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Old 10-18-2009, 04:15 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,240 times
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Hi everyone, I'm a 21 year old student who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, I'm very interested in writing a novel that I want to base on Molokai. So I've gone out and bought up books, went to the library, surfed the web and found ...well not much in terms of information pertaining to the actual island of Molokai. I know enough now about it to be able to write on it, but since I'm sort of trapped into school work and family responsiblities I'm can't just fly over to Hawaii and check it out myself. So I'm looking for any information on some things if anyone is able to help me.

I have heard about the dreaded cane spider and I want to know if the hideous creature would be something you could find in a rural area of Molokai. Among some of the other scary critters I can maybe include.

Does Vog affect Molokai?

I need a good location for the fictional home I'm writing about, I want it close enough to a town but not too close. Anyone have any good suggestions and know the distances?

What kind of wild life and plant life are really common on the island?

Any good spots for surfing? Or any beaches that seem kind of private? What about caves? And are there only a few big waterfalls in Halawa Valley or smaller ones too?

How often are there storms? How serious can the storms get?

How is Kalaupapa treated today as opposed to how it was during the time of the Leper colony? I know some residents still live there but is there a negative stigma attatched to the town now?

Also are there any good ghost stories unique to Molokai? I really was intrigued by the stories of Pele and the dangers of having pork on the Pali highway; and Morgan's corner, it's a shame these places aren't on the island I'm writing about, but is there anything else like this? I have heard of the Night Watchers, any stories anyone has would really help me out.

And finally how close is the community? Is this a place where mostly everyone knows eachother? Is there any racial tensions when a white person moves onto the island? Or is everyone friends?

Any information, like on weather during the year, how much rain per day/ per month would be great! I'm open to any information at all (food, culture, celebrations, etc etc).
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: NY
292 posts, read 908,197 times
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You are never going to get what you want to know without visiting. Especially about a place like Molokai. Have you never been there at all? If you are writing a novel you can't cheat your readers; they will know in a heartbeat that you are not familiar with that about which you write. There is no way you can pull that off if you really want to achieve a successful work of art.
Good luck, but I strongly suggest you visit Molokai or else base your novel in a locale with which you are familiar. Living vicariously is not enough.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:00 PM
 
16,091 posts, read 17,098,219 times
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let me try.....

I have heard about the dreaded cane spider and I want to know if the hideous creature would be something you could find in a rural area of Molokai. Among some of the other scary critters I can maybe include.

cane spiders can be anywhere, centipedes are pretty gross and you don't want to touch them.

Does Vog affect Molokai? all the islands can get effected by vog, depends on the trade winds. I doubt they get much but not completely sure on that.

I need a good location for the fictional home I'm writing about, I want it close enough to a town but not too close. Anyone have any good suggestions and know the distances? get a map or look at the MLS houses for sale. there really is only one "town" and it has about ten buildings and not much else

What kind of wild life and plant life are really common on the island? wild pigs, people hunt them. the plant life is like all the islands full of flowers and other greenery

Any good spots for surfing? Or any beaches that seem kind of private? What about caves? And are there only a few big waterfalls in Halawa Valley or smaller ones too? I am sure most of the beaches are fairly private as there really is not a lot of people who live on molokai so privacy could be found. there is a huge beach, very wide and long. sorry I can't remember the name of it. get a guide book and study it will be in there as well as some other great spots

How often are there storms? How serious can the storms get? it is your book you can make it as stormy as you want. we get rain. from time to time it can be heavy and we do have a hurricane season which can always put us in danger if one were to hit the islands

How is Kalaupapa treated today as opposed to how it was during the time of the Leper colony? I know some residents still live there but is there a negative stigma attatched to the town now? I don't think there is a stigma now

Also are there any good ghost stories unique to Molokai? I really was intrigued by the stories of Pele and the dangers of having pork on the Pali highway; and Morgan's corner, it's a shame these places aren't on the island I'm writing about, but is there anything else like this? I have heard of the Night Watchers, any stories anyone has would really help me out. maybe google or hit a good book store

And finally how close is the community? Is this a place where mostly everyone knows eachother? Is there any racial tensions when a white person moves onto the island? Or is everyone friends? community is very close. if you give respect you usually get it back

Any information, like on weather during the year, how much rain per day/ per month would be great! I'm open to any information at all (food, culture, celebrations, etc etc).[/quote] again read everything you can about hawaii and your questions will be answered. a visit would help even more.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:04 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,240 times
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I don't see a problem with asking questions about a place to write about. I'm sorry but Stephanie Meyers had never been to Forks, Washington when she wrote Twilight and look how big it is. Not that I want to liken anything I'm writing to something like that series but it's an example. As I mentioned I am a student with responisiblities, I have no time or money to jet set to Molokai so I have to take what I can get. I was asking people for help on my questions, not to tell me what to do regarding my writing. So can I please have help with my questions regaurdless of if I can go there or not? One little visit isn't going to answer all of my questions that need Molokai resident answers. Thus am I asking questions here.

Thank you hothulamaui for at least some answers. All the books I've gotten on Hawaii don't mention Molokai much, just a few places to visit. Everything on weather to the creatures on Hawaii tend to be focused on the Big island and O'ahu, Maui too..so I wanted to make sure that you can find the same things on Molokai.

Last edited by uwakimono; 10-18-2009 at 06:11 PM.. Reason: adding info.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:24 PM
 
Location: NY
292 posts, read 908,197 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by uwakimono View Post
I don't see a problem with asking questions about a place to write about. I'm sorry but Stephanie Meyers had never been to Forks, Washington when she wrote Twilight and look how big it is. Not that I want to liken anything I'm writing to something like that series but it's an example. As I mentioned I am a student with responisiblities, I have no time or money to jet set to Molokai so I have to take what I can get. I was asking people for help on my questions, not to tell me what to do regarding my writing. So can I please have help with my questions regaurdless of if I can go there or not? One little visit isn't going to answer all of my questions that need Molokai resident answers. Thus am I asking questions here.

Thank you hothulamaui for at least some answers. All the books I've gotten on Hawaii don't mention Molokai much, just a few places to visit. Everything on weather to the creatures on Hawaii tend to be focused on the Big island and O'ahu, Maui too..so I wanted to make sure that you can find the same things on Molokai.
Don't get bent out of shape. You cannot possibly absorb the essence of a place without having been there. That is simply the way it is..if one little visit won't do, (jet set? I haven't heard that term in a while!) then you need to write about that which you know. More than some facts about insects, rainfall, etc. The internet cannot substitute for that which you have to experience.. sorry, but such is the way it is..
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
263 posts, read 830,210 times
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I would recommend you come to Hawaii for a visit.

Getting the local language - pidgin English - is not going to be something you can do off the internet. Molokai has a good number of pidgin English speakers, not standard English speakers. To hear the cadence and intonation of the local English right you have to hear it.

Of all the islands, Molokai is one of the most rural, undeveloped, and Hawaiian. You won't find the bright lights of Waikiki or the fancy restaurants of Oahu. When I visited Molokai it didn't even have a traffic light. There aren't very many cars compared to Oahu. The residents of Molokai seem to know each other. It's like visiting Oahu of 40 or 50 years ago. To truly capture the way Molokai is you have to visit it otherwise your book is going to lack authenticity, and anyone who has been to Molokai will know you haven't been there. I suggest you try to visit at least once. You can then combine your impressions from your visit with information you get online.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Molokai, HI
229 posts, read 885,981 times
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Ghost stories abound, but here is one to get you started: Hawaiian Myths and Legends - Night Marchers - To-Hawaii.Com

Might be worth looking into the work of Kirby Wright. Kirby Wright - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Molokai isn't like any other island, but there is info out there. Have you looked at the online edition of the Molokai Dispatch?

Edited to add: This may or may not be of concern to you, but the local people, the majority of whom are Native Hawaiians, take real issue with people who portray them inaccurately. They consider it disrespectful to their culture.

Oh, and don't call the residents of Kalaupapa lepers. They are people with Hansen's Disease. The L-word is like the N-word here.

Life and culture here are complicated. Just sayin'.

Last edited by lauleahere&there; 10-18-2009 at 07:14 PM.. Reason: added information
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:16 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 21,759,400 times
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Arizona hummm... Phoenix is Maricopa County correct? So if Honolulu was in the same vein as Maricopa County - Molokai would be like .... aacck, there isn't anything in the US to compare Molokai to except Molokai. Because Hawaii is unlike anywhere in the mainland, the closest one can describe it would be to compare it to another Pacific island. That makes it difficult to explain since things like 'close to town' is a mainland expression and description and isn't a Hawaiian way of thinking. There are probably more stores in a small strip mall in Phoenix than on the entire island of Molokai. Even a nice beach to people on Molokai may be a raging jagged rock break to you. I guess what I'm saying is writing about Hawaii (especially Molokai) without visiting would be like a New Yorker trying to write about Nepal without visiting. Molokai even seems foreign to many people on Oahu.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:07 PM
 
432 posts, read 1,135,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauleahere&there View Post
Life and culture here are complicated.
Understatement of the day award.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
I guess what I'm saying is writing about Hawaii (especially Molokai) without visiting would be like a New Yorker trying to write about Nepal without visiting. Molokai even seems foreign to many people on Oahu.
Exactly.

Moloka`i is probably the "most different" of all the islands.

Without an extended visit, your book, unfortunately, will ring false (like the business noted about "near a town") within a few pages.

And it simply won't be very pono thing to do.

There is a long, sad, and sometimes tawdry history of mainlanders seeking to portray Hawai`i without truly understanding it.

Virtually any mainland locale or subculture will be more like any other (even the most seemingly different) mainland locale or subculture than either of them will be anything like Hawai`i -- and especially Moloka`i!
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:02 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,240 times
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I get it, I know I would benefit very much from a trip and have extensive interviews with some of the people who live there face to face. I would love to do to that and I will make it my mission to come and experience Molokai myself. Unfortunately I cannot do it right now. So until I can get there, I'd like to flesh out some of my ideas, which is why I have questions and why I'm doing so much research. I have no doubt in my mind that Hawaii is very spiritual and very powerful that one has to be in it's presence to even undersand anything about it, but from a distance I'm trying. I'm really trying to look at it from a non-touristic view, it's the only reason I'm asking questions.

Phoenix is as you said in Maricopa county, and it's hot and awful here, but I haven't always lived here, I've been to many different places in my life and so I understand that there's a different kind of connection in every different place.

Even if I can't write what's in my head, I find Molokai to be extremely intriguing, I'm just trying to get as much information as possible. You know for a student like me, all we do is sit in a class and read and study history and such, we don't actually get to experience it as we read about it.

Thanks for all the information though, every little bit helps.
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