Once Upon a Rhyme - One Week, Three Lives, Three Deaths, A Lifetime in Limericks

Book Cover



Antony L Saragas

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We question our usefulness, our course, and our future. We wonder about our significance. This book poses the question we ignore through activity, defy with arrogance, or accept as unanswerable: "What's the point?" In the vein of "It's a Wonderful Life," this books reminds that life is worth living.



Short Summary

Once Upon a Rhyme details a week in early February in the life of Dylan, known as ‘Oskie’, a forty-year-old who has recently lost his Father, Hollis. During the week, Oskie navigates highs and lows as he tries to reconcile the person he was, with the person he knows he should be.

Trying to make sense of it all, the story culminates with Oskie's confronting hard lessons on loss, love, and purpose. The thread throughout is a book of limericks left by Hollis, almost as Banquo's Ghost, leading Oskie - sometimes reluctantly or even resentfully - to his needed answers.


Fictional small town in Kentucky

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Dylan, known as "Oskie"

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: Skeptic

Key Traits: Masculine,Modest,Lone Wolf,Strong Moral Code,Sarcastic,Romantic,Sophisticated,Selfless,Honorable,Educated,Faithful,Empathetic,Complex,Engaging

Additional Character Details

Name: Dustin Taylor, known as "D-Tay"

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Selfless,Empathetic,Engaging,Outspoken,Funny,Skillful,Faithful,Sarcastic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Hollis

Age: 70

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Masculine,Complex,Empathetic,Faithful,Skillful,Visionary,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Sophisticated

Additional Character Details

Name: Elly

Age: 37

Gender: Female

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Charming,Badass,Confident,Sexy,Blunt,Engaging,Funny,Romantic,Seductive

Development Pitch

This is “It’s a Wonderful Life” for 2021, the perfect encouragement for those who need lifted spirits amid troubling times. It is ALL packed in there, not just catastrophe, but every relatable element of the misery of the human condition, culminating with important reminders of (1) why we carry on despite those troubles, (2) the importance of friends and family, and (3) that while life is hard, the good things we find along the way are worth it. In a plot covering just one week of life, a 40 year-old, quintessential everyman confronts the major traumas and concerns common to all of us. Burdened by the convergence of memories, grief, and self-doubt at his father’s recent death, the man tries to make sense of it all and answer life’s ultimate question, one we often ignore or accept as unanswerable in the face of constant battering despite our best efforts: “What’s the point?” Following a book of limericks left by his father, the week covers emotional flashbacks of great trauma - including deaths of his mother and best friend - balanced by enjoyable memories of childhood and hope unfettered by adult experience. Meanwhile, his present emotional rollercoaster unfolds with dips into child neglect and suicide amidst the high of newfound love. Overlaying the events are also global themes on mental health and social responsibility during troubled times in an unsettled world, foremost whether empathy for others as a cure for the world's ills is cost effective.

About The Author

Antony L. Saragas is a father, coach, attorney, judge, and writer. He has worked as a sports journalist and radio broadcaster and founded the Harlan County Boys & Girls Club in his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. He now lives in Savannah, Georgia, where in addition to his career and writing, he enjoys any time with his kids, any nearby weight room, and any sunrise at the beach. His newest venture is The Average Man's Adventures podcast. He is the author of Tales of a Small-Town King, which was published in 2018.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Little League Baseball and high school sports coaches and players very prevalent. Legal system (juvenile court) also very prevalent/involved.

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available



ISBN-10 : 1480894192 ISBN-13 : 978-1480894198