Friday, July 25, 2008


Or can you say "Big Boat" three times fast?
The week end's blog is about...Competition...

82 degrees and 8:20 am.
No matter what you do you can't get away from it. This boat is either:
1. Big
2. Damn Big
3. Too Damn Big
There is a bit of a competition between boat owners. ORION is actually 48 ft BUT she's in a 50 foot slip and -- with all the crap hanging off her aft -- is probably closer to 52 feet. I often say she's 50 feet. This is not a lie*
I say 50 not because I am LYING*
But because I am rounding up. Rounding up is perfectly okay. Rounding up is when you tell your husband you just bought a pair of Jimmy Choo's for $300 when the price was actually $399 before er...I guess that would be rounding down but you get what I mean...
Big boats are considered an advantage when you are talking with other boat owners and the question is:
"How big is she?"*
*(NOTE TO HUSBAND:They are NOT talking about your wife here...)
The proper response is to look at their boat -- guesstimate the length -- and add a foot -- making your's bigger.
"Mine's 40."
"MINE'S 41"
"Oops I made a mistake mine's really 42."
"Well I made mistake too, mine's 43."
At this point the dogs come out with hoses to separate their owners.

There are actually times, though, when it's not an advantage to having a bigger boat: When you are varnishing the rail and polishing stainless or buying something at West Marine. Those times you subtract a foot or five or ten...

What can we writers learn from this? Probably nothing. Nothing at all. Authors are not competitive. Not one.

*uncrosses fingers*

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yes. This too is Hawaii. I think it kind of looks like Africa...or the way I think Africa would look if I actually had gone there...

There have been numerous online discussions by writers/authors about whether online efforts sell books.
Does blogging sell books. Interesting. You see I never actually considered this in depth.
Does blogging sell books? Hmmm...Let me list some of the things I know blogging does and then maybe I can answer that question.
Blogging delays the inevitable.
It delays doing laundry.
It delays having to pay the bills.
It delays feeding the cats and fixing dinner.
It is the ultimate procrastination tool and as such must not be misused.
Blogging keeps my cousins in Norway apprised of my every move (Godt dag cousins in Norway!)
Blogging lets my book clubs get to know me before I talk with them.
Blogging lets my Dad know I'm working hard (Hi Dad!).
Blogging lets my husband know I WON'T be doing the stainless today and he can just forget about me cleaning out the cockpit.
Blogging lets my editors know that I'm writing - although not on the particular manuscript they are interested in.
Blogging lets my agent know my computer is right there in front of me - although if truth be told it's hard to pry my computer out of my hot sweaty hands at any time of the day.
Blogging is my celebration. It's my way of venting. It's my connection with the world as I pursue the solitary pleasures of writing the next story.
So I never considered that it would sell another copy of 'Lottery'. I considered it a way of connecting with people I might never have had the opportunity to meet.
I made the assumption that it's interesting to find out about an author - to have a virtual meeting via blogger...
But is it? Do readers care?
Or is it something else entirely. Am I missing the whole point of blogging?
I ask you blog readers now. Have you bought a book because of a blog? Have you been exposed to a book you might not have found out about?
Lurkers here's your chance- use the anonymous function on comment - just give yourself a city so we can tell you apart- What do you think?
To all my friends out there in the cyberspere?
This blog's for you...

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This was hysterical.
I had this book club scheduled in Hawaii Kai. The hostess told me she had a surprise for me.
She sure did.
Turns out she went to school with none other than Fran Rubel Kuzui the director of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER she emailed Fran and had her write a message to me.
I nearly peed my pants...

To quote my character in LOTTERY?
So now I've done book clubs on boats, in community centers, in houses, on ichat, on skype, with video, on speaker phone, at a hotel, outside on the patio, online...
What's next?
Give me some ideas...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I read an interesting article in a magazine this month about saying yes to opportunities.
It got me thinking how often I decline invitations just because it's inconvenient or pushes me out of my comfort zone, so when I had an opportunity to hitch a ride from KoOlina (Oahu) to Nauwiliwili Harbor (Kauai) on a 38ft catamaran I said yes.
We left at 5:30 am. It was still dark.
We watched the sun rise behind us.

Threw up the spinnaker. The trip took 13 hours. It takes me a bit to get my sea legs on a longer sail -- it's a challenge and can be quite demanding.
Of course this photo is a fake. We were on autopilot most of the way but I did get to man the helm and point into the wind when we had to take the main sail down when the shackle on the clew broke. That was exciting...

