Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise

Another day dawns in Seeker unpublished paradise. That's my hammock, where I spend hours contemplating this writing world.

A few of our Seekerville guests have shown an interest in finding out more about Unpubbed Island. Today I'll be your hostess as we tour the grounds and reveal insider secrets of the rest of the unpubs.

We've got the usual deserted island basics here, huts, fitness room, spa and full kitchen/bar.

At one time, long long ago, we shared huts. That would be two to a hut. Debby Giusti was only here for one day before she sold. She's sort of the island legend. We speak of her in hushed tones at night when we gather around the fire.

Now we each have our own hut. You'd think that would have really been a good thing considering the snoring issue, but no--someone snores loud enough to reach my ears through the bamboo hut walls.

Let's take a little tour through the Seeker huts. No, I'm sure the gals won't mind. They're on a little hike on the other side of the island. I sort of hinted that there was a Captain Jack sighting (he he he).

  • Audra: Open the door carefully. Yes, that is a Winchester rifle on the bed. She keeps a tidy place. Boots under the bed and a copy of the Cowboy Prayerbook under her pillow along with a jar of peanut butter and every single Toby Keith CD known to man. She's been singing "Should've Been a Cowboy" in the shower--every day for the last three years.

  • Pam: Bean counter warning. Do not disturb the spread sheets. She is the only fiction writer I know who writes her manuscripts in Excel. Amazing woman. That light reading on her bedside table? Excel 2007 Bible. She keeps it right under her NIV. Are you aware that Pam has a list of every title a Seeker has ever brainstormed --that would be 400 titles. Very scary isn't it?

  • Sandra: I have no idea why Ruth got the name tyrant. Sandra is actually the tyrant around here. See those boxes in the corner of her hut? Those are her tools of terror: hiking shoes, sneakers, tennies, cross-trainers--you name it. She makes us hike around the island--before dawn even. And good news! She's ordered mountain bikes for the six of us that are left. They'll match hers. Doesn't that sound just so ...healthy? Except..well, apparently now her mountain bike is missing. I have no idea where it is. But I can tell you this much..when you get to the coconut grove --look up.

  • Ruth: Of course the first thing you'll notice is the poster of Derek Jeter on her ceiling. And the autographed framed picture of Derek Jeter at her bedside. Oh, and that crate of Harlequin Super Romances? They just arrived from the mainland. She hasn't actually explained why she is reading 134 books in the series. Here's a little known Ruthy secret: last month she swam to the mainland for .....MALLOW CUPS!! Yes, all the way to the mainland and back with a waterproof knapsack filled with her treats.

  • Cara: Now isn't this a nice little hut? Not a single UO on that military issue cot and blanket. (that's military slang for unidentified object) Cara is the sweetest little gal--and she has a Bowie knife in her Victoria Secret underwear. Not kidding. It's the quiet ones you have to look out for. You knew she was former Navy? A little know fact: she was one of the naval experts on the set of Top Gun. If you look very closely you can see her in the background in this scene with Tom Cruise.

  • My hut: Careful, don't trip over my stacks. I warned you several blogs ago that I like everything where I can see it. Oh, and let me share my dirty little secret with you. See that mini fridge? Yes, that one. Open one of those Lean Cuisine's I have packed in there.
    I replaced all the meals with chocolate. LOL!! No one has figured it out yet.

Let's go down to the lagoon.

Perfect isn't it? Look at the sunset. Listen to the waves.

So now that you've had a little glimpse into our unpubbed world I want to share a few random truths I've learned here on Unpubbed Island before you leave.

A Pirate Looks at Fifty...1. Passage to the mainland is pretty much secure once you you learn the lyrics to Margaritaville. Start practising now.

This is really is paradise. Savor the surf at sunset, the shells you find in the sand, and the breeze against your skin at morning light. Enjoy the journey.

3. Graduation from the island is not complete without a few Captain Jack Sparrow quotes sprinkled liberally in your conversation. If you can't quote Sparrow you will never leave.

"Welcome to the Caribbean, luv."

"I'm Captain Jack Sparrow. ..savvy?"

