Sunday, April 18, 2021

Weekly Goals 19-4-21

 I managed to edit the first three chapters of Juliet & Juliet over the weekend, so I feel good about that.  I even started a fourth, but then my son wanted to use my computer and I had to stop working.


So this week's goal is to keep going, to try and get through another three or four chapters.  It's a long weekend, so I may even be able to get a few more done.  You never know...

What are your goals this week?

Friday, April 16, 2021

Celebrate the Small Things 16-4-21


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small things...

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

It has been a crazy week at work this week, with all sorts of events and courses and training as well as the usual day-to-day stuff that just has to be done.  And as a result, I've been completely wiped out by the end of the day (if I even got home before 9pm) and haven't done any work on Juliet & Juliet.  I haven't even opened the file again.

So that will be a weekend job, along with all the other bits and pieces I need to get though this weekend.  And the good news is that next weekend is a long one because Monday is a public holiday.  I may even take the Tuesday off too, to make the most of it.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Books I've Loved: The Love Song of Ivy K Harlow

I was so excited to have won an ARC of this from Hannah that I started reading almost as soon as it hit my in-box.

This gloriously queer romance is so much more than it initially seems, and although it's a fairly quiet book in terms of the plot, there are so many complex character arcs it never feels quiet.

Andie and Ivy have been best friends forever. They've grown up together, come out together and lived through all of life's messiness and tragedy together. Now out of high school, they're both still trying to figure out what they want to do next. Neither went straight to college and still stuck in their small hometown of Providence, they're beginning to feel the need to move on to whatever is next.

Ivy scratches that itch by being the biggest in any room. She's unabashedly sexual and sleeps with anyone she wants to and when she's on the dance floor, she's the one no one can tear their eyes from.

Andie is more reserved. She goes with Ivy to the club, but mostly so she can make sure she gets home safely. Watching Ivy wrap herself around any woman she finds attractive hurts because Andie has been secretly (or maybe not so secretly) in love with Ivy for years. She lives with the constant hope that when Ivy is finally ready to settle down, it will be with her. She just has to wait.

Then Dot shows up on the scene and what looked like one of Ivy's usual one night stands becomes something else. Dot refuses to leave Ivy alone and the girl who doesn't do relationships starts looking very much like she is in a relationship.

I loved the way this book explored both the nature of romantic relationships and the way friendships, even lifelong ones, change over time. I didn't always like Ivy. She was often selfish and careless with peoples' feelings and I kind of hated that her friends all just accepted that about her. But I think we've all had that one friend that both made your life more exciting, and more confusing. The one you always swear you won't forgive again, yet end up doing so over and over.

The evolution of Dot and Ivy's relationship felt authentic and real through Andie's eyes and her own confusion and hurt was raw and painful to live through. She had support though, in her wider friend group and from parents who are just the right amount of supportive and involved.

I would definitely recommend this one, especially for those who like books that explore the complexities of female friendships and the way they grow and change once romantic relationships start forming.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Ivy K. Harlowe is a lot of things.

She’s my best friend.

She’s the center of attention.

She is, without fail, the hottest girl in the room. Anytime. Anyplace.

She has freckles and dimples and bright green eyes, and with someone else’s energy she’d be adorable. But there is nothing cute about Ivy. She is ice and hot metal and electricity.

She is the girl who every lesbian wants, but she has never been with the same person twice. She’s one-of-a-kind but also predictable, so I will always be Andie, her best friend, never Andie, her girlfriend.

Then she meets Dot, and Ivy does something even I would have never guessed—she sees Dot another day. And another. And another.

Now my world is slowly going up in smoke, and no matter what I do, the flames grow higher. She lit that match without knowing who or what it would burn.

Ivy K. Harlowe is a lot of things.

But falling in love wasn’t supposed to be one of them…unless it was with me.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Weekly Goals 12-4-21

I finished reading through Juliet & Juliet over the weekend and while it needs a lot of work, it may not be quite as bad as I thought.  The last third or so of the book is actually pretty good.  I just need to work on the earlier part.

So my goal this week is to revise the first two or three chapters.  Which is going to be largely re-writing them, I think.  I think I'm going to need to re-write a lot of the first third or so of the book because the pacing is off and things happen too quickly to feel real.  Luckily my draft is only 63K, so I have about 20K to play with.

It's going to be a crazy week at work this week with courses, events and an all-day strategy session on Wednesday, so I'm keeping my writing goals small.

What are your goals this week?

Friday, April 9, 2021

Celebrate the Small Things - 9-4-21


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small things...

What am I celebrating this week?

I'm almost finished my read through of Juliet & Juliet and I'm not as horrified by it as I thought I might be.  There is a lot of work to do, and I definitely need to add a little more up front to make the relationship develop more organically, but there are some good bits in there.  And for the first time, I feel like I actually managed to nail two quite distinct voices for my dual narrators.  There will need to be some tidying up on that, of course, but overall, I'm pleasantly surprised.

I was hoping to finish this weekend, but I'm not sure I will because it's going to be a very busy weekend.  But definitely early next week.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Insecure Writers Support Group 7-4-21


It's the first Wednesday in April so it's time for the Insecure Writers' Support Group!  

This month's question is intriguing...

Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I'm not really sure if I'm a risk taker.  I don't really consider myself to be, but when I look back at my work, I wonder if maybe I am.  I certainly don't shy away from difficult and controversial subject matter in my stories.  I've never really considered that risky though.  I just like to write about parts of the world and society that may not have been fully examined before, especially not in YA.

But I guess tackling sex and disability in such a frank way in Stumped was risky. And writing about drug addiction the way I did in The Sidewalk's Regrets.  Or even euthanasia in An Unstill Life

In terms of style or POV, again I'm not sure if I am a risk taker.  I have a series of short stories about a family and their beach house where the POV character is never named or gendered.  Is that risky?  I like these stories because whoever is reading them can put themselves into the "I" character and read with their own experiences coloring the narrative.  Is that risky though?

Perhaps I don't quite understand the meaning of risk in this context...

What about you?  Do you take risks in your writing?

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Weekly Goals 5-4-21

I had great plans to be productive this long weekend, but here we are on Monday, and I haven't done half the things I planned to do.

I did send out a handful more queries for Standing too Close. I have two versions of the query now and I'm experimenting with sending different versions depending on whether the agent asks for a synopsis as well because one version is more detailed than the other.  We shall see if that works any better, or if I need to start again from scratch with the whole query thing.

I haven't finished my read-through of Juliet & Juliet yet, so that's on the list of goals for this week.  So far there are parts I'm really happy with, and other parts that really don't work.  There is a ton of editing in my future...

And that's my main goal for the week.  To finish reading the MS so I have an idea what I'm working with. Then next week I can make a start on whipping it into shape.

What are your goals this week?