Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

What’s Up Wednesday

25 Comments

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.

WHAT I’M READING

I finished The God of Small Things. Hmm. Well, on one hand, I enjoyed the scattered timeline. And there were some really POW lines, like on page 68:

This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.

Or page 264:

Kalyani looked down and smiled, coyly acknowledging her bigotry.

But in some places I felt myself getting irritated by the repetitiveness, the cutesiness, the cleverness of the prose (Estha’s pointy shoes, etc.).

There was definitely something lovely/haunting about this book, but it was too dreamy and abstract for my tastes, so I couldn’t love it.

Also read Pivot Point by Kasie West. It had a really cool concept (two timelines) and I thought the presentation of those dual stories was done well, but the mystery was a bit thin/predictable and I wanted more world-building and explanation over how the MC’s powers worked.

Currently reading The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I’m only a few pages in, but I feel like I’m at the beach and I can’t wait to read more.

WHAT I’M WRITING

ready set write buttonWarning: ramble ahead

After a week of attempting two projects at once, I have to say I’m struggling. I’m finding I can’t easily switch back and forth between the two. My first draft is rambling and unfocused, and my rewrite is pretty much going nowhere.

I think a lot of it has to do with the page count goals I’ve given myself. I’ve never done well with word count goals and it seems I’m the same way with pages. I’m an edit-as-I-go type person, so I might have a satisfying writing session but have little tangible evidence to show for it.

To remedy my “writing flounder,” I’m going back to my tried and true method of writing an hour a day. It’s worked well for me in the past, so if it ain’t broke…

That being sad, I’ve decided to focus on only ONE project for the time being and that’s my rewrite of JULES. My document is titled “Please let this be the last first draft.”

We’ll see.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO

It was my younger brother’s 17th birthday over the weekend. I remember the first time I laid eyes on him and I thought, “How is it possible for a person to be so small?” Now he’s a licensed driver and a year away from finishing high school.  He is smart, funny, kind-hearted, and sarcastic and I’m so happy that such an amazing human being is related to me.

Macrameing. (see below)

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

Alison and Katy had WIP Love Lists on their blogs earlier this week and I’m going to post mine on Friday. With all the “eh” I’ve been feeling about writing lately, I’m glad to have a reminder of why I love my WIPs.

This post on the YA Buccaneers blog, challenging readers to do something that scares or intimidates them. That’s where macrame comes in. Don’t laugh!

I am pretty much the least craftsy person on earth. I look at clothing patterns and sigh wistfully because I wish I could sew, even though I can’t even mend a small hole in a sweater without making the problem much worse. The same with crocheting (oops, lost the needle) and knitting (ouch, my eye).

Years ago, I bought this macrame book at a used book sale because it looked so 1970s and fun. But I eventually gave it away b/c it seemed so hard (whine).

Well, I am determined to try again. And not just a little bracelet – I want a bag! Some of the pics I’ve seen look just like a purse I had (and adored) when I was a kid.

I expect this will take me quite awhile, but I’ll be periodically posting updates. And if I get really badass at macrameing, fun gifts for everyone!

In the meantime, since my purse will take me awhile, my July challenge will be completing the President’s Challenge Adult Fitness Test.

It involves:

(aerobic) walking a mile OR running a mile and a half

(muscular strength) half sit-ups for a minute

(muscular strength) push-ups for a minute

(flexibility) sit and reach

I am not looking forward to running!

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Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Currently in the query trenches. My faves include: cats, snacks & green tea.

25 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Sorry to hear your struggling with juggling multiple WIPs, but I feel your pain! I’ve found the only way it works for me is to finish up work on when, then do the other. Repeat as necessary. And the 1-hour-a-day goal sounds great!

    Happy birthday to your brother!

    I can’t do a push-up. Not even one.

  2. Good luck with your fitness challenge!

    Focusing on one thing might take longer but it may produce a better story in the end. Good luck with your chosen project.

  3. I am totally doing this fitness challenge with you. I NEED it! Also, you have to find what works for YOU and an hour a day of writing sounds like an awesome goal. I can’t do pages. Or scenes. Or daily wc goals. Mine has to be a WEEKLY wc goal. So yay for finding what works! And good luck on your writing this week!

    Also, so glad you were inspired by the Love List. Can’t wait to see yours! And macrameing sounds neat! Pictures, please!

  4. I think it’s fantastic that you have learned something about yourself– you don’t do well while juggling 2 projects and you get bogged down in the page/word goals. That’s really powerful, Jen! Now that you know this, you can move forward. Good luck with the fitness challenge! I am impressed!

