May 29, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, geared to help readers and writers touch base and let them know what's up. If you want join in, you can find the link widget on Jaime's and Erin's blogs!

What I'm Reading
Over the long weekend, I finished Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. It's an adult literary novel about a young girl from Hong Kong who emigrates to New York City and faces terrible hardships—bullied by teachers and forced to work in a sweatshop—as she fights for a better life for her mother and for herself. Overall, it was a fast read with smart prose and a fierce narrator, although I was a sort of lukewarm about the romance. Next up: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini! I must be on an adult literary kick lately.

What I'm Writing
Drafting my YA space western! I got fantastic feedback from my critique partners concerning the first 2 chapters, and now I'm plowing ahead with the draft. I'm really hoping to crank out this book by the end of June, which might be crazy since I'll be in San Francisco next week and then planning my cousin's wedding on the 29th. shall be my goal! *Gulp*

What's Inspiring Me Right Now
{From left: Moi, Andrea Colt, Jessica Spotswood, Tiffany Schmidt, Miranda Kenneally, Katie Foucart, Robin Talley}

For the last three Memorial Day weekends, a few of my writing pals and I have rented a house in the Shenandoah Valley to write, read, chat, and eat lots of cheese. (Also, we drink lots of wine. Par for the course, eh?) I love these ladies and consider myself so lucky to have them as friends and critique partners!

And do you know what's funny? I met all of them online! I'm sure my mother would tell me, "Online? That's dangerous, my precious oldest child!" But honestly, I've found that a good number of my real-life friendships now start as online acquaintances—from commenting on each other's blogs or getting to know one another on Twitter and then graduating to emails and lunches. Go Internet! Go friends!

What Else I've Been Up To
Gearing up for my trip to San Francisco! I'm visiting my three best friends from high school who—surprise, surprise!—have all ended up in northern California. Two of them recently had baby girls too, and so I thought it was high time for me to meet them and spend time with their awesome moms.

Simply put, I'm excited! We're hoping to spend a day at the beach, even though I'm sure it won't be warm enough for swimming. (Curse you, San Francisco summers!) Still, a day with good friends and gorgeous views shall be very welcome indeed! I will not miss you, East Coast humidity!

So what have you been up to lately?


  1. Having a writing goal like that—as crazy as it might seem/feel—is the best way to get through a first draft, in my opinion. Go you! We're all cheering you on. :-) I have to agree with you about friends found via the internet. I can honestly say that some of the people I like most in this world are people I've met through blogging and Twitter. I may not have met them face to face (yet), but they're no less special to me. It's awesome that you get to see them in real life! :-)

  2. You've got to put a caption up and tell us who all are in that picture, Caroline!

    I love these kinds of pics and I tell you, I've been dreaming of doing a writer's retreat weekend deal for ages. Someday!

  3. Your retreat sounds so fun! I've met so many of my writer friends online, and when I told one of my childhood friends that I was going on a retreat with a bunch of girls I hadn't met in real life, she was horrified. But it worked out! :)

    Good luck with the rest of your draft! You can do it!

  4. Your retreat sounds like a lot of fun. Cheese and wine? Yum :-) I know I "met" a lot of wonderful people I´m lucky to call friends online too.

    Good luck with the drafting of your book...A YA Space Western, color me intrigued :-)

  5. Ha! My mom would totally say the same thing. The retreats sound amazing! Good for you guys!

    Also, if you happen to be coming to SF this weekend, it's actually supposed to be really hot--so you might get some really perfect beach-y weather after all. (Although I guess the water is always freezing no matter what.) I hope you have a great trip!

  6. Renting a house for a bunch of writers to get together is such an awesome idea! Love it! ^_^

    One of my dearest friends and I met online and although I'm in England and she's in the US, we've seen each other every year since 2003. My parents were shockingly chill about it even back then ^^;

    Have fun on your trip!

  7. What a lovely picture and a lovely tradition! I can't wait until the day when I finally get to meet all of my online friends in real life :)

  8. Aha, so you were part of this awesome writers retreat I read about on Jessica Spotswood's blog. That's such a great tradition, and I find it very cool that you guys all met online (stranger danger aside and all that). Enjoy your trip to San Francisco, and I hope you meet your writing goal in spite of all the busyness!

  9. I'm so jealous of you and your writing buddies!!! I want to go on a writing retreat. That sounds like heaven :)

  10. I agree- a crazy writing goal may be exactly the thing you need. You can do it! How cool to see your writer friends-- I have a similar group who I won't be able to meet up with this year, and I'm so bummed. My mother had lots of reservations about me meeting them in person the first time. I had to convince her it wasn't a scam. :0)

  11. Woohoo on your space western goals! That's amazing, and I will be cheering you on! Also woohoo on visiting San Fran. The weather should be really nice. :)

    I also already squeed at you on Twitter, but I loooooove your outfit! SO CUTE! And that is an adorable pic of you and your writing buds. :)