Ollie Has Left the Building

Ollie Octopus

That’s right! I’ve completed the final revisions to my story, “OLLIE’S TREASURE”.  Ollie is now safely on his way to possible publication destinations unknown.  Okay, I know Ollie’s destination, but whether or not he will be welcomed with open print space when he arrives is another story.

Sending my first short story manuscript out into the world was a little scary.  It’s silly I know, but scary none the less.  Once I’d decided it was finished, I found I kept obsessing over my words each time I picked it up.  I’d change a verb here, and adverb there, or perhaps change the word order.  Nothing major.  But with each change I felt sure the story was better.  Each time I told myself “I am so glad I didn’t sent it out like it was yesterday“.  Then tomorrow would inevitably become today, and today would become inevitably yesterday.  I’d look at the story again.  I’d change something else.  Something small.  Or several somethings.  Then I tell myself “I’m so glad I didn’t sent this out like it was yesterday.”

This process went on for about ten days straight.  Really.  I finally realized the story wasn’t actually getting any better.  I knew I could look that story every day for a year and find some little change I could make.  But, if I did that the story would never see the world outside my house.

Ollie deserved better than that.

And so, Ollie is gone.  I kissed him goodbye today (yes, literally) and pushed him out of the nest.  I hope he will fly.  Not that I really think an octopus can fly.  Although that would really be something to see.  And for now, that’s all I can do – just wait and see.

Thanks to those who took the time to read and comment on this story.  

Ollie’s Treasure (A Story)

Ollie Octopus

I wrote this very short story for one of my young children a little over a year ago and had completely forgotten about it. I came across it again recently and I’ve decided to clean it up a bit then submit it to a few children’s magazines to see if there’s any interest.

If you’d like to read the rest of the story just use the form below to receive the password. Any comments or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. (Image via Corel.)

Ollie’s Treasure


One morning Ollie Octopus was out exploring the ocean with his best friend, Benjamin Barracuda, when they discovered an old shipwreck. The ship was lying on its side, anchored to the ocean floor by years of sand and mud built up around it. Clusters of hard barnacles clung to the hull, and strips of velvety seaweed waved from it like green ribbons.

Ollie stared, wide-eyed. “I’ve never seen a real shipwreck before.”

“It looks like an old pirate ship,” Benjamin said. “I bet there’s a treasure chest full of gold inside!”

EDITED TO ADD: Comments on this story are now closed. Thank you for your interest!


The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never LivedThe 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived
by Allan Lazar, Jeremy Salter, Dan Karlan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When I first came across this book I was hoping for a thought-provoking read about how we’ve influenced both our culture and social identity not only by the things we do, but by the things we make up.  Sounded intriguing!  And, as a college Philosophy major myself, when I learned the authors were also philosophers I expected to be in for a real treat.

I wasn’t.

In retrospect, I wish whoever wrote the preface had actually written the rest of the book.  The tone set in the preface is completely betrayed by the chapters which follow.  Have you ever been to see a movie you were really looking forward to watching only to have someone talk through it and completely ruin the experience for you?  Yeah.  This book was that for me.

As books of lists go, this is a good one with plenty of unexpected “influential” characters included.  Some are obvious and still others were delightful surprises.  I had more than a few “ah ha” moments reading it.  Nevertheless, on balance this book feels a lot like someone invested a great deal of time and research to create an interesting reference work then, fearing it was too boring, decided cracking jokes throughout it would liven things up.

It didn’t.

Sure, some of the humor actually is funny.  But the humor only helped me to a greater appreciation of the particular character being explored once.  Maybe twice.  In the whole book.  While most of the humor is too sarcastic to mistake (or to overlook), on the occasions when a more subtle form is employed I found it difficult to know if the authors were presenting some fascinating new little-known nugget of truth they had discovered or if they were just cracking jokes.  Again.

Based on my experience of the book, I actually considered giving this only one 1 star. However, the authors obviously put a lot of work into gathering this information.  And that’s worth a star all by itself.

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