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Life’s a Journey

Just when you think you can sit back and hit cruise control, life throws you an exit sign a mile up the road that makes you reevaluate everything.

I’m sitting on my patio in the warm Florida sunshine, pulling together this, my first newsletter. Much like everything else, this too will be a journey, one that I hope you take with me.

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A new horizon

Last year was challenging. Covid was the virus that hacked our lives, leaving us with only our internal compasses as a guide. For me, there was homeschooling, sick loved ones, hand sanitizer shortages, and lockdowns.

My family and I moved from the countryside of England amidst all this. It was time to come. I knew it in my bones, and after almost 20 years away, my homecoming wasn’t easy. There were socially-distant movers to organize, custom forms to complete, last-minute covid tests to take, and a slew of canceled dog flights that needed rescheduling. The world was trying to figure out how to keep spinning, and there we were, our tanks on E and executing our seventh international move (our second with children).

It was a tough six months.

But when my flight touched down in Miami, I knew I was where I belonged. I cleared immigration, and the agent said, “Welcome home, Natasha.” I could’ve kissed him. Home had never felt so good.

Read my blog post, “Moving Countries During Coronavirus.”

A creative hiatus

Since 2019, I’ve been writing to a deadline. While professionally, that’s nothing new, personally, novel writing is intense. It threatens to be (and rightfully so) all-consuming. However, as a working mother and wife, compartmentalization is key to a happy and successful home.

Read my blog post, “Writing, While Parenting.”

So, in honor of my needs, I’m taking the rest of 2021 off from novel writing. I’m not retiring my fingertips, but I am allowing myself to luxuriate in the creation of new characters. Ayel has been talking to me. She's ready to have her story told, and it will be an epic one. So, after the final book in my trilogy, The Evolved Ones, is released in June/July of this year, I’m going to take the time to get to know her.

Insight

I started teaching creative writing at a university in Florida this year, and it’s been a wonderful change of pace from corporate. It’s a true pleasure working with people whose passion for writing mirrors my own.

The hard part is getting them to temper their enthusiasm for the road that lies ahead. Less than 1% of all creative writers are solely novelist or short story authors, playwrights or poets. We wear many hats.

Teaching them patience and the necessity to diversify their writing skills is difficult. How do you nurture their dreams while at the same time prepare them for a world where they’ll be able to financially take care of themselves?

Inspiration

If you like epic fantasy, I highly recommend The Furyck Saga by A. E. Rayne. Its deep characterization, amazing plot elements, and just good-ole fashion storytelling held my interest through all six of these books.

It was A.E. Rayne who helped me realize it was time to tell Ayel’s story. Ayel is the protagonist in the first draft of “Blood Rain,” my graduate school thesis and the beginnings of an epic fantasy novel. I knew at the time my writer’s hand wasn’t yet mature enough to tell her story, and so she had to wait while I told Rox’s.

Ayel reached out to me when I was almost done with A.E. Rayne’s series to see if I was finally ready to give her the attention she deserved. I said, yes, and we’ve been colluding ever since.

So, tell me, what’s been your inspiration lately?

How are you becoming your own her0?

Email me at natashaoliverauthor@gmail.com

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Copyright (C) 2021 Natasha Oliver. All rights reserved.

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