The Running of the Cats or Self-Discipline 101

Hello again from the Big Blue!


No Scootie Award this week. Are you kidding me? It’s way too cold to scooter. We are in the grips of winter – mornings find us huddling inside long pants, fleece tops and, horror of horrors, socks! Last week, I even had to put an actual blanket on the bed. You may think we don’t suffer here in paradise, well, you are wrong. Pity me, oh yes, pity me!


Winter has, to be truthful, been chocked full of activity and fun. Our guests, at this time of year, seem to hail primarily from New Zealand and Australia. They come here to escape winter back home, which, I have been told, is even more grueling than the winters on Aitutaki. (Impossible!) Unlike the round-the-world travelers of the summer, these folks have limited time and they’re on a mission to have fun. This sets the stage for much frivolity. No one warned me that one of the dangers of running a small pacific resort would be sore cheeks from too much laughter and more than a few cocktail-induced headaches in the mornings.


Oh dear, I feel the pity waning. You’re not feeling very sorry for me any more, are you?


But now I have to speak of serious matters. (This is the Coconut Chronicle equivalent of those dreaded words, “Honey, we have to talk”.) About three months ago, I ran into a sticking point with the current novel manuscript. Work slowed and eventually stopped. I had a hard time putting my finger on the problem but I knew it was there. I’d sit down with Lappy, determined to push forward, type something along the lines of “The…” and then delete it. This behaviour would repeat several times before I’d give up and play solitaire.


Part of the reason I resisted the idea of becoming a professional writer for so long was that my Spock brain is distrustful of The Arts. So many artists seemed to me to be far too flaky for my liking. I have a strong work ethic and the idea of not working because “the mood isn’t right” or the “muse won’t speak” struck me as a pathetic excuse for laziness. Eventually desire outweighed common sense but I was determined to be the master of my crazy cranium and not fall into traps such as writer’s block and the lot. But here’s the deal: creativity doesn’t follow rules. Harnessing imagination is a bit like herding a thousand cats, (those of you who have seen the EDS “cat herders” commercial are having a nice visual right about now).


I’ve finally figured out what is wrong with the manuscript. I’ve also, with much foot dragging, begun to admit to myself that the solution will involve the erasure of characters I’m quite fond of, not to mention an almost complete rewrite of the hundred or so pages I’ve sweated over since November. Sigh. (Oh, I feel the pity increasing, good!) Still, knowing what needs to be done and actually doing it are two different matters. When it comes to distraction, I can run with the best of them. But my Spock brain is getting cranky, cracking its knuckles every time I start surfing the internet or daydreaming, as I am wont to do (just ask Prez, he’ll concur).


The time for discipline is now. With this in mind, I am not going to replace the bottle of gin I polished off last night, nor am I going to open my solitaire program, and…gulp…I am going to put aside my beloved Chronicles. Just for awhile. Maybe three or four weeks. Sniff. This is still peak season here and I really need to use every spare moment wisely. Damn, I hate being so level headed sometimes!


You can blame my friend Mompoet for this. In her most recent blog, (another great means of distraction), she talked of how she was going to walk away for a few weeks and concentrate on her writing. I realized that, although I would miss my little Mompoet word-fixes, to be a “real” writer sometimes the fun stuff has to take a back seat. If I don’t take myself seriously, why should anyone else? Sure, my blog doesn’t take up that much time on its own but added to all the extra curricular activities in my life it does. And, more importantly, it diverts my focus – I really need my focus right now.


Once I’ve lassoed all the cats and have them headed in the same direction, I’ll be happy to indulge my need for mindless rambling again (you lucky readers!). But for now, I’m going to say a temporary farewell and I’ll see you soon.


I will leave you with just a tidbit…


Prez and I went to “Romance Night” at Ultra Fancy Resort for my birthday but it rained and the fire dancing show had to be cancelled. Nevertheless, the food, as always, was spectacular and we are always able to entertain ourselves. For dessert, I ordered “potted chocolate” – as opposed to the “chocolate pot”, which is something else entirely, and illegal in most countries – and proceeded to moan shamelessly as I slurped it. More than a little tipsy at this point, I told Prez to snap some “dessert porn” shots of me with my decadent spoon full of gooey goodness. This he did. We were having a good time of it until Mr. Buff, the manager, happened upon us, exclaiming, “What the…?”, whereupon I lost all composure and laughed, embarrassedly, until tears rolled from my eyes. And here is photographic evidence of my tart-like display…


It all started out so innocently…               Then came the wine and chocolate…     

031 023


Oh dear, getting a little carried away…      Busted! You didn’t see that did you??




QUESTION: Will you miss me? (It’s OK to lie)


Until….? I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!

The Princess

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