Today we bring you the first of our guest blogs here at Rearview Vegas.
Joining us today the amazingly talented AJ Llewelyn.
Take it away, AJ!
I am heading to Oahu on December 17, meeting my family for the holidays. It is starting to feel real now that everyone is calling me for my address on island, to send parcels and boxes and also so that they can pick up their cars from Dollar (say dull-ah) and head straight on out there once they land in Honolulu.
With family members flying from all over the world, I decided only this morning to stop stressing about my house not being…well, elegant. It is a fantastic place up in the mountains. It’s pretty ramshackle, but I love it and hope, when I am able to carve a full-time living for myself, to stay there year-round.
I feel in awe of even owning my house, the model for the homes in my Phantom Lover and Waikiki Vampire books. The house is in much better shape in those books than in real life, but that’s the beauty of being a novelist. I can renovate to my heart and mind’s content!
My house is Goddess Pele-protected and blessed. Pele loves children. Pele loves me, even though I feel her anger that it’s been ten months since I went and paid her a visit. One of the things I love about my place is the endless greenery. In spite of a near-legendary drought, we still have a lush bamboo trail out back and rare, tropical birds love to come and visit me. The unruly garden backs onto what used to be Paradise Park, a bird sanctuary, and when the owners went broke, they released the birds. Let’s not talk about what the introduction to all those foreign birds did to the fragile island eco-system. The birds have gone forth and multiplied by the thousands, but I love them. Nothing thrills me more than a bright-red macaw (a messenger from the Volcano Goddess, I tell myself) shows up at my kitchen window.
My brother and his wife loathe my house, calling it Gilligan’s Bohemian Island, but their kids love it. It is a fantastic house for kids because inside or out, nothing can hurt them. We don’t have snakes and poisonous spiders do exist but not on our part of the island.
The kids are into geckos and frogs and we have plenty of those. My neighbor has a dog who likes to come over and has a fondness for carrots. I’ve played Santa for a few years now and I feel blessed that my niece and nephew still believes in him…and I have a more than willing recipient for the multitude of carrots the kids leave out for the reindeer.
My niece is convinced Santa likes beer (I think my brother told her this outrageous lie) but I’ve told her Santa prefers a Mai Tai in the islands.
“I don’t think so, Uncle Andrew,” she said on the phone to me yesterday. “He likes beer.”
So, I’ll let my brother handle the Primo and I’ll take care of the sugar cookies.
I’ve taught the children in my life to respect island traditions as much as Christmas and nobody leaves my house with so much as a pearly shell or piece of lava in their pocket.
In August, I attended a Hawaiian festival here in Los Angeles. I purchased a fresh cigar-flower lei to bring to Pele’s altar here in my home and mysteriously, it vanished before I could get it in the house. Yeah, she’s pissed. Pele has played these kinds of tricks on me before…but usually she returns things she takes, just to make sure I am paying attention.
I used to keep her little games to myself for fear that people would think I’m nuts. Undoubtedly I am, but she does play games with me. Now that I am a prolific and published author of Hawaiian paranormal gay erotic romances, I get to address her powerful ways, not to mention her peppery spirit and priceless sense of humor.
Going home to Hawaii is essential for me, both to bond with her, and also, to do fresh research for my new books. Ninety-percent of my books are set there and yes, they’re paranormals, but they are all grounded in reality.
Most of all, I am grateful that Pele led me to discover a kindred spirit in author Courtney Sheets. I bought her book Kona Warrior and loved it.
We are Pele people and I know we will become very good friends. Whatever you are doing this holiday season, honor the Pele within you – the power of finishing the old, starting the new and doing both fearlessly.
Drop me a line and let me know what new, magnificent eruption you are creating for next year. I think Pele, Courtney and I would love that.