Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Ready Set Write

Hello Friends,

*blows dust off blog*
*taps microphone* 

Time, it's a precious and tricksy thing. 
There's just never enough of it to Do All The Things.  

Thus, some things fall through the cracks. 

(Blogging has been one of those things for me for a while. I'm sorry. I miss you.) 

Some things can be let go for a while...but then one day Mount Washmore starts toppling and there's no clean underwear. 

We try, oh yes we try, to find balance and time to keep up with the important things. But it's challenging, this delicate balancing dance we do on the tightrope of life as a writer (and parent and homeowner and pet herder and friend and human). We're spread thin, we writers. And there's a substantial amount of guilt involved. (amiright?)

Feeling guilty is poopy. 

So I'm ditching guilt.

To that end I've joined up with Alison Miller Jaime Morrow, Katy Upperman  (and friends) and their summer writing soirée they call Ready. Set. WRITE! (detailed explanation HERE) The basic gist is to write all summer and post some details of your progress on Wednesdays. It's not too late to join (I'm late to the party, in fact).

This is great for me because even though I'm already writing daily, this motivates me and holds me accountable to blogging every Wednesday. Plus, I really like the people involved and look forward to cheering them (and you!) on every Wednesday. #win

And aside from Ready Set Write, I have some other exciting things to share with you over the next few days and weeks! 

Okay, here we go:

What I'm Reading: I just finished THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey. It's a fairytale retelling (of a lesser known Russian fairytale) set in frigid 1920's Alaska. It's atmospheric and rather sad. 

I love the cover art.

What I'm Writing: I'm working on revisions on two projects (both upper YA, both magical realism; one with a southern gothic vibe told backwards, structurally) and as reward I'm also (sneakily) drafting a SNI. I'm not a plotter, so I'm not exactly sure where it's going yet, but it's very different from my usual style. It started with a snapshot vision of scene...a very grisly scene, and I'm just rolling with it. My goal is to completely finish revisions on one of the projects by mid-August, and the other by mid-Sept. (not sure what my goal is for the SNI. We'll see.)

What Else I've Been Up To: My daughter finished her junior year of high school; she is now officially a senior! *hyperventilates* *dies* (guys, I JUST took her to her first day of kindergarten...where I sobbed watching her walk into her classroom with her little backpack. Like I said, time is a tricksy thing. It flies.) (Except when you're at the DMV.) 

We've been taking her to visit colleges. In fact, today, Wednesday, she is having daddy-daughter time and they're visiting his alma mater (Rutgers) and taking the tour. And then we're off to the shore for the long holiday weekend...and plenty of these:

image and recipes from Real Simple

What's Inspiring Me Now: To get an idea of the many things that inspire me, my Pinterest boards give a rather varied account of the music, poetry, literature, art and imagery that moves me.  Aside from the things you might find there, I also find travel highly inspirational (of course there's boards of that too).

But music always his me in the feels, and is often my cornerstone for w solid writing session. Music gets me in the mood, almost method acting-style, to write a particular scene. 

For the Southern Gothic/Backwards Book revisions, these are a couple of the songs that inspired me:

Bottom of The River by Delta Rae (such a moody video...perfect for my book)

Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars

 Sideways by Citizen Cope

 Oh! Also, I'll be back here this Saturday  (July 6th) to celebrate the lovely Lisa and Laura Roecker's new release THIS IS W.A.R. They're gonna share their playlist with us AND I'm GIVING AWAY A COPY, so please stop by!
could they *be* more gorgeous? <3 td="">

Okay, now it your turn! Tell me, what's up with YOU? Tell me All The Things! 



Alison Miller said...

My stories always fall into the upper YA magical realism realm - how crazy! Also, SO glad you've joined us for RSW - I look forward to cheering you on and reading about your progress! Go YOU!

And my daughter is about to enter her freshman year of high school. I can't even IMAGINE having a senior. The next time I'm up your way, we're meeting up and I'm buying you a drink, lady!

Matthew MacNish said...

Alison, Katy and Jaime are my YACon homegirls! Love those ladies.

Katy Upperman said...

I'm so glad you're joining us for Ready. Set. Write!, Lola! And I'm so intrigued by what you shared about your writing. I prefer upper YA, and I love magical realism -- you should share an excerpt one of these days. Oh, and I'm totally feeling your mama pain. My daughter's only a first grader, but I'm already all weepy about her growing up. Can't we please freeze time?!

Best of luck with your writing this week. <3

Linda G. said...

Hey, good to see your pixels here! I totally understand about not being able to keep up with everything. It was a hard lesson for me to learn. I may need a refresher course... :)

Glad you're keeping up with your writing, though--your projects sound fantastic. :)

Kelly Polark said...

Great to see you in blogland, Lola! I love how you love music as much (or more) than I do! :)
I've been submitting picture books this week to publishers. Also will start a new PB in the next few weeks. But like you, taking a break for the 4th of July weekend. We always celebrate it with lots of family! Have a great one! (and I'm going to have to click on those drinks!)

prerna pickett said...

I love The Civil Wars! Good luck with your goals this week!

Jemi Fraser said...

Nice to see you again Lola! :)
Life is crazy busy here too - June is always nuts here. Hoping to have more writing time over the summer. Good luck to you with your revisions & polishing :)

Jaime Morrow said...

