Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Wild Wyoming & Online Fantasy/Sci Book Fair

Hopefully, you’ve had a fantastic summer. And now that we’re coasting into the colorful Fall Season, temperatures are cooler in much of the Northern Hemisphere, including my new home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.


First, let me tell you about C. L. Cannon’s (Online) Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fall Book Fair. It is in full swing, and there are over 150 Sci-Fi and Fantasy books listed. Some are free to buy, some are available at reduced prices (such as $.99!), and many, like Awen Rising, can be read for free on Kindle Unlimited. (Did you know it only costs $9.99 a month - less than the price of some ebooks?!)

While you're browsing the Book Fair, make sure to register for the prize - a Kindle Fire, a 1-month Owlcrate gift subscription, and a $10 Starbucks gift card!

If you’re in the market for great new books (and as readers, aren't we always?), click here to shop at the Book Fair. A few are featured at the top but keep scrolling. Some of the juiciest nuggets will be found lower down!

Rambo - Contemplating the Day
This past spring, when my sister informed me of her decision to move to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to be near her grandbabies, I was thrilled for her. And since I was beyond ready to get out of Idaho, I chose to move too. Yes, it was hard to leave my Idaho friends and patients, but I never thrived in Idaho.

Somewhere in the middle of the moving insanity - packing, yard sales, goodbye lunches, and more packing, all while still working - I lost three pounds, and Rambo lost two! My 24-pound cat needed to lose weight. Me? Not so much. But it’s all good.

Thankfully, it's been much cooler in Cheyenne than in Nampa. Now fall is here, and our temps are dropping. We had rain yesterday with a high of 61, and today will be similar. Tomorrow, the warmth will return for a bit. 

Glen Dome, Vedauwoo, WY
A huge side benefit of moving? For the first time in six years, I am beginning to feel like myself again.

Two weekends ago, I took a short class on developing intuition through art and photos, mainly to meet like-minded people in my new town. Mission accomplished. There were only three of us, but we gave each other goosebumps via eerily accurate drawings and messages and then agreed to continue meeting monthly.

I also attended a fabulous, life-affirming 2-day Vocal Empowerment for Women retreat this past weekend in Fort Collins, Colorado - a fun city only 45 minutes south of Cheyenne and an hour north of Denver. After hearing an NPR segment about it this past summer, I've been itching to experience vocal freedom, not only as a woman but as a writer.

If you're interested in hearing more about it, let me know. I'll be happy to share my experience in the next blog. In the meantime, I can post about it on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. And who knows, maybe I'll dust off my LinkedIn account.

Me, Michelle, Havilah, & Donovan
We also made it to Vedauwoo. And the Greek Festival at Frontier Park. None of this would have happened had I stayed in Idaho.

Oh, I almost forgot about the Laramie County Library! It is in downtown Cheyenne, has a café with yummy food on the first floor, and the third floor is – yep, you guessed it – a SILENT FLOOR! Nampa had an amazing library, but it was too noisy to write unless I scored a private room. Plus, there are nearby coffee shops and restaurants - all within a 10-15 minute drive from my home.

Greek Dancers

I have missed having varied places to write, and my productivity has suffered from it. In addition to the above spots, our new townhome has a partially-finished basement. I have my desk set up with a new, comfy office chair and am writing this newsletter down here. Even before Covid, I was stuck writing in one spot in our home in Idaho - my semi-comfortable chair in my bedroom!

Now, hopefully, all these new writing venues, classes, getting out in nature, and making new friends will translate into many, many more completed manuscripts, beginning with AWEN TIDE!


HEY, what a great segue! The third book in the Awen Trilogy, Awen Tide, is about 75% complete, and boy, is it a doozy. I am stumbling along, but the motion is forward, and I plan to kick it into high gear once the women’s retreat is over. The manuscript will likely be available for beta readers in a couple of months. If you would like to beta-read this trilogy finale, please let me know.*

*Beta reading entails reading the lightly edited, mostly-finished version of the unpublished manuscript and providing feedback. My betas usually get a free copy of the book once it’s published, so you will also get the end product. Just reply to this newsletter, and I’ll add you to the beta-reader list.

