‘On the Trail: Wyoming Electrical Vehicle Adventures’ book now available

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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.

Beyond Heart Mountain speaking, documentary screening events

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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.

May 18 – Riverton and Dubois Libraries, documentary screenings at 7 p.m.

May 18 – Powell Library in Powell, Wyoming, at 7 p.m.

May 19 – Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, between Cody/Powell Wyoming at 6 p.m.

TBD – Sheridan Stationery, Books and Gallery, Sheridan, Wyoming, between 4 and 6 p.m.

June 3 to 5 – Wyoming Writers Inc. Conference, Sheridan, Wyoming – Book signing

June 22 – Lander Art Center Outdoor Movie, screening of Beyond Sand Creek TBD

June 25 – Thermopolis Book store – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

July 10 – Wyoming International Film Festival, Cheyenne, Wyoming – 2 p.m.

July 13 – Boulder Bookstore, Boulder, Colorado – 6:30 p.m.

July 19 – Laramie County Library, Cheyenne, Wyoming – 7 p.m.

August 8 – Lander Pioneer Museum, Lander, Wyoming TBD

August 9 – Sidekicks Book Bar, Rock Springs, Wyoming – 7 p.m.

August 10 – Centennial Library, Centennial, Wyoming – 7 p.m.

Unique NFT versions of ‘Nishigawa Neighborhood on opensea.io

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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 are available from the author.

Click the image: Nishigawa Neighborhood LTD one of one unlockable MP4 NFT
Click the image: Nishigawa Neighborhood LTD one of one unlockable digital book NFT

KDP layouts got you stressed out?

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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.

I’m an analog writer and dealing with the technology of authorship can be frustrating.

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.

Pick out the size of book you want to publish. The instructions I’m providing are for 6″x9″

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.”


Pull down “Page Setup” and open it.

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.

Pick Other, then type in the desired dimensions from the KDP page size list. For a 6×9 book, I use 6.11×9.25. Also orient your page to be vertical at 100 percent scale then hit OK.

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.

Select “Margins” 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.

Deciding on your margins is hit and miss. If there’s any part of this that can be frustrating it will be your margins. I suggest you jot down the margin combinations you’ve tried, rather than trying to remember them. As for multiple pages, mirror the margins. This allows for the gutters to match up with the facing pages.

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.

Select your header and footer. I wouldn’t mess around with the line numbers – that’s for legal documents and legislative drafts. Borders are just aesthetics, but likely unnecessary for book publishing.

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’ memoir – documentary now available

“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.

A chimney still remains at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp in Northwest Wyoming between Cody and Powell. Click on the photo to rent or purchase the movie.

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.

Young Carol Lou Kishiyama and her family owned the California Fish Market in downtown Cheyenne.

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.

Buy ‘True Stories of an Aging Do-Gooder: How cohousing can bridge cultural divides’

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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.

Buy a signed copy direct from the publisher Boulder Community Media.

The Kindle ebook and paperback are available for purchase on Amazon.

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.

‘True Stories of a Mediocre Writer … and Accidental Author’ now on sale!

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All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” is what Ernest Hemingway says about the essence of good storytelling.

This book is for anyone who is a writer of organized words whether they are fiction, nonfiction, poetry, work memos, grant applications, academic papers, or love letters.

Kindle ebook and soft cover editions of True Stories of a Mediocre Writer are now available on Amazon.

If you want an autographed copy of the book, cut out Amazon and buy directly from me.

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.