Writing a Novel

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

Friday, August 24th, 2012

I have been busy before in my life, but never like this.

On an average day, I

a) write eight pages (a chapter) of my new novel (plus all the research related to the information actually placed on those eight pages)

Dozer begging for an elk burger.

b) walk the dog two or three times

c) clean the house in some fashion, which includes but is not limited to: vacuuming, mopping, wet vacuuming/carpet cleaning, dusting, pillow straightening, stuff putting away-ing, junk mail tossing, fridge emptying, bed making, cat litter box cleaning, sheet and towel washing, toilet scrubbing, etc. etc. etc. etc. ETC. Argh!

d) work on freelance queries

e) work on freelance assignments

f) give a hypnotherapy session

g) work on hypnotherapy-related advertising/marketing/SEO stuff

h) work on developing the seven other sites I have in some stage of development

i) work on totally revamping this site (really! I have been studying advanced WordPress and even took a class: it’s a lot less intimidating now, and I think I can pull it off. Considering this list it won’t be next week, but I think it will be before the end of 2012)

j) entertain/chat with people staying with me

k) write food reviews

l)  eat for food reviews (more time-consuming than you would think. Can I tell you how many “one man show” restaurants and food trucks I’ve eaten at lately where a solo guy is cooking for the whole place? Way too many…)

Poli Poli: a redwood and eucalyptus forest near Kula.

m) work on my garden here at the house

n) work on my garden up in Hai’ilemaile (okay, that one isn’t daily, but on the days it does happen it takes ALL DAY)

o) work out

p) pay bills and other thankless tasks that must be done

q) fret about turning 40

r) pray the already done novel will be read and SOLD (!) soon so I can take a half-dozen items off this list

s) play Words with Friends (okay, okay, I can see where you think this item isn’t necessary, but who will wipe the floor with my friends if I don’t?)

t) answer email (which I’m pretty poor at…and very slow)

u) return phone calls: ditto

v) remember to feed the pets

w) make coffee and cook food

The editor didn’t use this one, but I thought it was kind of funny: the debris left behind by that wood-fired pizza. ;)

x) remember to feed myself

y) clean up the horrible mess that cooking and feeding myself makes of my NO DISHWASHER (**sob**) kitchen

z) shower once in a while and put on clean clothes


Oh, and as of yesterday I want to start my own food truck. I have a truly genius idea. I even have the name. I would run it at lunch time and maybe the occasional weekend night. Now I just need $20K for a food truck…

So should that task be aa or should I just switch to a numbering system? Or switch to a numbering system and stay one step ahead and join AA just in case? Might not be a bad idea to join AAA, too, while I’m at it…


Did I put blogging on this list?

I don’t think so, which  means valuable time is being a-wasted talking to you lovely peeps. Gotta go work on a, c, g, k, p, q, u, x…

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Fleetwoods on Front Street Opens

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Roasted Maui Tomato Soup-fleetwoods-lahaina

Roasted Maui Tomato Soup. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Standing 6’6” and having founded and remained an active member of one of the biggest bands of all time, it’s safe to say Mick Fleetwood is not subtle.

The same can be said for his brand new restaurant in Lahaina, Fleetwoods on Front Street. The space is at once lavish and welcoming, featuring a large bar, ample dining room dripping with portraits of 70s rock gods, and a stunning roof top terrace with a decidedly Moroccan vibe.

Scott Leibfried, known to reality TV fans as Gordon Ramsey’s sidekick on both the Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares series, heads up the kitchen. The resulting menu is something of a Maui meets grown-up pub food affair. Only four days into operations and our generally well-informed waitress seemed confused by a few menu items, indicating changes are already underway. Presumably this will be the norm for the first few months, as Chef Leibfried becomes adjusted to what products he can and can’t consistently obtain here on Maui.

Classic Clam Chowder

Classic Clam Chowder. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Maui Now sampled a range of items from the comfort food-based menu, starting with the Roasted Maui Tomato Soup ($8), one of the few vegan offerings. The San Marzano-based soup, finished with a basil oil, was thick and rich with tomato flavor. In truth, it fell a little more on the pomodoro sauce side than soup, but one presumes many of these items will be reworked in the upcoming weeks. It was accompanied by a wholly unremarkable piece of toast with some sharp cheddar melted on top.

