Monday, December 30, 2013

The Old Man and The Sea

As the last few days of 2013 play out, I find myself looking about for projects left unfinished. There are many. I won't go in to the mile-long list (or maybe I should), but one such was Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea.

I began it several months ago, after finding it at Underground Books, a sweet little Used shop in Carrollton. How did an avid reader like me make it five decades without reading it? Who knows.

I was astonished that the paperback was so thin. It weighs in at only one hundred and twenty-seven pages. Yet it landed Hemingway a Pulitzer. And a Nobel Prize.

Read it. You'll understand why. The man's a genius.

Each sparing word is carefully selected and loaded with feeling, every line a feast for the senses. I kept taking it with me to read at lunch. Invariably, after a few paragraphs, or at most a page, I would be in tears, emotion swelling until it couldn't be contained, sometimes slowly and at others lightning-quick.

As you can imagine, I didn't get far reading it that way and so the novella ended up on The Pile. To be honest, and this will sound silly, I was afraid to finish, afraid I wouldn't like what was coming. 

The main character, Santiago, whose name I only remember because it's mentioned again at the end, is a simple man, a fisherman. He is the bravest, most honest and heart-rending character I may've ever met and I'm sure I've not met a real person like him. Unassuming, determined, stoic, strong and maybe just a little bit crazy. Yet not.

And Hemingway? Pure genius.

What is your favorite Hemingway work? Has any book affected you the way The Old Man and The Sea did me?

"The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal -- a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream." ~ Amazon

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Walter Mitty and Dirty Paws

Warning: This post may contain spoilers for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Having seen the trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty a gazillion times, I couldn't wait to see it. And, yes, I loved it, though I'm not sure why.

Well. That's not entirely true.

I, too, am a dreamer. I, too, am more comfortable observing from the sidelines. I, too, have dreams gone stale and unrealized. I, too, set my sights a bit too high.

I desire exotic travel, a grand adventure or better yet, a series of grand adventures. Walter Mitty touched and fueled these places inside me. I ached with him, hesitated with him; leapt, skateboarded and ran with him. Along mountain ridges, through ocean storms and beneath an exploding volcano. I risked it all. I grabbed hold of life. And of love.

I am left now with a haunting song that meanders through the movie and through my head. Icelandic and based on Nordic myth, the title is "Dirty Paws", the band, Of Monsters and Men. I've included it here.

I hope you enjoy.

~ Olivia J. Herrell




Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas is All Around

"I feel it in my fingers/I feel it in my toes/Christmas is all around me/And so the feeling grows." ~ Billy Mack, Love Actually

I felt a jolt just now when I opened Blogger and read the date of my last post. Three weeks ago. How could I be too busy to do the thing I love most, even more than writing fiction?

It's not the time. I have plenty of that in the evenings. But I've been spending those hours with Lazy Boy and Bugsy Boy, watching Net Flix, Hulu Plus and DVD's.

Yes, I do know that I'm throwing away hours, weeks and even months. But guess what? Miracles have happened along the way, the most profound being this: I have fallen deeply in love with the one person I can't get away from. Me.

It's been a long journey. An intense process. Now transformation has arrived. I don't just see the difference, I FEEL it. I feel loved. Cherished. Cared for. Safe, appreciated, respected, supported, defended, protected. Adored. 

Laugh if you want, but this relationship is quite divine. I'm treated like a queen. And I know that no matter what, I am loved and treasured. Just for being Me. Is there a Man in my future? I sure hope so. But he has big shoes to fill.

Huh. My plan was to recycle a post from a couple of Christmases ago. But what the hay. It was about Love anyway. Love and a Christmas song. Six of one. Half a dozen of the other. Right?

May Love find you this holiday season. Like Christmas, it's All Around.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: On Being Rude, At Fault and Another's Subject

Today has not been my day.

It started in the morning when I was told I was rude. No. Not just rude, exceedingly rude. My offense? I'd brought along my breakfast (which I do to every 9:00 a.m. meeting) and, because it was in cookie form (healthy oats, chia and tiny chocolate chips) rather than a smoothie, I was rude for not bringing enough for everyone. Really?

