Fire, What's Up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday #4

WUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom Jaime’s post. We really hope you will take part!

What I’m Reading

I’m still working my way through The Casual Vacancy. I also started reading Beowulf, which has been challenging so far, plus the translator converted it into prose, which has been tripping me up since I know it was originally a poem. Then the library kindle emailed me to remind me Mila 2.0 and The Elite are due Wednesday, so I had to abandon Beowulf for the time being to read those. I really liked Mila 2.0 – it had lots of action, plus Mila was a really interesting and relatable character. Now I’m 25 pages into The Elite and already questioning my decision to read it. We’ll see if it’s as addictive as The Selection

What I’m Writing

Time to check in for Ready. Set. Write! As a reminder, my goals are here. As of Tuesday (which is when I’m writing this post), I’ve

  • polished up 19 chapters of SHARDS, which I think was 6 or 7 for the week. I’m past the halfway point in the MS now, and I should be able to make good progress the rest of this week since I stupidly forgot to change my availability at my retail job before this week’s schedule was posted and I didn’t get very many hours…
  • rewrote Chapter 2 of FIRE and sent it to IfeomaLiz, and Laura. This weekend I’m going to rewrite Chapter 3 and then send itready-set-write-button to them.

Also, Alison and Tracey both did that snippet thing that’s going around – Search the words “moment,” “forever,” “time,” or the like in your writing, pick your favorite chunk, post on your blog, and tag others! – and they tagged everyone, so I figured it was a good way to choose a snippet to share this week.

This snippet is from Chapter 1 of FIRE, so all you need to know is the main character, Aimee’s, mother is about to be burned at the stake as a witch (she says with a gleeful smile on her face).

At precisely noon, Justice Keane McCormack, a frequent visitor of my mother’s dining room table, springs up onto the scaffold, and the crowd goes silent for the first time all day. I swallow bile and Erin digs her fingernails into my arm, because both of us know what’s coming next.

It’s the beginning of the end.

The last thing either of us wants to do is watch this, but we have no choice. We have to prove we aren’t our mother’s daughters, and in order to do that, we can show no weakness as she’s condemned. So neither of us looks away as Justice McCormack opens his mouth and spouts nothing but lies.

“We are here on this glorious spring day to witness the execution of a traitor.” His voice is sonorous, the type of voice I’m sure would’ve drowned out the crowd no matter how loud they were. It is the voice that frequently told Erin and me stories about our father, his best friend.

And now it’s the voice that will condemn our mother to death.

The Justice pauses to let the crowd cheer. When they’re more or less silent again, he says, “I now present the prisoner.”

Across the square from where we sit, the crowd parts. I can’t see her yet, but I know they part for my mother, being led out of the Justice Building – housing our courts, legal offices, and cells – escorted by at least a score of guards. I imagine how terrified these guards must be, accompanying a convicted mage to her death.

I wonder if my mother is scared. She’s had plenty of time to think about how she’s going to die, to imagine the flames caressing her skin, the smoke choking her. I read in a book that the smoke will suffocate her – when she dies, it will be the smoke’s doing, not the fire’s. I wonder if that thought kept her up last night, like it did to me.

I wonder if she regrets what she did.

I’m not sure I regret what I did.

I also tag everyone. Because I don’t play favorites.

What Inspires Me Right Now

The writing community. Without the writing community, I probably would still have pieces of stories floating around on my computer instead of complete MSs.

Without my friend Anna and the Bellingham WriMos, I probably wouldn’t have finished that first MS my freshman year of college, the one I haven’t looked at since but was important in proving I could write a book.

Without FictionPress, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to show other people my writing. Without The Write Away and all those ladies demanding more of that first awful draft of SHARDS, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. Without everyone on Twitter cheering me on, I probably wouldn’t have written two more drafts after that. Without Ready. Set. Write!, who knows when I’d have my final draft of SHARDS done? (Answer: probably way later than the end of June.) Without #WriteClub, I’d probably have a social life on Friday nights. (But more likely I’d end up watching terrible TV in my pajamas.) Without my CPs demanding to see more of SHARDS and FIRE, I’d probably be spending my summer sitting around in my PJs clearing my Netflix queue.

