Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things said to writers:

10. Are you finished yet?

  9. You must be rich.

  8. Where do you get your ideas?

  7. If I ever have any spare time, I'm going to write a book.

  6. What do you do all day?

  5. I have a great story for you.

  4. Do you work at Barnes and Noble?

  3. It's nice you have something to keep you busy.

  2. Have I read your books?

And the #1 thing said to writers:

  1. Since you don't work . . . .

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Island Time

Between us, Live In Handyman and I took quite a few photos of Galveston Island. Fear not. I won't lay them on you all at once.

I have a semi-plan for sharing several with you over the next few Wednesdays. However, these photos are coming from three different sources, so you can bet a few will slip through the cracks and end up being a mish-mash on the last post, whenever that is. Just letting you know :)

For those of you who don't know or don't remember, in September 2008, Galveston was hit by Hurricane Ike. The Gulf of Mexico covered almost the entire island after rolling over a seventeen-foot seawall built following the 1900 hurricane that almost totally destroyed the island.

One of the structures Ike destroyed was the historic Balinese Room, home to illegal gambling from the 1940s to 1960s. The building sat on a pier and ran from the seawall out about 100 yards. This is all that is left - you can see a few pilings sticking up out of the water right beyond the sandbar. I hope you can click on it and it will enlarge so you can read the plaque.

The going has been slow, but the Island and its people are resilient. Galveston is rebuilding, better than ever. This eatery is on Seawall Blvd. overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Ike also took away more than 11,000 century old live oaks. Several of the residents had the trunks of these trees carved into sculptures. Here is one of them:

And one more, so you can see two of the hundreds of Victorian homes that line the streets of the Silk Stocking District.

But the island and the sea are eternal.

And every morning brings a new day.

And a new chance to visit a . . .

More photos next Wednesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Breathe. Just Breathe.

Like the song, I took a couple of weeks to breathe.

I didn't know I needed a break, but Live In Handyman (currently aka Mr. Wise and Wonderful) knew that I did.

Mr. W&W also knows I love surprises. When I wrote the Unplugged post a couple of weeks ago, I didn't know where we were going - just that we were going. On the morning I had to pack, he told me we were going to Galveston Island. On Wednesday I'll talk about our trip a little more and include some photos.

By the time we returned, I was totally relaxed. That's when I knew I'd been a little uptight before we left.

I unplugged from blogging and from all my writing lists and groups. I'd never done that before, always spending an hour or so each day of other vacations trying to keep up. OMG! What a difference it made to totally unplug. I'll definitely do it again.

Now it's rock n' roll time. This week, it's back to basics. Back to my writing schedule. Back to putting a little sheen on the manuscript. My goal is to have it ready for an editor in June. I'm still on track.

How about you?

What have you done exciting the past two weeks?

How are you doing on keeping your writing goals?

Are you hard at work or hardly working?

I'm thrilled to be back among the writing. I missed all of you.

Here's a teaser :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about vacation:

10. Fun

  9. Shops

  8. Relaxing

  7. New Sights

  6. People Watching

  5. New Experiences

  4. Too Much Food

  3. New Stories

  2. Music

And the #1 thing about vacations:

  1. The Beach!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Welcome to my first ever blog-cation.

After today, Under the Tiki Hut will be self-serve until I return with a new Top Ten on Friday, April 22.

I'd tell you what's up . . . but then I'd have to, well, you know :)

I can tell you it will be fun. Details later.

Have good couple of weeks and stay out of trouble. I'm sure that will be easier for some of you than for others.

You know who I'm talking about!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten ways to keep your writing fresh:

10. Wash its hands

  9. Wash its face

  8. Wash its hair

  7. Give it a haircut

  6. Give it a bath

  5. Brush its teeth

  4. Make it use mouthwash

  3, Buy it some colorful clothes

  2, Take it for a walk

And the #1 way to keep your writing fresh:

  1. Deodorize it

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Last week I was a little frazzled. Many things were going on in my real life and outside influences controlled it all. I'm a bit of a control freak over myself, so when other things take that away from me, I'm not a real happy camper.

We decided to have a new floor put in upstairs. Not the entire upstairs, but the hallway and the bedroom Live In Handyman uses for an office. We purchased the flooring but had to wait for the installer. A couple of weeks. No biggie ... gave Live-In Handyman time to sort, throw away, rearrange, and move things out of his office.

The installers came on Thursday. Much noise. Much commotion. That same day, the people came for our free termite inspection. Guess what? They found termites eating one of our exterior walls.

Friday the termite pros came back to treat. With a jackhammer to drill holes in our patio. The floor installers returned, too. Hammers upstairs. Jackhammers on the patio. Compressor upstairs. Compressor outside. The noise was INCREDIBLE.

Also on Friday, during all this, a family member who's moving to San Antonio drove in to leave her plants here while they're packing up their soon-to-be-sold home and until they move into their soon-to-be-purchased home. She arrived at the height of the uproar. Her poor plants probably thought they'd arrived at a noise factory.

During everything, the doggies, bless their hearts, were absolute jewels. I was so proud of them. This time last year, they would've gone berserk. But afterward they were as zonked as we were.

We all used the weekend to recuperate. It's amazing what a little quiet time will do. I wanted to make this a funny post, but I guess it's too soon to see all the humor. It will come.

How do you handle disruptions to your life?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Margarita on Toast

Have you ever been so excited to read a book that you keep peeking at the first line, paragraph, page before you really have time to read? You know you have.

You love the author. The cover copy promises your author's best story yet. The blurbs are fantastic. Finally your quiet time arrives, and you settle in for at least one chapter.

Instead of the salty cold tang of a Margarita, the taste is more like flat, lukewarm Sprite.

You decide to read a little more. The author's wonderful. There must be a good reason she didn't put in the fizz yet. After searching through page after page, you find the plot. Instead of hearty meat and potatoes . . . soggy toast.

What's a reader to do?

This is where I close the book. Stick it in the bag that goes to the library. Move on. I don't dwell. I don't finish.

If this is a favorite author, as in my example, I'll buy another book, but probably not the next one unless I'm super-enticed in some way. If it's bad, it will be a while before I purchase her again.

If this is an author new to me, whether experienced or new, I often won't give her another chance. Why? Because I have so many choices of other authors. I move on. I don't dwell.

Why should I take another chance on someone I didn't enjoy on the first read when I can try for someone I may enjoy?

No writer wants to put out work someone doesn't enjoy, yet it happens every day. We're all human. We have different likes and dislikes. No one is going to enjoy everything we write. Unless maybe it's our mother.

As a reader: What do you do when this happens with you?

As a writer: What do you do to prevent this from happening too many times?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

Thanks to two comments on last week's Top Ten, today's list is:

The top ten reasons for writers to play hooky from their day jobs:

10. You'd rather be writing
from Lydia Kang at The Word is my Oyster

  9. To work on your WIP
from Miranda Stowe

  8. You dreamed a new opening chapter

  7. Research

  6. You finally know how to fix the muddy middle

  5. Your protagonist woke you during the night to chat

  4. You thought of a much better ending

  3. You have to set up your new computer

  2. Your editor pushed up your deadline

And the #1 reason for writers to play hooky from their day jobs:

  1. You have a brand new shiny idea!