What's Up Wednesday! - The First 2014 Edition!

Happy New Year, What's Up Wednesday bloggers! Hope you all had a great festive season. Can't wait to catch up with you all ^_^

If you haven't taken part before, the start of a new year is the perfect time to join in! Stop by Jaime and Erin's blogs for the relevant information.

What I'm Reading

Doing pretty well with my 50 in 2014. We're only 8 days into the year and I'm onto my 3rd book already. I was lucky enough to read the wonderful Liz's manuscript. I knew from the opening line I was in for a real treat :)

Second book of 2014 was Tom Clancy's The Hunt For Red October.  Despite knowing absolutely nothing about submarines, I really enjoyed it. The Cold War is one of my favourite periods in American history, so this was like going back to my degree. It would've fit quite nicely into my dissertation, come to think of it...

I really like the character of Jack Ryan because he's the total opposite of the stereotypical "spy" character. This guy is not James Bond. Jack Ryan is scared of flying, freaks out on submarines and gets seasick. I love how downright ordinary the bloke is. It's a nice change to have a character think rather than punch his way to a solution.

Now I'm reading Patriot Games and trying not to laugh myself silly over the portrayal of my own nation versus the US.  Parts of it are hilarious, more so than the whole "Freedom" versus "Communism" plot in Red October.  No one does patriotism quite like the Americans ;) Nevertheless, it's a very good thriller. It's easier to follow than Red October too. No tricky military terminology getting in the way.

It's a shame I've only found Tom Clancy's work after he's already passed away. It's sad knowing he won't be writing anything new. I definitely recommend his work if you want a good thriller.

What I'm Writing

Space!Story is in its final round of edits. I don't want to put a definite date on it, but I hope to be querying this book next month :D I do wish I'd managed to get it ready for Pitch Madness today, but I'm really glad I took December off to really get myself ready for the next querying experience.

What Else I'm Up To


What Inspires Me

Due to the day job, I frequently have to sit through a lot of children's entertainment. Thankfully, most of it is phenomenal. The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child are wonderful short films and have some absolutely beautiful music. I love listening to this particular piece. It's so relaxing:


A mouse took a stroll through the deep, dark woods...

If you have young children and you haven't read The Gruffalo to them, you absolutely must.

Have a wonderful week everyone! Stay warm, Canada and US! Stay out of the wind, UK! Stay happy, everyone!

Comments

  1. "No one does patriotism quite like the Americans ;) "

    Yep! (I say this as an American) It especially cracks me up in movies when everyone is bumbling around and finally there comes the American to the rescue, flag waving in the wind. And most of the time, they sound like someone out of an old Western.

    I'm aiming for 50 books in 2014, too!

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    1. I have yet to meet an American who was quite so intense in their love of country as their fictional counterparts ;)

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  2. Congrats on SpaceStory! I'm hoping to enter the query trenches at about the same time, so if you need any extra moral support, I'm your man. :)

    My CP's and I came up with a fun query game. Basically, for every 5 or 10 queries you submit or rejections you receive (writer's choice) you buy yourself a kickass prize. That way, you actually might look forward to getting a couple "Thanks, but no thanks" letters.

    And I completely agree with you on "the American" phenomenon. We are a bit of an egocentric bunch. I do find it funny, however, that in every BBC production (especially crime shows), the American is always the overbearing, idiotic dolt. (Some truth to it, of course, but we can't all be morons, can we?) (Don't answer that) *grin*

    And I think Mr. Cumberbatch is possibly the best Sherlock ever. I've had a crush on Mr. Holmes since I was 10, but I just love the way he plays the character!! Wonderfully flawed.

    Hope your week is splendid!

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    1. Oooh, I love that idea! I am totally borrowing it :D

      ;) I feel your pain, believe me. The BBC is simply responding to the "evil, snobbish Brit" stereotype American TV shows and films have delivered over the years. It's all rubbish!

      Oh, he is perfect, isn't he?

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  3. Way to go on SPACE STORY! You're making such awesome progress. :-) I've yet to read THE GRUFFALO to my girl (mom fail!), but thanks to your reminder, I think we'll look for it the next time we're at the library. Oh, and I'm reading Liz's manuscript right now and LOVING it. Can't wait to see how everything plays out! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thank you!

      I hope you can find it. It's a wonderful story.

      Liz is super talented. I'm so grateful she let me have a read of her book ^_^

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  4. I've just recently entered the trenches (tentatively, because I know agents will be swamped after Christmas!), so we can freak out together, haha.

    Sherlock! I'm loving the new season. <3

    I love The Gruffalo, both the book and the animated film! If I ever have children, I'll definitely read it to them!

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    1. Here's hoping some good news comes your way very soon :D

      Sherlock's fantastic. But oooooh how I wish it was on for longer than 3 episodes.

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  5. I'm off to the library website to put the Gruffalo on hold now :)

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  6. "No one does patriotism quite like the Americans" >> True! Being a foreign, it's sometimes strange to see how Americans are devoted to their country. maybe if Brazilian were more devote to Brazil, me included, then it would be a better country ...

    Glad you're almost done with your ms. Good luck with querying!

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    1. I know how you feel. When I lived in the US, it was quite astonishing. The British are very patriotic too, but we're a lot quieter about it.

      Thank you!

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  7. Good luck with your revising and querying! We're only a week in, but 2014 is already looking like a productive year for you. Best of luck.