And in case you missed it, Awen Rising received a fabulous review from Kirkus Reviews! You can read about it here!

That's all, folks!

May this Fall season be a time of giving thanks as well as a time of going within and letting go of all that no longer serves you and/or anything that is keeping you stuck.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, Olivia/O. J. Barré

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, will release in late 2022 or early 2023. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available soon.

Free For Subscribers

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.





Friday, September 2, 2022

I'm Walking on Sunshine, Whoa!

Yesterday, I received the link to the Kirkus Review for Awen Rising and have been smiling ever since. I had prayed that the person assigned the review would 'get' Awen Rising. Why? Because there are a few out there who don't.

My prayer was answered. Not only did the reviewer 'get' Awen Rising, they were obviously delighted and gave it a glowing review. I'm pretty sure they left a 5-star rating on Amazon, too. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, dear Reader/Reviewer!

The link at the end of the review will take you to my book's page on the Kirkus site. Please take a moment to click over and give Awen Rising a thumbs up. You will make my day, AND you'll be helping to forward my new marketing efforts. And yes, I need all the help I can get, so thank you!

Now, without further ado, here is the review. 

KIRKUS REVIEW FOR AWEN RISING:

"When the end of the world is drawing near, an ancient soul must be reawakened and take control of her power to save the world in this trilogy opener.

It’s 2042, and Emily Mayhall is living in Venice Beach, California, and mourning the death of her fiance, Trey, and getting fired by a boss who had blacklisted her in her industry and made sure she’d have trouble getting another job. Then her long-lost, Atlanta-based druid family finds her and brings shocking news: Her mother kidnapped her when she was 4, and her father has been searching for her ever since. Now Emily discovers that she is not only the heir to a long line of druid princesses but destined to save the world. Shalane Carpenter is an evangelical shaman who has hordes of adoring fans and magnificent magical powers but is unhappy. She’s troubled by her friendship with Emily, whom she once had a secret romantic interest in, and is determined not to lose her. Worse, Shalane descends from a magical race of reptilian creatures living below the earth, who seek to destroy all that lives above them in order to conquer Earth, with the sinister General Nergal in command. In order to survive, Emily may need help from a sexy druid priest, his nephew, and their animal Elders. From this setup Barré creates a great fantasy with a memorable cast, a fast-paced plot, and a lot of fun twists and turns, supported by careful and interesting character development. Emily is dealt shock after shock, but her flexibility and perseverance shine in an engaging narrative. At the same time, the story inspires empathy for Shalane and others who have their own trials. This character complexity befits the detailed worldbuilding that gives varied perspectives on the setting. Yet, if the worldbuilding is extensive, it’s woven so carefully into the plot that it never slows the pace of this entertaining fantasy.

A marvelously fun and intriguing first installment of promising series." ~ Kirkus Reviews Click here to give Awen Rising a thumbs-up! 

It's Labor Day weekend in the U.S. If you are wondering what I'll be up to, you will likely find me in my writing cave plugging away at Awen Tide, Book Three of the Awen Trilogy.

What are your plans for this fine, late-summer weekend?

Until next time, 

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, will release in late 2022 or early 2023. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available soon.

Free For Subscribers

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.





Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Moving & Retirement Anxiety

This time last week, the movers were done unloading us at our new place in Cheyenne. I was making our beds, exhausted and on my last ounce of strength. The thought of climbing between the sheets was all that kept me going.

Since then, we have unpacked most of the kitchen and our bed and bath stuff, though much is still in boxes in the garage. We're slowly pulling out what is needed and relegating the rest to longer-term storage - down in the partially-finished basement. Soon we will need to tuck our cars in from the weather. But for now, the skies are clear, and the temps are fabulous, topping out at around 80F, with lows in the 50s. I'm grateful to have escaped the extreme heat that continues to plague the Nampa/Boise area, and I pray relief comes to them soon.

