Wednesday, 21 May 2014

What's Up Wednesday

Welcome to What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow. Here's what I've been up to this past week!

What I'm reading

I read Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, which is a really good YA historical fantasy about witches. Then I read Half Bad by Sally Green, also about witches - but it couldn't be more different! It's easy to see how this book's drawn so much attention. It's gritty and intense with a fresh, contemporary voice!

My copy of The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa arrived, and I eagerly dove into the finale to the Blood of Eden trilogy, knowing many tears would be shed! And I certainly wasn't disappointed.

Now I'm reading The Lovely and the Lost by Page Morgan. Gargoyles, demons and gothic romance in 1890's Paris - I love this series!

 
What I'm writing

I'm slowly inching towards the end of my draft...

It's not been the best week for my poor other WIP's. Due to a combination of receiving a critique, reading a ton of writing articles, and generally being in a hyper-critical mood, I took a long, hard look at all of my works-in-progress, and came to a decision. The MG Fantasy draft that's been sitting on my laptop since December needs rewriting from scratch (but on the plus side, I've finished my revision plan!). The other YA draft I finished in April is being indefinitely shelved until I figure out what to do to fix it. And I've rewritten the beginning to my YA post-apocalyptic fantasy...again...

BUT, I'm doing the brave/crazy thing and entering my first contest with this project! Eep. I've been tinkering with it for weeks after getting my last round of feedback, afraid to move on even though I've revised the heck out of it - so I'm pushing forward. I just have to hope that at some point, the stars will align for all of my projects!

Meanwhile, I'm carrying on with my YA contemporary fantasy, and also plotting a new YA high fantasy based on an idea I had a few months ago! I might write this one next. (This is how I avoid insanity when waiting in the query trenches/waiting in general. By constantly thinking about the next project!)

What inspires me

The many, many useful articles on Janice Hardy's blog, and also this series on character arcs. It's been so helpful with outlining/re-outlining!

Also, writing the revision plan for my MG Fantasy book. Even though I have to rewrite it from scratch, I have a better idea of what I'm aiming for this time! :)

What else I've been up to 

Oh, tax forms. *mock cheer* To cut a long and tedious story short, as a UK author with a US publisher, I have 30% of my book royalties withheld unless I go through the torturous process of filling out a bunch of paperwork. Starting with obtaining an ITIN (International Taxpayer Identification Number). So, I am passport-less for a while, and I have to trust that Royal Mail don't lose my official documents. o_O (I'm filing this under "Things No One Tells You About Being An Author". Ah, well!)

Other than work, I've been having fun with creative-type things. ^_^ Since coming back from holiday, I've been trying for more of a balance in my non-writing life, as most of the time, it tends to consist of me spending too much time on the internet. So I'm trying for more non-writing-related hobbies like painting, drawing, card-making, etc. Things I used to do when I was younger, before everything became a competition, and Art GCSE stole my soul...

But, seeing as I have enough stress in my writing life, I'm taking up painting, drawing, and card-making again. I'm a complete amateur, but it's purely for fun, this time! :)

33 comments:

  1. I loved BORN WICKED, but I haven't heard of HALF BAD. It definitely sounds like one to check out! Best of luck with the contest you're entering... Scary, but fingers crossed that something wonderful will come of it. Have a fantastic week, Emma!

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    1. It's definitely worth checking out! Thank you! :D

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  2. Eek. I didn't even think about the whole tax thing as an outside-of-the-US writer. As a Canadian, I'm sure that will be an issue for me if I ever publish something. Thanks for mentioning it! I hope it all gets sorted out for you quickly and with as little hassle as possible.

    You've got some awesome projects on the go, and even though some of them are giving you grief, it's great that you've got all these ideas to choose from. Definitely the best way to keep yourself occupied while querying. And good luck with the contest! Have a wonderful week, Emma! :-)

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    1. It wasn't something I knew about until I was published, either! Luckily, I managed to send my forms to the US Embassy in London and they sent them on to the States for me without me having to send my passport overseas! I still have to wait a few weeks, though!

      Thank you! Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

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  3. It is always scary to enter your work into any kind of public forum. I hope you get a lot out of it! Fortunately, *most* writers are incredibly supportive even in contests. I have heard very mixed things about Half Bad, which makes me more interested to read! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Yep - I've entered so many contests, and the idea of putting this project out there stilll terrifies me!

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  4. I still need to start the Blood of Eden trilogy. I've owned The Immortal Rules for a long time now, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Good luck with the contest! (And with all that writing in general!)

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    1. It's such a good series!

