Maps and Tapes

Cover of "Maps and Tapes" by Adrienne Robillard

Grab a microphone and turn up the volume.

Moving from Hawai‘i to Fresno in seventh grade changed Adrienne Robillard’s view of the world, herself, and her future. Being a new kid in a new school meant hours of time alone spent listening to cassette tapes and college radio, learning to play the guitar, and writing stories and lyrics. Joining a garage band in high school gave her a sense of belonging she’d never realized possible as she wrote songs with strangers who became treasured friends—one of whom she ended up marrying. Maps and Tapes follows Robillard from San Francisco to the UK, criss-crossing the US and Europe, feeling at home in a van on both sides of the road.

In Fresno, “I went from having friends and blending in to being a loner who kept getting asked, ‘What are you?’ because I was one of a few half-Asian students at Ahwahnee Middle School,” she recalls. “With my headphones on, I could ignore uncomfortable questions.” Later, music became her primary creative outlet and a way for her not to hide, but to connect.

In Maps and Tapes, Robillard interweaves lyrics written for her indie-rock bands between stories of first guitar lessons, young love, adventures in studying abroad, and gigging and touring with her bands. Her poignant prose paints a vivid portrait of the ways in which music soundtracked and shaped her teen and young adult years. Her callouts of favorite bands, albums, and songs will make readers want to cue up their own nostalgic playlists—good and loud, to be felt in the bones, the way the best music and memories should.

Adrienne Robillard is an English lecturer at Windward Community College. She grew up in Kailua, Hawai‘i, and Fresno, California. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. After college she worked in San Francisco as an office temp and marketing professional by day, playing in indie bands Secadora and Citizens Here and Abroad at night. She lives with her husband and their two children in Kailua on O‘ahu. In 2020 her first book, The ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook: Easy and Delicious Hawai‘i-Inspired Recipes from BBQ Chicken to Kalbi Short Ribs, was published by Ulysses Press.

Release Date: June 2022
120 pages

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Navigating Change

Navigating Change by Valdeane Uchima Odachi

I was never truly adrift.

A fragmented childhood filled with heartbreak and disappointment left Valdeane Uchima Odachi feeling lost at sea, at the mercy of unseen currents. In this moving collection of personal reflections and whimsical poetry, Navigating Change follows Odachi as she discovers moments of grace and synchronicity while struggling to reconcile her multiple roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher and caregiver. Her journey’s unanticipated reward is a renewed self-identity and the realization that she has always had everything she needs to live the life she wants.  

Odachi unexpectedly took on the role of caregiver when her husband was suddenly diagnosed with complicated and frustrating medical problems. “Initially, I thought I would write a book for my children and to document the challenges of having an older spouse with health issues and dementia,” she says. But, upon reading her early drafts, “I found my writing was so focused on the unhappiness I experienced—I didn’t enjoy reading that version of my memoir.” Instead, Odachi chose to shift her mindset and her book’s focus to recognize the moments that changed her. The story of her life transformed as she wrote and wrestled with complex and layered emotions concerning events in her past and her life’s current path. “Writing both versions allowed me to process the ongoing grief and recognize the grace that occurs in my life,” she reflects.

In Odachi’s heartfelt vignettes, readers will recognize the pain of adolescence, the joy of motherhood and the conflict inherent in reconciling the role of caregiver with maintaining a sense of self.

Valdeane Uchima Odachi is a postsecondary academic counselor and educator who hated school as a child but now holds various credentials ranging from a Hawai‘i state license in massage therapy to a master of arts in teaching from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Raised in Wahiawā, O‘ahu, she currently lives in Volcano, Hawai‘i Island, with her family and their two dogs, Bowie and Mika Shrimpface. She enjoys teaching the art of Zentangle®, organizing and removing clutter from her home and spending time with family. Navigating Change is her first book. 

Release Date: May 2022
120 pages

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