Basically, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am right now. So thank you all for that.

What Else I’m Up To

On Friday I got coffee with a friend who was graduating, and we spent three hours nerding out and talking about life and sitting there so long I’m surprised we didn’t get kicked out. (Actually, I’m not surprised. I spend way too much time in that coffeehouse. They know me by name and always tell me when they’ve got new mochas, which is important.)

On Saturday my roommate and I went to stare at Henry Cavill in spandex for two hours see Man of Steel. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as bad as a lot of people on Twitter said it was. Superman and Lois had zero chemistry and the dialogue was cringe-worthy, but I liked the spin they put on Superman’s origin story, it was very good visually (and yes, I’m talking about more than just Henry Cavill), and Henry Cavill was very nice to look at. Also, Hans Zimmer did the score, and I’m convinced he can do no wrong.

And then there’s the usual: world domination, one new Divergent reader at a time. My sister read it in a day (and sent me many, many all caps texts), and now my dad’s reading it. I need all of my fingers and several of my toes to count how many people have read that book because of me, most of those people being students. Hooray, literacy!

What have you been up to this week?


39 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday #4”

  1. OK, now I can’t get those horrible memories about having to read Beowulf out of my head. And you’re trying to read it for fun?!? Wow, you’ve got a tough constitution!

  2. I LOVE the snippet! Share more, please!!!

    Also, Beowulf?! I missed out on my first three days of senior year (stupid stomach bugs) and missed all the discussion in my AP class so I had to read and analyze it myself. Beowulf and I have a hate-hate relationship. But have fun! I hope the story’s nicer to you. 🙂

    And great work this week! I hope you have a wonderful writing week!

  3. Yes! I’ve been wanting to see more of this story, although I’m not sure I’m any more satisfied than I was last time. More? Please? 🙂
    Thanks for sharing about all the people that have helped you along this writing journey; it’s encouraging to see the community and its impact on others.
    Hope you have an amazing week!

  4. that was an intense scene! I’m looking forward to seeing Superman, I don’t care what other people say, he’s one of my favorite super heroes and i’m not missing this one! Even if it is filled with some cheese 🙂

    1. It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen. It was better than the Hulk movie they did a few years ago with Eric Bana, anyway. But I definitely preferred when they were punching things as opposed to talking 😉

  5. The writing community inspires me every day. I’m so thankful for the you and everyone I’ve met and gotten to know. The YA community, in particular, is so incredibly awesome.

    Love the excerpt you shared. Your voice is so distinct, and the final two lines are especially fantastic.

    Way to go on all your Ready. Set. Write! progress, and here’s to even more in the coming weeks!

  6. That snippet is AMAZING! Ohmigosh what a start! I’m already excited for the day your book is published!

    The writing community is amazing, isn’t it? So supportive and nurturing. It’s absolutely lovely.

    Sorry to hear Man of Steel didn’t entertain you more. I need to check out the Hans Zimmer score though. I love that man’s music.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you loved it! 🙂

      I remember sitting in the theater thinking how much I loved the score, and then I saw Hans Zimmer’s name in the credits and suddenly everything made sense. I could listen to his music forever!

  7. Feel so lucky to be critiquing FIRE…I’m wearing an I-know-what-you-don’t-know evil grin as I type this 😉
    There are so many books I’ve marked as TBR thanks to your reviews, and I’m going to get back to Divergent.
    Started reading it a while ago but couldn’t get past that point where the boy was crying at night after Tris jumped off the roof.

    1. Divergent gets so much better after that point. It’s one of those books that gets better as you read more. My sister and my dad both just read it, which makes me want to reread it this summer!

