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.


I finished PEOPLE WHO EAT DARKNESS, which remained unsettling the entire way through. I don’t think I could have read this book if I had kids because I wouldn’t have wanted to let them out of the house for a few days after. It’s a hard fact knowing there are such twisted people out there, many of them just blending in with the rest of us.

I’m currently reading THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy, so I’ll have thoughts on that next week.


ready set write buttonI’m working on two projects this month! I think this is the first time I’ve ever tried to do that, so we’ll see how it goes.

The first is my new WIP (“Shannon”) – I slacked a bit this past week and only made it up to page 58, so I’m aiming for a dozen this week on my journey to reach page 100 by the end of the month.

The second is a complete rewrite of an old WIP (“Jules”) – I spent some time hacking at it this past week and my goal is to have the first and second chapters (re)written by next Wednesday.



I’m sure I did something interesting this past week. Maybe.

I’m writing this post while also washing dishes, so my brain is a little scattered at the moment.

I made the questionable decision on Sunday to do a double workout since I missed my regular Saturday workout.

Ouch. I don’t think I’ll do that again soon. Or EVER.


My teen brother asked to read some of my writing, which really meant a lot to me, even more so b/c another family member made an offhanded comment about how I’d be published now, if only I worked harder. It really irritated me to hear that because he doesn’t know the first thing about the publishing industry, has never written anything himself, and has no idea the amount of time/energy writers put into every aspect of the process, which is way more complicated than:

Step 1: Write a book one evening when I’ve got a few minutes to spare

Step 2: Call up a publisher the next morning and tell them about my awesome best-seller

Step 3: A few days later, get massive book deal

Step 4: The next week, I see my book there on the shelf – cool!

I’m glad to have my online writer friends who understand the frustrations and triumphs of the process – they make it easier to face the first drafts and the endless revisions!


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.

32 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. That comment is so annoying. It’s kind of amazing how people think publishing works.
    Good luck with Shannon and Jules!

  2. So, I just want to slap the person who told you that about writing – that is so irritating! But how awesome that your brother wants to read your work! When my students tell me they want to read my stories it just makes my day!

    Also, that book title had me crazy intrigued until you described its contents. I already am super neurotic letting my kids out of sight. Too many sickos.

    I hope you have a wonderful writing week!

  3. What??? You mean that I can’t get a publishing deal once I’ve written my fantastic masterpiece!! Ha! If only it were that easy.

    And that ‘People Who Eat Darkness’ sounds great. I’ll have to add that to my to-read list!

  4. Hey! Welcome to the Working On Two Projects At Once Club! I’m right there with you. It seems to be working all right for me because the two stories are very different from each other and because one is a draft while the other is in revisions. It’s totally doable!

    That is such a bummer to hear what that person said to you. Honestly, people so don’t get this process or this industry. Every time I see a TV show or a movie that makes it seem like how you’ve laid it out, I want to scream at the TV. Talk about perpetuating seriously wrong ideas about writing and publishing. It’s awesome to hear that your brother was interested in reading your writing. Very, very cool! 🙂

    • Yeah, I think (hope!) I can keep them separate since they’re in different stages.

      And LOL about TV/movies showing the pub industry. I just saw a s/l not that long ago where the book was submitted and published within a few weeks. I was like, wait, what?

  5. Wouldn’t it be nice if publishing was that easy! Good luck with your continued existence in the real world 🙂

  6. So this family member of yours. Please. Oh, please, won’t you send him / her my way?? Cause I’ve got a thing or two to tell this person, starting with “and when have YOU ever even attempted to write an entire novel…not a page. Or two. Or even a chapter. I’m talking full-on 80,000 coherent words that actually form a visually appealing setting, with characters that make you want to be friends with them the ENTIRE way through.” Yeah, that’s what I thought. Brush it off, Jennifer – no one but another writer will EVER understand (well, okay, maybe those in the publishing business, but yanno).

