Welcome guest blogger Linda G Hatton to Tourist Tuesdays. Linda is escorting us on an adventure near and dear to her heart. She is from Washington State, now lives in suburban L.A. with her family but is a frequent visitor to the Seattle area. So settle in for a tour of something quite spectacular: Dale Chihuly’s World.
BIO: Former actress, Linda G Hatton, is the managing editor of Mouse Tales Press literary magazine. When she is not reading submissions, she creates chapbooks and arranges words to fill them with. Read more about Linda, including her longer bio and writing credits, on her writer website.
Dale Chihuly: A Real Glass House
Internationally recognized glass artist, Dale Chihuly’s, works have long captured the attention of the international art scene, so it is no surprise that he now has a long-term exhibition honoring (at least part of) his amazing collection of glass botanicals, Chihuly Garden and Glass.
Chihuly began blowing glass in 1965 at the University of Wisconsin and then went on to the Rhode Island School of Design, “where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.”
His education was not limited to the United States, however. Chihuly also spent time working in Venice, where he was exposed to glass blowing in teams and then, “In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State.”
Chihuly Garden and Glass is located next to the Space Needle at Seattle Center and, last summer, I had the pleasure of visiting the stunning display.
Okay, okay, at first I admit I wasn’t all that excited to visit. Having been employed at the Seattle Art Museum for a number of years, I had previous experience with Chihuly’s works, and while I admired them, I thought I had seen them all.
Boy, was I wrong.
Once we arrived at the Seattle Center, we headed towards the Space Needle ticket booth where I noticed a bright yellow-green plant shooting up towards the sky from a building next door. It took me a second to realize that this “plant” was made from glass and that I was viewing the glass garden.
My excitement grew.
We bought our tickets and headed over to visit the gallery, entering first into the exhibition hall where I was pleasantly surprised to find that the exhibition included sketches and paintings of his work in addition to the glass art.
The next stop was at the glasshouse where a brilliant display of orange-yellow flowers was hanging from the ceiling.
We peeked into the café where we saw a few of Chihuly’s private collections, including these accordions.
And finally, onto the gardens – an actual outdoor garden where the glass is incorporated in with live plants.
Although tickets are a little pricey, it is well worth the money. Be sure to ask about deals, such as King County resident discounts, if you are local. Check the website for current pricing and hours.
Oh, and if you go to the Space Needle observation deck, take a picture from above. I wish I had.
Located at Seattle Center:
305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109
For other places to view Chihuly’s work in the Puget Sound area, visit his artist website.
Mahalo, Linda, for letting us be tourists in your old neighborhood. If you’ve got questions to ask Linda, don’t be shy. Whether it’s about acting, screenwriting, poetry, short stories, running a small press, or about glass, I’m sure that she’d be happy to answer.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.
Aloha Fridays are the time to hang loose and enjoy the bounties of Island life. So while Tuesday I put on my Tourist hat and view Hawaii from the perspective of a visitor. On Fridays, I celebrate Pau Hana (finished work) in the ways of those who call Hawaii home.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. ~Shakespeare
Luana means “enjoyment.” Leilani means “heavenly garland.” Pualani means “heavenly flower.” And Lualani means “heavenly toilet.”
I was a young newly-minted military wife when I met my first Lualani. I have since met many others. And from a recent internet search, I’ve learned that their numbers are increasing steadily.
Now it seems that Lualani is a proper name in Sub-Saharan Africa. But my guess is that the blondes brandishing this moniker on their FaceBook profiles were not named after their aunts in Namibia.
The Lualanis I’ve met in person have all told an eerily similar story.
There father was stationed at [Pearl Harbor, Schofield Barracks, K-Bay, Hickam]. They’ve always felt a special connection to the Islands because of their…er..Hawaiian name, which according to them all means “heavenly flower.”
Just in case, there was some obscure tradition of Hawaiian naming that I was unaware of, I double checked with a Kumu, a traditional Hawaiian teacher, before posting this today. “Lua” literally means “hole,” which is how it became associated with the porcelain throne. But I’ve been told that none of the other meanings for “lua” refers to a flower.
Now I can totally sympathize.
