What’s Up?

“I will not fall
I will stand tall through it all
Just so you can see
The strongest parts of me.”
~Elise Testone, “I Will Not Break”

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, so I figured I’d pop in with another.

What I’m listening to: Elise Testone released her debut album, In This Life, last week, and I’m so enjoying it. She was my pick from American Idol in 2012 – there’s something very textured and unique to her voice, like it’s telling a story – and I’ve been looking forward to hearing new music from her ever since. Favorite songs include: Still We Try, Never Gave Me Butterflies, Save Me, and I Will Not Break. Also: Kristin Chenoweth’s Taylor the Latte Boy. She sang it at her concert on the fifth and I seriously have not been able to get it out of my head for the past twelve days. So fun and catchy.

What I’m watching: Olympics, Olympics, OLYMPICS. If there’s coverage airing, my television is on. I love everything about the games: the spirit, the dedication, the joy, the diligence, the hope, the faith, the pride. There’s just nothing like getting to watch someone’s dream come true. And how inspiring is it to know that, with years of determination and hard work, the training can pay off? Obviously writing is a far cry from figure skating or skiing, but seeing those athletes achieve their goals makes me want to jump into my desk chair and keep working on my own.

What I’m reading: Sarah Beard’s PORCELAIN KEYS. I’ll have a full review (and giveaway!) up on the 28th, so I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll just say this: it’s a book that stays with you. When I’m not hanging out with the characters, I want to be. They resonate like the music that runs through their souls, and I can’t wait to see what happens next in their story. If only I could just sit and read all day …

What I’m writing: Still hard at work on WATERCOLORS! I’m 64,000(ish) words in and enjoying it more and more with every day. Eden’s life is starting to turn around in wonderful ways, and even though I want to shake her for making choices that will bring it all to a screeching halt down the line, I must admit, it’s such fun to write this part of the book. I really feel like I’m getting to know her well now, and the supporting cast, too. Today’s writing session featured a diary entry from Eden’s mother Mariah and it made me super excited to flesh out her part of the story more. It’s amazing how characters’ lives, how all of our lives, are so interconnected like sentences on a page. Getting to weave their threads together is such an exhilarating process.

What I’m smiling about: a countdown to spring (thirty days, thirty days, thirty days!), this video of a precious polar bear cub making his debut in Toronto, irises that fill the house with their sweet scent, and new nail polish that adds a splash of color to the day.

What are you listening to / watching / reading / writing / smiling about this week?


6 thoughts on “What’s Up?

  1. I too am watching a ton of the Olympics! It’s so inspiring, and I do love the feature stories they do on the athletes, even if they make me cry. :P

    Oh, and I’m reading SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson.

      • GAH yes! Did she win anything? I really wanted her to. Also, that story made me so glad that she had at least one good parent in her life, because obviously it made all the difference.

        • Agreed — and you could just hear the pride in her dad’s voice with every word he spoke. So sweet. She didn’t win anything, which made me so sad for her, but I’m just glad she was able to be there and participate. You can tell how much it meant to her!

  2. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Olympics because I’m not inclined towards sports, but I love watching the figure skating, they just always look so beautiful the way they move… But you’re right about the spirit and the dedication and watching as hard work pays off and dreams come true. Those are things that are applicable in just about any area of life, and definitely in writing.

    It’s great to hear that your journey with Eden continues and that you’re getting to know her and the other characters better. I have a love/hate relationship with my characters when I write about their bad decisions, so I totally feel where you’re coming from. Kovax and Mildred make me want to cry sometimes. A lot of the times. Especially Kovax. It sounds weird to say, but I hope Eden makes you feel that way too… and I mean that in a good way, even though it sounds kind of bad. You get what I mean. I hope. :p Haha.

    I love nail polish! The last colour I used was a lovely deep blue called ‘hello sailor’. What colour have you got? The nasty smell aside, I love that stuff.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Shari!

    • I’m seriously in awe of the figure skaters … how they manage to do those jumps and spins so gracefully is mind-boggling. They make it look positively effortless.

      I totally know what you mean! I think it gets to a point in the story where the characters become like your friends, and you just want to see them grow/make the right choices so badly. It kinda breaks your heart when they don’t, even though you know that eventually things will turn around again. And you’re right, if we’re that emotionally connected to our characters, it has to be a good thing.

      Oooh, that shade sounds so pretty — reminds me of all things summer and sea-related! I got two new bottles – one is a blue-gray colors called “home sweet chrome” and the other is a topcoat with teal, white, and gray flakes called “drops of jade.” :)

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