When Hawaii calls, answer

Three years ago I had a dream set on a Hawaiian island — I don’t know which one — that featured a character named the Goddess Cash. I transcribed the dream and wrote a short story based on it. And I began, without quite intending to, creating scenes for this character. I’ve amassed almost 100.

As any reader can tell you, a collection of 100 random scenes do not make a novel. Now I’m working on turning them into a coherent whole.

Recently, the opportunity arose to attend a writing retreat on the island of Kauai (thanks to Kahini). I spent five amazing days there in conversation with the story’s many characters, asking them what form the work might take. I hoped for some island inspiration but wasn’t quite prepared for the direction the inspiration went.

Being so near the beach and swimming almost every day, I spent a lot of time thinking about the ocean. And I thought about weather. I did some research on the effects of climate change on the Hawaiian islands.

Seaweed on the beach in Cozumel
Seaweed on the beach in Tulum, Mexico

The effects may be different than in Hawaii than in Cozumel, Mexico, where the beaches have been choked with an overgrowth of seaweed, a disaster for tourism and wildlife likely caused by human activity.

As I bobbed in the unbelievably warm and clear water of Kiahuna Beach, I felt privileged and sad. Who knows how long such a paradise on earth may last? A new book by David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth, (which is on my 6 Books of summer list, see below) says things are much worse than we thought.

Kiahuna Beach, Kauai
Kiahuna Beach, Kauai

I don’t know the direction my new novel will take. Will climate change figure into it? I’m not sure. What I do know is that I continue to feel called to explore through my writing the depths of the human psyche, the connections we have to one another, and how we create the shared stories that both reveal and call forth our world.

…meanwhile, back on the worldly plane

My 6 books

Thanks to The BookStop for putting 20 Books of Summer on my radar. I’m realistic about my capacity, so for me it will be “6 Books of Summer.” But that’s better than none! Here’s what is on my list, with a little explanation.

Literary fiction giveaway

If none of the books on my list sound enticing and you’d like to find some free reads, check out the Literary Fiction Giveaway I’ve organized through BookFunnel, running June 10 through July 8.

Literary fiction giveaway

Do you have a summer reading pile? I’d love to hear what’s in it.

5 thoughts on “When Hawaii calls, answer

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  1. If I just look at the stack of printed books near my bed and my couch: Deep Creek by Pam Houston; Phantoms by Christian Kiefer; The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara; an advanced copy of a short story collection titled Berlin Noir; and an advanced copy of Feast of the Cannibals by Norman Lock (the advanced copies were provided through LibraryThing). I don’t dare open my Kindle ….

    I read and greatly enjoyed The Death of Mrs. Westaway.


    1. Oh dear. I just realized that by asking what everyone else is reading, my list will now continue to grow! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed “The Death of Mrs. Westaway.” I’m looking forward to it, maybe as a reward after reading some of the more dense books on my list.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha … and I even forgot a couple of other print books that I recently bought 😉 You have a good mix to start with. Definitely reading a thriller like The Death of Mrs. Westaway will be a respite from the denser books … although I found myself pondering the concept of family and belonging as I read Ware’s novel. A good thriller should have substance and not just be empty calories, in my humble opinion ;).


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