Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's Up Wednesday


 

 
What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop with other writers. Click here to see this week's list of particpating blogs!
 
What I'm Reading
 
Still plugging away at Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I'm spending free time writing so I'm not doing much reading at all. Once Friday hits, I'm taking a mini break and catching up on a bunch of books I've gotten for cheap from BookBub. It's both wonderful to have ebook deals emailed directly every day, and also dangerous because, well e-book deals are emailed to you EVERY DAY.
 
What I'm Writing
 
I'm revising my summer project (which I wrote thanks to many of your encouragement during Ready. Set. Write!) with hopes that I can get it in good enough shape to enter into RWA's Golden Heart contest (deadline just days away, thus the not reading much part). I already entered a different manuscript, but this project is more fresh in my mind and I really, really want to give it a chance in the GH! Hopefully, fingers crossed, this will be my last year eligible since the award is for writers who are not under a publishing contract. I will gladly become ineligible next year if it means one of my manuscripts goes under contract with a publisher!
 
The other national award RWA has is the Rita for published novels, which is open to any author, regardless of RWA affiliation. Sadly, the YA category is canceled in 2014 due to lack of entries. Say what now? Lack of entries for YA?! Crazy, right given how huge the category is, and how much its growing. More to the story. RWA changed the definition of what they consider a Young Adult romance, which well-intentioned or not, has caused the perception that many writers' YA romances no longer qualify since their stories involve other plot elements. I personally think the bulk of this is a misunderstanding. RWA's redefining of acceptable YA for their awards does limit some previously eligible entries, though I think people are perhaps interpreting the new definition too strictly. In addition to the defintion change, RWA also changed their method for determining how many entries are needed in order keep a category in the contest. This year you needed like 10 times more individual entries to keep the category. It was a perfect storm of changes that resulted in cancelation.
 
A bunch of us were on fire about this on twitter and many of us have brought our heartfelt concerns to the RWA board. I chose RWA over SCBWI, mostly due to its local resources, and I want to continue with the organization. I think RWA as a whole just needs a bit more education on what YA is and what it isn't. The perception should not be that YA romance is ONLY romance, given how essential coming of age and family matters are in YA lit. I do understand a romance-focused contest should require books that are romance focused, but a slight tweak to the wording will most likely clear up the confusion this has created.
 
Uh, so after all that, I'm still shooting for the Golden Heart, and I really hope the Rita is around for YA by the time I am eligible to enter a book.
 
What Inspires Me
 
Christmas! I took a break last weekend and baked with my sister-in-law and her mom. Let's just say I am now an expert at spritz cookies using a finnicky cookie press. I made shortbread, and my family dipped dozens of pretzels in chocolate and wrapped them up all cute. I don't have a pic, but I did make this (right) for a craft project gingerbread man contest at work. I turned mine into Princess Leia. Those are pipe cleaner buns. 
What Else I've Been Up To
 
Writing a lot, we covered that. I bought a bunch of older movies at one of those used CD/games/movies store. We don't have an extensive DVD collection at home so there are a lot of older movies I've been wanting to rewatch and wished we had. I even had a coupon for the used store, which made it even cheaper $3.33 a movie before the coupon. I need to make sure I don't crazy if I go back.
 
I have a half decorated Christmas tree due to issues with the lights (isn't it always) and am in need of an extension cord which of course I can't find due to having shifted everything in our downstairs when the floors were done and the water damage fixed. My husband does not get the holiday decorating thing AT ALL and I've been trying deal with this myself. The result is a tree with a strip of lights out in the middle and the boxes just sitting around. Although the cat likes his little shady nook. :)
 
What's up with your Wednesday? 
 

18 comments:

  1. I love the Leia gingerbread person. Also congrats on all the writing. Good luck finishing your revisions in time for your contest.

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  2. That whole RWA YA thing is just bonkers! I really do hope they sort that out. I considered joining RWA, but now I'm not so sure. It's just crazy that they still don't seem to get what YA actually is. I'm happy to hear that your Ready. Set. Write! project is in its final stages of revision. That's fantastic! Best of luck with the Golden Heart contest.

