Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

What’s Up Wednesday


Whats Up WedWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk that allows us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up.


Currently, I’m engrossed in some unsettling non-fic – People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry.

This past week, I read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but overall it was gripping and well-written, and it lives up to the hype. It’s one of those books that needs to be reread to catch all the little details.

There are several lines on page 64 that really stood out to me and after reaching the end, they stood out even more:

But she did it. Because you do. It is incredible what you do, knowing you have to.


My goal this week was to get to page 50.ready set write button

I GOT TO PAGE 50!!! Just barely, but I’m there.

I’m aiming to get to 100 by the end of the month (dream big!), so I’ll have to write roughly a dozen pages each week.

The hardest thing for me is to keep pushing forward, even as I’m cringing at the terrible dialogue and lackluster setting. I have to fight the urge to clean it up and remember that I can do that when I revise.

I *may* also pull out that WIP I swore I wouldn’t start editing until the fall because I think I need to chop about half of it and give it more focus. I have a bad habit of trying to cram two or three different stories into one. I’ve got a few ideas to fix the issues and I should jot those down before I forget.


My cat has his follow-up appointment on Friday and I think it’ll go well. He’s eating again (like there’s no tomorrow) and gaining weight back. Still not entirely sure what the issue was – maybe an infection or kitty IBS? Hubby and I switched him to a grain-free diet and our cat now eats better than we do.

Yes, yes, only the finest things for me!

Yes, yes, only the finest things for me!


The 4th of July is tomorrow and it always reminds me of being a teen and watching the movie, Independence Day, on opening night with my boyfriend (now husband), several of his friends, and my older brother.

The crowd was SO into it – during several parts, including the one where the dog narrowly escapes the explosions, we were all standing up and cheering. It was so much fun and for a few hours, we were all friends and there wasn’t anything to worry about because there was no doubt Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum would save the world.

I enjoy reading realistic fiction (and non-fic), but sometimes there’s nothing quite like the good guys (or girls) kicking some ass and making the world seem a little less scary.

So that’s what’s  inspiring me this week – all the “good guys/girls” and the idea that a group of people can have fun together without it turning into a political/religious/social/etc. debate.

Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

40 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. This is so me right now: ” I have to fight the urge to clean it up and remember that I can do that when I revise.” Keep plugging away! I’m rooting for you and those 100 pages!

  2. Looking forward to reading Code Name Verity myself…once I work up the courage to do so. Good luck with your writing goals 🙂

  3. PEOPLE WHO EAT DARKNESS is one of those books I want to read, but I’m a little afraid of it. I’ll probably end up with nightmares.

    I always end up having to chop up my first drafts so I can really hone in on what the true story is, because like you, I usually two or three going on in there. There are just so many possibilities when writing a first draft I have trouble letting them all go unexplored.

    My favorite line from Independence Day: Welcome to Earth! *Will Smith punches alien*

    • I think every line from Independence Day is my favorite lol

      And I’m pretty sure I’ll end up with nightmares from this book – I’ve been reading it before bed and it gives me the shivers.

  4. I’m the same. Small goals on my WIP. Good for you for meeting your goal of 50 pages this week!

  5. Congrats on hitting your 50-page goal! I have the same problem with you re: cringing about what I’ve written. My first drafts are pretty devoid of setting, so I’m constantly thinking about how much that sucks. Let us remember: REVISIONS!

  6. Have you rewatched Independence Day and that dog scene in recent years? It’s so funny! I laughed so hard last time I saw it,we rewound it like five times. I love big, dumb, popcorn action movies. I’m not so sure about The Lone Ranger; love Johnny Depp, but as Tonto? Really, Hollywood couldn’t find a Native American actor? Just sayin’.

    I also have a kitty with special food. He’s worth it, and thank goodness the speical food has fixed his issues for the past 5 years. It’s hard to know where to draw the line with pet costs when it comes to surgeries and medications. Hope your kitty is on the mend and stays healthy.

    Lastly, I also had a hard time with Code Name Verity at first, but it was so impactful, after I returned it to the library I found a copy on sale somewhere and bought it to re-read. I rarely ever do that.