"I think we’ve all arrived at a very special place. Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically. "

"I want you to know that I was rooting for you. Know that. "

"I leave you people alone for just a minute and look what happens. Everything’s gone to pot! "

"I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by. "

4. Once you get into that launch and leave for the mainland you can never, ever come back. (Okay we'll let you come to our First Sale parties, but then you really must leave.)

5. We all have our desperate moments..when it seems as though a contract will never be within our grasp. Hang in there. You aren't alone.

6. And finally, I leave you with some quotes to wrap around yourself at night as you lay in your hammock on the beach and wonder about this crazy business called writing.

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can't help it.
- Leo Rosten

Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself.
- James F. Stephan

A story isn't about a moment in time, a story is about the moment in time.
- W. D. Wetherell

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
- Anais Nin

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
- George Moore

You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer...
- Stephen Leigh

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.
- Eugene Ionesco


  1. Great post. I wish everyone success in getting off the island.

    Note to Pam, you're not the only one who uses Excel to dissect a manuscript.

  2. Good morning, Walt. You write fiction in Excel too? Pass the coffee and biscuits while I wrap my mind around that one.

  3. Tina, THIS has got to me one of my all time favorite Seeker posts ever.


  4. Okay, but can you quote Sparrow?

    "I expect to leave you standing on some beach with absolutely no name at all, watching me sail away on my ship and then I’ll shout the name back to you. Savvy? "

  5. I'm voting with Cheryl, I think this is my favorite post EVER.

    Love it, girlfriend.

    And look how you tricked us into heading cross-island (has a NYC ring to it, doesn't it??? You Southerners probably don't understand that, but we Yankees do.)

    Good job, Tina!

    And the Mallo Cups are an addiction and affliction. I would and have driven long distances to buy them. And not in bulk, either. Nope. That would spoil it. Gotta grab just a few to tide me over, then drive back when the need strikes.

    I'm a pathetic person!

    And other than developing an aversion to fish, I've loved my time on the island. I've learned so much.

    Did you know that charcoaled tuna makes Myra gassy?

    Mm hmm.

    And coconut milk makes great pudding when mixed with pelican eggs and ground macadamia nuts. Bake at ground level, beneath a bed of coals about two inches thick, out of the wind. (make a wind break out of fresh water grasses, if necessary)

    As you can see, Island cuisine puts a whole new twist on appreciation for modern conveniences.



    "If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it."

    Captain Jack Sparrow

  6. Okay, um, Ruth...the Myra thing. TMI.

  7. Mallo cups are excellent after freezing but that might not be an option on the island.

    Enjoyed the tour! Compared to all the snow I see out my window, a tropical island sounds pretty good right now.

  8. Ann, stick around, Captain Jack is bringing us pastries from his trip around the Cape.

  9. Tina ... only YOU could make me miss Unpubbed Island!! Sigh, I can almost feel the sea breeze on my face and the sand in my toes.

    I'm with Cheryl and Ruthy -- this is one of your best blogs, which is saying something because ALL of your blogs are the best. Mmmm ... must be some form of tropical compensation.


  10. Tina, love, might I say you look particularly winsome this day??? Methinks the tropics agree wi' you, love, in many ways. And that dress...

    Reminds me of sultry nights in Bora Bora and a sweet young thing named Audra...

    Sweet, sweet Audra...

    Ah yes, food...

    I've procured a wealth of delicacies from points south. Flaky pastries stuffed with carmelized pecans, koeksisters dredged in lemon syrup, and malva pudding, perfect for a balmy reprieve from writer's cramp or other maladies of the soul.

    With a bit o' rum, of course.

    Since it's morning here, perhaps the rum will serve as flavor for coffee?


  11. Jack, tell me you like me best...then of course tell the others you like them best too. Wink

  12. I love those quotes, Tina!!! Especially this one:
    "I think we’ve all arrived at a very special place. Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically."

    Sweet. And just the fact that Captain Jack Sparrow said it makes me want to watch the movies again. Since I don't remember them reaching that special place. Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically.

    But I like to think that they did.


