What’s Up Wednesday – Winter Wonderland!

As I type up this week’s What’s Up Wednesday, it’s snowing outside. For those of you in cold countries, or north of Virginia, you’re probably thinking “big wup!” But for us here in Eastern North Carolina, we’ve been watching the winter weather descend upon our friends up north, hoping some of the white fluffy stuff would come our way and spare them the misery of yet another few feet to shovel through. Well today we’re getting our little sliver of fun. It may only amount to an inch or two, but at least it’s some consolation for the sub-freezing temperatures that accompany it. Again, my friends shivering in minus double digits may laugh, but it’s all relative, you know. Especially considering it was in the 60s (F) earlier today. But enough about the weather! What have I been up to this week?

What I’m Reading

I’m still working through A GAME OF THRONES by George R. R. Martin, though I’m into the latter third, perhaps even into the last quarter of the book. The world has just turned upside down for the House of Stark, and it’s not going too well for the House of Baratheon, either. I have to say, I was dreading this development, but it was kind of inevitable. After all, when you have to sustain a multi-volume series of this length, you can’t expect things to stay the same, and, indeed, the odds need to be stacked against the good guys at some point. I’m engaged, though. And the more I read, the more likely it is I’ll be picking up book two at some point.

What I’m Writing

Not a lot at the moment since I finished my revisions! I’m taking a little break, using the time to read and do some other things while First Reader (my wife) takes a look at the novel. I’ve also given a copy to my oldest daughter to look at. Once they’ve given their feedback and have indicated some confidence that the book’s worth sending to beta readers, that’ll be the next stage. Again, if anyone’s interested in beta reading my novel, please email me–don’t just leave a comment. You can read my blurb about the novel HERE, and I posted a snippet from the novel HERE.

What Inspires Me Right Now

The ideas vying for attention at the moment, and the thought that I can take my pick! I have a short story that I really need to write because I haven’t written a short story for a while, and I need to be doing that. On the novel front, I have an MG story idea, and some other ideas I’d like to pursue. I just need to get on with writing them.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Ripping CDs. Nothing illegal–just backing up CDs my wife and I have purchased over the years. We have so many on shelves and in various other places, with broken cases, without cases–such has been the last 20 years with curious children. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, so we’d have them all on a hard drive in the event they get lost, damaged beyond repair, etc. It’s been interesting to rediscover some of the CDs we have–some I’d forgotten we owned!

What have you been up to this week? If you want to participate in the What’s Up Wednesday meme, check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk‘s blog for details, and for the linky widget list of participants to visit.

m4s0n501

46 Responses to What’s Up Wednesday – Winter Wonderland!

  1. Whoo! Whoo! CONGRATS on finishing your revisions :-) (by when do you think you’ll have the manuscript to send out – I’d love to beta read, I’ll email you at some point this week and see in terms of schedule)

    • Thanks, Elodie! Wifey wants me to give her a couple of weeks, and FirstBorn was about halfway through last I checked, so I’m thinking sometime in the next month (allowing for any changes I need to make). I look forward to hearing from you. I would really like a diverse group of beta readers, and given the reading preferences of some who have responded, it looks like I’ll get my wish :)

  2. I’m unofficially declaring Virginia as the north – I’ve got eight inches of snow (in town) and some people in the county got a foot+.

    Good luck with all your story ideas!

    • I actually debated whether to say “north of the NC state line”–but I figured Virginians might get upset with the implication that they’re northerners! ;)

      Eight inches! Wow… it’s a shame we can’t share some of that. Though I suppose we should be grateful for our 1-2 inches, given how little we usually get. I can do without the 20 degree temperatures, though.

      Thanks, Jennifer! :)

  3. Congrats on finishing your revisions! Best of luck with your story ideas! :)

  4. Congrats on finishing your revisions!!! That is a wonderful moment.

    And how fun that you now get to choose from all your other amazing ideas. (That’s my favorite part…right at the beginning)

    Also, I read your comment about not being much of a swimmer on my blog post and I just have to say…Please don’t drown, the literary world would miss you! (Not to mention missing out on the further works of a very talented author)

    Hope you have a great week!

    • Awww, that’s so very kind of you to say, Kris! :) One thing I’ve learned, especially post-teenage years, is to know one’s limitations as well as one’s strengths. That means, run full steam into things you know you can do, and avoid things you know are not within your gifting. For that reason, I try to avoid situations that might entail me having to swim. I also try not to volunteer for things that involve hammers and nails. :)

  5. Congrats on finishing your revisions! That is a big accomplishment.

    Have a great week!

  6. Congratulations on finishing, that is great!

    I loved A Game of Thrones, I found it completely addictive. Loved the TV show too.

    Enjoy the snow!

    • There’s something very appealing about books with a deep conception of the world in which they take place. You could easily compare Martin’s fantasy world with that of Harry Potter, or Middle Earth. And the hints of the long history of the various kings and allegiances throughout add a richness to the story. I think that makes it quite compelling.

      I’ll be interested to see how the TV series conceptualizes it. :)

      Thanks, Alexa!

