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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: The Book Club Revival

I wasn’t planning on doing What’s Up Wednesday today, mostly because I thought it was Tuesday and it wouldn’t have made much sense. Except then I started thinking, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if today was really Wednesday and Friday was that much closer?” Usually when this happens I find out it’s actually Sunday.

As you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised and psyched to join, especially after skipping way too many weeks in a row. So here’s what’s been going on with me:


What I’m Reading: This has been the month of readalongs for me. I’m re-reading Kerstin Geir’s Ruby Red as part of our great Ruby Red Reread, which you can learn all about here. It’s just as good a second time. I also joined Jaime Morrow and Katy Upperman in reading Heather Demetrios’s I’ll Meet You There, a really wonderful and at times heartbreaking contemporary YA.

I’m thinking of continuing the readalong trend—but more on that below.

What I’m Writing: I spent most of February revising Aberration, my YA sci-fi thriller. Last Monday, I turned that in to my agent*, so the past week has been all about my magical realism MS, which I’m calling Island simply because “that treasure hunting one” is too long.

What Works for Me: Sometimes, if I want to avoid a mass rewrite, I need to take a break from drafting to do a bit of planning. It’s something I did recently when I ran into major roadblock with my treasure hunt. The clues and the map and the geography of the land weren’t working together, and I had a maddening stone structure that was both purposeful and pointless.

I’m not even kidding when I say I spent three days alternating between furiously scribbling a treasure map, staring off into space, and randomly mumbling things like, “The slashed triangle can’t have five points.”

To which The Man would patiently reply, “You okay over there?” and I’d say, “Obviously no because there are stones on the island that need to be there but CANNOT POSSIBLY BE THERE.” And he’d just nod and put on his noise-cancelling headphones.

But it all worked out in the end because I broke through the mental block and now have a better treasure map for my teen treasure hunters to follow.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: The short answer is nothing. Revisions for my book happened at the same time as, at the day job, we went to press on our busiest issue of the year. So basically I worked around the clock for weeks. After that Monday, I pretty much zoned out for a good four days, catching up on Jane the Virgin, which I’ve just learned is one of my favorite shows on TV.

But I’ve also been thinking bookish thoughts. Specifically, thoughts about a certain book club that has been in hibernation recently. A wonderful reader reached out about joining in (hi, and welcome!) and other writer friends expressed interest in starting it up again. I’ve had such fun reading alongside people this month, I’m fully ready to give into the peer pressure.

I was thinking we’d read Red Queen, but I’m not tied to that idea, so if there’s another book you want to suggest, we can put it to a vote. But let’s stick to first-in-series novels released by March 1.

Can I get a show of hands (or, you know, comments below) of who would be interested in joining a March book club?**

* I honestly still can’t believe I get to say that.
** Here’s everything you need to know about the YA BookClub.

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