What’s Up Wednesday


It’s Wednesday again, and the end of the first week of Ready. Set. Write!


Barely started The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr. This is mostly because I took a small detour and read Mind Games, by Kiersten White…and I didn’t regret it a bit. Loved it! This week’s schedule didn’t give me a chance to review them, but I’m working on it.


My goal last week was to write the first chapter of my WIP, a total rewrite of a five-year-old project. I didn’t finish the first chapter, but after experimenting with several different beginnings, I’ve finally found where I want to start. Not a first-chapter-completion, but  the writing is coming well simply because I’ve found a point to begin with.

This week’s goals are different, though. I thought that I had enough memory of the old project to be able to simply take the barest skeleton–main characters, basic geographical world, and five or six tentpole plot points–and start all over. But despite my success in finding my beginning, I’m feeling very behind on my worldbuilding. Yeah, way to do things backwards…but this week I want to write character sketches, and do a little bit more research on my world. It’s a fantasy in the vein of The Blue Sword, and I write best when I have specific images and descriptions in mind, regardless of whether those make it into my writing. I need to rebuild some of the visual, cultural, and moral aspects of my characters and countries. So the goal(s)?

1. Finish writing Chapter 1

2. Write a character sketch for each of the main characters

3. Pull out the old country maps I created and answer five basic questions about each of the three countries involved


Friendship. And God’s faithfulness. I drove to see my best friend over the weekend, a chance for us to spend time together after only brief meetings in the past six months. Five of the eight hours driving were through severe thunderstorms and hail (hello, hail damage on my car. Great to see you again…), eventually adding an hour and a half to my original travel time, and nearly killing myself on a lonely gravel road in the middle of nowhere at 1 AM when sleepiness and hilly roads took over. Not kidding: somewhere in rural Kansas there are impressive swerve marks, the alternative to flipping my car as it went airborn on gravel at 60 mph. Sometimes you have moments where the only explanation is the hand of God, and that was one of them. I was able to enjoy one of the most refreshing weekends I have had this year. On Sunday we sat at her kitchen table and talked. Just talked. For five hours.  This was after four hours doing the same thing the night before, and countless hours together with her and her family during the rest of the day(s). Some people wear you out. I have been blessed with a friend that fills me up.


Last preparations for my sister’s grad party. It’s this Saturday, which means yet another weekend away from home. But I’ll get to see hundreds of people from my hometown whom I haven’t seen in years.

Swamped at work. I love my job, truly, and while I’m enjoying the added responsibilities, there’s a lot to be nervous about. I’m struggling to find the balance between having delegated authority over people and respecting the innate authority they have that comes when they have 20+ years on me.

Settling into summer. Finally running consistently again, playing volleyball, and getting into the full swing of summer. Sunsets are still my favorite, and while I have to walk half a mile to get where I can see them, it is totally worth it!

Check out Jaime’s blog for more links on this bloghop! 


39 comments on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Alison Miller says:

    First, I am so glad you are okay! And I’m glad you had a wonderful weekend with your friend. I also love this: “Some people wear you out. I have been blessed with a friend that fills me up.”

    And sounds like some pretty awesome goals for the new week. Go YOU!

  2. I just got Mind Games on my Kindle and I’m so excited! And I love pulling out old projects, especially since we make so much progress with our writing and certain past projects were too difficult to tackle for our younger writer selves.

    • Rae says:

      I loved MIND GAMES! Hope you enjoy it, too!
      The gems of writing in this MS are few and far between, but it brings back a lot of good memories from when I was writing it at the time.

  3. Wow. I’m glad you’re okay!

    Even if you didn’t make your goal for last week, it’s still more words than you had before, and that’s something to be proud of! World building is the fun part for me, so good luck with that this week!

