What's Up Wednesday: Hey Jude Edition

I'm catching the What's Up Wednesday hot air balloon from the blogs of Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. Go to Jaime's blog to add your link and make the rounds to get to know other bloggers!

Here's how it works:


WHAT'S UP WEDNESDAY
It's similar in some respects to the Currently... post, but it's been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You're invited to join us if you're looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what's been going on with you.
  

WHAT I’M READING

Last Thursday night, I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish Sarah Ockler’s THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by flashlight because the power was out.

And seriously, I cannot tell you enough how much I love this book. Admittedly, much of what I adored about it is incredibly personal, so no one else will have exactly this same reaction.

Here are a few of the surface details that struck me:

The main character is called Jude, and we learn late in the book that she was named for Hey Jude by the Beatles. My son, who is usually known as Toad in social media circles, is actually named Jude after the same song. (I may have mentioned my love for the Beatles once or twice.)

In the opening scene, Jude wears a vintage Van Halen t-shirt. My daughter, who is usually known as Birdy in social media circles, is actually named Halen. As in Van Halen.

Jude’s father’s name is Ted. My father’s name was Ted. Jude’s father belonged to motorcycle gang. My father belonged to a motorcycle gang.

Twin Cities - Northern Minnesota Gypsy Tour - Alexandria, Minn. Aug 27-28, 1948

On a deeper level, I was extremely moved by Jude’s relationships with her family. Her father suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and she must come to terms with his mortality. Her sisters are several years older than Jude, so her relationships with them are much different than with typical siblings. I understand and identify with both of these situations.

Take a look at that Magnificent Seven photo to the right. That cute little thing in the pink dress, looking up at her big sister? That’s me, the youngest of seven. My sister Amy was 7 when I was born and my other sisters – Susan, Julie, and Mary – were in their teens. I can completely understand much of what Jude experiences with her sisters.

My dad died of cancer nearly 7 years ago, so please just imagine my all-out sobbing while reading this book.

Jude’s is a beautiful, achingly realistic story. I loved it so much. And before I forget, the romance in this book? Wonderful. Just wonderful.

I’m currently reading THE CAGED GRAVES by Dianne Salerni, a delicious historical novel.

WHAT I’M WRITING
I’m plugging away at revisions for BEAUTIFUL BIRD – or at least I was, until I stumbled upon this on page 40: Write scene with Elliot in the kitchen. More description. Typical! I did meet my goal of revising the next 30 pages for Ready. Set. Write! but I already feel like I have to go back and revise my revisions. Anyone else ever feel that way?

So I feel like this week, I stumbled a little with my goals, but for very good reasons. You’ll have to check back next week to learn more about those reasons. 

Seriously, check back next week.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO
We had a pretty good round of severe weather over the weekend. Like I said, we lost power on Thursday night but otherwise were very fortunate. Days later, there are still thousands of people without power in the Twin Cities Metro, not to mention the storm damage and flooding. We took the kids swimming at my sister’s pool for the first time all summer. Monday we hosted a Blood Drive at work and it was all kinds of awesome. My husband and I happened to donate at the same time and my collection time was five seconds faster. 



WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
I know I’m repeating myself when I say I’m so inspired by the writing community. But it’s true and I’ll say it again. In particular, I’m inspired by a group of very hardworking YA writers who have something special planned – but that’s all I’ll say. Come back on Monday, July 1 to learn more. You won’t want to miss it!

More than anything, I'm inspired by the promise of good things to come.

What's up with you today? Be sure to visit Kari Marie White and wish her a Happy Birthday! Tweet her at @karimariewhite. 

Comments

  1. So many similarities between you and that book. That's almost freaky!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love connecting to books like that. I felt that way with Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. The book took place in New Jersey (where I grew up) about a girl whose parents lost a child when she was very little and she never got over it (same with me), and she also ran cross country (same with me) and wanted to be a writer (okay...obvious!). The book opens with her best friend moving away (also happened to me) and Jessica, the main character, and I even "talked" the same. O_o It is uncanny when that happens but I do love it. It gives a more personal effect to the book. :) Good luck with your revisions goals, Sara!!!!! I totally get what you mean about wanting to revise your revisions.. It's never ending - is it? :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved Sloppy Firsts! Now I'll think about you whenever I see it mentioned. :)

      Delete
  3. Sara....I can't believe you read by flashlight this week! LOL Now that's dedication to a book! (Or maybe it just says how good the book really is.) Reminds me of being a kid and tucking under the covers late a night so my parents wouldn't catch me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I did that, too, although my parents were pretty cool with me staying up late to read, even when I was really young. I'm sort of the same with my son now that he's older.

      Delete
  4. That's really uncanny how many similarities there are between your life and that book. I don't think I've ever experienced a book that so closely mirrors my own life like that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I already have the feeling I'll be sobbing as I read BROKEN HEARTS - I've been waiting for the library to get it in, but I may have to buy it bc I really, really want (NEED!) to read it now!

    I have the feeling I'll be revising my revisions a lot in the WIP I'm currently working on - so many of my chapters end with a note that says something like "wrap-up." That's not vague at all, huh?

    Glad you made it through the severe weather okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had checked it out from the library, but I will definitely be buying it.

      Haha, I'm more likely to skip the stuff in the middle of a chapter than at the end. :)

      Delete
  6. We endured a flooded basement and power outage this weekend, but I still managed to charge my Kindle from the AC plug in my car to keep up on my reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, sorry to hear you had issues with the storm over the weekend, but so glad that you were able to keep your Kindle charged. ;)

      Delete
  7. Good review! It's harder to write about family in a convincing and non-sentimantal way than one might think.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the Birthday love, Sara. Today has been all kinds of awesome so far.

