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With busy people it’s all about the when. When you’ll finally read that book gathering dust on the nightstand, when you’ll finally make time to have that conversation, exercise, clean the closet.
I think we all feel the pressure of time’s cold, clammy hand pressed against our necks.
Until we don’t.
We don’t talk about having too much time on our hands. It sounds ungrateful, wasteful, just think of all the starving kids in Africa bad.
The truth is time is like chocolate—too much and you fall into a diabetic coma. Too little and you’d give an arm and a leg for the rest a coma would bring.
Surrounded on all sides by wind, cold weather, and the geriatric crowd, time becomes glue, trapping my mind and spirit as I nurse a $2.50 can of warm Diet Coke and try to ignore the carafe of goldfish crackers the waiter placed next to me.
Baseball hat and sunscreen on, I sit in the cruise ship’s piano bar waiting for the sun to return, wondering if I can talk anyone into a card game. I surreptitiously fiddle with my watch, counting the hours until the next meal and hoping my too comfy tee-shirt and capris will pass in the smart-casual roulette wheel of the cruise ship’s dinner dress code.
Probably not, but attitude is everything, particularly with maître d’s.
I wish I could take these hours and save them for days when I need more than 24, spreading the time wealth glut, storing them like the fine dark chocolate bar I have hidden in the back of the pantry. On rough days I break a tiny piece off and savor it. Think of it: the ability to sneak a fifteen minute reading break in between laundry, cooking dinner, or running an errand or even an hour’s nap in the sun after a too-late night spent holding a hand in the dark.
But time waits for no one and all I can do is try to store the memory of idleness, of sitting at a table with nothing to do but sip and scribble and wait for the sun.
It’s not surprising that the latest census figures show that there are far more Hawaiians living outside of Hawai‘i than in it. Pepper Bibeau, the central figure in For Every Action There are Consequences by Gail M. Baugniet, fits into the pattern of islanders leaving for economically greener pastures, but trying to keep a bit of aloha in their lives.
After serving as a nurse in Vietnam, Pepper finds herself investigating insurance claims in 1968 Chicago, a time of racial unrest and social change. Along with unraveling the truth about medical claims and insurance fraud Pepper has to solve the murder of a friend killed while wearing Pepper’s coat. Wondering if the murder was mistaken identity, Pepper’s investigation leads her to explore things as diverse as sickle-cell anemia and drug trafficking.
Readers of crime fiction and mystery will feel at home here. It’s fast paced and easy to read, full of small details that pin it to the late 1960s. Descriptions of social norms and Pepper’s feelings about her Hawaiian identity being lumped into other ethnic groups was spot on. As late as the 1980s my sister’s modeling agency in Utah had her listed as ‘light black’ because ‘Hawaiian’ wasn’t on their radar no matter how often she corrected them. Pepper’s experiences in Chicago remind us of how far we’ve come.
What intrigued me most were the interactions Pepper had with her Hawai‘i ‘ohana. The Pidgin dialogue is used sparingly and to good effect. I really want to know more about Pepper’s son and the family raising him in Hawai’i!
Good thing book two in the series, Deadly as Nature, Envy Spawns Grief, is now available. I won’t have long to wait.
For Every Action There are Consequences and Deadly as Nature, Envy Spawns Grief, the first two books in the Pepper Bibeau Mystery series by Gail M. Baugniet, are self-published and available as paperbacks and eBooks on Amazon.
Connect with Gail M. Baugniet
Today’s post is an interview with Jenniffer Wardell, author of Fairy Godmother’s, Inc., published by Jolly Fish Press just last week. I caught up with Jenniffer as she shared her thoughts on her wonderful world of fairy tales with a twist.
To an outsider, having a career as a fairy godmother sounds pretty sweet. But poor Kate shows us it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. What sparked the initial idea for Kate’s situation?
Kate sort of fell into her job. Certain companies are always looking for a hard worker who has her own set of highly atmospheric fairy wings, and Fairy Godmothers, Inc. was the one that didn’t require being obsessed with flowers or regularly mobbed by small children. Also, she likes helping people through stressful situations, and nothing is more stressful than a fancy dress ball.
I love reading your Facebook and Twitter posts about Fairy Godmother rules. Have you written an actual rule book or do these posts simply percolate through your brain and end up on social media?
I get them one rule at a time, which means that my numbering system is a complete and total mess. If I ever do organize them into a complete book, I’ll have to re-file everything and put them into the appropriate sub-categories. While I’m vaguely terrified by the idea, my inner geek would love it.