In hindsight, isn't it rude to attack a person just because she has a cookie and you don't?

Then I was chased by a woman at a later event. She wanted to talk. I didn't. Call it rebellion, call it boundary-setting, but dang it, enough already. After a personal conversation and two emails, I'm done. I don't want to talk about it anymore. Please don't make me.

Suffice it to say, she cornered me before the meal, intent on saying it, that question burning the tip of her tongue, the one I had answered in detail only days earlier. Every time I would say something she'd get a blank look, unable to remember the rest of her thoughts. Then she would. Then it happened again. Finally she looked at me and said, "I can't talk to you."

After a further-deteriorating, disjointed conversation, I once more answered her question. She took exception and countered with a rebuke, whereby I acquiesced.

Are ya getting how I'm feeling about right now?

There is nothing quite like the sting of being made someone else's "subject", is there? Or being blamed for another's own difficulties? I walked away from the exchange, cheeks flaming, knowing that I would resign from the relationship rather than be treated like a lackey.

My lunch, the event I usually enjoy so much, was ruined. I talked to a friend about it. Then called another. Feeling better but still burning, I grabbed a rake and finished off the front yard before my 2:00 appointment. I was huffing and puffing when I finished, even glistening a bit on this chill day, but the burn was gone from my belly.

Later on, there's a conversation to be had and boundaries to be laid. But not today. Today I relish the freedom to be me, to nibble a cookie in public without qualm and to be independent of another's forced servitude.

And that's a really good feeling.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Saturday, October 19, 2013

In Search of The End, Crane Style

"It’s official. I now hate my book. Well, manuscript, it’s still far from being a ‘book’. I keep trying to stitch it together, get the ending ready for my Alpha reader. But I’m stuck in the middle of ICKville.
What to do, what to do?

1)      Suck it up and stick it out in ICKtown?
2)      Or shuffle this one to the side, along with the other two manuscripts similarly abandoned?

I’m better at the second. It is, after all, my Modus Operandi up until now.

Maybe this loathing to see projects to The End has nothing to do with the venture, and everything to do with my Relationship to Endings? And not being good at them, though I have much experience in that regard. But wait. AH-HA! As a reader I dislike, have always disliked, reaching “THE END”. Why?

Because, it signals the story is over and if it’s a good one, I don’t want it to be. Then, more times than not, it’s either anticlimactic, or leaves too much unsaid. For instance, am I the only one who dislikes the way the Lord of the Rings trilogy ended? Or Gone With The Wind (until someone else wrapped it up with Scarlett)? Or the Aragorn series? Every Romance in print? And don’t get me started on Animal Farm.

How often are Endings really and truly satisfying?

I'm pondering giving Peace Makers up for a short story. Or novella. Picking a currently-hot (to me) topic and writing free-style, no edits, for NaNoWriMo which rolls around again in less than two weeks. But something, anything to get back on the writing wagon."

*

I wrote this dissertation several days ago. Since then, one after another, signs have pointed me back to Peace Makers. The most significant glided past on an eight-foot expanse of wings, its rattling cry reaching me first. The pale gray envoy settled gracefully on a pine bough at the edge of my back yard, an enormous clearing that defines the outer limits of downtown.

I sat, head cocked to see beyond the bird feeder, and thunderstruck, welcomed a Great Blue Heron. Even by water, Corr’s visit would be momentous. But in town? One is forced to pay attention, especially one penning a trilogy involving Druids and druid magic. And Corr (druid for crane/heron) plays an integral part in Book Two.

So. Since Peace Makers it is, and I refuse to dwell in the Land of ICK, I’m creating an Option Three in which I overcome my Inner Glass Ceiling and soar with Crane and Eagle, Raven and Wren.

I go inside, ask questions, listen to answers, then write.

