Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Is The Rum Always Gone?

Arrr, mateys! I’m a pirate at heart. Though I live nearly six hours from the coast, bath frequently, and prefer my rum mixed in a strawberry daiquiri rather than grog, I yearn for adventure on the high seas and a head full of dreads. Though, in truth, I prefer daiquiris, this question always arises: why is the rum always gone?

“Did you see that undead monkey?”

I digress, you say? Well then, where does fascination with pirates begin? Perhaps mine began when I was a young girl and told a friend, “If you don’t do this I won’t be your friend.” Pirate! (As an aside, I have learned how to treat friends kindly. If you do, they will always guard your back.)

Did growing up with a younger brother who loved comic books and thought it was cool to pretend to be superheroes or sword-buckling spies inspire me to herald the black flag when it was the two of us up against the unknown? Oh, the innocence, the unspoiled adventurer born out of youth! Pirate!

Perhaps my love for adventure began with Captain Blood, Blackbeard’s Ghost, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Hook, The Black Swan, or Cutthroat Island? Aiding my inclination to rove, I have a large collection of research books. Who else but a pirate lover would devour books by authors: Fern Michaels, Suzanne Enoch, Michelle Beattie, Gaelen Foley, Joanna Lindsey, Rona Sharon, Lynsay Sands, Bobbi Smith, and Trish Albright, and raise a cutlass in salute to them all? Perhaps the wisest pirate of them all was Walt Disney, a man who brought the character, Captain Jack Sparrow, to life. Witty and resourceful, Jack is the embodiment of true piratedom. He is a man who knows how to pilfer his greedy guts out while saving the day and getting a slap across his face for his trouble. Pirate!

Through the years, my family has tried to discourage my fascination with pirates, though they still haven’t figured out how. A roving nature cannot be suppressed, you see. Maybe that’s why I’ve always taken to the life of a military brat and a military wife. Moving over land and sea to places like Japan, Germany and Italy, forced me to accept the challenging winds and land at ports unknown. Who but a pirate can do that?

I have a confession to make. Everywhere I go, if I see a ship, a pirate statue, pirate display, or a golden man who looks like a statue but is a live pirate, I must get my picture taken for posterity’s sake. And for this reason and this reason alone, I asked friends to join me at the Pirate Show in Orlando. Someone I know and love, whose name shall never bear the black spot, hated the mania. I, of course, drank in each and every minute of piratey fun by raising my grog in song. My blood was invigorated by the pirate horde, the damsel in distress and the hero who with his loyal companion stormed the ship to save the day.

Though there was gnashing of teeth, I made sure every vixen was photographed in a pirate hat. Some had to be threatened with steel. Pirate!

And still others were gifted with a complimentary hat to show they weren't forgotten.

Okay, me hearties. You’ve read this far and you’re thinking… “We get it. You love pirates! Where are you going with this?”

So glad you asked! Tomorrow we at Okay, Listen Here, will welcome our first guest blogger, Katharine Ashe. Her book, SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS, is out on the shelves now. I highly recommend this book and as a pirate, I implore you to make sail, brave the winds and steer a course to your nearest bookstore. This book is full of adventure, laced with mystery, and brimming with sensual tension. I can’t seem to put it down! All together now… pirate!

Before you go out and buy Katharine Ashe’s book, share an experience you’ve had that qualifies you to be a pirate. And if you please, is there an undead monkey hanging around in your life and why is the rum always gone?

Lynn Raye Harris, you're the winner of yesterday's blog. Please e-mail Cheryl at fracriso@aol.com to claim your prize. Thanks!


  1. Oh, I do love the sea! When we lived on the coast we had a sailboat and would brave the treacherous waters of Mobile Bay. I have fallen off the boat more than once and had to wait until my mates returned to pick me up (aye - sailboats don't have brakes and can't turn too readily). Perhaps grog was involved, perhaps...

    The most piratey thing I have done recently is swipe the last pair of incredible shoes from underneath the nose of an unsuspecting lady who kept vacillating about buying them. I did a strafing run on her, grabbed the shoes and ran to hide behind my hubby (also piratey - let the bigger guys protect you). I am now the proud owner of those shoes! Pirate!

  2. Avast! Cool post. I stayed in a haunted bed and breakfast in Charleston near the spot where Stede Bonnet - the gentleman pirate - was hanged. His ghost sat on the bed, put both chocolates on my pillow, and locked out my now X husband. :-) Shut yer yob, ye say? It was a fun experience and inspired my story Watchkeeper (about Stede's ghost). I love pirate stories. Among the first romance novels I read were Sea Flame and other pirate themed romances. Love 'em! And am looking forward to reading Swept Away.

