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Posts Tagged ‘Northern CA Publishers/Authors’

Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! won two awards last night at the

Northern CA Publishers/Authors 20th Annual Book Awards Competition dinner event. 

Best Children’s Book of 2013 and third prize in Cover & Design.

It was an honor to received the awards from President Ted Witt and NY  best selling author John

Lescroart.  

f with 2 awardsLescroart, me, Ted Witt

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NCPA ( Northern CA Publishers/Authors) Award

When a phone call comes late at night, it’s only natural to think of an emergency. On April 29th, the phone rang

while I was in Hawaii on a lecture/book tour and it was good news. See below:

I received the award from NCPA President Ted Witt yesterday here in Sacramento. What an honor to not only receive this award but

to be in the company of NCPA members who inspire and support writers and publishers in northern California.

This award was generously mentioned in Wayne Harada’s column in the Star*Advertiser of Hawaii:

                                           From Wayne Harada’s SHOW BIZ column on May 6, 2012


“Isle author Frances Kaku­gawa, now Sacramento-based but back for the Hawaii Book & Music Festival this weekend at the Civic Center grounds, had a successful reading of her latest, “Kapoho,” Tuesday night  at Volcanoes National Park. She also participated in a festival panel Saturday — buoyed by good news that “Kapoho” won the best nonfiction book laurels at the 2012 Northern California Publishers & Authors Award banquet a week ago. …

The award validates Kaku­gawa’s accomplishments as a lifetime teacher and poet, and duly recognizes what’s near and dear to her heart: her roots, and her compelling manner in weaving a story.She makes the personal universal, simultaneously enlightening and entertaining the reader. Originally from Kapoho’s volcanic turf, Kaku­gawa is a former Hono­lulu teacher-educator and knowledgeably speaks on care-giving and Alz­hei­mer’s.”

over-bragging and out…..

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A friend asked me once, “What will you do when you’re 88?” And this was my answer:

Becoming 88

I will have a love affair
That will leave me trembling
On a windless day.

I will drown in Puccini,
Mozart, Verdi,
Tidal waves roaring
Inside of me.

I will feel the brush strokes
Of Van Gogh,
Clawing, bleeding
My  inner flesh.

I will be Shakespeare
Vibrant on stage,
Rivers rushing, splashing
Over moss and stone.

I will become soft,
Sensuous, wet,
Against your skin,
Silk against steel.

When I am 88
I will still be woman.
Yes!

This past week, I heard stories from caregivers who took my poem beyond its art form into real life.

One caregiver told me, “My father died three years ago and my mother, who’s 88, has a boyfriend. On his 86th birthday, he bought a Porsche and they go riding a lot. She’s so happy and confided that they are connected in all aspects.” That must mean trembling leaves, right?

Another caregiver’s mother is in a nursing facility and believes one of the male residents is her husband so she holds his hand and is simply happy to be there with her husband. And they have become a twosome.

I hope to hear more beautiful stories from my readers.
As for me, I hope when I’m 88, someone will be out there so I can say, “Ah, I wrote about this once.”

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Learning Outside the Classroom

At our Northern California Writers’ Club meeting yesterday, a woman thanked me for getting her started on her book. “You told me to stop taking writing courses and to just write, so I am,” she said. That got me to thinking about some of my best teachers. They were not from classrooms.

I taught in Jackson, Michigan during my fourth year of teaching. I lived with my pen pal Kay and her family for a year. During the summer, I helped Kay can and freeze vegetables and fruits. We filled the basement shelves with jars of tomatoes, beans, corn, rhubarb, peaches and pickles I watched them disappear throughout the year. I took that back to Hawaii with me and canned fresh bamboo shoots from my mother’s bamboo grove, and ohelo berry jam from berries picked from the National Volcano Park.  Today I proudly line the basement shelves with canned pickles and jams and tomatoes from our garden here in Sacramento and I feel like the original pioneer woman. I wish I could make my own bacon by hanging strips of wild boar where the wolves can’t get them.

Growing up country with a pair of chopsticks as flatware, I learned all the social graces of dining right when I worked as a live-in maid during my college years. That was the best education I had  without attending finishing school. Today, I know where the soup spoon goes…

A first generation 86 year old  Japanese immigrant gave me  the lst thought of a person’s right to his or her body.
Uyeki-san taught me how to play the Japanese board game “Go.” He was known to be the best Go player in the village but I devised a way to always beat him. He’d say “Goddam, she beat me again.”  I never gave him my secret. Nice girl disappears during any competitive game.  During one of these games, he told me of his knee surgery and how he refused painkillers. “Me body, Me boss,” he told the nurses and simply refused to open his mouth.

I wonder who’s going to be my teacher tomorrow.

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