  7. Before I say anything else. CONGRATS(!) on finishing your revisions, Colin! What a wonderful feeling. I hope your wife and daughter love it. :-) Enjoy your much deserved break.

    On the weather matter, I find it so bizarre that you all (y’all?) are getting snow and we’re enjoying extremely mild temperatures north of the 49th. I mean, it’s been above zero almost every day for the past week or more. Talk about everything getting flipped on its head! Still, I’ll take it.

    You’re really convincing me to finally give GAME OF THRONES a read. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been meaning to for a while now, but the sheer size of thing always put me off. I think 2014 might be the year that I finally give it a go. Have a wonderful week, Colin!

    • Thank you, Jaime! My daughter just finished it, and she had some nice things to say, so I’m reasonably hopeful this will get to betas. Of course, she has some critiques too, but she’s going to go back through and take notes on those for me.

      The fact that to you, mild = above zero about says it all. Perhaps we don’t get this weather very often because we really couldn’t handle it like Canadians. After all, it’s not just the snow, it’s the sub-freezing temperatures that go with it. We want the fluffy stuff, but we want 50 degree temps too! :)

      I’m pleasantly surprised by GoT. It’s a lot more compelling than I thought it would be. I wouldn’t say it’s the best thing I’ve ever read, but I certainly understand why it has such a devoted following. Before you dive in, I will caution that there is a certain amount of profanity (but not nearly as much as in the average Stephen King novel), and the sex scenes, while not erotica-descriptive, are descriptive enough that you’re in no doubt what’s going on. I don’t know how much of this translated to the TV series, so I can’t compare. With that in mind, take the plunge!

  8. I love getting new ideas, especially when there is more than one! But sometimes choosing just one can be a bit much. Which is why I tend to work on a few different things at once until I figure out which one really wants my attention. Game of Thrones seems like one of those books that would take a while to get through, isn’t it like a thousand pages or something? (there might be a slight exaggeration with my guesstimate).

    • Which idea is certainly a big issue, and I could sit around doing nothing for a long time while trying to decide–so I’ll probably just pick one and run with it. Better to be writing something than nothing!

      LOL–yes, GoT seems like a massive tome. Okay, it IS a massive tome–not quite 1,000 pages, but looking at it, it might as well be. However, the large page count is because of the depth of the world. It’s actually very readable, and I would say, if you could easily lose yourself in J.K. Rowling’s world, you could probably wander around Martin’s world too. And it might take a while to get through… but that’s okay, isn’t it? Some books deserve the time. :)

  9. Congrats on finishing revisions! Choosing a new idea is always an exciting time though it is difficult. I love Game of Thrones but they tend to be emotionally taxing which is part of the reason why it’s taking me so long to get caught up in the series (the other part being I know it’s going to be a long wait for the next installment).

    P.S. As a northerner, I’d gladly send some of this snow your way. We’ve got about two+ feet on the ground already and they’re saying three to five inches tonight.

    • I’ll probably just have to pick a project and go with it, otherwise I’ll be giving myself an excuse to sit around and do nothing while I try to decide. :)

      Given as long as it’s taken me to get through the first book, I don’t think the length of time between novels will be a problem, assuming I carry on with the series. Where are we now? He’s just come out with book 5? I don’t know–but if I have four more of these huge novels to read, along with all the other books I want to read, it’ll be a few years before I’m ready for the next!

      Another 3-5 inches of snow tonight? You poor thing! :( Seriously, if I could, I’d send it our way.

  10. It snowed a lot here yesterday and during the night. And it’s too cold! lol
    Congrats on finishing your revisions!
    Oh, I did that with CDs before moving back to the US, because I decided to leave all my CDs in Brazil. And I also scanned ALL my pictures, even the thousands my mother had of our family – it took many, many days, but now I know they will never be lost!

    • Thanks, Juliana. I think backing up your digital media, CDs, books, etc. is a good idea–especially when you have young children. :) We haven’t gone into scanning pictures yet, but that may have to happen at some point. Good idea. :)

  11. Congrats on finishing your revision, Colin! Your success and productivity are inspiring. :-) While I’m a big fan of the GoT TV show, I’ve yet to read the novels. I’ve considered it, but the show is so well done (and I heard it follows the books closely) that I don’t want to spoil anything for myself. Do you watch the show? Hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy your writing/revising break!

    • Thank you, Katy! As long as it’s taken for me to get this far, I don’t feel like I’ve been nearly as productive as I could have been–but at least I reached the end and other people are reading it now.

      I haven’t seen any of the GoT series on TV, though I’m intrigued to see the first series, to see how the characters have been interpreted on screen. I understand Martin was very involved in the series, even writing some of the scripts, so it’s little wonder they are close to the books. It might be hard going to the novels after enjoying the series, but who knows–they may give you a bit more depth and background than TV can offer?

  12. Hooray for finishing! Hope your wife, daughter and assorted other beta readers provide loads of helpful feedback :D

  13. Glad you are still enjoying A GAME OF THRONES, but I’m not surprised. I think GRRM is a master storyteller and world builder.

    Congrats on finishing the revision and sending it to your first readers! Getting through a major revision is always a good — if slightly emotional, for me anyway — accomplishment.

