I’ve been involved with community journalism since 1968 when I wrote for my junior school paper, the "Tumbleweed," through high school and college and then wrote for the "Wyoming State Journal." I put aside my newspaper pen and began Boulder Community Media in 2005. There wasn’t much community journalism opportunity, so I resurrected my writing career as a screenwriter. My first short screenplay, “Stardust”, won an award in the 2005 Denver Screenwriting Center contest. I've made a number of movies over the years. Filmmaking is time-consuming, labor and equipment intensive. I recently changed my workflow to first write a book and make a movie based on that content.
- Electric Vehicle Anxiety and Advice - This is a memoir travelogue of three trips covering 2,600 EV miles around Wyoming (2022)
- Beyond Heart Mountain - Winter Goose Publishers released my memoir in February (2022)
- The Zen of Writing with Confidence and Imperfection - This is a book recounting how luck planed into my signing a book deal after a 15-minute pitch meeting. (2020)
- True Stories of an Aging Baby Boomer - War stories about living in a cohousing and lessons others can learn when starting their communities (2021)
- Beyond Sand Creek - About Arapaho tribal efforts to repatriate land in Colorado (PBS - TBA)
- Beyond Heart Mountain - Based on my memoir about my childhood in Cheyenne facing overt and subtle racism toward the Japanese following World War II (PBS - 2021)
- New Deal Artist Public Art Legacy - About artists who created work in Wyoming during the Great Depression (PBS - 2018)
- Mahjong and the West - SAG indie feature which premiered at the semi-important Woodstock Film Festival (2014)
Over the years, I’ve produced directed, filmed and/or edited several short movies, “Running Horses” (Runner Up – Wyoming Short Film Contest), “On the Trail: Jack Kerouac in Cheyenne” (Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, Top 10 Wyoming Short Film Contest), “Gold Digger” (Boulder Asian Film Festival), “Adobo” (Boulder International Film Festival), “A Little Bit of Discipline” (Rosebud Film Series), and two feature length documentaries “Your Neighbor’s Child” (Wyoming PBS and Rocky Mountain PBS), and “Serotonin Rising” (American Film Market, Vail Film Festival). He also directed and produced the award winning stage play “Webster Street Blues” by my childhood friend Warren Kubota.
Boulder Community Media is a non-profit production company dedicated to democratzing media in all their forms - large and small screens, printed page and stage by providing sustainable and community-based content.
I mostly work with community-based media producers, organizations, and socially-responsible businesses to develop their content via – the written word, electronic and new media, the visual and performing arts in a culturally competent manner – I’m what’s commonly called a niche TV and movie producer.
Along with all this is plying my forte’ – fund development through grant writing, sponsorship nurturing and event planning.
I wrote a new book that was just released by Boulder Community Media entitled, On the Trail: Wyoming Electric Vehicle Adventures. It was written in real-time between May 16th to July 2nd on three road trips totaling 2,600 miles around the vast sparseness of Wyoming.
Here’s the third person blurb from the back cover:
On the Trail is a memoir recounting author and risk-taker Alan O’Hashi’s reflections on his experiences with the automobile over the years and how his life evolved along with those vehicle choices. Now in his twilight years, he trekked 2,600 miles around Wyoming in a 2021 Nissan Leaf SV Plus electric vehicle (EV) 62 kWh at a time (that’s the battery size).
If you’re curious about EVs, he explains some about the different kinds of vehicles in the marketplace, but more about how to overcome “range anxiety” when there is no charging station nearby and the battery is about empty. He explains, in lay terms, about charging station subtleties, general details about battery efficiency, and the pitfalls drivers may encounter on short trips around town and longer drives over, say, 100 miles, including confusion around the three levels of charging stations and different types of plugs.
Alan was not the first driver to embark on a long-haul EV road trip but was a pioneer in navigating the road in the sparsest state in the Lower 48, having to figure out how to keep moving forward despite numerous setbacks including snow and 30-degrees.
His sojourns weren’t as arduous and rustic as they would have been in a covered wagon or a handcart but navigated gravel roads and isolated ribbons of highways in search of 50-amp power at campgrounds, motels, and businesses with external electrical outlets.
Joining the EV movement meant a big lifestyle change, mostly around slowing down
the pace of his life. “Maybe there’d be less road rage if traffic moved slower and drivers put less pressure on themselves to get from place to place,” he said. “I’ve been reimaging ‘Superman’s American Way” and changing my material consumption habits.”
The cover photo is of Alan’s Leaf charging at the Indian Campground in Buffalo,
Wyoming. He found that campgrounds consistently offer 50-amp power in the hook-up pedestals. Plan to stay someplace overnight and wake up with a full charge.
