Beneath the Mango Tree



Happy hamburgers and watermelons and sparklers and fireworks!

I have to tell you, I’m afraid the next three months are going to be a little crazy for blogging. Seriously, all I have to talk about is (a) wedding planning (ack! three months! ack!) (and I’m SURE you all want to hear about it, too…hmm, should we register for this pan or that pan? should we have ice cream or cake for dessert? when we arrive at the reception, should we play “I Love You, Always, Forever” or “Don’tcha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me”? so many important and fascinating decisions!), (b) the ton of writing I need to get done before I disappear on the honeymoon (ack! three months! ack!), and (c) So You Think You Can Dance, which is practically the only show on TV right now, not to mention my new crazy obsession (how much do I love Anya and Danny? and Lacey and Kameron? and Pasha?!). Seriously, the only downside of July 4th is that we have to go a whole extra WEEK without new So You Think You Can Dance. Bah humbug!

Or I guess I could talk about the best news ever: Spice Girls Reunion Tour! Girlpower! Whee! When Ginger Spice first left them, I totally thought they should have done a reality show search to find a replacement. That I might have tried out for. After all, it’s not like you actually have to be able to sing to be a Spice Girl. You just have to have the right attitude, lots of girlpower, and a few goofy outfits. OK, I’m sure I don’t have enough tall platform boots (i.e., any) to be a Spice Girl, but if I could be T-Shirt and Jeans Spice, it’d be perfect. What else would my Spice name be? My first choice would be Sparkly Spice, but I figured it would probably end up being American Spice, since my accent would be the most different thing about me. Hmmm. Unless that would make me Tone-Deaf Spice.

Well, huzzah reunion tour! Yo, tell you what I want, what I really really want — another Spice Girls movie! Woooo! Oh, I totally own the first one. So did one of my earlier roommates. Yeah, I lived in a house with TWO copies of Spice World and absolutely no shame.

Or I could also mention the other best news ever — did you hear? Logan from Veronica Mars is going to be on a new TV show in the fall! AND! He’s playing a VAMPIRE! I must admit, I wasn’t sold on this show Moonlight before…I mean, a vampire private detective? How could this not be a sad shadow of the greatness that was Angel? But now that I know Logan is in it…as a VAMPIRE! an eeeeevil VAMPIRE!…I am so so SO totally there.

But perhaps I should talk about something Serious like Writing instead, or maybe Revising, since that’s one of the things I ought to be doing right now (as opposed to, say, writing a blog entry. But Mom doesn’t call to hassle me daily about any of my other deadlines, nooooo — just, hey, WHERE’S YOUR BLOG? — so here I am).

Perhaps I could tell you about a day in the life of a writer, since people ask me about that sometimes. Like, so, Tui, what do you do all day? How do you keep yourself motivated? Do you have a schedule you stick to? How long do you spend writing? Exactly how many hours of TV do you watch every day? Because, like, seriously, do you watch everything on TV, or what?

All excellent questions. (The answer to the last one being: No, sorry, I don’t watch anything with Law & Order or CSI in the title, nor anything where people are trapped in a house together for un-supernatural reasons.)

Let me give you both my Ideal Day and my Usual Day.

Ideal Day:

10am Wake up bright and chipper. Bound out of bed. Make the bed.
10 – 11am Fifty minutes of high impact cardio/strength training exercise, thinking about fitting into wedding dress.
11 – 11:30am Healthy, high-fiber breakfast such as granola and a banana.
11:30am – noon Shower
Noon – 12:30pm Answer all emails.
12:30 – 2:30pm Write 5 pages of manuscript
2:30 – 5pm Accomplish numerous wedding goals, such as booking honeymoon.
5-6pm Long walk with Sunshine
6-7pm Make impressively healthy dinner with Adam, such as tofu and broccoli on brown rice.
7-9pm Watch important, classy TV while eating dinner, such as The Colbert Report and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
9 – 10pm Discuss wedding with Adam or learn new dance from dance DVD we bought online
10pm – midnight Write another 5 pages of manuscript
Midnight – 1am Read in bed; something that’s important and classy-sounding like, say, Crime and Punishment, but not stupid like, say, Crime and Punishment
1am Bed

Usual Day:

