Sunday, April 01, 2007

It's been a while! Whew!

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I posted to this blog! Asad wants me to write about my recent trip to Maui. It was wonderful! Ten days in paradise, where we rode horses up and down a steep mountain (at the Menendez Ranch - you can find them online, and they take VERY good care of you!), rode a helicopter over Maui (can't think of the helicopter company's name, but the pilot was Al and he was terrific - I'll post the name when I remember it), rode two catamarans, both from the Trilogy company (they're the BEST!), rode the Atlantis tourist submarine (our second time to do so - still quite a treat!), toured Lanai with Bridget, our tour guide (who's very funny!) and just had a great time in general!

My hubby and I don't swim well and I'm afraid of deep water, so when we went snorkeling, I lost my nerve while walking into the water. I told our catamaran captain (Captain Chuck, who's from Zanesville Ohio!) and he said he'd take care of us. He had a guy from the crew named Orren (I hope I spelled that right!) tow us out to the reef with a surfboard! Orren dove under the board and helped me with my flippers, and towed that surfboard around for about an hour, I think. He was wonderful, and we got the snorkeling experience while feeling SAFE (we did have waist floatie thingies, but they didn't make me feel as safe as hanging on to that surf board!)

Trilogy catamarans are wonderfully fun, and we had a great time both times we went out. We saw lots of whales up close and personal, including mother and calf pairs that breeched in tandem, a mother that spent a long time slapping her tail, her pectorals, breeching, sticking her head up to look around, and in general showing her baby all the things whales do on the surface - and then the baby tried them too. COOL! When we were sailing (the engines were turned off), a pair of adult humpbacks followed us for quite a while, and another breeched right beside our boat, maybe 25 feet off the side! By law, you're supposed to stay 100 yards from the whales, but if the whales come to see you, it's hard to outrun them!

We saw lots of shows, too, and wandered through tons of shops. One fun thing was that I'd bought a turquoise-blue pendant that's a paua (sp?) shell with resin "coral" with pearls and rhinestones embedded in it. I got this necklace here in Dayton, Ohio, at a discount store, just to have something bright, colorful and inexpensive to wear in Hawaii. Imagine my SHOCK at how many shop clerks, expensive jewelers and just people in general *raved* about how beautiful my necklace was! (I got it at Stein Mart, for $20!). That was fun!

I didn't get any story ideas in Maui - at least, I don't think I did - but I had a wonderfully relaxing time. I have gotten story ideas since returning home, including several today while observing people at a restaurant where my hubby and I had lunch. I don't know what story it's inspired, but a woman who had lunch with a big white rabbit (a stuffed rabbit wearing an Easter bonnet, who was given a baby seat, a bib and some crackers by the servers!) certainly seemed to be screaming to have a story written about her! LOL!

Meanwhile, my second novel has been through one beta and my Brit-picker so far, and a second beta is sending in his comments in pieces (which are quite useful!). All of them (so far) have said the second novel is "a good read" YAY! What surprises me is that they haven't reacted to what is truly a first draft as if it's a first draft, except for marking a few typos (I did write the majority of this book while riding in a truck, y'know. The fact that it's readable at all is pretty much a miracle!) I have a ficlet beginning to bubble in the back of my brain to keep my HP fans happy, a lot of whom are writing me that they're re-reading my HP novels online and enjoying them for the second or, in one case, hundredth time (maybe she was exaggerating a bit????). And one of my readers sent me a note saying it was the anniversary of the last chapter uploaded to my second HP novel. Boy, these folks are so sweet to pay such attention to my novels!! Now if I can get an agent, a publisher and get my original novels out there, maybe these HP readers wil buy them!! A lot of them have said they want to, or asked where they can buy them. As soon as these books are available, I'll have ordering info on every site hosting my stories and will activiate my "namesake" website, which will be my writing website. I'll post info in this blog, too.

I'm still waiting to hear from some of the agents I queried a few weeks ago. I won't send a second batch of queries out until I've heard from all of those in the first batch. I'm enough of an optimist to hope that someone in this first batch will LOVE my story and take me on as a client!! Keep your fingers crossed that such a thing actually happens, and SOON! Thanks!