Sunday, September 30, 2007


9:45 PM and 77 degrees.So here is ORION at anchor off Kahe point. Emblematic of what is happening now. A bit of a lull. A rest. And then looking off at the horizon to what will be happening in the future.

A year ago.
Newly agented. Polishing LOTTERY. Anxious for submission.
Wondering what will happen.
What tomorrow will bring.
So why did I start blogging? Well I was addicted to Miss Snark and I wanted more interaction with other writers. I kept a low profile and didn't "come out" until LOTTERY was sold. I then focused on giving other writers a glimpse into what the publication journey was like for me -- but yanno -- I then became involved in a cyber community that -- although it can suck mass quantities of writing time -- has been SO rewarding. Each blogger I meet on the mainland has been like reconnecting with an old friend.
And then I get to create new friendships...

I never could have predicted how this year would have turned out. Never in a million years. It is only when I read the reviews on Amazon. Read what people have to say On Barnes and Noble. Only when I read the emails from readers telling me they enjoyed my novel LOTTERY.
My novel.
My published novel.
Heady stuff.
That's why it's even more fitting what I did today.

And it was totally good fun. We talked about what inspired the story. What was behind the story and talked about my choices as an author.
Would I have done anything differently?
No not really.
I explained my reasoning behind plotting and characterization and was analytical about what my intention was with my story.
My only complaint? AGAIN? I was not able to partake of what I was told was GREAT FOOD.
I'm going to have to work on this virtual snack thing...
As Perry would say?
That is SO unfair...

Friday, September 28, 2007


For the those reviewers and readers who were incredulous after reading LOTTERY that there were people in this world who would take advantage of anyone with a mental challenge I produce this EVIDENCE
from the Seattle Times.
The thing is. This is only an example of individuals who were caught.
Makes a person think doesn't it?


And you know which one it was...

6:25 am and 77 degrees. No AC but that's a whole other story. Late September evenings here in Hawaii can be still and stifling during Kona weather. We keep our companionway hatch open until late at night.
I was writing. Gordon had gone to bed. I couldn't keep my eyes open so I turned in myself. Lapping water...rocking boat...far off low horn of a cruiser...
A knock on ORION'S hull.
It was Chris our neighbor.
"uh are you missing a cat?"
"I never miss either of my cats."
"No uh I mean are you MISSING a cat - is one of your cat's gone? Like the black and white one?"
"Let me check."
(20 seconds later)
"Yeah. Touloose is gone." This is said in a slight combination of relief (could it be possible the cat from HELL is not with us? - to: what are you thinking! You LOVE that cat.)
It evidently occurred to Touloose that an evening stroll would be beneficial to his health but he only got as far as the next boat. Chris and his girlfriend were in their saloon watching TV when Touloose's large black and white form meandered slowly by...
"Just passing through..." he meowed, and then made himself comfortable in their forward cabin.
As soon as Touloose heard my voice he realized he was in trouble.
He kept coming up with excuses.
"Aliens took me..."
"Chris invited me in...honest"
"HOW DID I GET HERE? I must have walked in my sleep!!!!"
Back in the boat.
BACK in the boat!
So ends another excellent adventure by Touloose.

but it got me thinking about what it meant.

1. I was so engrossed in my writing that I was oblivious (always a good thing).

2. It's important to take advantage of every opportunity even if you might get into trouble.

Touloose takes risks.
He lives large.
And so should we.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


John Elder Robison's official release date is September 25 but I saw it at Borders yesterday available for sale. YIPPEE! It's an excellent book and is already selling well! I have an autographed ARC that John gave me when we met up in New York in June.

I think I know how john feels. You wait for over a year and it seems like it will never come and then PRESTO!
Everything happens at once.

So what's it like almost two months after LOTTERY's release?

Well you get used to seeing your book in bookstores and something happens that you didn't expect. emails from readers telling you how much they enjoyed your book. I answer each one and will until it gets too much. I value each and every reader.
And then the surprises. Finding out LOTTERY is on the August bestseller list for Elliott Bay Book Store. Seeing LOTTERY on the Bestseller list again for
So I've taken you on the road to do signings, talks and readings. You've read some reviews and features.I've talked about the book club discussions.
And now?
It's all up to the book sellers and readers.
And out of my hands.
So what am I doing?
That's what.
And staying home.

Hanging out on the aft deck of ORION.
Petting my muse.
And working on novel number two.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Be thinking about this question as you read...

Alderwood Barnes and Noble is just SO clever! Look at this totally cool display!

All those crinkly pieces of paper are old lottery tickets.
They have this hand written sign taped on the window...

The building.

