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Two authors from the University of Hawaiʻi published memoirs in the storytelling series, Haliʻa Aloha (“Cherished Memories”). Created in 2020, the Legacy Isle Publishing series provides authors an opportunity to pen snippets of their life story and extends an all-in-one option to write and publish a micro-memoir collection within a year.

First time author, Valdeane Odachi, an academic counselor at the UH Hilo Student Support Services Program published the short book, Navigating Change, filled with personal reflections regarding her life’s journey from a difficult childhood up through the adulthood she never expected. Another memoir in the series dives into Windward Community College English lecturer Adrienne Robillard’s experiences playing and touring in indie rock bands as a teenager through her early thirties.

Journey through time

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For Robillard, writing Maps and Tapes provided an insightful trip down memory lane by allowing her to reconnect with friends from high school and listen to her demo tapes from the early 90s.

“I hope Maps and Tapes provides some time travel for the reader, whether they grew up in the 80s and 90s like I did or if they’re just interested in that time period,” Robillard explained. “I tried to capture what being an underground independent musician was like before and after everything went digital.”

In 2021, Robillard published The ʻOhana Grill Cookbook, packed with Hawaiʻi-inspired recipes, which is also set to release in paperback this May. Additionally, the Kailua native published essays in the 2022 anthology Nonwhite and Woman and in the literary zine We’ll Never Have Paris.

Life, love, loss and resiliency

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Odachi’s memoir is written through poetry and prose, and hones in on transformative events that changed her as a daughter, sister, wife, mother and teacher. Her vignettes touch upon how she wrestled with complex and layered emotions concerning events such as the pain of adolescence, joy of motherhood and unexpectedly taking on the role of caregiver when her husband was suddenly diagnosed with complicated and frustrating medical problems.

“My wish is that my book helps readers feel less alone as they endure marital heartbreak, the frustrations of caregiving, or the struggle of trying to better themselves while life continues to swirl about,” Odachi said.

In circulation

Both books were released in 2022 and were shared in a joint book reading event at Kona Stories in Keauhou. Robillard and Odachi’s works are available on, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Apple Books and Bookshop.

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