May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Beyond Heart Mountain author and filmmaker Alan O’Hashi will be on the road showing his documentary and speaking about his memoir. The program is entitled, Civility, Culture, Community, All times Mountain Daylight Time. To schedule an event, please send us an email.
Two one-of-a-kind versions of the “Nishigawa Neighborhood” coffee table book is now available as NFTs on the opensea.io blockchain. If you want a true collectible, one or both of these have premium value because they are unique with colorized covers.
Both include unlockable assets that can be downloaded by the successful buyer. Both NFTs are watermarked with March 17, 2022, the publication date. The first is a one-of-a-kind digital version. The second is an MP4 movie of the 84 pages tracked by original music compiled by author Alan O’Hashi. If you want an autographed copy of the hardcover book, they areavailable from the author.
Buy Beyond Heart Mountain memoirpublished by Winter Goose Publishing. It is available as a printed book and ebook. Signed copies can be purchased from the author. The book was released February 27th. That week coincided with the 80th anniversary of President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 that sent 120,000 Japanese to 10 war relocation camps, that included Heart Mountain in northwest Wyoming.
Boulder Community Media (BCM) produced a documentary that aired on PBS that aired in December 2021. The Nishigawa Neighborhood is a coffee table book that will soon be released.
During World War II, Cheyenne native Alan O’Hashi’s family avoided life in internment camps such as Heart Mountain.
As a Baby Boomer, Alan documents the overt and quiet racism pervasive in Wyoming and throughout the United States during and following World War II. He relates his experiences to current violence towards Asians and the issue of civility within society.
The backdrop to Alan’s account is the history of the once vibrant Japanese community in the 400 and 500 blocks of West 17th Street in the downtown area of my hometown, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
“My grandmother and grandfather Ohashi and their large family lived in worked in that neighborhood where I spent quite a bit of time between elementary and high school. Having been away from Cheyenne for many years, I stashed those two blocks in the back of my mind until I learned that two classmates of mine were planning to build a housing development at 509 W. 17th St. The biggest obstacle was obtaining permission to tear down an old building. It was the last structure in the Japanese neighborhood. It was the site of a rooming house operated by Mrs. Yoshio Shuto.”
Buy the Beyond Heart Mountain DVD is mainly about the West 17th Street Japanese community history and a general overview of Executive Order 9066 that President Franklin Roosevelt signed that relocated 120,000 Japanese into 10 internment camps, including Heart Mountain in northwest Wyoming.
I interviewed four childhood friends for the documentary. Robert Walters formerly worked at the City Cafe. He still lives in Cheyenne, where he practices law.
Terie Miyamoto and her family-owned Baker’s Bar. It was the only racially-integrated bar in Cheyenne at the time. She now lives in the Denver Metro area.
Brian Matsuyama now lives in Seattle, Washington. He resided in Cheyenne during his childhood. His family owned the California Fish Market. Carol Lou Kishiyama-Hough is in Cheyenne. She and her family purchased the Fish Market from the Matsuyamas.
Mrs. Shuto’s tenants were mainly Japanese residents who made their way to Cheyenne. She later opened the City Cafe across the street which became a gathering place for the Japanese in town.
My grandmother was a cook at the City Cafe. Next door, my grandfather was the third owner of a pool hall.
Whenever we went out to eat, the restaurant of choice was the City Cafe. It was a gathering place for the Japanese in Cheyenne. My friends enlisted me to do a cultural and historical survey of the Japanese residents who lived and worked there from the 1920s through the 1970s.
I read on many of the facebook groups about the frustrations self-publishing authors experience when they try to upload their manuscripts to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Brain damage and frustration are the prices you pay to self-publish all by yourself without signing up for a “pay to play” publishing house or hiring consultants to help you.
Self-publishing means we do it ourselves. I also have a publisher that takes all the brain damage out of all this.
Making my own books gave me an appreciation for what established publishers do on behalf of writers. I can attest that they earn every penny they squeeze out of each book sale.
The issue I’ll address here is how to layout your manuscript for a hard copy book. I’ve published three books on KDP.
The first one had me pulling my hair out, but once I settled on a format, the others were simple, since I followed a template I made for myself with the first book.
Here are some simple steps I followed using Microsoft Word (Word). The first step is to decide what size book you want to publish. I chose 6″x9″ from the list that KDP supports. After you’ve opened up Word, pull down “File” and open up “Page Setup.”
This will bring you to the “Page Attributes” tab where you can set up the page size. After you’ve opened “Paper Size” choose “Other” and type the size. In this case, for 6″x9″ I chose 6.11X9.25.
After you’ve chosen your page size, open up the drop down the “Page Attribute” box and choose “Microsoft Word.” That reveals a tab and select “Margins” and then OK.
