Thursday, August 27, 2009

Character of the Week: Olivia!

For this week's character of the week, I’d like to introduce Olivia, a passionate artist, wife, and mother! Olivia, please tell us about yourself:



Hi, everyone! My name is Olivia Harper.


Although I grew up in New Orleans and now live in southern Texas, I actually don’t have much of a Southern accent – and rarely do I utter the word “y’all,” unless I’m joking. In fact, I’m a fairly simple gal. I live with my husband, Michael; our children, Daryl and Samantha; and our beagle, Buddy, in a three-story, beachfront home on South Padre Island. Michael operates a pediatric practice on the mainland, while I run an art gallery and bead shop on the island.

My love for art began long ago, during my youth in New Orleans, a vibrant city that begs to be painted. There, I lived with my father, Patrick Marconi, a successful restaurateur; my mother, Devi, an unhappy housewife; my annoying twin older sisters, Rebecca and Sadie; and my beloved dog, Charlie. By the time I was an adolescent, I knew that I wanted to be an artist. So, with my parents’ encouragement, I enrolled in the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.



Following high school, I studied art and art history at the University of Texas at Austin. After earning a graduate degree and realizing that I was sick of school, I moved to San Antonio, where I met and eventually married Michael, the love of my life. Although it’s been a decade and we’re still happily married, there’s something I’ve never told him... even when he was in the midst of working on a book about childhood and imagination.

When I was a little girl, my mother told me about a secret, underground community in southern Kentucky, a made-up place called Ruby Hollow. Rife with wondrous chambers and eccentric characters, the Hollow filled my imagination as a child. Years later, as a sophomore in high school, I had forgotten about the Hollow and grown weary of my mother’s moods... until the day I discovered a cache of love letters in her closet – love letters from Jesse, the “hero” of her bedtime stories about Ruby Hollow. It was then that I realized the Hollow was real.

Eventually, I summoned the courage to confess my find. Surprisingly, Mom wasn’t upset. In fact, she seemed relieved. When her estranged mother passed away soon afterward, she asked me to accompany her to Kentucky for the funeral. While there, she decided to take me to Ruby Hollow – to meet Jesse and the rest of the Hollowites for myself. It was a trip that would change everything – including our relationship and my mother’s future.




Only my father knows why she never returned to New Orleans. Michael merely believes that she disappeared when I was fifteen. How can I tell him the truth – when doing so could risk the sanctity of an entire village?

Have you ever kept such a secret from the person you love most? Are you ready to share it now?

86 comments:

DESTINY said...

Yes, Olivia. Your Destiny is entertwined with your mother's. Yet you have your own Destiny to follow.

Do you know what your Destiny is?

Ginger said...

Hello, Olivia. It's so nice to meet you!

Did your mother stay with Jesse? Is that why she didn't come back?

Are the "Hollowites" regular people, or are they different from us? Like aliens or something, I mean. Please excuse me if that sounds ignorant.

Vic said...

Caves, huh? Sounds nice. Your mom has good taste. Are there bats in the caves?

Olivia Harper said...

Hello, Destiny. Yes, you're right. My destiny IS intertwined with my mother's, but I decided long ago that I had my own to follow.

When I found my mother's hidden love letters and was finally able to tell her about my discovery, it seemed that a great weight lifted from her shoulders. For years, she'd wanted to tell me that the Hollow was real, but she didn't know how. Up until that age (fifteen), I'd thought it was just a made-up place in a series of bedtime stories. In fact, I'd forgotten all about it by then.

But knowing that it was real and seeing that it was real are two very different things. Going down into the caves with my mother was both terrifying and illuminating. I stayed there with her for about two weeks, long enough to meet the people she had decided to spend the rest of her life with. In some ways, it was a hard decision for her. Even though she was in love with Jesse (and had been ever since he saved her in the caves as an adolescent), she was concerned about hurting my father (despite their cold marriage) and she was loath to let me go. But, as much as I loved her and knew that I would miss her always, staying in the Hollow was her destiny, not mine.

Although I wasn't sure then what my destiny actually was, I know now that I was meant to live on this island, with my loving husband and my two amazing kids... oh, yeah, and Buddy, too.

Olivia Harper said...

Hello, Ginger. It's so nice to meet YOU!

