Thursday, October 6, 2011

Write What You Know

I had a unique childhood having grown up in Hawaii. I didn't realize how different and special it was until I left for college away from home. Not only did people make fun of my 'accent' (and my frequent use of the word 'yeah'), they would ask 'what are you?' when trying to determine my ethnicity, or spontaneously start speaking to me in Spanish in which I just stared, dumbfounded.

Having lived on the mainland now for many years, I realize how blessed I was to have such an upbringing. Ordinary, every day things like camping on the beach, going to school barefoot, eating raw crab and sugar cane, or flagging down the manapua man (think of it as a chinese ice cream truck that delivers noodles and steamed buns instead of ice cream) became extraordinary.

When writing stories, suddenly my MC's go spear fish diving, play tag on the elevators at Turtle Bay Hilton, get stung by a portuguese man-o-war (jellyfish) and meet a cute boy at a hidden waterfall. (Okay that last one didn't really happen to me, but I FANTASIZED about it through my teen years, so yes, it made it into one of my stories.)

As a writer, I realized I had a wealth of information and experience that was unique, interesting, and best of all REAL. Most of what I've written so far has been Hawaii-related because this is what I love, and hopefully others will find it just as fun to experience along with my characters as I did writing it and living it.


Emily said...

I love this. I do this too. Sometimes I worry that I'm going to run out of real life experiences to write about! I guess that's why I need to get out more.

P.S. I would love to camp on the beach, go to school barefoot and eat manapua from a truck. Maybe I need to move to Hawaii!