love them, and do think they are important books.

  2. Hmm…I think your muse and my muse are sisters. 🙂

    I’m glad that you’re back to writing. I can’t wait to hear all about the Djerassi Workshop.

    James is such an adorable doggie.

    • We should talk to their mother about her failings, and maybe get some pointers on how to deal with them.

      Thanks Karen! I can’t wait to be doing it and sharing the knowledge!

  3. We just got our girl a kitty because of the only child thing. Mom guilt at its finest in my case. 🙂 I’m about to start THESE BROKEN STARS and I’m really intrigued by your comments. I’ve been hearing great things about it, so I’m hoping the hype lives up. Have a great week, Rebekah!

    • I am with you in the mom guilt department. It’s the worst. And I hope you enjoy These Broken Stars! I did enjoy it, but yeah, there’s just something off…

  4. It sounds like you and your muse might need to go to couples therapy. I hope you two are able to work out all your issues.

    And you have a very cute dog to accompany your very cute son. Have a great week!

    • Haha! Yes, we have some issues. Our relationship may be a little unbalanced.

      Thank you, Kate! We have another Yorkie as well, who is grumpy about this new puppy. But he’s always been a little bit of an old man, so we aren’t surprised.

  5. As much as I *really* enjoyed THESE BROKEN STARS, I think I had a similar feeling as you did. The one thing that struck me was how there were really only two characters for the majority of the book. That’s odd, right? If I pinpoint what that elusive thing is (what felt off), you’ll be the first to know.

    Thanks for sharing that link to Sarah J. Maas’ post. It was exactly what I needed to read. Especially the “If you don’t enjoy what you are writing, you are not writing the right story” thing. Eek. That hit me right between the eyes. Lots to think about there.

    Congrats on the new fuzzy family member. 🙂 He’s pretty darn adorable. And I love the name!

    • Jaime, please do tell me if your discover that particular whatever. I am glad I’m not the only one who felt it. And I agree, the just two characters for basically the whole book is weird. They were pretty compelling, but it was A LOT of just them.

      Eek squared. Yeah. But good news is you can (and will) figure it out. It was a great post. I really think Susan Dennard gives amazing writing advice. Her article about how to write a two page synopsis was fan-freaking-tastic.

      Thanks! Have a great week!

  6. I love this: “You don’t necessarily enjoy them. You more survive them.” I haven’t read the particular books you mentioned, but this really rang true for me. It feels weird to say you enjoyed a book when it tackles difficult subject matter, but that doesn’t mean you don’t connect with it or feel its impact. Nicely put.

    What an awesome pic of your son and his new dog! It pretty much captures childhood bliss in a nutshell. Our son is an only child too, which is also how we ended up with a dog. And the name James? Love it!

    I’ll be sure to check out that Susan Dennard post. I usually follow Pub Crawl but think I might have missed that one. Have a super week!

    • Thanks Erin. I agree, some books need a broader range of descriptive words to explain how they made you feel. Enjoying them, loving them, isn’t always the case. Some of the greatest stories must just be survived.

      I know! I love that pic. We may have to outlaw that particular dirt pile though, because the pup went full terrier and it was quite the mess.

      Have a great week too!

  7. Awww…my beloved old man cat (RIP) was named James. I’ve got a cat now named Frank. There’s something really amusing about “people” names for pets.

    My Muse can be a real bitch sometimes, too 😉

    • 😦 So hard to lose a pet. James (and Frank) are great names, we agree. When my son picked we were like, ok, sure, James? But it definitely suits him and his rakish personality. I always think of James’ as being rakish.

      LOL, yeah, they sure can be withholding.

  8. we got a puppy recently too and the kids adore him, i really think having a pet around is great for kids. Eep in trying to survive that book, not sure if i’m up for that as a reader, good luck to you! Here’s hoping you and your muse get back together soon 🙂

    • I agree. We have another dog, but he’s always been more my husbands and mine, and not too interested in playing with Sam. The new pup is all about play, which is just what we hoped. 🙂

  9. I laughed through a lot of this, especially the part about your muse. I’m sorry you were down for a bit but am glad to hear things are turning around. I’ve been out of it too–the whole blogging thing. Here’s to a New Year!

    • Haha! Thanks Liz! Yes, it’s good to be back in the swing of things. Glad you’re back to blogging, I’m back to writing, and we’re going to have a great year!

  10. Bwahahaha. Right on, sister.

    James is stinking adorable (as is your son). Our beloved, elderly dog Lemon passed away a few years ago and we still have been unable to bring another pup into the house. Good luck!

    Now get writing! 🙂

    • My mom lost two dogs in the space of a year, and it was hard on all of us. It’s ok to take time getting another dog. I think the right dog, in the right circumstances, has to find you. You can go looking for those circumstances, or not, but eventually it happens.

      Onto writing! Tallyho!

  11. That’s an interesting article by Susan Dennard. The main thought I come away with is to remember who’s in control of the story. Often, when I get stymied, I need to ask myself what I could do, and realize that anything’s possible. It’s my story. If I want to kill the MC, I can. If I want to start over, or change the POV, or have the zombie apocalypse begin, I can. And sometimes, running with a really outlandish idea can be enough to stir the creative juices toward a more fitting resolution.

    There’s my 2c, anyway. 🙂 Have a great week!

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