Aloha Hawaii...hello Pacific Northwest...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Aloha Fireflies and friends---
It's that time again. I'm packing up the Hawaii vacation, folding and washing clothes, rinsing off snorkel gear, guessed it, trying to figure out which of the pile of books I sent over to read, and didn't get to, should be put in my suitcase to come home. One of the best things about living in Hawaii for part of the year is the TBR pile. At home, I have trouble getting to everything I want to read. The books just pile up and pile up and pile up. But here, it seems that every few days I'm reaching for something new. What's better than sitting on the beach, reading? Unfortunately, just like at a great restaurant, my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I literally send over dozens and dozens of books, and even with my best intentions, I only get to a portion of them. Now I have to decide: which ones are calling to me so loudly that I'll carry them back over the Pacific, and which will I leave here for the next trip? It is a tough call, especially because once I go home, I have to work. That's And reading for pleasure will be just that much more difficult. I'll be researching the new novel (assuming I come up with an idea for the next novel), and copyediting the novel for 2010, and writing reading guide questions for the trade backlist publications of older novels that will be happening this summer.

Sounds like writing is a real job, doesn't it? Don't let all that fool you. It's still the best time a girl can have, and any complaints are not only a waste of time, they're flat out wrong. Obviously, writing is the perfect career for a gal who might forget toothpaste when she travels, but never has less than a full size suitcase full of novels.

Honestly, on this trip, I have had a great time reading, as most of you already know. I have really really loved As It Was Written, a debut novel, Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman, as well as the Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly. I also adored Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, but there will be more about that later. I've loved a YA book called Graceling, and read Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart, which I really couldn't put down. I also love Jill Landis's new book, The Accidental lawman, which is out any day. I know she's one of my best friends, but she has such a lovely, lovely voice. Several books, of course, didn't live up to expectations, and I won't mention those. I will say that I've got a copy of Jacquelyn Mitchard's newest, and I can't WAIT to dig in. Maybe on the plane...

Kim tells me that we've gotten several entries on the super top secret blog-reading firefly only gift card contest and that I need to define it a little more so everyone understands what i'm thinking. I'll definitely do that on Wednesday or Thursday when i'm home, but until then, keep entering. I can't wait to give some lucky winner a gift card to use at a a a movie theater. (PS: Saw Terminator: Salvation. Am I the only geek girl to go on opening weekend?) Any opinions?

I don't have time with all this packing to go over all the shows I watch. American Idol...shocking! Prison Break finale...wonderful! Dancing with the! Lost...mind blowing! But I'll open that discussion when I get home, too. until then, does anyone else have anything that they want to share about all of our show finales?

Okay, friends. Picture me closing my suitcase and turning off my computer. Soon I'll be heading to the airport and beginning the long process of going home. I'll let you all know when I land safely and we can start talking again. Until then, my thoughts are with you all...



Warm days, hot books, cool shows...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Aloha everyone--

Well, here it is: the much anticipated photographic proof that Kim actually came to my house in Hawaii and drank at least one mai tai. You can tell by her smiling face that we were having a great time. This particular shot was taken at the Tahiti Nui, an old fashioned bar where Hawaiian music rules, the decor is 1950's south pacific, and women are liable to break into hula at the first notes of "Tiny Bubbles." Okay, they don't really play Tiny Bubbles, but you get the idea. It's a wonderful, fabulous slice of Hawaiiana, and they make the best mai tais in the world. In the past year, I think I've shown you all pictures of more than a few of my writer friends at "the Nui," having the time of their lives. And no, I do not hula. Do. Not. Hula. I know this because I have tried to hula and heard the snickers. Rhythm is not one of my strong suits. In fact, if any of you are Seinfeld fans and you remember how Elaine dances...that's me. But I'm a hula fan and I adore watching other people dance. :)

