Monday, December 31, 2018

So Long 2018, Howy-Do 2019


via GIPHY

It's eight p.m. on New Years Eve 2018, and here I sit. Fat and full of homemade chili and store-bought shortbread cookies, steeped in the undeniable knowing that I've gotta quit. Got to let go of the cookies, chocolates and sweets and get my bad Self back to a gym. Or down in the floor for stretches and push-ups, bridges, downward dogs, a cobra or two. As you are my witness. Hand in the air. Pinkie promise. I am doing it.

I love these rambling posts, and must admit I got lost earlier—clicking on post links, reading here and there. About Letting Go. Of anger. And sadness. About Forgiveness and Highly Sensitive People.

I have always been a voracious reader. In my first thirty years, I devoured fiction, leaning away from horror and the macabre, and toward dramatic literary works, classics, historical fiction (the fatter, the better) and later fluffy romance, and procedural mysteries, with an occasional jaunt through Middle Earth or Watership Down. Over the second thirty years, it's been mostly nonfiction—self-help, spiritual, philosophies, a few autobiographies, now and then, a classic.

And I LOVE research, which is a definite asset to an author. Over the last eight years I've combed every site I could find on Reptilian aliens, every book and web page on druids, William the Conqueror and related history, places, animals, climate, cultures and so much more. But how did I get off over here?

Oh. Yeah. Research. I do a lot of it. Including reading what I can of the writing-related articles I run across on Twitter. Like The Fantasy Hive's 50 Most Anticipated SFF Books of 2019.

But I'll be honest with you, reading through those blurbs taken from Amazon and Goodreads put me into a funk about my Awen trilogy. I stewed in it for days. Days in which I wondered if I should shit-can the whole trilogy and go back to doing what I do best. This. Creative Nonfiction. The stuff of real life. Because for some reason, I seem to be pretty good at this. And I like it about as much as air.

After a few days of the funk, I did what I do when I'm in a creative huff. I watched a movie. This time, Frozen. When the Disney castle flashed on the screen and the Nordic music filled the room, my writer self sighed, relaxed into the chair, and let the film weave its magic—not just on the screen, but inside of me. I'd been wrestling with the WHAT of my trilogy for seven years, trying to categorize, label, explain, or otherwise distill it down to a simple explanation, or comparison. And as I watched the sad story unfold before me, I had an epiphany.

It's an R-rated Disney(esque) sci-fi/fantasy. That's what the Awen trilogy is. It's definitely not a gore-fest, not heavy tech, no sword fights or fist fights (for the most part), at least not until the third book when all hell breaks loose. But yeah, R-rated Disney, if there is such a thing.

I wrote a new blurb. It's rough, but I can hone it and polish it and make it every bit as attractive as those I read. Because I'll be published soon, baby. And I want my work to stand next to the big girls' and carry its weight.

So I will stick it out with Awen and William. I promised them both I would tell their story/ies years ago. So I will. And I'll have faith that I've done it justice. But I will also be here, at That Rebel with you. Doing what I seem to do best—airing rebel laundry. Are you ready for 3000 Questions?

Here's to a break-out 2019. I'm predicting a fantastic year for PeaceMakers Publishing, beginning with the debut release of Awen Rising on October 1, 2019.

So goodbye, 2018.
Goodbye, rebel souls.
I'll see you often in 2019.

Happy New Year!

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

O.J. Barré is author of the upcoming Awen trilogy, an urban druid fantasy set in 2042 and steeped in current, ancient, and future history. Book One, Awen Rising, will be released October 1, 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, is currently in edits. And the first draft of Book Three, Awen Tide, is in process.

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