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 The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy. I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I didn’t love the books. There were too many places where it felt like I was being told the story instead of feeling it. And I wanted MORE, so I could understand why so-and-so was in love with you-know-who and vice versa; since the books were set during the summer, there were only glimpses of the connections that were made during the rest of the year.

I think my main issue was that I didn’t like the MC. She was juvenile and selfish and even when she felt guilty about the bratty (and at times downright cold-hearted) things she said, it seemed like she only felt remorse for how it affected her – not “Oh, I hurt him,” but “Oh no, now he hates me. ME!”

There were things I enjoyed, like the friendship between the moms and family dynamics. Also the theme of traditions, because it gave the books a bittersweet feeling and I could relate to the pains of growing up and the difficulty of moving forward.

Plus, Laurel. She was such a badass, cool mom. I totally <3ed her.


The rewrite I’m working on is a WIP I started years (and years) ago. I’ve got tons of cut scenes in a file and right now I’m doing that ready set write buttonpatch/paste thing, while also writing some new stuff. So basically my WIP is a mess, but a happy mess.

So far I’ve completely rewritten the first and second chapters and I plan on working on the third and fourth (and hopefully beyond) this week.

I REALLY need to step up my game b/c the other day I stumbled across my 2013 New Year’s resolutions and I wanted to have a query-ready draft done by the end of the year. Hmmm…not sure it’ll be query ready, but I can definitely knock out a(nother) first draft of this book.


Completing a fitness challenge for my YA Buccaneers dare!

Here’s the website that explains in more detail:

I’ll start off with my cardio results, since I’m slightly ashamed of them. Not because of the time, but because I wimped out and did the walk instead of run. But summer is hot and the shoes I was wearing are pretty much shin splints just waiting to happen and (insert various other excuses here), so I walked a mile instead of running a mile and a half.

Don’t worry, I will remedy my sad little self in three months, when I plan to retest.

Time: 13:28

Now onto bragging rights!

Half sit-ups (in a minute): 51

This only put me in the 85th percentile. Wow, there are a lot of people my age walking around with crazy fit abs, apparently.

Push-ups (in a minute): 53

Even my husband was impressed with this total – he didn’t know I was so monstrously strong! Keep in mind I was doing “girl” style, though, on my knees. I *maybe* could have gotten 10 standard ones.

Sit-and-reach: The instructions said to have the 12″ mark by my heels. I got to the 25.5 mark, which is 13.5 inches. Ouch. This test seemed way easier when I was a kid. Go figure.


Since I didn’t post my WIP Love List the other week, here it is for JULES (better late than never):

Crazy, caught up whirlwind love
Softball girls
Wannabe psychologist brothers
Uncle Scott’s cop look
Dads who burn waffles
The Macken brothers
Boys who love animals
Old-school arcade games
Driving too fast
Ducky Park Games
Hanging out at Pizza Palace
Playing air hockey
Sir Captain Tiger
Passing notes in class
Inside jokes
Study groups
Unrequited love
Missed chances
Snuggling under blankets
Dreaming about the future
Living in the moment

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.

26 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I like the love list. 🙂 53 push-ups? I’m impressed. I can barely do one–and the one I do is pretty much me flopping on the floor and then heaving myself up. I might not be doing it right in the first place.

    • I’m just glad there weren’t any pull-ups on the test. I used to cheat to get my one in when I did fitness tests at school. And my nice gym teachers let me get away with it, thanks goodness!

  2. Oh there is SO MUCH to love about your list!!! Passing notes in class (I remember that!), old school arcade games (Ms. Pacman *sigh*), Dads who burn waffles, boys who love animals…so much! Good luck with those revisions! You can do it!

    Also this: “So basically my WIP is a mess, but a happy mess.” I hear ya!

    Oh, and good luck with the challenge! Sounds like you’re doing great – I really need to get on that with you. Especially the push-ups and sit-ups.

  3. I love your Love List! These are my favourites: Crazy, caught up whirlwind love; missed chances; boys who love animals; and unrequited love. This sounds so good! I’ve done the whole patch/paste thing, so I know exactly what you’re talking about. It sounds like you’re making great progress on it, so that’s awesome.

    And good for you for doing a fitness challenge. I keep telling myself I’m going to jump back in on getting some exercise, but Lazy Jaime keeps taking over again. I should make a concerted effort to start again today. Or tomorrow… (<–See?)

    I get what you mean about the MC in THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY. I read it last year sometime, and I remember thinking along the same lines. I still really enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to finishing the trilogy. But it's completely understandable how something like that could really get under your skin.

    Have a great week, Jennifer! 🙂

    • I keep waiting to turn into one of those “Yay, workout time!” type of people, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. I’d rather do pretty much just about anything else than sweat 🙂

  4. Great love list, and god luck finishing your draft by the end of the year. You still have five months. I have faith in you. Just don’t give up and you’ll get there.

  5. Love lists are the best! They can really help to reinvigorate a story 🙂 I love hearing about writers returning to old drafts, it’s wonderful seeing what determination and love for a story can accomplish. Good luck with your goals for the week!

  6. Thanks for sharing your love list! Old school arcade games sounds great!

    …I’m so out of shape it’s not even funny ^^; I am hoping to return to the gym soon though!

    Have a brilliant week!

  7. Wow it takes a lot of hard work to go back to an old WIP and fix it. More power to you. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I like you WIP love list and you sound fit to me.

  9. I love that you describe your WIP as a “happy mess.” This is a great attitude to have. I need to learn to be happier with the messy state of my WIP right now. I also need to follow your example and start doing something (anything!) fitness related again. Seriously, I don’t think I could do a single standard push-up these days, so you’re doing awesome!

    Your love list has so many fun things on it! Thanks for sharing it and good luck with the writing this week!

  10. I like your comment about feeling you were being told the story, and you weren’t feeling the story. I’ve had that experience with books, though I probably didn’t think of expressing it that way. But that’s probably exactly what was wrong. Something else to think about as I write–am I just telling the story, or am I giving my readers an experience too?

    I have a finished novel from years ago that I may go back to someday. For the most part I think it’s structurally sound, though I need to change the ending. It’s just freaking long and needs a lot of editing. And I’m a better writer now than I was then, so it’ll be a re-write.

    I wish you well with your re-write and the other goals you have for the week/year, Jennifer. 🙂

    • I still have the very first draft I ever wrote of this WIP – printed out and everything. It’s painfully bad, but I’m glad I kept it b/c I can see how much I’ve grown as a writer.

  11. Your Love List is AMAZING. I’d buy your book based on it alone. And hello… I’m crazy-impressed by your push-up count. I can run like the wind, but I have zero upper body strength. Way to go, lady!

    Best of luck with your rewriting this week, Jen. 🙂

  12. Thanks for the encouraging comments on my post. 🙂 I hope you’re writing goes well this week! I was hoping to have a query-ready manuscript by the end of the year, too. Not sure if I’ll get there, but I’ll do my best! Hope this week of writing is good for you 🙂

  13. Wow, that’s a lot of push ups. Love your list!

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