We'll have to encourage Kim to offer a post or two about her trip. Like the professional woman she is, she was closeted in her room for the first few days, finishing the revisions on her SOON TO BE PUBLISHED FIRST NOVEL, and that's a tough road to walk. Everything about a first book is scary, exhilirating, wonderful, and panic-attack-inducing. But she finished on time and I know it's going to be fabulous. When she finally stumbled out of the room, bleary eyed and confused about who was real and who was fictional, I handed her her new favorite drink--a Malibu rum and pineapple juice--and she sat on the beach for hours, just relaxing. Heaven. She even dared to go in the water. Next trip, Kim, I have one word for you: snorkelling. That's're learning how next time. And for those of you who like to picture where we were sitting, this is the beach. And for those of you who actually came to Hawaii and forgot a camera, you can show your kids where you were. (That's right; Kim forgot her camera). :)

But now all our guests are gone, and Ben and I are back to our lazy, lonely ways. We're re-doing our kitchen over here, and nightmare stories notwithstanding, it has been a really easy experience. We decided to do it one Monday and within a few weeks, the work had begun, and now the new cabinets are in. The only chink in the armor was drawer pulls--who knew there was a whole industry devoted to HOW you open a drawer? For a girl like me, who doesn't like to shop and has a limited amount of patience for detail, it was a horror. An aside: how can a woman who obsesses over every word in a two hundred thousand word novel not have the patience to look through a single catalog of drawer pulls? I don't know. It's a mystery; all I know is that the process would have rendered me insane if I let it. So I closed my eyes and picked.

Everyone disagreed with me. Everyone. Friends. Husband. Even the cabinet maker. :) So the cabinet guy (a real artist, btw), chose them himself and they were GREAT. Bullet dodged.

Instead of pouring through catalogs, I have been doing something much more fun. Reading books!!! What a treat. What a vacation. I have been sitting on the beach, reading, and having a blast. I can recommend, without reservation, Alice Hoffman's Skylight Confessions. I really, really loved this book. It's a fabulous mix of dark and light, good and bad, love and hate, myth and reality. It's really Alice at her very best. She has a powerful, lyrical voice that is simply unlike anyone else. I also loved a new debut novel called As it was written. I'll tell you more about that one as its publication date approaches.

And our television shows! Wow. Let's see, in no particular order: I have a new, wild theory about Lost that has me on the edge of my seat, I can't wait to see what happens with Prison Break, I will be devastated in Adam doesn't win American Idol, even though I think Danny and Kris are incredibly talented, I can't believe Helen beat Tara in The Biggest Loser (that is SUCH an inspirational show), I wonder how in the world Coach is still on Survivor, and I'm actually kind of glad that a lot of these shows are ending soon so that I can get back to reading and writing. :)

Onto something that actually matters: I was really impressed by our last blog conversation about dealing with stress and handling the pressures of everyday womanhood. So many of you had wonderful ideas, and it struck me that this would be a great time to have a little secret Firefly drawing. So, let's do a drawing for one of those fifty dollar VISA gift cards. What do you think? Send in your emails with a caption: Firefly secret drawing. We'll collect the entries from now until June 1 and then we'll give away the gift. The lucky winner can use it--hopefully--in a way that makes her smile. A pedicure, a book, a movie with girlfriends, a round of mai tais...Good luck~

Well, that's about all the news that's fit to print right now. I think I'll head on down to the beach, set up my chair in the sand and read my new book. what's on the top of my tbr pile, you ask? I'm trying to decide. Any suggestions?

And thanks again to all of you---Firefly is beginning its fifth MONTH on the ny times bestseller list. So keep spreading the word!

Book club discussion question for the week: How realistic do you think the mother-daughter relationships in the book were?

Aloha and happy summer days---



Sunday, May 10, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY one and all-
I'm sending you some e-flowers from my garden here in Hawaii. A beautiful purple/pink orchid and a Bird of Paradise that is absolutely gorgeous. I would write a new blog entry, but it's Mother's day, so I'm busy forcing my husband to do my bidding. And what am I doing, you ask? Watching ALL my missed programs--Fringe, Prison Break, Grey's, etc. By tomorrow I will be totally caught up on everything. Ah, delicious. I'm also reading and looking forward to a massage on the lanai. Woo hoo. What a day. :)
But I have lots of news and will write more tomorrow--including posting a picture of Kim. I promise!
For now, I wish all of you the very best of mother's days---whether you are a mother or are just thinking of your mother or wishing to be a mother. I wish you all peace and joy and control of the remote on this most feminine of holidays.