  5. I enjoyed PIVOT POINT, but I think you make some really good points about it. Mostly I just liked the swoony parts with Trevor. 😉 I think it’s great that you’re returning to what works for you with your writing. Setting aside an hour a day is a great idea. Word count goals aren’t always a good idea because you often end up writing drivel just to make that number of words. (Which is just brutal when you get to the revision process.) Setting aside a block of time allows you to do whatever you need to do with your writing, be it planning, drafting, revising, whatever. Smart idea!

    There was a whole discussion on Twitter the other day about the SUMMER series, and since I’ve only read the first one, it was really making me want to dive into the other two. They’re sitting on my shelf, so it’s not like this should be difficult. Plus, it’s summer, so they feel like the perfect reads. 🙂

  6. Let me know if you want company via Twitter when you’re writing. I always try to write at 7pm PST (which might be a little late for you?), and often in the afternoons, around 1 PST. I like to try to fit in a good solid hour a day too.

    Funny that you mentioned THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY. Elodie, Tracey, Jaime and I were just talking about that book on Twitter the other day. I LOVE it (I love the whole trilogy, actually) and the other girls seem to, too. Of course, we all have a favorite brother. 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what you think when you finish.

    Best of luck with your writing this week Jen!

  7. I posted my Love List this week – can’t wait to see yours Jen. I also love that you are reading THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY. While I didn’t love the book, I thought it was a great summer read – perfect for the beach. 🙂 Good luck with your writing. I am sure you’ll figure it out!
    http://rachelwritesthings.blogspot.com/2013/07/whats-up-wednesday-6.html

  8. Your modified goals sound like a good call. Sometimes simpler is better and I agree, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. Good luck moving forward and achieving your new goals.

  9. Jennifer, you make me laugh! I love reading your posts for things like: “And if I get really badass at macrameing, fun gifts for everyone!” 🙂

    Wishing you the best of luck in focusing on one of your WiP’s and reaching your goals, macrameing that awesome handbag, and completing the fitness challenge! GO YOU!!!!

  10. I have projects pounding in my head, clamoring for my attention. But I know I need to focus on one thing at a time. This is especially hard when I’d rather be writing something new than editing this first draft. But I know if I try to do them both, the editing won’t get done, and this draft may never get beyond first. So I’m dangling the prospect of working on new stuff like a carrot before my procrastinating brain. “When your draft is worthy of beta readers,” I tell myself, “you can work on Shiny New Idea while you’re waiting for feedback.” 🙂

    I hope focusing helps bring excitement back to your writing, and brings you closer to completion, Jennifer! 🙂

    All the best with your writing goals, and the macrame! 🙂

  11. When it was hard to get going, I’ve done the half hour to hour a day of writing to gain momentum.

    I have 2 or 3 of Han’s book, but not that one. I have Pivet Point in my TBR pile.

  12. “My document is titled “Please let this be the last first draft.””<—made me laugh so hard! My last revision was called "revision one billion", so I feel your pain! I think the idea of writing an hour a day is good–sometimes I think it's no use at all to measure your progress in how many words you've produced when you might have been working for hours and hours. Much less harsh on yourself that way 🙂

  13. You were brave to even attempt working on two projects at the same time! I’ve never been able to do that. I’ve also never been one to set goals either. I just write when I have the time and revise however much I can fit in, and it all feels very fluid. RSW has been an entirely new challenge that way. If working for an hour a day has always suited you, then that’s awesome. Hope it goes better this week!

    My feelings about PIVOT POINT were very similar to yours. Too bad, because the concept was really cool. I hope you enjoy THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY. I totally had a crush on Conrad when I read it.

    Happy belated birthday to your younger brother (he sounds great!) and good luck with the macrame project! Good for you for trying something crafty! I really need to take on a crafty project of my own sometime too. 🙂

  14. Good call with focusing on just one book at a time. I used to be able to write multiple books at once, but I was a lot younger then. Now it’s harder for me to feel a consistent spark if I’m splitting up among multiple projects.

  15. Craftiness isn’t really my thing either. I was voluntold to put one together for an adoption baby shower once. It turned out ok. Then I bought some stuff to “scrapbook” my teaching career (I just said goodbye to that job), but it’s all still in the Michael’s bag.

    Running I can do (push-ups, not so much, and running was a nightmare when I began three years ago), so if you make it through the running, I guess I’ll put together my scrapbook.

  16. I love your take on the YA Buccaneers dare. LOOOVE.

    This is a little random, but my dad made my mom a macrame purse when they were first dating (yes, they were/are/will always be hippies). It fell apart pretty quickly, but my mom still talks about it. 🙂

    I’d love to see photos of your progress! 🙂

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