HumorOutcasts Press is so proud to launch the second edition of My Pineapples Went to Houston: Finding the Humor in My Dashed Hopes, Broken Dreams and Plans Gone Outrageously Awry from the talented Lee Gaitan. Lee’s sense of humor is an inspiration to so many going through challenges and obstacles. Read about this talented writer and author and find this book in paperback and kindle on Amazon.com
Book Description: Heartbreak, Humor and, ultimately, Hope
That’s the message that comes through loud and clear in My Pineapples Went to Houston, Lee Gaitan’s personal and powerful tale of surviving a decade of relentless chaos and loss. The “shock and awfulness” began in 2002 when her father died, her mother teetered on the brink of a coma and her husband of 22 years secretly lost all their money and ran off with a stripper. And it was all downhill from there!
Then one day in the midst of all the chaos—somewhere between loud cursing and crying—she recalled an amusing anecdote she’d heard about pineapples that spoke to her circumstances in such an unexpectedly humorous way that she couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “That moment of laughter was a small epiphany for me. I realized that I had allowed my sense of humor, which had always mitigated the bad breaks in my life and enhanced the good ones, to fall victim to the machete my ex-husband had taken to my life. I determined right then and there that I could no longer permit that. I instinctively knew that humor was the most potent, and just about the only, protection I had at my disposal to survive the crises unfolding around me, and I vowed to keep it alive.”
Told with honesty and insight—and, of course, humor—My Pineapples Went to Houston both inspires and entertains readers and offers hope and encouragement to those struggling with their own “plans gone outrageously awry.”
Lee Gaitan is a multi-award-winning author of three books, including her latest, Lite Whines and Laughter—Mild Rants and Musings on the Mundane. She has authored chapters in bestselling books and her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Erma Bombeck Humor Writers’ Workshop, The Good Men Project, Mothers Always Write and Bella Grace among others. Lee lives with her husband and dog in suburban Atlanta where she divides her time among speaking, writing, teaching, and keeping tabs on her tri-continental family. Find her at www.leegaitan.com and on facebook, and Instagram
Give us a little background on Lee Gaitan
In addition to wife, the most important roles in my life are mother, stepmother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. And by far, grandmother is the best role ever, completely exhausting, but gratifying beyond my wildest dreams. I just had two of my granddaughters, aged 3 and 4 ½, stay with my husband and me for two weeks. I am now in recovery, with an I.V. cocktail of embalming fluid and Red Bull. Those little people do not stop for one minute.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have worked in many areas of communications my entire professional life, from public relations writer to talk show host to stand up comedienne. I’ve also worked in education and have taught English as a Second Language classes to adults for more than 20 years. I even had an eight-year stint of teaching middle and high school, which was the hardest thing I have ever done—career k-12 teachers are legitimate heroes!
Nowadays, I split my time between teaching Adult ESL, writing, and speaking. I have written three books in addition to this updated edition of Pineapples.
The inspiration for the first edition of this book grew out of my experience of surviving what I call a decade of “shock and awfulness.” I hoped my story would inspire others who were going through rough times and encourage them to keep believing in themselves and their ability to bounce back from bad breaks. This updated version was important to me because I think tales of resilience sometimes give the false impression that everything is perfect once the crisis has passed. And that’s certainly not the case. I wanted to give an update and clarify that while the trajectory of my life has been an upward trend since the first book, life still has its share of ups and downs. And no one can know how or when another crisis might hit. All we can do is keep learning and growing.
What was the greatest joy you experienced writing this book? Any challenges with the book you didn’t predict?
The joy in revisiting my story and adding the new material was reflecting once again on how far I’ve come, how many wonderful changes have taken place in my life since everything first fell apart. It was also challenging not to get stuck in the hurt and sadness of revisiting that difficult time. I don’t simply remember events, I relive them, the smells, sounds, sensations, and it was very emotional for me to relive a lot of the painful experiences I wrote about.
What do you hope readers gain from the book?
I hope people are entertained, inspired, and encouraged. For those who are experiencing a difficult time, I want them to take heart. For those who are not, I hope they “give heart,” by showing compassion and care for the others who are struggling. We will all experience obstacles in our lives at some point, and the more resilient among us will be better able to weather a storm and pay it forward with gratitude and humility.
Future writing plans?
As soon as I get my brain out of lockdown, I hope to get started on a new writing project. I’m not sure exactly what that will be, but I have a few ideas percolating.