    I've never made spritz cookies or used one of those cookie presses, but they look really cool. I might have to get my hands on one sometime. Have a great week, Stephanie!

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    1. I know, I would really hate for anyone to be discouraged by RWA because it's a great organization. If you have romance in your books it's a huge asset to have the support and education they provide. They've shown me the business side of writing to take it from hobby to something more. Thankfully the board changes and those who made the more restrictive definitions have moved on. Apparently the contest rules shift quite a bit so things change from year to year.

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  3. Good luck with your revisions and the contest! :)

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  4. I can't believe a YA award was cancelled. What a shame!

    Leia looks awesome :D

    Best of luck with the revisions. Hope it's a great week!

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  5. Good luck with revisions! You can do it!!!

    Also, please let it be known that if BookBub becomes my new crack, Stephanie Scott was the dealer who got me hooked.

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  6. On the flip side, I've had people telling me my first Russian historical novel is just some superlong historical romance novel, not straight historical fiction that just happens to be driven by a love story. I don't see why a YA Romance category should be cancelled, if the authors intended their work as romance, the primary storyline is romantic in nature, and it ends with a HEA or HFN. Given the ages of the couple, it obviously will be a bit different from the typical adult romance, but that shouldn't make it less of a romance.

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  7. Wow, that's a shame there were hardly any entries in the YA category, and the reason is a shame too. I hope it all gets sorted out, because there are so many YA novels that deserve an award like that. Good for you for bringing up your concerns with RWA. Maybe after the difficulties this year the criteria for entering next year might be made clearer.

    Good luck putting the finishing touches on your WIP! I'm so glad RSW helped out so much. Also, I love your Princess Leia craft. It's adorable!

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    1. Yeah, it's a real bummer about the contest. Writers held back entering their books purposely because they thought they weren't eligible. Thanks for keeping up the What's Up Wednesday!

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  8. Yeah, I don't really get the holiday decorating thing, either, but I still help out (and of course take pictures once it's done). Best of luck as you vie for the Golden Heart (and a tree with a full complement of working lights)!

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  9. BookBub...uh oh, I'm in trouble. *signs up*

    Good luck with the Golden Hearts contest!

    Last time I had a tree I pulled out my string of lights I swore I'd neatly packed away and they were a jumbled mess. I think I ended up buying new ones because it was easier.

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  10. Incredible that there weren't enough entries in the YA category, and the redefining thing is a bit bonkers as well. Best of luck with the contest though. I'm impressed that you are able to buckle down and write during the holiday season. Go you!

    And I'm with everyone else, that Leia gingerbread is awesome. :)

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  11. The whole RWA award thing is really interesting to read about. I'm waiting to join a writing organization until I have a manuscript ready to go (so, give me a decade? ha), but I am definitely considering RWA. It's a good thing they have vocal YA writer-members like you to point out the problems with their new YA definitions. Not having awards for YA - or having them be too strict for my stories - would certainly be a negative (imo).

    I'll be crossing my fingers that you're able to get your manuscript ready to go before the deadline! Best of luck!

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  12. I need to get around to reading Coldtown. I haven't read any Holly Black since Spiderwick!

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  13. That is such a cute cookie! :)

    Changing the definition of "YA romance" strikes me as odd, since they seem to have a broader definition of what constitutes an adult romance. It's weird to me that there can be many subgenres of adult romance -- chick lit, mom lit, erotic romance, sweet traditional, historical romance, etc., all with their own themes and subplots -- but all YA lit gets lumped under "YA romance" by age group and not by characteristics of the novels themselves. Different YA romances are just as different as the subgenres of adult romance. (my two cents)

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    1. To fill you in, other RWA contest categories were also tweaked. Chick lit is out (the sub chapter renamed to contemporary romance chapter), and women's fiction and novels with romantic elements are also no longer categories for their contests. That caused an uproar LAST year. I see what they are trying to do but ahh....I think it will take some more modifying to get there.

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  14. Sounds like you've got a lot of great stuff going on! I understand about the wonder and danger of too many book sales! Great that you're making a lot of progress with what you're writing, and it's great to meet you!

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  15. I have to check out BookBub, but that could be dangerous! Like you said, who can pass up a good ebook deal?

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