The Ugly Truth: Read Aloud

First, April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month as well as Alcohol Awareness and Prevention Month. Both of these issues are heavy weights the protagonist of The Ugly Truth, Seth, carries through his narrative and contribute to his struggles.

That said, The Ugly Truth is the second book in a series of three inter-connected books of the Cantos Chronicles that follows Seth on his journey. The first book is Abby’s tale in Swimming Sideways (Seth and Gabe are important parts of her narrative). The third and final book in this series will be published later this year and will explore Gabe’s adventure. Ultimately, all three of these books ask us to understand that what we see isn’t always the whole picture of a person’s truth.

One of the difficulties of writing The Ugly Truth was the darker content which explained Seth’s perspective, a glimpse of what we were able to see in Abby’s story (Seth wrote a letter to readers which also provides a glimpse into this character. You can read that here). The following is an excerpt taken from two chapters which explore Seth’s relationship with his parents and the emotions which fuel his actions. Some things to keep in mind:

1) The narrative of Seth’s story isn’t told linearly. Instead, it jumps between the present and the past. This excerpt starts in the past and will return to the present.

2) In the present, Seth’s consciousness and soul is outside of his body observing the world happen around him and powerless to do anything to impact it.

The Ugly Truth Read Aloud

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Swimming Sideways: Read Aloud

Swimming Sideways is the first book in a series of three. Abby Kaiāulu who’s been given the opportunity to start over with a move from Hawaiʻi to Oregon is hiding a secret. In the midst of redefining herself, however, she recognizes she’s losing sight of who she really is . . . As everything around her falls apart, Abby must discover the truth of who she is as a daughter, a sister, a woman, a Hawaiian, a friend.

The following excerpt is from the novel.


In connection to the blog published on Monday about motherhood and writing, I wrote this poem after giving birth to my first child, my daughter. I remember sitting in the rocking chair just after giving birth to her and creating it in my head as we rocked together. The poem was published in a local Hawaii anthology called Strong Currents: An anthology by Hawai’i Writers (2002).


Burdened with decisions

and laden with pain,

my body reacts with life.

Moving from childless to motherhood,

I am wrapped by vice-like fingers

across my abdomen

that squeeze and steal my breath.

Fear moves through my blood,

yet ignites a desire to explore

the unknown realm before me.

Life has happened,

daily monotony has turned

into joyous minutes that pass like hours.

Through this exhaustion a treasure awaits.

With a force,

a supernatural force

unknown to me,

I push you from the warmth to the cold

I invite you into my world,

Arms open,

Belly and breasts bared.

You are beautiful.

You are my finest achievement.

You are my daughter.

We are whole.

Rereading it through lenses almost twenty years older, I would rewrite the poem. However, the poignancy connected to this piece is it was my very first publication (along with a short story in the same anthology).