Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hacks for University of Hawaii at Hilo Students living in Hilo Part III - Groups to Meet!

In the first post on what to do in Hilo, I talked about places to visit.  My second post about Hilo, I continued my list of places to visit and talked about free events.  In this post, I will be talking about making friends with local groups and keeping busy with organizations around town.

Let's face it!  Hilo is a small town and you may not think there is much to do and not many people out there to meet.  You'll be surprised about how many groups are out there looking for new members and starting fun projects.

Let's get our Nerd On!

1.  Geocaching
Supposedly, this whole thing started at the advent of GPS and just testing out the system.  Little did they know, their experiment would start a world wide phenomenon that involves using million dollar satellites to find cheap Tupperware in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere.  The Group on the Big Island is very laid back and you get to find some of the best places to explore when searching for these caches.

2. Ingress
I'll be honest, I know NOTHING about Ingress but I have lots of friends doing this AND I'll be starting this up when I go to BKK at the end of the year.  Just watch the video.  All I know is I was told to join the RESISTANCE Team or BLUE TEAM (I don't care.  Do whatever you want!)

3.  HawaiiCon - Volunteer and get into the Conference for FREE
Well, if you work the required hours and so forth but you'll be able to save over a $200 if you go this route and love to geek out at Sci-Fi/Fantasy Conferences.  This one is fun and laid back and it's at an AWESOME locations.

4. Panaewa Zoo & Friends.
On Wednesday and Saturday each week, you get to chill with the animals.  Wednesdays were my favorite days, "Enrichment Days" for our petting zoo pals.  We got to take our the goats, Jellybean and Jose (R.I.P.) for a walk and visit all the animals and give them treats.  On Saturdays, you helped to bring them to the petting zoo area and got to keep them company as they are harassed by kids.  I LOVED working at the zoo!  My favorite time of year is Christmas at the Zoo!  My inner (and outer) kid has a field days on this day.


I was in the cage with the Lemur for X-Mas at the Zoo watching him eat his banana.

5.  Volunteer for the Downtown Improvement Association
There's one particular program I love, "Let's Grow Hilo" where they decorate downtown Hilo with edible plants.

6.  Basically Books First Friday's Read Aloud
Whether you are an avid reader, a thespian, a public speaker or just plain bored, stop by on First Friday events on Hilo Bayfront and read passages from your favorite book or any genre or rating.

Banned Book Week (this was banned because the little boy is naked on a few pages)
Actually, there is an awesome interview of Stephen Colbert & Maurice Sendak that I'll add to the bottom of the post 

7. Couch Surfing
If you love meeting people from all over the world and have an extra room, couch, or floor space, host someone from couch surfing.  It's one of the best organizations I've even joined to made some great friends through this group.  I cannot stress how much CS has enriched my traveling experience and being a host to my hometown.  If you have questions about the Island of Hawaii, check out my profile and PM me.

8.  Big Island Road Runners
This group of runners are some of the friendliest people I know, no matter your skill in running.  Whether you're a novice just starting out or an experienced marathoner/ultra runner, this group of people are there for you.  Even if you don't run, it's really fun to help out at events and meet new people!

9. Join a Performing group.
There are a few theaters throughout the Big Island and it seems like a cast call every month or so.  Keep an eye out for Cast Calls at Palace Theaters, Volcano KMC theater, Aloha Theater, UHH Theater and a few more.  It's a great way to keep busy, meet knew people and test the capactiy of your memory and mobility.

10.  Trail Clean ups and Beach cleans up.
Keep an eye for National Trail Day, a national event but also a fun educational one where you learn about the trails you are cleaning up, the history of the area as well as its significance.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Writing a Story/Book Part II and Over 100 Posts!

I'm back...a bit late with the next part to my post on how to write a book or story.  Oh, and this will be my 101st post!  YAY!

Okay, remember in the last post, that somewhat irrelevant web I embedded?
Yup!  That's the one!
Well, in the previous post, the To DO's was your main story idea.  In this case, my spaghetti monster is in the middle, right?

That dude!
Heck, our spaghetti monster looks exactly like our web so if you look at its legs.  It's just like the main concepts of the story.

If you look at the top web, The Appointments, Shopping, Others...etc.  Those are main plot points that we wrote about last week.  They could be a chapter or two but in general for me, they are a chapter.

Let's review:   Story Idea
  1. Main character is a boy/girl
  2. they go to the store and buy groceries
  3. walking through hot items session of the store, the spaghetti bubbles
  4. inspects closer and see the noodles waggle and trying to communicate
  5. shocked and curious, they buy the spaghetti and takes it home
  6. spaghetti comes home and is left in the hot sun where it proceeds to melt and spread all over counter
  7. takes over counter -- > then home  -- > then houses on block
  8. main character feel responsible and looks for solution
  9. walking by a shop, there is a sign for food eating contest
  10. after contest, main character talks to contestants and convinces them that that was only the first round of the contest.  Next round is in a suburban neighborhood.  They'll know when they see it
  11. then stops by a homeless shelter and does the same thing
  12. Rallies all the eaters and they go to town on Spaghetti Monster
  13. They chow down and the city is saved and well fed
  14. Ending: All is right in the world again except for a stray meatball! (* Sequal idea )
So, you can guesstimate that this story will have 14 chapters or parts to it.  When I look at that list, I would think about combing the first few major points in the story, so 1-6 look promising for the first chapter or the first two chapters.  I feel that grouping those main points help guide me as far as starting and setting up a chapter.  Sometimes I combine the ideas to make a chapters.  The different colors indicate how I would group the ideas as chapters.  Now, our 14 chapter book just condensed into a 5 chapter story.

Granted, you may decide you want to change something as you write and that's fine!  When I write, I know ideas morph or new ideas get implanted (by the spaghetti monster) randomly but that's all part of the process.

Now you have the main outline of your story ready to go!

Well...sort of.  We're missing a few elements that help make a story:     SETTING!

Okay, not quite the setting I or the readers had in mind but NOW YOU KNOW!

Now, you have to consider a few other elements in order to make this chapter complete.  Who is your audience, what genre are you writing, what age bracket, tone, language, etc.  I don't spend a whole lot of time vacillating on all these things but it's in the back of my mind as I'm writing and changes as I go along.

...Nope, but getting warmer!

Some people actually do this part first but for me, it depends.  It depends because I have all these ideas for a story - maybe a few pages into writing what this story is about - when an idea comes to mind that changes the whole theme, tone and genre and your story just morphs or deviates from the original concept.  The key thing to making sure your story isn't all over the place is to reevaluate your Story Ideas List you made preiously.

All those elements help you determine your setting.  If I'm writing for YA and it's set in a suburb, I'd make sure my characters are in their teens, talk and act appropriately for the age and genre as well as think about where they are living and going.  Like here:

Like here!  A mall.  A bit stereotypical but still some place you'll find teens.  Am I wrong..?
There are a lot of things to consider but you'll innately know what type of setting once you figure out your audience so just go with the flow.  If worse comes to worse, get have a friend or someone close - a family member or someone who you know will be brutally honest - that will read your writing and they'll tell you straight up, "I don't think a mermaid belongs in your urban spaghetti monster story."  Not only that, when you have an editor, they'll tell you what needs to be tossed out.

I hope this installment helps!

Feel free to ask questions if you have any and Good Luck!