Write as if my life depended on The Ending.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Monday, August 26, 2013

Primum Lector (aka Alpha Reader)

In case I forgot to tell you (I did, I did, I left you hanging, I'm so sorry!), I went with only one Alpha for the first read of Peace Makers. It is rough and ragged, and lacking in too many areas, so I opted to trust just one for now. His the Sententious Vaunter is the first blog I followed (other than mine), and he was one of my first Blogger friends. Our ages and political leanings are vastly far apart, but as writers and citizens of the world, we click.

I know enough about Andrew to know that, like me, he has a vision for our world that seeps in to his writing. He is an idealist with a healthy dose of realism, and prone to fatalism if truth be told. He grabs life with a gusto I long to emulate. I recall a poignant short story he entered in a contest way back when: about a man who met "the One" over drinks. Recently, while globe-trotting** on summer vacation (from his position as an English teacher in Seoul) Andrew asked Heather to marry him and she said yes. Congratulations you two!

As for my manuscript and my Alpha? They will remeet soon. In the zealousness to trim this, that and the other, and 'git 'er done' I cut the seventeen page prologue to a few paragraphs, then hacked up the first chapter. Later I realized I'd ripped its heart out.

So I'm putting the old girl back together. It'll be off to you soon, Andrew. Are you ready?

~ Olivia J. Herrell 
** Andrew has a knack for relating the details (and pics) of his travels, so if you're considering visiting a country (or just want to tiptoe through it in the playground of your mind), check him out at the Sententious Vaunter

Sunday, August 25, 2013

On Letting Go

The assignment? Write a letter to the girl who torpedoed me last year with her SUV, to write the damn thing and burn it. The order came on Wednesday, yet here I sit, on Saturday night, the task as-yet undone. I've begun it in my head, something like this:

Dear stupid bitch who effed up my life, (not really, that magically appeared when I started typing)

A year has passed since the day you hit me, the trauma that keeps on 'giving'.

I still can't believe you rear-ended me, in my two day-old Benz, nor worse, the insane way that you did it. When I tell the story, I get a dumbfounded look, and the typical reply of:

"You what?"

Eyebrows raised in still-astonished (and disgusted) agreement, I will repeat the bizarre, "I was hit from behind while driving down the road doing the speed limit."

"YOU WERE WHAT?" unfailingly comes the screech.

Yes, really. I was driving the speed limit, minding my own business, happy and satisfied, humming. After five months of arduous searching, I was finally in the perfect car. Then you happened along, barreling down the road (with a child in your belly no less!) not looking at where your 'missile' was headed. You endangered our lives, and for what? Were you texting? Reaching for something? Digging in your purse? 

Whatever you were doing, girl, damn you. Just. Damn you. You certainly damned me.

Do you understand that what you did was careless? It was dangerous, and negligent, and all sorts of stupid. You hurt me, and likely hurt you and your unborn baby. Does your jaw and face ache so deeply that you can't eat or think? Do you hobble from hip pain? Do your hands go numb when you're driving?

Do you think about the woman (ME!) that you hurt?

A less-enlightened me would say: I hate you and wish you harm. Yet how can I despise you, without despising me? I can't and I don't, though my body still carries the pain, and the poker-hot sear of anger.

I only hope that you learned a lesson and will never again endanger another life. This is my prayer. For you. And for me. May we be healed of any and all injuries - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual - that were sustained as a result of that ill-fated whack/attack.

Finally, may this letter mark the turning point from which I/we walk forward free: of restriction and pain, anger and blame, invisibility and unimportance and any remnants left nagging or undone.

Bygones.

And so it is. It is done. Thank you, God.

I will burn this letter, yes. But not in to obscurity. In to infamy. On my blog. For the record. For prosperity. But most of all, for the healing. Mine. Hers. And anyone else's who might happen along here and need it.

Let it go, dear body. Let the bitter, venomous outrage drain away, Master psyche. Let it go. To nothingness. And beyond. Let it go. It is gone.

In place is the memory of calm. And reason. And the deep, strong will to heal.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Sunday, August 18, 2013

No More Boxes

Another round of deaths have torn through my life: a cousin, once-close, and a friend, once a close party-buddy. We all ran in the same circle, lifetimes ago.

