Nani Hawai’i (Beautiful Hawai’i)

Hi friends, family and fans (we hope we have a few fans by now) –

We’ve been silent on the blog front recently because of a) working on Book 2 (we get a lot of inquiries as to when it will be out) and b) doing extensive market research, which is a fancy term for “vacationing in Hawai’i.”  We just got back from 10 days of surfing, listening to Hawaiian music and some exhaustive tropical drink sampling (well, one of us sampled, the other selectively “verified her research,” an equally fancy term for “checking out the other one’s lilikoi daiquiri to make sure it hadn’t gone bad”).

We’ve decided to go multimedia in this blog entry which means we are stepping up to include pictures (woo hoo!) but not yet videos (e.g., of us surfing in Hawai’i, mostly because we are still editing out the wipeouts). There is a literary point to going multimedia, we promise. Specifically, for those who are interested in how we write, we thought it might be interesting to show pictures of what inspires us and/gives our writing a sense of place — for readers who haven’t  actually been to San Francisco or Hawai’i, that is. 

If we actually are doing our writing jobs properly, people who have been to locations we describe or “plug into” will recognize what we are talking about, like sitting in traffic on 101 (or the H1 in O’ahu – we, alas, did experience that, which Emma will as well in Book 3), the fact that Russian Hill is the Land of No Parking, or the joys of Leonard’s on Kapahulu in Honolulu, although one of us – the one who isn’t a size 6 even if she wishes she were – is actually wearing a few of Leonard’s malasadas (which bypassed the digestive tract and went directly to her hips), and thus is feeling slightly less joyful about Leonard’s malasadas than the other one is.


Aside: for those who do not know what a malasada is, think “fried dough with fat bomb filling.” Malasada is from the Portuguese word meaning, “has no nutritional content whatsoever,” but they are delicious and any long time resident of O’ahu (as Emma was for the four years she was at University of Hawai’i –Mānoa) is a Leonard’s fan and probably has the ‘opu nui (big belly) to prove it. Note that since you can get them in different fillings, one of us believes that, technically, if you get a guava or haupia (coconut)-filled malasada, it counts as a serving of fruit.

Certainly one of the most visible landmarks in Hawai’i which never fails to put us in a good mood is the famous Diamond Head, which even has a song written about it (Kaimana Hila).  Hard to beat, isn’t it? This particular picture was taken from the Halekulani, where one of us was enjoying a perfectly lovely lilikoi daiquiri or maybe it was a Mai Tai: they have the best ones on Waikīkī, mostly because they do not put pineapple juice in it which has absolutely no place in a Mai Tai. Emma agrees with us on that point.  If you are on the south shore of O’ahu, on the famous Waikīkī beach, you cannot help but be drawn to Diamond Head. Emma likes to surf off Waikīkī (so do we) and we will talk more about how surfing inspires us in a later blog entry.


We’d be remiss in not including a discussion of things that not only provide inspiration, but provide a sense of place in our book(s) and, for lack of a better expression, make us pretty darn happy when we write. It is with that in mind that we include a picture and a gratuitous plug for our friends Michael, Bobby and Stan who are the members of the Hawaiian music group ‘Ike Pono (which means, “to see rightly,” if you care). Emma really, really likes ‘Ike Pono (so do we).  We preface this comment by noting that we have both, over the course of many trips to Hawai’i (not to mention one of us living in Hawai’i), listened to a lot of Hawaiian music. Our tastes encompass everything from the “golden age of Hawaiian music” (Alfred Apaka and the Kalima Brothers – “1000 pounds of melody”) to contemporary Hawaiian (Hapa, the Brothers Cazimero, Maunalua, Gabby Pahinui, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (aka “Iz”), Kapala, Sean Na’auao, and so on).  ‘Ike Pono is, hands down, our favorite group – wonderful musicians, talented writers, and their vocals are to die for. They are also three of the nicest guys you ever hope to meet. 


We made a purposeful holoholo out to Waipahu to see them play at Big City Diner, and they were very gracious to us (even giving a plug for our book which of course, mentions them). They plugged our book to their audience even before we told them we weren’t planning on killing any of them off – literarily, we mean. I guess we can also blab and say that in Book 2 we send Stan (the ‘ukulele player) to the mainland so Emma’s sweetie Keoni can sub for him. (We hope Stan has a nice trip and Keoni doesn’t mess up the lyrics on “Mo’olele.”) Seriously. Stan, Michael, and Bobby, mahalo for truly wonderful music that inspires us to write more about the beauty of Hawai’i and nā mele Hawai’i.  For those who have not discovered Hawaiian music, or ‘Ike Pono, we hope that you will listen to them here and consider purchasing their music. It will make you as hau’oli (happy) as Emma is when she listens to it, we promise.

With that, we’ll say a hui hou (seeyas!) until our next installment. Time to go back to editing Book 2, which means making a Mai Tai (or popping the top on a Kona Brewing Company Longboard Lager) and putting the earphones on so we can listen to Hawaiian music. Sublime, even if it is snowing outside (yes, really) as one of us writes this. Eew.


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