Olivia Folmar Ard

Blog

In Sickness & Health

I was sitting on my in-law's couch when I got the call. We had just finished a belated Christmas lunch, four steaming bowls of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn gone in the blink of an eye. My husband and I were goofing around with a remote-controlled toy helicopter his father had received as a gift. A sweet black cat lay at my feet, curled like a comma in the middle of a phrase, as if he already knew we would end up bringing him home. I was in the middle of a laugh when I felt my phone buzz. 

The number wasn't stored in my directory, but I knew exactly who it was. I'd committed it to memory involuntarily after seeing it pop up so many times over the course of several weeks. Joy drained out of me like something inside had come loose, and my chest tightened with dread. "I have to take this," I said, pushing the remote control for the helicopter into my husband's lap. He frowned and nodded as I rushed into the kitchen.
 

Leap Without Looking

This weekend, I'm going to pick out a paint color for my baby's nursery. 

Before anyone gets too excited, no, this is not a pregnancy announcement. Nor is it my way of sharing the good news that we've been chosen to receive a child through adoption. Nothing about our circumstance has changed to warrant this decision. 

You might think I'm crazy for painting a room for a child I don't know for sure is coming, and part of me agrees with you. Part of me feels like Liz Lemon buying a wedding dress for a marriage she doubts will ever come to pass. 

But this morning, I searched for a passage in Isaiah that has been pricking at the corners of my mind. It's been a long time since I've visited that particular corner of the Bible, so all I could remember was that there was something about barren women rejoicing. When I found it, I burst into tears. 

Infertility Update

Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This did not come as much of a surprise since my husband and I have been trying to conceive our first child for almost a year with no luck. I've blogged about our infertility here and there, but have held off on the specifics until we knew more about our situation. 

Now, about two months into treatments, I have a better idea of the road that lies ahead. This seems like the best place to share updates, since a mix of family, friends, and readers have reached out to ask for updates. 

Why I'll Never Participate in NaNoWriMo Again

I have dreamed of successfully completing at least one NaNoWriMo competition since 2011, and this past year I finally realized that dream. I wrote 50,014 words of This Dread Road, Book Three of The Bennett Series, in November 2015.

I was so proud of myself. Not only had I finally managed to complete the challenge, but I'd done it during the same month my husband and I purchased a new home and moved. 

For several months post-NaNo, I was convinced that everyone should participate in this challenge, no excuses. But now that I'm (finally) finished with revisions, I can look back and say with all manner of certainty that NaNoWriMo, while well-intentioned, did me far more harm than good. 

 

Why I Write Mentally Ill Characters

’ve always been a worrier. Racing thoughts and infinite loops of “what ifs” have been my constant, unwelcome companion since childhood, riding my shoulder like a cartoon devil and whispering imagined calamitous possibilities into my soul. As a young child and teen, and even now sometimes as an adult, I find that the simplest hypotheticals can terrify me into a stupor.