Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: North and South and Taylor Swift

What I'm Reading
Still reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It's a classic so there's a lot of long descriptions and unnecessary scenes and drawn-out dialogue. Despite all that, I am enjoying the book.Especially getting more into the characters heads than you can watching the four-part BBC movie.  (Although this is one of those rare times where I prefer the movie over the book. Shhh, don't tell anyone.)

What I'm Writing
Still trying to prep for NaNo. I'm outlining more than I ever have before, using this template similar to Save the Cat (but more detailed) that my sis-in-law emailed me. I'm good through the midpoint and I know the end, but I've got issues after the midpoint that I need to work out. I'm not sure I'm going to be ready in time for Saturday so I haven't officially signed up for NaNo this year and I don't think I will. But I will use the month to keep to a daily word count, once I can get the book outlined anyway.

What Works For Me
A few of you have said this too, but it really helps me to have someone to brainstorm with. My (aforementioned) sis-in-law and CP loves to edit (she's an editor intern with The Zharmae Publishing Press) and she's really good about responding to my random messages. She always has great ideas and even if I don't end up using them (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't), talking with her alone helps to get my creative juices flowing. This is seriously one of the best things ever and I'm very grateful that she's willing to chat with me at random times of the day.

What Else Is New
I bought Taylor Swift's new CD on Monday and I've been listening to it on repeat when I'm in the car. It's definitely different from her other albums but there are a few songs I'm already loving. It'll probably only take a few more listens until I love the whole album.
Out of the Woods- one of my early faves
What's up with you this Wednesday?

Monday, October 27, 2014

On Retellings

So here's the question of the day: What do you think about retellings?

For me, I like a retelling that stays true to the story. I don't mind a twist, I don't mind changes. I don't mind if certain characters are cut or if scenes or plot points from the original are missing. I don't mind if a classic becomes an epic fantasy story of if a fairy tale turns sci-fi. But I like my retellings to stick to what makes the original good. It's taken me some time to learn that staying too close to the original isn't a good thing to do, but I'm not a fan when retellings go completely another way until it's really not much of a retelling at all. But that's just my personal opinion.
Some of my favorite retellings
What are your thoughts? For example, what if the ending is completely different? What if one (or more) of the characters is changed in a fundamental way? I think it's safe to say that setting can be a total free-for-all, but again, maybe this is just my personal opinion and someone else might not like it if the setting is way out there from the original.
Shakespeare Retold: Much Ado About Nothing (part one)
I watched this recently. The end was different from the original but made total sense for this retelling.

What kinds of things stay the same and what changes in your favorite retellings? Is everything about the story safe for the author to change, or should some things automatically be included? I would love to hear your thoughts/opinions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Disneyland

What I'm Reading
I'm reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I didn't get a lot of reading done this past week because I was on vacation so I've already been at this book for more than a week. Ah well.

What I'm Writing
Planning for NaNo but unsure whether I'll be ready in time.

What Works For Me
The first thing I do when I'm prepping a new WIP is start figuring out the characters. What they like/dislike, what they look like, their characteristics, what they're interested in, the MC's voice, and if it's an adult book like the one I'm writing next- their jobs. For me, characters always come first.

What Else I've Been Up To
DISNEYLAND! We left two Friday's ago and drove to Vegas first. Spent Saturday afternoon there, then drove on to our resort in Carlsbad, California on Sunday. We spent three long days at Disneyland last week but it was a lot of fun. My girls got to get done up at the Bippity Boppity Boutique, my son built his own light saber, we went on lots of rides, and met a lot of characters and got their autographs. We also did some shopping, swimming, and I got to spend an afternoon with my sister and her kids who live nearby. It was a great trip, but exhausting- especially with all the driving. I need a vacation after my vacation!
It was crazy trying to meet Anna and Elsa but worth it in the end. They were so good with my girls!
Family pic in front of Fantasyland. I got asked three times that day if I was dressed like Princess Jasmine. (The answer: no. It was a total fluke.)

We were with Tigger when Winnie the Pooh came up and grabbed my daughters hand. So cute.
On Radiator Springs Racers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Halloween Decorations

What I'm Reading
I read Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee and I thought it was great- such an imaginative world and different than anything I'd read before. Then I read Strange and Ever After, the conclusion to Susan Dennards Something Strange and Deadly trilogy. It was good but I was super disappointed by the ending. Ergh.

What I'm Writing
Queries. That's about it. I've been doing a lot of brainstorming about the project I want to tackle for NaNoWriMo, but I'm nervous because I haven't figured out the HOW yet. Double ergh.

What Works For Me
Breaks. I try not to take too many, but it's nice to have a little break now and then. I'm glad I finished up my revisions in enough time to give me this little break before NaNo starts.

What Else I've Been Up To
We're going to Disneyland soon! Me and the hubs went on our honeymoon but we've never taken the kids so it should be lots of fun (and so so tiring). Any tips? It's been so long since we've been that I have no clue what's good to see/do/eat.
I've decorated the house for Halloween!
Melanie Burt Stanford's photo.
Melanie Burt Stanford's photo.Melanie Burt Stanford's photo.

What have you been up to? Link up at Jaime or Erin's blogs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: There Is No Else

I read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and it was excellent. It did take me a bit to get into it, but most fantasy is like that for me. Once I did, I loved it! Can't wait to read the next one!
Last night I finished Isla and the Happily Ever After and I loooooved eeeeet. Stephanie Perkins writes such swoony romances and wonderful characters. However, I liked Anna and Lola better than Isla. I think I just connected more with Anna and Lola as characters. I never really got a clear sense of Isla. Maybe I was too distracted by all the hot kissing scenes!
I finished my revisions on Jar of Hearts yesterday! *dances* Now I'm going to let it sit awhile while I revamp my Eponine query, and then start planning for NaNoWriMo.
Schedules. I started writing "seriously" when my youngest was six months old and the best time was always during her early afternoon nap. I've kept that same time since then (5 years later), only straying from it on the weekends or when I've wanted to keep going at night. I'm a pretty scheduled person and this is my scheduled writing time and I'm keeping it because it WORKS.
Else? Sometimes it feels like there is no "else" when I'm neck-deep in a WIP. But I did have some more family time with my sister and her baby and my parents, and me and the hubs snuck in a movie date.

What's up with you?