My [husband, father, adoptive mother, second cousin twice removed] was also stationed in Hawaii. My middle name and my girls’ first names reflect a less than traditional take on an ethnicity other than our own.
But a little research will tell you that my name means “heaven” while my younger daughter’s name means “plumeria” or “frangipani.” My elder daughter’s full name is a unique [praises to her father for that] rendition of Christina. But the names I had given them are from ancient Oceania mythology according to Eliade. One is a primordial sea goddess and the other is a demi-goddess of Promethean variety.
In other words, I did a bit of research. I didn’t just reach for some exotic sounding name.
Does that give me a “get out of jail free” pass for my cultural appropriation sins of transgression?
You see that’s the tough call, isn’t it? The history of stories, the history of art, the history of knowledge is a long history of appropriation. Shakespeare was a great plagiarizer. We forgive him of course because he improved on the form. He added value.
I recently finished Julia Flynn Siler’s book, Lost Kingdom. At the end of her book, she gave a nod to the Kolea, otherwise known as the Pacific Golden Plover. The bird’s migration brings it from the Mainland US to the Hawaiian Islands for a brief stay. During it’s time here it gorges itself for its return journey, only taking and not contributing. It does not add value.
Siler was acknowledging what we all know. Hawaii sells. It is the exotic destination of everyone’s dreams. It is that special place in the collective consciousness. Anything stamped with its imprint, including this blog, gets an automatic advantage. People are curious about the Islands.
So as writers we are told to rush to ship because we need a “long tail” to make it in today’s publishing world. Find a hook, grab your niche, write to saleable keywords with high SEO rankings. This is how content marketing gets a bad name. All bad advice from folks half informed. The true key is to add value.
Make sure your voice is unique & your content is as good as you can make it.
“Wait a second,” you say. “Didn’t you post an egalitarian piece this summer about being all about the 99 cents?”
Yes, that was me. And it was called We Are The 99 Cents! And I still stand by that. Gone are the days of even traditional print publishers refining a book, taking it from dross to gold. And there is a point where polishing the prose does not add to the story. The old gatekeepers of the industry would never have allowed some of the fresh voices and perspectives that are now finding their way to print. They add value.
What I’m decrying…and it may be that it was Victoria Mixon was also intending in her piece…is the rush to publish something half-baked. Something that is the literary equivalent of the Golden Plover and something that smells about as sweet as Lualani.
And as we are just off of the exhilaration that is NaNoWriMo, I am hoping that folks are understanding when they challenged you to write a novel in 30 days, that no one was thinking that it would be anywhere near publishable quality. It would be as Anne Lamott calls the Shitty First Draft or what Marion Roach Smith calls the Vomit Draft.
Now it’s up to you to rewrite, edit, workshop, join a critique group, find some beta readers, pay for professional editing, and all of the usual steps to make sure that your creation is fully-baked before you let it loose on the world.
Or as Neil Gaiman says, “Make good art.”
How do you feel about Hawaii? Is it a special place to you? Does it make you automatically curious? Is there another place that you feel a special connection? Maybe another time in history? Another culture that has always pulled at your attention? Is there a way you could add value to it? Please join in the conversation.
Aloha Fridays Today I’m saying aloha to the old look of this blog. It will be a transition period over the holidays. Just in time for the New Year.
I started Writing Space last April as a project of self-discovery. Over the past eight months, I’ve discovered a lot. I’ve discovered a group of writerly friends that are now quite dear to me. Go over to WordsmithStudio.org to check them out.
I’ve discovered that it is much easier for me to write fiction than nonficiton. What a surprise that one was. And maybe I shouldn’t use the term “easy.” I write my fiction drafts far faster than my nonfiction pieces.
I’m a fast writer, but I like to edit…and edit…and edit. So this blog is about writing and then not editing quite as much as I normally would. Why? Because the purpose of this blog is the experiment of it. I need to show the construction of the writerly life for me.
Another discovery is that writers get paid well and not so well and not at all. I think writers everywhere are still wrestling with the best ways in which to match up their passions with their practicality.
The About page that I’ve copied and pasted below contains outdated information about the blog, but since this is a project I didn’t want to lose the evidence of how I’d come this far.
