oh hawaii...


posts about hawaii are sprinkled throughout my blog, but i've never written one for a thursday's children post or talked about why i was inspired by the islands when writing my first novel.

my husband and i lived in hawaii for several years after getting married. it was an amazing place to be as young newlyweds...talk about an extended honeymoon! we hiked, explored, played on the beach, splashed around the ocean, and took in the culture and laid back island life.



it was also a really difficult time. hubby was in the army and gone. a lot. training. travelling for training. getting promoted and going to various schools for more training. i was twenty-four, a long way from home and my best friend was frequently absent. i wish i could tell you this is when i discovered my passion for writing, but it wasn't. i can tell you, by the time we left hawaii (him on his way for a year-long stint in afghanistan and me with our newborn to be with family in texas) i couldn't leave those damned sunshiny, plumeria stinking islands fast enough. i was bitter. jaded. too young to be dealing with so much and somehow blamed a lot of my anger and hurt on hawaii.

but it wasn't hawaii's fault. hawaii had simply been the setting. the silent, wise observer. i didn't come to this realization until much later in life - coincidentally, when i began writing.

my first novel is a personal love letter to hawaii. a reconciliation of what was (on my end) a love/hate relationship.


i've gone back and forth over resurrecting my dusty, old manuscript and finally dug it out of hiding and sent it off to my CP's/saints, cringing as i hit the button. because, while it is heartfelt and lovely and i put EVERYTHING i had to give into it, it is a first novel, hasn't been properly edited, and is of a writing style that has since evolved and blossomed. so. we'll see.

as for hawaii and me? we're good. i think of her fondly now - affectionately and with nostalgia.

have you ever unearthed an old manuscript? were you successful or did you end up locking it back in the vault?

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  1. While packing, I came across a bunch of lined legal pads and sundry notebooks that have my first, and unfinished novel scrawled across their pages. One of these days I'll take the time to figure out their order and read it, just for fun. I expect to laugh, cringe, and maybe actually think some of it is okay, for a rank beginner ;) My hubs read it at the time and keeps urging me to dust it off and finish it. We'll see. Even then, before we actually moved to Maine, I was writing about it.

  2. I was going through old files on my computer and started reading a short story. I thought it was pretty good but couldn't remember who sent it to me-- not a bad writer. But then I realized it was my own story. Huh-- that was kind of a nice surprise!

  3. I'm hoping to unearth an old mss once I finish this godforsaken revision for my agent. Here's hoping we both get back to Hawaii soon! We spent our honeymoon on the North Shore of Oahu. Could not have picked a more perfect location.

  4. I got married on Maui. It has a special place in my heart. As for old mss, I tend to strip them for parts!

  5. I love looking through my old stuff, for parts, as Kristina mentioned, or simply for inspiration for a new novel. Some of it should be burned immediately, but I've been surprised by a lot of it :) I hope one day to visit Hawaii, and I'm glad you reconciled with her, lol. Great post!