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  8. Sherlock! It was brilliant, wasn't it? :)

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  9. I remember loving the Jack Ryan movies (haven't read the books), so I'm kind of excited about the new one coming out with Chris Pine. Love that guy. That's fantastic that you're almost ready to query Space!Story. Nerveracking but also exciting! Have a great week, Cole! And good luck with your edits. :-)

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    1. I've seen Patriot Games but it's been so long I don't remember the plot at all. The books are fantastic and everyone I know seems to love the film version of Red October. And yes, having Chris Pine in the new one is a definite incentive to invest in the character ;)

      Thanks, Jaime :D

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  10. Wow querying next month! Exciting! I hope it goes well.
    I haven't read the Jack Ryan books, but the films are great. Sean Connery is the Russian captain, complete with Scottish accent :D
    I'm aiming for 50 books too - good luck.

    The Gruffalo is one if our favourites. Julia Donaldson is such a clever author.

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    1. Cheers :D

      I'm going to watch the film version as soon as I can. I'm quite curious to see how Sean Connery pulls off the whole Scottish/Russian thing ;)

      She's brilliant, isn't she? And Axel Scheffler's art is perfect.

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  11. ah! querying! how exciting! I've never read anything by Tom Clancy but have always enjoyed the Jack Ryan movies so I should probably give them a try. Good luck with querying!

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    1. The books are good. So far, I'm enjoying Patriot Games more than Red October, but that's mostly because I don't have to try and keep up with tons of military terminology. Plus the sheer 80sness of them is great :D

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  12. Oh yeah, PitMad! I'm supposed to do something with that....better get on it! After I'm done checking out all these WUW posts. Today is my first day participating and I'm totally digging it so far. Good luck on querying!

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    1. Good luck with Pit Mad! :D And welcome to What's Up Wednesday ^_^ Lovely to have you stop by!

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  13. I've thought about reading the RED OCTOBER/PATRIOT GAMES/CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER trilogy, having seen the movies a few times. The only Clancy novel I've read is THE TEETH OF THE TIGER, and I quite enjoyed it. I should read more of his work.

    All the best with Space!Story this week, Cole! :D

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    1. He's a great writer. I'm definitely invested! It'll be interesting to see how they compare to the films when I get around to watching them.

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  14. I've got Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger both on my bookshelf and never read them. One day hopefully. I do like the movies though and I heard they're making a new one with Chris Pine as Jack Ryan. We'll see how that turns out. ;)

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    1. Oooh, you should. Start with Red October, though. Although it's not the first chronologically, it was the first published.

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  15. YES! Another Sherlock fan! I was so, so, so beyond excited to watch the first two episodes of the season. I think Mary is sketchy though. I have a feeling it won't end well for John.

    That aside, wow! You've done a lot of reading so far and it's only the 8th. I've never read a Jack Ryan book but I know there's a new movie coming out so I might just have to.

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    1. I feel like something terrible will happen in this final episode... It's all been too easy so far ^^;

      You should! They're good thrillers ^_^

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  16. My hubby is a big fan of Tom Clancy's books (mostly the older ones), so we're really looking forward to the new Jack Ryan movie. Does your sudden interest in Clancy have anything to do with who's playing Jack Ryan? I thought Chris Pine was a great choice for the role. I should really read some Clancy, but my book collection is forever growing and I never get a chance to dig into my husband's. Someday!

    Best of luck putting the finishing touches on Space!Story before querying soon! :)

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    1. Oooh, maybe ;) I've only seen Patriot Games (I remember the beginning and some terrible Irish accents and that's about it) and Harrison Ford suits the character so well it'll be interesting to see how they play it in the new film. I can't help but wonder if they'll make Jack Ryan more action-orientated. For me, t's his total lack of running around shooting things that makes him a more interesting - and believable - character.

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  17. Oh, I loved watching Patriot Games when it came out (even if it's a little cartoonish!). Three books so far this year is very impressive. Good luck with your edits!

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    1. Cartoonish definitely describes parts of the book. It's still super enjoyable and that's all that matters ^_^

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  18. One of my only goals this year is to read more books. I don't know how you do it!

    Best of luck on all your writing endeavors in 2014!

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    1. I am fortunately a very fast reader ^_^

      Thank you kindly!

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  19. Um, jealous, SO jealous, of your Sherlock watching! ;)

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  20. I am waiting NOT VERY PATIENTLY until I can see the Sherlock season premier! I hear it's fantastic. (Of course it is.) :)

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  21. Good luck with your edits! A few more weeks and I can finally see Sherlock. Have a great weekend!

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  22. Congrats on your edits, that's wonderful!! Hope the rest of the year is as amazing :)

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  23. The Gruffalo is an amazing book. That, Dr Suess, and We're Going on a Bear Hunt are my fave to read to the children at work. :)

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    1. I used to know Green Eggs and Ham word for word... so I wound up hiding it so the children asked for something else :P

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  24. HAHA! I love this: "No one does patriotism quite like the Americans." 'Murica!
    Good luck on your revisions! Every time I space out on blogging (which, you know, is quite often), I always come back expecting an announcement from you that you've got an agent. I know it's only a matter of time because if anyone can do it, you can!

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    1. 'Murica indeed ;)

      That's so lovely of you to say! Maybe the good news isn't too far away *fingers crossed*

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