Since I'm feeling very open today, I'll tell you... my mother did, in fact, stay with Jesse. That's exactly why she didn't come back to New Orleans with me.

You see, when my mother was a young girl (about 13, I think), she was on a family vacation in Mammoth Cave National Park when she decided to go exploring on her own... and ended up falling off a ledge, breaking her ankle, and, in general, busting herself up pretty good.

She would've died, had it not been for a roving Hollowite - a young boy named Jesse - who happened upon her. Although he wasn't supposed to be roaming around by himself in the caves, he ran back to the Hollow and reported his find right away. Luckily, his mother, Marybeth, was a town doctor... and a kind-hearted woman.

So, my mother ended up recuperating in the Hollow for six weeks. While there, she met all sorts of wonderful people and ended up falling in love with Jesse. It gets a bit complicated after that, but the bottom line is that my mother needed to return to the surface, where her family was... and despite her desire to return to Jesse after high school, life intervened and she ended up pregnant with another man's twins (my sisters). So, she and Jesse had to settle for their thirty-year correspondence.

Oh, and to answer your question, Ginger, the Hollowites are just regular humans. Not mole people or anything. The Hollow was founded in the late 1850s by a woman named Ruby and some runaway slaves, so although many of the Hollowites were born there (like Jesse), many others have come as refugees over the years. And they're all encouraged to go to the surface on a regular basis, for a dose of the sun. So, though they might be a little paler than most, they're certainly not cave weirdos or anything, if that's what you mean.

Olivia Harper said...

Hi, Vic. They are pretty nice, as caves go. And, yes, there are definitely bats in Mammoth Cave... apparently, guano used to be mined there, or so I've been told.

Nevin said...

I don't think I would like to live in a cave. It sounds very gloomy and sad. I much prefer bright colors and sunshine, don't you?

Oh, dear. I hope I haven't given offense. I completely respect people's individual choices.

Maxwell said...

You want bombs? You blow up cave entrance, no one ever find it.

I give you, cheap.

Olivia Harper said...

Well, Nevin, no offense taken. That's exactly why I don't happen to live in the caves. As an artist (and also as a person), I prefer color and sunshine, too.

But, honestly, I can understand why my mother would choose to live in the Hollow - and I have always respected her choice. It's a vibrant place in its way... hundreds of people live there, so it can't be accused of being gloomy and sad. There's just too much going on!

shy said...

'There are secrets in all families.'

~ Jane Austen

Olivia Harper said...

Hmmm... Well, Maxwell, at the moment, I don't think bombs would be such a good idea. Unless done carefully, the cave entrance might not be the only thing that's blown sky high... also, it might turn a bigger spotlight on what's meant to be a secret community.

But, if some of the Hollowites get angry with me for revealing too much about the Hollow... I might have to revisit your proposal. I'll keep it in mind for now. Thank you for your, uh, generosity.

Olivia Harper said...

So true, Shy. Of course, mine isn't much of a secret anymore.

Maxwell said...

Olivia, okay, you change your mind, you let me know.

I also have chemicals. Anyone finds out your secret, they go to sleep. Never come out.

Cheap, you let me know.

Laura Martone said...

No, kidding. What are you doing to me? Don't give everything away!

Anonymous said...

What do you look like?

Olivia Harper said...

Thanks, Maxwell. I'll keep the "cheap" chemicals in mind, too. The Hollow has its own methods for maintaining secrecy, but now that Ms. Martone has stopped by, I'm not so sure I should reveal those particular trade secrets.

Olivia Harper said...

Ms. Martone, I apologize for revealing too much. But, I'm feeling very open today and, with all due respect, this is really my story... not yours.

Devi Marconi said...

Technically, Olivia, it's as much my story as it is yours. Why didn't you ask me first before sharing my history with others? Do you realize how much danger you could put the Hollow in?

Olivia Harper said...

Mom, I did ask you. In my last letter to you. But that was over three months ago, and I haven't heard from you since. I don't mean to hurt you, Mom, or the Hollow.

But do you have any idea how difficult it is, bearing this burden? Knowing that my mother is not only alive, but thriving, and I can't share that with my husband, my children...

Incidentally, how did you find me here?

Devi Marconi said...

The Hollow has Internet access these days. We're not as backward as some might think.

Olivia Harper said...

