Notes From a Pitch Wars Hopeful

A photo of Julie Artz
Photo (c) Gail Werner

I spent my young life sneaking into wardrobes hoping to make it to Narnia. Now that I’m a bit older, people think that’s sort of creepy, so I became a middle-grade author instead.

In all seriousness, every job I’ve had from my first work-study job as an editor in DePauw’s Writing Center, to working the children’s section of a small independent bookstore, to writing instructions for computer software, involved writing. And I’ve been an obsessive reader since I fell in love with The Fantastic Mr. Fox in first grade (My titilating review of said book still exists on wide-ruled paper. Just ask my mama).

So when our relocation to Helsinki, Finland in 2010 meant that staying at home with our two young children made more sense than me trying to work, I picked up the proverbial pen. This time, instead of blog posts, overly-emo poems, and half-baked attempts at short stories, I wrote Finding Gib, a novel about a twelve-year-old boy and his struggle to survive in post-apocalyptic Spain, as part of NaNoWriMo 2013.

A year later, I wrote another one, this one set in Finland and based on Kalevala, the country’s obscure, if magical, epic poem. Now I’m back in the United States and hoping to find an agent for my work. Although the limited agent/contest feedback I’ve received over the past couple of months on Quest for the Kalevala has been positive, I know the story’s missing something. Something that I truly believe a Pitch Wars mentor could help me identify and correct.

That doesn’t mean I’m looking for a magic bullet. I’m prepared to do the hard work necessary to get my writing to the next level of awesomesauce. But I would love a mentor to guide me.

I’m involved in this amazing writing community, which teaches me something new every single day. I blog for From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors. I founded and help run a critique group for MG/YA authors (shout out to Fellowship of the Pen!). I’m an active SCBWI member. I just put Finding Gib through its paces in the intense and amazing Speculative Fiction summer critique marathon over on Agent-Query-Connect. I attend several conferences and workshops every year to hone my craft and read countless books, articles, and blog posts on writing.

As you can probably tell from the above, I work at a frenetic pace. I can get a lot done in Pitch Wars’ two-month window (caffeine helps, as does a supportive family and insomniac work habits).

I am motivated, dedicated to craft, and in love with all things middle-grade. If you pick me, I promise to work my tail off to revise Quest for the Kalevala and to do so with a positive attitude, a sense of humility, and tremendous appreciation for all the hours that go into being a mentor. A special shout-out to Brenda Drake, who puts in countless hours to make this amazing event possible. Thank you!

Now for the fun stuff: I’m a Ravenclaw with Gryffindor aspirations. I’m one of the fangirls squeeing over the Firefly reboot. I cry when Thorin Oakenshield dies every time I read The Hobbit. I have read the Silmarillion more than once. I will write a novel-in-verse version of The Hobbit told from Smaug’s perspective before I die, even if copyright law prevents it from ever being published. I consume every Sherlock Holmes-related book, movie, or show I can get my hands on. I hugged my daughter’s signed copy of Flora & Ulysses when I finished reading it.

When I’m not geeking out over stories, I like to travel, go wine-tasting, garden, cook, cycle, run, play soccer, and hike. I’ve lived in England, France, Finland, and the United States, and suspect I’ll add to that list before I’m through. In another life, I was a Native Plant Master and Master Gardener in Colorado and wrote gardening-related articles for The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News (may it RIP), and the Boulder Daily Camera. I’m loud, often inappropriate, and am prone to gesticulating wildly or breaking into song when excited.

My kids think I’m utterly weird and are constantly annoyed with me for beating them at Just Dance 2015, playing with their toys, stealing their books, answering their questions in song, and making up nutty stories about how eating their broccoli will give them superpowers, among other tragically-unhip parental flaws.

Don’t forget to read about the other amazing writers participating in Pitch Wars on the #pimpmybio blog hop.

Confessions From the Query Trenches

Last month marked the one-year anniversary of my stay in what many writers like to call the query trenches. As the name implies, it can be a dark, dirty, scary place, and I often like to use the word “languishing” when I describe my time there.

But it doesn’t have to be utter torture. Here are my tips for surviving the query trenches.