    I do think it’s awesome that your younger brother asked to read your writing. I hope you do decide to share some of it with him – what better way to nail the voice of a teen boy? Built in beta read – BOOYAH!

    And double workouts? Now you’re just talking crazy. Like perhaps you may have fallen and bumped your head crazy. Don’t you know Sunday’s are for rest and relaxation? You do now. 🙂

    Best of luck in tackling both of your projects this week. You never know which one you’ll be inspired to work on, so it’s great that you have TWO!

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Jennifer – and seriously…send this family member of yours on over. 🙂

    • Oh, if only intervention would help my family member, but there’s a stubborn streak in there a mile long. One of those “the Earth is flat b/c I say so damnit” type of people 🙂

      Hah, my mom said the same thing about my brother – beta readers FTW!

  7. Jennifer, I get asked so often when my book is coming out. I’m like, “Erm, I haven’t sold it yet.” These things take time. When someone makes an offhand remark like that, you have to ignore it. Sounds like you’re staying, and writing a lot, which is what you should be doing. Plus, having a teen read your stuff can give you a lot of insight on how your doing. YAY!

  8. Oh boy, do I ever hear you on family members not understanding publishing! I almost wish I hadn’t told anyone I’d written a book (well 4 books actually…*cough cough*) because now I have to explain the publishing process over and over and over.

    But how cool that your brother wants to read your writing! The writers of the world now want to hug him.

    And hooray for The God of Small Things! I hope you love it.

    Have a great rest of your week!

  9. I’m sorry your family member made that comment. Boo. How can we make others see? Just remember, you are writing, you are working hard, you are pursuing your dream, and that is what matters. Don’t let others who don’t understand make you feel any differently. I remember loving The God of Small Things when I read it years ago but, I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it’s about. Hahaha. Best of luck with your new draft and your rewrite : )

  10. Ack! What a stupid comment. I was just watching an old Frasier the other day that started with Roz coming in and saying she had a meeting with a publisher because she was thinking of writing a children’s book. Um, WHAT. (Also, she sold her book, based apparently on the idea alone–but it turned out her “idea”, the story her mom used to tell her when she was little, was Heidi. I get the joke, like, from a comedic structure standpoint, but there are SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THAT from a publishing standpoint. Sigh.)

    Anyway, I’m glad your brother is interested in reading what you’ve written–that’s really sweet! It sounds to me like you’re working plenty hard–keep it up!

  11. ajahdk;dldld<–That's me banging my head against the keyboard because of that horrible comment that you'd be published if you worked harder. Why, why, why do people say things like that, especially when they don't understand the process or the industry AT ALL? Well, I'm glad your brother encouraged you by asking to read some of your work. It's really cool that he's interested and supportive!

    I love that you're posting while you're doing dishes. Way to multitask! Good luck with both your writing projects!

  12. Through trial and error, I learned I’m a one project at a time kind of girl. I love that your brother wanted to read your work and I think your other relative should walk a mile in your shoes first before saying stuff like that. Gah!

  13. Ummm… how can you write a blog post while doing dishes? Doesn’t your computer get wet?? It’s like people who read while jogging… amazing! 😉

    I’m amazed by writers who manage to polish off two novels a year, along with some short stories, book reviews, and then tour the world promoting. They need to stop–it’s people like that who inspire the stupid questions. 🙂

  14. Uhhh, I’ve received those assumptions of the publishing world from loved ones. They make me groan inside.


    You can achieve your goals. Happy writing.

  15. I am an utter failure when it comes to trying to do two projects at once. It makes me feel like such a schizophrenic, especially if they’re really different genres or something. Good for you for tackling, that, though!
    And yeah, it’s especially tough when it’s family members that make comments like that, but that is so cool that you’re getting some support.

  16. You’re the 2nd person recently to mention The God of Small Things. Okay. Am reading.

    And please ignore those stupid family members that know not of which they speak.

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