Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hooey Ho

Greetings fellow earthlings,

Okay, any of you out there with any knowledge of the Hawaiian language know that it is "hui ho," and "Aloha hui ho" means, loosely translated, "God be with you." That's my favorite translation anyway. More on that later. I chose that title today because I'm not sure my stream-of-consciousness writing will end up to be anything besides a bunch of hooey. As for the "ho" part, that is "ho" as in "westward ho." In other words, hooey that just keeps on coming.

Until now I have resisted becoming a blogger. I don't climb on bandwagons. My parents never had to say "if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?" I fear this contrariness was passed on to my son. I once apologized to him for raising him in the less-than-wonderful environment of south Florida.

"Mom, if we had stayed in Utah, I probably would have had to stand out by being rebellious against the Church. In Florida I could stand out by being religious."

Go figure. I did something right, by accident but right nevertheless.

Anyway, I am probably the only one on the planet who still hasn't read any Harry Potter books. It isn't because I don't think they will be good, it is just that I don't read what everyone else is reading just because they're reading it. I wait for the excitement to die down, see if whatever it is has any staying power, an indication that it wasn't all hype, and then I pick it up, usually cheaper. If not cheaper, at least without having to pitch a tent outside Borders. You see, I don't need someone in Paris to tell me that sage is a hot color, because I already like green. If something is good, it will stand the test of time--books, relationships, granite countertops. Therefore, I am usually reading a little behind the pack, and my recently-redocorated bathroom is done in coral, gold and teal, simply because I like those colors.

But I digress. (That would have been a good name for my blog, too, come to think of it.) So because of the above-related tendencies, I have resisted having a blog because of "blog overkill." My assessment is that there used to just be a few bloggers, and people had time to read their blogs, but now everyone and their dog is busy blogging and no one has time to read the blogs. Hey, another great name--the "Everyone and Their Dog Blog." That might be false advertising, though, because sooner or later readers would figure out that it was just me, and I'm not sure my dog would truly have anything meaningful to say. (He's more into the visual arts.) Anyway, I did recently note that even though I am short on time there are a few bloggers that I follow, perhaps not religiously (although come to think of it, I go to their websites about as often as I go to church), because I know they always either make me laugh, brighten my day or lift my spirits. So I am going to blog, in hopes that I can do the same for someone.

I also cannot discount what it means to an author for people to know who they are. In case you missed the campout at Borders waiting for one of my books, there wasn't one. My first book came out on September 11, 2001. Need I say more? (My conspiracy theory involves Anita Stansfield in cahoots with Osama Bin Laden and remains unproven at present.) The release of my next two books roughly coincided with my husband's two back surgeries and promotion of books took a backseat to keeping my husband alive. Book four in the series, entitled "Are We There Yet?" came out quietly in 2004 at the same time as another LDS author released a book by the same name. Anyone who did go in search of my book, probably ended up with his. (Again, I suspect Anita could be involved. Please, if you know her, do not compromise my ongoing investigation by tipping her off.)

I have learned many things from my quadruplets, such as that you are not supposed to let a character talk for three pages without taking a breath, POV is not supposed to resemble a ping-pong game, and if you are going to include a current event in your book, it shouldn't be in the work that it takes you two decades to finish, although I don't see why it can't just morph into the "historical fiction" category. First books are like first children, you make all the mistakes on them, but you love them because they endured your learning curve. I still have much to learn about writing, even more about marketing and promotion. Still, all things considered, I managed to create characters people care about and because of the lack of publicity, I know that the people who buy my books, buy them on purpose. I know you're out there somewhere, my stealth fans. Thank you!

