Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paradise Found

Current Project: Deceived
Status: 53,000 words and counting...

News flash: The sun is not shining here. When I left on vacation, it was 70 degrees and sunny in Oregon. When I came home it was 50 and rainy. I'm not sure what you all did while I was gone, but I'm not liking this burst into fall as much as I normally do.

This is Secret Beach on the eastern shores of Kauai. One of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. It's called Secret Beach because it's hidden off a dirt road, and you have to hike down a cliff to get to it. These pictures don't do it justice but let me tell you, it's a secluded paradise, rimmed by palm trees and rocks and million dollar mansions that look down from above.

We spent most of one day here on our vacation. The sun was strong, but there was plenty of shade to keep us cool. The surf was a bit rough, but my kids found some gentle coves to play in and had a ball. I walked up and down the beach with them, finding shells and pulling them out of rip currents (yeah, that was one bad part about this beach this time of year), while the DH lounged and read STOLEN SEDUCTION.

You see, my idea of the perfect vacation is sand, surf, a drink in one hand and a good book in the other. This time around, because we took the kids, I didn't get to read as much as I normally do, but I wanted to give the DH a chance to read my upcoming release. I knew if he didn't read it on vacation, he'd never get around to it.

Unfortunately, the kids distracted him too (in a good way). I think he got through half the book. He says he's going to take it with him hunting next week and finish the rest. Of course, I'm his wife - the center of his world and his *hopeful* ticket to retirement - so he has to like everything I write, but it's becoming a real kick to watch him read my work and know he's enjoying it because he truly likes it...not because he has to.

He and I went out to dinner alone one night while we were there (gorgeous restaurant at the Marriott, btw) and spent almost the entire meal talking about my books. He's very interested in the option proposal I put together and sent my agent, and it was fun brainstorming ideas and getting the male perspective on my adventure plots. Usually we talk about my books after they're written. And while I never have a problem discussing them with CPs during the process, I've never thought much about discussing them with him until now.

Some writers I know rely on their spouse as their first reader. I don't, mainly because my hubby is not a huge reader. But he does have some good ideas and I'm discovering brainstorming with him might be beneficial.

What about you? Do you brainstorm ideas with your spouse? Do you talk about books together - yours or others'?


Paty Jager said...

My dh reads the Capital Press and want ads. He hasn't read any of my books and doesn't plan on it. He'll listen to short stories I write if I read them.

He finds interesting tidbits by talking to people and relays them to me and likes discovering ghost towns for me to explore. As for brainstorming. Nope.

The beach looks like a very romantic place. I'm glad you and your family had a good time.

Alice Sharpe said...

Great photos.

My dh is my best brainstormer. Well, him and my daughter, but what I like about him is he sees things differently than I do and not just romance and relationships and all that touchy feely stuff, but life and how things work and what a guy thinks. He's my go to person for anything mechanical that I don't understand, and because he doesn't read a lot of fiction (although since he's retired he does read more than he used to and is currently reading Agent Daddy) he has some unique ideas.

Several times a book, from working out the plot to writing the end scene three months later, we'll get in the car or go on a walk and talk about what's happening and what I could do that would make it different or work out a hole I dug myself into. He's invaluable to me. In fact, there was so much going on in our lives when I started this book (puppy from hell, shingling the house, building a fence, his two trips, etc...) that he wasn't available for this book and it's been very hard without him.

To write a book, I ideally need him, my daughter, and my informal writing buddies -- you guys.

Sorry we screwed up the weather for you, Eli. Next time, you'd just better take us all with you.

Deborah Wright said...

What a beautiful beach!

My husband has never read anything I've written and I kind of doubt he ever will (but I'll never say never!). I also don't really discuss what I'm writing with him, at least not in detail.

On the other hand, we talk about just about everything and I respect his opinions and point of view on many varied subjects. So, in a sense, he's a sounding board for me. One major area that I find fascinating is talking about episodes of TV shows with him -- why plots do or don't work, where writers were sloppy or just plan lazy, etc. I love getting his perspective on "Story" from those conversations.