    • Rae says:

      Yeah, me too. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement! I’m hoping to avoid my usual [false] perspective of “worldbuilding isn’t writing”. I tend towards that view, regardless of how essential the wordlbuilding is in order to continue my writing. *frown*

      • I have the same problem. I tend to be so eager to start a new project, I just jump write into it and almost always end up leaving charming notes to myself like “add more stuff later” because I didn’t think through how that would work in my world. After all the time I spend doing revisions, you’d think I’d learn…

  4. katyupperman says:

    Sounds like your writing is coming along… Beginnings are so hard, so it’s awesome that you’ve nailed down yours. I’ll look forward to your review of THE LUCY VARIATIONS. I adore Sara Zarr’s writing, and I can’t wait to read her latest!

  5. Miss Cole says:

    Getting the beginning right is so important to getting the rest of it right. Good luck hitting the rest of your writing goals!

    • Rae says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! I’m hoping that now the beginning is found, the rest will just keep coming. Plus, I’d like to be able to say that I finally got that pesky first chapter done. 🙂

  6. So glad you survived your drive! And Congratulations to your sister.
    My favorite part of writing is filling in those character sketches and learning about the world. Neat that you still have those maps and things. Have fun with it this week!

    • Rae says:

      Thank you, Tonja!
      I’m sort of proud of the maps, but the rest of the worldbuilding is sadly lacking. I’ve never really done character sketches, either…at least, not to the depth that I’d like to do them this time. I’m looking forward to it!

  7. Amy says:

    The Lucy Variations is on my reading list. Good luck on your writing goals this week!

    • Rae says:

      Thanks, Amy! THE LUCY VARIATIONS is actually due back at the library on Friday, so now I have to read it. Library deadlines are great reading motivators! 🙂

  8. Loved The Lucy Variations and really want to read Mind Games. I own it, so I just need to actually, you know, start it.

    I am currently in the process of writing a new draft based on an old abandoned project and gutting/changing everything. So I know how you feel!

    • Rae says:

      I ❤ MIND GAMES. I thought it was fantastic.
      I hope your rewrite goes well…I'm still trying to figure out how much of the old project I'm going to keep. I'm rereading it now, and there's some good things in it…and then some really terrible stuff. 😛

  9. That really sounds like a narrow escape! I too had a scary driving moment this week when I almost smashed into the back of another car, but thankfully I stopped just in time. Still really scary. But after that moment it sounds like things turned around–great time with friends really does make a difference 🙂

    • Rae says:

      I’m glad you didn’t wreck your car…car accidents are NOT FUN, especially when other drivers are involved. And you’re right: good friends can make all the difference! The weekend ended up being spectacular…and I had [literally] sunny skies for the drive back. 🙂

  10. Ohhhh, MIND GAMES – been on my TBR list for awhile as I love Kiersten White! Definitely need to go and pick that one up, as I’m running out of great reads!

    And that drive to visit your best friend sounds terrifying – but in the end, you made it there safe and sound. Your time with your friend sounds wonderful and something everyone should get to experience in their lifetime! Aren’t great friends just the best???

    Good job on working towards your writing goals and best of luck tackling the new ones you have for this week!

    • Rae says:

      MIND GAMES was my first Kiersten White book…I LOVED it!
      My friend and I have been planning our weekend for almost six months now, but we ended up spending most of the time just talking. We didn’t have to do any special events to be able to enjoy our time together. Yep, great friends ARE the best!
      Thanks for the writing encouragement! Hopefully I’ll be a little more productive with my writing this week. 🙂

  11. Erin L. Funk says:

    Figuring out where you want your story to begin is really important, so even if you didn’t meet your original goal, I think that’s still a big success. I like that you experimented with different beginnings. Time consuming, but ultimately worth it!

    Yikes! Your driving story is scary! Glad to hear you’re okay and that you had a wonderful visit with your friend. Best of luck with your writing goals for week two!

    • Rae says:

      I’ll admit I enjoyed writing snippets of different places to start, although it can get discouraging after a while when you can’t find your place, yet. So I’m glad it’s started. 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement…I’m excited to try to meet my goals this week!