On Saturday, feeling the need for brighter and more color in my life, I ventured to the nearby TJ Maxx, arriving as they opened. Though intent on finding orange bathroom towels, I detoured down a clothes aisle and scored! Six new colorful and desperately needed tops came home with me. Plus the towels I mentioned and a few other things. Now today, I've settled on a fabulous (and even more colorful) shower curtain courtesy of Amazon.

My New Shower Curtain

I also left a message for Dr. Dierenfield's Cheyenne office. He's the one Activator chiropractor showing on their website, and I'm in dire need of an adjustment. Plus, who knows, he might be in the market for a part-time chiropractor.

Because the thing is - it feels weird not "having a job." And stranger still not knowing there's a paycheck coming in every other week. I could live on my Social Security check - if I had to. But I'd rather not. And I don't want to deplete my limited savings. Especially with the way prices are skyrocketing.

And that brings me to the main reason for this post.

There's this fluttery, nervy feeling I keep getting in my gut,  a mini/micro freakout. I'm sure you've experienced something similar. Like when an airplane hits an air pocket and for those few moments there's no support beneath you. It could also be described as... a big gulp, butterflies, a sense of foreboding or impending doom, waiting for the other shoe to drop, or the shit's about to hit the fan. (Click the gif below to hear Lucy.)


For those who have taken the "retirement" leap with or without a safety net, is this normal? Please tell me it is. I felt it a few times before leaving Idaho and assumed it was related to the immensity of the move. But we arrived at our new place on Saturday (the 13th), and our stuff showed up last Monday. Then as the week ticked by, I began feeling it again throughout the day. Over the weekend, it eased. Now it's Monday again, and the gut-grab is back in full force.

What the hay?

Curious, I googled "is it normal to get moments of panic after retiring?", and found a website called Sixty & Me. This article says YES. It's a real thing. So does Forbes.

From the Forbes website:

Retirement planning expert Sally Hurme, JD, says, “it can be kind of scary shifting from earning a regular paycheck to living off of your hard-earned savings month after month.”  ...You suddenly need to arrange your own cash flow instead of having it provided by your employer. Can you blame a person for feeling some panic? 

So, yes, retirement anxiety, and even panic, is a real thing—one I am bumping up against. I guess the real challenge is to not freak out to the point that I jump back into chiropractic rather than putting myself on a writing schedule. If I stay the course, finish and publish Awen Tide, then advertise the heck out of the trilogy, hopefully, I'll have money streaming in rather than gushing out.

Can I do it? We shall see. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

P.S. I could not keep the appointment with the neurosurgeon on the 11th. There was too much to do on that last critical day of the move. But I AM hoping to get a Zoom visit with Dr. Martinez to discuss what I should do about the benign mediastinal tumor.

P.P.S. As it turns out, Dr. Martinez does not make telehealth appointments, so it's time to punt. That means I will investigate my options here in Wyoming over the coming months.

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

Free For Subscribers

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.





Thursday, July 21, 2022

Three Weeks and Counting

It's official! The Idaho house is under contract, closing on Friday, August 12th, and the Wyoming townhouse closes soon after - on Monday, August 15th.

That means we have three weeks to line up a mover, get packed, out of this house, and on to Cheyenne.

Gulp.

There's much left to do. Including, for me, having a benign (but large-ish) tumor removed from my chest. I started the process over a month ago, had the MRI yesterday, and will hopefully see the cardiothoracic surgeon in the next week, then have the tumor removed prior to our move. It's all in God's hands.

Meanwhile, I am taking an unofficial break from writing, not because I want to, but there are only so many hours in a day. In addition to packing, I am still seeing chiropractic patients, plus I need a haircut, and my Mazda 3 will get some shop-time before her 12-hour trip to Cheyenne.

