The girlfriend Hour in Hawaii begins...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hello again!

Well, there's all kinds of big news coming to you from the Hawaiian Islands. First, and most important to the fireflies who make this blog work is this: Kim is here!! That's right, my friend and assistant, Kim Fisk, is here in sunny Hawaii for her first vacation in years. She hasn't let me take her picture yet (keeps shoving her laptop in front of her face when I lift a camera), but I'm committed. Believe me, we will post a picture of Kim on the beach, drinking a mai tai. As it is, she's working hard on the last pages of her book, which as you all know, will be published in early 2010. Any minute I expect her to come stumbling out of her room with a dazed look on her face, mumbling, "I'm done. I'm done. I'm done." That's when I'll hand her the mai tai and snap my photo. :)

And then there's the news about Firefly Lane. I haven't really been keeping you all up on the book's success, mostly because it's almost embarrassing. An embarrassment of riches. But this week, the book marked it's FOURTH MONTH on the New York Times list. Is that absolutely freakish and unbelievable? It isn't even dropping much. It's number six. I'm going to start calling this book the little novel that could. I'm still not quite sure how it's happening, but I guess every woman who reads the book tells her friend about it. It's like that old commercial, "I told two friends, who told two friends, and so on and so on." All I know for sure is that it's magic, and it all started here, with the first readers who came onto the blog and started the word of mouth. I really am so, so grateful.

On last week's blog, Lisa from Texas mentioned that she was stressed out, and I wanted us to divert out book club for a moment to talk about the pressures we women live under. We all have a special opportunity on this blog to help each other and offer suggestions that have worked for us. Obviously we are all readers, but what else do you do to relieve the stress that wife and motherhood, employment, the economy, etc. place on you?

Me, I read, I run, I watch television, I take baths, I cook, and I sit on the beach. And perhaps most importantly, I call my girlfriends. We kvetch about our kids, our husbands, our jobs, our responsibilities, and somehow all that complaining makes us start laughing, and then I can handle it all again. As I get older, I definitely understand how much my friends have enriched my life and help me manage it.

And speaking of television (which, of course, I wasn't, but it's always on my mind), I am LOVING the new Prison Break and can't wait for Fridays, I HATE what's happening on Brothers and Sisters, I am confused by what's happening on Lost, and I can't fathom that Adam was on the bottom three in Idol this week. How on earth did THAT happen? And I'm glad that Tyson is gone from Survivor. now all we need is to say hasta la vista to Coach...

Books to recommend this week: I read and loved Long Lost by Harlan Coben, The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly. I also finally read The Eight by katherine Neville and would love to hear from others who have read it. Next on my pile is a debut novel that hasn't yet been published. I'm also looking for a great gothic. Anyone have any ideas?

I guess that's it for now. Aloha to all---


Hello from sunny Hawaii...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Aloha friends and fireflies--

I'm back in my favorite place in all the world...Hawaii...and more specifically, as the picture at the side shows, I'm back at my favorite tiki-themed restaurant/bar with good friends Jill Marie Landis and Stella Cameron. It was particularly special this time because we also brought my sister in law to see the wild and crazy floor show. Hawaiian music, impromptu hula, people popping up from their seats and running for the microphone. Really. You can't make up this kind of stuff. Even cooler is the fact that my husband's parents visited this exact same place in the sixties. I don't think a single thing has changed...not even the tablecloths. :) Every time I'm here, I can't help thinking how much my own mom would have loved this place...

Why am I running around to tiki bars, you ask? Well, I'll tell you: Because I am DONE with the book for 2010. Done, done, done. I am positively giddy with happiness. After at least twelve drafts (just ask Kim, who started complaining at about number six and grumbled that I needed to sleep more and quit writing so much), I have finally written the end. And I'm pretty sure I mean it. :) I have to tell you all, just because you're such great friends and readers, that I really, really love this book. I don't care what the reviewers say about it, or really what anyone says about it. I believe this is the first time that my own work has ever made me almost cry. It's different for me--two parallel stories, one in the present time and one in the past--and even though that structure made me tear my hair out for a long time, I ended up loving it.

And since I'm done, I've been reading a ton of books and watching even more television. Now that I'm in Hawaii, I have my beloved abc back, so I'm caught up on Lost and Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. And I see that Prison Break has five more episodes this month. YIPEEE!!!! Is this my lucky month or what?

So, in no particular order: Was Adam TOTALLY amazing this week on Idol, or what??? I think they should have had him sing it again for all those people who watch on tivo and lost his performance. Also, I am amazingly captivated by Lost, although I admit that I no longer have any idea what's going on unless the Others turn out to be pod people from another planet. I can't turn away from Biggest Loser and hope Tara wins.

Books. Read Harlan's newest, LONG LOST and loved it, like all of his stuff. I just love Win and Myron. Also read a new author (for me) John Connelly. The book of Lost Things. I really enjoyed it. It's a recommendation for people who like kid fantasy books, although the themes are very adult. I also enjoyed Lynne Griffin's debut novel,
LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER. Check out the cover. It's really pretty, don't you think? Anyway, it was a lovely story about a really difficult subject--every mother's worst fear. Honestly, I had difficulty starting the novel. I was worried about the topic, but the author handled it with grace and restraint. I'd love to hear what other people think. If you belong to a book club, it's a good choice to spark discussion.

And finally, I want to thank Lisa for pointing out that Firefly Lane is indeed number 2 on the New York Times list for the second week in a row. I am constantly amazed by this book's success. All across the country, I guess, women are picking it up and loving it and recommending it to their friends. But it all started with you guys, here on the website. You were the early readers and I can't tell you what that means to me.

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print for right now. I think I'll head out to the beach for an hour or two. But what shall I read? Any suggestions? I'm thinking about finally diving into Katherine Neville's The Eight. I mailed over about one hundred books for this vacation, though, so I have a few choices. :)

For our book club discussion on Firefly, I want to thank you all for the talk about Tully. From my perspective, she was always likeable. I guess that's because I saw her as so damaged. And I know people like her, who really are broken enough that they have trouble seeing the world through dispassionate eyes. I honestly hope someday to write Tully's book. Several of you have noticed the bits I put in about Cloud's "secret" past, and I want to explore that. I just don't quite have the idea for it yet. Here's this weeks question: Did Johnny ever really love Tully? And why did Kate have so much jealousy about that relationship?

So, Kristin Hannah, signing off from sunny Hawaii, saying mahalo (thanks) to all of you again for always being there. I can't tell you how often your blog posts make me smile or laugh or think about something important. And here's the view from my bedroom window, so you can picture me on my lanai, reading something you all have recommended and looking---somewhat desperately--for a new idea...
Aloha for now,