Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's Up Wednesday - 8.20.14

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 I'm Reading

This week has been all about reading ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. I'm a pretty speedy reader, but this one I wanted to take in sip by sip. I missed Stephanie Perkins' work so much and this one was SO worth the wait.

What I'm Writing

This summer I started a new project. Typically, I like to write the first few chapters--set up the world, characters and establish the stakes--then throw the MS out to a few trusted readers. I got the green light on this MS and then Agent Lauren and I set a November deadline, so I'm working bit by bit. I've been outlining and plotting pretty meticulously, so I know where I'm going. The characters are a lot of fun and I feel like I'm found the voice pretty easily.

What Inspires Me

I will be the first to admit that I have a really strange sense of style. I tend to like anything that belongs on a twelve year old or a Japanese school girl. I blame Catholic school and growing up in the 90s and a huge love for anime because I could never shake my wardrobe choices of plaid skirts and Mary Janes. (When I was 16, I still wore lacy socks that I cuffed...and had Minnie Mouse on them!)  

So when I found THIS PURSE at one of those carts in the middle of the mall, I HAD to have it. I found out it's a knock off FURLA bag. While mine is made out of plastic, theirs is made of rubber and leather. I love it!

When I took my new bag out for a lunch at the local cafe, I had several compliments from complete strangers. One nice lady remarked at how roomy it looked, and I responded with an over-enthusiastic, "I HAVE A BOOK IN HERE!" (Because, you know, why would I respond like a normal person with a polite "thank you"?)

What Else I've Been Up To

My birthday is on Sunday! For the last seven years, Shannon and I've spent every single birthday on the beach, but this year life is getting in the way. He has to work and my back up birthday plans in NYC with BFF Kelly fell through too. It might be the first birthday I've ever spent alone, but I'm looking forward to it. Since I have some writing to do, I'm thinking about camping out in a fun Philly spot to write. Any suggestions?

<3 Have an awesome week! <3


  1. Hahah, I went to Catholic school too, and I have to resist the urge to wear pleated skirts and over the knee socks ;)

    Have an amazing birthday!

  2. I've heard so much about that book in the last week, I'm going to have to invest in some Stephanie Perkins!
    Happy Birthday for Sunday! :)

  3. I'm super jealous of anyone who is or already has read ISLA. I CAN'T WAIT! I definitely want to do a reread of the other two first though because they're so good.
    That purse it totally cute. Last week a lady commented how big the book I'm reading is (City of Heavenly Fire) as I was trying to jam it in my purse and I'm like, I NEED A BIGGER PURSE.

  4. Haha, I might have giggled at "I HAVE A BOOK IN THERE" - definitely a Classic Bibliophile move ;) That purse is adorable, it kind of reminds me of all the puffy plastic bags that were so popular in the 90s...

    Arghhh, so jealous about ISLA, I'm still waiting on my copy in the mail! Oh, and a very happy birthday to you, Valerie, treat yourself rotten :D

    - Caitie

  5. Valerie, I LOVE your colorful, post-it bulletin board :D (Good luck with the plotting, etc.!) and although I weaned myself off pocketbooks over 30 years ago, that purse looks SO cool! Never saw one like it! :)

    And, you know, alone time is actually a gift, I think, and it seems to me could be the PERfect way to spend your birthday :) Enjoy your camping out and Happy Birthday! :D

  6. I love the purse. LIfe is too short to wear boring clothes. If you can't tote around a plastic purse and be proud, something is wrong.

    I have many books to finish before buying more, but I may have to sneak in Isla :)

    And I am in awe of your plotting board. I swear I'm gonna try that out soon.


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