What’s Up Wednesday

Good Morning, Readers!  Happy Hump Day!  As a part of Ready. Set. Write. & just cause, here’s my fourth What’s Up Wednesday!

What I’m Reading

gay booksSo…to the left you’ll see my first chunk of “diversity” books, there’s Proxy by Alex London which is what I’m reading now, Huntress by Malindo Lo which is next (companion to Ash), and Ash by Malinda Lo which I recently finished (review up tomorrow).

Ash was gorgeous & beautifully written, truly a fairy tale (retelling of Cinderella), and Proxy is fascinating, an adventure with lots of missing pieces to the puzzle (and I’ve only just started).

Is there anything different about these books?  Only that they connect with me in a deeper level, because I understand some of the experiences, than most YA’s I read, which is nice.
What I’m Writing

2013-Participant-Campfire-Circle-BadgeMy new WIP, tentatively titled: The Alex de Vega Chronicles (MG).

It’s set in a futuristic world, where…well, why don’t I let sassy little Alex tell you herself:

Prologue/Back of book/idk…

It takes one to know one. 

It’s the year 3146, and the world is not at all like the one you’ve been led to know.

Vampires exist and so do werewolves, shapeshifters, faeries and just about every other mythical creature you could think of, in fact one of them is my friend.

But that’s not what I’m writing to talk about, you see the world is a deadly place (duh, right) and the Council, that once kept the peace between the races, is corrupt.

The faerie court is divided, the vampire lords are fighting amongst each other and the humans, we’re next on the menu.  The key to saving our city, Atlantis II, lies within the most advanced piece of technology there is, Pandora’s Box…only thing is, it was recently stolen, by whom know one knows.

Who am I?  You might be asking.

Like they say, it takes one to know one…I am Alex de Vega — of the de Vega crime family – criminal mastermind, the one who’s supposed to save this city (ironic, isn’t it?).

Why am I telling you this?

Well, call me overly cautious but in case I don’t succeed, I’ve programmed this journal to go back to your time so that hopefully you can stop all of this from happening.

Chapter One

Middle school sucks.

You’d think that after a couple thousand years someone would’ve figured out a way to make it more interesting.  I mean you’ve got teachers that expect students to sit in a desk all day and do worksheets.  It sucks more than the time my dad made me stay at home with little crybaby sister while he took my dufus brother out to case some new virtual reality software.  Not that I cared about casing some game when I’d already stolen the original before it hit the market and replaced it with a fake.  Boy was he mad when he found that out.  It was more the fact that they never let me go with them on any of their adventures.

Oh well, I had better things to do.  Like create the software to reprogram the bots that patrolled the school hallways so that in three, two—

“Ms. Harland, Ms. Harland,” said a messy, red-haired boy who’d busted through the door.  He drew in a deep breath.  “The droids, th-they’re fighting.  In the hallway.”  The boy fell to the floor.  “What do you mean they’re fighting?” she asked, peeping her head out the door.  There was a shriek; our head of school ran by, one of the robots fast behind him.

“Oh my,” said our teacher.  She pushed the red emergency button behind her desk.  “Okay, stay here.  Someone will be here shortly; I’m going to rescue Headmaster Schley.”

I rolled my eyes, that woman had taken one self-defense class and she already thought she was Wonder Woman.  Not that it mattered since I’d only programmed the bots to tickle, of course, I’d be long gone by the time they figured that out”…

So yep, that’s my new baby.  I’ve been wanting to write an MG for a while, one that’s fast-paced, funny, a little dark, and has one hella a spunky girl as its MC.  (The best way I can describe this project is a combination of my old WIP the Otherworldly Chronicles, maybe the Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black, and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.)

It’s hard because all I remember are the good parts about the process toward finishing my old WIP, even now when I edit things I know it’s so close to being finished I push on.  With this one, I’m at square one, I know I can write it by the end of July (it’s for Camp NaNoWriMo) but only if I let myself fully go.  Right now I’m still at the beginning of chapter one, my inner critic trying to make everything perfect along the way.  

Ugh…is this really what the beginning feels like?  Why do I do this to myself???  Oh, right, I love it, right?

What Else I’ve Been Up To

big turtle side tank

1. On Friday, I went into Boston (for work) but was able to have some great times with friends at this amazing restaurant called Shabu-Ya.  I got to go to the aquarium (I got a sneak peak at the new top level to their aquarium).

And I had my first canoli & French macaron. me eating canoli macaronBefore dinner, I went from bookstore to bookstore making it my mission to find a few of the books on my “Diversity in YA” shelf (the link is to my goodreads shelf as my blog page isn’t up to date) I wanted to read first (Found all of them minus Bill Konigsberg’s book Openly Straight…I might have to order that one, also his blog is great too!).  It wasn’t easy, I think that goes to highlight how hard books with main characters who are a person of color and/or queer are to find.  The books I ended up buying are the ones I talk about in my ‘What I’m Reading’ section.

touched and dollhouse SH ARCs

-I got my ARC of Stalked by Death (Touch of Death #2) by Kelly Hashway & I’m so excited to read it…loved Touch of Death!! I also got this cool bookmark of The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray (can’t wait for the book!!).

