Short Story, Boxes, Camp NaNo, & Inanimate Objects

Hi everyone!

Two things.

First:

I have a short story on a blog!

Hazel B. West (author of the amazing Blood Ties and An Earthly King) runs a cool website called Tales From a Modern Bard, and has writing challenges there from time to time.

The latest was “Inanimate Objects” and I couldn’t resist taking this excuse to write a story I’d been planning to write for ages.

So I wrote it for the challenge and Oh. Was. It. FUN. (Spoiler: Yes it was.)

And now you can read it!

My story is called A Tale of Two Boxes, about the adventures of… yes… two boxes. If you’ve ever wondered what the life of a cardboard box is like, and what they’re thinking, and how they get from one place to another, then this is the story for you. (If you’ve never wondered… well, few of us have, and now you’re wondering — I hope — so there you are.)

It also features some books arguing about how each of their genres is better than the others’. Yes. This did happen. XD

I’d be ever so honored if you’d pop over to Tales from a Modern Bard and read my story, and maybe tell me what you think of it! Thank you! ^_^

It was actually incredibly fun to write a story from the perspective of a cardboard box. You would think a story about a box would be boring, but… it was actually fascinating! (To me, at least. XD) I had so much fun and totally fell in love with my cardboard box characters. ❤

(Be sure to read the other challenge stories from the other authors at Tales from a Modern Bard about other inanimate objects, if you have some extra time, because they’re all quite interesting — some tragic, some funny, but all unique. :D)

The second thing has to do with the first thing.

Second:

I’m doing Camp NaNo!

Yes indeed. A couple of writer buddies dragged me into this. XD

Although I participate in November NaNoWriMo/National Novel Writing Month each year, I haven’t done a Camp NaNo session in positively ages. I kind of stopped doing word challenges for awhile there due to burn out.

But it’s been some time, and I wanted to try it out again. Plus you can set any sort of goal for Camp. So, hoping to get some small things like short stories done, I decided to go for it!

I… um… technically hit my goal and won Camp already? *coughcough* I set it for 5K, given how little I’ve been writing of late. But I’d like to keep writing as much as my busy schedule allows. 🙂

So far for Camp I’ve written 5,813 words this month (that was A Tale of Two Boxes, so far) and I’m having a blast! It’s a wonderful feeling to write again, folks. I’ve missed it.

So there you have my writing updates of late — I wrote a short story for you to read, and I’m doing Camp NaNo.

I know — gasp! — I’m actually talking about writing on my writing blog. The strangeness!

Speak to me, my Roadlings!

Are you doing Camp? (How’s it going?) Did you read my box story and what did you think?? And what’s going on in your writing or reading worlds? 🙂

Junishness

Happy July, everyone! I’m just sitting here trying to comprehend how the year can be
half over… Can anyone tell me what happened?? O_O

For me, at least, June kind of vanished in the blink of an eye — summer is flying, peoples! But here’s an update on some of my doings…

I can’t think of a single non-writerly/non-readerly thing of interest, besides doing a phenomenal amount of blogging in June including catching up on all my tags. Which I am extremely proud of myself for. Basically I’m an ecstatic blogger at this moment. But! Writing and books! And lists. Let’s have some lists because lists are awesome.

Writing

I did wriiiting! I’m so excited. Most of this year has been a slow arena in the writing world. I say arena because I halfheartedly wrestle my stories and they easily best me and then go sit in the shade and sulk without me. Which makes for a lonely writer… But! That changed in June because I was super inspired and ended up working on five different stories and pounding out 11k words! That may be small potatoes to some of the big writer folks out there, but for this little weakling, I find myself quite unusually proud of me.

  • 5k of that was working on a couple of lesser stories in the Kedran’s Wood series, messing with Tare backstory which is fun (Son of Kedran’s Wood [0.5], and Return to McAllistair Mansion [1.5, short story]). Like 500 words of KW2, The Secret of Kedran’s Wood… yes, that’s slow right now. But happening! Which is still good!
  • And between a random snippet and that writing dare I posted that I’m leaning toward fitting into The Other Half of Everything somehow… that’s about 1500 words on that story. It’s still in the snippet stage, but hey, I won’t complain if it gets some of itself written already. 😉
  • And most of all, I’m very excited about getting about 3.5k words of my short story Darkling Reflections written! I diiid hope to finish it in June but at least I wrote the middle part and now just have the final third to do. So. That’s kind of awesome.

