... a blog to make sense of the world through writing and acts of creativity, to reflect on and respond to the crazy world in which we live. Can beauty, creativity, compassion, and activism emerge from this tension?
I actually starting writing my musical play Pulani in college in a creative writing class. When I moved back to Guam, I developed it over the years into a musical play. It was produced at the University of Guam theatre in 1989. This past summer, while visiting Dance in Guam, I wrote a grant to the Arts Council to do it again, for a new generation. We got the grant, which will be housed out of the non-profit Island Girl Power in Dededo. It will be a summer program there. All are welcome to participate! (Let me or Dance know, Guam peeps.)
Another thing I have always wanted to do, besides produce this again, was to write a children's book of the story of Pulani. I felt I had to do something different to compel kids to want to read it. I would love it to be a graphic novel, but that won't happen unless I can get a comic book artist to partner with me. But what I can do and what I decided to do is make it RHYME! (Once I finish writing this, I will tackle the challenge of the illustrations).
I have been on a roll with this project! I think I have a guardian angel, a good fairy sprinkling creative fairy dust on me. To get it started, I went to my book shelf where I have a poetry collection. I pulled this one down, thumbed through it, and found Annabel Lee.
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea
That a maiden there llived, whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
(Edgar Allen Poe)
No, my story is not Poe-ish macabre, but I immediately knew it would have a similar rhyme scheme. Once I got started, it got to be only 4 lines per verse, and a ABCB pattern, which means it rhymes on the second and fourth lines.
I have had so much fun doing this. It's playing with words and when you figure it out, it's a thrill. Here's how it starts:
In an island near Guahan some time ago,
A garden was preserving the past.
Home to the young girl Pulani
And her Guella, a suruhana, the last.
Pulani was loving and joyful
Playing with creatures along the shore.
Dancing with blue-spotted butterflies,
Often forgetting her chores.
Note on the creative process: As I said in another blog, you need to have a "project," something to express (heard James Brown, Express Yourself today). Accessing other creative art and writing worked for me to get it going. Once I got going, it's been play, like solving a puzzle and telling a story at the same time.
Note on the story: Pulani is about a young girl who is given the task to find an apprentice to teach the knowledge of the suruhana, traditional medicine. It's a journey story, she has companions and has to overcome obstacles.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.