-I finally celebrated finishing my (5th?) draft of BLOOD OF ISIS & my blog birthday (so much that I’m probably am good until my birthday).  AND, while bumming around on Sunday I came up with ways to fix/make awesome a few story bumps I knew I needed to address in BOI.  (See, taking a break from your book baby (even if a small one)  really does work wonders) .  one to start) forCamp NaNoWriMo in July!

-Oh and I left my phone in a taxi Friday and it would’ve been my third or fourth phone lost this year (bad luck + stupidity) if the driver hadn’t kindly brought it to my school (for which I paid for dearly…).  And I went grocery shopping & decided I’m going to live off books & AB&J (AB = Almond Butter) because groceries are too damn expensive (I don’t know how people can stand to see that much money go away just like that for stuff that has such a short lifespan).

What Inspires Me Right Now

These NaNoWriMo pep talks:

Neil GaimanBeth RevisMeg Cabot | Holly Black | Lemony SnicketMarissa Meyer | Gayle Forman | Julie Cross | Scott Westerfeld

Interestingly, most of them are my favorite authors…figures.

I’m quite a bit obsessed with NaNoWriMo pep talks so yeah, I usually read them when I’m in the writing slumps (or trenches like I am now).

Also…the writing community, I talked about this a bit in this post from the other day but writers and people in publishing are awesome.  They’re this group of adults (I know teens right, I’m only 20 just speaking about adults here) who still believe in following their dreams even though they might have another job, be 70, barely get paid, it doesn’t matter…we’re real troopers 🙂  So pat yourself on the back because I don’t think we stop enough to tell ourselves how truly amazing we are!  I love you guys.

What have you been up to lately? (something mischievous??)

Whimsically Yours,



23 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I love that quote by Neil Gaiman. It makes me think of people who call themselves ‘aspiring writers’. If you write then you’re a writer. Just because you don’t have publishing credits doesn’t mean you’re any less of a writer than someone who does. Be proud.

  2. Thanks for sharing that fun excerpt! You’re so lucky you got to go to the Boston aquarium! My husband ran the Boston Marathon a few years ago and originally my son and I were going to go too. Long story short, we didn’t all go, but the aquarium was one of the places I really wanted to visit. It looks amazing! Good luck with Camp NaNo!

  3. I agree with Katy, I love how far in the future your story is set. You can have SO much fun with that! Thanks for sharing your excerpt with us. 🙂 I really need to make sure I’m picking up books like ASH and others that you’ve mentioned. It’s sad that you actually have to go looking for them. I think that’s changing slowly but surely. Have a great week, Patrice! 🙂

    • I agree, it’s definitely changing…finding them was something I never thought about which is why I was so surprised when they weren’t at my local B&N. Thanks for stopping by to read my excerpt, I’m looking forward to all the futuristic research etc…I’ll get to do. Have a great week as well 🙂

  4. I love spunky MG heroines!

    And, yes, ugh, food is way too expensive – I’m a little nutty about menu planning and stretching a dollar. Living off of only books and almond butter does sound appealing 🙂

    • Same, I was always on the search for spunky heroines as a little girl. Haha, I should start meal planning more, I need more direction when I shop.

  5. How exciting to start a new WIP! And this one sounds like a lot of fun. I haven’t yet read Huntress, but I really loved Ash, so I should get on that. Oh! I have to check into Shabu-ya. What part of town is it in? Have a great week!

    • Thanks! I’m glad I’m getting to start something new. I decided to read Proxy before Huntress because I couldn’t resist but I’m sure Malinda Lo will not disappoint. Shabu-ya is in Harvard Square it’s very chic and comfy. Enjoy your weekend as well 🙂

  6. Yay for getting that phone back! That alone is worth having a party for. ASH sounds like something I’d like. I’m going to have to look into it. As for your MG, it looks like a lot of fun. She’s definitely spunky and with that set in the future – great idea!

    • Haha yeah, I’m quite excited about that & even more about not having to tell my mom. Ash is well worth the read (it draws you in and isn’t very long). As for my MC I’m looking forward to getting into lots of mischief with her.

  7. It sounds like you’re having a lot of fun with your new WIP, Patrice! It’s an interesting idea, and having a criminal MC adds to the challenge. I read the first of the Artemis Fowl books, and I think that’s a good example of the fine line you tread trying to make your reader care about an MC that’s essentially a bad guy. I wish you every success with yours! 🙂

  8. Fantastic excerpt, Patrice. Love the voice, and I love that your story is set so far in the future. So many possibilities! Also, congrats on enjoying your first macaron — yum! Best of luck with your writing goals for the week. I’m rooting you on!

    • Thanks Katy, I don’t like posting excerpts because I get so nervous about what people will think but glad to know you like it. I’m excited for the possibilities, nervous too but glad I have so much freedom to make the world what I want.

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