I’m Back From Realm Makers! + Announcements/Updates!

Hey, friends!

I’m back and I have new shinies to share with you!

Including a website and new social medias and *whispers* the time my short story got read aloud at Realm Makers. (Whaaat??)

Ahem.

Backing up… I’m back from the Realm Makers writers conference! *collapses and curls up in a tapestry to sleep for a century or three* *crawls quickly out again because it’s far too hot to do anything of the kind*

Sneak-peek! (Full post coming soon; promise.)

I’ve hardly been home in the last month or so, let alone blogging (sorry, my neglected bloggy and readers!). But although I’m still trying to climb out from under the pile of Things That Need Doing, I’m back, so hurray!

I’m still sorting through Realm Makers pictures and typing up notes from the classes, and trying to get back into the swing of life again. (It’s… taking awhile. Being gone again shortly after getting back from my roadtrip didn’t help things, and then I went kayaking this weekend. So it’s been fun, but it’s nice to be home.)

I’m HOPING that I’ll be able to pull together some kind of Special Edition Ishness for a Realm Makers recap shortly and get that posted next week. Because I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

In the meantime, I wanted to say that I’m back, I had an AMAZING time, met so many author friends, and got so many books. XD (You can see my bookhaul over on my bookblog if you like!)

More details will be forthcoming! But I’ve kind of abandoned my poor little blog for a month and wanted to say hi to you lovely readers. πŸ™‚

I also have Announcements!

Remember back in the day, I had writing dreams/goals for this year? Well, I’m happy to announce that I’ve accomplished several of them! πŸ˜€

See, I wasn’t only busy with Realm Makers — I was also busy kind of polishing up my online writer presense, and it’s time to tell you aaall about that!

I have an Instagram!

*gasp* The shock! Okay, so I’ve had one for awhile but couldn’t post any pictures on it until I recently acquired a smartphone. XD

After getting back from Realm Makers, I’ve been having a blast putting together fun Bookstagram posts. πŸ˜› So if you’re at all interested, you can check out my profile here. πŸ™‚

I have a Facebook page!

Yes indeed, my very own writerly FB page, where I’m planning on sharing (hopefully) writing updates and occasional snippets, as well as… well… probably writerly stuff and my blogposts and maybe some bookish things. I haven’t totally decided. But it’s my new fun place to share stuff when it can’t quite fit on Twitter. XD (If you like, you may like it, and I will like love you for, like, forever. Yikes, that was way too many likes in one sentence. Somebody save me from myself.)

New Website

I have my very own official website, guys!! :O I’m so excited. I’ve only been working on this for MONTHS. *nervous laughter*

At the moment, I’m still keeping my two blogs separate, just linking back and forth to all the things — although someday I might change that and transfer these to my domain. For now though (because that’s scary *cough*) I’m using deborahocarroll.com for a central hub, sort of, which I can link to (instead of trying to decide which of my blogs to link to).

It’s also where I have Important Stuff all in one place, like social media links and About Me and my Reviewing and Editing Services (oh, yes, I’m a freelance copyeditor/proofreader; did you know? :P) and a smol page about my current WIPs and so on.

But I got it done and it looks nice (I think) and I’m SO HAPPY. ^_^

It’s also hosting my new…

Newsletter!

Yes, I actually have a newsletter now! *cue gasps from the astonished audience*

I haven’t done much with it yet but I finally set one up. As of next month, I’ll have been blogging for 5 years (FIVE! :O) and I’ve thought of a newsletter as kind of the next step… so I’m finally taking it!

We’ll see what said newsletters turn out to be like (definitely Deborah and fantasy and writing and book related, though! XD) but in the meantime if you’d like virtual otters/cupcakes and a short story and my eternal love and adoration, you can sign up for it if you’d like to at all. ^_^

I’m planning for it to eventually be my go-to way of reaching my most loyal fans about All The Things so… yeah. (I’ll still, obviously, be blogging as well, though!)

Wait, what was that about a short story, you ask?

Let me tell you about that… πŸ˜€

How My Flash Fiction Was Read Aloud at Realm Makers (and You Can Get It For Free)

At the very beginning of July, I saw a contest held by Splickety for fantasy flashfiction works of 300 words or less… and the winner would be published in the January edition, and that and nine other finalist stories would be chosen to be read aloud in a “flash critique” session at the Realm Makers conference.

So I wrote a little something, sent it in (my third time submitting to a real contest), and figured that was that.

Well it wasn’t.

