In May of 2017, traveling home to Hawaii to scatter my father’s ashes, I flew out a week early, checking into a studio steps from Kailua Beach for a solo writer’s retreat. I needed to structure my last two chapters, and if this book has been a cabling of fifteen personalities, then the pattern of our stories grew finely braided towards the conclusion. I needed a knot, a bead that was both a summing-up and a jumping-off. I needed time to think.
I also needed a fresh stack of sticky notes.
Several years ago, to motivate myself during NaNoWriMo— an online writing challenge that takes place every November— I began posting a photo of a cat every time I found more than a half-hour to work on this project. Since I couldn’t pack Tiki and Boo, and since I would be doing more thinking than writing, I’d have different photographic subjects. Here are my sabbatical posts, which, now in retrospect, offer a visual peek into my creative process, weaving order from chaos.