Um… and such nitty-gritty details of what-I-wrote-and-words is probably is of no interest to anyone but me. Ahem. But ANYWAYS. I basically wrote 11,000 words of awesome in June and feel extremely happy and inspired. I also had a couple of epic ideas for fairytale retellings I plan to write and got some plotting notes down. So THAT’S always fabulous. 😀

I will totally have to post some snippets because AAALL THE WRITING.

Reading

jun2015books

I wanted to read way more than that, but apparently I got a goodly amount of reading done all the same… Huh.

  • The Hobbit is a reread, naturally… and just as awesome as always.
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (finally), as well as Stargirl and Love, Stargirl (totally random), were all small and rather mixed-feelings books that kind of left me a bit torn going “meh”, though they did have their merits I suppose.
  • Perfect Scoundrels — I finally read the last Heist Society book! Which as always was awesome. Cleverness and Hale. Yes. The author totally must write more…
  • Wildwood Dancing and Illusionarium — I had complaints for both, but were generally amazing. Another Twelve Dancing Princesses book (still working on those!). And my first steampunk, so yay! …I feel like all I’ve been doing on my blog lately is talk about Illusionarium (without even talking about it really or reviewing it or anything. O_O). I will stop, I promise! Ahem…

Anyways, that’s the reading I got done. A fairly good month, I guess?

July Nightstand Books

Aaand it being the first Wednesday of the month, not to mention first DAY of the month, I can’t resist posting the stuff I hope to read in July — so here I am, linking up with the Nightstand Books meme as started by Jenelle and D.J. It’s usually the first Wednesday of the month, I thiiink…

Here’s what I want to read… though I have no illusions (arium or otherwise har har) about actually getting them all read this month. BUT I CAN TRY.

nightstandjul15

AREN’T THEY SO PRETTY.

  • I’m STILL in Veiled Rose… I can’t believe it. But I’m trying to finish that soon. Poor Leo. *pets him*
  • Plenilune… Erm… Yes, I started it on Christmas, so I’ve officially been in this book for half a year now. IT’S. SO. BIG. I’m only 137 pages in, out of 659… I may cry. Ahem. However, it’s kind of delightful so far in its way, just verrry slow to wade through. *puffs and pants and puts on little-engine-that-could mentality* I think I can, I think I can!
  • And yes, I’m finally going to read The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because my bookclub is reading it. Every single person I know seems to have read and loved it and I’m always being told to read it. So I finally am going to, yay! I love stuff like that so I hope it will be awesome.
  • I don’t know if I’ll get to Out of Darkness Rising and Mist of Midnight, but I’ve been dying to read both of them for so long that hopefully I will… They just look so delicious.

Aaaand also some ebooks.

nightstandebooksjul15

See, that’s the problem with ebooks, they don’t fit beautifully on stacks on nightstands… *cough* BUT THESE ARE AWESOME ANYWAY, SO.

  • Yes, I’m ashamed to say I’m STILL in Chasing Shadows, which I do need to finish and review, but despite my slowness it’s kind of awesome anyways (WILL IS FABULOUS) and I’m working through it but it’s super long and I’m a very slow PDF reader, I fear…
  • Same with Five Enchanted Roses, which I’m SUUUPER excited and grateful to get to be an influence reader for Jenelle Schmidt’s entry, Stone Curse! *flaiiiil* Lookit that gorgeous. I can’t WAIT to dive into this. I’m very very excited. Expect a review on that sometime later this month too, hopefully!
  • And then of course there’s still that Twelve Dancing Princesses Collection I’m working through. So many! They are mostly super dark, whodathunk. XD

Random Bookish News

I just need to flail a bit about this: there is an official cover for Jill Williamson’s next fantasy book, King’s FollyRead the post. It’s the first book in the Kinsman Chronicles, which are kinda-sorta prequels to the Blood of Kings Trilogy (which I love. A lot).

