On the third day there, we went to a small beach renowned for having a bunch of sea turtles. The concept itself seemed funny—that sea turtles would “live” in a certain area of the ocean. But it was true. As soon as I entered the water, a huge turtle (which I thought was a rock) bumped into my leg. Another swam over my head. Amazing.
All this beauty was punctured, though, when we returned to our rental car wet, tired and hungry and ready to go home, only to realize that someone had smashed the window of the car and stolen my purse.
Fortunately, I had two teenagers and my cousin all with cell phones.
“If it’s so common,” I wondered aloud to the officer and my cousin, “Why not post a guard in the parking lot? I'd pay a parking fee to ensure my car was safe.”
“The economy’s bad now," they said. "No money for guards.”
That didn’t make sense to me, but I was more intent on canceling my credit cards than worrying about this parking lot.
"But don't worry," the officer consoled. "Someone from VASH will be calling you soon."
Would they find the perpetrators so quickly?
Was this just a momentary inconvenience?
No, he explained, VASH stood for Visitors Aloha Society of Hawaii --volunteers who called victims of crimes to offer sympathy, counseling, etc.
VASH did call and apologize on behalf of the Island for this unfortunate incident. Did I need counseling? When I got home, they’d even sent a card…with a local island scene on the front and "thinking of you" on the inside. That’s when I got irritated.
Here were all these passionate citizens interested in maintaining the image of their lovely island. And they do have a lovely island. But their efforts were channeled into apologizing. I thought, if they volunteered as much time guarding the affected areas of the island (or sending letters to council members to suggest better protection), there wouldn’t be a need for all this aftercare.
As usual, this made me think of writing. Of how we writers are passionate and dedicated to our work. Yet, sometimes we're so eager to get a piece finished and out there, we don’t polish up those last few scenes or we ignore the
Then we end up apologizing. (“I really didn’t mean to send that draft.”)
Or just being sorry. (“Why did I ever sign that contract?”)
I’ve lost opportunities and been stuck in situations I still regret because I didn’t post a guard in my writing lot.
So, when you think you’ll just keel over and die if you have to look at that manuscript/contract one more time, sit back. Wait a week. Or a month. Visit a relative.:) By then, you probably can bare to peek one more time to make sure everything is as perfect with your manuscript as it can be, everything is as fair with your contract as it should be.
Book of the Week
Zoe Ferraris latest novel, City of Veils, is a sequel to her great first book, Finding Nouf. The story begins with a dead body, an American woman who dreads returning to live with her husband in Saudi Arabia, and a police detective who is trying to keep up with her new job and compete among the throngs of men. Each voice--and there are five-- is unique and brings a different perspective. I found myself thinking, as I raced forward to find out what would happen next, "This isn't just about Islam." (Or dead bodies.) It's about all our Gods." It's a fun--and fast--read.