Camping! (not-really)

In April I’ll be hopping onto the Camp NaNoWriMo bandwagon — though just with a low goal of 10,000 words. I want to get myself writing something and I figured it would provide a good push.

What am I going to be working on? Eh. That’s still undecided. But I figure that with all the stories I have in the works, there should be something to write each day… right?

Here are my most-likely candidates for working on in April, as described on my Camp page, in this edition of OPERATION WRITE SOME WORDS THIS MONTH.

CampApril14coverSong of a Pirate
A nautical medieval fantasy novella I worked on for both of 2013’s Camps, featuring pirates, gypsies, memory-loss, and possibly a giant crab.

Snowfall at Kedran’s Wood
A contemporary-fantasy Christmas novella sequel to my latest finished novel. I say novella because I’m pretending it’s going to be short — I’m obviously a delusional person. Contains a hilarious group of friends and one of my favorite characters ever, complete with black leather jacket.

The Invisible Mask
A fantasy novel with mansions on windswept moors and fine people going about in carriages. Think “Pride and Prejudice”, with action, from the point of view of the fellows instead of the girls. Starring Richard Armitage.

I may end up working on any, all, or none of these, and if anything else rears its head and begs to be written, I’ll not complain. 😉

Is anyone else doing Camp NaNo this April?

What are you currently writing?

(Also, I keep not posting any of the posts I keep planning to post — colds have a way of making your brain not want to function — but I’m determined to get to them soon.)

A Visit From the Leprechauns

March 17th. The day when everyone goes around wearing green, wishing (or pretending) they’re Irish.

(I don’t have to wish or pretend, since I have an Irish background myself. But I do go around wearing green. Then again, I do that most of the time anyway . . .)

I love Irish things and Irish music, and my plan was to share some of my favorite songs and tunes. But the sheer enormity of such a task — narrowing it to a FEW favorites — daunted me. So, here. In honor of the occasion, have some Irish-ish pictures. (I usually say “Celtic” in these circumstances, but Irish-ish goes today. My spell-checker is informing me that it’s not a word. You don’t say…?)




I’d been thinking for awhile that I might post a snippet or two of writing on my blog to give an idea of what I’m writing these days . . .

Since my latest NaNoWriMo novel, Underground Rainbow, happens to have leprechauns in it, I figured what better time than St. Patrick’s Day to share a snippet from it?


There was no sign of the little men. Jancsi nearly wailed. “But . . . the leprechauns,” he managed to say. Over in the doorway, Natalie and Matt traded wordless glances and came into the room, closing the door behind them.

“What . . . did you say?” Natalie asked.

“Leprechauns,” Jancsi said.

Matt’s face twitched.

“You know, the little Irish fairy fellows,” Jancsi said, waving a hand in the air expressively. “They were on my desk a minute ago.”

The Sheldon cousins blinked again and once more traded glances. Natalie chewed her lip thoughtfully.

“Um . . .” Matt said cautiously. “Don’t you think you should go to bed?”

Jancsi threw up his hands. “Of course. I might have known nobody in their right mind would believe me. I was having the most fascinating talk with them, and they up and vanished right when you came in. What did you want, anyway?”

“When I passed your door a minute ago I thought I heard voices,” Natalie said. “So I thought Matt had come back and was talking with you, but he was still in his room, and we knew Mr. Gummer had gone to bed, so we just thought we’d poke our heads in.”

“You think I’m crazy,” Jancsi said without bitterness.

“No-oo . . .” Natalie began.

“We just think . . .” Matt said with a slight hint of guilt, “. . . that maybe you should get some sleep?”

“Well I can show you the gnome I found in one of my pictures anyway,” Jancsi said, pulling his netbook over to him, suddenly desperate to show them something.

They both looked uneasy, like they didn’t think Jancsi was totally okay but were his friends and didn’t want to doubt him.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” an Irish accent said wearily from the back of the bed. All eyes turned in that direction, and there was Donal standing on the bed, leaning against the pillows. “We’re here, all right? You can come down now, Liam me boy. They may as well all see us.”

“As you say,” said a voice above them, and the other leprechaun came sliding nonchalantly down one of the corner posts of the canopied bed, like a fireman down a fire-pole. Far from looking comic or ridiculous, it looked like the most natural—not to mention coolest—thing for a leprechaun to do. Liam landed on the edge of the bed and took off his cap briefly in what might have been a polite gesture, or else just so he could fluff his hand through his hair, before replacing it on his head.