  13. Tina, pet, mon cheri, you know I love you best, you are the Seeker of my dreams, the woman of my heart, my soulmate, the lox to my bagel.

    Unless Sandra's in the room. Her unquenching push toward physical domination leaves an old salt breathless. Not breathless enough to be quiet, but still...

    Sandra, amo, mon cheri petite, have you returned from your excusion to the far side of the island???

    Did you gather some poi in your travels, darling? What carry you in that knapsack this day?

    And Melanie darling, let's hoist a flask in honor of your recent birthday, love. If you ever decide to dump your mate, I have a stateroom with your name emblazoned above the door aboard the Black Pearl. A pox upon the thoughtless codfish who puts man's games above a wife's pleasures.

    Unless there's rum, of course.


  14. Oh, my, Ruthy. You must be mistaken about that, um, gas thing. I mean, have you smelled Cap'n Jack's breath lately??? Or maybe it's his eternally unshampooed hair.

    Like Julie, there are days I really, really miss Unpubbed Island. The peace, the simplicity, the coconuts (emphasis on NUTS, as in nutty as fruitcakes!).

    And okay, I bit--clicked on the Tom Cruise link. Tell me the truth. Could I really spot Cara in the background?

  15. I looked at that clip VERY CLOSELY. I could imagine a couple of people were Cara.

    Of course, I kept being blinded by Tom Cruise's smile...or just plain distracted by it!

    Captain Jack Sparrow quote:

    I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly… stupid.

  16. Myra, Cara is there, in the background when the whole crowd joins in on "You've lost that loving feeling" for the first time and the camera pans out with Maverick and Goose center stage. Look for Cara in the far back, right of center. Of course, like all Seekers, she was a smidge younger then!

    And Captain Jack smells fine. Are ya' serious, woman? Of course I keep Altoids handy on the island. Thank God for UPS and Express Mail!

    And I consider my work with Jack to be ministerial. I'm helping him embrace his early Christian beginnings. It's the least I can do for a fellow Islander. Although Tina and Sandra seem to have won his duplicit heart.

    All the better. That way I get more fodder for future stories. Remember what a great song writer Billy Joel was during his angst with Christie????

    Innocent Man Album????

    Please. Angst inspires, so I'll just moon over Jack from a distance while he swoons over my BFFs at leisure.

    The strumpets.

    Sign me,


  17. I think I found her!!! Woohoo, Cara, the movie star!

    And I still think Cap'n Jack smells funny.

  18. Great revelation of island life, Tina! One of your best posts, yet!!

    It is beautiful here. The sun, the surf, the sand between my toes. Especially love the coconut-pineapple cream pies. Yep, who else but me can gain weight on a deserted island??

    Sorry for leaving the rifle out, folks. All this salt air is rusting the barrel and you know what they say about having a good firearm. Right, Jack?

    Right you are, love. All I have is a pistol with one shot.

    And thanks for using it to shoot down the cluster of coconuts. Gotta keep Ruth happy, she's our top cook. Sorry for making you shimmy up the tree for the bananas.

    Sticks and stones, love. I saved your life, you saved mine. We're square.

    How generous. Jack, you make life on the island bearable.

    But, enough aimless chit-chat. Back to work. I'm polishing up my cowboy and ready to send him out into the world. Hmm, hmm . . .should have been a cowboy. . . hmm, hmm, hmm.

  19. Loved this post.

    One of my favorite scenes in Top Gun but I couldn't find Cara.

    Ruthie, I'm with you on the NYC references. Gotta love 'em.

    Unpubbed island sounds like a fun, if temporary, place to be. Wonder what happens to the island once it becomes deserted?

  20. What a fun post!! I hope your island is soon truly deserted--except for when you visit to have fun. ;-)

  21. Patricia...see the weekend editon from January 25. The island is going to become a writer's retreat.

    Captain Jack will be giving classes in fine spirits. Ruthy will be giving etiquette class and cake decorating. Sort of a two fer one.

    Mary is working on the curriculm for The Care and Feeding of the Prarie Man.

    We have so much stuff in the works it is actually really exciting!!

    If you have any suggestions please let us know.

