Nag, nag, nag

A while ago, over on the Story Empire blog, Staci Troilo was host and asked What is the Favorite Book you’ve written and why?  I read all five of the writers’ answers who take turns hosting the blog to see which book they chose and why it was their favorite.  Their answers were interesting.  You can find the link here:

https://storyempire.com/2019/03/29/bonus-friday-favorite-book/

At the end of the blog, Staci opened up the comments section to other authors to share. I tried to think of the favorite novel I wrote, but I couldn’t settle on one.  I love every book I write, or else I’d never be able to slog through 60,000-100,000 words to finish them.  But then–and every writer will know this feeling–the question just wouldn’t go away.  It rattled around in my head and kept nagging me.  Until I finally came up with an answer for myself.

If I had to choose, I’d pick FALLEN ANGELS, an urban fantasy I wrote as Judith Post.  It was my first true attempt at urban fantasy.  Not that I got it right.  Every editor who commented on it said that NO humans should play a major part in an urban fantasy.  And what did I do?  I made Danny, the detective, work with Enoch, the fallen angel, as a partner.  I did a few other things wrong as well, but I learned a lot while I muddled through it.  And mistakes and all, I was really proud of that book when my agent finally approved it.  First, every time I redid a scene, the book got longer.  It’s the longest book I’ve ever done.  I’d never written a battle scene before, and I had all kinds of them scattered through the story.  I had Enoch–the angel who tackled his friend so he couldn’t join Lucifer’s rebellion–watch Caleb get thrown to Earth as punishment anyway.  And when Caleb bites humans to drink their blood to sustain his own energy, he infects them with his immortality and creates the first race of vampires.  Who don’t behave well, so Enoch’s sent to Earth to clean up after Caleb.

I liked the ideas I played with for this story.  And I was happy that I’d created a character–Enoch’s best friend, Caleb–who was so selfish, but charming–that you waffled between hating him and cutting him some slack.  I tried, but didn’t completely succeed, to create a romantic interest who was so hurt that she pushed everyone away.  That was trickier than I imagined.  Some readers felt sorry for her, and others could have done without her:)

I guess the reason I’d choose FALLEN ANGELS as the favorite novel I’ve written is because it challenged me to leave my comfort zone and write things I’d never tried before. Enoch was a protagonist who didn’t want the job he’d been given.  He didn’t want to be a hero.  All he wanted to do was convince Caleb to go Home with him.  But Caleb LIKED the freedom he’d found on Earth.  He never wanted to repent and be forgiven.  So Enoch was stuck.  Probably for a long time–a brooding hero.

What about you?  Which book would you choose?  And why?  (Be careful.  If you don’t answer, the question might nag you for a long time).

Happy writing!

Advertisements

Treasure Trove

Our daughter’s visiting us this weekend, so this blog is going to be shorter than usual.  Planning on lots of play time:)  I’ve been working on rewrites for my fourth Jazzi Zanders book, though.  So my mind has been playing with her, the people she hangs with, and renovating old houses.  And as always when I’m putting the finishing touches on one book, my mind starts wandering to the next book in the series.

And that’s where a good friend of mine and my husband’s has proven a treasure trove of ideas.  Ralph used to buy old houses and renovate them to rent.  Now, Ralph isn’t the type to just slap paint on walls and make a space liveable.  He’s a perfectionist.  He makes everything he works on the best it can be for the price he can put into it.  And when I told him that I was writing a series about a woman, her cousin, and her romantic interest who flip houses, he suprised me with one idea after another of how flipping a house could dig up clues to old murders.

I’ve already used a few of the things he’s shared with me.  Like finding an old, loved tool box in a basement with all kinds of antique tools no one can find anymore and a person’s initials burned into the beautifully carved wood.  That’s how Jazzi and Ansel knew Joel had been in Cal’s house in book one.  For book two, Ralph told me about how an older man walked past a house he was renovating every day at the same time, and how he came to watch for him, until one day he didn’t come.  And Ralph wondered about him.  Was he all right?  Had something happened to him?  I used that idea for Leo walking his dog past the roof Jazzi, Jerod, and Ansel were working on, and Leo would stop to talk to Jazzi every chance he got because he was lonely.  And then one day, Leo didn’t come.

