What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk where writers post about what's up by answering four questions. If you want to participate go here.

I'm about a little more than halfway through Eyre House. I haven't had much time to read between writing and doing other things* but I do try to read a little bit eveyday. It's growing on me slowly, and though I don't think it will ever surpass my love for the original story, it is unique and I like the setting. Some of the dialogue is a little strange because I'm not used to people talking like that and even though it still catches me off guard, it's becoming a little bearable. We'll see how I feel about the overall book once I finish it.

Last What's Up Wednesday Unfair's wordcount was 12, 406. This week I am happy to report that I was able to raise that to 15, 981. So that's about 3, 575 words. It's not the 5K I wanted to write this week, but it's a lot more than I expected. (I also made a Love List for Unfair).
Here's a little teaser. In this scene, Camellia has just arrived at the Port. If you remember from one of the last teaser's Lord Beck asked her to run an errand for him. The queen is offering a reward (more food and supplies) to any of the village's whose blacksmiths make a hundred pairs of iron shoes the fastest (the reason why she needs them will be explained later in the story). The Port (for lack of a better name) is where people go to wait for a ship that carries a lot of valuable things, including iron:
When I reached the Port, the sun was just moving over the water, making the surface shimmer in it’s golden light. There were other horses along the shore, tied to wooden post; their owners either standing beside them or moving through the small crowd talking with other people and waiting for the merchant’s to arrive.
You never knew when the ship would come to port. It was almost as if it appeared out of thin air. It shouldn’t have been hard to miss because of it’s size. It was a large, hulking mass of wood with sails that seemed to stretch across the sky. I used to think the reason why no one ever saw it arrive was because it hid underneath the ocean’s surface, but that was wishful thinking. A boat of it’s size and mass couldn’t possibly rise up out of the sea without anyone noticing.
Part of me wanted to see if I could catch it on the horizon, but if Wynn and Lord Beck had been right about one thing, it was that the Port wasn’t safe. Many people went missing, others were robbed of their gold, horses, and other valuables.
I wouldn’t dear tie Shadow to a post. He was a very fine horse, and I had seen many people eying him upon my arrival. I tightened my grip on his reigns. The only way anyone would be able to take him from me was if I were dead, and even then I’d still put up a fight.

My Ready. Set. Write! goal for the week is to reach 20K, since I didn't get to it last week. I'll figure out my next goal from there.

My imagination. I'm pantsing Unfair so I have no idea what I'm going to write when I write it. I try to have some idea of how I want the scene to play out beforehand but most times I don't. I'm just focusing on having fun writing this, because this is only the first draft. Maybe some of the things I add to the story won't make it into the next draft or even through revisions but that's okay. The more I let my imagination run wild, the more chances there are that I could write something great.
I've learned that every project is different. Some want to be outlined, and others just want to be free.
Unfair wants to be free. And pantsing has been working for me so far in the wordcount department. I might have to take some time to 'outline' the last section of the story when I get to it but until then, you know what they say about not fixing things that aren't broke.
I've been a little busy lately. I'm in the last stretch of my summer vacation. I move into the dorms August 20th. Classes don't start until a week after that but I'm an Orientation Leader so I have to help the incoming freshman move in, and we have a lot of events planned for them, including a boat ride that I'm really excited about because I didn't get a chance to go during my orientation (I can't believe that was a year ago or that I'm now a sophomore...wow.)
Right now I'm taking an inventory of the things I have left over from last semester, and making a list of other things I need. I also have a friend from out of town coming over so we've been trying to do a little bit of cleaning/moving things around in my room to make room for her. I have A LOT of boxes from school that I haven't gotten around to unpacking. So there's that.
I also might be a little late getting to everyone's What's Up Wednesday posts. I'm going to go visit my grandma today because she's finally home from her summer of travelling. That lady is always going places! So my mom and I will be spending a day with her.
A few days ago, I wrote a short blog post about Operation Diversity. It's a project that Patrice Caldwell and I are putting together. We were supposed to put up a more in-depth post on Monday, but it completely slipped my mind. I was a little down over the weekend (which is why I didn't write as much).  After hearing the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, I just lost a lot of my spark. I didn't want to read or write or do much of anything really. So I just sat on my bed looking at the wall. I prayed for a little bit, and then I started thinking about what I could do.
Because we all have a part to play in this society. When people say things like 'well it's the society we live in' they forget that we ARE society. Operation Diversity is an important project to me for many reasons, and it's sad to say, but Trayvon Martin's death has become another reason why I think we all need to do something about the current state of literature for teens and for younger readers, especially.
Maybe adding more diversity in MG/YA won't make an immediate difference but it's a start. We can't change what was done but we can make sure to do better each and every single day of our lives.
For the sake of future generations, we have to.
(I apologize for making the end of this post depressing. It's just what's been on my mind these last couple of days.)