My last reading was at UNIVERSITY BOOK STORE in Mill creek.
The people:

They are all UBER booksellers there.I gave them a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts so they were very happy I came.
I met more bloggers and AW'ers and talked about LOTTERY and writing and cabbages and kings...

And then.

My room in Mukilteo helped me not miss ORION. I did still miss the muses and Gordon.
I had fun looking out the window.

And I got to thinking.
And watching.
And listening.
Which can be useful as a writer.
Those guys in wetsuits are attached to long lines that supply air - They're learning to be technical divers. Lots of cool machinery and dials. Lots of standing around drinking coffee. Those divers are sent out to practice being underwater. You see you don't know if you can handle it until you do it...
The key to being a writer is to...
You need lots of hours underwater to be a diver.
And you need lots of butt in chair to be a writer.
And sometimes?
You find really cool stuff.
Any questions?

Sunday, September 16, 2007



On Saturday I flew in at 6am, got coffeed up and by 2 pm I was in a comfy chair and had a cozy chat with eager readers.
Afterward my cousin Mimi and friends had dinner with me and my full service UBER friend Cathy who picked me up and got me whereever I needed to go.

After much wine and whining...(I wanna drink more...) Cathy and I headed off to her house where I got to sleep in a REAL bed that did not move and TAKE A BATH!!!!
Here is her UBER DOG Conan The Barbarian.

And then after a much needed sleep we took off for EVERETT LIBRARY and this is what we saw.

I mentally erased the unnecessary "s".
I posed for a photo with UBER friend Cathy who has known me since I was 2 years old.

And she STILL likes me...
I spoke to a room full of EVERETTITES...

I only had to send two outside to think about their behavior and chastise one for talking out of turn...
I took pictures of the honor students...

The UBER booksellers from Barnes and Noble!
And then...

As Perry would say "SHE WAS SOOOO COOL!"

And the UBER of the UBER Bloggers toddie and antiwife!
Much mahalo for coming guys...

Keep your hands where I can see them and move away from the tub...

Thursday, September 13, 2007


There’s a somebody I’m longin’ to see
I hope that he, turns out to be...
A troll to watch over me...

75 degrees and 8:15 pm inside and warmer outside. Much warmer.
I like my trolls from Norway very much. I put them places.
Unusual places.
Like on top of the refrigerator.
In the kitty bed.
Sitting on the wheel in the cockpit.
It's time to get silly. Getting silly keeps you young. To get really silly I read beyond excellent children's books.
They make me happy.
When I find a great one I get REALLY HAPPY.

So a while back I got an ARC of ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN
I didn't want to make anybody crazy (except my troll) so I kept quiet.
Until now.
This book is way cool. I had such a great time reading it. Alex is such a plucky heroine and her adventures are so clever I knew I was going to make myself crazy cuz I was already wanting to read the next book.
There's a quality in children's literature I find irresistable -- not only a compelling story but snappy witty (is that a word) writing.
This book has it in spades. It's missing now. My friend took it-- she saw it on my table and took it to read.
Then someone took it from her.
And so on.
And so on.
And so on.
Harry and Narnia move over.
There's a new kid in town.

Monday, September 10, 2007


The leaf scorpionfish can be a variety of colors. This one sticks out brilliantly against the white sand. He thinks he's hiding. Not unlike some unwieldy prose...

77 degrees and 10:33 pm
Why so cool? Air conditioning that's why!

The joys of living aboard. Our old refridgerator/freezer drained onto our floor and rotted out the teak...someday I will be able to cook in my galley again. I'll give you a hint. I don't care if it's EVER fixed. As long as I can make coffee I am happy. As long as I can drink coffee I am even happier.

So my next good fun is a talk and signing at the University of Hawaii.If you are here please food...comfortable chairs to sleep in. I promise not to wake you up.
At the end of this week I fly off to the West Coast.
Check the side bar or my website for the schedule. Poulsbo, Everett and Mill Creek.
All bloggers invited!
Hope to see you there.

Last but not least:

And then if that's not enough I have to tell you about BabyHorse's Excellent Adventure. He scared himself after falling asleep and waking up saddled. He flew backwards, broke his leadrope and landed on the fence with his butt and flipped over the other side breaking the wire.
Lead Rope and Halter? $36
Vet Bill? $ 75
Years off my life? Priceless

Thursday, September 06, 2007


"It's not warm when she's away..."