Mom, I never said you were backward. In fact, I've always been fascinated by the Hollow's technology. You know that.

Olivia Harper said...

Mom? Mom, are you still there?

Sigh.

I'm sorry, Anon. I got a bit, uh, sidetracked. I guess I can answer your question without upsetting anyone else...

I'm petite, and since I swim in the Gulf a lot, I'm in pretty good shape. Let's see... I have long, dark hair; brown eyes; and skin that tans easily, especially under the hot Texas sun. I look a lot more like my dad than I ever did my mom... which, I suspect, used to bother her.

Aidan said...

Hi Olivia!!

No secrets.

Actually there are, but if I told ya I'd have to kill ya. :)

I don't much like the underground. I can't sense your Ruby Hollow at all. Are you sure it's safe?

Olivia Harper said...

Hi, Aidan.

I think you might be the first person to answer my question... thanks for sharing, uh, nothing. If you'd have to kill me, then I suppose I'd rather not know your secrets.

Why don't you like the underground? It's actually quite cool below Kentucky, and there are many interesting passages and chambers. Why doesn't it seem safe? It's not like a manmade mine. Cave-ins happen very rarely - and never within Ruby Hollow - which is an eight-level village, fortified by its builders and protected on every level by hidden doors and guards.

It's safer than most places aboveground. Its only real vulnerabilities are flood (which is highly unlikely), disease (which is closely monitored), and discovery... and I'll never tell exactly where it is. Mammoth Cave is a big system, after all. Good luck finding the Hollow.

But, as I said earlier, it's not for everyone. Hence, why I don't live there.

Olivia Harper said...

I wonder where my mother went. Hope she's okay.

Nevin said...

So what do the Hollowites do for fun, Olivia? Do they play music there?

To answer your question, I'm afraid I'm unable to keep secrets very well. I find it very distessing to not be completely honest with someone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Oliva,

Do you have a boyfriend?

Shadow

Bo said...

Olivia sounds sexy doesn't she, Shadow?

Anonymous said...

Hi Bo

Um.............

...............



Bo, you have girlfriends, right?

Shadow

Anonymous said...

Olivia, what do you do for a living?

Olivia Harper said...

I'm sorry, everyone. I heard my daughter crying outside... and had to go investigate. Michael's at work right now, so I'm on my own.

Anyway, it was no big deal. She and Daryl (her brother) were playing out on the deck, and she slipped and scraped herself. Couple of splinters. No big deal, as I said, but you know kids. They want to make sure someone's listening. :-)

Anyway, where was I... oh, Nevin, the Hollowites have lots of fun. To make their little socialist utopia function well, everyone must have multiple duties. A cook is never just a cook. He/she might also be a nurse, a brewmaster, and a violin teacher. But most people have hobbies as well - a lot of the Hollowites are very creative. They paint, sew, write, sing, play music, craft beads, blow glass, etc. You name it, someone probably does it down there. They also have an auditorium where they perform plays and such, a ballroom where they have Friday night socials, a small nightclub (where people go to drink and listen to live music), and so forth. As I said, it's a very lively place.

And, Nevin, that's okay about not being able to keep secrets very well. As you can see, I'm not very good at it either. But, to be fair, it took me twenty-one years to open up to all of you... and I still find it distressing that my husband doesn't know any of this. When he gets home from work, perhaps I'll finally tell him.

Might as well. The whole world will know soon enough...

Olivia Harper said...

Hi, Shadow.

Well, uh, no. I don't have a boyfriend. But I do have a husband. Does that count?

Ginger said...

Hi again, Olivia! I loved Mammoth Caves when I went there with friends last year. It was really awesome. Don't they have a skeleton there of an Indian who got lost and died in the cave?

I don't have any secrets. That's part of my problem, I think. I'm too trusting.

Olivia Harper said...

Um, Bo, I'm not sure that's entirely appropriate. I am married, you know. Happily, I might add.

P.S. You seem to have one fierce libido.

Ginger said...

Don't mind Bo, Olivia.

He's an incubus. He can't help it.

Olivia Harper said...

Hi, Ginger!

Welcome back. I was gone for a little while, too... Kids never understand the concept of "alone time" - but that's okay. I love them so.

