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 right...you'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---





Kristin

24 Comments:

Blogger april said...

Wow! Sounds like fun. I've never had a mai tai. I will say, though I'm not usually a fan of pineapples, my boss had some shipped from Hawaii during a recent trip and I adored it. So, maybe I don't like pineapple by the time it arrives in Virginia. :)

Yay for Firefly! I remember thinking the mother/daughter relationships were realistic. It's difficult for me because I never had such friction with my mother. We disagreed, but there wasn't the constant butting of heads as with a lot of other girls.

Oh, for the contest, is it just a blind contest - entry and subject line? I missed if we had to do anything. You know... you can't lose if you don't play. That's always my motto.

On the book/tv front, I'm not reading much, but I'm carrying around Nora Roberts's Vision in White which is enjoyable. I'm supposed to be reading Beach Music by Pat Conroy for book club which I will read next week. I'm waiting to see which shows get renewed and which are cancelled though I believe all my shows are safe which is a new experience for me. There are a few that may not make it, but it won't surprise me. The husband is waiting on pins and needles to hear about Chuck. It's his favorite show. Our birthdays are next month so I'm thinking of picking him up Season 1 (and so I can watch as I didn't get into it until the next season).

Can't wait to hear more about Kim's book!

May 14, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Oh, let's just skip over the picture of me. April was SO right--I should never have insisted Kristin start posting pics on the blog!! LOL LOL

I'm so there for snorkelling. And believe me it was NO FUN typing away in my room. Though I did have the best view in the world!! :)

Kristin you have to tell everyone about the chickens!

And did everyone bawl as hard as I did during the finale of The Biggest Loser?!?

Kim

May 15, 2009 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Lisa - TX Firefly said...

YAY! Finally, a picture of Kim. What a pretty lady. Kim - accept the compliment. You photograph very well, and I always give an immediate A+ on people who 'smile with their eyes' ..... You are one of those people!

Kristin, I'm so jealous of your (well deserved) time off. Enjoy it and keep reading, watching, and of course - writing =)

To every single person that commented on the last blog of what brings you relaxation and peace.... Kristin started that after my whining about how stressed and busy I was. Watch what you complain about, because God has a way of showing you that he can give you more. The past week has been horrific. A dear friend of my husband took his own life. The sadness of everyone left behind is beyong words. I pray for his soul. I pray for his peace. And, I pray that if one single person reads this, and ever considers that choice an option - - please reach out to the people that you love. Please know there are people that would give anything they could to help you.

Sorry, I got side-tracked. What I started to say was that before the events of this week consumed our lives, I read and re-read all of your blog comments. I realize that I'm not alone. We are all tried. All stressed. All overwhelmed. I got many ideas from the great things you posted. You guys are the best EVER. I'm so eternally grateful for my Fly-friends. Love you guys!

I'll answer the book club question later. My mind isn't quite around an answer yet.

I just had to say what was on my heart tonight. You guys rock, and I'm so glad you are my cyber-friends. =)

Lisa in TX

May 16, 2009 at 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Sheila said...

I was fortunate enough to visit a very good friend on Kauai two summers ago. Those chickens are hilarious! I could not get over how they're oddly everywhere. It took me a while to sleep through their delightful morning soundtrack as well :)

I'm glad y'all are getting some R&R. Props to Kim for getting her first book published! Much to celebrate!

My aunt and uncle are remodeling and stumbled into the realm of drawer pulls too. An odd and confusing realm indeed. I'm just happy my cabinets open and close. I'd be even happier if they had cookies in them, forget the pulls.

Now that I'm done with the school year, I'm ready to (get this) read a book for fun! Fun reading has not happened since TC and Christmas before that. Any end-all, be-all, must read first novel of the summer to suggest for me?

Since school has been over I've been working full time at the bakery and improving my cookie scooping muscles. In a few weeks I'm headed home and will be working at the vet clinic there. I'm looking forward to being on the west side of the state again!

Kim, now that you have a novel published I think you need an assistant. (Me) Especially if you take your assistants to Hawaii. I might be a terrible speller but I make pretty good eclairs ; )

May 19, 2009 at 2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the reading question from Firefly Lane: I definitely think the mother-daughter relationships are realistic. As a teacher, I see plenty of parent-child relationships, some healthy and some not so much. It is fortunate when, for the unhealthy relationships, someone else steps in to either help or to actually fulfill that role. As a mother myself, I work hard to have a great relationship with my daughter. I see too many girls choose very unhealthy behaviors in order to meet their need for love and belonging that they are clearly lacking from their family. It is sad. I hope (as hard as it is) that mothers everywhere work hard to have quality, healthy relationships with their children, especially their daughters. Although it is difficult at times (especially during adolescents), it is worth it in the end.

