Silence

I have been too quiet lately. I’ve had too much on my plate at work and have been in school full time. It seems like I’ve been sleeping less and less, but still never have enough time. All of the little things that have to get done just aren’t getting done – the laundry is piling and up you don’t even want to ask about the dishes. So, I haven’t had time to write or edit and all of these stories are just piling up in my brain and I have no stress outlet. Bad combination.

So new personal rule – I have to manage to find a way to get more writing time. Instead of finally finishing school and work and wanting to crash out in front of the TV, I need to write. Instead of eyes glazing over as I randomly search the web, I need to write. And that rare night that I put my foot down and say “I’m taking the night off from schoolwork!” is the perfect time to buckle down and write instead of watching a bad movie on TV.

I can’t keep neglecting writing and expect it to not neglect me.

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Characters

My characters have a life of their own.

No matter how much I try, I can’t always make them do what they are supposed to. The ones that are supposed to be good turn out to be evil. The ones that are supposed to be evil turn out to be good. The ones created for an ancillary role turn out to be pivotal to the entire series.

I make a concerted effort to give a shout-out to real life friends when developing new characters. Even if a friend has nothing in common with the character, I like to use their names on occassion.

Unfortunately, a lot of my characters – let’s be generous and say 90% – meet with some pretty gruesome endings. If I know I’m going to kill a character off, I don’t want to use the name of someone I care about.

But the funny part is, on occassion you go back and re-read a particularly gruesome scene and you realized that the name you chose is similar to someone you don’t like?  Coincidence?  For legal purposes, let’s all agree that it’s confidential, or at the very least, subconscious.

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Old writers

Old writers don’t retire, they just rewrite.

I’ve got a lot of material out to a couple of great editors and a bunch of new stories floating around by head right note. So how do I use my time wisely? I redesign my website http://www.olivialeigh.com, of course.

Good news is that it now works on most browsers and mobile devices. doG bless CSS. I will be posting more excerpts in the coming week, also.

Stay tuned, and if you haven’t checked out the website lately, browse on over tohttp://www.olivialeigh.com!

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Upheaval

Some people spend their whole lives paddling against the stream, only to never get to where they were trying to go in the first place.

I’m more of a let the river take me where it wants to go type of person.

Right now, the river is more like rapids and I’m very swiftly being carried away by the currents. I’m going to see where this leads, but one way or another I’m going to be up to my neck in whitewater for a while.

Lucky me, I can hold my breath!

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Lost and Found

I found an SD memory card in a public parking lot today. Knowing that there is virtually no way to find the owner, I did what any normal person would do. I popped it into my camera to view the pictures.

Unlike a normal person, I didn’t expect to find someone’s vacation photos. I was convinced that they were pictures of someone stalking someone, learning their routine, then kidnapping them. When the ransom went south, of course they would kill their poor innocent victim, and document it to send to the family. Then of course, there would be photos of the shallow grave site so they could find it again if need be.

My husband thought that there would be pictures of SCUBA divers discovering lost pirate treasure. We could use the GPS embedded in the photos to locate the undersea wreck and recover the treasure for ourselves.

Unfortunately, we were both mistaken. It was pictures of birthdays and puppy dogs. There’s nothing that we could use to identify the owner, nor anyway to return it to them. I feel for the owner and hope that the photos had already been downloaded (or uploaded) somewhere before it fell out of their car. Judging from the wear on the SD card and the date on the photos, it had been sitting in that parking lot for the better part of a year.

Even though the contents ultimately were a disappointment, for a few minutes, my imagination could go wild. I’ve now got half a dozen ideas for a spy thriller or an action-packed adventure.

Or, I could just load up SD cards with staged photos of kidnappings and underseas treasures and bank jobs and keyhole pictures… and leave them around for people to find. The last shot would be a “if found, please go to www….” to see if anyone ever finds them and bothers to look for the owner.

It’s like a reverse treasure hunt…. I could call it “Found and Lost”

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The Hero Paradox

What is a hero? It is someone who sacrifices their health and welfare for the good of others.

Elle York is a hero. She is constantly putting her life on the line to save others, and has the physical and emotional scars to show for it.

A hero saves other people, even at their own peril. Does this make their life more or less valuable than the ones they save? Every time a hero puts their life on the line to save someone else, not only could they lose their own lives, but if they fail there are how many countless people out there that they couldn’t save?

If Elle’s life is valuable because she puts it on the line, should she try harder to protect herself? If she chooses to protect herself, does she become less valuable? If she dies trying to rescue someone else then how many others will eventually die? If she doesn’t attempt a rescue, then she is not as valuable.

That is the hero paradox. Heroes can’t afford to worry about that, though – they’re too busy saving the rest of the world.

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Waiting

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a village to raise a book. For something that is essentially a lonely endeavor, writing is surprisingly social.

I have to give thanks to my friends for their advice, support, and constant encouragement. Especially Darren, who has read all the horrible first drafts and never hesitates to tell me when it’s crap. Then pushes me to make it better!

To all my readers and editors and guinea pigs (like Marrissa, Jas & Shaun) I couldn’t do it without you!

Right now, I’ve got a ton of stories floating around and hope to get feedback. The waiting is the hardest part.

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