Matt had frozen with his mouth hanging open. Natalie clutched the other corner post at the end of the bed, and her brown eyes were very wide.

Enjoying this display of a repeat of what he had felt like earlier, Jancsi grinned. “Natalie and Matt, I would like you to meet Liam and Donal,” he said, gesturing at each of the leprechauns.

Donal, still leaning against the pillows as though they were a pile of very large grain sacks, touched his forehead as though taking hold of an invisible hat, in an old sailor-like salute. “At your service,” he said charmingly.

“Which you don’t really mean,” Liam put in cheerfully.

“Well . . . no. But it sounded like the thing to say.” Donal shrugged.

“They’re . . . leprechauns?” Matt managed to gasp out.

“But they’re not wearing green,” Natalie whispered with a little frown.

“And they don’t have top hats or buckle shoes,” Matt added, putting his head to one side as though thinking. He pulled over one of the chairs and sat down in it.

Natalie grabbed another and did the same, still looking at the little men. “How are they here?” she squeaked.

“I didn’t count this time,” Donal said pointedly to Jancsi. “But you see how it is. Always the same questions. It quite tires a fellow out.”

–Snippet from Underground Rainbow by Deborah O’Carroll, work-in-progress, NaNo 2013

There you are. Hope you enjoyed!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


Could Not Catch Them All

(Remember that post I mentioned I’d written? That I said I wouldn’t post unless I ran out of things to post? Well here it is. I’ve yet to write the Writing-Anniversary post but I hope to do it soon… The last time I was about to write it, I ended up starting writing another book instead. Go figure. 😉 Anyways, here, a post.)


There was this song I heard once about a juggler in a circus, and I feel like him right now, trying to juggle too many things in my life.

“But as he threw his skittles to the sky and watched them fall
He knew: tonight’s the night he could not catch them – could not catch them all . . .”

In these last few months, I’ve been trying to do way too many things, which consequently means that I really haven’t been getting anything done. I keep piling on more and more obligations, whether real or imagined, to myself and to other people.

What with NaNo prep back in October, NaNo during November, all of December swishing by with Christmas, and January with a new year and new responsibilities, and then February gone in the blink of an eye, I feel like I should be back in September of 2013.

Trying to balance my writing, reading, internet of all shapes and sizes, life, family, friends, everyday things that need to happen, and other projects . . . I don’t know, it’s just gotten overpowering lately. There are, for instance, emails I haven’t replied to since way before NaNo, stories by friends I’ve promised to critique months and months ago and still haven’t, etc.

I really need to sit down and analyze everything I’m doing and should be doing and basically completely reorganize my life. But that’s going to take time too, time that I could be using to catch up on those things, or to take care of the immediate life things that keep coming up.


I feel like I’m in the middle of a body of water, and the shore is barely visible far away, but I’m paralyzed by the distance. I know I can’t get there so I don’t even try, and as I wait the water rises higher and higher and the shore gets further and further away until it disappears and I’m just . . . stuck.

More song lyrics? I’m reminded of “Gollum’s Song” in the credits of The Two Towers:

“We are lost . . . We can never go home . . .”

(Okay, that’s a bit extreme. Maybe not that one. I do, however, use that as the theme-song for one of the characters I’m writing . . .)

Just rather overwhelmed here. I kind of feel like I need a vacation. From everything.

Buuut first I would want to catch up on all those things so I wouldn’t feel burdened by them . . . And the guilt cycle starts over again. Heehee.

I don’t even know what I’m trying to say, or why I’m spending the time to say it on my blog since it’s doubtful that it’s interesting or edifying. I guess I just want to say that if I vanish sometimes, this would be why, and also as a sort of mass apology to anyone who’s reading this who feels like I’ve abandoned them with not emailing or critiquing things I said I would do.

And I don’t know if anyone has suggestions either. Everyone’s lives are different. And I’m sure my problems are extremely petty in comparison to others — I’m not saying I have it really bad or anything and I really don’t want to complain! I’m having a lovely little life over here and I’ve been extremely blessed. I’m just a little lost. Sorry to dull the day with my little problems, and if you’ve stuck with me this far then . . . Here, have some profound thanks and a hug and a cupcake.


On a more upbeat note: wordcount meters! I found the link from this lovely lady’s blog, and I just love them! They’re going to sit proudly on the side of my blog and urge me on to actual writing. 🙂