  22. Oh, my, Tina has divulged my dirty little secret.


    Did you know that you really can write a novel in Excel? Actually, filemaker (or any database) program is even better!

  23. Walt, they don't know what they're missing....

    Open an excel doc, type in 70 scene ideas, sort to your heart's desire and you have a novel in the waiting.

    You can even go to column be and flesh out the scene.

  24. Loved this post! Such creativity! Chocolate instead of Lean Cuisine, Toby Keith music, and a possible Jack Sparrow sighting...what more could a gal ask for?

    Favorite Jack Quote:

    "Ah, but you HAVE heard of me."

    Closely followed by:

    "We've gotta get you a girl, mate."


    "Why is all the rum gone?"

  25. Okay, I looked again. No Cara.

    Not that I mind trying hard. Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Ah, those were the days.

    Cara? Did you meet him? Can you phone him and have him stop by the Island...while we're talking fantasy...have him stop by twenty years ago.

    More Jack Sparrow quotes:

    Will Turner, the disturbingly hot elf from Lord of the Rings, says--You didn't beat me. You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I'd kill you.
    (Jack Sparrow)--That's not much incentive for me to fight fair, then, is it?

  26. Great post! Made me laugh out loud in spots!

    Favorite Captain Jack quote (and I'm kind of paraphrasing)

    "No survivors, where did the stories come from, I wonder?"

    Now I really want to watch a Pirate movie!


  27. With all this pirate talk, do you suppose there will be a glut of pirate books in, oh say, 6 months littering editor desks??

  28. Tina,
    You made my day!
    Okay, showing my ignorance. What are Mallow Cups? And Cara carries a Bowie knife in her Victoria Secrets? Amazing!!! The things I learn in Seekerville!

    LOL in GA!

  29. How fun, Tina! I appreciate all the inside scoop. :)

  30. Ladies, I'm glad my turns of phrase amuse.And Will Turner? A salt lad, true, young but trainable in the ways of piracy.

    And women.

    Now where's the bloody RUM????

    Sorry, it's been a long day. All these visitors tax a man accustomed to Island solitude and an afternoon toddy. Ruthy, darlin', can you phone the mainland, get us a shipment ASAP? I'm parched.

    Tina, my pet, is it true you've joined a band of teetotaling Rocky Mountaiin rescue workers who no longer clasp small barrels of spirits around the necks of rescue dogs? Is nothing sacred????

    And Cara Mia, our former naval movie star, your presence on the island keeps things from running amuck. Couldja bring some rum, Lass?

    Actually, I think the ever-organized Ms. Hillman keeps the odd flask or two strapped to her leg beneath those tempting long skirts. Alongside a dagger, no doubt so I'll not venture there without permission! Finally a woman who dresses like a woman!

    But do ye have rum, love?

    Just a drop?


  31. Jack there are only margaritas on this island. Sorry, mate.

    Not a drop of rum to be found.

    Although there is some cooking sherry in the kitchen. Will that work?

    Which reminds me..if you are going to visit us you have to be in the KP rotation. You can wash dishes can't you??

  32. Oh my. Be still my heart. Captain Jack, I thought it was the bicycle ride that had it pumping, but truly your words and smile bedazzle me.

    But before I can sweet talk you anymore and tempt you with the goodies I picked up on the way I must scold Tina. I have been looking all over for that bicycle. I had to ride the old one today and my legs are rubber.

    Wait until tomorrow morning, dahling. Hmmmm 5:00 am isn't too early now is it. And remember I'm in the same time zone you are.

    Oh and Debby, of course you wouldn't know about the mallow cups since you left unpubbed island so sooooon.

    And folks, not to worry about that Winchester. Audra is an excellent shot and never misses. Ooops just don't make her want to aim it at you.

  33. This was a riot!!! I love it!
    Thanks for sharing,
    darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

  34. Jack-i-luv, I have rum.

    Keep it stored right next to the bourbon.

    Granted, they're of the "put in baked goods" quality, but when one has a need for run, one isn't picky.

    Forget Unpubbed Island. I live in Virginia, and everyone knows Virginia is for lovers...

