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.


Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo! FINALLY. I have been waiting to read this book for a very long time, and boy was the wait worth it. I'm not too far in but I am enjoying it. Also, Sturmhond is my new favorite character.


I reached (and surpassed) 20K!!! Last week Unfair was at 18, 560 words, this week I was able to bump that up to 21, 597 words. That's 3,037 words written for those of you who like numbers. Since I didn't share a teaser last week, I'll post one today. Keep in mind that this is the first draft.

Background: Camellia (my MC) is on a ship that appears out of thin air and carries goods collected from different parts of the kingdom. The Queen gave the merchants who sail the ship reign over the sea, but no one knows where they came from. In this scene, Camellia is talking to one of the merchants. (Spoiler: The merchants are sirens. Also, her sword is made out of pure gold. A strange woman gave it to her in an earlier scene.)

         “You have a sharp tongue,” he said, and I could hear a semblance of a smile in his voice. Only I couldn’t be sure. One look and he’ll drive me mad. The chuckle that resonates in his throat sounds empty, as if he had pulled it out of a soul that hadn’t been there for many years.

“My tongue isn’t the only thing that's sharp.” I held up my sword. “What could I buy with this?”
“Half of this ship if you wanted.”
“I need iron.”
“I tell you that you can buy half of this ship, and you want to waste this gold on iron?”
I turn to face him, staring at his chest to keep from meeting his cerulean gaze. “Don’t question what I came here to buy. It’s none of your concern.”
His hand moved up to touch my chin. Fingers grazed the skin there, ever so gently. I would’ve cut each one of them off, if a wave of calm didn’t wash over me in that moment. “Look into my eyes.” That is when I could hear it. The voices. The singing. It replaced every thought that I ever had. It was both beautiful and horrible. It shook me to my core, and it would’ve driven me to madness if there wasn’t something inside of me fighting back.When I finally met his blue-green gaze, his power had no affect on me.
The merchant withdrew his hand. “Impossible,” he whispered.

My Ready. Set. Write! goals for the week? I'm going to keep it small. I want to see if I can write around 1-2K. Will try for more but we'll see.


I have been writing for more than a decade (started writing when I was five) and I don't necessarily worry about ever being published. One day I would love to query and share my stories with other people but for now I am content with writing for me. There are a lot of people who write because they want to be bestselling authors one day, and while it's okay to have dreams, don't let that dream be the only reason you want to write.

I think it's good to remember that you're always going to be a writer. If you don't have an agent or a book deal it doesn't make you less of a writer, and even if you do have those things, it doesn't make you more of a writer. Once you commit yourself to writing a story; once you write that first word and never stop then, from that moment on, you are a writer for life. It doesn't matter if you get paid to do it or not. As long as you're writing for yourself first, nothing else matters.

I don't want to ramble but just having the ability to think up stories, build worlds, and create different characters inspires me every day. Storytelling is what has gotten me through childhood, high school, and my approaching adulthood. Being a writer is awesome, so whenever you're feeling down, remember that. Always remember that.


I'm an Executive Scholar for a non-profit organization in Pittsburgh that gives out scholarships to kids who do well in high school and attend Pittsburgh public schools from kindgergarten up.

To celebrate getting through the first year of college, the organization gave me and other Executive Scholars free tickets to the game and we got to meet the players, hang out in the VIP suite, and to make a long story short, I had a blast, and the Pirates won!!!! They beat the Cardinals 9 - 1.  It was a great game and an AMAZING day overall. I'm really glad I went.

Top Left: View from the suite, Top Right: A really cute bowl shaped like a baseball cap (I kept it), Bottom Left: View from the Roberto Clemente bridge (that boat just happened to be passing by), Bottom Right: Me walking across the Roberto Clemente bridge after the game (it's a little blurry but I like it).

 I hope everyone had a great writing week!

Thanks for reading. :)


Enjoyed your excerpt! Can't we read more? :)
Looks like you had a fun time at that game. Wonderful that kids did that for you guys!
Good luck on hitting next weeks writing goals!


Raven! I love the excerpt! And congrats on reaching 20K! That's awesome!

Also, I LOVE what you had to say in the WHAT INSPIRES ME section. I have to write stories that fulfill me and that I want to read. Yes, I enjoy it when other people love them, but if I don't, what's the point?

Anyway, I am VERY JEALOUS of your Pirates adventure, but what an awesome thing they do! And how awesome for you too. :) I hope you have a great week!


Congrats on surpassing 20K!! That's fantastic!

LOVED your excerpt! How fun to get to write about Sirens. (Personal favorite of mine) :)

And I really loved your What Inspires Me section. I think what you say is very true. All the trappings are great, but at the heart we're really just story tellers. And I need to remember that sometimes. Thank you.


VIP suite--awesome! I would see a baseball game if I could go VIP-style :)


I'm stopping by through the What's Up Wednesday linkup. :) Congrats on surpassing 20K!