  3. AND boy is that pirate gorgeous!


  4. I'm thinking about grabbing up the nearest blade and hacking the crew manning the additions on my house. Pretty ruthless, huh? Pirate!

    Just kidding, of course.

    Seriously, fun post. And the pictures are a nice treat, too!

  5. Cheryl, pirates have been known to quabble over shoes, especially those from the Heart of Dixie. Pirates all! ;)

    Just for these precious viewers: The Green Pirate who championed the hero's quest to rescue the damsel from the dreaded Captain Black was solid as a rock. Humminy Humminy! Couldn't take my eyes off of him during the performance and waited in the lobby for him to arrive. Youza! Piratey goodness. :)

    Shut yer yob! Debra, were you really visited by a pirate ghost? That be a superfluous wonder. Only a true pirate vixen could receive such a treat. ;)

    Avast! Crystal I can see you now brandishing your steel, cracking the lash upon those meely rotguting guttersnipes. Send them to work, I say or they'll be mutiny afoot.

  6. Okay, I did not mind wearing the Donald Duck's bottom on my head. Really. I didn't mind going to the pirate show. It sounded like fun.

    I thought I was going to have a come apart. Cannons, yelling, kids hitting me with backpacks. Oh, it was hell.

    The things we do for love.

  7. Ah! Cannon fire, smoke, children surrounding the ship in English uniforms, sword fights, comic antics, leaping/flying pirates... great fun! Embrace your inner pirate, Jean. Perhaps all you needed to do was turn around and say, "Arrrrrr!", to fend off the vermin. Pirate!

    On a much lighter note, I'm glad you came along. You sacrificed your sanity that night for love and I'll never forget it, ye ol' swab. ;)

  8. For some reason unknown to me, every time Precious Angel's football team scores, they shoot a cannon. It scares me every single time. I think, in a former life, I was killed by a cannon. Probably by a pirate.

    Still, I'm there for you, Pirate Kathy.

  9. Today's post made me laugh. The picture made me cringe but at least I got to be the Damsel in Distress.

    I don't think I have ever done a piraty thing because that would be against the rules. Maybe that's why pirates don't appeal to me because they won't follow the rules....like bathing regularly and washing their hair.

    But, Pirate Kathy, I am amused by your tales!

  10. Ahoy there, Kathy !! Great to see you in Orlando! And great post! Made me laugh! You have some great mates there to put up with all that pirate mayhem.

    My crew accuses me of being a pirate every day! Sailing the SS Bakery can be quite the adventure. My crew definitely bathes every day, my customers...sometimes not so much. I have been seen wielding a large knife, pointing at my crew and threatening to hang them from the yardarm if they don't "GET BACK TO WORK!" PIRATE QUEEN !!

    Why is the rum always gone? Around writers? Are you kidding me? Rejections from editors, rejections from agents, scathing critiques from contest judges, rewrites, computer glitches... Need I go on? I'm surprised there is any rum at all.

    And that undead monkey sits on my shoulder and whispers things like "You will never make it. You are a hack writer. That is absolute drivel." Yes, I have serious issues with the undead monkey. Where is he? I want to shoot something!!

  11. Laughing? Stephanie, my mission is complete. And actually, you made the choice of head gear. If you'll remember I tried to get you to wear a pirate hat.

    You don't like pirates? I would never hold that against you. But I'm certain you would make a fabulous pirate! It's takes a pirate to know one. Pirate!

    Louisa! It was great to talk to you at the Beau Monde Conference. Great to see you here, my piratey friend. Yes, you rank high on my list. For surely no other has answered why the rum is always gone. And yes, your answer appeals. Why didn't I think of it? My empty cup may runneth over with comradery but perhaps it is a tad empty for the reasons you state. Writers cannot be trusted with rum! Surely if they are, they will drink us all under the table.

    Ye be the finest sailor in the bunch, wielding your scabbard, making demands. Aye! What a fetching queen ye are, Louisa. And tell your crew I said so. ;)

    Isn't that the way of undead monkeys? They appear when you least expect it, carrying off compasses that will keep your writing on a successful track. Never you mind about the undead monkey. It's the black spot that causes more worry. ;)

  12. Black spot? Is that an editor or and agent? I forget which. VBEG

  13. Hey Louisa, the black spot be ye old dreaded writer's block. Truly a horrid creature, striking at will.

  14. Writer's block ???? OH NO !!! Now I will have nightmares of the Kracken rising out of the miasma of my manuscript to drag me down into the pit of NOTHING IS COMING TO ME NOW WHAT !! Oh the horror!

  15. Yes, the dreaded blackest of black spots! The visual of the Kraken pulling a writer down into the abyss is fantastic, Louisa. LOVE it! It is truly horrific, isn't it?