So happy you've joined us! Welcome, welcome. I definitely know what you mean about life being busy and time flying. It makes my head spin sometimes.

I'm really intrigued by this southern gothic vic YA, especially the told backwards thing. That sounds like it would be so hard to write! But how cool. :)

Can I just say how yummy those red, white, and blue drinks look? Have one for me too!

Old Kitty said...

Awww huge congrats to your lovely daughter - all grown up and set for college! Yay!!!

And yay for you and your writerly time! It's always lovely to see a post from you and lovelier still to know you are as gorgeously creative as ever!! Happy Fourth of July! Take care

Lola Sharp said...

Alison--Yes! But I'll buy rounds of drinky-poos too. <3
The kids, they grow up SO darn fast. *sad Lola*

Matt--We've already said the things we say to each other, offline. Our epic snarky convos are best kept private. :)
Oh, but, yes, super sweet ladies, they are. <3

Katy--Dude, it goes by SO fast. You'll see. It's really rather terrifying. (also, <3333)

Mrs. Silverstein said...

I totally love the first two videos you shared...which makes me think that I would also love your WiP! Definitely think about sharing a snippet one of these Wednesdays...

Miss Cole said...

Best of luck with your Ready. Set. WRITE! goals. Woo hoo, high five, fellow Pantser! :D

Lola Sharp said...

Linda--CONGRATS, again, on your newest book deal! So proud of you. <3

Jaime---Yes, the backwards structure has been far more complicated than I imagined. But I like to challenge myself. Thanks for making WuW, etc., it's really a motivator for me to get back to this here bloggity blog. <3

Kelly--I'm making some of the drinks TONIGHT. I bought all the ingredients. Festive booze is my favorite. :)

Ruth E. Day said...

I remember when I was doing college visits with my parents. It was such an exciting time full of so many possibilities. I still cherish those trips to this day, so have lots of fun with your daughter!

Thanks for post those music videos. I'd never seen them before or heard the songs, but I love them!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Yay!!! Love to see you back here!
You know most of the stuff going on with me. Revising still (steadily. It's just a long book) and going to a class (i don't really like it) and excitedly waiting to start the MFA (not until January. Poo)

I, too, have a SNI! An atmospheric murder mystery. Like snow falling on cedars meets splash. Except substitute mermaids with shark people. It came to me almost fully formed in a dream and I'm ridiculously excited about it.

Krispy said...

YAY LOLA! I'm so glad you're in on RSW now! :D

I've been curious about Snow Child, and I love fairy tale retellings! (And yes, lovely cover!) I may have to bump it up a little higher on the TBR list. Your WIPs sound very interesting & ambitious! Backwards telling? What? I'm also very curious about this SNI now. I'm a pantser too and often start off a story with just an idea or character or like your SNI with one very specific scene. Good luck!

OMG, your daughter is going to be a senior?! I had so much fun my senior year of high school, so I hope she does too. CHERISH IT! Also, what other colleges is she looking at? (I will always talk up my own given the opportunity. I bleed blue. ;) )

Lastly, YAY for LiLa! I'm pretty excited for their newest book. Love the concept and the cover art!

Mandie Baxter said...

Welcome back to blogging! I’ve neglected it too. And thought WUW and Ready Set Write was the perfect way to have at least one weekly posting about a few different topics AND keep up with weekly writing!! :D Yay for non plotters. I get ideas, and I’ll jot them down, but they don’t go in order. Good luck on SNI & revising!!!

Erin L. Funk said...

Your "backwards" Southern Gothic story sounds so interesting! I'm glad you decided to join us for RSW. I think you're the first person who's said they needed it for blogging accountability. Why not? Especially if you're writing everyday anyway!

Hope you enjoy your Fourth of July tomorrow! Those red, white & blue drinks look totally fun (even if I'm Canadian)!

M.J. Fifield said...

I love The Civil Wars. Their music is always inspirational.

Happy writing!

Gary Weller said...

Wow, that's actually quite an update!

Me, writing and dealing with some of the negativity that often wells up when the drama levy breaks.


Sara Biren said...

Hi Lola! My WIP has a sort of magical realism feel to it, also - it's been really fun to write. Glad that you've joined in with Ready Set Write - such a fun group and so nice to have cheerleaders! Best of luck with your writing goals this week and enjoy your weekend!

Stephanie Allen said...

My brother is now a junior in high school as well as driving. I'm eight and a half years older than him and he's always been my "baby" brother, so my mind still can't wrap itself around this!

I love The Civil Wars! They're staples on my writing playlists, as well :)

Good luck revising!

Morgan said...

Love your blog, Lola!

And thanks for this. Totally inspiring. I love your energy and passion and it's helped instill a little bit in me. Thank you for that. <3

Erin L. Schneider said...

Welcome back, Lola!! It's so great to see you around again!

And a daughter that's a senior in HS? I think that's pretty awesome - she's a built-in beta reader, right? :) Enjoy every moment...even if they do fly right by!

Best of luck with both of the projects you're working on - it's tough to tackle revisions on one story, let alone TWO! But I've found everyone that's participating in RSW have been so amazing - just the encouragement that's needed!

I hope you have a wonderful Friday / weekend - and it really is great to see you back around these parts again!

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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