The winning story was by a blogging friend (CONGRATS, KIRA!!), and my story was one of the 10 — actually the very first one — that was read aloud and critiqued by a panel of Splickety people. *collapses* I. was. so. excited. πŸ˜€

Andrew Winch, Will Wight, and Josh Smith, giving their critiques of the Splickety stories. (Photo credit to Ralene Burke, found here. I was far too gobsmacked to remember to take pictures.)

They said mostly nice things about it and it was read aloud in a room full of people (aaahh!) and everyone laughed at one of the funny parts and just — it was absolutely amazing. πŸ˜€

If you weren’t one of the people in the room listening to it, you can still read it if you’d like. πŸ˜‰ I decided that I’d make it available to my newsletter subscribers as my little opt-in reward thingamawhatsit (I know, such technical terms. *cough*).

Here’s info I wrote up about it if you want to know what it’s about:

Mentor Problems, a 300 word flash fiction story by Deborah O’Carroll, was one of ten finalist stories read aloud at Splickety Magazine’s flash-critique session at the Realm Makers 2018 writers conference. Do you like humor and fantasy tropes with a twist? Then you’ll love this bite-sized read!

So yeah! If you’d like to read it, you can get it by subscribing here! (And of course you’re welcome to unsubscribe at any time; nobody knows how full inboxes can get like I do. πŸ˜› Though of course I’d love it if you stick around!)

Wattpad and adorable new otter cover

I haven’t done a lot on my Wattpad, but I did put a few short stories I’ve had hither and yon on the interwebs over there, including the otter one with an adorable new cover I made. πŸ˜‰

Not sure what I’ll do there in the future, but there it is!

Cuteness. Because you need Gavin the otter secretary in your life.

Okay, I’m done now!

So I may also have tweaked some things around this blog and my book blog, in terms of pages/links/social media/etc., and on already-established social media like my Twitter, trying to get it all tied in together. It’s kind of exciting. ^_^

But that’s all I have to share today. I just had to show you the new shinies! I’m thinking of it as getting my authorial internet house in order, so I can focus on moving forward in whichever direction I end up going… which at the moment is going to look like lots of writing and an epic #RealmMakers2018 recap post hopefully next week! YAY!

So I will see you then! πŸ˜€

What do you think of my new shinies? Are you curious to read my flash fiction? (AAHH, I’m so excited!) And what have you been up to? I’ve missed you guys and can’t wait to chat in the comments! Thanks so much for bearing with me and reading my updates. You’re the best! ❀

Flailing/Panic/Denial/Cupcakes

ccake

Helloooo blogosphere people…

I was going to have a book review post up today, but, PLOT TWIST: I haven’t read the book yet! Heh. Heheh. I’ve had no time to read this month, it’s crazy…

So, instead, you get a flailing-around post of a sort of update of what I’m doing just now.

Because we’re in the last week of NaNo prep. And as everyone knows, the three stages of NaNo prep are: Flailing, Panic, and Denial. I don’t know what order they go in, as I appear to be doing all three of them at once…? So there’s that. (I don’t actually know if those are actually the three stages, but we’re just going to pretend I know what I’m talking about.)

Anyways! What I’m up to.

Firstly, I’m at a cupcake place. Why? Well, because cupcakes. (Do we need another reason?) But actually, it’s because there is internet here and my internet has gone ka-boom due to storms. YAY. *insert heavy sarcasm here*

I happen to be internet-less right when it’s almost the start of NaNo, which is causing extreme doses of panic ’round this here brain of mine (especially as I’m supposed to be being a good ML and all that which largely involves… you guessed it… INTERNET).

Secondly:

SilverForestCoverFinalI’m also panicking about NANO PLANNING. Or rather, lack thereof. I need to have my novel plotted BEFORE November 1st at midnight hits, otherwise I’m basically doomed. So I’m currently flailing around trying to untangle all the gajillions of plot threads and character arcs that is supposed to make up my Twelve Dancing Princesses NaNo retelling. Who knew that there would be so much complicatedness?

Kingdoms being taken over + complicated curse including my favorite character slowly dying + dancing princesses mystery + a dash of timey-wimey because why not + four or five or a dozen romances + a thief running around trying to steal the story + 32 characters to keep track of = confusing complicated mess.

If I can actually plot/survive this, it’s going to be the awesomest thing ever.

I say “if”.

