Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What's Up Wednesday - 12.11.13

What'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.

You can participate by going to Jaime's blog here. Or Erin's blog there.

What a snowy, slushy way to kick off Wednesday!

What I'm Reading

This week, I'm reading Elizabeth Scott's HEART BEAT. I'm about 50% in and it is so heart wrenching. I love sad books.

This year, I've read 55 books (my GoodReads Reading Challenge goal was 50), and I was starting to eye up my stack to figure out what I'm going to round the year out with. So I thought I'd ask you!

I have:
Corey Ann Haydu's OCD Love Story
Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park (also, Fangirl)
Simone Elkeles' Wild Cards
Marissa Meyer's Cinder
and A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Any suggestions?

What I'm Writing

I have this weird superstition. I don't like to talk about my writing much. Especially when I really start to like what I'm writing. I feel like this is the only time the writing is ever going to be just "mine." Because the minute I start telling someone my half-baked idea (with that moony, in-love-with-my-story look in my eye), something is said to suck the wind out of my sails. And then I feel incredibly stupid for even wanting to write something so dumb (but about two seconds ago I thought was awesome).

So, it's going well. I don't want to talk about it right now. <3

What Else I've Been Up To

Last week, A.S. King participated in my Writers Like Us blog series! She is so awesome. One of the best bits from her interview was the same advice she gave to me a few weeks ago when I met her on book tour. 

Consider this fact: It took me 12 years and 8 novels to get an agent. But I also felt that if I was getting rejected, then I was working. I still think this way. 

She's amazing. Just so amazing.

What Inspires Me Right Now

A writing lesson Shannon, my guitar builder husband, taught me this week. He basically takes a block of wood and shapes it into this, a working, functional guitar (that is even sometimes played on stages). All these guitar guys are clambering for him to come out with new stuff and to sell it so they can play it! But Shannon takes his time. If it takes months, it takes months. The guitar in the video took almost a year for him to build.

"People will wait for good art," he told me. It gets to the point where he spends so much time crafting his builds, he hates to let them go. When he came back from this show, the first thing he said to me was, "I miss that guitar. I want it back."

So I'm learning to take my time with my writing and enjoy the actual writing without thinking of what will happen once I'm done. (Also, not talking about it so it can stay mine for as long as possible.)


  1. "People will wait for good art," he told me. <--- I love this. Sometimes I catch myself rushing through drafts/revisions and have to remember to pull back and give the story my all. Thank you for the awesome reminder.

    So, HEARTBEAT sounds amazing. I love Elizabeth Scott's writing and I'm a fan of sad books too. Can't wait to check it out. As far as what you should read next, I've read OCD LOVE STORY, ELEANOR & PARK, and FANGIRL... All three are absolutely incredible, so I'm not much help. :-)

  2. Shannon wins the prize for good advice! Also, kudos to you for remembering that this is something you love to do and you have to enjoy the writing part -or what's the point?
    I whole-heartedly vote for Eleanor and Park with Vera Dietz as a close second. Haven't read the others.

  3. i try to keep my stories to myself until I have a better grasp of the characters and world, or until I figure out if I'm going to finish the whole thing. YOu're going to love Fangirl! SO GOOD!

  4. I know what you mean about being hesitant to share new story ideas for fear the wind will be sucked out of your sails. I've had this happen. Or sometimes in the explaining you start to doubt the awesomeness of the idea. Bah! Never good.

    My vote is for FANGIRL. I thoroughly enjoyed that one. :-) That guitar your hubby built is awesome! He's quite clearly a very talented guy. Have a wonderful week, Valerie!

    P.S. I have to remind myself every single time to type "Valerie" and not "Val". I'm such a dork!

  5. Related to your what to read next question, you are looking at all good choices. I LOVED OCD Love Story, Eleanor & Park, and Cinder. I wasn't as excited about Fangirl (I only liked it a lot), and I haven't read the other two books you listed yet (though I've heard good things about both)
    and A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It all depends on your mood and what type of book you feel like reading. But I would probably recommend Cinder.

  6. I definitely understand not wanting to talk about your writing. It's such a private thing in its infancy. Best of luck with it!

  7. My book suggestions are Eleanor and Park and/or Fangirl (I read the first but not the latter, it's on my list too) or the A.S. King book because that's one I've been meaning to read, and I've read excerpts of her other work in a writing course and she's brilliant. Go with top-notch writers and be inspired!

    (Meanwhile I have some comfort-food romances I'm going to read this month because I have abandoned reading for weeks now and I want to devour an entire shelf of books by year's end).

    So cool that your husband builds guitars. My hubs has a custom built one from a friend; it was cool to see the progress. The good art comment is an interesting one. I think people work different ways. With a craft like guitar making, that extra time is what makes his work so valued. Where it gets tricky is when the extra time is an excuse for not finishing, or to cover over lack of confidence. It's a balance that I think only happens over time. Even if we write several manuscripts a year, since it's a craft, we may not get that winner until #5, when things really start to click. I hope it doesn't take me until #5 but I'm getting closer...

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips, mega-star romance author, has been at the book thing for 30+ years, but has 1/2 or 1/4 total books as many romance authors with her same length of career. She's knows she is not a fast writer and her books take time, some more than others. With some of the e-books successes out there I think there's a bit of pressure to churn out a lot of content to stay relevant. Not everybody is Bella Andre coming out with a new title every few months (seriously, how do some of these authors do it?).

  8. I'm right there with you about not wanting to talk about new ideas. Seeing those sails stock-still after sharing my premise with someone (especially someone close) is a lousy way to spend an evening. Or week (or more!). I tend to keep things on the D-L for a long time, and if I had it my way, no one would hear a peep until it was sitting in its final format on a shelf. But then... it has no chance of getting there that way ;)

  9. 12 years and 8 novels. Wow. That helps me feel a tiny bit better about 4 years and 5 novels and still agent searching. :)
    I've only read Eleanor & Park and Fangirl but definitely those. Eleanor & Park will get you. It's so good.

  10. I totally get what you mean about not wanting to talk about your story ideas. Somehow they never sound as amazing when I try to explain them, especially when they're still just a spark of inspiration and not something fully developed yet.

    I love what you said about learning to take your time with your writing. I'm a planner and I like to mull things over, so that's how I tend to be. Lately, I feel like I'm rushing to get to the end of a draft though, so this is a great reminder.

    As for your book choices, I really enjoyed ELEANOR & PARK and CINDER and would recommend both. :)

  11. I love your answer to what you're writing. :)

    I read Eleanor & Park this year and highly recommend it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...