Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flame Tree in Bloom

Here come the blue skies! The rainy season is officially over in Naha, Okinawa.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And the winners...

... of the sanshin qualification contest include my student. Hurray!

When people ask me how much of Katsuren comes from my real life, I have to say all of it and none of it. There is not a single incident that actually happened and not one character has a real-life model. But somehow, the things I love, like playing the sanshin, made it into the story somewhere.

There's a scene in Katsuren where the father of the hero wants to keep his family together, hard to do when his sons are grown men with minds of their own. He tries to seal up the cracks with music as the glue. In the end, it's not the music but the images the music conjures that reach out to join their hearts and minds.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time Out, Again

This time I'm going to Okinawa for the annual sanshin qualification concours. I'm not competing, but one of my students is. She has to play the song called Asadoya Yunta. As a beginner, the qualifications are not so hard: get the words right, get the rhythm right, keep the sanshin in tune, and play the right notes.

I'll be back in about a week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beautiful Blue Sea and Sky

An Okinawan word for beautiful is chura. I looked at this scene and decided that the resort hotel in Katsuren has to be called the Chura Sea Hotel.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How to Read a Novel

Do you think writers record their lives in their novels? Some do, but only the amateurs. The rest of us write what we think about life, and we make up characters that illustrate our thoughts.

If I just rambled on about what I thought about this or that, you might not enjoy reading it. But if I make Yu Ganaha, Dr. Karen Holt, Mr. Shiroma and Daichi Tomori act out my ideas on life and love, you can have a lot of fun with the story.

There's even a butterfly who makes a point.

Have fun!