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By: Bettejo Dux

There  is a river. It’s called Amazon.  On that river, the best book I ever wrote,  Children of the Extinction, drifts like a golden straw in a torrential library so vast, and overflowing with debris, it  boggles.

When The Scam, my humorous novel, flew to New York in 1985, it snagged a New York Agent. it was  a  fledgling trying its wings in the biggest apple tree in America. In those days my books began on long, yellow, legal scratched and scarred with lead from loaded pencils, then typed on pristine  sheets of paper on a portable typewriter my husband had taken  to college.  He often  laughed and said I married him because he had one.

Bill  wanted to be the  writer but, it turned out, I was. Why I started so late in life (I was 24) is another story. As I advanced through the ranks, he bragged to pals I was a budding Dorothy Parker. Most of my first published works were humor. Humor’s hard to write, hard to sell, but I was pretty good at it. I got jobs in the writing business, a  Windward-side weekly, the Pali Press, then uptown for the Honolulu Star Bulletin/Advertiser Sunday paper.  I also acted professionally, at the Hilton, where I excelled as a comedian. Love making people laugh.

Then Kauai. One of the loveliest islands in the world. A third world country - sugar was king - with a different idea of what the wife of a department head - a knight at the table - should be. Spout party line.  Don’t rock boat. Give and go to parties. Play the game.  I didn’t excel at the party/game playing  level and spoke my mind. Neither publishing nor theater was at its peak. Back to writing meant: letters; columns; political, peace  and environmental criticism. The Garden Island Newspaper's wonderful editors and staff became my friends.

After my husband died, I self-published The Scam, a timeless, funny piece about hippies in the 60′s -- which is why New York didn’t publish it. “Wouldn’t touch the 60′s with a ten foot pole,” said they in1985.  Today - 2014  - they will. The  good old days remembered. The future plundered with religious end-of-the- world vicious madness.

Which brings us to EXTINCTION. The mess we’ve made of this planet, this island, is heartbreaking stuff.  Kauai in the future. A future gone bad. An apocalyptic time, “They were the best of men at the worst of times,” says the narrator of this sad tale.

Today to get published one must first get a NY agent and the odds against that are 30,000 to one. I won’t put my horse in that race, but I’m compelled to tell the truth. To write my heart out in a whole new game. Computers. Words on a screen flashing through cyber like ET through space.


 


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