A third, his wife, passed sooner, when I was in California, a full seven years ago. In typing this now, I realize she departed the same year as my mother and step-father. The year my life fell apart.

In the midst of all this, I sit in my latest tomb, petrifying.

I am lost in a world that doesn't fit me, one I left thirty years ago, out-grown, even then. There is charm, but also an underbelly of stagnation, a community unwilling to let go of its past.

I go about my days, seeing patients, talking to friends and family, writing in a journal about things that don't matter. Extraneous observations. Nothing vital or earth-shaking. The same fluff and dross, day upon day.

I miss the diversity of big city living, the melting-pot of thinkers from around the world. I feel locked in a box. Once more.

Wherever I go, another box awaits, a line of code that keeps me scrambling through The Land of Empty Boxes. Each is distinctive, attractive and different from the last. Until it isn't. Restrictive, smothering, dead zones, all. Boxes. Nothing more.

If I must be at the mercy of a universal code, give me circles bubbling from the Master's Source.

No more boxes.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Calling All Readers: Is That You?

Blessed Are The Peace Makers will be ready for fresh eyes by midnight on June 30th. My birthday. It's completion is my present to me.

Yeah. I know. That's ten days. A lot has to happen to get there. But I'm here to tell you. June 30th. It's a-happening.

So here goes.

I need a reader. Well. Readers. An Alpha. Betas.

Is it weird that I don't have a special someone to ask? I don't. A few people have come to mind. Is it weird that most of them are men? I need both.

This is HUGE people. Why?

Not because I have three years invested in this book. Or because my heart and my guts are splashed all over it. Or that my words and my work will be on display in a way they have never been before.

Nor because people might not like it. Or that it might actually suck. Or I might suck.

No, none of those, though each are big in their own right.

It's huge because it's a lot to ask of a reader. It's no small thing reading a 90,000 word manuscript, nor is it trivial giving advice or opinions on the work. Especially if you don't end up liking it.

But I must ask anyway and I do so from the humblest of all positions. Many of my blogger friends have forgotten me. For good reason. Seldom, if ever, do I tiptoe through the Blogverse, and I haven't regularly in a couple of years. I even bailed to Wordpress for a while.

And yet. Here I stand. Asking for help.

Not just any help. Specific help. The novel takes place in the not-too-far-distant future. There is death. Impending destruction. Magic. Shape-shifting. Romance. Explicit sex, some same-gender. Aliens. And other fantastical situations.

By the way. Readers, by definition, are just that. Readers. You don't have to be a writer to be a reader.

So. Whaddya think? Willing to read it?

Yes? Wow! You're a-MAZING! Shoot me an email at droherrell@aol.com or leave a comment below. (If you can't, won't or don't, I still love you. I understand. Believe me, I really do. I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way.

Thanks y'all, YOU ROCK! Olivia J. Herrell

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Night of Snipping, Hacking and Honing


Hallelujah, I got some writing in. Finally! And now, because it's 1:30 in the morning and I'm in the mood to share: a snippet. Just because.

"The temperature had plummeted, carried on a north wind that beat against the house and whined of snow, waking Emily from a fitful sleep. She blinked in the dark, curled in a tight ball on the wrong side of bed. Beside her Ralph and Hope slept back-to-back, taking up three-quarters of the available space and keeping her warm.

Wiggling to claim enough room to lie on her back, she reckoned it was a fitting end to the interminable night. She had slept without peace, visited in dreams by a bear, then a stag and a parade of other animals she was supposed to remember, but couldn't."

A large chunk of the 'bridge' is now written and I have two more Blessed days left in which to write, write, write. I pray the winds of creativity, inspiration and motivation continue to blow. Upon me.

And you. Should you so desire.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Date with Destiny

"She had a date with destiny. And this time she was ready. Unlocking the door, she opened it to the druids, standing back with a smile to let them pass." ~ Blessed Are The Peace Makers
May 1st approaches. May Day. Beltane. The beginning of the Summer season. For me it is timely, heralding the beginning of The End: the end of rewrites and first revisions of Blessed Are The Peace Makers.