  12. Oh wow…I’m glad you’re okay. That’s so scary.

    Good luck with your worldbuilding this week. That was the first thing I did after completing my NaNo draft in November. One would think it would come before said draft, but I guess I’m like you. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      Lol, I feel like I’m doing things backwards. But I’ve already written in this world once, and I know I need to do more research before getting into it again. Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s doing it this way! 🙂

  13. kiperoo says:

    Wow, what a creepy driving story! Glad you’re OK! Nice meeting you as part of Ready. Set. WRITE! and best of luck with your rewrite! I haven’t written a word yet on my from-scratch rewrite (still in the planning stages) so I’m impressed that you launched right into some experiments. Way to go!

    • Rae says:

      Thank you! Good luck with your rewrite! It’s harder than I expected, and I’m trying to get into the right mindset. I’m hoping that starting over with the research will let me find the balance between what I’ve got in the old draft and what I need in this new rewrite.

  14. OK, now I really want to watch a sunset. It’s been awhile. I think I would just need to make it a couple streets down and one over to see it since there is some flat farmland nearby. Thanks for the inspiration! And good luck on your new goals. I think working on an old piece of writing is almost harder than starting new.

    • Rae says:

      Yeah, I have to make an effort to see it, but it’s always worth it.
      And I’m thinking you’re right about how hard it is. I was not expecting it to be that way. o.0 I’m liking the fact that I’ve got history with this piece, but I’m still trying to make it seem new.

  15. I’m so glad you’re okay!

    I’m really excited to read The Lucy Variations. Sara Zarr is one of my favorite YA writers. 🙂

    That’s great that you’ve figured out where to start in your WIP. Good luck with this week’s goals!

    • Rae says:

      Thanks, Ghenet! I’ve heard a lot of love for THE LUCY VARIATIONS, and the premise is interesting to me. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  16. It’s good to meet you! Worldbuilding is daunting. Make sure to keep a journal about important details incase your WiP turns into a series. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Natasha! My worldbuilding is mostly scribbled on bits of paper right now, but I love the excuse to buy a new notebook. 🙂

  17. Elodie says:

    So happy you´re okay! 😀
    I´ve never read any books from Sara Zarr so I look forward to know what you think 😀 And good luck on your writing!

    • Rae says:

      This was my first Sara Zarr book…and it wasn’t terrible! 🙂 I usually tend towards fantasy/sci fi/something epic, but I liked this one well enough to consider reading some more of her work. 🙂

  18. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey says:

    WHOA! First, glad that you’re alive to write this after your harrowing roadtrip experience! I’ll try not to take my commute in perfect SoCal weather for granted in your honor.

    Also, I LOVE doing character bios. To be honest, I probably spend a little too much time on that part, but like you said, it’s so much easier to write (and write well) when you know your character and your world. Good luck knocking out these goals this week, tallyho!

    • Rae says:

      And I’ll try not to grouse over my NOT perfect weather over here. ;P As much as I love living in the Midwest, I really hate it when the weather interferes with my travel schedule (I’ve had 6 or 7 weekend trips this year, and 5 of them involved rain. *frown*).

      And thanks for the encouragement! I’m not used to taking time to sit down and really think about my characters from every viewpoint…it usually just comes out in the story, giving me a wretchedly messy first draft that’s front-loaded with inconsistencies. I’m hoping this will help avoid some of that!

  19. Nice reading and learning of your love for God. I haven’t prayed in a while…but will do so now (so thanks for the inspiration!).
    When I get a break in August, I’ll definitely brainstorm my WIP’s worldbuilding because there are still some loose ends.
    Good luck with yours!

    • Rae says:

      Good luck with your worldbuilding! It’s way more fun than I remembered, and doing it for a fantasy is so great, because you get to create everything yourself.
      And thanks for the comment. I can only speak from my experience, but I know that God has been with me through a lot, and I can only love Him more for it. 🙂

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