I am also hindered in my self-promotion by the fact that I live out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii. (If I hold this shell to my ear, I can almost hear the cries of pity all the way out here.) It is with pangs of envy and longing that I read the posts from fellow authors about their book signings and events. On this last unplanned quick trip to the mainland for a funeral, I sold a book to the lady who runs the Crown Room for Delta, and offered to send a freebie of Are We There Yet? to the grandparents of triplets that I met in the Salt Lake airport. Perhaps as payment the mother of said triplets can write me a heartfelt thank-you note and let me know whether I put Beverly through the paces realistically with her triplets, as I'm sure she has lots of time on her hands. Anyway, the point I was attempting to make, quite a while back, is that I realized that I need to blog, because people need to know who I am, and also, if anyone can make it through this, they might actually want to know what Beverly has to say on pages 45-62.

So more about the "hooey." "Hui ho" actually has great meaning for me. My dear departed first husband, Paul Corpany, coming or going, used to always say "hui ho." I never knew what it meant. He told me it was a Hawaiian greeting he picked up from his brother, David, who served his mission in Hawaii. I never researched what it meant. It wasn't something you heard anybody say in Salt Lake City, which is where I lived at the time. About a year after he died, I took a trip that qualified me to purchase a round-trip airfare to Hawaii for $100.00. (I never told the relatives I flew to visit that I really did so in order to qualify for the cheap trip to Hawaii.) I couldn't find anyone who could afford to go with me, because they didn't have the special fare. In need of a break from being the sole parent, I left my two-year-old son with my aunt and uncle and cousins, knowing he would be in good hands, and set off for some rest and rejuvenation in Hawaii. As I was preparing to disembark, the flight attendant came over the loudspeaker and said, "Aloha hui ho." Tears sprang to my eyes. It was Paul sending a message to me. I realized then that I had no idea what "hui ho" even meant. I figured it was Hawaiian for "how's it going?" I waited and let everyone else funnel out of the plane ahead of me. Trying not to let my emotions show, I asked the flight attendant if she could tell me what "hui ho" meant.

"Aloha hui ho" means "God be with you," she informed me. I've heard other translations of it since then, but that was what that flight attendant said to me that day. I wonder sometimes if Paul had a hand in my moving to Hawaii, so I would hear "hui ho" all the time, since he was no longer around to say it to me.

So to my readers, whether of my books, my Meridian column, or now my blog, I say "aloha hui ho." If you got this far, I thank you for your time. Ya'll come back now.


(Am I supposed to sign my name? Did I do it wrong? Maybe it is like my mother when she says "love, Mom" at the end of her message on my voicemail, like she's writing a letter or like I have forgotten what her voice sounds like. Oh, I hope I didn't do it wrong!)


Shawnette said...

What a cute blog. Very entertaining, touching, and compelling. Great job!

Kari Pike said...

Susan, you brought joy to my heart this morning! What a great way to prepare for listening to Conference. Thank you for writing your blog...I will be visiting regularly!

JoAnn Arnold said...

I love your sense of humor and your tender thoughts. They combine to make great reading. Great Blog

La Mujer Loca said...

I like your blog. I'm glad you've joined us on "the dark side" and have become a blogger. I'll be sure to keep reading.
Steph in Rigby (ANWA)

Valerie Ipson said...

Very funny! Thanks for gracing the blog world with your humor, Susan!

Kerry Blair said...

You did everything right! I love it!

G. Parker said...

Fun blog...welcome to the land of bloggers. You're right, there didn't used to be so many of us, and some of them have frogs writing too...(lol) I loved your way of writing and look forward to reading tidbits...I'm not real got at spending lots of time because I'm trying to write!
Was in Hawaii exactly a year ago, and can say I understand why someone would live there, but it wouldn't be me. Isn't that interesting? grin. I love my Utah home. Take care...

Ann said...

Reading this was like having you come visit . . . almost. Delightful.

Ann in Laie

Joan said...

Susan, blogging is just journaling so you are just following the advice of the prophet to journal...that's all. Welcome to bloggerville.

Grandma said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG SITE!!! I am having a terrible time trying to get the comment to take. This is the third message I've typed now and am about ready to just send you another email! LOL I really needed a few laughs and my day brightened and your blog certainly accomplished that!! I will be checking in as often as possible!

Grandma said...

