Archive | April, 2012

Surgeries That Changed My Life, Part 3

Olivia Newport father in hammock

My dad had a heart attack while lifting a suitcase into the trunk of the car in my sister’s driveway. Certainly there are worse circumstances for this particular emergency, and I was grateful Dad could get immediate help and be surrounded by people who loved him. We were already worried about him before this happened. […]

Mama Says #29

Mama Says #29

My mom will always listen to me talk about what I’d like to write about or how some experience or conversation makes me think of a story. And believe me, my brain is on ADD-inducing steroids when it comes to seeing random story ideas everywhere in everything. Often they turn into complete stories in my […]

“What are you reading?”

Olivia Newport Lucy Banning cover

The official release date of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is next Tuesday, May 1. The books are flowing through the distribution pipeline. Reviews will pop up soon. I’m flattered by the invitations I’ve received for interviews and guest posts. What a fun season to be a writer. I don’t even remember how we formed […]

Surgeries That Changed My Life, Part 2

04-23-12 iris close-up – LN

I was nine when I got my first pair of glasses. They were pink. I was 14 when I got my first pair of contact lenses. They were blue. My dad knew I wanted them, but it was the eye doctor’s comment that contacts might actually help slow down the progression of my myopia that […]

Mama Says #28

Olivia Newport - mom and brother at Disney

My two older brothers took my mom to Orlando for some Disney frolicking recently. A couple of weeks before this adventure, Mom and I were talking about her experiences with Disneyworld on previous visits. I remembered that she once brought my two kids beach towels featuring (separately) Aladdin and Snow White. She remembered watching a […]

When is your next book coming out?

Olivia Newport cover of Accidentaly Amish

I was out to coffee with my friend Sonja last week. I had the pleasure of signing and giving her a copy of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, which is just about to release. She had read the book in manuscript form a few months back. She asked, “When does the next book come out?” […]

Surgeries that Changed My Life: Part 1

Olivia Newport heart surgery

At the hospital admissions desk, I signed the forms before daybreak. A young woman slapped an I.D. strap around my wrist and sealed it. “No sedative,” she said loudly. A man behind the counter furrowed his brow and came to look at the chart. “No sedative,” he repeated. The phrase echoed through the halls as […]

Mama Says #27

Mama Says #27

Two Sundays ago, on April 1, it was 80 degrees. Of course, the wind was blowing at about 80 miles an hour as well. On Monday, the temperature plummeted 40 degrees, but the wind persisted. On Tuesday, we had a snow day. Yep, I live in Colorado. When I tell my mother these things, she […]

My Mount Hermon Story

Olivia Newport tumbling typewriter keys

I was twenty years old and a college student in southern California. A friend who knew I liked to write heard about a writers conference at Mount Hermon that coincided with spring break. She thought I should go. When I said I had no money, she pointed out that they offered scholarships. She could give […]

Would You Recognize Me If I Told the Truth?

Olivia Newport sparrow

My daughter straggled after me in the grocery store. I was intent on my list, and at that moment had my head in the dairy case. When I stepped back with my milk and plopped it in the cart, my daughter nudged me. “Didn’t that guy used to go to our church?” she whispered. I […]