Soon it will be ready for other eyes.

I am chafing to write, yet I feel stifled. I balk, turning to Netflix after work, then go to bed feeling cheated.

To ease myself back in, I commit to one hour a day, butt-in-chair writing, beginning today. Journaling doesn't count, nor does blogging. Or research.

One hour a day forwarding Peace Makers to press. No Netflix or Hulu until I am done.

Them's the rules.

Just saying.

~ Olivia J. Herrell



Thursday, April 18, 2013

He Told Me To (Part II)

Back to Brian and our session. (If you missed Part I, find it here.)

We talked. I shared about my trip to the ER. And about the screaming fit two days later. Oh yeah, that. It began when an empty coat hanger had the audacity to fall out of the closet. I bent to retrieve it and something snapped inside me. I grabbed that hanger and beat it mercilessly against the closet door, screaming at the top of my lungs.

What did I scream? The words don't matter. But I beat that clothes hanger until there was nothing left but tiny, little pieces and I was hoarse from all the emoting.

On to Brian, talking about 'power surges' like these and the connection they have to identity. For two years now, we've been divorcing me (energetically) from my parent-family-of-origin. Here was another clue, another layer. And for once, instead of stuffing my anger in to tumors, I let it out. Yay for me!

He led me through a series of questions (and answers) and let me assimilate. The net result? I am freed, finally, of ME.

Whaaat?

I am free. Of the me. I have identified AS. Since the ripe young age of two, the age when we first begin to grasp such high concepts as 'me'.

Imagine little Olivia in the terrible twos, exerting my will and creating my Me. But I'm two. I don't know jack, much less how to go about making a Me. So I watch my parents, my siblings, close relatives, family friends. And I piece together a Me, the persona I will wear, the person I will believe myself to be. For the next fifty-plus years. My identity.

The Me. I think. I am.

But I'm not. I am not that hodgepodge, that Franken-girl, nor am I that Franken-woman. I am not that Me, that selfish, self-serving, fearful Me.

I am the I AM. And that's all that I am. Shades of Popeye.

I get it.

For the first time ever, I get it. (oh yeah. we think we know. but we don't.)

My declaration?

"I desire to live in the glorious I AM and to let go of the Me that really wasn't.

Thank you for stopping by That Rebel. I hope it was worth the wait. Stay tuned for more in He Told Me To (Part III) coming soon.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

He Told Me To (Part I)

Today I saw Brian, my ubertherapist. Somewhere toward the end of the session he said, "You should blog about this."

Eyebrows raised, I asked, "Really?"

"Yes," he said, "Some of our sessions are phenomenal."

And they are. Today was one such example. Problem is, without a recording, I recall less than half of what went on in an hour session. Yes, I can nutshell it, but the process is as revealing as the outcome and leaving that out, well, just doesn't seem right.

But maybe I should back up a little. Saturday I spent most of the day at the Villa Rica Art Fest, one of the volunteers available to assist artists and guests. At eleven I ate a hot dog from the concession stand, the first I'd had in ages. For the last eight weeks I've been on a mostly vegetarian diet. It tasted yum, even without the requisite onions.

Then, at the end of the pollen-filled, sunny day, too lazy to make a smoothie or a juice, I broke my own rule and went to Johnny's for a slice of their Italian Special. Sausage and pepperoni, onions, peppers, olives. Mmm. I also allowed myself a Coca-Cola, something I'm no longer drinking. Dinner was divine. But did you hear about the meat recall? I hadn't.

Around midnight-thirty, I turned The West Wing off, stretched loooong in the recliner, and felt a touch of vertigo. Uh oh. Don't need a case of that. On my feet, the vertigo's there and now, hmm, there's that feeling in the back of the throat that says 'make a dash for the toilet'. So I did.

Fast forward an hour and a half (be glad I'm sparing you the details). My long-sleeved tee is soaked with sweat, I have a wet towel around the back of my neck and I'm freezing cold. Also, don't forget the violent retching every time I move.