Well, I'm happy to hear that you've seen Mammoth Cave. Isn't it incredible? I haven't been in years, but I'm planning a trip there soon. It's time that I introduce my daughter to her grandmother... if she's speaking to me, that is.

Anyway, I don't know about that particular skeleton, but bones have indeed been found there. It would be pretty easy to get lost and die down there. My mother almost did. Thank goodness for Jesse.

As for having no secrets, well, that's probably for the best. It's good to be an honest person - secrets can really eat away at a person. Then again, it's possible to be too trusting... you leave yourself vulnerable to those with nefarious intentions.

Olivia Harper said...

Thanks, Ginger. I forgot that he's an incubus. That makes a lot more sense now.

Sorry, Bo. I know it's only in your nature to be a horn-dog. No offense taken.

Olivia Harper said...

I almost forgot someone...

Anon 10:42, you asked me what I do for a living. Well, I'm an artist. I paint, take photographs, and make collages and beaded artwork. I have a studio in my house, which is why it's been fairly easy for me to communicate with you all today.

I sell my artwork in galleries around the South, and I run a small bead shop and art gallery on South Padre Island. I've also produced a few coffee table-style books - filled with my more artistic photographs.

Although I've studied to be an artist since I was thirteen, visiting the Hollow has always served as an inspiration to me. You should see the artwork produced down there. A Japanese family even makes little Japanese dollhouses. They're quite delicate - and lovely - like nothing I've ever seen on the surface.

Marenya said...

I am amazed that your people can stay so long underground, Olivia. We die if kept away from air and sunlight too long.

I was held prisoner underground for several weeks. It was very difficult for me not to endure the darkness, but I believed that I had a purpose for being there.

How do your people light their world underground? Do they use magic? If not, how can they find enough fuel to keep their fires burning?

Marenya said...

I meant to say, "to endure the darkness."

To answer your question, the secret I keep from the person I love most is this... that I love him. I know he isn't ready to accept me, so I wait and hope that one day he'll change his mind, or that I might forget him.

The hardest secret was the whole time I took my cousin Pelwyn's place, allowing myself to be captured in her stead. I had to continually remind myself to be like her in every word and action, lest I give myself away.

Kalila said...

You sound like a very interesting human, Olivia. Most of your kind waste their short, futile lives watching television. I rather admire humans like you who pursue their interests and talents.

Your question is a little puzzling, though. I suppose I can understand humans keeping secrets from other humans, since you're such a sensitive lot, but I have no need for secrets.

Bo said...

Other than the secrets you keep from yourself, djinna.

Kalila said...

What's that supposed to mean, sleazeball? Go away. Olivia isn't interested in what you have to offer and neither is anyone else here today.

Christine H said...

Kalila ~ Meow!

Anonymous said...

Hi Olivia,

I guess a husband counts.

How old are your daughters?

Shadow

Faldur said...

I haven't told Marenya the truth about her father's death. It could damage our friendship. Perhaps it is wrong of me, but that is my decision. I believe it's for the best.

Pelwyn said...

The only thing it would damage is your self-sufficiency, dearest Faldur. You feel the inexplicable need to bear every burden alone.

She's going to find out sooner or later. Why don't you just tell her?

Marenya said...

What are you saying over there?

Faldur said...

Nothing of importance. Time for my patrol.

It was a pleasure meeting you, Olivia.

Aden fath! May the stars light your way until we meet again.

Jessie said...

Olivia - what do you like to do for fun?

Olivia Harper said...

Hi, Marenya. My apologies for the delay in responding... Buddy (my beagle) was whimpering for his midday snack. He's such a little piggy...

In answer to your question about living underground... well, first I should point out that the Hollowites are not my people. I live on an island, in the ever-present wind and (almost) ever-present sunshine.

The Hollowites have lived below the earth for many generations, but as I said earlier, they are encouraged (well, in essence, required) to go up to the surface periodically for fresh air and sunshine. One of their two main entrances is beneath a farming family, to whom the Hollowites are known and accepted, so it's fairly easy for them to come to the surface.

There is light and warmth in Ruby Hollow. Originally, the light came from oil lanterns. Now, there are water-powered turbines on the seventh level (which is the second lowest level), at the convergence of five underground rivers, that powers the hydroelectric station, which in turn lights the community. Although there is a main furnace on the seventh level, many of the chambers have fireplaces, and they use wood from the trees aboveground. At least, they used to. Their technology has probably changed a lot since I last saw it a couple decades ago.

