Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Inconsiderate People

Why is it that I get so angry when people are inconsiderate?


Courtesy granitegrok.com
It happened today. Just a while ago. I was waiting for the line of cars to pass so that I could pull out on Maple Street. My chance came when the light changed, stopping traffic. But nooo. Rather than stopping short so I could pull out, some guy stopped in front of me, blocking my exit. FLASH went my temper as a surge of adrenaline and other unhealthy hormones rushed through my system.

Luckily the guy behind him was nicer and allowed me to zigzag out from behind the inconsiderate arse, praying nothing was now coming from the other direction, then pondering the anger as I checked my rearview mirror.

The other day I was in Marshalls when a woman and I, both pushing those tiny carts, arrived at the same small intersection in the clothing department. I let her go first and she proceeded to park right in the middle to browse clothes. Whaaat? Idiota! She never even acknowledged her lack of consideration. Not on your life. Clueless I tell ya, clueless.

Really people? If you’re so damned wrapped up in your own personal kingdom of SELF that you can’t be bothered to give a little common courtesy, STAY HOME!! In fact, stay in bed. Don’t get up in the morning and foist your enormous ego on the rest of the world. Stay swaddled in your own little Self cocoon.

Now, back to my original question. Why is it that I get so angry when people are inconsiderate? Because I can’t be? Because I am and don’t know it? Or is it merely that people ought to know better? To do better? Or maybe it's because I was taught as a young child to be considerate, or because it's second nature for me to look out for others, or that I simply do not understand any other way of being.
Whatever the answer, it's a good reminder for me to be vigilant, to look for opportunities to make life easier for others. Because life is to be found in the little things, not so much in the grand gestures.

Though I sure am glad the Red Baron spared Snoopy. Life wouldn’t be the same without him. Enjoy one of my favorite holiday classics, "Snoopy's Christmas".


 

Merry Early Christmas, Olivia J. Herrell

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ten Things I Learned from NaNoWriMo

The first and foremost thing I learned from my participation in National Novel Writing Month 2014 is that incredible things happen when I am determined.

I learned that, in spite of my misgivings, my past record or history, in spite of having a full-time (and still growing) business, in spite of all the resistance that presents its ugly head in a million different ways, I CAN!

1.      I can write 50,000 words (half a novel or a whole novella) in thirty days; (My last NaNo effort in 2012 netted 19,000 – and I still think that’s a.w.e.s.o.m.e.!)

2.      I can write 10,000 words in two days; (I won’t mention that the last few hours of the second day was agony, oh wait, I just did.)

3.      I can write 5700 words in one day; (Before NaNo my record hung somewhere around 3000, and that, my friend, was a red-letter writing day!)

4.      I can be disciplined when I set my mind to it; (This is enormous for me!)

5.      I can be so focused that the world piles up around me and I don’t really see it, much less care; (I detest a messy house/car/life. I mean, if it’s yours, fine, but I prefer order.)

6.      I can forego running errands for days, even weeks without my world falling apart; (I went ten days with no ink for my work printer. I don’t suggest you do the same.)

7.      I can be not only productive, but super productive, as part of a writing group/community; (Because I’m Stephen King, ya-know and must work alone. Don’t laugh. I’m baring my writer soul here.)

8.      I can be successful at writing for a living when the opportunity comes along; (Which brings us back to that discipline thing again.)

9.      I can write without performing mass edits as I go along; (Another Huge issue for me.)

10.  I can rock NANOWRIMO!!! (And I am soooo proud of myself for it.)

~ Olivia J. Herrell

P.S. Thank you to my family and friends for your kind support and understanding during the month of November.
P.P.S. To all the members of NaNoWriMo2014 - Thank you for your support, encouragement, motivation, laughter and hand-holding. WE DID IT!! Margaret Bail, Andrew Post, Alex Ong, Charlotte Gruber, Anna Davis, Anna Pippin, Janet Riberdy Wrenn, Jessica Harvey, Marissa Campbell, Liv Rancourt, Janice Wilson, Mary Moore, Niki Cluff, Patti Kurtz, Sillysilly Silver and So Schlie.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Anticipating NaNoWriMo


Ever get so caught up in the excitement and anticipation of doing something that you can’t contain yourself long enough to take the steps necessary for it to succeed?

Yeah. Me too.
Today that thing is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo.

I did my first one in 2012. No, I did not “win” by reaching the goal of 50,000 words, but I did write way more than I otherwise would've in that time. 2013 was a passing blur and I don’t remember why I missed the fun, but I’m all in for 2014.

So…

v  Wish me luck. If I remember correctly, that works out to 1666 words a day.

v  Hold those tea, lunch, dinner, movie, play, ballgame, dance, etcetera invites until December 1st. Starting Saturday, and for the following twenty-nine days, other than time spent working, I will be writing.

v  Be my cheerleader. All positive reinforcement is welcome and needed, including, but not limited to: attagirls, balloon bouquets, singing telegrams, social media plugs, prayers, flowers, good thoughts, inspirational texts, celebration parties, chocolate, green tea, flannel pajamas and fuzzy socks.

v  Follow me (or friend me) on Facebook. I’ll post occasional updates there, as well as here at That Rebel.

v  If you’re a writer and are interested in writing a novel in thirty days, join us for NaNoWriMo.

v  If you are doing NaNo, consider joining us on Facebook. It is a private group, so if interested, leave a message in the comments below or tag me on Facebook and I’ll add you.