A new window will open that allows you to select your margins. This is where you can get frustrated, because the margin sizes can be adjusted to meet what you think is visually pleasing. This may take you three or four uploads to KDP to see what they will look like. KDP allows you to change your formatting and layouts. If you walk away, remember to save your project as a draft so you can come back to it without having to do an edit of your “sent” project. I did that after I had second thoughts about the layout. For projects that you “submit” and you want to edit, it takes a few days for KDP to process the data and make it “live.” My advise is to be patient and not be in a rush. KDP allows you to sell your “coming soon” book. I settled on these setting, and you can try them. What you pick can vary depending on font and type size. After you hit OK, your manuscript will change. Take a look at it, if you like the balance, upload it to KDP as a draft. Why this is frustrating is because once your manuscript is uploaded, KDP will make its own version, which will be slightly different than what your Word document looks like. Be patient and take your time.
After you’ve set your margins, open up the “Layout” tab at the top of the box. I use half inch headers and footers. Again, you can mess around with the settings, but if you have page numbers, you’ll want adequate space so that they fit relatively centered in the header or footer – not to high, and particularly not too low to the page edge.
That’s it for a KDP self-published books. I can’t over emphasize the need for you to be patient with the trial and error you’ll likely experience.
When it comes to the KDP e-book version. You’ll keep your manuscript “one-up” with a single sheet. The frustrating part is with table of contents. I would leave that out of the e-book because the pages float around and change. Also the Word table of contents tool doesn’t change as the pages change and it gets all messed up.
The e-book title pages and other stuff at the beginning like Dedications may get scrunched together, so be prepared not to have separate pages for the introductory information.
I use a website called Online-Convert to make e-books other than for KDP. It does a pretty good job of converting my Word files, including adding a front cover. Again, nothing is 100 percent. You’ll have to mess around with pages and formatting.
“Beyond Heart Mountain” is a documentary memoir by Alan O’Hashi based on the book of the same title. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center was one of 10 camps established after President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The memoir-documentary is available for rent or streaming for a small donation.
The U.S. government rounded up 120,000 Japanese, mostly on the west coast. After they were sorted out at 15 assembly centers, trainloads of evacuees were transported by train as far east as Arkansas.
Japanese American Baby Boomer, filmmaker and author Alan O’Hashi relates his personal experiences. He reclaims his heritage after once being part of a culturally thriving community.
The businesses and residents vanished following World War II because of racial injustice out in the middle of nowhere in his hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming
The story is told through the eyes of filmmaker and author Alan O’Hashi. He interviewed four of his contemporaries who had ties to the once-vibrant Japanese community in West Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Robert Walters worked at the City Cafe, the neighborhood anchor.
Brian Matsuyama’s family owned the California Fish Market before selling it to Carol Lou Kishiyama and her family.
Terie Miyamoto’s family owned the only racially-integrated bar in the Japanese community, Baker’s Place.
My grandmother worked as a cook at the City Cafe and my grandfather owned the pool hall next to the City Cafe.
Watch for the book version that will be published by Winter Goose Publishing.
I’ve lived a life of divergent experiences that converged when I joined the Silver Sage Village (SSV) senior cohousing community in Boulder, Colorado. My story about how to play well with others is a somewhat organized stream of consciousness.
True Stories provides “nuts-and-bolts” methods about how your community can use cultural competence techniques that better encourage members to understand one another.
After arguing about whether pets are allowed in the Common House, what if cohousers organized themselves and decided to collectively undertake a mission to save the world?
True Stories explores why I believe cohousing can evolve from a “social movement” into being a “social norm.”
I’ll offer a paradigm shift about how cohousing can bridge socio-economic divides.
The stories are about relations between and among individual people and the personal changes necessary to find commonality with strangers, all with different experiences and lifestyles.
In case you’ve just returned after a year in outer space, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that began in late 2019 circled the globe.
Like everyone else, I’ve had quite a bit of extra time on my hands. I have no idea how my day was occupied before self-isolation.
COVID-19 brought to light glaring cultural inequities. The pandemic closed down the economy, and people lost their jobs.
That exposed the lack of lower-priced housing options when people lost their homes or kicked out of their rental apartments.
If homeowners default on their loans at the same time, as happened in 2009, the market will be flooded with pricey houses that nobody can afford to purchase, except the bottom-feeders.
Racial justice issues quickly floated to the top of the social change pond.
African American and Latino people are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19, hospitalization, and death than the general population.
One nexus of lower-priced housing and racial justice is rental and owner-occupied cohousing that pool resources.
Residents share the financial risks and collaboratively operate and maintain their communities.
The story is written from my viewpoint as a cohousing community member, as opposed to a cohousing professional or a cohousing professional who lives in a community.
SSV is one of 170 existing cohousing communities in the United States.
If cohousing is such a great idea, why aren’t there thousands of communities popping up in all corners of the country?
After all, if there are 30,000 people residing in existing an existing cohousing community or in the community formation phase.
