Marina woman finds inspiration in martial arts.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sonya Haramis is at peace. Not in the Buddhist sense, or the feeling one gets after a massage, but in her own way – a peace achieved through a commitment to advanced martial arts, and realized in a novel that won a national award last month.
, the Marina resident’s second book, incorporates mythological creatures and far-flung travels into an adventure where the protagonist blends reality with her fantasies of Greek mythology and history.
The story won a National Best Book Award from USABookNews.com in the category of mythology/folklore in November and was a finalist in visionary fiction.
“[The protagonist] is an archetype for people who need to accept their destiny,” says the Greek-American Haramis, who is working on the screenplay. “The story is a journey in discovering one’s self.”
She adds that the themes of accepting one’s fate and living in the present are key concepts practiced in aikido. Haramis would know: she’s a first-degree Shodan black belt at Aikido of Monterey, and has studied karate, jujitsu and tai chi for around 20 years.
“Aikido isn’t a religion, but it is very spiritual,” says Haramis. “People from all walks of life practice it to become more self-empowering. My hope with the book is that anyone can relate with the characters, just as anyone can feel like a hero when they practice aikido.”
She adds that aikido, or what Haramis calls “zen in motion,” helps her overcome limitations in personal strength, on and off the mat.
“It is a beautiful connection with one’s inner self,” she says. “I have had many challenges, both in publishing my book and in my life, and aikido helps me center myself in the present to overcome those problems.”
“There are no limits in life,” she adds. “I don’t really see an end point to my practice – of writing or aikido,” Haramis says. “It gives me a new way to look at life.”