Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Loving So Much It Hurts

I had Mexican today. By myself, though I rarely eat Mexican alone. It is one food that’s better when shared. Like sushi. Or hibachi.

As the hostess walked away, I laid my hand on the menu and was overwhelmed by the memory of being in Lupe’s with a man I love, a man who slipped away to another plane of existence, two-years back.
2006ish-Port Hueneme Air Show

As I wait for the server, I see on Facebook that his daughter, also dear, has posted how much she’s missing him. And I swear, Harold Richland is sitting beside me, flipping through the menu, knowing he will order Chili Colorado when the waitress shows.

I am in La Bamba, on a different coast, to write while I eat, as I often do. But the love wells up, in to my throat, and the food is hard to swallow.

Harold I miss you.

That’s all.

I miss you.

And I love you, still, so much that it hurts.

~ O.J. Barré

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Saying NO

I’m doing it.
MY thing.
Not yours.
Not hers.
Not theirs.
My thing.
My thing is to write.
I’m a writing fool.
Not a saleswoman,
A writer.
My spare time,
Be it physical,
Mental or emotional,
Is for writing.
A head filled with
Tasks, phone calls, texts,
Meetings, Facebook pages,
Order-taking, customer service,
And work, work, work,
Is not conducive to
The writing process.
So the answer is No.
Once and for all:
I am not a saleswoman.
I am a writer.
Writing is my passion.
My precious.
My own.

~ OJ Barre'

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Who am I?
What am I?
And why?

I’m wondering. Have I shot myself in the foot, screwed my pooch, flubbed my dub?

There is an author, Delilah S. Dawson, who is widely-read and telling it like it is. I had time this morning to read the beginning of her “Catcall”. Whether creative nonfiction or short-story, I want to go back, to finish. Because the lead-in is that good.

As I march through the days, weeks, months and years, diligently giving time to the massive project that is “Blessed Are the Peace Makers-The Trilogy”, I ignore that which I’ve been told is my forte: the ability to tell the truth in a relatable, and sometimes stark, clarity.

And I mourn.

Because that, my friend, fed me. Filled me.

By emptying my guts, I redeem my soul, one story at a time.

Telling my journal is not the same. Yes, it gets my thoughts and hopes and dreams on paper and out of my head. But it doesn’t bring the depth of awareness that polishing each word for public consumption gives, nor the satisfaction of others relating.

Have I lost my bearings by ignoring my friends’ (Elliot Grace, Eric W. Trant, Roland Yeomans, Andrew T. Post and other gutsy writers*) advice to embrace creative nonfiction? Have I missed the mark by throwing everything in to one fiction/fantasy project and turning my back on that which I know feeds my soul?

Holy cannoli. I have.

So now what?

Periodically, I contemplate revamping "That Rebel" and giving to it that which it deserves: an owner who loves it, and hugs it, and pets it, and squeezes it, and calls it George. Well. Maybe not George. I kinda like "That Rebel". But you get my drift.

The Abominable Snow Bunny

What holds me back?

Don’t laugh.

There are/were people reading my words that I prefer not to know me. Or my business. The fellow who proclaimed he was madly in love when we broke-up, then two weeks later moved a match (dot) com-woman in to the house I helped him pick out. My brother’s girlfriend. And…

Huh. Is that all? Two people? I let two freaking people keep me away from my love? What the hay-diddle-diddle?

That’s it. Screw it. This stops today.

But there will be changes.

I’ve taken a pen name, a pseudonym, a nom de plume, my official author-name. Call me O.J. O.J. Barré. Nice to meet you.

There will be other changes. More articles, more regularly. On a myriad of topics, not just writing. A new look. Who knows? Sky's the limit.

That Rebel ~ O. J. Barré

*As I visit my old-friends' blogs, I find that they too, have been blogging less often. How about we start a blog-challenge to kickstart our blogs. Again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Busted. No No NaNo.

Hi All, this is an article I wrote for the Relentless Writers' blog earlier this month.

Go ahead, Olivia. Admit it. @NaNoWriMo’s a bust. Today is Day Five and already you are four days behind.

The problem? I can’t seem to summon the oomph to take the leap forward, to write the second half of Book Two until Book One rewrites are complete.


This was NOT the plan, but the more I lean in to the (overly-optimistic) @NaNoWriMo plan – to complete beta edits/rewrites on Book One, then pound out the second half of Book Two – the harder it is to comply. Hell. The harder it is to even get NEAR my laptop. And the more frightening the scope of my story becomes.

What to do? What to do? Click here to find out what I did!

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Slacker? NOT!

I know, I know. I haven't been here lately. In fact, not in a very long time.

But I'm here now and I only have a few minutes because it's late and I've spent the better part of the weekend revising BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS, COMING HOME. Editing. Rewriting. Adding needed touches here and there. Plugging in proper names for pronouns.

Giving Emily Hester, our main character, more power. Adding fore-knowledge, prescience. Introducing druids sooner. And dragons. And Brian. Setting up a first-chapter confrontation with the antagonist, bringing some events forward, emphasizing others, supplying ties where lacking and clarifying foggy passages.

So much to be done in so little time.

It occurred to me yesterday that I have only seven more writing days in which to complete this beta revision, the revision that will render my manuscript complete (please, please, please), preferably at ninety-eight to ninety-nine thousand words.

Right now, it's back up to one-hundred-and-one-thousand words, with edits complete through Page 159 (out of 404ish). Booyah!

Will I make it? Anything's possible. With five writing days left, I need only to make it through fifty pages on each of those days to achieve my goal.

Then #NaNoWriMo starts in November and I will write the last half of BOOK TWO!

All blessings, well wishes and prayers are welcome. Whether you are friend or family and feeling slighted by my silence, please know that I love you and that OJ's nose is to the grindstone, busy at the day-job and when not there, writing BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS.

I do plan to take the month of December off (from writing, not the day job) to visit friends in Southern California and to read some of the books on my TBR list, most recently-published by fellow Relentless Writer's authors, and Blogger and Facebook friends.

See you around, Olivia J. Herrell


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