When writing is an art form, like sculpture or choreography, as it sometimes is, it begins with poetry. When practical considerations demand a roomier mode of conveyance, in other words prose, we go to the non-identical twin offspring of poetry, fiction and essay—broad tales and persuasive talk.
I have practiced all these uses of writing and have managed to make a living from this practice. For the past decade I have been disproportionately involved with feature journalism for magazines. To my lifelong surprise, I find that I have been creating works largely within and for and about my own community.
My community is a goldmine for any true literary prospector—its voices, its histories, the weird comedy of it, the intensely important issues, the damaged land, the potential for a community model that is not Democrat-Republican but purely local and practical. We have great people and great causes.
But we have very few readers. And the publications are commercial. And few. I credit them all but let's be honest. Most of the readers are out there.
I wonder if those readers would be open to something other than Betty Boop hula in a Diamond-Head moonlight, or longboard beachboys drinking from coconuts, or Charlie Chan tiptoeing through a bogus Honolulu.
I test that question.
Sometimes the only way to get at the truth is to tell extravagant lies—or, as Huck Finn called them, "stretchers."
- 41 Short Stories on Maui.
A sensational—and true—prison escape story in the tradition of Papillon and Midnight Express.
The Ingenious Life of Melbourne Smith
Biography of self-taught naval architect, his reckless life, and the astonishing historic vessels he has brought back to the high seas.
In East Maui's gulch country, the past is never what it used to be– if you can believe these comic, celebratory tales.