About Me

Olivia O'bryon-15.jpg

Words buzz in my brain like flies trapped behind glass. They’re loudest on my yoga mat, sitting in an unrelated meeting, lying in bed as the little hand on the clock hits five.

These words are my heartbeat, my coffee, my drive.

I once wrote a novel about a couple searching for escape but somewhere along the way I no longer wanted to escape my own life and the words lost their meaning.

I recently completed a middle grade fiction novel about a little girl who lives across the street from a graveyard. It’s my gift to my first daughter. I just need to find the courage (and time!) to publish it.

Maybe after I write my gift to my second…

As the mama of two young children, writing fits into the cracks of life, those minutes while their eyes shut or someone else watches them. Even as I type now, my family sleeps upstairs, unaware of the words pouring out of my heart.

I’m a writer/editor, teacher, mama, yogi. I don’t have it all figured out, but that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

And, of course, I write to let out those darn flies.


For more posts specific to motherhood, check out my other blog, Leap of Mama or my pieces for Mabel + Moxie.

29 thoughts on “About Me

  1. kingmidget says:

    I’d be curious to know more about your novel and publishing efforts, assuming you want to share, of course. It’s also an effort I’m going through, although I’ve given up on the traditional forms of publishing, and have gone the e-publishing route.

  2. oliviaobryon says:

    At the moment, my efforts are just focused on polishing up my last draft and sending out query letters the old fashion way… I’ve decided that self-publishing is something I’ll look into after I write my second book. I just feel really anxious to get writing again, so I leave it up to the book gods to decide my future on this first one, then I will take fate into my own hands if necessary next time, (how’s that for a run-on sentence?). I heard the Sac Public Library has a cool new book-making machine. Are you part of any local writing groups? What e-publishing platform do you use?

    • kingmidget says:

      With my first novel, I tried some query letters and got absolutely nothing. Then I wrote a whole bunch of short stories and another novel. I realized that nothing was going to happen to my short stories, so I e-published them through Amazon (CreateSpace for paperbacks and Kindle for downloads, I’m also going to make them available for the Nook soon). I’m in the process of finalizing my two novels for publication as well and I’ll go the same route … CreateSpace for hard cover and paperback and Kindle and Nook for downloads. It’s been a learning experience. The good thing about the e-publishing revolution is that there’s very little cost involved. I’ve also read about the Sac Public Library book-making machine, but it doesn’t make much sense to me, particularly in light of the e-publishing options.
      As for writing groups … I’m currently involved in a group that meets the third Saturday of every month downtown … it’s basically just doing a range of mental exercises and writing exercises. What I’d love to do is find a good group of people to meet with regularly and share works in progress.
      What’s your novel? Or, put differently, what genre is it?

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a feeling mine will be similar, I know that it’s a pretty big shot in the dark to get an agent and then get traditionally published, but I still feel compelled to try. If nothing else, I feel like I’m learning a lot about the industry through all of my related research, (and making interesting contacts!).

        Very cool to hear how you’ve pursued e-publishing, definitely on my list of things to learn more about. I know very little about that book machine at the library, but it struck me as a cool prospect to hold my book for the first time.

        I guess that my novel would be contemporary fiction, maybe chick lit, (although I don’t really like that second designation). I’m still working on getting the wording right to describe it. While I like my book, I haven’t liked any of my “pitches,” so bear with me, but here is a longer answer to the question:


        What about you? What do you write about?

  3. kingmidget says:

    If you ever want to pick my brain about e-publishing let me know. I’m not an expert on it, by any means, but I’ve at least gone through the process a couple of times now and will be a couple more times in the coming months. As for what I write, I guess contemporary fiction is the only way to describe it. I just always say, “I just write stories.” Some of my short stories veer into science fiction or the supernatural, but for the most part, they’re just stories. If you want a couple of examples, I have a couple of works in progress on my blog. At the top, where the page tabs are, there’s a page for K Street Stories and another one for The Irrepairable Past. They are both about 1/4 done.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Yes, definitely interested in hearing more (and checking out your writing on your blog)! I’m not quite ready to wrap my brain around e-publishing yet, but it is on my list of things to learn more about soon.

  4. lightningpen says:

    Hi, you have to do what you love or what’s the point! Thank you for the like! I hope it works out for you, because you don’t need to be in that cube as far I can tell. Keep writing!

  5. Congratulations on finding the strength to teach, and ESPECIALLY to write novels. The great nature writer Edward Abbey said what may be my favorite quote about us, that “Writers are the most difficult kind of people to live with. They’re either working and obsessed or not working and miserable.” (perhaps a slight paraphrase) That’s how I feel, and one of the reasons I completed 6 novels before my 27th birthday–I don’t care that none of them are published yet, I just have to get them out of me!! I’m working hard right now on editing my fourth novel though, which a few agents expressed interest in–it’s about a legless Vietnam veteran who got leukemia from Agent Orange spraying, and now he and his Vietnamese prostitute girlfriend (who had a miscarriage and lost her 5-year-old daughter to Agent Orange) are traveling across the violent wastelands of mid-’80s America, trying to raise enough money through a variety of nefarious means to pay the $15,000 it will cost for him to get prosthetic leg implants so they can exact revenge on the loathesome corporation that ravaged their bodies and lives (Monsanto, inventor of Agent Orange).

    I also just applied to volunteer with 826 Valencia, Dave Eggers’s after-school tutoring/writing center for kids in San Francisco. I’m really excited! I’ll be following your blog now =)

  6. Oh, I forgot to ask–and tell the truth, I have skin like an alligator’s–how does my (4th) book that I described sound? It’s called Orange Rain, for the record.

  7. twistedlola says:

    YOU are stunning! So glad you found me and now…I found you! I can so relate to finding your passion, as I feel stuck sometimes, but working on being unstuck in a few areas of my life! LOVE the little good luck charm. Melts my heart that you have had it this long. Such an awesome thing to still have.

    Fiction is my absolute favorite genre. Continued success to you and looking forward as you move forward!!


  8. radaronelson says:

    Thanks for following my blog and I have also nominated you for The {Booker} Award

    Happy Blogging

  9. radaronelson says:

    Just letting you know I also nominated you for the Reader Appreciation Award. http://radaronelson.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/wow-award-2-reader-appreciation-award/

  10. […] Award to Olivia Obryon. Olivia is a teacher/writer who loves every moment. Check out her blog for a breath of fresh […]

  11. I went to UCD too! Being a teacher is the best job, but it is so hard to figure out to how both rock in the classroom and at life. I’ve been chronicling my journey since 2009 – both as a classroom teacher and now adoptive mama. Nice to meet you!

  12. Thanks for the like on my most recent post. I admire you for taking the plunge, and going back to school…to work in school:-) Blessings on your three projects of teaching fifth graders, publishing your first novel and travel adventures…may they all bring your life meaning and joy.

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