Ishness of July: Otters, Hummingbirds, Retellings and Skyships

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It’s AUGUST! Guys. Guys. Did I hear myself correctly? August. AUGUST?

Sorry, I tend to repeat myself when I get confused.

Half of me is freaking out that we’re so far into the year (wasn’t it April yesterday??), and yet the other half is staring at the new calendar page in a sort of delight of new-month-itis, which is what makes me really happy when I get to write “August 1” in flowy script in my writing journal and reading log, ready for a fresh start. It feels nice, I tell ya.

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Yes, I’m a confused being.

(Plus, I always get June and July mixed up and tend to  think of them as vaguely one really long month, so it’s nice to be back to a month I can actually keep straight. Maybe that’s just me.)

But look: July is over! I don’t have the tiniest inkling of how THAT happened, since last I knew it was the Fourth of July and I still had big plans for the month… *cough* Yeah. That clearly didn’t happen. I think this last month was gone in record time, which is freaking me out.

But! You’re obviously not here to watch me freak out (or ARE you…? *wriggles eyebrows*) but to see what ishness I’ve been up to this past month! So let’s see…

July Things

I’ve been up to summery things like:

  • Celebrating Independence Day
  • Swimming
  • Going to the zoo (OTTERS. OTTERS ARE THE BEST THING EVER. OTTERRRRRRRS! ❤ That is all.)

(from pinterest)

And let’s not forget the most important one:

  • Dying of the heat because SUMMER

Seriously. It is so so hot. *steals Alaska to wrap round self like the opposite of a coat* (Because coats are for keeping you warm…? Okay, that analogy ran away from me.)

Oh! And I finally got to see the movie Epic! Oh my goodness, it was so adorable and fun and pretty! I kind of loved it to bits — aaahhh! And Ronin is so so fabulous (and I want his accent. And his awesomeness. And his hummingbird. Basically I want to be Ronin). AND THE HUMMINGBIRDS. HUMMINGBIIIIIIIIIIIRDS. I wanna ride a hummingbird so much. ❤

(from pinterest)

Writing

I wrote a pitiful 3000 words in July… Half of that was for my Kedran’s Wood short story Return to McAllistair Mansion… AND I FINISHED IT. I’m very proud of me. I finished a short story! Yayyy!

scrnshotrmm

(Okay, so it’s technically not too short-story-ish, in that it doesn’t have a plot but is just three related scenes about Tare between books 1 and 2, and also featuring a character I’d never written before, which meant I spent most of it trying to figure out what said character was like. BUT STILL.)

The other half of the  3000 words was miscellaneous snatches of five other stories. Yup. Scattered, this month.

But this was, primarily, the month of brainstorming. All of my stories exploded in my head, which caused a mess but was fairly awesome. (Okay, that may be exaggerating. Maybe not ALL of them. But several.)

  • I’ve been doing a ton of brainstorming for The Silver Forest, my upcoming Twelve Dancing Princesses NaNo… I still need a more concrete plot, but I have ideas, which is a start, and I got around to naming the oodles of characters I now have. It’s going to be awesome.
  • rrpinterest

    (from pinterest)

    Also, my old idea for a Sleeping Beauty retelling, called The Rose and the Raven, finally clicked, so it has a plot now, which excites me a ton and makes me want to write it. Seriously, some delicious plot twists. Bwahaha! I kind of adore it a lot. ❤ [PINTEREST BOARD]

  • I also had breakthroughs on The Invisible Mask and Heartseeker! So, yay! That’s kind of exciting. My problem childs these days. (Hush, childs is totally a word.)
  • I also had an idea for a new story. Yay. (No, I don’t actually know if that was sarcasm or not.) It’s a modern Cinderella story about a writer, set during NaNo. I’m kind of super excited about this one too. But it will probably not see the light of day for a few more years, especially since I’m still half pretending it doesn’t exist… (I HAVE TOO MANY STORY IDEAS OKAY.)
  • And miscellaneous stuff on some other stories.
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(from Pinterest)

But mostly, my new idea for a Steampunk retelling of The Little Mermaid exploded in my face.

This thing is so big and epic now that I may have a panic attack from all the awesome. *SQUEEEEEEEEEEE* I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I almost considered switching to writing it for this NaNo instead of The Silver Forest, but I decided ultimately against it because I’m going to want to take my time with The Siren and the Skyship (which is its title) and just have wayyyyy too much fun with it.

The Siren and the Skyship is kind of my favorite thing ever right now. I’M JUST RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED AND LOVE IT SO MUCH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

(from Pinterest)

[Pinterest Board for The Siren and the Skyship]

So, yeah. Not much actual writing but SO much awesomeness in the brainstorming department. I think it was more of a brainhurricane.

Reading

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Yeahhh, that was a fairly slow month of reading for this year. I was mostly reading things for review.

  • I obviously reviewed Chasing Shadows and Corroded Thorns on the bloggy.
  • Castle in the Air was a reread, sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle. HMC is my second-favorite book ever (after The Lord of the Rings), and Castle in the Air is also a delight — aaahh! ❤ So much hilariousness! It was awesome getting to read it again now that I know all the plot twists and secrets. >:D
  • I also read all of Five Glass Slippers, which I’m proud of me for accomplishing. I just reviewed it on Goodreads in case you’re curious what I thought of it; Broken Glass is still my favorite, followed by The Moon Master’s Ball! (Scatter the white mouse. SCATTER THE WHITE MOUSE. I LOVED HIM SO MUUUUUUUCH. *incoherent squeeing fangirl noises mixed with sobbing*)
  • And it doesn’t count because I haven’t finished reading Five Enchanted Roses but I DID read one novella from there to review it, namely Stone Curse.

So I kind of read 7 novellas and 2 novels this month. *nod nod* That doesn’t sound quite so bad, I guess… 😉

August Nightstand Books

I know, I know, I’m early on this again. But I can’t help it! You can join in on the Nightstand Books blog meme the first Wednesday of every month along with Jenelle and D.J. 🙂

Here’s mine:

AugNightstand2015

You may recognize a pattern by now…

  • I’m going to finish Plenilune this month if it KILLS me. (Look for a figurative obituary soon starring yours truly… *cough*) BUT I’M GOING TO. I WILL I WILL.
  • Yes, I’m still in Veiled Rose too–I’m determined to finish it as well!
  • House of Many Ways I’m going to get to reread, so I’m excited for that!
  • And I still need to finish The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I like the three chapters I’ve read so far… XD

And we’ll just ignore the five ebooks I want to read or finish as well. *shifty eyes* Yeah. They’re not on my nightstand so they don’t count. 😉

(And we’ll also ignore how busy I’m going to be and the fact I might have even less time for reading than last month… *cough*)

August plans?

I don’t even know… I feel like I really have to get EVERYTHING done this next month because September and October look to be insanely busy and we’re not even going to SPEAK of November… So if I don’t catch up on certain things I’m going to be behind the rest of the year. Heh. Wish me luck! XD

So! There’s a (very long) update on my life!

(Basically, I want a hummingbird to ride and an otter for a pet and an intelligent loyal white mouse for a friend.)

How was your July? Any plans for August?

Did you do Camp NaNo? How did it go?

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*

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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!

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     “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