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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Spiraling into Sanity

The best… and worst… part of being a writer is living in your own head.

Some people see a freak snowstorm. I imagine Titans fighting in the heavens. Other people hear rustlings in the night and think it’s a cat. I’m convinced it’s trolls. Do I want to see a zombie apocalypse? Not really, but I accept the fact that it might happen (and I hope Elle swoops down and fixes it before they eat my braaaaains).

The world inside my head is infinitely more fascinating than the “real world.” Sometimes, reality hits me and I just want to hit it back.

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Juggling

One of the things that I love about Elle York is she tries to have it all. She has a full-time job. She has friends. She has boyfriends. And then she goes off hunting monsters in her “Free Time.” No wonder she’s always cranky! You would be too if you were juggling so many responsibilities that you never found time to sleep.

It should not come as a surprise that I identify a lot with Elle. She’s more than just my favorite imaginary friend. She’s partially me, and I’m partially her. One of the many things we have in common is that there are just never enough hours in the day. I work 40-60 hours a week at an office job. I’m going to school to pursue my Master’s degree. I have a family and friends and responsibilities. But every single free minute I have, I’m writing, editing, or reading.

And you wonder why the laundry never gets folded – both at my house and Elle’s apartment.

I’m not complaining, though. I’m doing what I love and that’s important. I don’t know that I will ever reach a point where writing pays the bills, but a girl can dream! If that ever happens, I’ll just have to come up for another excuse for the piles of clean and dirty laundry sitting around my house. Maybe I’ll blame it on the laundry pixies. Or possibly evil space monkeys.

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