      Thank you! :D

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  5. I adored Born Wicked, I've been hesitant to read Starcrossed because the ending was so heart breaking. I should read it soon. Thanks for sharing. :D

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    1. No problem! I'll have to check out the rest of the series!

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  6. Playing the violin is my non-writing hobby and it's a really good thing to use as a break between projects.

    You are always so busy with writing. You're a writing hero :D

    Half Bad is in my TBR pile. I'm looking forward to it.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Lol, writing is like my drug! :P Most of these are first draft/planning stage, though, so not polished at all.

      Thanks! You, too! :)

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  7. I just finished reading Half Bad, I really enjoyed it. The writing style reminded me of Catcher in the Rye.
    Those sound like fun hobbies, I wish I could do things like that, but I have zero artistic ability when it comes to drawing and painting. I started learning to play the piano a couple of years ago, but then I had to stop when I moved house and had to leave my piano behind. Hopefully I'll pick it up again in the future :)
    Good luck with your rewrite!

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    1. I don't have much artistic talent (I got through GCSE Art with sheer stubbornness!) but I do enjoy drawing. :) Thank you!

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  8. I loved Born Wicked! I can't wait for the third book.
    I just put the Beautiful and the Cursed on my TBR. It sounds great!

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    1. I'm looking forward to the sequels, and to the last Dispossessed book! :)

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  9. Good for you for entering your first contest! I've done a couple and it was a bit scary at first but ended up building my confidence both times. Like you, I find Janice Hardy's blog super useful. Honestly, that woman and her guest bloggers have practically taught me to write. I need to start looking into Canadian tax issues surrounding publishing sometime soon. I imagine if I ever publish, I'll face a similar hassle. Have a great week and good luck with that contest!

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    1. I've entered contests before, but not for this project yet! :) It is a confidence-booster. And yeah, I've learned so much from her blog!

      Tax issues are a pain, but I know a few Canadian authors who've been through the same thing. I had to do a ton of research but thankfully I was able to send my application to the US Embassy in London to get it sorted!

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  10. Ohh, Julie Kagawa owns a big part of my heart. I'm yet to dive into the Blood of Eden books, but I've heard nothing but great things! If it's anything like her Iron series, I won't be disappointed.

    Well done for entering the contest! I'm usually too scared to dip my toes into those things, but I'm cheering for you from the sidelines. Hopefully it's the last piece of the puzzle for your writing-wearied self, and kicks you into gear for those pesky WIPs :D Have a wonderful week!

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    1. It's such an amazing series! Different from the Iron Fey but equally good.

      Thank you! :)

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  11. There seems to be a lot of things to be filed under "things no one told you about being an author." :) I hope it all works out for you. Congrats on entering the contest - that is awesome! Sometimes you just gotta leap. Thanks for the tip on Janice Hardy's blog - I'm bookmarking it... now! :) Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks! :) I hope you find the articles helpful!

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  12. best of luck finishing your WIP!! read your post on the writing path and loved it!

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  13. Good luck with the contest!

    I haven't read a whole lot of YA with witches, and I may have to check out the books you mentioned.

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    1. Thanks! Do - I recommend them! :)

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  14. Good luck with the contest! I'm excited about entering some contests this summer. I hope it goes well for both of us! ^_^

    I think it's so important that we don't forget about our hobbies. Not only are they fun, but other creative pursuits can really help with our writing, too! I'm so guilty of this. I neglect mine pretty bad most of the time. It's a working process. :)

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    1. Thanks! :) Fingers crossed for both of us!

      Absolutely - I've definitely been guilty of this the last few months, but I'm trying to make the effort to have a more balanced life.

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  15. Sounds like some good books! I have an ever-growing mental list of recommendations to check out. :)

    Reading writing articles is good, but I try to limit myself to 1 or 2 a day, or even per week. It's hard to read a bunch of them in a row, often given by many different people with many different opinions, styles, and habits, and try to synthesize all that into something that can solve your own problems. There's a lot of great stuff out there, but sorting through it can be overwhelming (at least for me). Have a good week and best wishes for revisions! :)

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    1. Yep - my TBR list is never-ending!

      Very true! I can't read too many in one go or else I feel overwhelmed, too, so I tend to stick to one topic at a time (the past week, it's been plotting and story arcs!). Thank you! :)

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  16. Janice has a great blog and I've seen Born Wicked around. Haven't read it yet, though. Good luck with your project.

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  17. I still need to finish Julia Kawaga's series. I read the first one and loved it, and I have The Eternity Cure on my Kindle.

    Good luck with your multiple WIPs!

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