For book five, Ralph intrigued me with a story he told about finding a woman’s treasure box in a closet while he was gutting a house.  She had stones she’d collected when she was a little girl, grade school class pictures, a yearbook, letters from friends, pieces of jewelry, and ribbons and awards, among other things.  For book five, I have Jazzi, Jerod, and Ansel fixing up one of the old “grand dame” houses in Auburn, a town north of where I live.  And I keep thinking about what Jazzi will find in a treasure chest of the girl who grew up in that house, but when Jazzi tries to return the box to her, she finds out the girl died soon after her senior prom, and no one ever solved what happened to her.  And that, of course, sets up the mystery she tries to solve.

Ralph’s given me lots more ideas, and I’ve written them all down and keep them in my own small box of treasured story ideas for later use.  Who knew flipping houses, in real life, could stimulate so many plots?  But I’m grateful for all of them.  And if I’m lucky, I’ll have lots more Jazzi Zanders mysteries to write.

And for all of you, happy writing!

 

Words and more words. Are they enough?

writing gif.gif

You know how, when you don’t see someone’s kids, it comes as a shock when you hear how old they are?  In your mind, you picture them as four or five and then you find out they’re nine or ten.  At least, that happens to me.  My mind hangs on to the last time I saw them and doesn’t add nearly enough of the years that have passed.  For some reason, it must work the opposite for writing.  Friends always think I should be further along than I am.  Words don’t accumulate as fast as they should.  I plot and I plod.

I admit I’m lucky.  At least my friends ask about my writing.  They encourage it.  They often ask, “How’s the writing going?”  And they always expect me to have made great progress.  I expect it, too, but tortoises don’t impress.

I’m up to 50,000 words in my mystery.  I need at least 20,000 more.  And this is the time–in every manuscript–when I panic.  I look at my last remaining plot points, and I just KNOW that I don’t have enough ideas to meet my word count.  The worry and sense of foreboding almost always makes me go to bed, sure I’m doomed, and wake up the next morning with new ideas for scenes.   It happened three nights ago.  I fell asleep thinking about places to add another twist, a new turn, and woke up with a new character and clue.  (And yes, my husband’s used to my living with characters walking around in my head.  He takes it in stride.)

The new clue made me even happier than usual.  In my plot points–(which I need to give myself enough material to keep a book moving–and see what happened?–I’m still worried I have enough)–I was supposed to kill off Peyton–my cute, young pizza delivery guy.  (Hope you could follow that).  Except, I’ve gotten really attached to him.  I like him way more than I thought I would.  And I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t kill him.  I thought readers might hate me.  I’d hate me.  So, you guessed it, the new character has to die.  Thankfully, we don’t really get to know her, so we aren’t too attached to her, but I needed a nice, sympathic victim.  And yes, I know that if I kill someone we all care about, the murder will have more impact.  But this time, I just couldn’t do it.

Anyway, I’ve added a few scenes to the last fourth of the book, and hopefully, they’ll push me over 70,000 words–the length my editor wants.   If not, I’ll panic again, and I’ll have to come up with more ideas.  But the thing is, this happens to me EVERY book.  You’d think I’d learn, but not so much.  And you know how every kid you have is different?  So what works for one doesn’t work for the next?  Well, so is every book.  One flows, one doesn’t; one loves wordy descriptions, one begs to be tighter, punchier.  Books have their own ideas of what they want.  And just like raising a kid, you as the author might have certain rules, but the books do their best to bend them.