Mondays will still be about memoir. Tuesdays will be guest posts from and my own experiences as a tourist. Wednesdays will be about the nuts & bolts of writerly life. Thursdays will thankfully be a way to celebrate others. Fridays will be idea pieces that will find themselves in larger works. And I let you know where some of them find a home.
For now…enjoy what follows as archival material from the earlier days at Writing Space.
Aloha!Welcome To Writing Space.
Being a writer is my life-long dream. Upon approaching 50,My Golden Jubilee Year, I made space in my life for that dream to become reality. Writing Space is an expression of that effort, claiming physical, mental and emotional real estate to allow myself to write. This blog documents my journey toward supporting myself solely as a blogger, a freelancer, an author, a creative, and a social media specialist with my entrepreneurial shingle, Lara Britt Writes.
An Experiment In Co-Creation
Writers do not write in a vacuum. Readers are integral to the equation. The essence of art resides not in the artist but in the discourse between the artist and the audience. My readers are co-creators. Interaction with you, My Dear Reader, makes this experiment dynamic dialogue rather than stilted monologue. I adjust our course based on your feedback and comments. Always and ever, we are tacking the sails to find that sweet spot, where my strengths and your interests push us into new territory. Where the lightning strikes and the magic happens.
Writing Space was launched in April 2012. After being sent home from work with a head injury, I knew enough to stay up the night to prevent complications from a concussion. I logged onto WordPress and registered this site. Then I started playing catch-up with Robert Lee Brewer’s April Platform Challenge. By leaving comments at the My Name Is Not Bob (MNINB) site, the challengers started to dialogue with one another. Soon strong bonds were formed. Not Bob even wrote a special post, MNINB Spin Offs, about how we were co-creating beyond his expectations. Co-creation, where the magic happens. At the end of April, we declared ourselves “Done” as we did with each and every challenge, but we clarified: Done, But Not Over! Check out my MNINB Blogroll Series under Categorically on the right sidebar. Also, check out MNINB April Platform Challengers: Done But Not Over, the new collaborative blog from the Not Bobbers posse.
Update: Six months ago we embarked on an April challenge. October will see the official launch of our new collaborative website-based community. Come visit us to see what’s in the works at Wordsmith Studio.
Method To The Madness
Otherwise known as, my Editorial Calendar:
Stories, both personal and true, that have had an effect on my creative development.
Time taken to see our everyday world through the eyes of a tourist. Sure I live in Hawaii, but some of my guest posters will be taking your on tours of their backyards as well.
Bits and pieces of writerly advice, tech tips, industry news, and just sheer writing joys. One of my favorite Wednesday features is Writerly Nooks where I take you to the places and spaces where I find my muse. My lanai, Lili’uokalani Botanical Gardens and The Bishop Museum are just three. More to come.
Thursdays have been my most difficult day to define. You will find much trial and some error in this category. But nothing ventured, nothing learned or gained. With that motto, I always end up gaining even if it is wisdom and experience that comes from missing the mark. My newest experiment is a synthesis of all that I have tried so far. It is a bigger tent, if you will. Inspirational credit I give to fellow Wordsmither, JoAnn J. A. Jordan, aka Hopeful Jo. Her blog, Chronicles, is a record of her 365 day challenge to be thankful and positive. She shares a handwritten journal entry, a poem and some photos. I smile every time I visit. I am thankful, in this virtual world of ours, I can be touched by people who I would never otherwise even know exist. Thank you, Jo!
Pau Hana! The weekend is upon us, and there is so much celebration going on. Come taste a slice of local life with me. Festivals, parades, Eat Street Kaka’ako, First Friday… Endless supply of fun. And the occasional Island recipe.
In case your week was a busy one, the recaps are meant to fill in some of the news of the week, point you toward some of the conversations in the comment section, and give you the links to the week’s posts in one convenient place. This fall I will be moving this feature to a monthly digest newsletter that will come to your email inbox by subscription only.
These currently can come any day of the week, but mostly on the occasional Sunday. My current series is a blogroll of the MNINB group. These again will be moved this fall to a subscription service where readers will be able to choose the preferences for what arrives in their inboxes.