Well I finally got my comment to go on and realized you wouldn't know who sent it since it says it's from Grandma. That is the way I sign my Grandaughers blog, so it automatically did that on yours. I'll have to remember to sign my comments at the bottom.LOL
Jean in Ogden

Susan Law Corpany said...

Thanks everybody. Ann, wish I could come for a visit. We still need to have that Scrabble match. Jean, good to hear from you. Did you ever read my column that you are mentioned in? Stephanie, I have to confess I was in Rigby and asked Jessica to call you, but we thought it might be too late at night. Maybe next time through. Everybody else, thanks for your kind comments and for taking the time to read my ramblings.

Lori said...

You make me smile! Thank you! And Aloha hui ho!

Lori...signing my name too, we can be wrong together. =)

Lynn said...

Woohoo! Another one won over to the blog side! [When are you coming back to TX?]

DeanH said...

Jean lead me to your site, like you this is my first time blogging.
(WHAT is the meaning of the word anyway!)
I enjoy the articles on meridian and look forward to each one, Jean always sends me yours in case I have missed one, (computers and I do not always understand each others "commands" LOL )
Jean said she told you I was a screaming idot on the phone over the article with her in it. She thought I had finally totally "lot it" and then thought I was kidding her when she could finally understand what I was telling her.
Needless to say that was one article I shared with some of the ward members here.
I hope you get a chance to "take off your pantyhose" for her again when you are in that area, she sure needed that visit!
Looking forward to reading this site and will check in again and again.
Dean in Illinois
Can't wait for the next book to come out!

Tamary said...

I love the way you look at life and see humor and meaning at the same time. I've enjoyed your books and your Meridian columns and I'm looking forward to keeping up with this blog too!

DeanH said...

love the newest article, what awesome pictures of the sunset.
I think the things we take for granted the most are the things we all have together, like the sunset.
We live in the boonies so far back sunshine is pumped in to us.
We have no indoor plumbing, and one of my favorite things is to look at the night sky as I have to use the out side "fixture" and talk with God about the wonderful night lights he has provided for us. We had to move in town one winter when my husbands health was very bad and I really missed that time with God. (altho, indoor hot showers are WONDERFUL, and LONG!! LOL )
I get up early and go to town and pick up our youngest granddaughter to babysit her 5 days a week, and the drive into the rising sun in our eyes is another beautiful sight we often just "cuss" as it blinds us from oncoming traffic, but, as we live in the boonies, the only traffic I have is usually birds or of the wildlife sort, warming themselves in the heat coming up off the rock or oiled roads early in the mornings. This little toddler opens my eyes to the wonder of the sunshine and nature anew on a regular basis.
Keep the articles coming, you are real blessing in not only my life but so many other followers of your writings.
God Bless,
Dean in Illinois

Susan Law Corpany said...


I'm glad Jean got a chance to read that. Thanks for letting her know. I'll stop in some time for another foot rub.


Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy said...

When I got the email letting me know you had a knew column in the Meridian Magazine, a comment you made in the email caught my attention -

"There's a possibility that it may be inspiring and uplifting, or it may only serve as proof that I am certifiably insane, because it contains a conversation between me and one of my characters, who is about to take my book in a completely different direction. I feel better knowing that many other authors admit to similar experiences."

Madeleine l'Engle, author of Wrinkle in Time and many other books and several autobiography books made a similar comment about her characters taking the books in an unexpected direction.

Anonymous said...

Sooz, Your column about the birthday party was a hoot. You need to show me how to say those Hawaiian words now that I know what they mean! I don't know much about blogs but if they are like yours...I guess I need to read more of them. Keep up the good work!

Grandma said...

Hi Susan~
Your luau 1st Birthday Party for little Ellie sounds terrific!! I think it is a shame though that your graffiti was undone by some other graffiti. I am sure it must have been done by a "gang member" and they thought you were encrouching on their turf!! LOL
I love reading your blog and the comments that go to it. Keep up the good work!! Love ya!
Jean in Ogden