Wednesday, 14 January 2015

What's Up Wednesday! | 14/01/15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk as a way for writers and readers to stay in touch!

What I'm Reading

I didn't read some of the books I'd planned on reading in the past week; I'm still in the middle of The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau and I set Kate Mosse's The Winter Ghosts aside for the time being because I just wasn't feeling it.

But since last week I've managed to read A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf and the first four volumes of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples which, unsurprisingly, is now one of my new favourite series. Right now I'm still reading The Crown and yesterday I started Valour's Choice by Tanya Huff, which is a piece of female led military sci-fi by one of my favourite authors!

What I'm Writing (+1 Writing Goal)

I'm still writing from the POV of the character I mentioned last week. There's still no apparent story, she's just telling me about how her parents met and came to open their restaurant. I'm hoping for some sort of story to become apparent eventually because she's a character I'm really enjoying, and she now has a name: Mab Hu. A fitting name, I think, for someone with a Welsh mother and a Chinese father.

I also have some short stories I need to be working on, especially if I want to enter some of the competitions I've come across recently. One of my short stories is driving me up the wall and has been doing so for about two years; it's been finished for a while, but there have been so many drafts because I still haven't quite found the best way to tell it.

My Writing Goal: Redraft 'Sati' for the umpteenth time.

What Works For Me

Sharing my work with others. It's not for everyone, but I spent four years at university in seminars where other people critiqued my work and my writing improved so much during that time. I'm still in touch with the people from my MA course and whenever one of us writes something that we're unsure of there's always someone who's willing to take a look and give some honest, constructive advice. Sometimes just hearing someone else say 'I really want to know what happens next' is enough to get me back to my keyboard.

What Else Is New

Honestly, not a lot! On Sunday I went shopping in Cardiff; it's a great place to shop because it's the capital of Wales, but it doesn't feel like a capital city. It's very wide and flat and you can still see the horizon, so, unlike London, you don't feel boxed in.

I ended up buying myself a bunch of new tops including a Beauty and the Beast top, an Aladdin top, a Ravenclaw top and a dinosaur top, as well as some Harry Potter pyjamas and a unicorn jumper which might just be the cuddliest thing I've ever owned. You know you're all jealous of my fashion sense. 

I think I deserve an award for just buying clothes; I even went into Waterstone's and came out empty handed, which is a miracle!

But yesterday I received an ARC of Mistress Firebrand from the lovely Donna Thorland who, after seeing it mentioned on my blog as one of my most anticipated reads of 2015, kindly asked to send me a copy. I'm really looking forward to reading it!

What's new with you?

27 comments:

  1. Good luck sorting out that short story, and have fun with your new character :D

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  2. I confess to being very jealous of your Harry Potter pyjamas. The tops sound fun too!

    It's great that you can still rely on people from you MA course to critique your work. I'm sure that must be incredibly helpful. You're brave to have put yourself out there with your writing in a university setting! I'd be so nervous.

    Hope this wonderful new character reveals her story to you soon! :)

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    1. They are very cool pyjamas.

      Yeah, I'm very lucky to have that little support network always at hand. =)

      Thanks!

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  3. Good luck with the short story and y'know I've never read any Virginia Wolf. Should I start w/ A Room of One's Own? That military sci fi book you're reading sounds interesting too. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks!

      Honestly I'm probably not the best person to ask when it comes to Virginia Woolf because I'm not a big fan of her fiction; I'm more of a modernist than a postmodernist. A Room of One's Own, however, I would definitely recommend to every woman out there, but especially women who lead towards the arts. =)

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  4. I love hearing about your adventure in Cardiff, one place I hope to visit some day. Sharing my work also works for me, it's really eye opening and scary, but so much better for your work. Good luck with your writing goal this week!

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    1. It can be scary, but as soon as you realise everyone else is just as nervous as you are it gets much easier to handle, I think. =)

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  5. Sharing my work with others definitely works for me too. I think we get way too close to our own writing and sometimes just can't look at it objectively. Not to mention the self-doubt. Like you say, finding even one person who wants to know what happens next is such a great boost. Hope you're able to sort out the story you're planning!

    I've never been to Wales, but I think I need to add it to the list of places I need to check out. From everything I've seen, it's pretty beautiful. Glad you had a great time! And the clothes you bought sound awesome. :D

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    1. You're right, sometimes we can get way too close to our own work and we end up missing any obvious flaws or we end up not realising that what we've written is actually very good!

      There are some gorgeous places in Wales, and it still has a lot of castles, too. =)

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  6. It's great that you're still in touch with people from your MA course. Having your work critiqued is so invaluable - it's amazing how an outside opinion can help so much with seeing your work objectively. My critique partners and beta readers have pointed out things in my manuscripts that I'd never noticed before and helped me find ways to solve problems that have bugged me for ages. Best of luck fixing that story! :)

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  7. I am absolutely jealous of your fashion sense. I would wear any and all of that.

    Also, that's pretty cool that you're getting to read one of your most anticipated books of 2015 in advance. The internet is an amazing place. Have a great week!

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    1. Haha, I would say I'd let you borrow it but I'm wearing my unicorn jumper right now and it's probably the most comfortable thing I've ever owned so I don't think I'll be parting with it...

      It's very cool, I'm really excited! =D

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  8. Good luck with your short story! And I'm like you, sometimes hearing someone wants to keep on reading really gets me going :)) Have a wonderful week!

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  9. Good luck with the writing competitions! That's a great way to get your work out there and serve as a reason to work extra-hard on your craft.

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  10. Yay to getting the ARC! Sounds like a nice surprise. Good luck with the shorts - those can be so refreshing and help when other characters/stories are taking their time. Enjoy!

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    1. It's really exciting - it's the first ARC I've ever gotten and I can't wait to read and review it. =) Thank you, I think I'm going to need all the luck I can get!

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  11. Good luck with revisions on your short story, and with the WIP you're working on. I hope the character continues to reveal more about herself.

    My What's Up Wednesday post.

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  12. I love the idea of a character called Mab Hu. I'm sure her story will come to you when the time is right; keep freewriting and it's sure to emerge!

    Sharing my work works for me, too; I did a year-long (non-credit) creative writing course and came to rely on the feedback of certain of my peers. When the course ended, the first thing everyone did was cling to each other and form plans to keep meeting and reading and feeding back. Yay for finding one's tribe!

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  13. I need more Harry Potter in my closet...

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  14. SAGA IS SOOOOO GOOD! I love it so much.

    Best of luck with your upteenth redraft. :) I haaateee when the rewrite tally gets really high, I get sooo sick of previously-loved projects at that point.

    A Ravenclaw top? Sounds super cool!

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