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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Running From Trends

It’s time for What’s Up Wednesday again. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, here’s the deal: What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk for like-minded writers to meet and encourage one another. Everything you ever wanted to know about it (now, 50 percent off the retail price!) is right here.

Last week, Karen Akins’s debut novel, Loop, released. I fell in love with this book when it was still a baby, and I’m so excited it’s now out in the world. Expect a humorous voice, time travel that actually makes sense, and an adorable time-crossed romance between the main character and a former dork. Akins does well in setting up the parameters of time travel, setting some pretty strict rules, then intricately shows readers she knows what she’s doing.

I’m also waiting for my copy of Blue Lily, Lily Blue to arrive (I ordered a signed copy from Fountain Bookstore, which ships out of state). When I get my hands on that puppy I plan to disappear into the story. How I’ve missed those Raven Boys…

I’ve talked some about the YA fantasy I spent eons world-building and brainstorming and then writing. As of now, though, that’s on hold. It’s not just that a new idea plowed me over and begged to be written. (Though that happened.)

It has more to do with the fact that fantasy seems to be on the cusp of being the next big trend in YA lit. And, I know, plenty of people would write the fantasy because of the trend. But I’m querying a YA sci-fi right now when agents are feeling sci-fi fatigue, so I really, really don’t want to write a fantasy novel and run into the same problem.

The good news: I love my new idea. It’s YA magical realism about a group of teens who search for a treasure. I’m thinking of it as a cross between Goonies and Stand by Me, and while there’s a treasure hunt, it’s really about friendship. Obviously there’s kissing, too.

Listening to songs that have the same tone as my story is incredibly helpful to my brainstorming process. And when I find a song that perfectly encapsulates the mood of my story, it’s a major light-bulb moment for me.

If I had to put my story into a single song, it’d be 10,000 Maniacs’ “These Are the Days.” There’s this sense of anything-can-happen and being on the cusp of something really great that I hope to create in my novel.

I don’t intend for the story to be as positive as this song throughout the entire book, but I think a lot of what I want to do is give the reader the same edge-of-amazing feeling that this song does.

Here, have a totally cheesy ’90s music video. You may want to shut your eyes, though. That horrid sight might take away from the song.

Remember that wrist pain I mentioned a few months ago? Well, I’ve been in and out of the doctor, getting X-rays and MRIs and exams to figure out why typing is suddenly torture. And he’s the frustrating thing: According to my workups, there’s nothing wrong.

So, yeah, it’s good to know I don’t need surgery and don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist cysts or anything else. But I’m also frustrated that I have no idea what’s causing the pain, why, or how to treat it. For now, it appears I need to give my wrists a rest when they start hurting and taking time away from the computer.

What’s up with you?

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