May 19, 2009 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Kristin, I just finished Firefly and could NOT put it down. It made me laugh and cry and remember and relate to so many similarities in my own life. I'm a breast cancer survivor for one. I, like you, have a solitary profession. I'm an artist. All of the feelings you expressed about your books and their reception - I feel the same when I see my work published or used on a myriad of different products. I have two daughters - and oh did the arguments between Kate and Marah sound SO familiar! They're both grown women now and we are close - over all of those stages and into new phases of relating to one another. I am married to the love of my life, a good, kind, wonderful man like Johnny. I also understand estrangement from a mother. So....you see...your story touched my heart in so many ways. And...your post script was important! I'm glad you reconsidered and wrote it!
Thank you!
Blessings,
Diane

May 19, 2009 at 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Lisa- I'm so sorry for your Hubby's friend :( I want to help people who feel that way. That is why I am so grateful for the flies.

May 20, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

To Be Read...

The Vineyard by Barbara D.

Mirror Image by Danielle Steel...yes,really.

Angels All Over Town...Luanne Rice.

Just finished True Believer by Nicholas Sparks, and loved loved LOVED Waiting For the Moon. The whole book was a masterpiece, from dealing with Cults to memory loss and yes, even a suicide attempt.

Rock On, Queen Firefly!

May 20, 2009 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

Hello ALL! I have been out for awhile without INTERNET! AHHG. Anyway, I just finished ON MYSTIC LAKE..loved it by the way. I need another book to read and I can't choose. Any suggestions?? I have already read Firefly Lane and True Colors. I cant decide on your other books which one to read. Thanks!

May 21, 2009 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

I love the pictures and the tales of life in the Islands you share. And Kim, you are gorgeous! It's great to have a picture of you now. :-) And I love Mai Tais. I think they are wonderful beach drinks.

Congratulations on Firefly going into it's 5th month! That makes me smile. I do remember the mother/daughter themes being realistic, esptcially between Kate and her dauaghter. I remember those years from the daughter's perspective and yeah, it worked in the story. There was always this love and hope threaded through the conflict, which I felt from my mom even when we were at odds.

For books these days I'm reading about dogs. We rescued a Vizsla/Yellow Lab mix and while he's well behaved, he's skittish and very different from our previous dog. So I'm reading some of Cesar Millan's books and finding them insightful and finding the amount of exercise I should be giving New Dog exhausting just thinking about it. But it's worth it. Really it is. I'm also reading some light mysteries such as One Hot Mess by Lois Greiman and doing a quick reread of of the last two Janet Evanovich books. I also did a reread of As You Desire by Connie Brockway (Love Victorian Egypt and love Harry Braxton!). No idea what I'll read next, but I should read my bookclub book - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Ugh. *g*

I'm excited that some of my TV shows are coming back in the fall - Castle on ABC and Dollhouse on FOX being two I was worried about makign the cut. Phew!

May 21, 2009 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger That City Girl said...

Hi! I am new to your blog, after reading (and falling in love with) Firefly Lane, which I am now spreading the word about on my own blog! Just wanted to chime in about book reccommendations...I am reading a great book now called "The Golden Willow" by Harry Bernstein which I highly reccommend. Beautiful story...

May 21, 2009 at 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Lisa - TX Firefly said...

Lindsey - read Magic Hour. AWESOME!

May 22, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous sheila said...

Lindsy - I would suggest 'the things we do for love', one of my personal faves!

May 23, 2009 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger Leen said...

Ok... hectic? Stress relief? I know we're already on another topic, but I am sooo busy that I didn't get time to reply to any of the last few blogs and when I saw there was already a new one again, I figured I finally had to make some time for this. It's probably my best way of dealing with stress anyway: grant myself some "me-time" and do something I like to do. Like chatting with my best friend on Sunday, planning a trip to Canada, blogging, working on my website, organizing another event, ... It's not like I've got nothing better to do, but I'm ready to do this now, so I am gonna do it. :)

Couple of comments on things that were discussed here. First of all to Lindsey: my pick would be "Between sisters". Ok, the other two suggestions are grand too, so you'll just have to read them all, one by one. And if you speak several languages, then maybe you can do like me and read them all in another language too. Craziness doesn't hurt. ;)

Reading: my last two books were in Dutch, so I can't help there. The one before that was Jody Picoult's "Mercy", which I liked a lot. Next one is to be decided tonight, cuz like Kristin I still have a whole pile (actually, they're in boxes) of books that I've bought in the last couple of months but didn't get time to read yet.

Regarding Kim's picture: nice to be able to put a face with the name. Unlike most character from books which are made into movies, though, you don't look that much different from what I imagined you would be like. I wanna hear about the chickens, though... sounds like an interesting story!

As for the book club question: I don't think I've ever really thought about any situation in one of Kristin's books: "now that's really unrealistic". Ok, sometimes there were love affairs where I was thinking that it was a bit too predictable, but other than that... it all felt really natural. With the parent-child relationships in "Firefly Lane", I could always compare to my own life, projecting the situation to my own life or that of somebody near to me.

