10 things I learned in Hawaii!

My hubby and I just returned from a week in the land of coconut and pineapple everything. And I loved it! Except for the humidity! You should have seen my hair!

And mangoes squished on the sidewalk like fall apples. Broke my heart!

But, off to the 10 things I learned.

  1. Guava tastes of nothing. Sweet but no flavour, very disappointing.
  2. Ripe pineapple is incredible. It’s sweet, barely acidic at all, and doesn’t hurt your tongue.
  3. Shave Ice is a thing. Shaved Ice is not. It’s also huge! The cup is 6″ at the petals. This is a size small.17504327_10158625744530107_7823821273222312310_o
  4. Even heat loving me can’t deal with stoopid-hot and 100% humidity, so it’s unlikely we’ll go back and impossible to dream of retiring there. But it’s so pretty!17498620_10158622385780107_1697153093808319515_n
  5. It is easier to buy shirts for big men in Hawaii. Unfortunately, they’re almost all Hawaiian shirts.
  6. The water is BLUE! Like lapis lazuli blue. And warm. Ok, I may go back. We never did get to any of the historical sites. If I base a story there, and do all of the tours… is it a tax write-off? (Don’t answer I know the answer.)17499348_10158626574275107_7569504207297333572_n
  7. Nobody gives you a lei for getting off of a plane. You have to go  to an expensive event. We went to a luau for $100US a person. But the purple orchids were gorgeous. It’s a sin I couldn’t bring them home with me. But I checked with Customs; up to $400 fine per infraction (and about 30 orchid blossoms per lei…) plus confiscation of the item, so I wouldn’t even have them.17547022_10158631841710107_3624461896374265860_o
  8. Gluten Free is not a thing there. Seriously, almost no-one had even heard of it. One restaurant asked how bad my reaction would be, as if they were considering lying to me.  Most places did have grilled options, but the fish was almost always dredged in flour to crisp it up. The coconut was mixed with wheat to make it easier to work with.  Sigh, somebody has to figure out a lactaid or beano pill for GF.  Who do I know who works in drugs manufacturing?  Legal drugs. Not a basement set-up.
  9. Macadamia nut mead is a thing. So is pineapple caramel wine. And GF booze made from pineapples. But no matter how long you stay, your duty free allowance stays at 1.5 litres.
  10.  Going on a real vacation, ie: not taking any writing or editing with you, makes you get behind. Seriously! I’m now looking at 3600 words a day or more. My single best day was just over 4000, so I need to repeat it every day. Does that mean I won’t do it again?  Something I learned about myself? I would absolutely do it again!

I am now doing Camp Nano, an easier version of Nanowrimo. So expect a lot of posts about writing. Especially when I’m procrastinating doing any.

Camp Nano… where are the cookies?

I’m joining camp Nano this year because I work best under a deadline and I want to finish Ring of Earth. And draft 2 of Nets to catch the wind, but that’s a different month.
I should be finished my currently un-named but sold short story by April 1st, so it’s good timing.  I am 1200 words shy of finishing the first draft of the steampunk-romance-mystery, and have about 6 days left in the month to make it make sense before sending it to my editor. So, I’m golden! Or silver. Or at least, I should be fine.

And I’ll be rested from what promises to be an awesome trip to Hawaii the last week of March. A wedding, a sunset cruise, a luau and fire dancing show…. and gazillions of photos!

Then May equals editing the short story and Ad Astra in Toronto. SO looking forward to 3 days of writing experts, book releases and panels panels panels!

June is hopefully draft 2 of Nets to Catch the Wind, July is the month of 1000 birthdays and maybe pitching myself to agents. August and September are getting A Ring of Earth edited to perfection so I can show it off at Can-Con in October. August is also Romancing the Capital, a romance genre writing/ reading weekend. With yes, book releases, panels and SWAG!

I feel like my grandmother; It’s March 10th, next is April, May,  June… it’s almost October, the whole year gone and nothing done!

2 steps forward and 5 back

I started transferring my website from one overpriced, gouging hack to what I hoped was a better site on Dec 11th. On Jan 3rd I finally got the new site to stop screwing me around and moved to a third site recommended by a close friend.  Fingers crossed.

Right now one site has been moved, but it’s set up to email me at my author’s mailbox. Which isn’t working because the 1st host no longer has the website, and I can’t get the 3rd site to change the email address they use without clicking on the verification email which is not working because….   round and round we go.

Good news!  I just got another review for A Test of Loyalty and Alone in the Night, my 2 NA gritty urban books.  At least, I think it’s a good review.

“I hate you, I hate you! I was up most of the night!
I could not stop reading your books… LOVE them! Love your books;”A Test of Loyalty” and “Alone at Night”. Read them real fast just couldn’t get enough… extremely well written! Seriously I’m happy I had both books … I would have been really dead not to be able to read the second one right away.”

So, next time on my struggles with tech… maybe I’ll have email because right now it’s really annoying not to. I had a book signing last weekend and another next weekend with NO WEBSITE!!

I also have books to review, and you guessed it… no website to post them to!

Blog touring;cover reveal

EDIT:  It’s finally time!  Release day: March 8th. Inquisition: Book Three of the Lalassu now available for preorder on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

A good friend is soon releasing her third book. I’ve read the first 2 and the 2 short stories from another series and loved all of them.

