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

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I Made a Desk, Now What?

"I made a desk
Or rather
A desk made me.
While toying
Wrestling ideas
Wrangling plots
Swirling the story
Letting it
New patterns
And possibilities
The mundane
Emptied me
Step by step
I trickled aside
And let
The story
In to place.
I made a desk
Or rather
A desk made me." ~ Olivia J. Herrell

My New Sauder Desk

Thank you, Charlotte Levine Gruber*. Thank you for reading Blessed Are the Peace Makers to the end, all ninety-nine thousand, seven hundred and forty eight words. You are my hero.

Thank you for liking the story, characters, flow.

You were kind. And excited. And honest. As my first beta reader, you rocked it.

Thank you.

As a result of your much-needed input I have a prologue to absorb, characters to assimilate, others to flesh out, conflicts to stir, gaps to fill, future-tones to invoke, lines to draw, motives to manage.

Time for rewrite.

Pausing to let the “aha” break over me, I laugh just a little. I now understand first-hand the importance of a second reader. Someone not the author. What was clear to me as I wrote, wasn’t so crystal to my reader. Huh. Imagine that.

Thank you Charlotte*.

Revised scenarios play in my head and after back-aching hours, I have a desk, complete with drawer and two cubbys.

Today I made a desk, and in the doing, the desk made me.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

P.S. In case you were curious, I did unplug on vacation to a limited extent, leaving the laptop at home and using the iPhone sparingly. Considering AT&T is my carrier and we tromped around Oregon, that wasn't difficult.

* Charlotte Levine Gruber is the author of CODE OF SILENCE. Click here to read more.

Friday, August 7, 2015

To Unplug or Not to Unplug?

Old-Growth Forest Atop Cape Perpetua
In less than two weeks I embark on summer vacation beginning with an early morning trek to the airport, followed by a flight to Boise, Idaho, via Minneapolis, Minnesota. After three days with family I haven’t seen in way too long, two of us will hop in the car and drive nine hours to the Oregon coast for five much-needed days at the beach.

I am so ready.

Not long ago I saw something on Facebook that piqued my interest and as the time nears, I find myself wondering what it would be like to use this vacation as an opportunity to unplug. To disconnect. To completely remove myself from the internet. For nine whole days.

Cape Perpetua Oregon Coast 
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to fathom or to remember the last time I went a day offline, much less nine. I’m talking no email, no social media, no blog, no Pandora, no Trip Advisor, no Farlex Dictionary, no calendar, no GPS, NADA! For nine days my smartphone would play dumb. In fact, I might even turn it off completely. Wouldn’t THAT be 

Yes. It would. For me.

If camping (in nature) for a week, sans electronics, resets one’s circadian rhythm as the article sets forth, I’m inclined to believe that ditching my smartphone and computer will make a difference. (Even if we don't honor the sun in rising and retiring.)

It’s worth a try. If nothing else, I predict I will connect to the world in a whole different way. And that might be worth the inconvenience.

Bring it on.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell


My holiday looms, less than a week until departure, and I’ve yet to choose a path. No Trip Adviser? How will we find restaurants, coffee shops, sights and attractions? No Facebook picture-posting? No GPS? No dictionary? NO EMAIL?? But Charlotte is sending her beta notes on Peace Makers while I'm gone. What to do, what to do...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Peace Makers in a Nutshell

As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm writing a blurb about the first installment of Peace Makers (Coming Home). Here is the current iteration:

AMERICA 2042CE: A down-and-out disaster specialist finds she’s the last of a long line of magical Druid priestesses carrying the bloodline of William the Conqueror. To make matters worse, she is expected to fill the shoes of her new father, the erstwhile Grand Druid whose coma is likely the result of foul play. Taught to run from adversity by a mother who carried the secret of her powers and heritage to an alcoholic grave, and faced with a foe known only as “The Darkness”, she must race the clock, cramming twenty-six years’ of training in to the short time left.

On the opposite coast her nemesis, a sorceress-turned-holy-woman, is targeted and tagged by the invisible foe: a race of Reptilian aliens residing in Earth’s interior. Placed there millennia ago and kept secret and apart from the Humans by a forgetfulness curse enforced by dragon guards, the Reptilians are determined to take control of the planet. Led by a nasty Draco general, they will use the evangelist and others like her to pit the humans against one another, leaving Earth ripe for the picking.

It's a bit wordy still, weighing in at 183 words, but this is the story in a nutshell. What do you think? Are you intrigued enough to buy an advance copy of the book?

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell


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