BloodOfKingsTrilogyButton-1024x625

She’s been writing sci-fi and dystopian and contemporary spy stuff for awhile now, which are great but not FANTASY if you know what I mean… So the fact that there’s another Jill Williamson fantasy book coming out (albeit adult instead of YA) just kind of excites me. Now I just have to wait till next spring. Whyyy. The life of a bookworm is tough, you guys, let me tell you. *falls dramatically across couch*

Anyways enough of my babbling — Coverrrr!! ❤ (Books just become REAL when they have covers, you know what I mean?)

***

Basically this whole post was about booooks. With a small side of writing. But what can I say. I’m very bookwormy these days. IT’S SUMMER AND SUMMER IS FOR READING RIGHT. I think I’m also now addicted to blogging. This may be a problem…

So that’s what’s up with me!

How about you?

Did you have a good June? Have plans for July?

Are you doing Camp NaNo??

(I’m not. *hides shamefully behind a tapestry*)

Also. IT’S ONLY FOUR MONTHS TILL NANOWRIMO. *drops bombshell and calmly walks away as if nothing happened*

777 Writing Challenge – Heartseeker & KW2

Claire M. Banschbach tagged me for the 777 Writing Challenge awhile back, so I thought I’d do it! 🙂 Thanks for the nomination, Claire!

And thanks Shantelle for letting me know! 😉 By the way, everyone — on a writing related note, Shantelle is looking for beta-readers for a Cinderella-ish novella, and I know from reading another of her works that she writes beautiful stories! ❤ So if that sounds up your alley, do drop by her lovely blog!

Anyways, back to all the 7’s…

777 Writing Challenge

The rules of this challenge are as follows: you go to page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post, and tag 7 bloggers to do the writing challenge themselves on their own blogs with their own WIPs.

I’m interpreting “lines” as “sentences”, even though I’m not sure if that’s exactly what it meant…

And I’m working on two books, so here is a snippet from each!

KW2coverP
The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Lavender blinked several times. “Tare knows someone?”

“More importantly: someone knows Tare?” Baz said.

“Are you sure about this?” Ivy asked.

Jake nodded vigorously, and Marie said, “Yeah. We thought it was weird that someone would ask after him randomly. Especially since, before that, I wasn’t entirely sure if this Tare person really existed.”

“Oh, he is verrry existent,” Baz said. “You don’t even know how much he exists. …When he’s here, that is.”

CoverHeartseeker
Heartseeker

It was a tumultuous mixture of heartrending emotion with aching sorrow at the core, shattering her, and the only thing she could think to do with it was to run up these stairs and speak with Prince Haldon.

She reached the top, where she barely paused to catch her breath before flinging the door open. She stood in the doorway, breathing hard. The room was unusually dark, for the evening was getting on and only the last rays of sunset shone through the westward window, and a single candle burned in a holder on a table across the chamber by a canopied bed.

In a chair halfway into the room, facing away from the window, a figure sprawled. The darkened room made it hard to see him, and Princess Evanna only got a vague impression of dark clothes and long dark hair. His face was in shadow, and he did not turn the whole way to look at her—indeed, he gave no movement or impression that he had even noticed her.

***

So there are the snippets of the day — I hope they were at least a teeny bit interesting! I had so much fun doing this! Thanks again for tagging me, Claire! ❤

And for the last part…

I Tag:

Lauri

Sarah

Tracey

Jenelle

Lisa

Cait

Kelsey

(Y’all obviously don’t have to do it if you don’t want. 😉 And I don’t think any of you have done it before… but if you have, sorry!) Alternately, anyone who might be doing Camp NaNo, you could use your Camp story! 😀

And anyone reading this: if you’d like, feel free to snag the tag yourself and do it on your blog!