What I have learned, though, is to trust myself and the process.  There’s a certain amount of faith in starting a book, a belief that when you reach a big, giant hole with only blank pages in front of you, you’ll be able to think of something to fill it.  And you will.  Trust yourself.  So, hope you have a good week.  And happy writing!

http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

twitter:  @judypost

 

Plodding at Plotting

An idea kept tugging at me for a second mystery.  Actually, it was an idea a friend gave me, and I’ve been wanting to use it since Ralph shared it with me.  When I first decided that I’d like to write a “house flipper” mystery, I had no idea there were already some out there.  I always buy my favorite authors and I’ve looked at a few others–found Jenna Bennett’s Southern Belle mysteries and love them, but didn’t know she wrote a Do-It-Yourself series as Jennie Bentley until I stumbled on one.  I’d never watched Hallmark mysteries either until other friends recommended them.  And guess what?  There’s a fixer-upper house amateur detective on those, too.  It’s fun to see how other writers mix niches with murder.  Guess it just goes to show that every idea’s probably already been taken, so you just have to write what you want and put your own spin on it.

For my first mystery, I came up with a set-up, a few plot points for each fourth of my book, and an end.  Then I sort of winged it.  I like how it turned out, but I did a lot of rewrites.  This time, I want to take my time and have 40 steps to keep my story afloat. Our friend, Ralph, used to buy old houses and fix them up to rent.  He can answer any questions I have about house repairs.  I invited him for supper one night–yes, a bribe, and he knew it, so I had to spring for ribeyes–and he had lots of ideas that I would never have thought of.

He said that once, he worked on a house for a few months to divide it into an upstairs and downstairs apartment, and he watched an old man across the street leave his house at the same time every day, walk down the street, and return about an hour later with a grocery bag from the local butcher shop.  And then one day, the man didn’t didn’t leave, and Ralph worried about him.  He didn’t see the old man for the rest of the week, and he couldn’t believe how relieved he felt when someone dropped him off, along with a suitcase, and the old man returned to his usual routine.  That idea stuck with me.  So I played with it and came up with an idea for a mystery.  I’ve fiddled with that until I have a set-up for the first fourth of my new book.

I like to have a subplot for my books, too, so I’ve mapped out one for Ansel, the contractor who just moved in with my female protagonist, lucky girl.  And for the moment, that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  But it’s time that I zero in on the criminal.  What does he want?  And what makes it worth killing for?  How is he going to interact with my characters? Can you hear me rubbing my  hands together, plotting away?

Ideas aren’t tumbling out of my head, but that’s okay.  They’re stewing, and eventually, they’ll end up making a tasty whodunnit.

 

Happy Writing!

 

 

A Little Disagreement is Good:)

I finished the contract for my six romances at Kensington.  My wonderful editor, John Scognamiglio, told me that I could write three more romances for him, or I could try my hand at a mystery, because he thought I’d do a good job on those, too.  How lucky can a girl get?  My wonderful agent, Lauren Abramo at Dystel and Goderich, told me that it would be smarter to write more romances and build an audience, but being the true lover of WRITING that she is, she told me to do what I was most passionate about.  She’s more than a gem.  People who disparage editors and agents don’t realize how overworked they are and how committed they are to writers and the written word.  Yes, they’re the business side of writing.  But they still LOVE writing and words and books.

Anyway, I’ve always loved mysteries, so I decided to go for it.  Which means that I was starting over…again…and I needed to write a proposal.  And that’s when I remembered how HARD it is.  John Scognamiglio spoiled me.  As long as he thought I had enough ideas to come up with a whole book, he gave me a thumbs up and said Write Away.  He trusted me to figure things out as I went.   Lauren has a more critical eye.  She has to.  She’s the one who shapes a synopsis and proposal so that a publisher might want to buy a writer’s book.  And Lauren and I are very different, and that plays into things, too.

Lauren never gives me a Free Pass.  We hash over how she sees a character, compared to how I see that character in my mind.  If she thinks something’s not clear or a plot point is soggy, she makes me rethink it and rewrite it.  And every book of mine that she’s touched is better for it.  If we can’t come up with a compromise with e-mails, she’s happy to pick up the phone and let me know what she thinks, but she always ends with “It’s your book.  You have to make the final decision.”  Which sounds tempting, but she’s always so freaking right.

