Ala Moana – In Paradise

I’m in Honolulu and as I write this blog, I am halfway through the final galley edit of my book “Xu” which publishes at Amber Quill Press on November 17. 5 days!
It’s fitting that I am here since this where I set my story, many of my stories in fact.
I’ve been filled with nostalgia since my moment of arrival on island (as the locals put it). Driving along Nimitz Highway from the airport, I passed River Street, the Chinatown stomping ground for my character Jimmy Thunder from “A Vampire in Waikiki”.
I can feel Jimmy and Tem flying around and I like to think my two favorite vampires are guarding the island.
I swear I can feel the spirit of Detective Jardine, the 1950s homicide cop who protected and patrolled Chinatown. Other people tell me the same thing.
I passed the shipping terminal where Matt and Thomas took the Superferry to Maui in the “Black Point” books. This has especially filled me with sadness since the ferry (a wonderful invention) has since been abolished due to alleged water pollution.
I tried to have lunch at the (thinly disguised) Zippys at Ala Moana Mall where Katie finds a job – and magical help via Kimo and Lopaka in “My Hawaiian Song of Love” but it was closed for renovations.
Almost all my characters wind up at Duke’s for mai tais and macadamia wantons…of course, I toasted them all there as I sipped my cocktail and watched the ocean in front of me yesterday.
I feel all my characters around me, whirling in my mind…and none more than Lindo Santiago, the leading man in my new book, Xu.
Yes, Honolulu is my mental playground but it was to me the perfect setting for the story of a closeted gay boxer who is forced to abandon a career he loves when he almost dies as the result of a beating in the ring.
He takes his first vacation – to Honolulu. It’s here that I feel him and “Xu” (pronounced Zoo) the powerful, dynamic, mysterious man who saves him.
Last night, my companions walked along Kalakaua Avenue and we watched the people parade. The freak flags were flying high. I see a disturbing rise in homeless people begging on the street. Their encampment, near the ocean is over a mile long and I saw the fear and revulsion on some tourists’ faces.
It reminds me of Santa Monica 10 years ago.
It isn’t supposed to be like this here. One man asked me for 50 cents. What in the heck can you buy with 50 cents?
My niece stopped to pet “Lani the Friendly Guinea Pig” and we paid a buck for that. To me it smacked of exploitation but as Eleanna pointed out, Lani’s grass skirt and floral hat were immaculate and the pig herself looks very well fed. But still…I know the police are asking many homeless people if they would like to go home. Almost all of them were sent here via one way tickets from jails up and down the Pacific northwest coast on the mainland.
Some have accepted the offers, some resist. Maybe, like Lindo Santiago, they are certain that somehow, some way, love and miracles will find them. Ala Moana – In Paradise.
What about you? Is there a place for you that is life-changing? Please leave a comment and the best one will win a copy of “Xu” when it publishes!
Aloha oe,


One Response to “Ala Moana – In Paradise”

  1. A life changing place for me, is the beaches of the emrealed coast of florida. I was raised here, when ever i need peace I’d find my way to the waters. It come from when i was a kid and my daddy would work nights. When he would get off we’d all go down to the beach and play in the shalow water. Run in the sand. All of us, my mama, daddy, sister, brother and I made some great memories. Now my sister is gone to live wit her family in South Carolina, my brother was killed in Iraq, my parents are to busy. But the water is… was allways there. Some how after my brother’s death that where we all ended up to find peace. And today, there’s condos every where, and the oil spill has cased away the fish. But i still remenber the long days waist deep in the clear water with a dip net dippin up crabs fo dinner. And all of us laughing and playing till 10 at night.

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