When we approached Kauai, it was cloudy and the sun was setting.
I was dropped off at the fuel dock, met a friend for dinner in Lihue and made my way to the airport to fly back to Honolulu. When I finally got back to ORION it was well after 11 pm.
It was exhausting, exhilarating,disconcerting, nerve wracking and yet I'm so glad I didn't say No. I think that's a positive characteristic for a writer. You have to be able to take risks and say yes. You need to experience things so you can write about them. You have to spend the same amount of time actually living life that you do sitting in front of the keyboard giving characters life. At least that's my opinion. What do you think?

Friday, July 11, 2008


It was only a matter of time...

"You are hearby summoned...for...JURY DUTY!!! Ta DA!!!
Okay I admit it... my husband was telling me to do my civic duty, but my first thought was, "how can I get out of this?"
You see I would be the WORLD'S WORST JURIST. I know this. I'm a novelist. I'm not what lawyers have in mind when they say "an impartial group of your peers."
So I came up with a list:


1. They recognize purple prose and hyperbole...("he is an upstanding, good, honest, incorruptible citizen." (Only ONE (1) adjective allowed)

2. They have an overactive imagination... (So what if he was in Texas and the murder was in Japan -- it could happen with his own personal speed-of-light learjet and custom laser weapon of doom.)

3. They don't go with this "presumed innocent" stuff... (HE looks guilty, his WIFE looks guilty - even his DOG looks fact he looks exactly like one of the characters in my last novel and He DEFINITELY was guilty.)

4. They get distracted easily. (What a GREAT name for a character...I'm writing that down. Wait! What did the judge say? That sounded cool.Oh! The gavel! That made me jump. I wonder when lunch is?)

I'm sure there are LOTS of other reasons. I need to build my case. Give me a hand bloggers. Can you think of any more?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


So I'm told the hurricane passed by 400 miles on the other side of the Big Island and ran out of steam...

This is what happens when you have all the weather up in the sky at the same time.
10:30 pm and 85 degrees (75 degrees in ORION'S comfortable air conditioning)
Friends arrived from New Zealand by way of Tahiti on Sunday.
Here's their catamaran. Caprice.
They are leaving for Kauai on Friday and then on to Sitka, Alaska. They asked if I wanted to crew to Nawiliwili and I said........YES!!!!
I'll have to hop a flight back to Oahu but it's worth it. Passages are the best. There's something about being out in the middle of the ocean out of sight of land to make you feel small and inconsequential. I think that's why I like to include sailing in my novels. It creates authenticity and I'm a big one for authenticity.
And now...Time out for baby fish. It's that time of year.
They are SO cute!
Touloose is figuring out how to get him some of those babyfish. He's scheming and plotting. He's planning. Conniving.
I haven't broken the news to him that he'd have to get wet.
He'll find that out soon enough.
The only problem is he needs a new PFD. He's grown out of his old one. It's a DOG size!!!! He doesn't know that either. I don't want to embarrass him.
The babyfish are safe until he figures out how to handle the net without those nifty opposable thumbs...

Thursday, July 03, 2008


NOTE: THIS JUST IN. My friend RAY says nobody reads his blog. Prove him wrong!!! Oh and he wrote a really cool book THE PACIFIC BETWEEN.
And hey did you know he was in an episode of SEX and the CITY???????!!!!!!!

"Finding Novel Ideas" or "The Attention Deficit Disorder Author."
1:30 pm 86 degrees and NO tradewinds.
The author is hard at work writing and revising...writing and revising...
Book ideas are everywhere.
I hear a scrape...scrape...scrape...
"Who's out there?" I holler.
I go out to investigate. It's one of many harbor turtles on a leisurely bi-monthly grazing of the dock. I watched him for a bit because it's important to procrastinate at every available opportunity when creating the next Great American Novel. This one does it differently than the others. The others speed by going for only the large pieces of sea lettuce. They cover more area. This one goes s-l-o-w-l-y. Getting every little bit. He seems to prefer variety. Or does he? Is it turtlely appetite or is he a spy. Lurking. Just waiting for - well - for me to betray myself. He could be a spy. He could. Like those sneaky little dolphins for the Navy.
I go back inside and decide to write about turtle spies. But spies are old. No one cares about spies anymore. I chew my pencil and think. But turtle VAMPIRES now there's something. A turtle vampire would be really cool. Leaping out of the water. So much for being scared of sharks. But what about the people element. Well romance is always big. I would have to have a handsome turtle vampire that too close to Buffy? I re-think. Get distracted. Touloose hurls a hairball at my feet.
Gee thanks.
Now we're talking. It occurs to me turtles have no teeth and cats have plenty. Cat Vampires. It's just hard. I mean how do you tell them apart. Touloose is always taking a chunk of flesh out of some part of me. I guess you'd have to wait to see how long it takes for you to turn into a vampire...
That would take research.
Lots and lots of research.
I'd probably have to watch all seven seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer all over again.
I'd better get started...