Desperate to get warm and go to sleep so the erping will stop, I ditch the wet towel and take my trashcan to the bedroom where, hallelujah, I finally get prone without retching. And almost passed out.

That did it. Pretty sure I might not wake up (ever) if I pass out, I punch 911 on the cell. A matter-of-fact, concerned female voice started asking me a series of questions. Bearing down on a brain that is as haywire as my guts, I answer each one. Until she asked if the door was unlocked. Uh. No. It's not. It's in the wee hours of the morning, after all.

Lisa? Linda? Whatever the saint's name, she stayed on the phone while I crawled to the front door, too weak by now to do anything else. I did have the presence of mind to grab my Uggs and a fleece jacket and managed to drag them on while I lay shivering on the floor, waiting for my bumpy ride.

The ambulance got me to ER (only a mile from my house) and delivered me unto the hands of the staff who stripped off the wet tee, slapped an IV on my left hand and a blood pressure cuff and sensor on my right hand/arm and proceeded to take my temperature. In the ambulance it had been 94.7 degrees! After several attempts orally, I was told to roll over. And you thought they didn't use rectal thermometers on adults. Wrong.

Now it's confirmed. My body temp is only 95 degrees. I am hypothermic.

At body temperatures under 95 degrees, the organs don't work well and the heart can (and eventually will) stop pumping. But passing out comes first.

Thank God, thank GOD, I called 911.

Otherwise you'd be minus one Rebel. Not that you'd notice much difference at my blog. I've hardly been around this last year or so. In my defense, I did write the bulk of a 95,000 word novel.

Only I digress. It's time to get back to Brian and our session, but I've decided to keep posts to manageable sizes. Stay tuned for Part II to be posted tomorrow.

Sayonara, Olivia J. Herrell

P.S. Rather have the full post all at once? The whole 1022 words? Rail against the machine. I'll put it up.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thank You Stephen King

Years ago I read his book On Writing. If you're a writer, and you haven't read it, do. It changed my life. But on to my story.

At 1:30 a.m. I woke, then tossed and turned for another hour. Finally, with sleep far away and Hemingway's saw in my head, I rose.

"Write one true sentence."

Water on to boil, I chopped fresh ginger for a warming brew, then settled in to my chair to do just that. What I wrote wasn't important. Not to you, anyway. But it was true.

Then I wrote another one. And another.

Before I knew it, I'd written lots of true sentences and received clarity on an issue that has appeared in my life, one I've been avoiding, known I was avoiding and watched myself avoid until the avoidance became downright rudeness. Bad business, avoidance. One of my coping (or not coping) mechanisms.

Done with that, I opened my manuscript, noting it had been last accessed on February 10th. Uh huh. A week ago. But it gets worse. I haven't done anything substantial to Peace Makers for over a month. Since finishing the first draft.

At first I justified spending my precious evenings watching Netflix. "I deserve a break after working day and night, don't I? But the last chapter needs work and the top-level bad guy needs further development. Oh come on, let's watch another episode of Eureka, now there's some wild imagination at work. It's great for the creative juices."

So not a word written, nor paragraph edited. My writer-esteem suffers. Recently, my justifying mind pulled Stephen King out of the hat. "Oh yeah! Didn't he say he always puts his first draft away for a length of time before going back to it? Yes he did. See. If Steve does it..."

In need of solace, I found my copy of On Writing and opened it, quite amazingly, to the exact section I needed. And got so much more than I was looking for. Confirmation. Validation. Direction. Advise. Commiseration. And laughter: the man's a master wordsmith with a wicked sense of humor.

Doubts allayed, esteem and resolve renewed, I'm off to pen a short note to a new friend. It's time to get beyond avoidance.