Don’t Query Too Soon

Everyone says this (because it’s TRUE) and yet almost every writer I’ve talked to has queried before their manuscript was ready. I know how the thought process goes. It’s almost ready. I might be able to finish it before a mentor/agent/contest judge requests more. I don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Nope. Nope. Nope. DO NOT DO THIS.

Remember that first pitch I mentioned? All I hoped to get was a little feedback on my ideas. I walked away with two requests for something that I’m actually still revising a year later. Yeah, it was that rough.  I was halfway through rewriting my story from 3rd person past to 1st person present, a change that ultimately led to that glorious moment when I finally felt like I’d found my voice. I was excited. The unexpected requests at the conference filled me with confidence. I entered Pitch Wars. I was almost done with the revision.

I got a full request from a Pitch Wars mentor for a manuscript that wasn’t ready. I wasted his time (mea culpa), I wasted my own time doing all the research that went into selecting mentors. And that time should have been spent on finishing the revision.


Thankfully, no one reached through my computer to affix a cone of shame around my neck. But they should have. And you can bet my Pitch Wars entry this year (a different manuscript) is polished to a high shine.

Get Critique Partner Eyes on Your Manuscript

One of the amazing things about writing conferences & contests is the opportunity to make writing friends and find potential critique partners. When I walked in to my first-ever conference in June last year, I didn’t have a single writing buddy. When I walked out of that conference five days later, I had two amazing critique partners and a wonderful mentor whose help and guidance has been worth ten times the cost of the conference.

If no one but you, your mother, and your spouse has read your work, do not query it. Do not enter it into something like Pitch Wars. Just wait. Put yourself out there on the Twitter feed for #PitchWars or #amwriting or one of the many genre-specific hashtags that are out there. You’ll make writing friends that can help you get to the next level and who will keep your spirits up when it truly is time to enter the query trenches.

If you can’t find a group, create one. At this time last year, I was living in Finland and struggling to find any English-speaking writers to swap manuscripts. So I attended WriteOnCon and started begging inviting folks to a group that is now 24 amazing writers strong and has become my writing life-line.

Moderate Social Media

The writing community is amazing both on social media and off. Twitter is full of writing support and resources. And I love chatting with my writing pals, especially when I’m burned out, depressed by a rejection letter, or stuck on a tricky scene. But social media can be a real time suck, and two hours on Twitter does not translate to two hours spent honing your craft. So moderate your social media usage and focus that energy into writing the words. Check in daily. Even four times daily if you must. But also have social-media free hours where your focus can be on your manuscript. Oh yeah, and on your family/friends and, you know, life.

Do Your Homework

This is true whether you’re picking a Pitch Wars mentor, choosing a writing group or class, or selecting an agent to query. I love Janet Reid with all my heart (even more so after meeting her in person this summer at Midwest Writers Workshop), but she doesn’t rep middle grade. And that’s OK because I’ve already learned everything I know about query writing from her amazing blog, Query Shark. Knowing your genre, reading in your age group, paying attention to which agents are selling which type of books–all of these things will help you find the best home for your work.

Don’t You Dare Give Up

If writing is what is in your heart and you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can do this. You can survive the query trenches and emerge with an agent, a book deal, or a path toward self-publishing that fits your needs, personality, and skills. Giving up is not an option. So you’ve sent 152 queries on your first manuscript. Write another one (I’m on my third manuscript and have two more in the planning stages!). So your dream agent rejected the manuscript. Revise and send it to someone else. That itch to write isn’t going to go away, no matter how many rejections you get. So wear them like a badge of honor and write on, my friends.

Model Undercover: New York, A Middle Grade Book Giveaway

modelundercoverI know it’s been ages since I’ve blogged, but, you know, international move, holidays, new school for the kids. I’ve had my reasons. Life is slowly returning to normal and one sign of that is that I’m back at the writing desk (or actually I don’t have a desk yet, so it’s the writing couch at the moment). Check out my post over at From the Mixed-Up Files before Friday for a chance to win a copy of Model Undercover: New York, a middle grade detective story with a very fashion forward protagonist.

Liebster Award – 10 Questions

My writing buddy, Jessica the Maniac Marmoset, tagged me in this fun 10 questions-style Liebster Award and I decided to play along!

What first inspired your current WIP?

