Beautifully Said: Quotes that Fit my Novel, Vivos

As I’ve been working on my novel for about 2 years now, I find that certain quotes or songs resonate with me because they remind me of my story.  In Vivos, my protagonist deals with her fears in the dystopian society she lives in.  This is a quote I found on fear that reminded me of Shea Donovan’s fears, although not every part of it fits my book.  I think it is beautifully written.

From The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes:  “Fear festers in the imagination.  It’s not fear’s fault.  That’s just the way it’s made.  Nightmares breed.  Allies become enemies.  Subversives are everywhere.  Paranoia justifies any persecution, and privacy is a luxury when the Reds have the bomb.”

Vivos is about life.  Not only about being alive, but about living your life as you choose, and to the fullest.  This beautiful quote by poet Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets, sums it up perfectly:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Part of the lyrics to Sheryl Crow’s “Home” fit Shea Donovan’s discovery of a life she loves with a man she loves.

“Home” by Sheryl Crow

“I woke up this morning
Now I understand
What it means to give your life
To just one man
Afraid of feeling nothing
No bees or butterflies
My head is full of voices
And my house is full of lies

This is home…”

In spite of the tension in Vivos, Shea Donovan has a snarky and irreverent sense of humor.  Please see my post “Meet Vivos‘s protagonist, Shea Donovan” for some Sheaisms.  I don’t know if they’re “beautifully said,” but they’re fun!

Thanks for reading – Colleen Eccles Penor


Meet Vivos’s protagonist, Shea Donovan

Shea Donovan is 22, spoiled and directionless. She lives off a trust fund from her wealthy parents. She hasn’t declared a major, but is attending some humanities and wellness courses. Attending may not be an accurate word—she’s enrolled in classes and attends when she feels like it. A boyfriend recently broke up with her, and she’s been acting out, since: partying, smoking and one-night stands. This is in variance to her fitness habits: she runs five miles per day, lifts weights, and does yoga—even with a hangover.

What she wants more than anything in the world is to be loved. Romantic love has eluded her. She doesn’t get along with her mother, and sometimes feels that her mother hates her. Her older brother, Jace, was once her best friend, but he’s a drug addict now and is unreachable.

Shea is trained in survival skills, as her parents are survivalists. She knows how to fire a rifle and a pistol, knows unarmed self-defense, and attended a 2-week survival course in which she learned to pack a survival pack, set snares, find shelter, find and purify water and build fires. Still, she lacks confidence in her abilities.

She’s beautiful and intelligent, but doesn’t realize it because she has low self-esteem. She has bipolar disorder.

And she’s funny, even in a world that has gone bad. Those who have read parts of my book call her “snarky” and “irreverent.”

Some Sheaisms:

If my face gets stuck like the face I make for her benefit, I will be one crazy-looking broad.

I may have run over the toes of some guy who was standing next to his car, but that’s his tough luck. Get your flippers clipped, buddy. The shoulder is my little piece of paradise.

I let lose a string of swear words that would make a stand-up comedian cringe.

Wait, if you act like a pain in the ass and no one is around to witness it, are you still a pain in the ass?

I doubt if he weighs more than I do, and I only weigh 130 pounds, which is to say my driver’s license says 120.

Shea Donovan has been fun to write.  I hope you’ll get to know her better once her story is complete.