Finally, to Lisa - sorry about your loss. Glad you felt like sharing it with us, though. I've always been a fan of saying what's on one's heart. :)

Love,
Leen

May 26, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Lisa---

I am so, so sorry to hear about the tragedy. I have never had to face anything like that, and frankly I can't imagine how difficult it must be. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend's family. This is one of those times when friends and family and faith are everything. And as an aside, don't forget to take care of yourself and be just a little kinder to yourself than usual.

That was something I learned from the firefly post, too. We ARE all under stress and scared and confused and overextended. Most of us say yes way too easily and no way too often. If we can all come together, even if only on the blog, and help each other stay strong, it would be great. So just know that we're thinking of you and praying for you.

I'm a big believer in the power of positive thoughts. I'm sending a few your way, and I'll bet I'm not the only firefly to do so.

xoxo
Kristin

May 27, 2009 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Sheila---

Congrats on finishing the school year! Hmmm....books for fun. I know I'm getting older, but I still remember how it felt to finally put the textbooks aside and reach for something just for fun. In my days, I read The Thorn Birds and Scruples and The Promise. Oh, and The Wolf and the Dove. Racy stuff in those days. :)

We've all recommended several thrillers and women's fiction novels in the past few weeks, so let us know what you pick.

And send us some of those great cookies. :) What kind are they?
aloha,
K

May 27, 2009 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Anonymous (wish I knew your name)--

I agree with you about the realism of the mother/daughter relationship. Obviously, not all relationships are so contentious, but some girls have a really difficult time with adolescence, and there's nothing harder than letting your child grow up. It's tough to find the balance between independence and need. I still struggle with letting my son "go," and he's 21. That was what I was trying to show with marah. In my mind, Kate had raised a tough, strong, independed daughter--all good things--but sometimes those traits can be tough to live with.Glad you liked the book.

aloha,
k

May 27, 2009 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Diane---

Thank you so, so much for joining this blog coversation. Your comments about your own breast cancer really touched my heart. What a heroic warrior you must be. We can all be inspired by your journey. Obviously, this is an issue that is near and dear to my heart, and honestly, nothing makes me happier than hearing of women who triumphed. I'm sure that Firefly was as tough for you to read as it was for me to write, so I especially appreciate that you loved it.

And I'm so happy to hear that you survived the difficult teen years and made it through to smooth sailing with your kids. I'm in the not choppy but not smooth waters yet. The middle years. I can't wait for us to be adults together.

aloha,
K

May 27, 2009 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Michelle---

I'm glad you loved Waiting for the Moon. Honestly, it was my favorite historical romance for exactly the issues you mentioned. I especially loved the nineteenth century asylm as a setting.

thanks!
K

May 27, 2009 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Lindsey---

I guess you're on a KH reading jag. :) Hope its fun summer reading. Here are my personal recommendations--if you want something a little funnier (while still serious), I'd pick Between Sisters. My personal fav is probably magic hour (because little Alice is one of my fav characters of all time).

What are other favorites and why?

let me know what you pick!
aloha,
k

May 27, 2009 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear naomi===

boy, do I remember the puppy training years. Worse than potty training by a long shot. And I sure miss the puppy snuggling years---our puppy was a german shephard and ended up about 110 pounds.

As for a lighter mystery-type read, I hate to jump on any bandwagon, but I have to recommend the Alexander McCall books. anyone who coins the phrase "traditionally built" has my undying respect. :) But, really, the characters are charming and the setting fabulous.

Any other recommendations, fireflies?

aloha,
k

May 27, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear That City Girl---

Welcome and stick around! Keep giving us recommendations. REading is one of the many things we all have in common.

aloha,
K

May 27, 2009 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Leen----

Yippee!!!!! I wrote a second blog before you could get to the first one! Ha ha! For once I'm ahead instead of behind. :)

I love to hear the fireflies recommending so many different titles. I can't tell you how cool it is for an author to hear that several books are peoples' "favorites." Maybe another blog will be about why we each like one book better than another.

The chickens on kauai are a real riot--although LOUD in the morning. About fifteen years ago a hurricane swept through the island and broke all the pens. So...free range chickens everywhere! :)

aloha,
k

May 27, 2009 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Leen said...

Darn Kristin - I almost called you a witch with a B (in a very fond way, of course!) cause you're making major fun of me. :)

Next time, I'll actually write my response to your blog before you've even written the actual blog post. How about that? ;)

By the way: my latest book choice has been a Nicci French thriller named "Until it's over". I've read Nicci Gerrard's books before, but this is my first acquaintance with the couple's. What I've read until now please me and makes me long for more, though.

Now go ahead and play the psychologist and figure out why I like a mixture in romance novels and thrillers/detective stories in what I read. It'll probably have something to do with me being a romantic, but having a dark side at the same time. I always knew I had a split personality anyway. ;)

Love,
Leen (and her evil twin, of course!)

May 29, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

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