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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: February 26

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. First off I'd like to thank everyone for the well-wishes last week. I'd like to say that I feel a lot better this week but I didn't sleep last night. I have a dentist appointment on Tuesday. It was the earliest I could get. I will attempt to read everyone's posts this week but it's very likely I may end up in bed sleeping all day. I promise I will get back at it once I am feeling better.

What I'm Reading: 
Still Seraphina. I'm making pretty steady progress, but I wish I had more time and energy to devote to it. It's such a great book so far and it deserves my full attention. I've also reread Chronicle of a Death Foretold twice because I'm writing a paper on it and I was looking for evidence. The more I read it, the more I wonder about. 

What I'm Writing: 
Weredragon revisions are almost done! For real. I have two and a half chapters left, I believe. I'm only able to work on it during good days, but progress is progress.

What Inspires Me: 
The Olympics are over but they're still inspiring me. I'm kind of sad that they're done, but it means that the NHL players are back and the Red Wings start playing again tonight.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Preparing for spring break! I'm going home Friday and I'm very excited about it, especially because it's about 20-30 degrees warmer back home.  It also means I have a lot of assignments to deal with, but once it's all done I can finally relax and enjoy my break. I don't have any plans yet--beyond going to the dentist--but that's okay.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: February 19

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. It's been a week of ups and downs. I'm counting down the minutes until I get to go home for spring break. It was sunny and 30s yesterday and the same is promised for today. It's so lovely that it's almost sad how much I'm enjoying it.

What I'm Reading: 
Finishing up Texaco for class this week. I'm more than ready to move on. Our professor promises that our next assigned books will be more enjoyable. I'm about a third of the way through Seraphina, most of which I read in a single afternoon when I picked it up for the library. I can't wait to be able to settle down and read it properly again.

What I'm Writing: 
Last week I hoped to announce today that I'm through with Weredragon revisions. Unfortunately work got in the way so that still hasn't happened. I'm not sure what's going to happen over the next week and a half so I won't even try to make any more predictions.

What Inspires Me: 
Still watching massive amounts of Olympics. I've been waking up to hockey every morning and watching ice skating in the afternoons when it's on. I tried to find a couple videos but there don't seem to be any good ones quite yet. First and foremost, USA versus Russia men's hockey. Oh my God that game was incredible. I've watched the whole game twice already and the shoot-out three times. The other video I tried to find was Jeremy Abbot's short program in ice skating. He fell on his first jump, landed hard on the ice, and stayed down for a good bit. His program after that was perfect.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
I haven't had a good night's sleep in three days because of a bad toothache so it's all I can do to stay alert while I get as much work done as possible. I don't really have the energy for much else. Watching Finland/Russia hockey now. I was not expecting to find this score when I flipped the TV on.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: February 12

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.

What I'm Reading: 
I just finished Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein last week. The full review is here. It was beautiful and gut-wrenching and I loved it. It's a highly recommend for anyone who is a fan of Holocaust or WWII historicals. I'm a little over halfway in Texaco and I've gotten used to the writing style. Working my way through bit-by-bit. I also picked up Seraphina by Rachel Hartman from the library yesterday and roared through the first third. The worldbuilding is intricate and beautifully imagined, the writing gorgeous and quickly paced, and the characters intriguing. I want to be reading it right now but I have work that must come first.

What I'm Writing: 
Weredragon revisions are almost complete. I'm making steady progress and there's only five chapters left to go. The next ones are probably going to go a little slower, as I have a lot of changes that need to be made, but I'm excited about them. I have some ideas simmering in my head for my next project but I haven't yet decided on which one is going to get my attention.

What Inspires Me: 
I've been spending a lot of my free time (and my non-free time) with the Olympics on the TV. It's inspiring watching so many people achieve their dreams of coming to the Olympics, and chasing their dreams of a medal. I've been watching ice skating for the most part, but I'm so excited for hockey to start today.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Hoping every time I walk outside that I'll be able to feel spring coming. No such luck yet, though it was sunny yesterday and it felt quite nice. Saturday I left behind my gloves and my scarf and it was fine. Granted, it was still only fifteen degrees but it was a sunny and non-windy fifteen degrees. Is spring here yet?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rose Under Fire Review

Rose Under Fire
by Elizabeth Wein
Code Name Verity #2
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?


I'm going to pre-face this with a reminder that Code Name Verity is one of my favorite books of all time. I have a thing for WWII historicals so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one.

Rose Under Fire did not disappoint. It was quieter than Verity, no huge twists, but that didn't make the story any less poignant. Verity was a sudden, brutal kick in the chest; Rose is a slow burn that never stops hurting. The contrast is very fitting, considering the differences between the narrators.

The writing is beautiful and the characters fresh. I fell in love with Rose almost instantly. Poetry is spread throughout, as Rose is a writer and a poet. I don't normally go for poetry, but hers is meaningful, gorgeous, and diverse.

The ending is so perfectly fitting. As raw as it all was, I didn't want this book to end. I wanted to know everything about the characters. This is a heart-wrenching, no holds barred story and I can't wait to see what's next.

Readers of Verity will recognize some of the characters. I kept randomly bursting into tears throughout the book because one of them would be mentioned and I'd start thinking about Verity again. It was nice to see what had happened to them, though. 

Overall: 10/10

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: February 5

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.

What I'm Reading: 
Still Rose Under Fire, though I will be finishing it this week. I'm also reading Texaco by Patrick Chamboiseau for class and not enjoying it in the least. It's a very wordy, complicated, and literary story and that's not my style at all. The story itself is set in Martinique (Caribbean) and spans roughly 150 years of history. It's Marie-Sophie Laboireax telling the story of her grandfather, father, and finally herself and how the shantytown of Texaco was founded.

What I'm Writing: 
I've taken the last week and a half off Weredragon revisions in order to focus on keeping out with school and work. It's back on my to do list today, though, and I'm excited to dive back in.

What Inspires Me: 
I'm having trouble thinking of anything for this one right now.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Olympics! They start tomorrow and the opening ceremony is on Friday. I didn't grow up in a big sports household so I've never been able to watch nearly as much as I intend to this year. I'm especially excited for hockey. There are ten Red Wings in all playing for various teams, plus our coach is coaching Canada's team. I'm looking forward to seeing them play.