Yeah, This Can’t Be Good…


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This is the yellow tape at the base of my stairs right now.

We had a slab leak between some downstairs walls, and now my downstairs powder room, kitchen, base of the stairs, and den (a.k.a. writing area) are torn down to the cement and 2-by-4s as the area gets dried out. Blah.

The kitchen floor looking through to the garage:

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The base of the stairs:

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The den wall and floor hacked away…

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The powder room missing the bottom 12 inches of its wall:

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And here’s what my and Nathan’s desks look like right now, with bookcases and file cabinets shoved up where the chairs should be, and all kinds of junk piled on top. Ayeeee. I don’t think I’m going to get much writing done right now:

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I think my Thanksgiving decorations are going to look really nice this year, don’t you?

Anyway, I’ll figure it out! At least I don’t host Thanksgiving at my house, and I still have three-and-a-half weeks until my college kids come home for Christmas. And at least I’m not on deadline. Maybe I can learn to write on a laptop and discover the joys of writing in bed.

Wish me luck!


Trying To Look on The Bright Side of Things

Reader Question: Who Was the Inspiration for Fin?

Here’s a question from avid reader and friend Barbara during The Red Bikini book club, which we had on Facebook in September:

Q: Who (or what composite of people) was the inspiration for Fin and his personality? – Barbara Y.

A: When I knew that Giselle’s hero would be a surfer, I wanted immediately to bust the stereotype of a surfer, so my first inspiration for Fin was Kelly Slater.

Kelly Slater is a famous pro surfer (who is as famous now for being over 40 and still in the game as anything), but he’s also well-spoken, well respected, charitable, driven, ambitious, athletic, and not afraid to commit (has a long-time girlfriend), so I read a lot about him. (Click his name above for photos of him.)

But I also read a lot of articles in surf magazines about pro surfers who had interesting backgrounds (like traveling around with surfer parents, sleeping on the sand in various countries, spear-fishing for food, etc.) and drew upon some of those (real) stories also, wondering what kind of man that upbringing would produce. Most of the stories in Fin’s background were real stories.

Personality-wise, I knew Fin was a loner, so I drew upon the personalities of men I know who are like that. (They’re always impressed when you can get them to talk about themselves!)

Visually, I had a picture in my writing folder of Fin, which I would see every time I’d open my files to write. It was this picture of David Beckham. (What do you think? yes? no?):


And each of my heroes has a little bit of my husband in him, so some of Fin’s sweet lines and Fin’s love for midcentury modern surf culture (his house, his furniture, his clothes) come straight from hubby!

Have a question? Send to!  

What a Fall ‘Hermit Weekend’ Looks Like

I’ve had a lot of “hermit weekends” in a row (also known as “going into the writing cave” or “disappearing from society for a few days”) while I scramble to meet various deadlines.

Fall hermit weekends, though, I have to admit, are my favorite: The weather is beautiful; the light is gorgeous; the house is quiet (because everyone is in school, at least on Fridays and Mondays); and I can fuel my day with pumpkin spice Starbucks drinks.

Here’s how the last few hermit weekends have looked:

My writing uniform – flip-flops, cargo pants, tank top, jean jacket:

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Here is my town and my morning view as I head out to the supermarket for “writing supplies.” I love my town.  Continue reading

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