  8. That was an awesome snippet! I’m hooked. I bought Divergent months ago but still haven’t gotten around to reading it. I keep telling myself “When I’m done editing” so hopefully sometime this summer!

  9. Aswesome excerpt, Steph. I love the way it ends especially. And I LOVE the writing community, too–I’d surely be querying my crappy Women’s Fic that was nowhere even near a story without the things this community has taught me. (Thank God I’m not.)

  10. I did not like Man of Steel, however I loved Henry Cavill in it. I just wished they’d let him act a little bit instead of just standing around looking hot. Wait, is that an actual problem? (He’s pretty hot).

    1. I had a hard time paying attention the the actual movie because I was so distracted by Henry Cavill. That being said, I know what you mean about the acting part. I mean, I KNOW he can act. He did such a great job on The Tudors, especially with the large amount of character development his character had.

  11. I saw MAN OF STEEL this past weekend, too! I rather enjoyed it and totally agree with the flaws you pointed out – but thought they did a decent job. And, well, 2+ hours of Henry Cavill? Grrrrrrrrrr.

    And congrats on all your great writing progress! Your submit was great – I can’t wait to see how you best your goals for this week!

    I completely second the greatness of the writing community – there are so many amazing writers out there, around the world…yet at any given moment they all can feel like they’re right in the room with you, cheering you on.

    Best of luck with your writing goals this week!

    1. I will never argue with 2+ hours of Henry Cavill. Or any Henry Cavill. Have you watched The Tudors? Four entire seasons of Henry Cavill. I’m making myself want to watch it all over again…

      Thank you!

  12. Wow, great progress! And love the snippet!
    I’ve heard mixed reviews of CASUAL VACANCY so I’d love to hear what you think when you finish. Best of luck with your goals this week!

  13. Steph, great progress and love the snippet too. I had no idea you were working on something other than SHARDS (which really means we have to catch up soon, haha!!!). I really LOVED Beowulf – we read an abridged version in hs, then I read it 2x in college, once in a History of English Language class so we had to translate it ourselves…despite it being hard, it was a lot of fun! Good luck with your goals this week for more writing & revising 🙂

    1. The whole working on something that’s not SHARDS thing is a recent development, and it was so hard at first to get into something entirely different! But yes, we will have to catch up soon 🙂

  14. Wow, what an intense moment for your MC! Nicely done. I’ve read Beowulf but I think I blocked out the experience. I am also looking forward to seeing Man of Steel. Maybe this weekend. Good luck on your goals this week.

  15. First of all, awesome snippet! It definitely hooks the reader in! Secondly, I love that you’re making it a personal mission to get people to read DIVERGENT. Veronica Roth should be thanking you personally! I’m also finding the writing community so supportive and inspirational lately. It’s great to see everyone cheering each other on! This bit about Man of Steel totally made me laugh: “it was very good visually (and yes, I’m talking about more than just Henry Cavill.)” Lol! But how did you know that’s the first thing that would pop into our minds? 😉

    Best of luck for another great week of revising and writing!

  16. Really enjoyed your excerpt! And the Twitter fiestas this week have been a HUGE help on this end, too.

    Did you see that Tris and Four are on the cover of EW?

    Keep up the great work!

    1. I almost spit out my coffee when I saw that EW cover yesterday! And then I put “buy EW” on my calendar, haha. I will brave as many stores as I have to to find it.

      Thank you!

  17. My mom and I were debating over whether Henry Cavill was good-looking or not this morning. She doesn’t think he is and I think she’s crazy. I’m glad Man of Steel isn’t as bad as people keep saying it is, and even if it sucked…at least we get to see Henry Cavill in spandex. 😉

    That snippet blew me away and it makes me wish that I could read more. Soooo good.

    Good luck with your goals for this week! 🙂

    1. Does your mother not have eyes?! Now I’m imagining all of the things my grandma would have to say about him, and none of them are things I want to think about coming out of my grandma’s mouth…

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it!

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