I'm sorry that you were held prisoner, Marenya. That's terrible, and I'm sure it was difficult for you to endure the darkness. Although there are prison cells in Ruby Hollow, they are only used on rare occasions.

What was your purpose for being imprisoned underground? I'll bet that, whatever it was, the love you have for that unknowing man probably helped to sustain you. I hope that he'll be ready to accept you soon... as there's nothing more powerful than mutual affection.

Wow! To pretend to be someone else - in every word and deed? I don't know that I could do that. What a stalwart soul you are! I'm impressed.

Olivia Harper said...

Welcome, Kalila!

And thanks for the nod. Coming from a multi-talented djinna (did I spell that correctly?) like you, I appreciate your compliments.

As for television, my family doesn't watch it - except to check the weather or the news... neither of which we trust much anyway. Instead, we're a very old-fashioned family. We play outside - on the beach, in the surf, and through the mudflats. We play cards and board games and Legos. We read. We talk to one another. We create art together. Oh, and since I play the piano, I've been trying to teach my children to play as well. Daryl's taking to it quicker than Sam, but he is older.

I'm sorry if my question puzzled you, though... humans do tend to keep a lot of secrets from one another. In my case, I wouldn't keep such a secret... except for the fact that, for the longest time, I didn't feel that it was my secret to tell. But I'm rather tired of carrying this weight.

P.S. Thanks for sticking up for me, with Bo. He's being such a naughty boy today... or is that how he always is?

Olivia Harper said...

Shadow, I'm beginning to think that you're as naughty as Bo. Say it isn't so.

I only have one daughter, Samantha, and she's seven. Way too young for you - no matter how old you are.

Laura Martone said...

So, I just got back from picking blackberries, and I wanted to see what I missed. Though I'm afraid to look...

Olivia! How could you reveal so much about the Hollow? Don't you have any decency?

No wonder your poor mother isn't speaking to you...

Olivia Harper said...

You know, Ms. Martone, I'm getting a little tired of your judgmental tone. You reveal all this and more in your blessed novel. What does it matter if I share a few things today?

People will know soon enough... or were you planning to hide Hollow Souls away forever? Remember, I've seen your notes... I know you have every intention of writing more books about the Hollow.

So, don't be all high and mighty with me. I have a right to share my memories! I've surely kept them long enough.

Laura Martone said...

Perhaps you're right, Olivia. They are your memories, after all. I'm just the storyteller.

Say what you need to say... just remember that hundreds of souls depend on that place. Don't give so much away that it becomes MORE than just a legend to the locals.

Laura Martone said...

And stop calling me "Ms. Martone" - it drives me nuts. Just call me "Laura" - as everyone else does. (Well, except my mother, who has a thousand nicknames for me!)

Marenya said...

Olivia,

I didn't know what my purpose was for being there, but I believed that it was meant, and therefore Heaven had a reason for sending me there. It's all too difficult to explain in a few words.

If my author would just finish the current draft...

To put it in a nutshell, my cousin Pelwyn was in danger. In order to allow her to escape safely, I exchanged identities with her and was taken prisoner. As long as my captors thought that I was she, she was safe. If they discovered otherwise, they would have started pursuing her again.

As well, Faldur was guarding her and he was wounded. I don't mean to suggest that he was incapable in any way, but I didn't think that... if we were attacked again... he would be able to...

Well, he would be in such a rage if he knew I had even suggested he wasn't able to protect us, but the fact is... he was very badly wounded indeed.

So I did it for him as much as for my cousin.

It wasn't that difficult, actually, since we have lived together since I was a young hawin. I know her intimately, as a sister. I was just afraid that in some moment of fear or pain I might betray us both.

Olivia Harper said...

Okay, Ms... I mean, Laura. Thanks for your understanding.

Now, I have some folks to address...

Faldur, I think you should have some faith in your friendship, and tell Marenya the truth about her father's death. I don't think lies of omission are always for the best. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure meeting you, too. Good luck on your patrol.

Pelwyn, I agree with you. Faldur should share his burdens, as I'm doing today. Better that Faldur tell Marenya the truth than someone else.

