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. Nonetheless...it 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?