Taped in Honolulu

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As I have mentioned in a couple of other places, I took an honorable mention in this year’s Honolulu Magazine Fiction Contest. Thursday night was the reception at the Atherton Studios of KHPR, where the winner and two others would be reading their stories for a future broadcast of Cedric Yamanaka’s Aloha Shorts.

I was pretty nervous, but when a beautiful woman with light-blonde hair gave me a lei and a kiss, I began to loosen up a little.

Another honorable mention recipient, Christy Passion, was sitting in my row and introduced herself to me. “Congratulations,” she said. “What did you write?”

I told her I’d written a story about a college student who works graveyard shifts at a gas station while he’s on suspension from school. I’m really shy, but I was able to gracefully return her question. This was my strategy for the evening: to hear what others were talking about, and then to emulate them.

I am not an experienced shmoozer or hob-nobber.

John Heckathorn, the magazine’s editor, starting things off with a few words, then passed the mic to Cedric Yamanaka, who introduced the grand-prize winner, Lou Zitnik, who read his story, “Duct-Taped in Hilo.” Randy Otaka and Lisa Linn Kanae then read their stories, and I have to say I was relieved and inspired when I heard that all three stories were much, much better than mine.

Heckathorn then called the other winners to receive their gifts from Starbucks. I got a tumbler, a mug, a bag of coffee, and two coupons for free drinks from Starbucks, plus a twenty-dollar gift certificate from L’Uraku, who also catered the pupus and drinks following the reading.

I hung around long enough to congratulate a few other award-winners and to meet A. Kam Napier, Honolulu‘s managing editor and a writer I admire. Everybody from the magazine, the radio station, and Starbucks was just wonderful. I look forward to doing it again next year.

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