(…RIP me…)

Thirdly:

(Pinterest)

(Pinterest)

Oh yeah, and I’m ALSO panicking (noticing a theme here…?) over my so-called possible Rooglewood contest entry, that old Sleeping Beauty retelling I mention sometimes, The Rose and the Raven. Because I’ve written 5k, which means on the plus side that I’m theoretically a quarter done. But on the MINUS side (we’re talking 40-below, here… Brrrr. *shivers*) it means that I still have give or take 15,000 words left, plus who knows how much extra, plot-wise (meep), AND all of this right before NaNo; i.e. I don’t have time to write it before (unless I decide to be utterly insane), I don’t really want to write it DURING since I’d be liable to mix up my two fairytale-retellings-with-dash-of-romance-and-princes-and-princesses-and-faes-and-with-strong-emphasis-on-fairytale-curse stories, which would be bad, and after NaNo I’ll likely be too dead to write it, and/or not have time. So there’s that. πŸ˜‰ I’ll just sit here in polite denial and ignore all of this, because that’s how I roll.

Oh yeah. And I also may also kinda-sorta-maybe-possibly be camping-ish. Just another plot-twist in there. Because who needs sanity? NOT ME. HA. HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA. *spirals into insane manic laughter* (Ahem. >.> That wasn’t me, in case you were wondering…)

WE MUSTN’T PANIC

WE MUSTN’T PANIC

Basically, it’s NaNo in 4 days, 8 hours, 6 minutes, 10 seconds (less, now that you’re reading this…), I’m insanely busy, have no internet, am not even remotely close to ready for said NaNo in less than 4 and a half days, and I’m doing a lot of flailing, panicking, and denialing (totally a thing).

If I’m not around, you will know why. XD

If you are in much the same boat as I, I wish you the best of luck with your NaNo prep and/or other busy madness. (And if you are all prepared, congratulations: you are a step above us poor mortals and I bow to your superior planning/time-management skills.)

WE CAN DO THIS! (?)

Tip: Cupcakes help. Because cupcakes.

…To be continued…

Blogging, Writing, Updates

Some may have noticed an unusual amount of blogposts on this here blog in the last month or so… Two posts a week when normally my goal is one weekly (and I often struggle at that). Well, for one thing, I’ve just had so much to say! For another… I’ve discovered something.

You see, I was on writing hiatus for three weeks, and during that time I did a lot more blogging than I usually do, and thought nothing of it. But somewhere in there, I realized: I was blogging because that was as close to writing as I could get. I wasn’t allowing myself to write my stories, but blog posts were allowed.

Apparently I was starved for words.

Hence, I got re-addicted to blogging. Now, don’t worry, I do plan to slow down on the posting — it got a little much for awhile there and I don’t think I can keep up with that (and I doubt my poor readers would want to, either!).

But I do have several post ideas swirling… Some more Heartseeker snippets have been demanded — fear not, they are on their way! πŸ˜‰ And I have some awards/tags to do that have piled up. So stay tuned!

In the meantime, since I haven’t done a general update in quite awhile, here’s what was up with me in January…

Writing

I’m back to writing again after my hiatus (yay!) and have started up on my NaNo novel Heartseeker again. (This means I was able to pick a book to work on, despite the character arguments in the form of letters that were giving me indecision…)

writingH

writing Heartseeker again!

I am going to get back to The Secret of Kedran’s Wood, I just… need to do a lot of plot wrangling to be able to go much further. Which daunts me. I’m sure Tare will live if I still don’t write him yet… He just needs to resign himself to the fact that his story is complicated and I don’t have all the scenes sorted together properly. I’m not as clever as he is and unfortunately fitting together all the puzzle pieces of plot is not easy.

I’m also trying very hard to ignore a new story idea that is insisting I should drop everything else and write it. …The ignoring is not going well, but I have managed to not start it yet, which I am counting as a win. …Which doesn’t mean I haven’t been naming characters, finding pictures for them, browsing pinterest for inspiration, writing summaries, making covers, and writing copious snippets… I have. Ahem.

OHEsnippet

What can I say. Snippets attack. Honest.

OHEwritersnippet

But not starting the actual book is totally progress! I need to finish some things before I’m allowed to start this. (The hero of the new book is laughing quietly at me. He seems to think I won’t be able to keep up this whole resisting thing. But in the words of Thranduil… he is patient. He can wait.)

Meridian&Teague

Meridian & Teague (pictures from Pinterest)

Reading

I’ve been doing lots of reading. I tend to read the most in January when I have high plans of reading a lot, before all my other busy things attack and push reading to the back burner…

Jan2015Reads

Books I read in January! So much yummy

And I’m looking at these books and wanting to read them all at the same time this very second:

ToReadSoon

Scrumptious Stacks! I can’t wait to read them all!! *flailing*

…Obviously that’s not going to happen.

