What’s Up Wednesday

Ready Set Write

As part of their What’s Up Wednesday feature, Elodie NowodazkijAlison MillerKaty UppermanErin Funk, and Jaime Morrow are hosting a summer-long initiative called Ready. Set. Write! Participants will share weekly, monthly, or overall goals in the “What I’m Writing” section of the weekly posts. Today is the final post for RSW.

What I’m Writing

I just realised 26 August was my 12th anniversary of finally finishing the first draft of my first Russian novel! I really need to make some time to do at least one more full sweep-through for correcting continuity errors, catching typos, excising any remaining junk, and adding anything last-minute. Looking back at 33, it’s hard to believe I actually wrote the whole thing between ages 13-21. I’m not sure I’d be able to write it, either that way or period, now as an adult! I’d really like to finally put it out there by a year from now, and have a lot of work to do to make that happen.

I’m closing in on the 470,000-word mark in my WIP, Journey Through a Dark Forest. I’m really excited by how I’ve been able to reign in the length of the Part III chapters so far, and feel a bit more sure I really might be able to pack it in at 550K. I’m up to Chapter 58 now, where Inessa and Vitya get married. It’s just such a sweet, beautiful, perfect second marriage for both. I also loved the passionate sex scene I wrote for them in Chapter 57. The morning after, they got to talking and realised they’re more sexually compatible than they were with their respective first spouses.

About a month before the wedding, Inessa will realise she’s pregnant. Her dear old friend Vera also will realise she’s finally pregnant again too, after writing herself off as infertile and only fated to have one child. Of course, this happy mood will soon dissipate, as war is less than a year away from coming to America.

What I’m Reading

Still reading Dear Bully, and finding myself very angry at how so many people excuse bullying or blame the victims. It’s not some normal rite of passage to bully or be bullied, it doesn’t mean a guy secretly likes you, it’s not no big deal, it often doesn’t go away by itself, and it’s not something you easily forget about and laugh off when you’re older. I know I’ll never forget what Bernard, Logan, Matt, Jacob, Richard, Sophia, Tiffany, Shari, Andy, and the other jerks at my junior high did to me. I’ve actually been tempted to Facebook message Jacob and say I hope to God he isn’t teaching the little girl I see to bully people who act, look, or think differently!

What Inspires Me

Im addition to my usual writing soundtrack, I’ve been mixing it up a bit with my first musical love, The Monkees. The math doesn’t lie. I’ve been a Monkeemaniac for over 80% of my life, for almost 27 years. I still can’t believe my beautiful Davy is no longer in the material world, and that he was the first to pass away.

In spite of continuing stupid stigma and taboo against them because of their initial origins, I’ve never been closeted about my love for this darling band. Anyone who bashes them will get a lecture from me on how they rebelled against their handlers and became a real band, and how they’ve stood the test of time remarkably well. When I started becoming a Duranie two and a half years ago, I realised the parallels between both fandoms, and decided to come out of that closet once I realised I was being a hypocrite for being so public about loving one band with an outdated media stigma, but not another. Some bands heavily pimped to teenyboppers really are talented!

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I was very disappointed to learn the Saratoga branch of Last Vestige Records and Dynamite Records of Northampton are no more, but I was able to find a few new additions to my vinyl collection at Turn It Up! in Northampton and Devinyl Records of Saratoga. I also found two commemorative magazines about Frank Sinatra, the Victorian novel Lady Audley’s Secret, and a little pin I’ve put on my orange denim jacket for the meantime.

The fall semester has also started, and I’m taking three classes again. Since I’m still non-degree and have already taken 12 credits, I needed special permission to continue. This can only mean I have to finally take that damn GRE and get permission from one of my rabbis to take it on a Sunday!

Oh, and if you couldn’t already tell, I’ve started slipping back into my old, years-long habit of using British spellings. I know it probably seems pretentious and phony as hell to most Americans, but I really didn’t start the habit on purpose all those years ago. It just gradually happened, and now it’s happening again. The British branch of my family tree is actually from Birmingham, which has anything but a refined, high-class reputation among Brits. I’m proud to be partly of Brummie stock, and don’t think the Brummie accent sounds hickish or hideous. Not everyone can come from London.


13 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Pingback: Horny Hump Day—Valentina and Rodya « carrieannebrownian

  2. I’ve been to Birmingham a grand total of once in my life. My middle brother used to live there. Nice city! I have a lot of family in the Midlands, but I was born and bred in the south of England… although when I lived in the US most people seemed to think I was from Australia. Huh?!

    You wrote a novel in Russian?! That is so cool! And how fun to have an anniversary for the date you completed it.

    550k?! That never fails to amaze me. GOOD LUCK! 😀


  3. I love that you collect vinyl. I wish I would have held on to all my records. Still have some of my faves, but I miss the ones I gave away.

    On the topic of books about bullying…Have you ever read Everyone Sees the Ants by A.S. King? I think it was one of my favorite books about bullying that I’ve ever read. Of course, the book isn’t just about bullying, it has a lot of other complexities as well. Highly recommend it.

    Hope you have a fantastic week!


  4. Your word count is always so inspiring! And yes to loves and passions! I’ve always gone a little crazy (and probably way too nostalgic) over eighties bands, so go you!

    Also, I would hope no one would trivialize the long-term effects bullies can have. That’s horrible.

    Have a great week!


  5. As a huge Beatles fan, when I first heard of The Monkees (which was in the early 80s–I’m not that old!) I was a little skeptical. They were so obviously modeled on my Fab Four, supposedly as the American answer to them, that I didn’t know whether to take them seriously. Then I listened to the music, and regardless of the marketing and whatever else, that totally legitimized them for me. They could play, they could sing, they could write, and they recorded some of Neil Diamond’s best tunes. 🙂 So be proud of your Monkee love!

    Besides, I have some pretty odd musical preferences. And its only relatively recently that I’ve begun to appreciate some of the bands that I wrote off in my younger years. Maybe compared to today’s music, much of the older stuff sounds superior? I rather think it was all good music from the beginning, and it’s taken some distance and maturity on my part to come to terms with that fact. 🙂

    Have a wonderful writing week, Carrie-Anne!


  6. Wow how does it feel to be putting “the end” on a story, characters and book that’s been in your life for this length of time? It must feel like a mourning process, or are you entrenched enough in your current WIP to be able to move on?


    • I’m eventually writing a prequel, and then at least a fourth and fifth book to cover the rest of the Forties and the Fifties. There’s still one storyline that won’t have a full wrap-up and happy ending for everyone involved till after Stalin’s death! Ideally, I’d like to bring the characters up to 1991, the end of the USSR, though perhaps the post-1950s material could just be put into one book.


  7. One of the best novels I’ve read that tackled the topic of bullying was NINETEEN MINUTES by Jodi Picoult. I thought it was so well done I got my husband to read it. It’s such an important issue. Good luck with your writing this week!


    • I read that awhile back, when it came out. One of her better books, I think. I’ve been meaning to read Dear Bully, but it’s one of those I know will be a tough read.


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