And, Jessie, as for fun... I like to do lots of things. I like to play with my kids and my dog on the beach. I like to swim in the gulf or go fishing with my husband. I've been treasure-hunting on the island with a friend of mine. Michael and I also enjoy going to the waterfront bars and watching the sunset over a couple of cocktails. We even like to dance... and we enjoy traveling as a family. And, of course, Michael and I relish time alone... for a more private kind of fun.

Pelwyn said...

Don't let Marenya fool you, Olivia. They would have killed her if they found out, to keep her quiet.

Such a foolish, wonderful, horrible thing to do! We were all worried sick about her. I thought I'd never see her again, truly. It drove me mad hiding and waiting...

Ginger said...

Olivia,
Your life sounds very fulfilling. Is there anything you are unhappy about, or long for that you don't have?
Other than having your mother around, that is.

Olivia Harper said...

Just returned from watering my tomato plants, and wouldn't you know it? My friend Joe - the treasure hunter - called. He's trying to arrange a metal-detecting trip in the mudflats this weekend.

So, where were we?

Marenya, thank you for sharing your sad story. Yes, I am well aware of how difficult it is to express some things... especially when an author (ahem!) is still working on the "final-when-will-it-ever-be-over-revision". But I digress...

I think that that was very noble of you, Marenya - to sacrifice your own freedom for your cousin's freedom and Faldur's pride. Again, I salute you.

Olivia Harper said...

Well, Pelwyn, at least you appreciate what she did for you... and, ultimately, for Faldur, too.

I have no doubt Marenya would've been killed... had her deception been uncovered. I'm glad, though, that you were eventually reunited.

Nevin said...

How lovely that you play the piano, Olivia! I'm a keyboardist, too. Do you also compose? I love making music.

I like games, too. It's a very relaxing way to spend time with friends. You should play Scrabble with me and Kalila sometime!

A Game of Scrabble

Olivia Harper said...

Well, Ginger, my life is very fulfilling. Guess that's my mother's true legacy... it hurt me to see her so unhappy when I was growing up. My father is a good man, so it was hard for me to understand her unhappiness at first. But I finally realized that some people just aren't meant for each other... while Mom and Jesse are. Once she finally made the decision to grasp her own happiness... well, I think it left an indelible mark.

I wanted to get it right the first time.

But sure, there are things I long for... I miss my mother, of course. I wish my father and I were still as close as we were after she "disappeared" - but he got remarried, and, well, you know how that goes. I wish, too, that my sisters would speak to me, but they still blame me for Mom's "disappearance" - and they still don't know the truth of what happened that summer.

Sometimes, I even miss the closeness, the familiarity of the Hollow. Things just feel simpler down there.

And, of course... I, too, fell for a boy in the Hollow, and even though Michael is the love of my life, I often wonder what happened to Craig.

But that's life, right? We meet people, we fall for some, we forget others... but life marches on.

Ginger said...

Well, said, Olivia.

I plan to allow mine to keep marching!

Ginger said...

Nevin,
Susan and I make up our own rules for Scrabble, too. We say that "if you can use it in a sentence, you can play it."
We can't change the tiles or square values, unfortunately.

Christine H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olivia Harper said...

Hello, Nevin. How nice to hear from you again!

How wonderful that you're a keyboardist. I'm a skilled piano player, but, alas, I am not much of a composer. More of a visual artist.

And, obviously, I love games and puzzles. I used to play Scrabble with my mom... I'll happily play with you and Kalila. How do I join the fun?

Olivia Harper said...

Well, Ginger... you and Susan should play, too. It could be a Scrabble marathon!

Ricky said...

Be careful what you're getting into, Olivia. Nevin and Kalila play by some pretty strange rules.

Nevin said...

I'll look out for her, Ricky.

Kalila said...

If you can have a Scrabble partner, Nevin, so can I. Think about it.

Olivia, my author has us on a tour of Texas right now. You say there's a lot of wind on your island, and I think I would enjoy that. Maybe Ricky should book us a gig.

Ricky said...

After what you guys got up to in Dallas and Austin, you're crazy if you think I'm booking you on South Padre, Kalila.

Olivia Harper said...

Thanks for the warning, Ricky, but I think I can hold my own, even with strange rules... unless death or dismemberment awaits me if I lose. Then, I'm not so sure...

Course, if Nevin's my partner... who'll be yours, Kalila?

