Saturday, May 24, 2014

Video clips shed light on #Ancient Hawai'i

As an adventure travel writer I love to travel and spend time writing about my explorations.  I also love sharing Wai-nani, A Voice from OldHawai’i with book clubs, but I cannot be available for Skype meet-Wai-nani and to direct them to my video playlist.
ups. Brief video clips answering the most common questions I receive from readers about my book seemed a very good answer to this dilemma.
In the story I weave myth, legend, and actual historical incidents that raises the question in the minds of readers “What is True?”   In this clip I address this very important question.
Is the story historically accurate? http://youtu.be/wI4BONZhbjY
Each of the thirteen clips I created answer specific questions about the Hawaiian culture. For instance, the death of Captain James Cook at the hands of the Islanders has long been a controversial topic in Hawaiian history, so I presented my position on the matter.
Did the Hawaiians stab Captain Cook in the back? http://youtu.be/_S0kD-RtcK8
Here is my response to the question “Did Hawaiians have “Love Games?”
Did Hawaiians Have Love Games? 
http://youtu.be/rmUxhOyKJzA
 It is my hope that sharing in this way readers will not only come away with a better understanding of the ancient Hawaiian culture, but that they it will give readers a more personal connection with me.  People love videos because reading huge amounts of written content becomes over-whelming. I hope people will find my videos about Wai-nani, entertaining and informative and will share them with friends!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Under the Cover with Randy Jay Braun

Over the years that it took me to write Wai-nani, A Voicefrom Old Hawai’i, I had two yellowing postcard images taped to my wall. One was of a woman with arms stretched to the heavens, knees bent deeply, wearing a swaying ti leaf skirt in a classic kahiko dance pose.
The other was a muscular Hawaiian man glistening with vitality wearing a malo, or loin cloth, with knees bent arms outstretched, hair flying also doing hula. I looked to these two images while conjuring the love scenes that take place in the story. This man and woman epitomized the natural beauty and grace of people in a culture I so admired.

After a year of searching on the internet for an image that would convey the spirit of my book, I settled upon one by Randy Jay Braun. He is a photographer internationally known for his realistic depictions of Hawaiian dancers doing the ancient kahiko dance of Hawai’i. It is called “Celebration of Life.” Since Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i is a celebration of the people of old, I felt it was fitting.
The silhouette of a dancer with arms stretched to the heavens to capture mana, or spiritual power, depicts a sacred ceremony.  The deep purple, tinged with gold, sunset evokes a sense of mystery and hopefully invites the reader to enter a world largely unknown to western readers.
Randy Jay Braun


It is ironic that the two images I held in my mind over twenty years of research and writing were also those of Randy Jay Braun. I was not aware of that fact until I found them on his site along with the image that eventually became the cover of my book.   Writing Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i has been a long, satisfying journey with many serendipitous discoveries along the way.  I have met many wonderful people who have opened their hearts to me with warm aloha and lent their talents to enrich the telling of the Hawaiian story. A special thank you to Randy Jay Braun for allowing me to use his image for the cover of my book.