  1. WOOOO on being an OL!!! I remember being a freshman (FIVE years ago! O_O) and my OL was great. We ended up doing some student government stuff together later on in my college years, which was cool. Good luck with your writing and finishing Eyre House. Have fun with your grandmother!

    1. Yeah, my OLs were really nice which is part of the reason why I wanted to be one. And five years ago! Wow. It feels like time is going to fly by like that for me. I'm both hoping that it does and that it doesn't. I know I'll miss the undergrad years a lot once they're gone.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Yay! Pants your way to 20k! :D You can do it!

    1. Hehe, thank you! I wouldn't want to get to 20K any other way. :)

  3. Love the snippet, Raven! This story is coming along nicely and is definitely something I'd love to read. :) I know what you mean about certain stories not wanting to be planned out. I'm normally a planner, but this time around I'm actually mostly pantsing, which is just bizarre for me. I do think I need to take some time to at least figure out a basic framework, but I'm not sure when that will happen. Maybe this WIP just wants to be free like UNFAIR. ;-)

    1. Thank you so much! I tried planning a story before writing it, and though it's nice having an outline, I just felt like it took all the creativity out of it, you know? Maybe this draft is going to be a mess but messes can't be fixed, so with that in mind, I'm going to let this first draft be as messy as it wants to be.

      As long as you know the basics of your story, I think you'll be fine pantsing. But of course I'm a HUGE advocate for pantsing, so I might be a little biased. :)

  4. I'm a total patser too. Imagination is a great thing!

    1. Imagination IS a great thing. It's good to get in touch with it from time to time. :)

  5. That snippet was awesome! And I loved your love list! Also, I love that you are inspired by your imagination. I am mostly a pantser myself (although I do have very rough plots) and letting my mind wander is how I get through many an elliptical workout too. :)

    Good luck with your goals this week!

  6. Okay, first-- love the blurb. Intriguing world!
    Second-- I totally agree about the Martin verdict. I've been thinking all week about the title of a Howard Zinn book: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train. He was a life-long social and political activist and this was a memoir he wrote. It frustrates me when people say, "Well, this doesn't concern me." or "I don't think race/ethnicity is an issue." or "I don't get involved in politics.", or what have you. I can't get that refrain out of my head: You can't be neutral on a moving train. It affects us all, and we are either doing something to change things, or we're not.

  7. 100 pairs of iron shoes? I am very interested. :) I like stories with a more fairytale/whimsical bent.

    As for the "depressing" end of the post -- nope, you are totally right. To quote (I can't remember who said it), "If you're not angry, you aren't paying attention."

    On the positive side, the Zimmerman case has sparked renewed interest in the case of Marissa Alexander, who stood her ground and fired a warning shot to fend off her abusive husband who was violating his restraining order...and then she was given 20 years in prison, and her husband got custody of her infant. Oh and yeah, she was black, and a woman in a DV situation. Ugh ugh ugh. There are multiple petitions to help her case, and maybe the attention given to Alexander in the wake of the Zimmerman trial might give something of a positive result from this disaster.

    *trying to stay hopeful*