When I first got to Finland in 2010, a friend gave my children a copy of the Canine Kalevala, a hilarious illustrated version of Finland’s epic poem The Kalevala, with the main characters all depicted as dogs. After reading it, I bought a translation of the full version (which is hundreds of pages long) and read it cover-to-cover. I’ll admit it, I’m obsessed with the mythology and the subtle ways it influences modern-day life, from names of companies to street and product names, to people who have named their children after mythological heroes, perhaps even without realizing it. So it seemed natural to write a story about a couple of expat children who discover that some of the mythology from The Kalevala is real.

Are your characters based in any way or did they spring, Athena style, from your cranium fully formed.

The sibling dynamic between Lauren and Henry is very much inspired by my little brother and I. But their personalities are quite a bit different. Henry in particular popped fully-formed (name and all) into my mind about six months ago. Lauren didn’t start talking to me until I’d started writing Henry’s story, so now it’s told from dual POV.

What genre are you writing in?

Contemporary fantasy. My first time writing about magic and I love it! It feels like going back to my roots because I love reading fantasy.

What’s your favorite part of your current WIP?

Now that we’re leaving Finland, this work is, in many respects, a love letter to our host country. I have woven so many little details about the country from the smooth glide of the emerald green trams that run through Helsinki to charming Christmas market to the importance of reindeer and snow to the national image here. I want people who read my book to take an interest in this place and its mythology.

Do you cast your characters? Figuring out which actors would play your characters in the movie of your book. Who would play your MC? Your antagonist?

It’s a dangerous thing for me to even think about this. By the time I get this thing published and sell the movie rights, any middle-grade aged actors I could picture will be too old to play the parts!

Where is your novel set?

Mostly in Helsinki, Finland. But the children take a few side-trips during their adventure, visiting other locales in Finland and even making the trek north to Tromso, Norway.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? What brought you this decision?

Pantser. I’ve even blogged about my five-line outline, which is basically outlining for pantsers. I’m a planning by nature in normal life, but changing plans causes all kinds of pain and anxiety for me, which I learned after a few failed attempts at writing to a detailed outline really impinges my creative work. So I spend a lot of time getting to know the setting and the characters before I start to write (sometimes even for 3-6 months), thinking about them, visualizing them, maybe even jotting some notes down. But mainly, I just let them percolate in my subconscious. Then, when I’m ready to write, I let them tell me where the story’s going. So far, through two novels and numerous short stories, I haven’t run out of steam or gotten stuck using this method, so I’m sticking with it.

How many drafts have you written for this WIP?

I’ve been calling this my first draft because I’m not done with it yet (about 10-15k words left to write). But I have to admit that it’s already in much better shape than my tenth draft of last year’s NaNo project, Finding Gib. Not only because I’ve learned SO much, but because I’ve been submitting it in 10k word chunks to a Writer’s Digest University Advanced Novel Writing class. Getting the incremental feedback has helped me ward off problems as I worked on the story, and having regular deliverables has really helped me keep on schedule (I should finish the whole thing start to finish in 12 weeks!). Such a different revision history than Finding Gib, which was written in 30 days, but has been completely rewritten twice, and significantly polished over the course of about four major rounds of editing.

Do you set up some sort of reward system to keep you motivated through the long, arduous process of writing a novel length work?

This may sound cheesey, but I love the writing so much that it hasn’t felt arduous. The slower pace of a 12-week first draft is a lot less frantic than NaNoWriMo and feels a lot more comfortable to me. Even my husband has commented on how stress-free this drafting process has been compared to past efforts. Querying is another situation entirely. I’m using this fall’s crazy contesting schedule as a motivation/reward system to keep me distracted during the endless waiting. And honestly, the WIP is a welcomed distraction as well.

Do your characters talk to you?

Although I’ve been writing fiction for the past twelve years or so (with a pretty huge break to have children), I always thought it was a little weird when other writers claimed their characters talked to them. I think I was expecting some sort of hallucination or out of body experience, and that just wasn’t happening for me. But this past spring, a full six months after I finished Finding Gib, I sat down one day and, instead of the third person, past-tense I’d been writing all along, this first person present voice bubbled up in my mind and told me a whole different version of the story. As soon as I showed this new stuff to my critique partners, they agreed that it captured Elias’s voice so much better than the other version. So I guess I had to find my voice as a writer before I could hear my characters. It’s still not an out of body experience for me, and it’s not like they address me “Hey, Julie, don’t forget to tell them I did XYZ…” but when I write now, I hear them in my head in a way I never did before. And when I revise, I can see pretty clearly when something out of character has happened. No matter what happens with my querying, I feel good about this shift in my work.