If you do it, let me know in the comments so I can read your beautiful words! 🙂

March Ishness

Greetings, dearest bloglings!! (Is that a word…? Pft, if not, we shall make it one!) I have missed y’all! ❤

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been around here much this last month… I’ve been trying to step back from the internet a bit in order to get some stuff done. So here I am with a bit of a March overview!

Here’s some of the ishness I’ve been up to of late.

For one thing, I had a birthday (I’m old now…), and I also “celebrated” my 8-year Writing Anniversary. In other words, the anniversary of the day I decided I was going to finish my first book and be a writer. (I once told that story here.)

Other than that, I’ve been . . .

Getting excited about these books coming out:

MarchReleases
England Adventure, Heidel, and Out of Darkness Rising

And also The Penderwicks in Spring — which I have on hold at the library and am dying to read as well! So many awesome books came out in March! I’m going to devour them as soon as I can. ❤ Speaking of which…

Reading

March2015books
see my Goodreads Reading Challenge

I finally finished reading Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series! Sooo fun! And Chrestomanci himself is the BEST. ❤ The Pinhoe Egg, which wrapped up the series perfectly, may be my favorite book of the year so far! *flail*

Though Frederica and the book I’m editing are up there too… 😉

ChrestomanciSeries

Editing

I did a whole lot of work on editing my friend’s lovely book… Not quite done that, but I’m this close to finishing! It’s so exciting to see it coming together! ❤

Writing

Not much on the writing front in March… I’m a little burnt-out, methinks, and have been stepping back from that a bit as well, giving it a rest. That said, I did get a little bit of writing done, and a bunch of plotting.

I wrote nearly 2,000 words of snippets, some for my Kedran’s Wood series, but mostly for my latest story idea, which is still haunting me and refusing to leave.

I also did a bunch of brainstorming on that one (because the characters are insisting they’re all messed up and broken so they made me write out backstories and relationships and I’m like GUYS THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LIGHTHEARTED THING. SERIOUSLY. *headdesk*), as well as for a possible candidate for this year’s NaNo — a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling!

And my contemporary-fantasy Kedran’s Wood series decided to inform me that instead of having only 3 books, as it did in February, it now has 4, plus a prequel, plus a couple of short stories between the books. Oh yeah. That’s a thing that happened…

***

Plans for April

Sooo… what’s up for this month?

Well, for one thing, I’m not doing Camp NaNo. That may come as a shock to some (I did both Camps last year and the year before, after all, and have been doing the November one every year for 5 years…).

I kind of really want to do Camp, especially when so many lovely friends of mine are doing it this time, but… I really feel like I need to step back from writing challenges for a bit, and try to rediscover writing because I WANT to write, not because some graph somewhere or some challenge I committed to says I SHOULD. I absolutely love NaNo, and Camp NaNo has helped me to write several things I’ve loved getting into, but I decided not to do it this time.

For those of you who are doing Camp NaNo, though — AWESOME! Best of luck! Write on, intrepid writers/campers! You can do this!!!

Anyway, I’m not making many plans this month… I’m going to finish my editing and then see what else happens. So to be honest, I don’t know what April’s going to look like.

…Though I have hopes that some of it will look like this. 😉

BedstandBooksApril
All the yummy books I want to devour!

***

How about you?

How was your March? Do you have plans for April?

Are you doing Camp NaNo (and why/why not?)?

I want to hear! Share all in the comments!! 🙂

Story Snippets & Pictures

I haven’t officially said anything about my Camp NaNo since July ended, so I’m here to do just that. Yes, I won! *there is a sound of trumpets and a rain of confetti*

wincamp2014july

I worked on three different stories and passed my widdle-bitty 10k goal for a grand total of 11,177 words. ‘Twas a good month, and although to some it may not sound like much, I’m still quite pleased with the chapters I got written.

Which brings me to the main point of this post: Snippets! Today you get some tidbits from each of the stories I was working on in July.

Oh, and the other point of the post? I joined Pinterest. Heehee. I couldn’t stay away any longer. Much fun and pinning and late hours online ensued. I’m having the time of my life setting up my story-boards for my various works-in-progress! So much inspiration. ❤

My profile is here in case you’re interested: http://www.pinterest.com/deborahocarroll/

Here are the pin boards for the stories I’m featuring today:

The Invisible Mask

Underground Rainbow

Kedran’s Wood Series

On with the show. Half a dozen snippets from my Camp NaNo writing. Hope you enjoy!

