On Thursday, May 11, the Third Street Writers of Laguna Beach are set to celebrate the release of their anthology “Beach Reads: Here Comes the Sun,” at 5:30 p.m. , at Laguna Beach Books, 1200 S. Coast Highway. Join us for snacks and light refreshments and excellent writer’s reading their work from the new book. Would love to see fans and friends there!
The anthology of 30 short stories, poetry, and personal essays explores the sun as an agent of transformation, and includes my short story “Island Girl.” an excerpt from my concluding, soon to be released, Enchanted, Book 2 from THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves.
Enchanted covers the final three years of my experiences with love and music in during the late 1960s set primarily in Hawai’i, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and Southern California. It is a rich and complex adventure balancing the emotional power of music and the search for success and happiness in a turbulent era. As the decade of change is eroding into the early 1970s so are changes that effect the band and people at the center of this journey are challenged in ways they’d never imagined.
Night People, Book 1 of THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT, was published in June of 2015 and is an Amazon Best Seller in Biographies and Memoirs > Arts and Literature > Composers & Musicians > Pop.
The recent deaths of two important people in my life as covered in, Things We Lost in The Night, have caused me to continue examining how I conceive the Universe. The Introduction of Night People is a single paragraph about the uncertainty of the thin veil between life, and not-life titled Change. I included it because a specific theme of Night People is change. The Introduction in book 2, Enchanted, is a bit more of how I see the nature of our existence as I write about it. It’s here to remind me of the hypocrisy of being human in general, specifically as an author, in how I refer to miraculous or supernatural events in my writings. This is a second draft version of it — I can’t guarantee it won’t get altered a little before publishing.
Are FREE WILL and PREDESTINATION
“If you can accept that we exist in a universe, or more accurately, a multiverse gigantic beyond comprehension, exclusively containing sparsely scattered objects made of matter or energy, that are subject to unyielding laws and rules embedded in its fabric, then it should be easy to allow that Predestination is the natural way of reality.
Our bodies, constructed of matter and energy also include our brains, likewise subject to these rules. The wonder of this incredible organ, this brain of ours, is that it is somehow able to host a mind, an entity that it is NOT composed of matter or energy. This remarkable awareness is able to receive physical signals relayed through our brain from our five senses to fabricate a model of the multiverse we can comprehend. For the most part, all of this is already accepted physics and the science of the brain though no one can explain the method of how the brain’s mind-hosting takes place.
The mind is the control mechanism of our surroundings, through it, we can direct our bodies to Change, within certain limits, the natural Predestination of the multiverse. Though these actions cannot contradict natural regulation, the results can be profound. The fundamental order of the multiverse may decree that a rock will fall from a cliff by force of gravity over time, but a human mind can move it’s host body to avoid being crushed if it happens to be beneath it. This is evidence that sentience can exercise Free Will (and proof of its existence), subject to the unalterable physical rules of the multiverse.
This demonstrates to me why there really aren’t any miracles, only events we cannot understand. However, I’m willing to use this label in a literary sense for incidents I can’t explain, so when I refer to miraculous or supernatural events in my writing, you’ll understand why.”
Kiana Davenport’s book House of Many Gods is a wonderful generational novel, beginning in the mid-Sixties and running to present day, along the Waianae coast of Oahu, a neighborhood largely unknown to the outside world. It houses the third-largest homeless population in the United States, made up of mostly ghettoized native Hawaiians. In this novel, set in a house shared by many and various mothers, their children and the occasional father, a story about a young girl takes place. Abandoned by her mother, she struggles within a culture clash within the only home she’s ever known, her expectations, the outside world, and how to love. During the book she finds a way through much of the tragedy and poverty around her to become a doctor, eventually connect the pieces of her life, and travels halfway around the world to rescue a man, also struggling in his native culture, that she’d refused to love. At least as important as the story she tells, Kiana’s descriptions and narrative, as lush and rich as a tropical rainforest, brings along the deep abiding spiritualism of a Hawaiian spirit subjugated by a profusion of foreign influences, from the missionaries to the more recent intrusions of Asian, and most of all, the United States, influences. It’s as if Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants) meets Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram) in Hawai’i. I rank Kiana Davenport alongside my favorite, and most influential authors, Hemmings, Donna Tart, Marisa Pessl, and Dennis Lehane. This will be a read you cannot put down and will never forget.
As a side note, Kiana’s books about Hawai’i, especially this one, have influenced my new book, Enchanted. This review about a year and a half ago, and I feel as strongly about this book now as I did then.
Here in the United States in the middle sixties, there was always a friendly competition between East Coast and West Coast bands, personified by the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons. And though there became a creative competition between the Beatles and the Beach Boys, the long and winding visceral rivalry for the Beatles has always been the Rolling Stones. Especially as they put their own opposing brands onto rock and roll stardom as they entered the Seventies. You always had to choose if you were a Beatles fan or a Stones fan. Though I didn’t care for the Beatles originally, as I mentioned in Night People, I did come to appreciate them, and to be astonished, let alone highly influenced, by “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” as you’ll read about it in Enchanted, should you chose to read it.
I didn’t care much for the Stones when I first heard them either, and even now I only grudgingly appreciate some of their classic songs like “Symphony for the Devil” and “Gimme Shelter.” Especially since I had to sing several Stones songs, all of them non-melodic, like “Get Off Of My Cloud” and “Satisfaction.” However Keith Richards has now officially hit my idiot list with his criticism of the Sergeant Pepper album. In a recent interview for Esquire Magazine, without provocation Keith volunteered:
“The Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles. But there’s not a lot of roots in that music. I think they got carried away. Why not? If you’re the Beatles in the ’60s, you just get carried away—you forget what it is you wanted to do. You’re starting to do Sgt. Pepper. Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties—”Oh, if you can make a load of shit, so can we.”
What? Are you kidding me? Read more about weird Keith in this Huntington Post UK article.