Aidan said...

I don't like the underground because it kills my Sight. I can't sense anything underground. I've also been held prisoner underground, so I'm not too keen on it.

Thanks though. :)

Olivia Harper said...

Oh, and Kalila, you're welcome to come down to South Padre. It's certainly a windy, sandy, salty place... if you like that sort of thing. I would love to see you guys play, and I'm sure Ricky could swing a gig in one of a number of joints.

Though it sounds like you did some damage in Dallas and Austin... If so, South Padre is even more of a magnet for mayhem - hence, why Michael and I live toward the northern end of town, where it's more quiet and less developed.

Wait a second, Ricky, I thought you said recently that you were proud that none of your band members had been incarcerated. What could they have done up north that was so bad?

Olivia Harper said...

That's fine, Aidan. As I said, living underground is not for everyone. It's certainly not for me. I don't know how effective a bead artist I would be without sunlight.

And, yes, no matter what the Hollowites do, the low light in some areas of town does take its toll on everyone's vision. I could also see how previous imprisonment would probably make the underground caves less attractive, too. I'm sorry that you have such bad memories...

Laura Martone said...

Well, I, for one, am reassured that folks like Nevin and Aidan seem opposed to living underground.

Perhaps, then, fewer people will be willing to spread the secrets you've shared today, Olivia.

Devi Marconi said...

I'm also cheered by this fact, Laura. I've spent much of the day trying to figure out how to deal with the potential fallout of my daughter's revelations.

It was nearly impossible to keep the rest of the council from finding this post on the Internet. I had to solicit Jesse's help to disable our "spyware" capabilities... whatever that means.

Way to go, Liv! I mean, you say you couldn't keep the secret anymore... but I've managed to keep it for over fifty years!

Olivia Harper said...

Hi, Mom. I'm actually glad to hear from you again... even if you are upset with me. I didn't appreciate your disappearing act earlier today. I mean, it's not as if I can call you up, you know. I was really worried about you.

And, while I don't want to pick a fight with you, I'd like to point out that you didn't exactly KEEP the secret. You told me - through your bedtime stories - and Dad knows the truth.

Right or wrong, it was my turn to purge a little. So, I talked a bit about the Hollow... it's not as though I've given away the exact location. You know, I'd never do that.

I love you, Mom, and I want you to be happy. It's just a hard secret to keep... Rebecca and Sadie think you're dead, for Pete's sake.

Olivia Harper said...

Mom? Are you still there?

Devi Marconi said...

I'm here, baby. I'm just thinking about what you said...

You're right. I haven't been fair. As Jesse just said to me, that's a lot for one person to carry, especially since the Hollow wasn't your dream. It was mine.

So, I do understand where you're coming from... I'm just hoping you can find a balance between sharing your memories with others and preserving the Hollow - because it means so much to the people who are here... right now.

Olivia Harper said...

Thanks, Mom. Tell Jesse hello for me.

Well, I should go. I just heard the front door slam. Michael's home. And I think it's time for me to tell him the truth... In fact, it's long overdue.

Mira said...

Wow. Olivia thanks for a very lively and interesting Character of the Week. Very fun - thank you so much. And it was alot of fun to meet Devi as well. Hope we hear more from your family!

Next week will be 'shy.' shy was chosen by Gabe, but wasn't able to do it until next week. shy is feeling shy, though, and said that Olivia can pick the one after shy.

Maxwell was also chosen, but he and I are in negotiation. He says that he would be glad to do it, but he'll have to blow the site up afterwards so they can't track him down. I'm not comfortable with that, so we're talking....

Olivia and family, thank you so much again!

Olivia Harper said...

Thanks, Mira. I'm glad that everything went well yesterday. It was fun meeting new people and entities... and it was cathartic revealing a few long-held secrets. I'm glad that it also lured my mom out of her cave, so to speak. I sure do miss her.

You'll be happy to know that Michael took the news rather well. I think he just wants me to be happy, which is why I love him so.

Perhaps I'll get him to join the fun, too, in the near future. In the meantime, I promise to contact you later today with my suggestion for an upcoming "Character of the Week" - after Shy's, of course, and hopefully before Maxwell's. I'd miss this site if that bomb-happy maniac blew it up.

For shame, Max. What sort of book could you possibly come from?