Sunday, May 12, 2019

Alive and Kicking

Awen Rising is back with my editor Charlie. It is infinitely better. Brilliant, even. And I must say, they teased the nuance from me with non-confrontational ease. Thank you, Charlie. Had I given it a thought, I would have expected no less. You are an excellent editor, indeed.

Once Awen Rising was in Charlie’s hands, I began combing through old wire-bound research notes, reading tidbits I’d scribbled over the last seven years. Yes, count ‘em. Seven YEARS. There's a lot of genius hiding in those pages.

Backyard Aspens 2019
The other afternoon armed with said pearls, I spent a few silent minutes under the aspen trees. Unplugged. No technology. Just me. The wind was frisky and occasional gusts incited the leaves to a frenzy and invoked the melody of several Santa Barbara chimes and one lone Pine Siskin. In a flash, I saw a scene in my mind’s eye that will occur in Book Three.

I’d not been privy to this scene before. Past Book Two the story is still writing itself. But this twist provides a momentous turning point in favor of our heroine Emily and her lofty mission. Which, in case you forgot, is to save humankind from extinction.**

I let the ideas spin out, reveling in the impassioned serenade of the aspens and the new awareness of what the remaining story entails. Several more AHA’s spawned in rapid succession, including a couple that will be added to Book One. I knew in my heart that this story wanted to be completed, at least in my head and notes, before the first installment is published. It’s a thing, y’all!

My New Red Laptop
AND…yeehaa…I finally got the laptop I’d been visiting at Walmart for nearly a year. She’s a lovely shade of scarlet that both calms my nerves and excites my senses. But, it felt wrong to have something wonderful when my Bugsy had just died. Wrong to have a new “baby”. And though it’s not the same, I couldn’t open the box for ten days.

I finally did. And have downloaded MS Office (including Word) from my Microsoft account. But I’m still using my old tried-and-true friend—same laptop, five years older, in gray. Because Y’AAAAALLLLL, the new keyboard is SO STIFF. I don’t like having to press so hard. Guess my fingers will be getting a workout once I make the switch. I only hope these sweet babies are up to it.

Emotionally, I am mending. A bit at a time, I pull out of the sad into the brightness of spring in Southwest Idaho. I picked up Bugsy’s ashes from the vet, feeling a little silly. Being a farm girl from West Georgia, I had to remind myself that Bugsy was not just any animal. He’s family. Though what I’ll do with him now, who knows. I left the bubble wrap on the pretty pine box. I’m not ready to face that emotional moment. I want to give it the time and attention it deserves.

But, please know that That Rebel is alive and kicking. And getting my head and heart ready to dive into the tasks remaining between here and publication. And, yes. I shall stay open to those flashes of inspiration, wherever they might find me.
Lake Lowell with Owyhee Mountains, Nampa, ID
I hope your own lives are happy and healthy, glowing and bright. I love you all. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers and hearts. With your continued help, I’ll soon be flying!

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

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen trilogy, a science fantasy set in 2042 in Atlanta, Georgia. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. And Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.

** This scene could also usher in a possible Book Four, converting the Awen trilogy to a series. There are hidden threads woven throughout the trilogy—a fourth could break them wide open, exposing the underbelly of many things. Or not. We shall see.

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