van Gogh, Starry Night
Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Kandinsky, Improvisation 28
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Van Gogh was an expert at capturing turbulence. Daniel is a surfer, so he has an intimate connection with turbulence—he rides the ocean waves.

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Kandinsky was considered the father of abstraction, but I was most interested in his sensory experience—Kandinsky had synesthesia. The colors and composition of his paintings evoked for him certain sounds and music. I thought he was a fitting muse, as Daniel is a very sensual person.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
While Picasso was famous for his art, he was just as well-known for his tempestuous relationships with women. There is an animistic quality to his cubist paintings, which reminded me of Hawaiian naʻaumakua. Picasso was brilliant at depicting duality and distortion in his paintings, displaying a patchwork of human and animal, in personality, emotion, and overall experience. The reader will understand why Picasso was another fitting muse for Daniel.

Music played an important role in how some of the scenes came to be. Music also inspired the behaviors and personality traits of several characters. I might be driving, say, and hear a song on the radio that moves me, like an epiphany. During those times, I would pull over and take quick notes on my phone to flesh out later on. I've had many moments like this while driving in my car, and for this and many other reasons, I am grateful to music.

Here's a peek into the soul of Ugly Things We Hide. I hope you feel sparks on your fingertips, lips, and eyelashes. I hope you move to the primal drumbeat in your heart, and rise to meet the life force in your breath.


1.  Moon, Little People
2.  Breakers, Nearby
3.  #1 Crush, Garbage
4.  Malagueña, William Wilson
5.  Exhumed, Zola Jesus
6.  Street Spirit (Fade Out), Radiohead
7.  Machine Gun, Portishead
8.  I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You, Colin Hay