And I totally agree: if you write, you're a writer. It doesn't matter if you have an agent or a book deal. I've been hesitant to call myself a writer in the past, but I'm better about it now. We writers need to be proud! :)


Writers write. So, if you write, you're a writer. And this is only confirmed if you find writing fulfills a need you have, scratches an itch, makes you feel satisfied within yourself in a way nothing else does--as if this is what you were made to do. Notice, being published, being paid to write, and being famous have nothing to do with it. So, yes, I agree with you, Raven! :)

All the best with the novel this week! If you want a challenge to stretch your writer muscles (and practice your editing skills), try out Janet Reid's writing contest this weekend. I daresay she'll post the details on Friday, and open the contest Saturday morning. So check out her blog on Friday (http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com)!


I just finished Siege and Storm and just said the same thing you did about Sturmhond! I love that you're writing just for yourself, that's so important. Publishing will come when the time is right. And great excerpt! I really enjoyed reading it.


I loved your teaser. Normally, I don't like it when people post excerpts of their book on their blogs, just because it's out of context an never seems to mean anything. But your last line totally got me. Even if you are just writing for yourself right now, I hope you do one day publish this story because I want to read the whole thing.


Raven, you inspire me! And I especially love this: "As long as you're writing for yourself first, nothing else matters." So, so true. Your excerpt is fantastic, as per usual. I hope one day to be able to pick this book up off the shelf and read it, because you've got me totally hooked! And many congrats on passing that 20K mark. When you love what you're working on, it's amazing how the words flow, isn't it?

As for SIEGE AND STORM, I'm totally Team Sturmhond now. He's such a cool character. Can't wait to see where Leigh Bardugo takes us next. :-)

Have a great week, Raven!


Those are good seats!

Congrats on passing 20k. I bet that feels awesome! Love your excerpt.

Have a great weekend!


Is that ice cream in a little baseball helmet? How adorable!

Congratulations on 20k too! Best of luck with your book! It sounds SOOOOO cool! :D

Have a wonderful week!


Siege and Storm is on my list..right after Shadow and Bone. It seems like a good winter read.

Congrats on passing 20K! Exciting! Good luck writing this week.

Okay, loved your What Inspires me section. So very true! I need to remember that more often.


Thanks so much! And good luck with your writing this week. Thanks for stopping by. :)


It's always good to remember wheat a blessing it is not to be agented or published. You set your own pace and there is no need to rush. Truly inspiring message. Congrats on reaching your goal for the week. Thank you for sharing


Thank you!

I also think when you enjoy writing your story it shows in your work. So if you like what you're writing not only is it going to help you finish the story but it's going to make it shine.

I wish I could relive Monday because I had such a great time but I'm glad I got a few pictures so that I could remember the day.

I hope you have a great week, too! :)


Hehe, I like sirens too. I honestly didn't know they were going to be in the story until recently. I guess that's the one good thing about pantsing. You find out about things at the same time your character does.

Thanks for stopping by! :)


I've been to a lot of other baseball games before but none of them compared to being in a suite. It would be nice if I could do that on a regular basis, but it was great having that experience, even if it was a once in a lifetime kind of thing.


Thank you!

*nods* We should be proud. Not everyone has the patience to write books or stories. The fact that we are able to finish our wips or work on finishing them is something that we should be proud of. I think all writers are special because we truly do live more than one life. We're the creators of our own little universes and I think that's pretty amazing. :)


Great excerpt and congratulations on passing 20k!

You're absolutely right Writers write!


First of all, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying SEIGE AND STORM. I'm hoping to get to it within the next few books.

Congratulations on passing the 20k mark! That's definitely something to be proud of! And your excerpt is really good! Your attitude about writing is very inspiring. I think writing becomes a part of your identity and you really do have to write for yourself. It's easy to get caught up in ambitions to be published, but I think if you don't honestly love writing it'll ultimately show in the story. Thanks for that great reminder!

Your Pirates game sounds like it was fun! My boys have been watching a lot of Toronto Blue Jay games on TV lately, so they thought it was cool when I told them you were going to a real game. I love the little baseball cap with the ice cream in it. When my hubby was a kid he used to collect them, so I had to smile when I saw your pictures.

Keep up the great writing!


Your excerpt is awesome, as usual, and I especially love your Inspirational section this week. Focusing on GETTING PUBLISHED sometimes sucks the magic out of writing, and it's so important to remember that we write to tell great stories, even if they don't all see the light of day. Thanks, Raven, and best of luck with your writing this week!


I love seeing your excerpts every week. Sounds like you're making great progress on the WIP. I also love your Inspiration section this week. It's so true that it can be so easy to get caught up in the publishing rush that we forget WHY we write in the first place. You gave a good reminder of what's important. Thank you!

Love the baseball pics. That's cool that your program does that kind of stuff for you guys, and I adore that baseball cap bowl! So cute!


Thanks for the heads up on the writing contest and for stopping by!


Sturmhond is such a great character. It's hard not to like him. Though Alina is the Sun Summoner, Sturmhond adds a certain light to the story.

And thank you! :)


Thank you!

I love Unfair and would love for other people to read it one day. I'm just going to enjoy telling the story for myself.


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