Long Story Short

I was recently asked to do a taping with Leslie Wilcox–a segment on her program "Long Story Short." Vewy scawee (as my niece's baby daughter says).

I was given instructions on what to wear and what to bring with me beforehand and later signed a bunch of papers. On the day of the taping, the make-up artist dolled me up, despite my protests not to make it too heavy. Needless to say she did a wonderful job. In the studio, we were directed to our places, the lighting set up etc. The director had a difficult time with my white hair because the lights kept bouncing off my head, HD and my hair not a good mix. While they foiled the lights and redirected them, and the make-up artist used wax to tamp down stray strands of my white hair, Leslie Wilcox began talking to me about what the process was going to be like. She answered my questions and tried to make me feel relaxed, although I was shaking like a wet cat.

I was asked very many questions by Leslie during the taping and hoped throughout that I wasn't saying anything stupid. I remember bits and pieces, and of course in anything like this, there are always misgivings–like I could have said something better etc.

No, I haven't seen the tape, yet. I will be seeing it for the very first time when it is shown on July 12 on PBS. Unlike the writing process, where the author always has a hand in the mix, I had little to do with the final outcome. A very different thing.

Talk story

  1. Darrell Lum says:

    You were great, despite some weird questions, i.e., the business about marrying one haole…what does that have to do with your writing?

    Did you pick the passage to read or did Wilcox pick it? It was a curious choice to me.

    What I wish she asked:
    Many think Anshu is a dark, depressing novel as if it is something new in your work. Yet Tsunami Years and Hilo Rains and Hoolulu Park all have similar themes of tragedy and destruction and parallel themes of hope and renewal. The difference with Anshu is the scope and scale of the storytelling has exploded to what you have termed, "the ultimate fire" literally and psychologically. i think what you've done is draw us into a much larger world view that redefines local and global. What do you think?

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