So I’m honoured to support her third novel via the travelling pants!   Cover reveal!

So, without further ado….. COVER!!!!


There is also a draw for a gift card, and an excerpt , you’re gonna love it!

I can’t figure out how to add a widget, so here’s the link to it on Jennifer’s website:  http://pastthemirror.com/

“Inquisition: Book Three of the Lalassu now available for preorder on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.  To celebrate, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card.

Detective Joe Cabrera used to have a pretty good life before he found out about the lalassu, but since then he’s been struggling.  Still, he has his purpose: make sure the bad guys stay behind bars, particularly Andre Dalhard.

Expert thief and master of disguise, Cali, grew up on the streets until Andre Dalhard rescued her.  Now she’s determined to rescue him from prison but the more she digs, the more she discovers things aren’t exactly what she thought they were.

Together the two of them will have to dig deep if they want to find the truth.  But their efforts threaten to uncover something even more dangerous that could destroy both friend and foe.”


Finally, a website … maybe …

OK, 5 hours on chat to fix the issues. I was told it would be up in 48 hours. End of today is 48 business hours.  We’ll see.

I’m off to find the materials to make friends a baby quilt, they’re expecting around my birthday!  Gee, guys, thanks! You shouldn’t have.  Baby fat, baby giggles, baby feet; what a birthday present!

So tomorrow morning is their absolute deadline.

In the meantime, guests are packing to go, plans are being made, new writing routine/ schedule is being worked out…

Need to schedule 2 different blog posts for two different sites mon & thur every week.

Need time to promo on FB, Twitter, Smashwords, etc.

Need to arrange book signings, sales tables, etc.

Need to WRITE: at least 1 novel from scratch, 1 from a script I wrote, maybe a couple more short stories for anthologies.

Continue to purge clutter that has built up over the years

Organize my office so I can find my research

Research! Canada 1868, medicinal herbs and how to use them, nomadic lifestyles…

Make a meal plan every week and stick to it! Well, as is reasonable…

Exercise, especially after my appt at the pain clinic where they will see what exercises I can do without further injuring my spine

Make more meals from scratch. Stop defaulting to schwarmas or subway.


Goodbye 2016! Hello better new year?

This was me last night, ready to go to a much anticipated party at a friend’s. I look forward to NYE at his house all year! Then BOOM, snowstorm. Blizzard. NOT the yummy kind with bits of cheesecake, either.


So we curled up in the comfy chairs and watched an Ice Age marathon, including the Christmas special.  And had a few drinks. And watched 2016 die on my 55″ TV. Not as satisfying as if I’d made it to the party, but not too shabby.

Actually, aside from a number of my favourite celebrities (whom I didn’t know in person) dying, and the Syrian war which I feel helpless and disappointed in humanity about, 2016 was pretty good to me.

I know, I should just cover my head and run now.

But… At Ad Astra last year, I got to meet and actually talk to one of my favourite authors. She basically gave me the courage to start sending my stuff out. I had a shit-ton of half-finished novels, completed short stories and poems, but never showed anyone anything.

So I started walking my talk, and changed my profile from “aspiring author” to WRITER.  I sent out stories, I pitched books, and I shook hands/ kissed babies.

And I won a short story competition which paid actual money (alright an amazon gift card, but I bought writing books, so it’s sorta money), 3 stories were published in anthologies, 2 YA/NA novels were self-published, and I am breathlessly awaiting a contract from a real publisher!

My marriage is strong, my friends are awesome, my Mom got married!  I blogged some, and got followers that I don’t even know, so they’re not obligated to read it. Nor are they expecting surprise quizzes on what I wrote last week.

Pretty good year.

So, if 2017 is supposed to be better than 2016, I got some work ahead of me.  More poetry, more novels, more pitching, more cookbooks….

Which brings me to New Year’s resolutions. Hate resolutions, one weak moment and you F.A.I.L.  I like New Years Goals. One weak moment, shrug it off, dust yourself off, and start again.

So, mine this year are all doable, if I keep myself focused and bear the main goal in mind. All these are just steps to being able to live off my earnings.  (WARNING: I write dark fantasy)

Goals for 2017:
Get website back up and running
Finish 2 novels and possibly other stuff *shiftyeyes*
Get contracts signed soonest
Post 1 or 3 happys for every depressing post I make on FB
Get back into the habit of healthy eating , no I don’t need more chocolate or pringles.
Get back into my writing process/schedule
Deepen my religious practice, figure out who to sacrifice to pay the blood-debt of 2016.
Clean my frigging house! Purge the crap!

What are your goals, writing or otherwise?

Free ebook reminder!

My first YA novel, A Test of Loyalty is now free on Smashwords with his coupon! FP66D You just enter the coupon code before completing checkout)

My second novel in this series is available on Kindle, Kobo, Sony, etc for $3.99US ($5.35 CDN), and in paperback for $9.99US ($13.37CDN). It picks up a few weeks after the climax of A Test of Loyalty.

Check out my website for more books, and a FREE horror-fairy tale short story.


Facebook; Laurie Stewart; writer, film-maker, painter


Write, Paint, Film, Create!