Wednesday, 4 March 2015

What's Up Wednesday! | 04/03/15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk as a way for writers and readers to stay in touch!

It's March! March!

What I'm Reading

Well this week is the first week of my Forgotten Histories Reading Challenge - and it's not too late to join in! - and the challenge this week is to read an alternate history book. So I'm going to finish Relic by Renee Collins, and then I'm hoping I'll still have time to read Temeraire by Naomi Novik.

Since last week I've also read The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, a Victorian Gothic novella by a Welsh author, Fairest by Marissa Meyer, Ms. Marvel, Vol.1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, and I'm still reading Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland; I'm aiming to finish it soon so my review can go up on Friday after Donna very kindly sent me an ARC.

I'm also in the middle of Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which is fantastic so far!

What I'm Writing

Well last week I wrote a blog post for work titled 'Top 5 Tips for Getting a Job in Publishing' aimed particularly at students and recent grads, and I'm rather proud of it.

I've also been working on some other non-fiction stuff; I'm taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge for the first time this year, so I've been getting those posts ready, and I'm also working on a mini essay I'm hoping to submit to the next issue of Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter titled 'Tonks: Manic Pixie Dream Girl or Body Positive Role Model?'

What can I say? Once a Potterhead, always a Potterhead.

I'm also working on a short story called 'Piranha' that I'm hoping to enter into the Mslexia Short Story Competition.

What Works For Me

Visit your own setting. If what you write is set on Earth, and it's not set in a fictional town or village, then visit that place. I don't think it's often that a writer will write about a place that they haven't at least seen some pretty decent pictures of, but when writing historical fiction it's often easy to assume that every Medieval/Early Modern/Regency/Victorian village/town looked the same when we know that's not the case. Even if you're writing something that's set back in 10th century Britain and there are no buildings left for you to examine, you can still go and see how the land lies: what the weather's like; whether the ground beneath your feet is boggy or firm; whether it rains a lot; whether crops would be easy to grow; whether the coast is nearby, therefore making it likely that your characters eat a lot of seafood and worry about Viking invaders more than the people inland.

There's a lot you can learn from visiting the right places, even if it's just giving you a feel for what it's like for your characters to live there!

What Else Is New

Last week I won a giveaway over on Twitter, and my favourite magazine, SciFiNow, ended up sending me a box of 11 books. I've never won anything before, but recently I've won three different giveaways - I must have hit a lucky streak!

Signal to Noise is one of the books I won, and I'm pretty pleased with that considering it only came out last month, and I also won copies of Parts II and III of the Dangerous Women anthologies, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois, and featuring work by authors like Diana Rowland, Diana Gabaldon, Sharon Kay Penman, Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch... Needless to say, I'm very pleased and I ordered myself Part I from Amazon so I can own the entire collection!

Other than that, not much has happened. An old school friend of mine had a baby on Monday which is so weird; I still feel like a 15 year old who's just pretending to be a grown up and there are people I knew at school getting married and having babies. I have a lot of respect for anyone who decides to have babies in their 20s. I'm way too selfish.

What's new with you?


  1. I find it so weird when friends have babies, too, and we're all approaching our 30s :P

    Wow, that's a fantastic winning streak you've been on. Congratulations to you ^_^

  2. Congrats on the win! Getting books is always fun, =D

    Good luck on the reading challenge, and on getting ready for A to Z. I never manage to get my posts in order ahead of time, but I'm going to try this month to get a good portion of them written!

  3. Ooh, congrats on your giveaway win -- how cool! And I totally agree about visiting settings when possible. I try to do that too, and I find that the experience makes my descriptions so much richer. Have a wonderful week!

  4. Congrats on the giveaway win, Jess. I love the idea of visiting settings if possible. I ironically set all of my books in places I've never been…except my new WIP, that's set right where I live :-)

  5. I'm really big into visiting my stories' settings. Well, except for the first one which was set in Antarctica and eventually Mars. LOL (No, thanks.) My current WWI WiP was inspired by our trip to France this past summer and to Vimy Ridge specifically. I'm trying to recall details, but I think this might call for another trip that way. Darn. :P Good luck with your A to Z Challenge posts! I haven't done it in a couple of years, but it's definitely fun. Have a great week, Jess! :D

  6. It's always fun to win books! Best of luck with your projects! :)

  7. I love being able to visit my settings. And I need to get on the wait list for Fairest ASAP!

  8. I love Ms Marvel!

    Hmm. Lots of people talking about the a to z blogging challenge. So tempting. It looks really fun. Good luck getting your posts together! :) I hear it's a great way to develop blogging friends.

    Congrats on all the giveaway wins lately! That's so exciting.

  9. Great idea about visiting your settings. It makes me want to set my next story somewhere really great so I have to visit. For research, of course. ;)

  10. Congrats on winning the giveaway. That's awesome! Have a great week!