I don’t think I’ve ever rewritten, rethought, any book as much as The Body in the Attic (the working title).  I didn’t like the girl who becomes a dead body.  Lauren REALLY sympathized with her.  I sympathized with the person who stuffed her in the attic, and Lauren sent paragraphs about how she considered him sinister.  There’s nothing that makes you learn more and stretch more than a good, healthy disagreement about how you see your book.  We’ve both compromised.  And I’m happy with the changes I’ve made.  (I think Lauren would have liked more changes, but she’s satisfied with what we came up with).  The things that really bothered me about Lynda didn’t bother Lauren. The things that really bothered her weren’t such big deals to me.  Different world views. Different experiences.  No right.  No wrong.  Just different.  And that’s just plain interesting.

Some Characters…

My fourth romance is available for pre-sale now.  It’ll be a long time before its release–the day after spring solstice on March 20, 2017.   I’m a horoscope junkie, so I hope that’s a good sign:)  But you met Tyne and Daphne in book 3.  Tyne is Paula’s fellow chef–the guy who doesn’t mince words and says what he thinks, Mr. Hot Stuff.  Daphne is the girl Chase fantasizes about.  At the beginning of LOVE ON TAP, Paula and Chase both have a thing for someone who’s not right for them.  I’ve met plenty of people who fall for Mr. or Miss Wrong over and over again, and always with disastrous results.  That’s what I wanted to show in book 3.  It’s not the traditional way to start a romance or plot it out, and it confused some readers, but I liked it.  To me, it was realistic.  And Tyne, as a friend to both Paula and Chase, was happy to offer his opinions on their romantic mishaps.

I intended Tyne to have a small part in book three.  When I plot a book, I start with an idea. For book three, it was a girl with a crush on Mr. Wrong and a guy who fantasized about a girl who had nothing in common with him, and the two had to figure out that they were REALLY meant for each other.  After the idea, I think about what characters will work for that story.  Paula is a widow, raising two young children and trying to balance being a mom and a chef.  All she’s done since losing Alex is work and spend time with her kids, but she’s finally ready to dip her toe in the dating pool again.  Except that she’s always attracted to a bad boy.  And Tyne is happy to tell her that Jason’s a loser and she should move on.  Chase owns a bar and can have any woman he wants–except Daphne–and he’s ready to settle down and thinks he wants her.   Tyne makes a few comments on that, too.  After I decide on my characters, I do character wheels for them.  I learned that concept at a workshop by Shirley Jump, then tweaked it to work for me.  (Shirley’s offering a workshop on intensive revision starting Monday, if you’re interested:  https://www.margielawson.com/lawson-writers-academy-courses/detail/2-writing/299-jan-2017-intensive-on-revision.)  Anyway, Shirley recommended having a close friend for each of your characters, because then the character has someone to talk to, to spill your gut.  I gave Paula her fellow chef, Tyne.

I meant Tyne to be there for Paula to bounce ideas off of.  The thing is, Tyne just won’t keep his mouth shut.  He has opinions about everything, even though he’s well-meaning.  I loved Tyne, but I had trouble writing his dialogue.  He’s SO not like me!  He says things I’d never say.  I had the same problem with Brody in book 2.  I’m an “early” Libra.  I try to smooth things over and avoid confrontation.  I hate conflict.  When I’m really direct, it’s been a long time coming.  (I’m working on that for 2017, though.)

Brody and Tyne don’t give a damn.  Sometimes, they push peoples’ buttons just to see what happens.  When they do, it’s outside my comfort zone.  I’d never do it, so I needed to “hear” someone else.  For Brody, I heard my grandson Tyler–a Gemini.  With Tyler, you get what you get, whatever he’s thinking–and he tends to think he’s right and you’re wrong. If he annoys people…well, life happens, right?  But he has a BIG heart.  He won’t win an award for tact, but he’s funny and warm, and he CARES.  For Tyne, I “listened” to my grandson Nate.  Nate–an Aquarius–has a million ideas buzzing in his head all the time. He thinks outside the box, gets restless easily, and doesn’t mind sharing his opinions.   If he annoys you, he’s sorry, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stop.  And he has a big heart, too.

