Wednesday, May 09, 2007


But you don't know who was sitting at the table across from us at Cassis in Honolulu. Some cast members of LOST and a hobbit from Lord of the Rings.
I displayed my ARC prominently on our table but no one came to ask for my autograph.
Was it something I said?
Maybe those onions?
I practice signing my name so it comes out flowing and graceful.
How lame is that?

10:00 pm and 77 degrees.
Good fun networking with other writers. My friend Andy and Lisa from the Maui Writers Retreat and Conference. Andy is a pilot and tells me flying is safer than driving.
He is such a liar.
But I want to believe him. Badly.
We got talking about finishing novels when you have to work and are busy. It's tough.
When you have kids-- a demanding job. Family obligations.
No extra minutes. You have to carve some out of your day for yourself.
My son is grown. For the past three years I was able to make time to write and it was easy for me to give advice.
"Just sit down and write!" I would say and feel a bit superior. It just takes determination. Isn't that so?
I am here to tell you it's not that simple.
Lottery is a toddler now. Almost in preschool.
I start editing book 2 and the publicist calls. I begin to create another chapter and my editor calls. I go back to studying the plot structure and I get interview requests to be completed via email.
Remember how I said take five or ten minutes of free time and add a few sentences?
I was wrong. It seems like I need to know I have all day before I can relax and write a paragraph.
So my good friend and author Holly Kennedy said sit back and enjoy the ride.
But don't sit in the back seat and do nothing but watch the scenery swoosh by.
Or you might get car sick.


Kim Stagliano said...

Lottery is a toddler? Like that little kid in the tiny red cape who landed on earth? :) Great photo - is that your hubby with you? Hi, G! It's great fun to see photos. Make Hawaii see a little closer than the moon.

John Elder Robison said...

I'm finding it harder to write the second book, too. More people call, and there's more to do. Soon there will be work on publicity and all it entails.

Kimber An said...

I'm a mommy, so I'm used to being interrupted every two minutes and picking up where I left off. "Mommy, I have a poopy." "Mommy, my nose is bleeding." "Mommy, sister barfed on the sofa." I tell ya, I don't know how you non-parents-of-littluns manage!

Marva said...

What a great reason for interruptions, though.

About that interview. Everybody can come read it on my blog.

Holly Kennedy said...

Yup, the interruptions are killers, aren't they? NOW I see why writers are often stereotyped as eccentric, moody and neurotic (they just don't KNOW how hard it is, that's all).

Here are a few tips to achieve huge swaths of uninterrupted time as a writer:
- ear plugs
- bribes (often works with children and spouses)
- threats (use only when bribes fall flat)

LisaR said...

I'm so glad you wrote this blog. It is SO hard with all the daily distractions but you were right when you told me to stick to it. That's the only way it will happen. How come the LOST cast is everywhere except where I am? No fair.

M. G. Tarquini said...

It seems every time I get going, I have to chauffeur somebody someplace. I got so disgusted the other day I almost called a domestic agency to hire the munchkins a driver!

Maprilynne said...

You saw the cast members of LOST? You should have asked them if they got any good pictures of the shark as they sailed over it.;)

Ah well, I guess it's not the cast's fault--they just have to do what they're told.

You'll have to go back to that restaurant after your book has been out for like six moths and see who recognizes you then.:)

For this summer my hubby takes charge of the kids for four hours a day and locks me in the office to write and I am LOVING it!! No interruptions at all!! (All of you who may be thinking I am super lucky have to realize that this is never going to happen again--it's just a fortuitous summer--but still I'll enjoy it while I can.:))

M. G. Tarquini said...

And which hobbit? Or is he also a LOST cast member?

Heidi the Hick said...

I don't think it's lame that you're practicing your autograph! I have a question though: is it your real signature that you use on documents or are you writing your actual name? I ask because my official sig is not my name. I'm hoping to need to know these things...

I'm learning lots of neat ways to procrastinate lately. I expect this will not be helpful in any way in the future.

ORION said...

My "real" name is not "Patricia Wood". (It is close -- my first name is Patricia.) I sign my checks and my publishing/agenting stuff with my real name and my editor and agent call me by my real name and address things with my real name.
It is not a problem except when Putnam makes hotel reservations for me and does it under Patricia Wood!!!!
Good question Heidi.
Mia King and I have chatted about it (she also uses another name).
It wasn't at all because we wanted aliases! There were other considerations. My name was too long for example. Now that it is done I am glad my agent suggested it.

Maprilynne said...

Really?!?!?! I had no idea!!!

That is so interesting.:)

Anonymous said...

Oh, fer the love of Gawd, Mindy.

The Hobbit in question is MERRY.

YEs. He's been on Lost for a long time now.

Pick up a tabloid once in a while, won't ya?


kimisnowbriannatiffanyamberchartreuse said...

Waaaah! I want an alias! A Nom de Plume! Did you change your name to protect this innocent?? ;)

briannacanttype said...

THE innocent, not this innocent. Must drink coffee.

Demon Hunter said...

Great advice, Pat. I need to get my butt back in the chair, and begin writing another novel, instead of toiling away on a short story.

Kanani said...

Paul, who usually has something arch to say about almost everything, read your book.
He loves it. (if you go to our site you'll see him. He's the cute one in the back, pretending to hide behind a book. If he looks Hollywood, it's because he's a producer.)
I think you have cured him.
My most dear and difficult writing group pal.
I am grateful.
Now I can work with him! (snicker)

LOTTERY for everyone!

And here is a new blurb for you: LOTTERY cures all forms of grumpiness and cynicism!

Kanani said...

Wow... Pat... you have a nom de plume.
Okay, so now we know you're really hot stuff --like a movie star.

I think when we interview you, we shall call you, 'Miss Wood.'

M. G. Tarquini said...

I figured that out E. Ann. I did. Finally. I keep thinking that hobbit's name is Pippin, not Merry.
Both have fuzzy feet. How am I to tell the difference?

Dawn said...

Maybe I should have written under a nom de plume. No one can spell my surname. Sheeesh - enough bubbly and I can't spell it!