10am Alarm goes off. Consider getting up. Decide it would be silly, as I am clearly still tired, and Adam won’t be home for HOURS, so who’ll know? Turn off alarm and go back to sleep.
Noon – 12:30pm Wake up to dog licking face. Feel a little ridiculous about it being noon already. Reassure myself that there are still many hours in the day. Snuggle with dog. Bury dog in bedcovers. Roll around with dog. Finally arise, leaving bedcovers in almighty tangle at foot of bed.
12:30 – 1pm Check email.
1 – 1:30pm Twenty minutes of “yoga lite” with hilarious Denise Austin TV recording, thinking about how this totally means I can eat ice cream tonight.
1:30 – 2:30pm Eat toaster banana waffles or peanut butter and jelly sandwich while watching episode from Dark Angel marathon that my DVR may or may not have recorded for me while I was in England.
2:30 – 3:30pm Check email again. Then check TV Guide website for new TV news. Dissatisfied with scarcity of Pasha scoop, click over to Television Without Pity to read forums about So You Think You Can Dance in case anyone knows yet what styles they’ll be dancing next week. End up reading pages of discussion on whether Lacey & Kameron are an item and whether or not that’s even interesting.
3:30 – 4pm Shower
4 – 4:30pm Walk Sunshine
4:30 – 5pm Panic that it’s nearly 5pm and I haven’t done anything about the wedding yet today. Attempt to make several phone calls. Leave many messages. Speak to no one. Fail to accomplish anything.
5 – 6pm Halfheartedly clean kitchen and/or living room, waiting for Adam to come home.
6 – 7pm Attempt to strong-arm Adam into having frozen pizza for dinner again instead of tofu and broccoli. Cite earlier “yoga lite” as clear indicator that I have earned pizza. Point out that pizza takes 10-12 minutes of doing nothing, whereas tofu and broccoli takes at least half an hour of chopping and marinating and steaming and rice cooking. Also point out that the choices are tofu and broccoli…or PIZZA. Win. Rejoice!
7 – 10pm Watch whatever is the most exciting thing we have on our DVR. If they’re new, this is what wins, in order: Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galactica, The Amazing Race, Heroes, Dancing with the Stars, Lost, Daily Show, Colbert Report, The Office, House, Prison Break, Jericho, and Bones, or, at the moment, So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, Traveler, On the Lot (which is TERRIBLE, seriously, do NOT watch this show), or Degrassi: Next Generation (don’t do it, Darcy! Peter is Bad News! Ruuuuun!). This, of course, is not including the shows I don’t force Adam to watch with me. Around 9 or 10, when Adam falls asleep on the couch, sometimes those will make an appearance, too.
10pm – midnight Noodle around on the computer doing vitally important “research” about African gods, weddings, polar bears, bridesmaid dresses, underworlds, butter churning, and what else Jonas Armstrong from Robin Hood has been in. End up back in the So You Think You Can Dance forums.
Midnight Panic about it being midnight already. Wake up Adam and send him to bed.
12 – 5am Write ten pages of manuscript. Admire sunrise. Go to bed, entirely convinced that I’ll get up at 10am tomorrow and have an Ideal Day, no problem.

That’s probably more information than I ought to share with, say, my editors, or, you know, my mother, but I figure you wonderful blog readers deserve the truth, right?

And as you can see, I do have a schedule. I’m not sure it’s one I’d recommend to anyone, but if you’re happiest between midnight and 5am, like I am, it can kind of work. And some days are closer to Ideal Days than others. For instance, today I really did 50 minutes of exercise, and checked some wedding stuff off my list. However, I have not yet written my ten pages, since, as you can see, I’m here, writing my blog instead. (MOM.) Luckily there’s still two hours to go before it’s 5am. Eeep. Which means I better go do something.

I hope you all have a fabulous Fourth of July!!

Quote of the Day:
With only two,
Just me and you,
Not so many things we got to do
or places we got to be
We’ll sit beneath the mango tree, now,
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together

— from "Better Together" by Jack Johnson, which was Kari and Steve’s first dance song. (Seriously, have you ever heard a more wonderful first dance song? Go listen to it. It’s ADORABLE. I’m head over heels in love with it. And with them! Yay Kari and Steve! Hooray perfect wonderful wedding!)