Hurray! No pictures agian, kala mai, but just to let you know that last night, Friday, a book I edited (and, believe me, the one-word title editor doesn’t cover it; cat herdeer would be much more accurate), won the cookbook diviion of the Hawaii Publishers Association awards. I was beyond elated for the team who put this book, “A Sweet Dash of Aloha,” together. It was about healthful, lowfat, low-sugar desserts and snacks and the chefs had to work within exacting nutritional guidelines. I never though it would win bu because of other commitments, I was asked to go and represent the effort. A good time. Saw a lot of people in the shrinking publishing industry that I haven’t seen for years. So sweet. And then we won! I was 6 feet off the ground all night!
But the best, best part for me was seeing a nonfiction book, a very important and well written book about the seamy side of life on our island’s Windward Side, win nonfiction. I had never met the author, though we had corresponded and talked on the phone (he’s based in Hilo), but, by circumstance, I met him and he sat next to me. When his category came up, I held on to his arm and I prayed. Hard. And he won! Oh, thanks be, I was more excited than when our team won. A cookbook, though a lot of work, is just a minor piece of craftsmanship and reporting. But an investigative nonfiction work? I am in awe of people that can do that. And Mark Panek, with “Big Happiness,” did it. We had much “big happiness” together.
Some days, life is a struggle. Some, rare days, it is heavenly joy. Last night was heavenly joy. I cannot properly say how meaningful the work is of all these authors, most of whom gave their lives over to their work for, at best, inadequate remuneration. That our tiny state recognizes our gigantic culture, with these works is a blessing of huge proportions.
Happy, happy. Joy, joy.
If you care about Hawaii, go buy “Big Happiness.” It’s on Amazon. You will receive big thinking.