Play Along!

I nominate Sara Eastler, Kimberly VanderHorst, Jilly Gagnon, and Olivia Bright to play along and answer the following ten questions about your work on your blog.

  1. Can you share one example of how you came up with the idea for a story?
  2. What’s your biggest challenge as a writer?
  3. What genre do you write? What age category?
  4. Do you think you’ll ever vary from that?
  5. What’s the best book you’ve read in your genre recently?
  6. What inspires you as a writer?
  7. Do you use visuals (photos, paintings) or audios (voice recordings, music) to help form the characters in your stories?
  8. What does a typical writing day look like for you?
  9. What do you do when you’re not writing?
  10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress!

Talking to Kids About Sex

SMirC-embarassedEvery parent I know dreads having “the talk” with their child. It’s tough to decide when to have the talk, what to say, and how to broach such an important subject in a way that won’t be embarrassing or uncomfortable. But talking to kids about sex needs to happen, and probably sooner than you think.

Before this was even on my radar, a friend of my son’s (who had very informative older brothers) told him about the mechanics of sex. He was seven and I was horrified when an adult made a joke about sex in front of him and he replied “I know what that means.” As much as I wanted to freak out, I remained calm enough to talk with him about what he’d learned so that I could figure out what to do next. For better or for worse, the little boy’s brothers had given him a fairly anatomically-correct description of sex, which he’d helpfully passed on to my son and his first grade classmates.

So that’s my first tip: If you want to be the first one to talk to your children about sex, you’re probably going to need to start talking about this earlier than you thought.

My second tip: Do your homework. And make sure you know what your own views are on this topic as you read up. After that first surprising conversation with my son, my best friend directed me to Planned Parenthood’s website, which is full of excellent age-appropriate resources for talking about sex and sexuality with preschoolers, elementary schoolers, and teenagers about sex.

The most comprehensive article I found on talking with kids about sex is this one from US News and World Report. For a slightly less dry first-hand account, this one written by a doctor sharing her own ongoing conversation about sexuality with her daughter, provides a helpful perspective. The University of Washington also did an excellent Ask the Experts on this topic this summer, interviewing two experts in human sexuality. The interview contains not only good tips, but some great books that parents can use to facilitate these difficult conversations.

Third tip: Bring a book or two to “the talk.” Not only does it give you and your child a focal point (especially helpful if one or both of you is embarrassed), but it also gives the child a text they can walk away with and mull over in privacy. These types of issues are hard to take in for the first time and especially if your child needs some time to process, it may take an hour, a few days, or even a few weeks for your child to come up with the questions he or she wants to ask on this topic. It took my son several months to admit to me that his friend had told him about sex, and the conversations that revelation started continue today (he’s now ten, and on the verge of beginning sex education at school).

Narrated by the proverbial bird and bee, this popular series starts with a book for preschoolers called It’s Not the Stork and continues on to It’s So Amazing and It’s Perfectly Normal for older children.

I wish I had discovered this series when my children were preschool aged so that my son would have had a little more preparation for his enlightening conversation with his classmate. The same author wrote Let’s Talk About Where Babies Come From, which is the book I ultimately selected to fill in the gaps in my son’s knowledge and to present to his younger sister when the time came this fall for her to have the talk as well.

There’s some great fiction on this topic too. Judy Blume’s classic, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret isn’t the only choice any more. Stephanie Greene‘s Sophie Hartley and the Facts of Life also handles this issue in a more contemporary setting.

We’re just getting in to puberty discussions with our children now (*gulp*), so a follow-up post will be in order when the time comes. What resources did you use when talking with your kids about sex? Have an embarrassingly-hilarious story of your own to share? The more we talk about this as parents, the easier it will be to talk to our kids.

