Saturday, May 31, 2014


This collection has been a journey, and not always an easy one.  Delayed painfully and repeatedly by "life happening" it is now ready to release in the coming weeks.  How fitting that my very first book trailer should be associated with this particular journey.

I'm sure I'll look back in a few years at this first produced trailer and cringe a bit, but right now it is the first and I am incredibly proud of it (and grateful to Shandon Loring for his assistance).

Belief is essential to life.  If there is a through-line to most of my work, it is the essential need for all of us to believe in something beyond ourselves.  It does not matter what.  Simply believe.  By believing in something beyond yourself, you learn to better understand your world: to believe in yourself.

Belief is woven into all three stories in Miracles: A Trio of Island Tales.  These stories are fictionalizations of family stories shared by my collaborator, Ilaisaane Filikitonga Tome.  She is a native born Tongan and devout Christian. The power of her stories is moving and undeniable.  You may or may not share her belief system, and that does not really matter.  It is hard to hear her stories and not recognize the essential power of them.

Meet King Tupou I of Tonga.  He was the first in a line of Tongan Kings that has remained unbroken to the present day - through nine generations!  He is  part of Miracles: A Trio of Island Tales.

During his near century-long life he transformed Tonga from a collection of bickering, war lords to a unified Kingdom.  He is the King Arthur of the South Pacific.  He was smart, ambitious, and he saw that the only way to combat foreign colonialism in the 19th Century was with one Tonga, under one ruler.  He knew that otherwise, the atoll and the people would be picked apart by outside interests.

King Tupou I of Tonga outside his Palace
In the 1830's he was baptized as a Christian, and he used his faith and beliefs as a tool in building the sovereign kingdom of Tonga.  He was a formidable man, and one of the few Polynesian rulers that was dealt with as an equal by other world leaders.  The Tonga he passed on at his death in 1893 was radically different from the one he was born into. Not only did he build a sovereign nation and develop a constitution, but he made serfdom illegal, secured the land of Tonga for Tongans forever by making it illegal for anyone other than native Tongans to own land, and he built a Christian Church that took its roots from the Wesleyan Church, but was essentially Tongan.

Learn more about this remarkable man and the paradise he dreamed of in Miracles: A Trio of Island Tales.

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