April Fool’s Day 2022

Red Paper Bird on Foggy SeaThere’s a spider on your back.
That’s what we always told each
other on April Fool’s Day
when I was a kid. I had
a tiny inchworm in my
hair for real this Tuesday night,
and even after a friend
removed it for me, I kept
expecting to feel the bug
dropping down my neck.
Still do.

Living With the Difficulty of a Novel

Measuring progress can be tricky, especially for a writer who doesn’t have pages adding up, let alone when a writer is deleting them. Over the past month, I’ve hardly written any words in the main document of my novel. I’ve detoured instead into research, character studies, and questioning the shape of the entire project.

For a while, I was worried enough that I searched for the basics of novel writing and rediscovered the stuff about honing a one-sentence concept, building on that for an outline, expanding next to chapter paragraphs,… Continue reading

Shell Time

sea shellsBeaches lend themselves to pondering eternity, and often, in Januarys, I’ve visited Florida and contemplated the past and the future. If you ask me, the continuum of time is fleeting, almost immaterial. We can see ahead and behind in the families playing at the edge of the waves, the generations spelled out for us when a toddler tests the wet sand with his toes while grasping his grandmother’s hand. The two are interchangeable, in a way, different spokes on the same spinning wheel.

Now that I’m home, I’m back on… Continue reading

Iterations of a Writer

At the top of my Journal document, where I’ll see it every morning, is a blue message that reads:

The only failing is not trying at all. That’s the loss, the mistake, the cowardice. Be brave, Caragh. Be brave. Face this book you started. It was a good start. You wanted to finish a draft by the end of this year, so do it. Get on it. Go slowly if you must, but go. The rest can all wait, all of it, until later.

It’s a message from my past… Continue reading

Apple Crisp Then and Now

apples in an orchardWhen I made apple crisp last week, I thought I knew the recipe by heart so I didn’t bother to check it, and while what came out of the oven was good, it wasn’t wildly good the way apple crisp ought to be.

For me, October is a messy month of birthdays for loved ones who have died—my father and both parents-in-law. Instead of celebrating with phone calls and cakes, those of us left behind send wistful texts and remember. Tastes of cinnamon and slippery-hot apple slices are portals to… Continue reading

Spider Season

Window with spider webs.Overnight, seemingly,
the spiders colonize our windows
and refuse to be ignored.
If I don’t clear out the webs,
they triumph in their intricate,
ghostly way.
If I do clean them out,
I’ll neglect my writing.
So far, they’re
winning, those spinners.

Not that I’m losing. We choose
how to spend our time,
what gift of it we have.
In my tally sheet for the day,
I can score my writing hours,
a walk I took up the hill,
a call I had with my laughing sister,
a quick Facetime… Continue reading


Ari & Milo, my serial novel, is now up on Wattpad! I drew illustrations to go with each chapter, and best of all, it’s free! Because of problematic themes, this novel is for mature readers age 17+.

Caragh's Latest Favorite Reads

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Every Day
The Dog Stars
The Reinvention of Edison Thomas
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Fault in Our Stars
Two of a Kind
Until It Hurts to Stop

Caragh's books »

Audio Books

The audio books of BIRTHMARKED, PRIZED, PROMISED, and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS have been released by Tantor Audio. They're available through Tantor, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and
Book Trailer for Promised