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<p>Darien Gee</p>

Darien Gee

Quote of the Week: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

George Bernard Shaw

Writing Exercise of the Week: Write for 10 minutes about a time you gave or received flowers.

Over the past 13 years, I’ve had my fair share of play dates. Unfortunately none of them were for me.

I have three kids, two of whom are still learning how to tie their shoes, which means we still have a few more years of play dates ahead of us. And when I say “us,” I mean them. Kids get to have all the fun, it seems.

They get play dates, snack times, and naps. Plus there’s always someone to drive them places, wash their clothes, and prepare their meals. Adults should only be so lucky.

So this past Monday I had a little play date of my own. It was a visioning workshop hosted by Gale Bates ( at Anna Ranch. I liked that for six hours I was surrounded by like-minded businesswomen, glue, scissors and a five-gallon box of Starbucks coffee.

(Not to mention the toasted croissants with blackberry jam. A definite step up from Oreos and Cheez-Its.)

So back to the play date. It involved three of my favorite things: focus, fun and food. I had an opportunity to reflect back on the year and I realized how much my writing (and the publishing world) have changed.

My big aha? As someone who’s had five books published by New York publishers, I hadn’t expected my literary career to move into self-publishing and regional publishing. But a couple of weeks ago, I published “An Avalon Christmas,” a holiday novella, through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform and its audiobook partner, Audible. My first nonfiction book, “Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir,” will be published in the spring of 2014 by a Honolulu-based publisher. This may not seem like a big deal but I have to tell you, it is. For a long time I assumed I’d stay on the traditional path, the one that was “tried and true.” I was resistant to considering anything else.

But the past couple of years have proved that everything is changing, and for the better. So what does this mean for you, budding author? A few things. One: Have a play date. It’ll give you fresh eyes, especially if you’ve been thinking or doing things a certain way for a long time. Maybe it’s time to try a new writing project, consider another avenue for publication, or simply implement a new writing routine. Plus, it’s fun. Two: You really can choose what you want to do. Possibilities abound, now more than ever before. There are many new ways to get your work out there and find success which is really, really good news for you. Three: Lighten up. That was what my play date did for me. It instilled a sense of enthusiasm and excitement for what’s to come.

So come and join me as we play our way into the new year. I’ll bring the croissants.

Want help writing in 2014? Visit Waimea Community Education at to register for Darien’s upcoming writing and publication workshops, or to schedule a one-on-one session. Darien Gee is a national bestselling author based in Waimea. She also writes under the name Mia King. Her holiday novella, An Avalon Christmas, was recently released on To see her vision board from the workshop, visit