There. With any luck at all, I can focus now. I have a few scenes to finish for Book One before I push on to Book Two, which means finishing by Friday. (Of course, if not, it will wait until December.)
Huzzah!

~ Olivia J. Herrell, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Connections and Coincidence

Courtesy PDPhoto.org
Don’t you just love life and all its twists and turns? Today I find myself seated at a familiar booth in Johnny’s, munching a slice of pizza and indulging a Coke addiction that, when I take it out to look, has its roots in this town, the town that Asa Candler was born in and left: thirty-five miles and aeons west of Atlanta, in the rolling hills of northwest Georgia.

It molded him, this place, nurtured him until he could strike out for the big city to meet Pemberton and build an empire that still dominates the world. When I think about Peace Makers (a novel that’s been in-process for the last four years) in this context, I get goose bumps. Much of it has been written just blocks from where he would've lived. Will I, like Asa, have to leave to find my happy ending?

Oddly enough, there are other connections. By happenstance, the novel is set in Druid Hills, an Atlanta community that Candler helped build, featuring tree-lined streets and delightful linear parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Emory University, to which the Coke magnate donated land and monies is the backdrop for at least one chapter and rates mention in several others. The Candler Building, a marvel of fantastical design, appears as the locale for another scene in downtown Atlanta.

Mere coincidence? A twist of fate? Maybe. But maybe not. Whatever the answer, it's something to ponder on a fine day in October in these red-clay hills of Georgia.
October 18, 2014
~ Olivia J. Herrell

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Writing Update and a New Format

Hip, hip, hooray!

View from atop Cape Perpetua, Oregon Coast
I have (finally) updated the format of THAT REBEL WITH A BLOG and, yes, you can expect more changes along the way. As before, I will write about things that matter. Life. Writing. Living. Travel. Growing. Loving. Laughing. Crying. Whining. And, yes, some dying.

Each day brings me closer to the completion of Book One of Blessed Are The Peace Makers. It is written, but continues to transform as more layers and depth reveal themselves. Teetering at around 99,000 words, it's fatter than I meant it to be and will likely end up closer to 105-110,000. That's a lot of words for a new novelist, but for the genre, not out-of-line.

So here's to That Rebel and to Peace Makers. May they both live long and prosper.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Friday, July 25, 2014

White Space

Wow. It's weird in here. All this white space. It's freaky. Where are all the words? All the sentences? All the paragraphs?

Who the hell took my words?!?!?

Oh. Wait. There they are. The more I type. Hmm. Seems the more I type, the more there are. Ohhhhh. Yeaaaahhh. Thaaaat's where they are.

Those wascally words. Seems they just don't appear on their own, now do they.

Wats.

Here's to having an awe-inspired weekend doing whatever you do to fill in your own white space. Figuratively speaking. Or in my case, literally speaking.

Namaste.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Internal Dialogue 101

Go ahead. Do it. Write something. Write a blog post.

Nope. Can't.

Why not?

Hmm. Not sure, really. Just can't. Don't want to. Can't make me, either.

Really?

Really. Not doing it. Not until I finish that book I'm writing. Not until then, I tell you.

Really? That doesn't make much sense.

Um. Sense? It's not about sense. It's about. Crap. What is it about?

Hahahaha. See. You're bonkers.

Me? YOU'RE bonkers. I'M fine. I can't. Don't want to. Can't make me. And that's all there is to it.

Huh. Alrighty then. Have it your way. But you will. I know you. Sooner or later, you will.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coincidence? I Don't Think So.

I started the day with vigor and verve, newly-repaired Activator in hand. Somewhere around midday I realized it. My finger is hurting. Inspecting the site of pain, I find a blister forming at the bend of my middle finger, no small feat considering it's right smack on top of a callous. A fifteen year-old callous.

Really? So you mean the scratchy duct tape that the dude (um, professional) used to repair the cracked shaft rubbed against my finger all day and gave me a blister? Grrrrr.

So I put it aside and used my other one. Now mind you, this Activator is cracking too, and on the brink of the same repair. But I've been careful, you see. Been nursing her along. Not five minutes later, BLAM!!! I turn around to look and she's lying on the floor busted, the handle in two pieces beside her.

Bum-bum-pa-dum, bum-pa-dum, pa-dum, pa-dum.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I know you can't hear me. But that was a high-pitched scream. Because, don'tcha know, it goes with the rest of my day. Week. Since getting home from Casper, actually. GAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

After everyone left and I had time to stew, it hit me. Crap. Now it's obvious. Is it to you? One instrument hurts my hand, the other one breaks outright? BLAM, POW, KAPOOEE.

Now I interpret this as one of two things, both of which are signs. And yes, if you're wondering, I believe in signs. One, I was hating on my day job and indirectly destroyed the object of my hate, or two, the Universe, God, my angels, whoever's up there talking, just said "hang it up".

Get rid of my day job? Did I just say that out loud? Because I have lots of reasons to keep it. And only a few to let it go.

But look at the signs. At my heart. The heart that calmed the minute I sat down to write about it, the moment I laid hands on my computer. Listen to her. She is the song of the sea, of wind-tossed waves sluicing against a sandy beach, the roar of quiet abandon to what is and what shall be.

Remember what Bade Baba said?

"The heart is the hub of all sacred places; go there and roam." ~ Bhagavan Nityananda

Yeah. Thank you, Bade Baba. Thank you very much. I will. I'll look at those signs.

And I will see.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

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