Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

What’s Up Wednesday


Whats Up WednesdayWhat’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.


This is Not a DrillI just finished THIS IS NOT A DRILL by Beck McDowell.

(description from Goodreads)

When high school seniors Emery and Jake are taken hostage in the classroom where they tutor, they must work together to calm both the terrified children and the gunman threatening them–a task made even more difficult by their recent break-up. Brian Stutts, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, uses deadly force when he’s denied access to his son because of a custody battle. The children’s fate is in the hands of the two teens, each recovering from great loss, who now must reestablish trust in a relationship damaged by betrayal. Told through Emery and Jake’s alternating viewpoints, this gripping novel features characters teens will identify with and explores the often-hidden damages of war.

It was a quick, solid read, although a few places felt a little forced. I understood the gunman had PTSD and even though what he was doing was awful, I didn’t automatically think, “Monster!” So him telling his story sorta irked me, mostly because it was delivered like a monologue instead of it being split up or told in snippets, which I could have bought.

The parts of the book that affected me the most were way more subtle. The kids were all obviously scared, but they did these little things, like sharing their lunches with each other or patting one of the teenagers on the arm in a comforting gesture. It really spoke to the sweetness and resiliency of children and of human beings, in general.


My Happy Mess, aka JULES, aka Why Do I Suck at Coming Up with Titles?

I’ve just about finished Chapter 3 and have a basic outline for Chapter 4, but I really need to go through and do some major chopping/blocking so I can continue to plow forward.


Practicing macramé! I’m still determined to make a purse, but I wanted to get a little practice in first. Behold my glorious first attempt! Okay, second, but the first is so bad, I refuse to show it. The quality of this photo is pretty bad, too, I know, but let’s pretend I did it on purpose for some artistic reason and not because I can’t seem to hold my phone still and press the “click” button at the same time.


I watched a documentary about Troll 2 with my younger brother called “Best Worst Movie” and we laughed nearly as hard as we did at the actual movie. It seriously is the worst and by that I mean the most glorious thing I’ve ever seen. We got our mom to watch it last year and that was also awesome.


I was moving stuff around in my filing cabinet the other day and I stumbled across my 101+ List. Most people would call it a “Bucket List,” but the first time I made one was because I’d driven to work that morning listening to DJs on the radio station DC101 talk about making “101 Lists.” Mine is “+” since it started to grow out of control. I’m sure I still have the original list, scribbled on a diner napkin, but the one I found was a typed-up version.

Some of the items are not physically possible, like time-traveling to the 1970s to hang out in a suburban basement (apparently I’ve always had a thing for the 70s), but once I whittle the list down to the scientifically feasible, I look forward to getting some stuff done.


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.

22 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Sounds like you’re making good steady progress on JULES, so that’s awesome. I know what you mean about needing to do some fixing before moving forward, though. I’m like that too. I’ve never tried macrame, but I knit and crochet, so that might not be all that different. I was feeling crafty lately and started knitting a sweater, but that got tossed aside like these projects of mine usually do. Maybe once it gets cold out again I’ll revisit it and we can both be crafty! Have a great week, Jennifer! 🙂

  2. I love the idea of a 101 List, and I love that you included time travel on yours. Who knows… maybe it WILL be possible one of these days. 🙂 I’ve heard good things about THIS IS NOT A DRILL, but now that I’ve got a kiddo in school, the concept scares me to my core. I can’t even think about intruders and gunmen… Terrifying. Best of luck with your plotting/writing in in the coming week, Jen!

  3. Okay, now I’m curious. I think you need to post your 101 list here, or at least a few of the items you don’t mind publicly sharing.

  4. I completely love the idea of a 101+ list – although I may have to call mine a 1001+ list. Too many things on this girl’s bucket list! Also, I just love that you call your WiP the Happy Mess. Much nicer than blob. 🙂 And I usually do well with titles but for some reason this WiP doesn’t want to assume one. I figure it will come to me though. Maybe when I finish it. Ya know – if you build it… Now I want to watch Field of Dreams.

    Have a great week!

  5. There’s a documentary about Troll 2?! That is hilarious. I will have to find that now. *wonders if they have a documentary about Nazis on the Moon now*

    And I LOVE your 101+ list. And I think I can help you out with one of the scientifically unfeasible ones…my parent’s basement is an exact replica of a 1970’s basement. (well just my dad’s lair, but still) All the red shag & golden plaid you can handle. (He won’t let my mom touch it) So feel free to drop by any time. 🙂

    Hope you have a fantastic week! Good luck with JULES.

  6. Good luck with the macrame! I’ve been thinking about knitting more often to test out that whole doing something mindless to help with creativity thing. Plus the repetitive motion just makes my brain feel better. 🙂

    I can’t wait to read the new Jules!

  7. Time travel might be possible one day… although if it is I sincerely hope no one causes a paradox or re-writes history…

    Don’t worry, I’m terrible at titles too. My current WiP is called Evil Building Story 😛

  8. A 101 List scribbled on a dinner napkin sounds like the premise of a good book! I love that you included things that aren’t scientifically possible too. Why not dream a little, right? I hope work on JULES continues to go well this week!

  9. That list sounds imaginative and that book sounds intense.

    I’ve never tried macrame, although I’ve knitted and crocheted.

  10. Titles are the worst. I have such a hard time with them, too. Macrame sounds like fun.

  11. A 101 list would make me neurotic as hell. I am a card-carrying list maker and a determined item crosser-offer. Though the minute I read it I thought, I’m gonna make a list!!!!!

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