    • GRRM certainly knows how to spin a yarn–and this one’s a good one. :)

      Thanks, Rebekah! The chances of the novel moving past the First Reader stage are good at the moment, but we’ll see once I have all the comments from the First Readers and have incorporated any changes that need to be made. This stage is certainly an accomplishment, but actually getting into the hands of non-family members for their critical assessment will be a major turn. That’s when I say, “this is good enough to consider for publication.”

  14. I have so many CDs that are in a plastic bin somewhere right now… for the longest time I’ve wanted to get a really nice bookshelf or something to put them on, preferably near the stereo so maybe I’ll actually listen to them!

    • Perhaps you should invest in a) some CD shelving, and b) a large capacity external hard drive (1 or 2 Terabytes should do the trick, depending on the number of CDs). Not only would this give you somewhere to store the CDs, but ripping them to the hard drive will preserve them AND give you reason to listen to them! In this process, several times I’ve come across a CD I either forgot we had, or haven’t listen to for years, and have played a few tracks. :)

  15. Finishing your revisions is huge! Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your break while your wife and daughter read your ms. Enjoy the snow too! I’d be glad to send all of ours your way lol! :)

    • Thanks, Erin! I’ll certainly enjoy the break, but hopefully it’ll be a productive break. :) As for the snow, bring it on–you can keep the sub-zero temps, though. ;)

  16. Congrats on finishing your revisions.

    I envy the snow, here in Australia is been hot, very hot. And we don’t get snow.

    Enjoy your break. I liked Game of thrones, and i love the tv series too.

    • Thank you, Angel! This is your summertime, isn’t it? Just as I can’t imagine the kind of frigid temperatures they’re experiencing up in Canada, it must be just as hideously hot south of the equator this time of year. I don’t know that I’d enjoy either extreme. You are certainly welcome to our freezing cold, though you’ll have to share the snow. :)

  17. Congratulations on finishing your WIP! That’s so awesome :)
    Enjoy your break!

  18. Congratulations on finishing your revisions! What a great feeling. I finished the first two books in the Song of Ice and Fire series but then decided that they are so complicated (so many characters, so many complex story lines) that I’d better wait until the whole series is done before I read any more so I can read them all at once! Have fun going through your old CDs! Believe it or not, I’ve been going through some of my old albums – yes, I’m talkin’ VINYL!! Talk about memories. :)

    • I figure by the time I’ve finished book 5 in the series, the next will be out, so I’m not too worried about getting caught up. :) My vinyl/cassette collection is next on the list to back-up. I have some LPs and singles that are not on CD, so it’ll be good to digitize them.

  19. Woo, finished revisions! Congrats! I’m hoping to have that feeling soon.

  20. Congratulations on finishing your revisions! Hope you enjoy your break. :)

  21. Congratulations on finishing your revisions! Did you reward yourself in any way? I’m a big believer in celebrating all of the milestones. Helps me from getting burned out.

  22. What are CDs? No, I kid. ;) I used to buy so many CDs, but I honestly don’t know where most of them are now – probably in a box?

    Congrats on finishing revisions and for having multiple new ideas to pick from. I love that! The possibilities are thrilling. But that said, it’s good you’re taking a bit of a break too. Must recharge and refill the well first.

    I still haven’t read the GoT books though I love watching the series. From what I hear from my friends who read and watch, the show is pretty faithful to the books, though they’ve combined a few characters, sped up a few storylines, and aged some of them up (like the kids). I think the books will definitely add depth to the TV experience. I just can’t decide if I’d rather have the show spoiled for me first (i.e. read the books before the season) or the other way around (i.e. watch the show, then read). A friend recently started watching the 1st season after having finished Book 1, and she was saying that she thinks she might just watch from now on because she thought some of the big revelations that come later in the book would’ve been such great TV show moments if she didn’t already know they were coming.

    • Yeah… everything’s digital download and all this new fangled technology… ;)

      Thanks for the congrats, Krispy. I’m glad for the break, but I’m also excited to get feedback from the First Readers and get the novel out to betas…

      And thanks for your thoughts about GoT books vs. TV. That’s an interesting dilemma–which do you want spoiled, the books or the TV series? For me, I’d just as soon read the books first and know what’s coming in the TV series, because the books came first. But I suppose you could look at it in the same way as you did the Harry Potter books vs. movies. I imagine most people read the books first, and still enjoyed the movies. Why would GoT be different? That’s not a rhetorical question, especially if for some reason there is a difference for you. What is that difference? Maybe the dissimilarities between the Potter novels and movies helped make the movies something special in themselves? I don’t know. An interesting thought, nevertheless. :)

  23. Winter is coming!

    For once, we’re actually having a mild winter. And the North in England is basically Winterfell so that’s surprising for us!

    Congrats on revisions! Enjoy the well earned break. It’s always so refreshing to take a step away and either work on something else or have a complete break from writing.

    • I know what you mean when you say the North is Winterfell–I lived in Hull for three years. A mild winter is certainly an event. :)

      Thanks for the congrats, Robin! I’m trying not to relax too much; I don’t want to get rusty. But the break is good.

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