Thursday, November 13, 2008

Road to Hana

Aloha, it's been several weeks since I last posted. Like most people, I was affected by the downturn of the economy when the stock market took a plunge. Maui felt a huge hit on the tourist industry which has tightened everyone's belts around the island, especially the video industry, which I still work part time. While it's been harder to find video projects to produce, I also went into a rut creatively with my second novel (a.k.a. experiencing writer's block). I haven't been writing very much as of late. Frankly, I just haven't had the inspiration to write on my blog or the novel. It happens from time to time. My Muse takes a vacation. I'd love to always be in the flow of words and great stories, but I learned long ago I'm not a writing machine. Not like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. They write every day and output at least a book a year. That's phenomenal considering what it takes to stay focused. I bow to writers like them with up most respect. I have human characteristics that have kept me from being as prolific as I'd like. Namely, I get distracted easily and I don't always want to spend my time alone staring at a computer. I have another Muse, the Great Outdoors, which calls me often to come out and play. Not that I'm complaining. I'm grateful when my Writing Muse does flood me with fresh story ideas, adventures to explore, and new characters to flesh out. I'll get my groove back just as fast as you can say Lemony Snicket. So during times of adversity and downward turns in the economy, I find it's best to commune with nature. Clear the mind and boost the spirit. When you're out in nature, worldly problems seem to dissipate. Maui has plenty to offer in things to do outdoors. I especially love sharing the adventure with new and interesting people. I met a woman, Margeaux from Philadelphia, who was here on vacation. She invited me to Hana, so we drove the famous winding road which snakes along the north east coast of the island. It's about a three-hour drive from Kahului, so best to fill up the car and bring a picnic lunch. Here are some photos of our day trip to Hana. Most of these were taken by Margeaux.

We passed lots of waterfalls along the way.

In Hana there's a secret path that leads to Red Sand Beach. The path cuts through a Japanese cemetery. These graves are on the side of a cliff and I noticed a couple of tombstones had tumbled into the ocean. My imagination was running wild, coming up with short story ideas about Japanese ghosts haunting fishing boats who anchored near these cliffs.

Margeaux at Red Sand Beach. The water was so blue.

Next went to the Venus Pool. It's an oasis that has still water that's perfect for swimming. Because the water is deep, people jump off the cliffs. It's by far the most beautiful place I've found so far on Maui. You can find out how to get there in the book Maui Revealed. I also discovered a couple of caves back in the trees to the right of the next photo. I climbed into one of the caves by myself. At the back was an altar where someone had burned candles and performed some kind of ritual. On the ground there were piles of palm seeds that looked like shrunken heads. Freaked me out, I must admit. That's what I get for putting that kind of voodoo stuff in my books.

Next we went where all the tourists go: The Seven Sacred Pools.

Near the seven pools there's a park. While enjoying lunch at a picnic table, two mongoose decided to come nearby and forage for food. The mongoose, which are native to Africa, were brought over to Hawaii to handle the rat problem. Now we have fewer rats and a lot more mongoose. Wonder what predator they'll bring if the mongoose get out of control . . .

Cute, isn't he?

Just don't get too close, Buster.

Here's a banyan tree. I can't remember where we saw this, but there are several around the island. The largest and most famous you'll find in downtown Lahaina.

It was a full day. The long, winding road back offered plenty of spectacular views of the coast. By the time I returned home the market hadn't changed much, but I sure felt better. My horror writer's imagination was once again alive with Japanese ghosts, mysterious cave altars, and killer mongoose run amok. Perhaps I'll take a break from my novel and write another short story.

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