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Book Gallery Signing in Hilo

Last weekend I made a bold move. I got on a plane with my two rugrats by myself to go home to visit family and do a book signing. I was really worried it was going to be a hellish trip because before we even got on the plane our trip to the bathroom had me huffing and puffing. I was balancing two pizza boxes for dinner, my camera bag, and my purse in the ladies room trying to convince Baby Girl that she really needed to take her hands off her ears because the toilets really weren’t all that loud, but she insisted that I lift her onto the seat and wipe her so that she could keep her little earmuffs in place.

Meanwhile, Buddy is out by the sinks turning on every automatic faucet because he “has to wash hands”. It was not fun. Fortunately, they weren’t too bad on the plane. She let him have the window seat because we couldn’t remember if he’d been on a plane before (he had). Once we took off he looked out and screeched to the plane, “WE’RE IN THE SKY!!!!!!” and Baby Girl immediately goes, “Fo’ real?”

Coming back to Honolulu was a completely different story with my kids stripping off their clothes, kicking each other, kicking seats, and yelling really loud. I tried not to look anyone in the face as we deplaned.

Mrs Miyamoto

I think only people who grew up in Hilo eating food from Y’s Lunch Shop can appreciate the significance of this photo. This is Mrs. Miyamoto, who I bought food from since 1991, when my parents took over the family florist. Whenever I was hungry, I’d go scrounge up any money I could find in the car. Sometimes all I could afford to buy were her little sweet potato fritters. Usually though, the best thing to get was plain rice (instead of a musubi, since it was cheaper) some fried chicken, a fried fish, and a slice of egg. I’ve blogged before about how much I love Y’s food and my family certainly has a near unhealthy obsession with her fried fish. I had a pretty mean crush on her grandson Darren for a summer, but I was such a shy dork back then that I don’t recall ever saying a single word to him.

Anyway, the photo of me is at my Hilo book signing, which took place at The Book Gallery downtown, a local store that has survived for quite a long time, having been open now for 40 years. I was pretty mad when I saw that there were people with signs to go to Borders for their closing sale at the end of her block. Talk about rude.

I’d been pretty nervous about the book signing. The shop owner, Barbara Nakamoto, had submitted a Community page press release to the local paper and my brother called up his friend who works there to ask if he could help with it. It showed up at the top of the Community page last week Thursday! On Friday, my uncle heard DC, Hilo’s most awesomest morning radio DJ, tell people about my signing. Still, with Kahala Mall and Waikele being some pretty sluggish signings with only people I knew personally buying books, I was worried. My dad had other ideas, insisting that it would sell out because it’s Hilo and my hometown.

Turns out he was totally right.

Barbara had ordered around a total of 50 books for the signing and I was way more worried that she’d end up stuck with like 30 copies of Yum-Yum Bento Box than me being bored for an hour. I told myself to get there by 9:30 so that I’d show up at 9:45, but because of my Kodani genes, ended up even later and got there five minutes before 10. There was a crowd. There must have been like 10 people standing there waiting for me.

I got started right away and got to meet several of my blog fans, which was really awesome. My family on both sides came down and so it was really busy. After about 20 minutes I realized that Grandma Mu still wasn’t there and there was talk of books running out. I told Jenn to please put aside two books for her. If the books were all gone when she got there, she’d probably start whacking people with her walking stick and yelling, “Gawd damn!” My Grandma Mu has a total potty mouth.


This is me and my Grandma Kodani, who used to own Kodani Florist with Jichan. She sat down next to me the entire signing and had one of my frogs. I didn’t think to take a picture with Grandma Mu because it was the busiest signing I’d had hands down. I didn’t even have time to take pictures myself. These were all taken by Jenn! Anyway, by 10:30, all the books were gone and I began signing books that were on hold. One woman had purchased and left 7 books for me to sign! More family and old friends came down and were disappointed to hear all the books were gone.

Barbara had me come back after lunch and sign some printed sheets to put into books she ordered. She estimates that she sold about 75 books in total. Talk about a complete success! It was awesome! Thank you very much to the Book Gallery for hosting me. I love you, Hilo!

I’ll be at my last book signing for the summer tomorrow at the Borders at Windward Mall. Better come early though, apparently they’ve been selling the book already and won’t have very many copies at the signing, which seems to be a curse with me. This is the third store to call me up asking me if I had books on hand to sell to them. Why sure! Lemme go fire up mah printing press right now! Heehee!