I liked Tyne so much in book 3, he changed my writing.  I was using single POV for the romances, but when I started book 4, with Tyne and Daphne as the stars, I wanted Tyne to be able to express himself, too.  Tyne just wouldn’t stay in the background.  That’s what Daphne liked–to sort of disappear if she could, to go unnoticed.  So book 4, SPICING THINGS UP, is the first time I did the girl’s AND the guy’s POV.  It added a lot.  What was implied before became in-your-face, irrefutable, so that’s what I’m doing from now on.  (I’m a slow learner.  I’ve already told you that.)  Anyway, characters can push and prod a writer.  It’s a good thing.  And bless Tyne, he wanted a starring role, and he deserved one.  I hope you like  him as much as I did.

 

For my books:  http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34332

Webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypostspicingthingsup

Inspiration comes from odd places

Almost every time I’m on a writing panel, and we open it to question and answer, someone asks, “Where do you get your ideas?”  I understand that question.  I’ve sat in front of my computer screen many a time wondering what the heck I’m going to write.  Worse, when I first started writing, I grabbed onto an idea that looked wonderful until I tried to make it into a story . . . and it couldn’t hold up to twenty, sixty, or three hundred pages.

The good news is, the longer you write, the more ideas you have and the more tricks you learn to weed the good ideas from the flash fiction variety.  Now, if I can’t think of a good set-up, three key turning points, and an ending, I know I’d better write something really short.  For the YA novel I’m posting, chapter by chapter, on my webpage, though, I knew I had a large enough cast of characters and a big enough concept to make a book.

When I was younger and hungry to dig deeper into beliefs and mythology, I took a Bible study class on Judas Iscariot.  The minister insisted that Judas never meant to betray Jesus. He only wanted to push Him into proving to the world that He was the Savior, that He had powers the rest of us didn’t and never will have.  According to our study book, Judas had Jesus arrested, sure that He’d pull out His powers and pizzazz the Roman soldiers to save Himself.  And when Jesus didn’t save Himself and let the soldiers crucify Him, Judas couldn’t live with his mistake, threw away his thirty pieces of silver, and hanged himself.

I’m not knowledgeable enough to know if I agree with that theory or not, but it did make me think.  And it gave me an idea for a story.  I read another article (because I’m a horoscope fan), that each disciple Jesus chose stood for a different horoscope sign.  Twelve signs, twelve disciples.  And that made me think of a coven.  Twelve witches led by one priestess.  What if each witch came from one sign of the zodiac?  And what if the priestess practiced only white magic, but a witch she’d started to train was more tempted by dark spells and turned the town against her?  Until finally, one of the “good” witches decided to force the priestess into proving herself.  And…  Well, one idea led to another, and soon I had enough plot points to write a book.

The ideas for the book came from a few random, different articles, but they came together to give me a solid plot after I asked myself a few “what ifs?” along the way.  What ifs, cause and effect–if my character does this, this will happen–, and characters’ motivations can tease your mind into filling in the blanks between story spaces.  Enjoy the process!  And happy writing.

My webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypost

 

 

 

Writing: Fishing for Ideas with Mae Clair

When I first started writing, I had more ideas than I knew what to do with.  The thing I discovered, though, is that not all ideas are created equal.  Some can carry a short story, some die if you try to write more than 10,000 words, and some sag under the weight of a novel.   My friend, Mae Clair, wrote a witty blog post about which plot ideas to keep and which to toss back.  Mae’s suspense novel came out on Tuesday, and I’m halfway through reading it.  Thank goodness she heard the legend of the Mothman and used that as an idea for a mystery–more than enough heft to support an absorbing plot line.  I’m loving it!   So, here’s Mae to help us decide which ideas are keepers.  And happy fishing!

pontoon

Fishing for Plots by Mae Clair

 

Hello and many thanks to Judith for inviting me to be a guest on her blog! I’ve come equipped with a writing topic today that relates to various types of plots.

