I spent the entire day rearranging Finding ‘Ohana, as was recommended to me by one of the literary agents I had submitted to. It’s a good thing I’m an organization freak, because it was really difficult finding new homes for the many scenes which I originally wrote with a specific flow in mind. But, after six hours, everything is in place!
I actually can’t believe it was six hours, because I honestly enjoyed it. In order to know where I should move scenes, I ended up rereading a few of them. The result? I’ve been reacquainted with my novel,
and reminded of how much I truly love it. I love my characters, I love the experiences they have which bring them together and tear them apart. I love the message my writing tells, and I love the genuine emotion that I poured into the story.
Now all that’s left to do is another read-through of the whole book, and I’ll have a new final draft!
While I’m in the final stages of yet another rewrite, I’ve decided to post excerpts as I review them. Today will be a small excerpt because I am a little exhausted from rearranging and I don’t think I can edit much more in one sitting.
So, once more, from the top:
I had been to funerals before, but not like this. Never like this. The mourning ‘ohana on the boat and riding the waves around it was in aloha wear: a white background covered in bright blue Hawaiian flowers. Even the ocean matched them. But I was wearing the black and white memory of a time when I had been happy.
The boat rocked gently on the waves, like a baby’s bassinet. A few people around me closed their eyes and reveled in the salty breeze. They looked as though they were relaxing. As though this were just another day at sea. As though they had not just lost a person that had held them together like glue.
I suppose they still had each other to hold them together. They were ‘ohana, family, and to them that meant they could never be alone.
The boat lurched more vigorously than usual, and I gripped the edge to remain upright, although no one else seemed affected. How did they not notice that everything around us was shifting this way and that, too fast to gain footing and see which way was up? The world kept turning, but I knew it should have stopped.
Finally, the boat returned to its rocking, gentle as a cradle. Still, I held on, knowing that if I let go I would fall, cradle and all.
Ihupani started the funeral by reminding us all why we were there. But I knew why. We were there because of me. Because I wanted to have a baby.
I listened as friends and family members took turns speaking, and, little by little, bits of gray began to overtake the blue. A voice quieted, a hand turned, and a small amount of ash drifted down to the water. That was better. The gray made more sense. I wished that it would cover all the water, all the sky, all the aloha wear around me. I did not want to see blue anymore, blue that reminded me of our son, of happiness, of what we could have had. I wanted to see gray, so that what I saw around me could match what I felt inside.