Then I'm going back to bed.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Little Monday Madness


Just a quick check-in with a little Monday madness: a snippet from the Peace Makers chapter I'm working on. This one is written from the POV (point of view) of one of the main characters, a fourteen year-old boy named Brian.
"Within nanoseconds, the fissure trembled and ruptured, ripping the gorilla enclosure and the path in two. The facing side settled and sank, belching dust and sand in to the air to shower down on them. Gorillas, trees and rubble tumbled away along the face of the emerging slope. 
But it didn't stop there. The side where they crouched rose rapidly in to the air like an elevator. It was the oddest sensation standing atop a rising mountain, thrilling yet totally terrifying."
Who lives, who dies? Only the characters know.

And they're not telling.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dragon Dreams

Each morning I wake,
scenes of Peace Makers*
dancing through my dreams.
Today it was dragons.

They arrived on scene,
playing in and out,
siren song calling,
cajoling.

I knew they would.

What I didn't know
(but should have suspected)
is that they want top billing.
Or as close as possible.

What I did know
(and had forgotten)
is that the story was
part theirs all along.

Welcome dragons, welcome to the story.

Today I will head to Atlanta to revisit the location/s of the final scene/s of Book One. That happens to be Oakland Cemetery and Zoo Atlanta. Lucky me!

Happy Saturday ~ Olivia J. Herrell

*Dr. Olivia J. Herrell is the author of That Rebel with a Blog and Blessed Are The Peace Makers, the Blog. She is currently editing the first of a Southern Urban Fantasy (trilogy) of the same name.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Literary Blockbuster Challenge

Hi Y'all,

Just popping in for a quick update on Peace Makers.

Shake and Bake!! Olivia J. Herrell

Okay. I have no idea why I signed Shake and Bake. But it popped in my head so I did. That prompted a google search. Which made me laugh. And laughs should be shared, right? HOWEVER. If PG-13 is pushing your limit, please don't read past the first few definitions. They become rather, well, obscene after that.

Who knew something that meant dinner when we were kids would rack up this many definitions in the Urban Dictionary. Of course, I'm sure the one at the end of the page was a write-in. Dictionaries by definition DO NOT misspell words. Just saying. OH. Here's the link: Shake and Bake.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hail the Pajama Queen (aka Coming Up for Air)

No seriously. It is now 8:30 pm and I am still in my pj's. I woke at 4:32 to dreams of Peace Maker plot sorties. Unable to go back to sleep, I got up around 5:30 and at 7:01 a.m. sat down to read my book from cover to finish. I edit as I go, jotting down notes for larger issues to be addressed such as:

  • cut and pastes;
  • POV breaks;
  • need for names that don't start with S or M (so far I have six S names and at least three M's, WTYKW);
  • threads to pull;
  • threads to tie up;
  • clarifications;
  • foreshadowing;
  • and assorted other lovelies
I am happy to share that I  have logged eleven hours today in edits and am now on page 123 (out of 410). Here is a snippet from the last scene edited:
"The Reptilian stared at his opponent, a battle-scarred Ecthelian. The ugly creature’s only hope of living until tomorrow was killing Nergal. Circling the room on great, clawed feet, Nergal observed the lizard’s movements. He knew its weak spots and was about to close in when a buzzing interrupted his concentration. He glanced at the hologram. A message awaited him. The Fomorian was receiving information from the woman. 
He looked back to the spot where the Ecthelian had been. It was gone. With a groan, he wheeled on sturdy hind legs and when it leapt and sunk needle-sharp teeth in to his throat, he regretted having looked at the screen. In spite of the lancing pain, Nergal reacted swiftly, prying the jaws loose with hands as hard as steel. As he yanked he heard a grinding crack. Putting his back in to the task, he tore the lizard’s face apart. 
But dinner would have to wait. Leaving it lying in a pool of its own blood, Nergal strode out of the arena to his office. Wiping his hands, he activated the screen with a curt, “Receive incoming.”
Okay, gross. Did I write that? Eeeeww. This is part of the reason I don't like writing bad guys. Or lizards.

Don't you love unexpected days when you get to ignore everything in your life except writing, eating and bodily functions? Yeah. Me too. OH. And the cat. Must not forget the attention-loving, four-legged, furred one.

Happy One of Those Days ~ Olivia J. Herrell


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