We're hanging in there but could use your prayers, good thoughts, and positive energy.

Until next time,

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

Free For Subscribers

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.





Saturday, June 25, 2022

Another Day, Another... MOVE?!

My life is in turmoil again. But, hell's bells. When is it not? Especially these last few years?

I am moving again. This time to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Yes, you read that right. This Georgia girl is moving to Wyoming. 

Why? My sister, the reason I moved to Idaho in the first place, has decided she wants to be close to her grandbabies. Havilah is nine. Donovan is five. And they grow up so fast.

I 🖤Vedauwoo Wyoming

I have a choice. I could stay in Nampa. But the truth is, I've never warmed up to Idaho. Yes, it's beautiful in a desert-y sort of way, and I love my writing partner, coworkers, and patients. But the summers can be brutal - much hotter, believe it or not, than my hometown of Villa Rica, near Atlanta, Georgia.

Vedauwoo - 30 Miles West of Cheyenne

Plus, people are flocking here to the Treasure Valley and have been for years. In DROVES. From California, Oregon, and all over - bringing the traffic and sprawl with them. Sayonara, y'all. I'm outta here. Cheyenne's population is seventy thousand tops and its growth rate is 1-2% annually versus half a million live bodies and 40 - 90% growth here in the Valley, depending on the city.

Yeah. I like Cheyenne's stats.

Vedauwoo Wyoming

But won't I freeze to death in Wyoming? Isn't that why no one wants to move there? 

Yeah, well. Maybe. But, I'll deal. Since moving to Idaho, I've learned that I'm made of tougher stuff than I'd long believed. I would be willing to bet that you are, too. But as I said earlier, it's the lack of humidity that gets me. The weather, I can dress for, but I don't own a personal portable sauna. Hmm, maybe I should. Would someone invent one for me?!

Flowers Everywhere - July 2, 2016 Vedauwoo

And, oh, how I miss the rain - the thunderstorms, the proliferation of green, the blessed humidity that provides an opaque canopy that shields us puny mortals from the sun. The sky is deep blue out west for a reason—there's no moisture here. Or precious little. 

The Meadows Ablaze with Color

But, Cheyenne's climate is similar to Boise's, and I've adapted to that over the last six years. Other than the first crazy winter when I arrived - 2016 Snowmageddon - the snowfall has been minimal. Especially considering how far north we are. On the other hand, winter does start earlier and it lasts longer in Cheyenne. And they have more wind. But it's windy here too.

And Ladybugs!

Anyway, it's all in motion. The house is listed. We've had two moving/garage sales with one (two?) more to come. There is an agent at the house doing a FaceTime showing to someone from out of town. And I'm at The Habit writing this post and getting my Santa Barbara Charburger fix on.

Brooding Wyoming Sky at Vedauwoo

Now my belly is full and my bucket of hopes and dreams is too.

Until next time,

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

P.S. The upcoming move has me pondering all sorts of possibilities. Including, but not limited to, retiring from chiropractic altogether and pursuing a couple of less mentally, physically, and emotionally-draining activities. Both pastimes intrigue me, though one is intended to provide a source of spending money, the other will challenge me in all sorts of ways - including getting me out of the house and into nature! What's not to love about that?

P.P.S. I took the above pictures at Vedauwoo (pronounced VEE-duh-voo) near Cheyenne on July 2, 2016. It's a vast and impressive monument to God's creative nature with a sense of spirit and timelessness that is nearly breathtaking. I'm looking forward to becoming friends with the rocks, forests, and streams there. 

P.P.S.S. From the Cheyenne.org website

Located 10 minutes west of Curt Gowdy State Park is Medicine Bow National Forest and the Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Named by the indigenous people who called the area home it means “Land of the Earthborn Spirit”. Here you will find world-class rock climbing and bouldering opportunities on breathtaking rock formations made of pink feldspar, white quartz, and black specs of hornblende. Forged by fire, ice, and wind, climbing opportunities for all levels can be found. At a starting point of 8200 feet, it won’t take long to enjoy the amazing vistas of the Rocky Mountains and the vast expanse of the high plains. Staying closer to the ground, explore miles and miles of dirt roads for ATVing, hiking trails, and backcountry camping opportunities. Moose, elk, mule deer, and countless other birds and animals call this special place home.