  35. Tina thanks for the insite, we on Readers Island are waiting for Unpublished Island to be vacated so we cant take over some of the beauty there.

    I have a question which may show my aussie ignorance who is Derek Jeter?

    Tina I think your secret is out now but as im of chocolate I wont tell anyone.

  36. From Wikipedia: Derek Sanderson Jeter (pronounced /ˈʤitɚ/, born June 26, 1974 in Pequannock Township, New Jersey) is an American Major League Baseball player. Jeter is a nine-time All-Star shortstop, and he is currently the captain of the New York Yankees.

    Jeter has spent his entire career with the Yankees, beginning in 1995 when he was 20 years old. He has won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, a Silver Slugger Award, and three Gold Glove Awards. In 2000, he became the only player to win both the All-Star Game MVP Award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. His .317 career batting average through the 2007 season ranks him with the 5th-highest lifetime batting average of all active baseball players. He has been in the top seven in the American League in both hits and runs scored for nine of the past ten years. During the 2000s he ranks second in the major leagues in hits (1,504), fourth in runs (857), and tied for seventh in batting average (.317) (stats accurate as of July 28, 2007).[1]

    And Jenny...(I have to whisper so Jack doesn't hear)..Jeter is really cute too.

  37. Derek Jeter is a baseball player. I completely respect you for not knowing who he is.

    I wouldnt' have either, AusJenny, except if you hang around Ruthy for a while, you are FORCED to get to know him.

    And the sad truth is, Ruthy doesn't even love him for himself, only cuz he's cute. VERY shallow.

    Derek Jeter

    You know what? That might not be true. I may have just jumped to that conclusion because I SHALLOW MARY think he's cute...for a CHILD.

    I'm sure Ruthy cares for the inner man, the superb athlete and the gentle soul.

    I apologize

  38. Thanks for sharing the island with me today...as you leave for the launch, please empty your pockets of any stray margarita glasses that accidentally made their way into your possession. You may however take sand as a token memory of this special day.

    And if you too are on your own unpubbed island, keep us posted when your first sale is so we can salute you with a party. We love parties.

  39. Oh, my AusJenny! Shhh! Don't let Ruthy hear you ask that question! Didn't you know all Seekervillers are required by Ruthy Law to pledge allegiance to the New York Yankees (baseball team) -- and devotion to their Derek Jeter?

  40. Mary, that was an awesome pix of Derek. I love the NY Yankees. xoxoxo

  41. Wow, I'm late and almost missed this one. Love the island!!! And our Seeker sister huts!!! So you, gals!

    I've filled glass Christmas balls with sand from the beach, tied them with lovely pink and silver ribbon. They're signed by unpubbed island celebraties, Captain Jack included, all for the price of a package of Mallow cups to appease Ruthy, our fav cook...while the supply lasts.


  42. Great idea, Janet...and leave it to a Seeker to think of charging $4.99 for a souvenir. We are such entrepreneurial souls.

  43. Thanks you for informing me abut who Derek Jeter is I have to admit i know very little about baseball except i am suppost to follow the mets.

    I think Derek Jeter is to Ruthy what Neil McKenzie is to me!!!!!!!
    But I admire him cos hes such a caring person and being cute helps.
    Neil McKenzie

  44. By jove it's cricket~~

    He's not too shabby either, Jen/

  45. WOW! I wish I had checked back! Didn't know Cap'n Jack was here! Oh MAN! Bad breath or not, I would LOVE to be marooned on this island with that guy. Sigh. But alas, I am (dang it!) published, and (double dant it!) married.

    No flirting with Cap'n Jack for me....

    I'll have to leave him for Glynna I guess. After we give him a toothbrush and a ticket to detox that is...LOL.


  46. Awww ... Jack Sparrow - my heart is atwitter! I just saw Cap'n Jack yesterday, looking for the Black Pearl. What is it about him that makes every woman's heart go into overdrive?

    Add to the opportunity of seeing Cap'n Jack, the fact of being in Paradise on Unpubbed Island...peace, quiet, warm sun and cool breezes... count me in - I'm there! :)