Sicking (totally a word)

Also I’m recovering from the flu or some such reprehensible thing, which has left me a lot of time to read while my brain was too dead to function enough for writing, editing, or general life — another reason for how many books I read in January. (“Recovering” is also a dubious word in this case. In the midst of may be more accurate.) I have been drinking lots of tea, doing a lot of listlessly lying around, napping, reading, forgetting to eat, watching snatches of Bonanza, more reading, pinterest scrolling (when my internet isn’t dead due to thunderstorms), and generally trying to occupy myself with things other than wishing to be fully functional again. Also listening to lottts of music. Like Billy Boyd over and over . And music from How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Brave.

Ponying

It was one of those days when anything could happen. Like a pony following you home from the post office.

That would make a great story beginning, but it feels much weirder when it happens to you in real life.

A pony followed me home from the post office. Well and truly. This is a thing that happened. It was gotten back to the rightful owners, but it was still an adventure.

Weirdest thing to happen yet in 2015: check.

Pony

(there is now a running joke around here about “Deborah’s pony”…)

Scheming

Once I’m fully recovered and on top of life again, my plans for February include:

  • finishing editing a friend’s book
  • tackling Heartseeker seriously and trying to make a dent toward finishing it as soon as possible
  • staying on top of blogging
  • reading!
  • living through the social things my calendar claims I’ll have (sorry; I’m an introvert. People and places are exhausting, much as I adore them.)
  • and catching up on some other personal projects like some studies and reviews and emails and critiquing — all the stuff I keep putting off when life gets busy

How was your January? I hope it was awesome!

Do you have plans for February? Tell me all about the things! I want to hear!! πŸ™‚

In My Own Little World

Greetings, earthlings! (And… non-earthlings welcome too I suppose, if there happen to be any around…)

I return from my unannounced blog hiatus! *trumpet fanfare*

Camp NaNo wore me out and I had several life things to catch up on, so my poor bloggy fell silent… But now I’m back, and haven’t done an update on general stuff, so I think I will do that!

Updates!

Here are a few of the things I’ve been doing in the last couple weeks…

Blog: You may notice I’ve been doing a bit of tweaking to the blog… I updated some stuff in the side bar and stuff and updated the about and story pages and so on, so look around if you like. πŸ™‚ I’ve also *ahem* been having a ton of fun making new graphics…

Blog Button

Blog Button

Playing with Pictures: The updated header etc. is due to my latest online obsession: Pixlr. A good friend told me about it some time ago and ever since I’ve been addicted to it. I’ve never done much more than very simple photo things because it’s never been important enough to me to bother buying something like photoshop. But this is free and easy to use and I must say I’ve been enjoying it immensely! Especially making book covers… So much fun!

Camp NaNo: I won! 10 thousand words in a month may sound low to most of y’all prolific writers out there (who I admire greatly from a distance) but I hadn’t done much writing at all this year until now so I was very pleased to make some headway on a some stories. I got nearly a chapter of The Invisible Mask done, and got well on my way into Snowfall at Kedran’s Wood, which I’m super excited about! I think I’ll probably write another scene or two and then take a break to try to figure out the crazy plot that’s all over the place and needs to be sorted before I go much further…

AprilCamp14

April 2014 Camp NaNo stats

Other than that, I’ve been doing miscellaneous other things including:

  • Enjoying the rain and cool weather. And, alternately, roasting in the heat. (Our weather keeps doing weird things…)
  • Eating cream cheese on crackers, my latest food obsession.
  • Going to a few writer meetings, which are always fun.
  • Reorganizing my bookshelves – I do that a lot, don’t I?
  • Discovering the wonders of perusing the story boards of friends on pinterest. All the pretty!
  • Brainstorming fairy tale retelling ideas for stories!
  • Which has also led to no longer being sure what I’ll write for this NaNo. Now I have three different ideas fighting each other in my brain over which one gets to be written…
  • And going out walking and taking pictures:

Thistles

That’s about it.

I have a few blog post ideas simmering in the back of my brain, including a long forgotten batch of Liebster award answers that I need to get to, and some general thoughts on writerly things that various blog posts have gotten me thinking about.

So hopefully you shall hear from me again, and soonish!

In the meantime, I’ll try to get back to doing writerly things. But I’m afraid that when all’s said and done, especially as far as sticking with one story and then getting distracted by a shiny new idea… this is me: