What We’re Into This Week: The Visit

In the hopes of trying to keep up with blogging after the end of RSW, we’ve decided to try and do a new weekly feature with Alicia. This feature will be something that we’re vibing on each week. It can be something BIG or small, dealing with writing or not, whatevs. Thus, this week, we’re into:

The BRILLIANT writing and pacing of the movie The Visit. If you haven’t seen this movie, GO SEE IT. We’re cheating a lil’ bit since we did see this movie over two weeks ago; however, it’s still on our minds. What does this mean? It was that GUD! The first thing we said to each other when we left? “UGH, that was the perfect plot for a book!” We really don’t want to give anything away so we’ll leave it at that, but for sure check out this trailer and then go and see the movie!

What are you into this week? Also, don’t forget to see what Alicia’s up to 🙂

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Accountability Monday: NaNo Prep in September

To keep ourselves on task with all the things (outside of academia and our day jobs) we’ve decided to join in with Alicia and her accountability posts each Monday. Usually, we’ll share our successes and failures from the previous week and upcoming goals. If you too need something to keep yourself honest, feel free to join in.

This week we haven’t had much of a chance to work on writing or reading; however, we have been thinking a lot about NaNoWriMo. After trolling the internet, we came across this awesome post on YAtopia about how to successfully prepare for NaNo. Not only does this post give excellent pointers about preparing for NaNo ahead of time, but it also provides some insight on writing during the month of November if you don’t have a lot of time (something we have a little bit of experience with).

So, if you have time, check out Alicia’s accountability post as well as this NaNo prep post and let us know: are you planning for NaNo ahead of time?

What We’re Into This Week

In the hopes of trying to keep up with blogging after the end of RSW, we’ve decided to try and do a new weekly feature with Alicia. This feature will be something that we’re vibing on each week. It can be something BIG or small, dealing with writing or not, whatevs. Thus, this week, we’re into:

Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything debuting at # 1 on the New York Time’s Best Seller list!

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.05.12 AM

Why are we into this? Because it gives us HOPE! This means good diverse books really can reach all audiences. Take note, publishers.

**Also, speaking of Alicia, she’s tagged us in a 7x7x7 challenge and we shall accept and do our own lil’ spin on the challenge Monday. We know…you can’t wait!**

R.S.W! FINAL Check In

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

Although our summer officially ended last week, RSW has now marked the “end” of our writer-ly summer. Thus, it’s time for us to do our final RSW check-in. We figured we’d tell you all how we did on the goals we set at the VERY beginning of this journey back in June. And if we can comment freely, we’d like to say we handled these goals

Tee hee. So, seriously without further ado…

Pam’s Goals (and results) for Summer 2015:

  1. Finish revisions on my YA thriller, THROUGH OUR TEETH–> Completed and Awesome Agent-approved. CHECK! 🙂
  2. Write at least 15k words of a new WIP–> Who would’ve thought that revisions, traveling, working, and preparing to start a dissertation would leave such little time to write a first draft? Nonetheless, though I may not have written 15K, I’m at a good starting place to knock out this draft in time for NaNoWriMo!
  3. Read at least 5 books–> Sheesh, see response to goal number 2. BUT…I only fell one book short. This summer reminded me how essential reading is to my writing (as well as how much I love it), so I’ll certainly make reading a priority even during my fall semester.
  4. Exercise 3-4 times a week (including running!)–> I’d call this goal a win considering I even managed to exercise while on vacay. I need to go on with my bad self.
  5. Do something FUN or FOR MYSELF at least once each weekend–> This summer has been filled with wine and movies and concerts and museums, oh my. I think I balanced work and play well this summer–and I’d like to continue that during the school year.

Quita’s Goals (and results) for Summer 2015:

  1. Work on revisions of YA contemp novel, YOU WILL LOSE HIM–> After a very tumultuous on and off again love affair this summer, this was completed. I am now beginning to query this novel again 🙂
  2. Plot/ begin writing at least 10k of new WIP–> Some plotting occurred and I pretty much know my characters & what they want; however, I didn’t quite reach 10k. Alas, this can be my NaNo novel, riiiight?
  3. Read 4-5 books–> Read 3 and started the 4th this week…close, very close. I fear with the start of the school year my reading will suffer. I’m gonna work hard to find time to squeeze in reading. Promise.
  4. Less work, more play on the weekends (especially on Sunday) translation: force myself to relax–> I think I got in a lot of “play” this summer. Visiting another country, going to SCBWI, a winery, Busch Garden’s food & wine festival…there have been some fun times!
  5. Exercise at least three times a week (or as often as Pam makes me :/) –> I don’t think Pam and I have ever gone a week without exercising at least three times. This might be something that (again) will suffer due to school & all the things, but maybe we can keep it up. *wishful thinking*

All in all, we think we did pretty well this summer. Of course we didn’t reach some of our goals but if it weren’t for RSW, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have finished MOST of these! So, thank you all for holding us accountable, reading our posts, commenting, and being your general awesome selves! ‘Til next time 🙂

R.S.W! Week 10 Check In (That Rhymes…)

Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

We’re back from our SCBWI extravaganza and we’ve got thangz to report. Ready or not, here it goes:

Pam’s Check In:

  1. Write at least 2000 words for my new WIP–> KINDA done. I became super-inspired during my time at LA SCBWI, so I was able to complete character sketches and a general idea of the synopsis. So while my 2000 words weren’t exactly part of my draft–at least I put in some work for it!
  2. Read half of a new novel during travels to and from LA–>  I actually read MORE than half. I’m a few pages away from the end of Galgorithm by Aaron Karo (which I picked up at the conference bookstore), and it’s that perfect combo of heart and humor. Can’t wait to finish!
  3. Attend a session outside of my comfort zone while at SCBWI –> DONE, yo! I attended a session on writing nonfiction for young adults and teens, and not only did it get the creative juices flowing–I also nabbed a free book (Alice & Freda Forever by Alexis Coe–looks like a creepy, yet awesome, read).
  4. Work out at least once while in LA–> YEP! Quita and I ran…and did not get lost. Possibly because we made sure to just keep circling the hotel this time.

Quita’s Check In:

  1. Settle on a new plan for YOU WILL LOSE HIM & stick with it–>  CHECK! I have created & completed (one more ‘gin) a SHINY NEW plan for this revision. I wholeheartedly intend to stick with it.
  2. Complete character sketches & plotting for WIP–> Character sketch for one MC is complete and I have started plotting the first few chapters; however, Pam heard some G.R.E.A.T advice from Meg Wolitzer at SCBWI that I think I’m going to try for this novel. Thus, plotting has been halted.
  3. Begin reading a new novel–>  I am reading (and enjoying) Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky. While I’m reading for pleasure, since my WIP is historical YA, I’m also taking a few pointers.
  4. Enjoy time @ SCBWI –> If I report on this one too much, I’d end up writing much more than a sentence or two. I LOVED the breakout sessions I attended, keynotes were ON FLEEK (oh, and very inspiring) and getting to spend an entire weekend with Racquel was truly amazing. This goal was definitely achieved.

Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

1. Work on Awesome Agent’s notes for my YA thriller revision.

2. Write at least 1500 words to the actual narrative of my WIP.

3. Work out at least 3 times this week (the heatwave and traveling has given me a case of the blahgitty-blahs).

Quita:

  1. Okay…this is a BIG one. I want…to FINISH my revisions on YWLH by the time I check in next week. GAH!

2. Exercise at least three times

3. Write at least 1k on new historical WIP

One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Curiosity. My WIP will be my first time creating new characters in a loooooong time, so I’m wondering where they may take me…

Quita:

Getting there. I was able to actually write some of the novel after coming up with my new plan. This book is my Everest.

Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

TV. The DVR was filled with guilty pleasures during my trip to LA, so of course I had to empty it, right? Right?!

Quita:

Well, I somehow got bronchitis on the way back from LA so that was fun.

Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

The NEWNESS of everything. Drafting is usually my least favorite part of the writing process, but I haven’t started a story from scratch in almost two years. Let’s see if I remember how to do this!

Quita:

The various avenues that I can travel with this story/ these characters. I kinda have a one track mind so talking things out with my awesome critique partner/life coach  (i.e. Pam) has helped me remember that I’m the master of this book. *cue wiggly eyebrows*

Wow, another week down! We can’t believe it’s August already! How are you guys coming along with your goals?

R.S.W! Week 6 Check-In- This Week Is SO Much Better!

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

After reading through our post from last week to report how much (awesome) progress we made this week we realized…we FAILED last week’s post. We left out a bunch of key components in our check-in. Thus, we vow to make this the most epic check-in post ever. Or, at least we’ll follow the rules this time 😉

Pam’s Check In:

  1. Finish revisions on my YA thriller, THROUGH OUR TEETH--> In progress. Though I may not meet my July 15th deadline to finish my revisions, I’m well on my way to being done by July 20th. I’m still debating what my incentive shall be for finishing. Something chocolate, perhaps?
  2. Write at least 15k words of a new WIP–>Not in progress. No worries, though. As soon as I turn in my revision to my awesome agent, I am ready to delve head first into this new world.
  3. Read at least 5 books–>I’ve been reading my first out of the 5 books FOREVER. Actually, I have not had a chance to read the first out of my 5 books. So…I will begin actually penciling in reading time to finally finish Paper Towns (especially since the movies comes out July 24th).
  4. Exercise 3-4 times a week (including running!)–>I managed to wake up early and work out 3 times this past week. Woo hoo! Still a bit too hot to run, but power walking counts, right? Right??!!
  5. Do something FUN or FOR MYSELF at least once each weekend–>My name is Pam, and I have recently become addicted to the band, Twenty One Pilots. So something “fun” for me was to watch their live performances and interviews on YouTube all weekend. Yeah, I’m sad.

Quita’s Check In:

  1. Work on revisions of YA contemp novel–>I have successfully revised the first three chapters of YOU WILL LOSE HIM! Hey…where’s my confetti???
  2. Plot/ begin writing at least 10k of new WIP–>I worked on the character worksheet that Pam mentioned a couple weeks ago provided by Jodi Hedlund (it can be found here) and plotted another scene. So…no actual writing has occurred on this project yet, but I’m getting there :/
  3. Read 4-5 books–> While I didn’t read any books (at least not any for pleasure. Much reading of articles and chapters for school has occurred), I did BUY a new book at B & N this weekend. So, the TBR pile grows and I’m doing nothing to tackle it. *sigh*
  4. Less work, more play on the weekends–> The plan was to see The Gallows for the “play” this weekend. You can’t see me right now, but I’m blinking.
  5. Exercise at least 3xs a week–> So, we did some dancing again, walked/jogged for over two miles, and threw a little Mixed Martial Arts in there–it sounds MUCH more impressive than it really is.

Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

1. Turn in my revision to Awesome Agent.

2. FINALLY finish reading Paper Towns.

3. Spend time with friends (me and Quita’s long lost Charlie’s Angel, Racquel, will be in town this week, woo to the hoo!)

Quita:

1. Revise at least half of YOU WILL LOSE HIM before next week. I need to get this thing done!

2. Hopefully get back to reading

3. Enjoy time with friends (see Pam’s # 3)

One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Challenging. I’m changing my protagonist’s motivation just a little, which means changing and/or removing some of her thoughts and dialogue. Getting rid of some of your favorite lines is always difficult.

Quita:

Progress. You guys! I’m making really good progress.

Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

See my response above. Killing your darlings ain’t no joke!

Quita:

Getting back into my revisions for YOU WILL LOSE HIM. Once again I almost threw in the towel on this novel. I gave myself the pity talk: “No one wants this book. It doesn’t work, blah, blah, blah.” But now I’m finding my groove again.

Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

Now that her motivation has changed, I’m rooting for my protagonist. I thought it was fun before just to write about someone a little cray cray, but writing about someone who’s conflicted is far more rewarding.

Quita:

The work that I’m doing with one of the supporting characters. I love feedback that I received from an agent who requested a R & R because she helped me realize how important one of the characters is to the entire story, and now I am having so much fun with this character.

That’s been our week…what about you guys??

RSW! Week 3: Still Going Strong

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

We’ve been participating in Ready. Set. Write! for three weeks now and we’re STILL on the path of success. We know…we’re pretty shocked, too ;P Wondering how we’re doing? Wanna know what’s in store for us this week? Then keep reading, yo!

Pam’s Check In 

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Begin reading the previous draft of my YA thriller–>I DID begin reading this…and I’m about a third of the way through.
    2. Create character sketches for my WIP–>I began using Jody Hedlund’s awesome character worksheet (which can be found here) to flesh out my main character. I’m learning so much about her!
    3. Complete strength training this week–>Hmm…Do you count Bollywood dancing? My arms certainly got a good workout from that!!

Quita’s Check In

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Have a clear revision plan for YA contemp novel–>I’m getting there, peeps! I know the major plot points for the novel and I kinda know what I want to do with my MC to make her motivations more clear.
    2. Revise at least one scene of YOU WILL LOSE HIM–>I started the beginning of one scene. That counts. I’m not asking…I’m telling you it counts.
    3. Plot new WIP–> I realize that I didn’t put a measure on this goal, so having a general idea of what I want to write about is good enough for achieving this goal and I DO know what I’m writing about. I also have two scenes plotted. BOO YEAH!
    4. Work on my endurance–> I did this weird superhero quick workout and during it, the lady said one of the exercises “builds endurance.” Also, Bollywood dancing…any kind of dancing builds endurance, right?

2. Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

I’d like to finish reading my YA thriller, create a dent in reading Paper Towns (which shouldn’t be hard since I’ll be sitting on a LOT of airplanes next week), and leave the hotel room during my conference in Trinidad next week. Because, you know, I’ll be in TRINIDAD!!

Quita:

I want to read a good chunk of Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, finish revising that scene I started this week, use that awesome character worksheet Pam found for my WIP, and do some site seeing with Pam in Trinidad.

3. One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Impressed. I started reading my YA thriller with one eye closed, but was slightly surprised that it’s really not a bad draft at all. Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

Quita:

Excited. At first, I did NOT want to do anything else to YOU WILL LOSE HIM because I was at a loss about what to do. Now that I have some constructive feedback, I’m genuinely excited to revise.

4. Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam & Quita:

Once again, that dreaded monster TIME. Dealing with work and a family health scare ate away at our writing/reading/revising time.

5. Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

My characters. I’m so used to writing from the male POV that it’s refreshing to know that I can write about strong females.

Quita:

Strong females, FTW! I love that my female MC is a star wrestler and that is the one thing that I’m not changing during revisions.

Okay, your go: how y’all doin’?