Early in our marriage, my husband introduced me to flounder fishing. That attachment eventually evolved into crabbing, clamming, and a long stretch of boat ownership, but in the beginning, it was all about catching the coveted flounder.

I’d never been fishing in my life the first time he took me out. I learned early on there were several types of fish and sea critters apt to go after the bait I dangled into the water, but not all were desirable. Recently, I started thinking about fish in terms of plot. Sound crazy? Let me put it in perspective:

Junk Fish

When you’re fishing for flounder, just about everything else falls into the category of “junk fish.” The most common junk fish we’d hook were sea robins. These guys are never going to win a beauty contest. They’re prehistoric-looking with legs, spines that inject poison, and wing-like fins. They also croak like a frog and will complain loudly when caught. I always thought they had pretty blue eyes, an opinion not shared by my husband.

Junk plots are much the same. Pull one from your writer’s hat and you quickly realize no matter how you tweak it, you can’t make it work. It might have some redeeming value (like the sea robin’s pretty blue eyes) but, in the end, all you can do is toss it back into the plot bin and fish for another.

Hard Shell Crabs

You’d be surprised how many hard shells go after a fishing line. In the beginning, we considered them a nuisance (they make nasty work of your bait). Then we realized we could steam them and have stuffed flounder.  After that, any (legal) hard shell that wandered onto our lines was fair game. It wasn’t long before we were baiting and setting crab pots, collecting them in earnest.

Hard shell crabs are the plots that start out looking hopeless, but with polish and attention turn into gems. It takes some work to get them to that point, but when you do, they’re golden!

Sand Sharks

These guys rarely got snagged in the bay. When they did they were (thankfully) on the small side. My husband once caught one that was about eighteen inches. When they’re that size, they bedazzle, flashing bright silver in the sun. Very pretty.

You know this plot, right? The one that beguiles you with possibility. You’re enraptured by it, treating it like a prized jewel—until you realize it can’t be manipulated to fit your needs. It blinds you with its beauty, but once you return to writer terra-firm, it becomes fool’s gold. Back into the plot bin it goes.

Flounder

There was always a lot of excitement when we hooked a flounder. It’s why we’d spend 5-6 hours tooling around the bay, burning in the sun, maneuvering through channels and getting swamped in bigger wake.

Flounder is the ideal writer’s plot. Perfection. Oh, you might have to filet it to work it the way you want, but you know you’ve got a winner as soon as you hook it.

I haven’t been flounder fishing in many years now, but I remember those times with extreme fondness. Twenty years of boating results in a lot of tale—and a lot of fish!

Here’s hoping you find more flounder than sea robins when you go fishing for plots. How do you think my comparisons stack up?

While you’re considering, I hope you’ll take a look at my newest book, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS, a mystery/suspense novel combining history, urban legend and fiction.

athousandyesteryears_hires

Here’s a look at the blurb:

A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS

 

Behind a legend lies the truth…

 

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…

 

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…

 

A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is available from:

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Yesteryears-Point-Pleasant-ebook/dp/B0138NHJ4A

B & N
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-thousand-yesteryears-mae-clair/1122454905?ean=9781601837776

Kobo
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-thousand-yesteryears

Google Play
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mae_Clair_A_Thousand_Yesteryears?id=kY9KCgAAQBAJ&hl=en

iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-thousand-yesteryears/id1050516745?mt=11

Kensington Publishing
http://www.ekensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/32298

Mae Clair

 

Author Bio:

Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her latest release.

Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net where you can sign-up for her newsletter.

 

Connect with Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Sign up for Mae’s newsletter:
Newsletter Sign-Up