Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: The "I Need To Blog More" Edition

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. It's hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, and if you want to join in, sign up on Jaime's blog!

What I'm Reading: 

 No new books this week! I've been lazy and haven't started anything new.

 I did finish Life After Theft and loved it, especially the main character. Slightly nerdy sweet guys seem to be taking over my reading pile and I don't mind at all. ;-)

What I'm Writing: 

A little bit stalled on my WIP, so I've turned to the trick that got me through Bookishly-- writing prompts. Those little scenes are a fun way to get to know my characters.

What Inspires Me Right Now: 

So You Think You Can Dance started up again last week, and watching all those a-ma-zing dancers has been inspiring. One even made me cry with her contemporary. There's power in movement and music (I miss dancing!!!!!!!)

Part of my non-bloggy, non-reading uselessness this past weekend was a direct result of the Eurovision Song Contest finals. Even though Portugal didn't participate this year, I still hunted for a live feed and caught up with the rest of the videos online. Incase any of you missed the cheesetasticness that was Eurovision, I give you Romania's entry (destined to go down in history as one of the more memorable entries):

Falsetto Vampire singer???? Romania, you win the internet.

I did fall for one of the Icelandic songs that didn't make it past their country round (Iceland sent a ballad-singing Viking instead...) I think this one is so pretty:

What Else I've Been Up To:

-More cadaver labs. This last one was awesome, though, since it was held in a mobile lab: A truck pulled into the office parking lot. The driver hit a button and it unfolded, Transformer-like, into a cadaver lab. So. COOL. Have dead bodies, will travel.

-I've begun querying Bookishly Ever After. Confession: I'm pretty zen about the whole thing. Why?

I give you: What I've learned from years of product development (Proof that engineering has hardened part of my soul?):

  1. You are not your design (or book.) When people critique/reject/whatever your product, you are not the product. I know it might feel like an extension of your own body and soul (believe me, I knoooooow,) but it's not-- it's only something you made. If the product disappeared, you will still be here and valuable.
  2. At work, one project I worked on was cancelled, another was top secret and filed away for future use, possibly never to be seen again. Two and a half years on my resume pretty much look like a black hole. Just because I have no physical product to show for all my effort does not mean I didn't grow as an engineer.
  3. Awesome designs and ideas get rejected all of the time. The fact is, companies need to make money and, no matter how amazing your design might be, it might not be right timing-wise for the market.
  4. I really like teal.
  5. Sometimes, you need to put up the batsignal and pull together a group of creative minds to brainstorm solutions. No one has all the right answers all the time.
  6. Passion is essential for design. It gets you through the "boring" parts of product development. Like tolerance analyses. Or waiting.
  7. Perspective: No one will die if my writing isn't loved. Someone could die if I mess up an instrument/implant design (and all the checks and balances fail. Luckily, we have teams made up of very smart people to share the burden!!!) While one of the best feelings ever is to see the first x-ray with something you designed implanted in a patient, the worst feeling in the world is to hear something went wrong with your product. Even if it's out of your control-- surgeon misuse, patient non-compliance, a manufacturing snafu-- it's an awful, awful feeling. Imagine hearing that someone had to be reoperated or, heaven forbid, died, because of something you made. I've been lucky to this point, but even knowing this gives me perspective in everything else I do.
So, yeah. Cue zen POV, an organized spreadsheet, and starting a new WIP. We'll get through this.

What have you been up to lately?


  1. Your list of things you've learned is great. I think we can all apply this way of thinking to our writing, no mater what stage we're at. As for LIFE AFTER THEFT, you kind of had me at nerdy guys. ;-)

    1. :) While I love a lot of the alpha male love interests that pretty much flood YA, I'm so happy to see that sweet, sometimes geeky guys are popping up in new releases! *bestill my nerdy heart!*

  2. Slightly nerdy sweet guys rock, so it's good you have lots of them in your TBR pile. And "have dead bodies will travel" totally made me laugh out loud. Your list of things you learned about product development has some pretty great advice! Oh, and I find the fact that you design medical implants really interesting, seeing as they factor into my current manuscript. Not sure you'd find the premise of my story believable considering you're an expert though! :)

    1. You would be surprised what I'd believe! Our technologies evolve sooooo fast and some things that we're seeing hit the market are sometimes things you'd never expect (like "shoelaces" for the spine to help in correcting deformities like scoliosis-- that was a big trend this year.) Also, some of the things that come out of our brainstorming sessions are way out there!

      I love it when worlds collide!

  3. Oh my goodness, I'm bookmarking this post-- you are so right on the benefits of completing a project. Very well articulated! I so miss Eurovision-- I lived in the NL for a few years and it was SO much fun to watch. I watched SYTYCD last year with my son and we loved it. But we're about to cancel cable so I've been avoiding it. Maybe I can find it on the web. :0)

    1. Thanks :) Usually I watch Eurovision on the Portuguese channel at my parents' house, but since Portugal dropped out this year, I stalked the web for a live feed :) It's soooo fun!!!

      Good luck with finding SYTYCD-- I think some people were asking for it to go on hulu or other web sites. It is network, so maybe you'll still be able to get it after cancelling cable? Now that we're all digital (and my own network tv comes into my "ancient" tv through my cable box) I don't know how that works.

  4. Mobile cadaver labs... both very intriguing, and now I don't trust any box truck on the road...

    1. This comment made me laugh out loud! Love it!

  5. I might have watched a whole bunch of the Eurovision performances on YouTube the next day and lamented the fact that American Idol still exists. I personally was a huge fan of the Greek ode to beer.

    And completely unrelated to your post, but I love your header. I don't spend nearly as much time as I'd like hanging out in medieval castles, so I'm a little jealous :)

    1. Greece was awesome and since I was following along on twitter, too, the austerity jokes were awesome. That song is up in my favorites with the Russian babushkas from last year.

      And thank you about the header! That's one of my favorite castles to visit!