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

Free For Subscribers

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Publication Delay + Free Chapters

It is now official. And while it may seem like old news, the last day to upload Awen Tide's manuscript to make the extended preorder release date has passed. I knew it was coming, and as I told you before, I felt lower than whale poo about delaying publication. Then this morning, I received the anticipated (but dreaded) communique from KDP.


Oddly enough, this message brought a sense of relief rather than further angst. Now I can finish writing the all-important third and final volume of the Awen Trilogy without the crushing weight of an outside deadline looming over my head. As an added and much-appreciated benefit, the joy of writing returns. 

Hallelujah.

On the 16th, the twenty-six people who preordered Awen Tide will receive the official notice from KDP. That same day, I will send out a newsletter offering an opportunity to read the first several chapters for free. 

The chapters may not be complete, and they will likely require further edits. They may appear in a different order (or not at all) once the book is published. But rather than getting NOTHING on the preorder release date, I hoped this might help allay your thirst.

NOTE: If you are not subscribed to the mailing list, you will need to do so to gain access to the free chapters. Just click the picture below and follow the prompts. Doing so will also get you a free copy of my first Awen prequel - The Druids of Marduk, Part I.

I promise to have the rest available soon.

Have a happy, productive, and restful week!

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

Free For Subscribers

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Awen Rising is in SPFBO 8!

Awen Rising is officially entered in SPFBO 8

Read Awen Rising

"What is that," you ask?

Good question. It stands for Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off

2022 is SPFBO's eighth year and as the title implies, it is open to self-published fantasy books (stand-alone or first in series). The competition lasts for a year with the final winner chosen from a field (this year) of 300 fantasy books. And mine is one, yippeeeee!

Now, I am praying that the blogger/reviewer who is assigned Awen Rising will love it enough to read it cover to cover and recommend it to the other nine blogger/reviewers for the final round.

Here's hoping!

Your prayers, well-wishes, good thoughts, positive juju - ALL are welcome. I will keep you apprised of the progress as I learn more details.

Happy Weekend!

Free For Subscribers

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Coming Down from the Cross

To those who celebrate, Happy Easter. I am home alone with Rambo, and my sister is in Cheyenne with her grandbabies. I did watch Pastor Derek's live online service. And I will spend time in nature thanking God Almighty.


But I have been suffering, and what better time to lay down my cross?

I am weary, exhausted, stressed to the max, riddled with anxiety, my health is declining, and now, my brain is a quivering mass of misfiring neurons. I am depressed, in pain, and did I mention thoroughly panicked?

As a result, I will miss Awen Tide's May 17th preorder deadline.

I am sorry, y'all. I feel awful. I even delayed telling you in case a miracle occurred. But I can procrastinate no longer - keeping quiet is making me sicker still.

To the amazing readers who had already preordered Awen Tide, I am sorry. You should get an email from Amazon once the order is canceled. You will not be charged, and you can order the book as soon as it's released - hopefully later this year. 

Please accept my sincere apology from the deepest, squishiest part of my heart. I am sorry I disappointed you. And I pray that the benefits gained by delaying publication (a richer, meatier, more fulfilling story) will outweigh the cost.

I could write a dissertation outlining why I am a despondent, broken failure. But suffice it to say that it began with my brother-in-law's stroke in 2018. Then was worsened by Covid and all the ramifications of the pandemic. And finally, it was shoved into high gear when Don died at the end of 2020.


Now for the last fifteen months, I've been barely hanging on while wallowing in my own grief. Grief over losing a beloved brother, but also the grief of losing my Self to a pandemic that forced me, along with the rest of the world, to give up my freedom and cower in my home.