Fall 1st Page Critique Blog Hop – Search for the Sampo

I pretty much never post my writing on the blog a) because it’s always changing and b) because I’m hoping to go the traditional publishing route. But I love a good blog hop and peer-critiquing, so Michelle Hauck’s Fall 1st Page Critique Blog Hop seemed like a fun way to start the week. You can also follow it on Twitter under #Fall1stHop.

So, for your Monday enjoyment, here is the first page of my new middle grade contemporary fantasy. I’d love to hear your (constructive, kindly worded) thoughts. And don’t forget to read the other submissions too.

Search for the Sampo (revised thanks to feedback!)

Chapter One: Suspicion

Lauren’s reading like she does every. single. day. But this isn’t every day. Today, I need her to pay attention.

“Whatcha reading, bird brain?” I pluck the book out of my sister’s hands. “MacBeth? You know this stuff will turn you into a nerd, right?”

“Give it back, Henry.” She clenches her teeth and glares at me. Scary.

I kick the beanbag she’s sitting on a few times with my foot. “Calm down.” I hold the book out to her. “Just messing with you. But seriously, we’ve got to talk.”

She groans, but she also gets up and follows me into my room, shutting the door behind her.

Good, I don’t want anyone to hear this. “Mom and Dad are up to something.”

“What do you mean?” Lauren says, fiddling with the ribbon of one of the medals draped over my trophy from regionals.  The medal makes a sharp sound as it hits the marble base. Click. Click. Click.

“I overheard them talking in the kitchen this morning. They said something about a new job, and selling the house.”

The clicking stops. “Not again. Did they say where? Boston? Seattle? Not Dallas.”

“That loose tile in the hallway creaked. They clammed up before they said where.”

“So what do we do, Hen?”

“You distract Mom, I’ll check her browser history for clues.” I head for the door.

Mom’s downstairs in the kitchen. Lauren invents some question about MacBeth—well played, Nerdo—and I slip into the sunroom and tap the iMac’s trackpad. She didn’t even close Chrome. So not stealth, Mom.

Revisiting Classic Middle-Grade Books

Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get on top of my ever-growing reading list. And yet, I love revisiting a handful of favorites in each genre from time to time. Here are six middle-grade books that are still relevant today. When your middle-grade reader has burned through Harry Potter, the latest Percy Jackson, the fourth Magic Thief, and the last Ranger’s Apprentice, point them to some of these classics.

Westing Game
A classic whodunit, The Westing Game tells the story of sixteen people brought together for the reading of Sam Westing’s will. When they’re challenged to find out who murdered him to inherit a share of his vast fortune, a series of slap-stick adventures ensue.

The Book of Three

One of the books that inspired the fantasy genre as it exists today, The Book of Three is the first in the Chronicles of Prydain series that tells the story of Taran, an assistant pig-keeper with a much larger destiny.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

If I had to credit one book with my desire to write children’s books, it would be this one. Any book that can capture a child’s imagination so thoroughly that she’ll venture into every coat closet in her small midwestern sphere hoping against reason and logic to end up in Narnia is worth revisiting a century after it was originally published.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Recent news gave me reason to pick this book off of my daughter’s shelves this weekend. The story of a brother and sister who decide to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While there, they become obsessed with a mysterious marble statue of an angel they believe was carved by Michelangelo. The details of their life in the museum (living off of money scavenged from their “bathtub”–the museum’s fountain, sleeping in an ancient bed that’s part of an exhibit, hiding in a bathroom stall each evening at closing time) are as interesting as the mystery itself, which brings them in touch with the reclusive elderly benefactor and the mixed-up files that will answer their questions about the Angel.

Harriet the Spy

As the mother of an eight-year-old who writes everything down in her notebook, I appreciate this cautionary tale of Harriet, who goes through great misadventures when her friends read what she’s written about them in her own secret book.

A Wrinkle in Time

The first in a series of fantasy books called the Time Quintet, A Wrinkle in Time introduces readers to Charles Wallace and his big sister, Meg. When their father goes missing, a magical stranger comes to take the children and their friend Calvin to another world where they have to overcome their own fears and insecurities to save him.

What books have stuck with you over the years? Are there ones that you can’t wait to introduce to your children?

