Jul / 14

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week 6

By / Jessica Leake / 21




I was invited to participate in Ready. Set. Write! by my CP and best friend Mandie, which makes sense since we’ve already been checking in with each other on our WIP goals. It’s been so helpful have some accountability and encouragement, and that’s what Ready. Set. Write! is all about–writers encouraging one another this summer to meet their goals. This year, it’s hosted by Katy Upperman, Jamie Morrow, Alison Miller, and Erin Funk. Check out their blogs for more information and be sure to link up each week.

How I did on last week’s goals:

I actually had to add several goals for the week after a brainstorming/game planning session with my agent, but I managed to get them all (for the most part) finished.

I got the PDF proofs for Arcana, and it was SO exciting and surreal to see them. I made it feel so real. Now I’m desperate to see the ARCs!

My agent did get the editorial letter on my WIP to me last week, but after our game planning session, we decided to put it aside for a week or so while I finish getting together the first 3 chapters of a Top Secret Project ;). If all goes well, I’ll be juggling two projects this summer (3 including Arcana).

I’m reading two books at the moment (Burning Skies and Shadow and Bone), but I only finished Shadow and Bone (I LOVED IT). It seems like I’m getting the most reading done on my Kindle while I nurse, so I keep finishing my Kindle books long before I do my hard copies.

I caught up on emails last week, but it’s like laundry–never-ending. 🙂

Goals for this week:

Get the first 3 chapters of my Top Secret Project polished and sent to my agent

Come up with a title for said Top Secret Project (I’m the WORST at titles, so this will be a challenge)

Possibly start work on the edits for my WIP–I’ll have to work chapter by chapter on these, or I’ll get overwhelmed.

Finish reading Burning Skies and the new book I started on the Kindle, The Falconer

Favorite Lines from Arcana:

I haven’t shared any of the fantasy elements of Arcana yet, so here’s an excerpt from chapter one:

Too fast, her legs fold beneath her weight, dragging my brother down with her. I drop the reins and sit up straight in the saddle. My arms reach toward Robert as though I am trying to catch him. A deep tug at the core of me, and my power unfurls, sliding over my skin like silk. The familiar smell of energy releasing washes over me, like the refreshing scent of the earth right after it rains.

Golden light pours from my fingertips and bathes Robert and his horse in brightness. Robert squints as the light glitters around him, illuminating his mop of unruly blond hair. The arcana stops Serenity’s fall and suspends her inches above the ground.


The biggest challenge I faced this week:

Working on multiple projects and having to suddenly switch gears from my WIP (11th century  Ireland) to my Top Secret Project (totally different time period). It actually caused a lot of hair-pulling and general angst. I couldn’t get into my writing, and everything I wrote seemed to come out wrong. I quickly became frustrated, and if it wasn’t for supportive critique partners who were willing to look over my work, I probably would still be sitting and rocking myself.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments! I hope everyone has a productive week! 🙂

Comment (21)
  • Alison Miller / July 14, 2014, 8:33 am  

    WOW! You have accomplished so much! Good for you! Also, I balance two stories fairly well, but three?! I remove my Wonder Woman crown and give it to you. 🙂 And I hear you on the emails. I feel like I never catch up!

    Good luck this week!

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:25 pm  

      Thanks, Alison! Don’t hand over the crown just yet–we’ll see how long and how well I can keep that up! 😉 Hope you have a productive week as well!

  • Crystal Schubert / July 14, 2014, 8:51 am  

    It is such a challenge switching between manuscripts, and I only write contemporaries! I can’t imagine having to switch between time periods, too. Glad you have supportive people to help keep you sane! Good luck on your goals this week 🙂

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:23 pm  

      Thanks, Crystal! I’m so glad I have supportive people, too. I think writers, especially, need people like that to talk us off our metaphorical ledges! Hope you have a productive week as well :).

  • Rachel S / July 14, 2014, 8:53 am  

    wow congrats on hitting so much of your goals! Glad your brainstorming with agent helped. I can’t imagine switching from different time periods in different manuscripts. And I LOVED Shadow and Bone….book 2 is even better! 🙂 Good luck with your goals this week.

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:20 pm  

      Thanks, Rachel! I have Siege & Storm on my Kindle–already read the first couple of chapters to see if I’d like it, and I’m already loving it. Hope you have a productive week as well!

  • laboyden / July 14, 2014, 9:44 am  

    Huge week for you and another huge week of goals to come. Good luck with everything. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:19 pm  

      Thank you! Yes, it’s just starting to sink in that this week will probably be just as busy…

  • Dawne Webber / July 14, 2014, 9:56 am  

    You deserve the Wonder Woman crown Alison gave you! I hope this week is less hairy for you.

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:18 pm  

      Thanks, Dawne! 🙂

  • Rebecca Barrow / July 14, 2014, 10:48 am  

    I love, love, love that excerpt–the way you describe the energy slipping like silk, and the way it smells, too…I’m right there.

    It sounds like you had a crazy week and have another one coming up, so I’m wishing you all the good luck hitting your goals this week! And with finding a title…I suck at that, too. Why can’t the books title themselves?! 🙂

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:18 pm  

      Thanks so much, Rebecca! So glad the excerpt resonated with you :). Yes! Titles are the bane of my existence. I wish there was some sort of program online that could scan through your MS and pick out cool words to be the title. Hope you have a productive week as well!

  • Karyne / July 14, 2014, 11:04 am  

    I love that you read your Kindle while nursing! I didn’t have an ebook with my babies, but with the next baby I’m totally going to do that! After I get over the starting-at-my-baby stage. 😉 Hope this week slows down a bit but is still productive!

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:15 pm  

      Yes–the staring-at-my-baby stage does take up a large part of the time, doesn’t it? Mine’s at that stage where he smiles and talks and is generally adorable, so I read after he falls asleep. Reading the Kindle while nursing is nice because it’s much easier to turn the pages ;). Hope you have a productive week as well!

  • Jaime Morrow / July 14, 2014, 11:21 am  

    I love the excerpt you shared, Jessica! Your story sounds wonderful! I couldn’t agree more with the difficulty bouncing back and forth between projects. That’s where I’m at and I’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to make any progress on either of them. I hope your agent loves the chapters you send her! Have a wonderful week! 😀

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:13 pm  

      Thanks, Jaime! Yes–SO much head-banging. Sent them to her today, and she actually loved them! Huge relief. Much celebrating. 🙂 Hope you have a productive week as well!

  • Andrea Brame / July 14, 2014, 11:52 am  

    Sounds like you had a fantastic week! Congrats, and best wishes for the week to come.

    Also, I’m intrigued by that excerpt!

    • Jessica / July 14, 2014, 8:12 pm  

      Thanks, Andrea! Hope you have a great week as well :).

  • Jennifer Pickrell / July 14, 2014, 8:22 pm  

    Three projects at once? Wow! Sounds like it’ll be a hectic, but amazing, summer for you. Good luck this week with Top Secret Project (I am also the worst at thinking of titles) and with your edits!

  • Bailey Hughes / July 14, 2014, 10:46 pm  

    I love your excerpt! Have a great week of writing and titling!

  • Margo Berendsen / July 15, 2014, 9:20 pm  

    11th century Ireland – now that’s a setting I would love to visit! I’m excited to read the Falconer too, something about Ireland and Scotland I can’t resist. Well, Russia, too, like Shadow and Bone’s fantasy version. Good luck on your goals this week!