Tourist Tuesday is here once again. Time to take a look at your own home stomping grounds with the eyes of a tourist. Today’s trip is a guest post by a friend and fellow Wordsmither, Jennifer Chow. All photo credits featured here belong to here as well.
Jennifer Chow writes Asian-American fiction with a geriatric twist. She traveled most recently to Taiwan in January 2012. She has also visited China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Her blog serves up her words and her culture in a written delicacy at JenniferJChow.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
The 228 Legacy~A Novel published by Martin Sisters Publishing is now available in both print and ebook editions! Follow Jennifer on Goodreads & Add Legacy to your shelf.
Hualien: A Taiwan Oasis
Hualien lies in eastern Taiwan, on a strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Central Mountain Range. Requiring either a two-hour train trip or a thirty-minute plane ride, it is located 144 miles away from the bustling capital city of Taipei.
In the beginning of this year, I explored Hualien’s many charms. The place immerses you in nature. While there, I woke up every morning to the crow of a real-life rooster. The city’s name in reverse (lien hua) means lotus blossom, and Hualien evokes the same floral beauty and tranquility. Surrounded by lush green landscapes, it provides an oasis in the middle of the modern busy island of Taiwan.
- Rose marble: Hualien produces beautiful rose marble, extracted from the nearby mountains. The hues in rose marble range from a light conch shell pink to a dusky rose. Varying striations run through these pink stones, making each rock piece unique. The marble can be sold alone or incorporated into lovely landscape displays or whittled into smaller pieces to wear as pendants.
- Straw art: On a side street off a main road, I encountered a burst of vibrant color. A straight dirt pathway ran alongside a series of simple tables, each holding a miniature diorama of ancient life, including outdoor market scenes and rice planting activities. The main portion of the area, though, boasted a winding flower maze covered in a riot of blossoms. It seemed like a popular place for field trips, as I saw a teacher leading her group of students to the spot and taking pictures of them. At the end of the blossom trail, I stumbled onto a giant dragon made from straw.
- Mochi: Hualien is known for these popular glutinous rice desserts. After biting into the tender and chewy exterior, the sweet filling inside will delight your taste buds. Flavors can include peanut, black sesame, red bean, and green tea. Sometimes vendors also place fruit inside the dessert (my favorite is strawberry). Fresh-made mochi lasts only a couple of days, but pre-packaged ones are available for souvenirs and last a lot longer.
- Lichuan Aquarium: This fish hatchery combined with a restaurant offers succulent seafood. The tender fish they served practically melted in my mouth. A stone’s throw away from the restaurant is a tiny aquarium with informational glass cases and an open viewing tank with seats, where I assume lectures can be given. I also took a walk around the vast amount of greenery and fountains that decorate the grounds. If you want, you can even feed the carp swimming in the pond. Lichuan is also the home of the golden clam, and their store sells clam products which improve the health (liver function) and provide beauty benefits (clear skin).
- Moon House Restaurant: Nestled on the top of a mountain, this place exuded serenity. I arrived in the evening, so it gave off an even quieter feel. Inside the dining room, tall glass windows looked out into the night sky and onto the nearby vista. The dishes were served hot and fresh, including some local vegetables grown only in that region. I highly recommend the plum chicken there, an oven-roasted local delicacy served with homemade plum sauce. English reviews of the restaurant can be found here.
- Taroko Gorge: The gorge is an impressive 12-mile long canyon. Its name means “magnificent and splendid” in the language of Truku, an aboriginal tribe that lives in the region. I took one of its many hiking trails and soon understood the reason for its name after seeing the breathtaking beauty of the area.
- Lin Tian Shan: This old logging town preserves the history of its past loggers, and the railroad tracks that provided wood to nearby cities still remain on site. Lin Tian Shan also houses exhibitions from local artists who create fabulous carved wooden sculptures. Some of the artworks depicted nature scenes or showcased the hard-working timber life, while others sprang solely from the imagination of the carver’s mind.
Thanks for taking this virtual trip down memory lane with me. What would you do in Hualien if you had the chance?