    • I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve watched Independence Day lol – the last time was only a month or two ago, I’m sure. I also LOVE, LOVE popcorn action movies. So much fun! But, like you, not too interested in The Lone Ranger.

  7. Congrats on reaching page 50! Good for you! 🙂 You can totally reach page 100 by the end of the month. (This is me cheerleading.) I always cave to the urge to clean things up so it always takes me way longer to pound something out.

    I’m happy to hear you enjoyed CODE NAME VERITY. It’s on my shelf and I’ve been meaning to get to it. Also happy to hear that kitty is doing better. We switched ours to a grain-free diet some years back and I think they’re definitely healthier for it. Their fur is SO much nicer now too.

    Have a great week, Jennifer! 🙂

  8. Independence Day is such a great film. Everything you want in a summer blockbuster. I need to watch it again. It’s been forever!

    Good luck picking a project to work on. Go with whatever you feel the most inspired to work on.

  9. Love your memory of seeing the movie. And I felt exactly the same about Code Name Verity. Took me a bit to get into it, but once I fell, I fell hard. Hope you enjoy the holiday and that your cat does well!

  10. I have yet to read Code Name Verity, I know, I know, really need to fix that. I hope your cat continues to do well.

  11. My first draft (a sort of my second) was set NOWHERE or somewhere vague, plus I was trying really hard to make sense of too much in my head at once with the story. Revision is your friend, as is remembering that nothing is perfect, especially first drafts. Also — Independence Day is classic popcorn fare, which is what summer movies are about.

  12. I so need to remind myself to keep pushing forward right now too. I’ve been meeting my goals, but I’m not necessarily thrilled with the way a few scenes have turned out. I’m trying to take your approach and resist fixing them until the revision stage though. That’s awesome you hit page 50! Great job! Good luck with your goal of reaching 100 pages by the end of the month! I’m sure you’ll do it! Also, it’s nice to hear your cat is doing so much better! 🙂

  13. Hooray for reaching 50 pages! I hope the rest of your month is just as productive. I really loved Independence Day–I’m a sucker for 90s Will Smith. Like MIB? Yes, please to ass-kicking good guys.

  14. Not giving in to cleaning up you writing? *gulp* whoops. I’m trying to resist the urge, but there are some parts that I’ve gone back and changed. Good for you for keeping on and getting to page 50!

  15. CODE NAME VERITY is on my TBR, and I’m taking note of all these words of caution (e.g., don’t worry if it starts a little slow–it gets better).

    Congratulations on making your word/page goal, Jennifer! I hope you continue to meet your goals, and have a great July 4th. 🙂

  16. I’m glad you enjoyed Code Name Verity. It was one of my favorite books last year. It’s funny that you mentioned Independence Day. It’s amazing how that movie has stood the test of time. I took a Science Fiction Film class a couple of semesters ago and you would be amazed how we all watched it. We weren’t on our phones, which for that class was rare. Good luck with your writing goals! Have a great weekend!

    • I was just saying the “test of time” thing about it the other day! There are some books/CDs/etc I’ve picked up again as an adult that don’t seem as epic, but Independence Day is still awesome!

  17. You can reach 100.

    I somehow missed the crimes related to People Who Eat Darkness.

    I love that movie.

  18. Ah! I hope you’re having a fantastic fourth! Fun memory of seeing the movie with your future husband. Glad to hear your cat is feeling better, too! I keep meaning to read CODE NAME VERITY but I’ve missed it every time it’s come in for me at the library. One of these days…

    Good luck with your goals – you can totally get to 100!

  19. Yayyyyyyyy for making it to page 50!!!! 100, here we come! 🙂 Awesome job on your writing progress, Jennifer – even if it takes its sweet time…you still get there. Best of luck with the rest of your writing goals this week – every day you wrote more than you did yesterday, so keep it up!

    And I’m so happy your kitty is doing better! Love the pic, too! Both our cats and our dog have been on grain free food for a couple of years now – Merrick makes an A-MAZING selection of options that our kids just can’t get enough of…and yes, they totally eat better than we do. 🙂

    Love the little story around INDEPENDENCE DAY – that is SO awesome and you’re totally right. Something about Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum saving the day – it was pretty epic…might have to go watch that again.

    I hope you have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!

  20. I’ve been meaning to read THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

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