She's back and we know how to make her stay. We are tag teaming her back pack. If she cannot use it to bring stuff when she travels then she cannot travel.
Oh oh.
Here she comes...
Aloha Bloggers and Blogger readers. How come there's fur all over my keyboard?
80 degrees outside and 8:30 pm.
75 degrees inside ORION.
Because ORION now has air conditioning and now I have no excuse not to write in the middle of a hot afternoon.
Today I had great fun via SKYPE with a readers group in Orlando, Florida.
Julie, Carla, Tammy, Mitzi, Meagan, JoAnn, Loraine, Liz , Kim, Barbara, Pam and me chatted and gabbed for over an hour. I could tell they were eating good things that they were not sharing with me.
Good questions were asked by all. It is interesting as an author to hear what readers have to say. I find it fascinating. Some of the discussions we had centered around the inspiration for my characters and what incidents in my life helped create LOTTERY. We also talked about Perry and his ability to remember words and definitions. In teaching we learn that many students "parrot" their mentors and make meaning out of new material by attaching it to prior knowledge. This is what Perry does (albeit with humor).
We talked about possible sequels (still in the mulling-over stage). And my next projects (something I'm superstitious of going into detail about).
I won't mention any other questions for fear of spoilers but it did make me realize how often I have wanted to talk to an author after I read a book I particularly like.
So if anyone knows John Irving?
I'd really like to chat to him about Owen Meany...

Monday, September 03, 2007


It was a thrill to see my book for sale at the Maui Writers Conference book store.

My first year at Maui in 2005 I had one (semi) finished manuscript and worked with Jackie Mitchard. The second year (2006) I again worked with Jackie but this time had three finished manuscripts and an Agent (Dorian Karchmar of William Morris Agency).
This, my third year, I have four manuscripts, a published novel LOTTERY and I worked with Karen Joy Fowler during the retreat. During the conference I was a presenter along with Maui alumnus, friend and fellow novelist Holly Kennedy.
The retreat is a writing experience and a way of really examining what it takes to bring your manuscript to the next level. It is intensive and sometimes painful but always rejuvenating. You get a closeness with your classmates the way no MFA program can foster.
The Conference is composed of workshops and programs so that an author can pick and choose- publishing information? Agent panels for Q & A? Talks about inspiration and premises? Down and dirty revisioning? It's all there.
They are best done together. Once you have an agent the retreat is enormously helpful to network and meet other authors and writers. There is NOTHING LIKE IT!
The author Thomas Cook signed his book RED LEAVES for me.

We listened to an amazing talk by Luanne Rice.

Holly Kennedy, Diane Lake, Me and Luanne Rice just before she took the stage and had us in the palm of her hands...Check out her BLOG
It is hard to describe how thrilling it was to cut in line in front of Scott Turow to get coffee in the presenters' lounge. I am an animal for coffee debut novelist or no.

I met Ann Hood author of THE KNITTING CIRCLE. She was so kind and a wonderful teacher.
And last but for sure not least our fearless leader Karen Joy Fowler to the right with our favorite Manky from Australia Sue!

So why do you go to the Maui Retreat and Conference?
Well, there is no real time to chat and visit. Although I say we swam and napped that was SO not true. We worked on our writing and talked as writers.
It was a miracle.
It was a dream.
And it will happen again next year.
I hope you will be there.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


And so another conference begins...

It is a tradition.
Walking down to the Grand Wailea and throwing a penny to the mermaid.

Holly and I tossed pennies into the shell in 2005.
We did it again this year.
Our key note presentation with Jackie Mitchard Saturday morning went wonderfully and was great fun. The only photos we have so far are blurry ones:

Any of you conference attendees who got better photos please come forward!
Then I had an interview with a PBS program that will air in California.

My individual presentation was good fun and I made many people laugh.
(I think they were laughing with me not at me but I'll have to get back to you on that...)
The schedule for Holly and me tomorrow?
Breakfast and getting books signed by Luanne Rice, Thomas Cook, and anyone else we can nab.
(I already got John LesCroart and yes Bob, one is signed to you and Wandering Star!)
A massage at 3.
A swim.
A nap.
Another swim.
More napping.
Our work here is done.


Manky Sue from Australia was so stressed the last day that she put her slippers on backwards.

But yanno...that may be the way they do it down under.

This is our entire class from the retreat.
I retired undefeated: Another win in the worse sentence contest.

As Stanley blasted into space he was euphoric -- those other scientists who laughed and humiliated him day after day for his conservative and out moded ideas would have to eat their words; he did it-- proved beyond the shadow of a doubt the survival pod did NOT contain enough ox—

And my sentence which did not win.
She sang like a bird; not the trilling warbling variety found flying through the air and landing in the trees but more like the marshmallow peep kind found on store shelves during Easter.

Another fabulous group led by our fearless leader Karen Joy Fowler -- One of the BEST instructors a writer could work with.
Mahalo Karen and Aloha.