Spooky Middle-Grade Books for Halloween

My eight year old is on a spooky book kick just in time for Halloween, so I thought I’d continue my children’s book recommendations with a Halloween-inspired list of middle-grade books. I have to be honest that scary isn’t really my thing. I was never a die-hard Goosebumps fan, and I’m the girl who peed her pants screamed her head off the one time her high school boyfriend convinced her to watch Halloween. But regardless of my own preferences, these books are almost sure to be a hit with the middle grade (8-12 year old) crowd.

Coraline & The Graveyard Book

OK, I don’t typically like spooky, but I make exceptions for Neil Gaiman. Coraline, the story of a little girl who moves into a spooky house and uncovers a rather diabolical ghost who wants to trap her in an alternate world, is spine-tinglingly creepy. For more sensitive readers, Gaiman’s Graveyard Book is equally good and while still involving ghosts, monsters, and bad guys, seemed a little milder to me. Still, these two are more for the upper middle grade (10+) age group.

Cinderskella & Little Dead Riding Hood

I just recently discovered Amie Borst’s amazing dark reimagined fairy tales. And my daughter can’t get enough of them. If the creepy-factor of tween girls who are trying to live a “normal” life under very abnormal circumstances (Cinderskella turns into a skeleton by night and Scarlet from Little Dead Riding Hood is a vampire), these books are co-written by Borst’s middle-school aged daughter. I would read them for that alone, but they’re also hilariously dark and gripping stories.

Bunnicula, The Celery Stalks at Midnight, & Howliday Inn

Some classics are more timeless than others. These suspense-laden tales about a vampire bunny and his other furry pals still get a giggle from my kids just like they did from my brother and I thirty years ago. Oh, and in case you missed it, there are SEVEN books now instead of just three.


I may not have appreciated R.L. Stine when I was 10, but I sure do now. A prolific and abundantly spooky writer, Stine knows not only how to create a scary scene, but to connect with what middle grade readers will find interesting. With a good mix of male and female protagonists, Goosebumps has something for everyone.

What’s Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday
What’s Up Wednesday
My writing buddy Sara Eastler introduced me to a fun little blog series called What’s Up Wednesday and since I’m trying to blog more these days, I decided to play along. And since my readers seem to enjoy my book recommendations, you’ll be happy to notice that this means I’ll be recommending a book every Wednesday.

What I’m Reading

I just finished Helene Wecker’s beautiful The Golem and the Jinni and I really can’t stop thinking about it. This gorgeous story about two mythical creatures–a golem and a jinni, of course–who are both trapped in 1899 New York City explores fate, free will, spirituality and mythology all in an evocative setting and through the eyes of two very interesting narrators. It reminds me of a cross between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Carlos Ruis Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind.

What I’m Writing

As things continue to come together for my 2013 NaNoWriMo project, Finding Gib, I’m also mid-way through drafting a new middle-grade project called Search for the Sampo. Set in Finland, it tells the story of two expat children who discover an ancient book and with it, a plot to use a long-forgotten and powerful tool to take over the world. This story gives me my first opportunity to write about magic and considering my long-term love affair with fantasy, this alone is reason enough to celebrate. But I also have to say that I love writing in the dual-point-of-view of the two sibling main characters and am really enjoying the project so far. That makes sense because I still love drafting so much more than dreaded revision.

What Works for Me

I’m juggling a lot right now: polishing last year’s manuscript, querying it, contesting, and drafting the new novel. And I have to admit, that works for me. Querying is an agonizing process, full of waiting and uncertainty, and keeping myself almost manically busy distracts me from the fact that I have manuscripts out there as. I. type. this. post. Just typing that made my heart flutter a bit. So yeah, I’m querying. It’s cool. *shoves sweaty palms in pockets and pretends to be calm and relaxed*

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Just returned from a lovely week in Hvar, Croatia, a small island in the Adriatic along the Dalmatian Coast. Watch this space for tips on traveling to Hvar with your children as part of my Traveling with Children series. It’s a gorgeous place to visit, especially at the tail end of the season when things are quiet, but the sea is still warm enough to snorkel and sail.

I also guest-blogged over at Book Country, introducing my five-line outline method for pants-ing your way through NaNoWriMo.

Check out Jaime and Erin‘s blogs for more What’s Up Wednesday fun.