IMcover3

     “So, Bremask,” Kenneth said, turning to his friend and breathing a cloud of white breath on the cold air. “Was there any particular reason you wanted to go riding?”

Bremask kept his great black horse in check without apparent effort, sitting easily astride with his dark caped greatcoat flapping behind him in the wind. “Not particularly.” He shrugged. “I thought it would do you good if I could lure you out of that stuffy house of yours.”

“It’s not stuffy,” Kenneth said.

“Isn’t it,” was all Bremask said.

“If you don’t like visiting me, you needn’t come.”

“If I did not like visiting you, I certainly would not come, and you know it.”

~ The Invisible Mask

***

     “And what are you doing these days?” Declan asked. “If I might ask about the nature of your ‘business’. Robbing carriages now?”

Artren grinned. “Not all is as it seems, my friend. That highwayman venture was mostly for the benefit of that untrustworthy fellow who conked you on the head. And there was no robbery involved in the end, as you may recollect.”

~ The Invisible Mask

***

     “Swine,” Declan muttered under his breath.

Artren laughed and reached into his coat. “Now, now,” he reprimanded teasingly. “He’s not all bad. As a small compensation for your cousin’s infamy, he gave this to me to pass on to you.” Artren tossed a small clinking bag across the sofa to Declan, who caught it in one hand deftly but with surprise.

“Really?” Declan asked suspiciously.

Artren nodded, crossing his ankles and putting both hands behind his head. “It’s the truth.”

Declan tilted his head sideways. “All of the truth?”

The corner of Artren’s mouth quirked. He winked but said nothing.

~ The Invisible Mask

***

URcover3     Ellerion laughed his rumbling purr of a laugh, without the screech behind it. “And what would you ride then, Lord Achnor?” He purred the r‘s and there was mockery in his deep, dark voice.

“You know I’m the best and fastest of all my kind.”

“Which is the only reason why I haven’t fed you to the Lake-Coiler long ago,” Achnor snapped, shaking back his dark hair with the blond streaks from his face. “Now shut your beak and fly.” He dug his heels into Ellerion’s flanks as if he were a horse.

With a growl and a mighty beat of his gleaming black wings, the great shadowy Griffin leaped into the air and swooped off with his rider.

~ Underground Rainbow

***

KW2coverP     Baz was startled. “You had a mother?”

Tare groaned and ran a hand over his face. “Seriously, what is it with you guys? Always shocked if you learn I’m normal in some way. Like I’m not human or something.”

“Well sometimes it’s hard to remember that.”

Tare groaned again. Baz realized maybe he took this in a bad way, like they thought non humanness was bad. Really, they just saw him as the opposite of normal. That kind of not human.

“Don’t get me wrong, we mean that in a good way.”

“Is that so,” Tare said skeptically.

“Yeah. We think you’re really cool.”

“Cool,” Tare repeated absently.

“Yeah. You know. Really awesome.” Baz paused and was met with a vacant look. “Come on, you can’t seriously not know you’re cool,” Baz exclaimed.

Tare just looked at him.

~ The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

***

     “Adrian.”

Adrian paused on the sidewalk and swung around, looking for the source of the quiet voice. There was nobody in the yard.

“Adrian,” the voice said again.

“Baz?” Adrian said, glancing cautiously around. “You hiding someplace?”

“It is not the boy.”

Adrian’s eyes narrowed and he made an incredulous face at the empty snow-paved yard, turning again, trying to figure out where the sound came from, since none of the directions seemed to work. “Baz, are you fooling around? Because I must say you’re doing a better job than normal.”

“Where is my voice coming from,” the voice said.

Adrian blinked, swinging around a third time. Where was it coming from? It was disorienting.

“Everywhere,” he responded.

“Correction: nowhere. It is in your head.”

Well. This was new.

~ The Secret of Kedran’s Wood