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Entertaining Detours
Entertaining Detours
Storyrocket Number

171-351138636

Intended Medium

Movie, Television

Language

English

Registering Entity

None

Material Type

Book

Funding Platform

None

Location

Hong Kong

Remote outlying mountainous island of Lantau. Isolated scenic valley.
Era

Recent Past

Colonial Hong Kong 1970s and 1980s, revisited in 2015.
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Logline

Experience the international mis-adventures of a seasoned globetrotter in this breathtaking new memoir by Michael J. Hawron. "Entertaining Detours" chronicles one man's journey to over thirty different countries, including an eleven-year stint in Hong Kong that changes him forever.

Synopsis

Honestly, I never intended to write this book. However, Serendipity and circumstances conspired in a way that left me little choice. One such major “circumstance” was a one-in-a-million chance encounter, via email, with an amazing lady who lived 8,000 miles away—in our family’s former beloved homestead on a remote mountainous island in the South China Sea, where we had enjoyed living some thirty years prior. My oldest son and daughter and I planned a trip to retrace our old footsteps.

So I set out simply to write a humorous and informative book of short stories, chronicling my unique misadventures—detours—over my thirty years of globe-trotting. I hoped they would be entertaining. Stories like: my being attacked by a troop of baboons, and giving directions to a lost Chinese army platoon, having twelve children and watching ball lightning travel through our living room. “You Should Write a Book!” was the working title of my seminal book.

Then, Life began writing her own, much larger over-arching story, and I was conscripted to be one of the main characters! Awesome experiences lurked around every corner: a nurturing, deep friendship with someone who shared my deepest passions—for family and the beauty of nature; the sudden re-emergence of people and places from decades past; a happy close collaboration with my oldest two children; learning about the incredible Ark Eden environmental project which now occupied my former home site and the rediscovery of my dusty talent as a raconteur. I was whisked away on a happy, colorful, creative journey.

That festive mood was shattered by the sudden tragic death of my oldest daughter. She had been my greatest encouragement and vital assistant on the project. Just days before, she had made me promise that I would indeed finish this book. Now I suddenly had a solemn vow to fulfill, and a 17-year old, newly-orphaned grandson to comfort in his unimaginable grief.

Javan and I took a trip together to Boston, a world away from his Dallas suburban home, where we visited all the great historic sights and toured the campus of MIT, where I had been a student some 40 years prior. My dorm—East Campus—was restoring a long-neglected traditional reunion and I had received an email invitation—literally just moments after I had finished penning some anecdotes of my student capers there, which I had not thought of for all these intervening years: Another of those serendipitous things.

The healing process was well underway and we had a great time of discovery together, watching Bernard Haitink conduct the Boston Symphony in Brahms Fourth Symphony, and walking the three miles of the fabled Freedom Trail.

Having often heard that her young days on Lantau Island was his mom’s happiest days, Javan requested that we transport Suzy’s remains to that former idyllic childhood home for her final resting place. The next hurdle was to contact our would-be host, Jenny, to inform her of our intentions.

I braced myself for a predictable reaction – horrified shock or polite rejection, but instead, I received a hearty, welcoming response: Ark Eden would be honored to host my daughter’s final resting spot. A pathway was cleared through the lush foliage to the mountaintop overlooking Suzy’s childhood home. Jenny composed a beautiful poetic tribute in her honor and selected a special flowering native tree to mark the spot.

So, on a July 4th, just a few weeks short of being one full year since I had first begun this book, I headed to Hong Kong with my oldest son James, oldest grandson (I currently have 15) Javan, and Suzy—in a beautiful enameled ruby-hued urn. There we finally met Jenny, with whom I had corresponded daily through all the rollercoaster events of the past eleven months.

We watched through Javan’s eyes as he discovered firsthand what we had long so deeply treasured—the serene beauty, intimidating majesty and mystical aura of the tiny, mountainous Tung Hang Mei valley. So much had changed in the 30 years that transpired since we had left our former happy home in what was then a British colony, yet so much of what was most sacred remained the same.

As we concluded our visit, and lived out the final chapter of my now-completed memoir, a rare flowering plant bid us fond farewell with seven auspicious night blooms as we wound our way in the evening darkness along the tiny pathway from our valley to the awaiting taxi that would transport us to the ultra-modern Hong Kong International Airport, where we would begin our long journey back home to Texas.

Authors say “writing this book changed my life” so often that it’s an established cliché. However, my life—along with many others’—was indeed profoundly changed, challenged, enriched and enhanced as Entertaining Detours was born.

I invite you to take an enchanted journey—via my book--that I believe will inspire and entertain and surprise and educate and challenge and touch your heart in a very special way. Thank you.



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Cast Wish-List
  • Meryl Streep
    Meryl Streep as Jenny Q.
    Female 50s Years old
    © Getty Images
  • Adam Sandler
    Adam Sandler as Michael John
    Male 50s Years old
    © Getty Images
  • Marisa Tomei
    Marisa Tomei as Suzy Q.
    Female 30s Years old
    © Getty Images
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