Friday, June 21, 2024

Contributing for the Benefit of All: "Saving Hambone's Bacon"


Recently I read an enjoyable children-of-all-ages' book, Saving Hambone's Bacon. The book, written by fellow author and Hawaii resident, Julia Pace, highlights a theme that focuses on working together.

This theme reminded me of a demonstration given by a late-night talk show host who changed a flat bicycle tire on stage, a relatively unremarkable event until he stated that what he learned at age 13 - how to change a flat tire - was of use today. He then asked his virtual audience, "What did you learn in your youth that is useful to you today?"

The question requires a bit of thought and could easily lead a person down multiple rabbit holes while thinking back to one's younger days. Where it led me was to thoughts of my eighth-grade cheerleading squad. As a student in a newly constructed school with a small class of about 21 girls and boys, the teacher insisted that the cheering squad must include every girl in the class participating as a cheerleader for sports events - meaning: all or nothing. The lesson I learned then, that is useful today, is that everyone counts equally.

This is a lesson Julia Pace illustrates in her book, with humor and entertaining animal characters.   

*****

My book review
of
Saving Hambone's Bacon

Young children are sure to enjoy reading this book and meeting the colorful farm animals, each having their own special magic to contribute for the benefit of all. Imagining the giggles this story will inspire was the most fun of all. The lesson about the importance of everyone is an added bonus - for young and old alike.


Saving Hambone's Bacon by Julia H. Pace
Available on Amazon.com
*****

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

HAWAII FICTION WRITERS: Meet, Greet, Join

HAWAII FICTION WRITERS is a writers' group whose members meet on the first Saturday of every month at the Aina Haina Library on the island of O'ahu. Members on outer islands; in Texas or other states of the USA; England or other continents; correspond and receive updates via electronic means. HFW members are always eager to meet other writers and hear about their journeys as authors.

We also meet as a critique group on the third Saturday of the month. While HFW is an informal group, its cohesiveness is maintained via our fearless meeting coordinator, author Michael Little. Michael's novels, Queen of the Rodeo and Chasing Cowboys, are both heartwarming, light romantic comedies complete with wild horses, bulls, and even a horned toad.

  

Heading into the summer of 2024, Michael is compiling an anthology of short stories focused on a library theme, with authors choosing varied locations, plots, and genres for the stories they contribute to the collection. More information will be available soon on the project's participants and stories.

Michael also spear-headed and published another anthology around the time of Covid, when any accomplishment was considered well-done. With the publication of this particular, rather "quirky" anthology, Kissing Frogs and Other Quirky Tales, he pulled off quite a successful feat with proceeds earmarked for donation to a local library.

 

A collection of 26 new variations on familiar fairy tales, fractured for your entertainment.

Enjoy a quirky take on familiar fairy tales: Goldilocks; Snow White; The Frog Prince; Hansel and Gretel; Jack and the Beanstalk; Little Red Riding Hood; Hansel and Gretel; Pinocchio, and the Brothers Grimm. 

Kissing Frogs and Other Quirky Fairy Tales is available in print at Amazon.com


Friday, October 13, 2023

Book Review: Lights on the Sea by Miquel Reina

Have you ever enjoyed a book enough to read it again? Although I don't often revisit a novel, after first reading Lights on the Sea, I knew this was a book I would read again. A recent second reading allowed me to more fully appreciate the struggles of both main characters as they slowly dealt with their tragic past.

Review of Lights on the Sea by Miquel Reina


The house of Mr. and Mrs. Grapes, which overlooks a vast ocean, lays precariously close to the edge of Death’s Cliff. Due to extensive erosion of the cliff’s porous volcanic rock, Harold and Mary Rose Grapes are being forced to move from the home where they continue to mourn the loss of their son thirty-five years ago. The night before the move, a fierce storm sends the house and its two sleeping occupants down the cliff and sailing off into the ocean.
 

To even begin the healing process of thirty-five years of stagnation and regret requires a violent uprooting. As Harold and Mary Rose drift at the mercy of the ocean tides, the many death-threatening struggles they encounter slowly bring awareness to the futility of blame and lack of forgiveness. 

Some suspension of disbelief was required to immerse myself in their physical journey. Their emotional journey, however, was immediately all too real. Allegorical in nature, the author’s tale explores the consequences of placing blame and refusing to move forward after tragedy strikes. 

Lights on the Sea is a translation of Miquel Reina’s Spanish edition Lucus en el Mar.

*****