Your day job is reporting for the Davis Clipper. Do you approach writing fiction differently than reporting? If so, how do you switch mental hats?
The basic idea is surprisingly similar. Whether I’m writing an article or a novel, my main job is to watch what’s going on and translate it in such a way that my readers will know everything I do. Sometimes I’m watching city council meetings, and sometimes I’m watching fancy dress balls. Either way, “Show, don’t tell” are important words to live by.
Unfortunately, newspaper articles rarely give you the chance to be funny. Luckily, I have my novels for that.
I know you’ve written short fiction in the same world as Fairy Godmothers, Inc. Do you have plans for other works?
My novel set to come out in 2014, Beast Charming, is also set in the same world as Fairy Godmothers, Inc. I’m currently at work on a third novel in the same world (I’m having some fun with Sleeping Beauty this time), and have some ideas for a Fairy Godmothers, Inc. sequel.
Jenniffer Wardell is the arts, entertainment and lifestyle reporter for the Davis Clipper. She’s the winner of several awards from the Utah Press Association and the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(con-FUN-it) Exclamation of frustration. Literally confound it.
“Double-confunit with kūkae on the side,” he said. ~Uncle Kahana
Note: ‘Ōlelo is a Hawaiian word meaning language, speech, word, etc. To see the current list of words, definitions, and usage please click on ‘Ōlelo Archive.
When books are no longer consumed like popcorn or potato chips, when time to read becomes like water in the desert, discrimination seeps in. If I’m gonna spend a couple of hours reading poolside on a family reunion vacation cruise to Mexico, I want to make sure what I’m reading is a fine Belgium chocolate, not a waxy Palmer’s coin.
At my fingertips I have literally a thousand eBooks, but like a true connoisseur, it’s paper that I crave, so in my cover-up and slippahs I head down to the ship’s library. As I wander along the recessed bookshelves trailing my fingers along the extra lip that keeps the books secure in rougher seas, I tickle the spines of some old friends, but nothing new jumps out, begging to entertain me in the sun. I’ve come too late, I fear, all the slick popular books are already squirreled away in cabins and beach bags. I hope they’ll get read and not spend the week melting in the Mexican heat.
I look at my eReader and sigh. So much for old school. I’ll have to sit in the shade if I want to read.
But back on deck I choose a different path. Instead of spending a few precious free hours unchained by computer, housework, and carpool commitments and reading purely for pleasure I do something even rarer. I stand at the rail and scan the horizon for whale spouts and wonder how many ancestors sailed these same seas and why I feel more at home on the ocean with the deck gently rolling beneath my feet than curled on the couch in my living room.
What do you do when you’re a matchmaker with an iron-clad wish-fulfillment contract to make Rellie’s happily ever after happen with the heir to the throne of Somewhere, but not only is the prince unwilling, he’s gone missing and the new-found love of your life has to fill in? What if true love had a darker side, a potion that compels love to seal the forever after deal? And what if Rellie didn’t like glass slippers and wanted something furry?
Add in Bubbles the boss from hell, fairy wings, and entrance packages with firework flourishes and you’ve got a glimpse into Kate’s less than glamorous life as a fairy godmother.
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. by Jenniffer Wardell is a rollicking romp through familiar fairy tale characters and landscapes with a bureaucratic twist. Slipping into Kate’s wacky corporate world is delightful; the writing’s sharp and reminiscent of PG versions of The Nanny Diaries and Bridget Jones’s Diary. As Kate rallies against fate, contracts, and clients readers will fall in love with her plucky bravado.
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is the first published novel set in Jenniffer’s fairy tale/super hero/monsters-that-don’t-sparkle world. Beast Charming is scheduled for 2014 and there are several short stories on her blog that give you a taste of her hilarious work.
Fairy Godmothers, Inc., by Jenniffer Wardell and published by Jolly Fish Press, is available April 27, 2013 in hardback, paperback, and eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other purveyors of fine literature.
(LOO-ow) (n) a Hawaiian celebration feast.
“He’s getting more and more pupule every day. Talking to himself. Puttering around the reef and docks with that dog. Now he thinks he’s cooking a Christmas lū‘au for one hundred people. Like he even knows one hundred people for invite!” ~ Liz
Note: ‘Ōlelo is a Hawaiian word meaning language, speech, word, etc. To see the current list of words, definitions, and usage please click on ‘Ōlelo Archive
Dainty footsteps pause,
dance away from ocean spray,
lick the salty air.
For more character haiku click here.