The clam chowder ($10), however, was outstanding. Rich, flavorful, and dense with clams, it was everything one would hope. The accompanying package of Westminster oyster crackers (“the chef’s favorite crackers”) were hardly necessary, and the first spoonful made it clear why this chowder has won awards.

The hand-formed Wild Mushroom Ravioli ($12) were…read the rest here!

And in other news, I built a website for a great lady  and her yoga business (Easy Yoga Maui) – and I think it turned out pretty great, as well.

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My New Life’s Goal

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Anyone who has read this blog for any period of time knows that I love my family. The true testament to this is that they are pretty much the only recurring “characters” in ye olde archives (nearly four years’ worth now. Time flies when you’re having fun…or not having fun…or in a coma. Time just flies in general.)  They are the rare individuals named by name and they (hopefully, in their estimation, as that is my intent) always come off as the lovable and charming characters they are. Although I have a lot of adorable extended family, as well; this proclamation holds especially true for my mom, my bro (who I don’t believe has ever read this blog once…which may in itself may earn him more face time. If you aren’t aware of it, you can’t complain about it!) and my dad.

Wolf at work

I have an apparent obsession with photographing myself with Hipstamatic whilst editing. Go figure.


There is almost nothing as good as a really good apple. I tell you, this island is teaming with horrible mealy apples that make you wish you didn’t have a mouth. I am in the midst of eating a truly awesome Gala apple which probably was grown in a third world country with the help of all kinds of horrible chemicals and spliced with the genes of a cockroach and picked by toddlers in chains…but at this moment I don’t really give a damn. I’m just so happy to be eating an amazing apple.

***back to the point***

So my new life’s goal – to write a book that is turned into a major motion picture – is brought to you by my dad. This isn’t so much about the validation or the (hopefully huge) payday or the fame or my name in lights or the no doubt stellar dress I’ll get to wear on the red carpet…but about the following proclamation sent to me by my father via email when I told him that I wanted to one day sit and watch a movie based on a story I made up:

“You kidding? If you write a book that becomes a movie, I’ll see it in every theater in town with a tee shirt proclaiming my daughter as the author and I’ll have 100 extra shirts for handouts and I’ll paint it on the side of my car and put up a billboard somewhere in town and demand to be interviewed by local TV stations. That’s during the first week.”

wolf at work

More of the same. Wanna make something of it???





If that ain’t motivation, I don’t what is.

Move over, HUNGER GAMES, my dad is going to force his way onto local TV news stations. Did Suzanne Collins’ dad do that? I suspect not. Sure, she may have written a highly successful YA series and now major motion picture fodder…but clearly what she – or at least her parents – lack is commitment. And chutzpah. And a spray paint. And a small amount of mental instability.

Enthusiasm like this works as direct fuels to the fire of my enthusiasm and work ethic. I have not only FINALLY finished (just waiting on a wee bit of user feedback) editing a book I should have edited ages ago, but I am sketching out the story for a new one I plan to start next month.

But it isn’t just the storytelling or the beautiful dress at the Oscars or the newfound drive (thank you job I hated so much I wanted to crawl under a rug and die!) that is going to set me apart: it’s the smug self-satisfaction, and my dad’s mutilated car (maybe one of those bigs magnets makes more sense?) and the  t-shirts proclaiming “I TOLD YOU SO” that will be available- hopefully soon and for $17 .99 each – on a blog near you.

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(Just Like) Starting Over

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

I have recently realized that I am a George Person.

The Beatles iTunes

This is the picture - the one used by iTunes last year - that caused the epiphany.

For a long time – during my own extended (and yes, hairy legs and armpits and partial dreadlocks and all of it. Don’t judge. I was young and foolish then.) dirty hippie phase –  I thought I was a John person, but I now realize the error of my ways. Granted, I could write about two hundred blog posts on the errors of my ways alone, but regret is a useless emotion.

I think I’ve mentioned that I rather hate Paul. I do. It’s nothing personal (or is it???) but just a few bars of “Listen to What the Man Says” can send me screaming from the room. Even the Musak version is intolerable. And “Someone’s Knocking At the Door?” Well, I just hope that someone is a hired assassin with orders to shoot to kill.

I don’t give a shit about Ringo either way, and let’s face facts here: although obviously superior at the art of survival and avoiding embarrassing marriages to one-legged gold diggers, Ringo is no holds barred the ugly one (or, in Jersey Shore parlance, the grenade.) If he wrote any songs, I don’t know about it, so luckily he’s at least relatively blameless in my mind.

So anyway, if a gun is held to my head and I’m forced to choose – or if I happen to name a blog after a latter-day John (and probably Yoko in some form. Seems she had her paws on everything.) song – I will state George as my favorite. And as it so happens, he was rather a hottie (at least in profile). And I do very much like the song “Here Comes the Sun” although the rest of the Beatles catalog is what I expect to have to listen to should I be unfortunate enough to one day find myself  in Hell.

I am the Walrus

My god, is this real? I get the sense this is real. I hope at least Paul and Ringo have the good sense to be embarrassed.

I hate it all; even the ‘classics.’

Blackbird: take those broken wings and hobble yourself outside…quietly.

Yesterday: Whine, whine, whine, whine, whiney baby whiner whine.

Yellow Submarine: Anthrax to my ears.

Can’t Buy Me Love: I’m sure the boys now realize the error of that sentiment. Poverty can nuke love, but money can certainly get you back in the door.

Eleanor Rigby: Ghastly

Sexy Sadie: Weren’t you listening? I hate it all. I don’t care that they’re a treasured and iconic band and people around the world love and worship them. You can have them. Give me The Stones or Jimi Hendrix or Muddy Waters or Leonard Cohen any day and keep that LSD I am the eggman sitting on a cornflake crap to yourself.


In other news, I think I mentioned that I had planned to be done with the rough draft of my new book on Friday (as in three days from now.) Not so much. You know what they say about the best laid plans…

Well, I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under, but what they say is the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Why do they say that?

Here Comes the Sun lyrics

This is a very sweet song.

Well, enter the internet with the following enlightenment: “The saying is adapted from a line in ‘To a Mouse’ by Robert Burns: ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men /Gang aft a-gley.’”

Anybody got a translation on Gang aft agley? Apparently that was how we English-speaking types once said “often go awry.” Something tells me my  plan to build a time machine and return to the days of the American Revolution could melt down in simple language barrier/semantics problems.


Wouldn’t that be a funny short story? You return to some romanticized, celebrated time not THAT long ago (250 years doesn’t seem THA T long, really) only to find you can’t understand a goddamned word anyone’s saying.

It’s the little things really…

So where was I? Book not done in three days.

Why not?

Woman rethink entire plot and find self re-writing 21 chapters in one week. Woman no happy, yet realize this good thing in big picture.

Be glad I picked this and not a picture of ovaries.

Why I’ve started talking like a caveman I have no idea, but the bottom line is that I ended up going over the story with someone last week (Thursday, I think?), realized a character I wanted to add and one I wanted to delete and a general inconsistency with my main character and some plot twists and overall storyline strengthening that would be beneficial…and then I couldn’t bring myself to write the final chapters. It made no sense without first fixing everything else.


So there you go.
And there I go: back to extended editing/rewriting so as to keep to my schedule (sort of) and be done with the rough draft NEXT Friday.

Then I’m going to work on a romantic comedy screenplay where there is absolutely no time travel, but extensive use of the word “ovaries.”

Just kidding.


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Mindless debauchery update

Friday, October 22nd, 2010


I got nothin’.

I suppose when every day is mindless debauchery, it’s so hard to differentiate.

Sometimes I do think about perpetual mindless debauchery as an option. Minus the occasional periods where you’re forced to sober up and deal with your shit (or so says your parents or loved ones or parole officer), I suggest it might be preferable to what I commonly think of as “the real world.”

Freaky food

I don't know what this is. I'm not sure I want to know. Maybe some kind of messed up cream pie with cherries and, uh, green weeds? At any rate, what matters about this picture is this: it's the least of the evils when you type 'debauchery' into Google Images. ***shudder***

Who needs “the real world” anyway?
Unless you’re rich or famous or otherwise high on the hog, the real world kind of sucks. Regularly.

In other news, I thought I’d attempt to give you some uber-boring but hopefully slightly amusing updates on my latest distraction. Oh yes. It is now official (and I’m even thinking of getting business cards made). I am Vanessa Wolf: international cat sitter,  writer, and raconteur.

Man, I love the word raconteur, and now thanks to Jack White (whom I also love although the live Union Forever album is a bit – well – rough, and Meg’s terrible drumming shines in all the ways you wouldn’t want it to) it’s in somewhat more common vernacular now so I could actually use it without seeming like a snob, but then again, most people probably aren’t super-familiar with the actual definition, just the band, and maybe it’s a bold claim to make about my own self (although I would like to learn it was put on my tombstone or at least mentioned at the funeral) so it’s probably best if I just keep it to myself as I have been doing for some time now already.

Speaking of which (and I swear I’ll eventually loop this around to where you can see the relevance), a girlfriend of mine was in Italy last week and on a trip to make connections in the leather and textile worlds. In her first email to me she related that she’d “met a wonderful Italian man. He is 80-something and owns a fabric shop where I spent $150 on a jersey silk wool blend. He spoke to me of harmony, poetry, and magic.”

So, like you, I wondered if she might actually be having some kind of affair with this elderly dude. Hell, with Viagra and Roman blood, I guess you never  know…

Thankfully, she followed up with some texts where she explained further that he did say something to the effect of, “please don’t wait me wait so long before you kiss me” but no such thing ever happened. However, a few days later she texted that she was “told I was exigent, whatever that means.”  I explained that it means demanding or unreasonable, and whoever said it was clearly a big, fat jerk.

So (as the story goes) she informed that it was the ‘ancient 80 year old guy’ who said it (and was once again rebuffed for a kiss, although I don’t know if that was before or after the highbrow name calling started), and then I suggested maybe he meant to say “exquisite” or “exotic” or “exceptional” and she said, “No. He meant exigent. He even spelled it for me.” Which brings me to two points:

1. Yes, it is impressive to know, let alone use big words, especially when English is (presumably) a second language, but it also makes you look like an arrogant asshole – especially if you call someone a word they don’t understand and even repeat it without providing the (judgmental) definition.

2. Eighty is OLD. I’m sorry, but there are very few 30-something women who are drawn to men old enough to be their grandpa (money, intelligence, charm, and ownership of an Italian fabric store notwithstanding), and my friend is not one of them. Neither am I, for anyone wondering. So don’t be a jerk about it, just age up about 25 or 30 years, and you’ll probably be fine. Or not. Whatever. Jerk.

Actually, seeing as I still feel kind of fired up about this, allow me to add a third point.

3. Unless you’re in a spelling bee or someone has SPECIFICALLY asked you for spelling help, don’t fucking spell words for other people when they don’t understand you. That’s so incredibly arrogant I almost want to buy a ticket to Rome just to hunt this guy down and give him a verbose talking-to and maybe hard slap across the liver-spotted cheek. Jerk.

In other news, I am sitting in my dad’s living room where I will be for many days to come and hopefully writing copious amounts of the new book (which I am rather happy with so far, happily) and watching the king, er, his indoor cat and his outdoor kitty zoo of feral felines. At this point, like any good ruler fearing an unfavorable coup, the king has been laying low, observing, and plotting his next move. I suspect he’s acting all nervous and coy in an effort to lull me into an unsuspecting state such that I won’t see nor expect it when he leaps from the staircase and claws my eyes out.

Either that, or he’ll decide to roll with the punches and warm up within the next 24-36 hours.

We shall see.

I know the Egyptians revered them as gods, so I don’t plan to underestimate His Royal Highness. For now, I’m just keeping the bowl stocked with Friskies Surfin’ and Turfin’ and watching my back.

Human skin is so soft and vulnerable to angry cat claws and my vision is not what it should be.

Truth be told, I feel a little bit like Ripley near the end of Alien, but as of yet all paranoia is purely the product of my own imagination.

Thus far.

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