Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

What’s Up Wednesday



WUW Winter Holly 1What’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.


ONE, TWO, THREE by Elodie Nowodazkij. I’m not too far in, but so far I’m enjoying Natalya’s love of dance. The scenes where she’s practicing a move over and over, dreaming of dancing again, are heartbreaking. Plus, her friend, Becca, rocks. Yay for friendships in YA!

I’ve also been working my way through GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens and it’s more interesting than I anticipated. When I read A TALE OF TWO CITIES for school, I wasn’t thrilled, although some of the “eh” may have had to do with the fact I was 17 and didn’t want to deal with a stodgy classic over summer vacation.

Next up, I’m starting on the stack of books I got for Christmas, including BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater and NO PLACE TO FALL by Jaye Robin Brown.

One of my local libraries posted this reading challenge. I’m going to read like I normally do in 2015 and I’m curious how many boxes I’ll check off. I’ll try to remember to post progress updates.


I finished my read-through of JULES and after 7,239 words cut, I’m ready for the query trenches! To celebrate, I’ve come up with some new titles. The fabulous Alison Miller tagged me in a challenge a few weeks ago and the rules are simple:

Scroll through your manuscript and stop in random places. Whatever words/phrases the cursor lands on becomes one of eight terrible titles:

  1. Random facts
  2. The answer to that question
  3. But only if you’re naked
  4. Not that she believed me
  5. Trying to put distance between us
  6. SAFE!
  7. There was no way they knew I was drunk
  8. No going back

It’s weird how many of my titles sound like Afterschool Specials or 1990s Lifetime movies. And #3 – Coco. FAME. I’m still traumatized for her. But don’t worry, the line from my book is not delivered in an icky way by a creepy person.


I’m not making a goal for this week because I’m taking a short writing break, but I’ll be back soon to rescue EMMA and her family from their prolonged camping trip.


You know when you’ve been working on the same WIP forEVER and you begin to hate all your characters and every word, etc., etc.?

Taking a break doesn’t always work for me because I know I’ll eventually have to go back to the MS, even if I’m still feeling ambiguous toward it.

When I get to this point, I pull out drafts of other books. Sometimes they’re cringe-worthy, but there are usually a few lines that aren’t too bad and I start getting excited about writing again. I remember my love of it.


Remember in 2013 when I was going to macramé a purse and I was totally psyched and I was DOING THIS and it just never happened? Well, I’m trying it again! Here is a picture now and maybe in another year it’ll actually resemble something.

The beginnings of my macrame purse

My husband and I went for one final scavenge at our local Kmart store which is closing permanently in a week and a half. It’s just a store, I know, but one with a lot of memories for me. It was my first real job and I was there for nearly three years. This was the late 90s, before there were any other big boxes in town, and I was part of a refurb to change it from a regular “K” to a “Big K.” Fast-forward years later and it’s my younger brother’s first job. And his first layoff. Which sucks.

In other news, my word of the year is:


I’ve mentioned my love of Rocky once or twice or a million times and one of my favorite quotes from the movie series is (in part):

But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Any fan of Rocky knows (especially in the original movie), winning is not so much about “winning,” as it is about giving your all and going the distance.

So FORWARD reminds me to be persistent and to try and to not let setbacks keep me down.

I anticipate 2015 being a very Eye of the Tiger year (yes, I went there).

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.

20 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Congratulations on getting your WIP ready for the query process! I hate querying, but unfortunately it’s something all us authors have to go through. Good luck though.

    My WuW post.

  2. Congrats on being ready to query! Best of luck! 🙂

  3. Ooo, congrats on finishing up your WiP and keeping my fingers crossed for you as you query it! 😀 Though, I do have to say that I think you should change your title to BUT ONLY IF YOU’RE NAKED. Just saying… (So funny, by the way.)

    K Mart pulled out of Canada years ago, but I remember shopping there as a young kid. Now, apparently, Target is on the chopping block after only being north of the border for a couple of years. Booooooo! I love Target way too much. Hope your brother is able to find another job quickly.

    I love that reading challenge you linked to. So fun! I might have to give it a whirl as well. Have a great week, Jennifer!

  4. “But Only If You’re Naked” should totally be the title of your book. Can you imagine the searches that would bring it up?! Love your word of the year — it’s an attitude I’d like to try and adopt as well. Have a wonderful week, Jennifer!

  5. So many blasts from the past here: Fame, Rocky, Kmart. I feel like a kid again lol! Seriously though, that’s an awesome Rocky quote.

    What a cool reading challenge! I love that it covers such a wide range. Have fun checking off as many boxes as you can! As for your terrible titles, #3 is giving me a fit of the giggles. That’s one of the funniest I’ve seen so far in this blog hop.

    Wishing you lots of luck as you jump into querying! 🙂

  6. Those titles are amazing! Any one of those would fly off the shelves! LOL. Good luck with your querying!

  7. Happy New Year! Good luck querying. I really hope you get the good news in 2015 😀

  8. Some department stores carry memories for me.

    Good luck querying. I’m doing the same.

    I’ll have to look into those books.

  9. Yes! Love that Rocky quote! And I would totally read But Only if You’re Naked. Just saying.

    Tons of luck with querying this year! 🙂

  10. Hah! It *is* going to be an Eye of the Tiger year. It is so funny that you said that, because the other night our neighbor, the self-proclaimed “Shark Man” was blasting that track and I was soooo glad for our acre of trees between us, because there miiight have been a tiger-striped speedo accompanying said Eye of the Tiger display. (Welcome to Florida…where are the locals are certifiable)

    Very cool macrame project! I’ve been wanting to try that. Currently making all kinds of weird crap out of tshirt yarn.

    Also, I think naming your book “Only If You’re Naked” will dramatically increase sales. Just sayin’.

    Hope you have a glorious week. And Happy Birthday in advance of the great event!! 🙂

    • Tiger-striped speedo, eh? I just might have to take a trip to Florida 😉

      Using t-shirt yarn is actually my next craft attempt…in 500 years when I finish the purse. Also on the to-do list is my husband’s request – he wants me to macrame a hammock out of paracord for him. I can make him “something” out of the cord, not sure it would be safe to relax in 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s