The book is part memoir and part “how-to” manual about my experiences that seemed unrelated at the time but added to my life gestalt, which eventually led me to believe cohousing can make social change happen by bridging cultural divides.
The only person I have any control over is myself. For me, personal change happens when keeping the amount of time between the past and the present as small as possible.
My experiences aren’t that remarkable, but the intent is to encourage you to remember what happened in your personal history as you figure out the opportunities and challenges you’ll face when choosing to care and share in a cohousing community.
Read this book if you’re a professional writer, a novelist just starting out, or a screenwriter with a half-done script lost deep in the bowels of a computer hard drive.
Are you a writer or do you know a writer who wonders how to get over self-doubt, kick your obsession with perfection, and for whatever reasons, can’t quite finish your writing project?
Being a writer isn’t just about getting your words down on the page. Writing is a life metaphor. How do you get more focused? Why be organized? Is finishing that important?
This book will provide insight, and a few tips through the experiences of the author about becoming more confident in your ability balancing perfection and accuracy that results in a higher likelihood of finishing your work.
Alan O’Hashi’s memoir about how lessons from life were big influences that resulted in his first book pitch based on a typed up piece of paper in June, resulted in an 80,000 word manuscript and publishing contract five months later.
Author Alan O’Hashi has been writing since he was 12 years old as a reporter for the Carey Junior High School newspaper, “The Tumbleweed” published in his hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The Wind River VR Pilot Project introduced virtual reality as a new medium to tell traditional Northern Arapaho stories in a more relevant way to tribal youth.
BCM collaborated with Makerspace 307 in Fort Washakie, Wyoming who recruited four tribal youth to participate.
VR trainer, Glenn Reese, worked with the students in basic camera operation.
Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martines talks about tribal tradition.
Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martinez discussed with the students the importance of passing tribal traditions to future generations.
Robert worked with the youth as they drew pictures illustrating an Arapaho folk tale, “The Fox and the Wood Tick,” as told by tribal elder Merle Haas.
Alison Sage is a singer member of the Northern Arapaho Eagle Society. He explained how tribal stories and experiences are preserved through song and drumming and worked with the students with expressing themselves through music.
The Wyoming Arts Council funded Phase I
The crew then traveled to the nearby Arapaho Ranch to integrate flat art and original music with virtual reality.
A virtual reality camera was set up and students displayed their art work. An original music soundtrack was improvised on the grand piano in the ranch house.
Arapaho elder Gary Collins, BCM VR trainer Glenn Reese and Alan O’Hashi pose with Arapaho storyteller Merle Haas.
Merle Haas read The Fox and the Wood Tick in the Arapaho language. The virtual reality footage of the students with their art work was set to the Arapaho language narration and the student-composed music.
Over time, classrooms will be moving away from “learning” a subject to “feeling” the content through immersion.
To this end, the BVR Phase III project is underway. A third small grant was received from the city of Boulder Arts Commission.
A marker designates the Fort Chambers site.
That project adds virtual reality to telling the story of a Fort Chambers, which was constructed on the outskirts of Boulder.
The sod fort no longer stands, but was the training facility for the 3rd Volunteer Cavalry who killed Arapaho and Cheyenne tribal members at the infamous Sand Creek Massacre.
The BAC funded the Phase III Fort Chambers VR project.
Students will be creating a virtual Fort Chambers that the viewer and walk through, to the narration of Arapaho tribal members who recount the stories told of the massacre by their ancestors.
The BVR is an engagement tool that in Phase III will teach students the use of a software called Tilt Brush and a program called Unity which will allow a student to explore, experience or be involved as if they are actually present in that environment or place.
A Boulder, CO shaker and mover named David Nichols in 1864 recruited 100 local volunteer militiamen to train at Fort Chambers located just east of town to kill Indians at Sand Creek.
Flash forward to 2018 when the city of Boulder government purchased the fort location as open space and a group of citizens called Right Relationship Boulder (RRB) is working to repatriate that land, in some form, back to the Arapaho people.
This is a story about a chapter in Boulder’s cultural history told from the perspectives of the Arapaho people. Arapaho cultural traditions are oral ones.
Documenting Arapaho voices preserves tribal members’ Sand Creek Massacre experiences that have been orally passed down from generation-to-generation.
RRB is a group of Native and non-Native Boulder-area residents who work with local governments and organizations to help all residents learn about the Native peoples who lived here historically, and who live here today.
RRB is also the lead organizer of Boulder Indigenous People’s Day that happens in October.
The city of Boulder purchased the Chambers property east of Boulder.
The Chambers property includes a home and pasture land along Boulder Creek at Valmont and 61st east of town.
Stay tuned, for project updates. BCM is also seeking contributions of any amount towards the project to match the Boulder Arts Commission grant.
Contributors will be included in the movie credits.