Thankfully, I did manage to write and publish the first two parts of the Awen Prequel in 2021. And Awen Tide is half-written.


But it will NOT be ready for the May 17th preorder deadline. Or even a June or July 17th one.


Unless a miracle happens.


Like stumbling across some of those "Limitless" pills that allowed Bradley Cooper's character to write his novel in four days. But without that, this author will not be meeting Awen Tide's preorder deadline.


What does this mean?


It means I have failed you my readers, and the 25 people who have already preordered Awen Tide will instead be getting emails from Amazon. The email will tell them their order has been canceled because the book is not available at that time. And it also means Amazon will bar me from setting up any new preorders for a year.


That I'm not too worried about. But disappointing and possibly losing cherished readers slays me. And admitting failure and defeat isn't all that comfortable either.


On a brighter note, I may have pinpointed the culprit behind the latest uptick in faulty brain activity. TDS recently installed fiber optic cables in our subdivision and in the ones surrounding us, and though they are supposedly safe (yeah, sure, we've heard that before), the most significant brain decline began about the time it went online.


So, I started researching and found out there are 48 towers and 241 antennas within three miles of my house. Yes, you read that right. And they all transmit electromagnetic frequencies that affect all living things. Especially when stacked one atop another.


It's like adding sticks to a camel's load. The more you add, the heavier the camel's burden becomes. Until eventually, that last stick brings the camel to its knees. TDS fiber is my last stick.


So, yesterday, I ordered an EMF filter for the house and paid for expedited shipping. I'm praying the filter works to relieve my body and brain of this huge, invisible load. Enough so, that I'll be able to think again and put two thoughts together. And of course, the ultimate goal is diving back into my writing passion.


I'll let you know how it goes.


Until then, take care of yourselves, Rebels. Maybe check out your own EMF load.


Happy Resurrection/Easter Sunday,

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Looking Forward to Spring

Hello, March! It's almost Spring!

In the Southwest corner of Idaho, Spring comes late. But its first signs are everywhere.

Nampa, ID - March 4th - Sap Rising

The sap is rising in the trees and bushes, coloring their branches yellow, red, and other hues of spring. And some have even pushed out leaf buds, like the Roses of Sharon in the downtown lot where I park for work.

Yesterday, I searched our backyard and found the hyacinth bulbs and daffodils planted last summer are beginning to stick their distinctive green heads above the ground. And last year's crop of long, skinny cones has begun dropping from the Weeping Norway Spruce trees guarding the front of the house.

Weeping Norway Spruce at NE Corner

Now, this morning, I spotted my first two robins of the season perched on the neighbor's roofline. Robins rarely visit bird feeders, but they were eyeing ours, so I suspect they had come to see what all the fuss was about.

And while I am enjoying the warmer weather and the signs of coming spring, I am also a bit apprehensive. Heck, I may even be in pre-mourning for my sister and my writing partner, both of whom are leaving me (and Idaho) behind for a spell. My sister (and roommate) will be gone for two months; my writing partner, a whole year.

Rare Selfie with Rambo
Meanwhile, I'll stay behind in Nampa, where I will finish Awen Tide, then move on to complete Part III of the Awen Prequel, The Druids of Marduk, AboveEarth.

And then?

Hmm...

Should I tell you about that? It's not really a secret. Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't I?

Hmm. Alright. I will.

Once the trilogy and prequel are completed and published, I plan to explore a new skill. 

SCREENWRITING. 

Yup, dear Rebels. You read that right. Yours truly is going to try her hand at writing a screenplay.

And if/when I get good enough at it, I plan to turn the Awen Trilogy into a screenplay. Starting with Awen Rising. Who knows how long that might take. But in the not-too-far-out-there-distant future, you will be able to see the Awen Universe at the theater or on TV!

Can I get an amen?

Y'all keep reading, and I'll keep writing!

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

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