    It's extra special when a book touches your heart this way. Sarah Ockler writes wonderful books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're having an awesome bday!

      Delete
  9. The Book of Broken Things sounds wonderful, will have to add it to my list. Good luck with revisions this week, I'm currently in the same boat.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That sounds like a beautiful book, it's so nice when you find a book that you really connect with. I'll definitely be checking back on Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think I've said it before, but I am a HUGE Sarah Ockler fan. Huge. I have been very fortunate to become writing friends with Sarah over the past couple of years and was lucky to have been put on her list for an ARC release of THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS. Like with all of Sarah's books, I tend to slow down my reading pace - I want to absorb every word she writes. And with BROKEN HEARTS, there were moments where I actually had to put it down, because it had just become too much for me emotionally.

    I love your review, Sara - for some very similar and personal reasons, this one has now jumped up to one of my favorite reads...right alongside TWENTY BOY SUMMER. And I'm so glad you loved it, too.

    And even if you feel a little behind with your writing goals, I know it was for SEVERAL very good reasons! She will still be waiting for you when you're ready to return.

    Yay for your blood drive and wonderful volunteers like you and your husband! And a secret woot that you bested his time by 5 seconds! :)

    And lastly, you are so a part of the writing community that inspires ME! Monday is going to be amazing and I'm grateful you chose to be a part of it. And...I can't wait. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah Ockler used to follow me on twitter. I was SO excited the day she did. I used to go back through my followers list to make sure she and a couple of other YA authors were still following me.

      Sadness. She no longer follows me!

      Thanks again for being such a huge cheerleader these last few weeks. Can't wait till next week - big things coming!

      Delete
  12. I love that you connected with that book so much. That is seriously the best thing about reading; connecting in a deep way that is unique to you. Love it!

    Revising your revisions. Yes, that does sound familiar. I haven't experienced it with novel writing, cause I just started my first one, but I know that feeling well from writing research papers. I imagine I will feel it even more with my WIP because it matters so much more to me than any research paper for school ever did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about the research papers. And since revision is my favorite part of the process, I actually don't mind revising my revisions. :)

      Delete
  13. I have a feeling I will love this Ockler tale. And that I'll probably need twenty boxes of tissues. HOW incredible to find so many parallels in that story! Crazy! Also, I'm so curious about your news and then also what Erin and everyone are getting started on July 1!

    And yes - I am ALWAYS revising what I revise (or so it seems). Normal territory. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I was ugly-crying with this one.

      Delete
  14. I actually love that you raced while donating blood, hahahah!

    ...I'm going to be humming Hey Jude all night now and flashing back to London 2012 ;)

    Congratulations on hitting your goal and YES, I definitely feel I have to revise my revisions quite frequently. I'll leave it alone for a few hours and suddenly remember something I absolutely have to change before I forget.

    Have an awesome week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. London 2012 - that was a great moment, wasn't it? I also loved the bit where everyone wore an IMAGINE t-shirt.

      Delete
  15. I'm getting so curious about this July 1st business! Can't wait to see what you lot have planned! Congrats on continuing to make progress with your writing goals, and kudos to you on donating blood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm already planning my next donation! July 1st is going to be fun times! ;)

      Delete
  16. Wow! It's eery how much you have in common with TBOBH! I have it on my shelf waiting to be read, so I'm happy about your positive review. Looking forward to Monday's surprise!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've heard good things about THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS and I'm pretty sure it's on my TBR list. If it isn't, I need to add it. That's crazy about all the name similarities! And as far as feeling like you need to revise your revisions? Yeah, I can relate to that one for sure. I leave myself lots of little notes all over the place--in my notebook, on Post-its, on printed versions of my story, in Scrivener--and then find them way later. Glad you met your goals for RSW and I hope you have another successful week ahead of you! Can't wait for July 1st!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I leave myself little notes everywhere, too. And then have trouble finding them. :)

      Delete
  18. I'm totally inspired by the writing community too, Sara, especially the Ready. Set. Write! community over the last few weeks. :-)

    I've been wanting to read THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS since I first read its blurb, so I was fascinated to learn about all the commonalities it shares with your family and your life -- so cool! I'll definitely add it to my next book order.

    Best of luck with your writing goals in the coming week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are an awesome bunch, aren't we?! :) I hope you enjoy TBOBH as much as I did. And good luck with your goals, too!

      Delete
  19. As mentioned I loved loved loved THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS! Such a wonderful and emotional story! (and yes the romance is amazing!)

    I also revise a lot my revisions. Hmmm especially when said-revisions seem to become rewrites of chapters :P

    And as Erin said you have very good reasons for stumbling a bit with your goals...:D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to read the revisions on your revisions. :) Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

      Delete
  20. The storms this summer have been insane. I'm glad it wasn't so bad for you. And great job on the revisions! I often feel like I need to go right back and fix what I've just worked on. No idea why. :) I'm excited to read The Book of Broken Hearts. I love her writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stay safe! I think this is going to be one of those "knock on wood" summers for us - we really can't handle anything else going wrong inside or outside our house this year!

      Delete
  21. I'll have to read The Book of Broken Hearts, it sounds great. I love when you really connect to a book, I felt the same way when I read Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.

    Intrigued by what's going to happen on the 1st July!

    Good luck with your writing goals this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, and best of luck to you as well!

      Delete
  22. I love when we connect with a book, it makes it so much better. Congrats on meeting your goal. I bet it feels awesome! I'm so intrigued what's going to happen on July 1st. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - hope you're having a great weekend, too!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts