Welcome to my Tiki Lounge...

I have a bad habit when I write.

Well, actually I have several bad habits. But I think the worst of them is my need to surround myself with visual aids, with things that speak to me of the story I’m writing...or, in this week’s case, trying to write.

In fact, the term visual aid is a tad misleading. I need something evocative to look at, sure. But I also need the right sounds, smells, tastes…sometimes even textures…to get the job done.

So I might spritz some vanilla-cedar perfume in the air, pour myself a glass of cabernet, slip, a tango CD into the stereo and light a wine-scented votive candle in an art-glass globe.

Or perhaps I’ll sit down to write with a mug of blackberry-sage tea at my elbow, pinon incense burning in an earthenware dish, Melissa Etheridge blaring from my earphones, and a Canada goose mobile twirling in the air above my head.

(and if anyone cares to hazard a guess as to which books those would be…there could be a prize in it!)

The props change from book to book, or scene to scene…sometimes I vary them with every POV. And, yes, in case you’re wondering, things do tend to get a little crowded around my desk—especially if I happen to be in the middle of a long book!

Right now, however, I’m not in the middle of a long anything—but I’m trying. Although my immediate goal is to complete some of the novellas I have planned, I’m also trying to plot at least one of the full-length series that have been ricocheting around in my brain for some time.

Hence the Tiki Lounge, which, while marketed as a decorative bird house, seems highly impractical for such a purpose. But it's tailor made for mine…which is, of course, to give me something to write about. It’s been sitting atop my desk for the last ten days (where it's already become home to my Zuni chicken fetish); a cheerful reminder of the series I have yet to write. I gaze at it now and then, as I ponder the stories which are set on Gran Paradiso, a fictional tropical island, I’ve already used in a score of short stories.

Collectively titled the Devil Tree Inn, the books will feature a rather dysfunctional family who inherit an odd, obscure, somewhat run-down sugar plantation turned hotel. Here’s the blurb:

"There are worse things in life than inheriting a couples-only vacation resort on a beautiful tropical island. Too bad Patience Sinclair can’t think of any."

Patience is the main character. A writer of romances, a wife, a mother, a step mother, she’s somewhat harried and distracted when the series opens. Patience longs for a simpler life, not a whole new set of problems!

Jaden McKinney is her husband. A former fashion photographer who’s become addicted to prescription drugs, Jaden is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. He thinks moving to Gran Paradiso could be the family’s salvation.

Alyssa McKinney is Jaden’s teenage daughter. Rebellious, dyslexic and sullen she did not inherit her super-model mother’s looks, but she sure has her attitude!

Cole Sinclair is Patience’s son. Cole is an artist, a charming, itinerant reproduction of his father, Patience’s first husband. A gentle-hearted dreamer, or so his mother believes, Cole is quite content to be supported, possibly forever, while he pursues his art.

Shalimar is Cole’s girlfriend. If she ever had a last name, she doesn't want us to know it! She’s a little bit kooky, but she’s so damn hot, Cole doesn’t seem to mind. She’s also a bit of a grifter. He doesn’t mind that, either.

Lucius St. Germain, the lawyer handling Patience’s dead aunt’s estate, is another hottie. Something Patience must try hard to ignore. Little does she know, he’s also her competition. If she fails to abide by the terms of her aunt’s will, the property reverts to him.

Rosalita. Again, a woman with no last name. She’s a psychic. She’s a psycho. She’s a housekeeper. And, if nothing else does it, she’s sure to make Patience insane.

It’s The Osbornes inherit The Money Pit. It’s Fantasy Island with a few Chuck Berry modifications. And it is, of course, entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to me or my family…or to any other person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I swear!

©PG Forte 2006 All Rights Reserved


Lynn Green said...

You forgot the dog.

PG Forte said...

Hmm. I don't know. I think I'm tired of dogs. I've done dogs to death...

Wow, that sounded bad. Maybe an Iguana or a Javanese Temple bird.