Root-a-Toot-Toot . . . Got the Tatt!

1NicePNGabcIt seemed apropos to provide a sequel post in case some of you thought I might—buk, buk, buk—chicken out.

True, I did enter the tattoo shop (and a very nice, upscale one it was, with fabulous staff) feeling “pukey nervous”.  The maturity (o-l-d) aspect—some might call it you-should-know-better insight—ought to have quelled the anxiety (or had me running for the hills).  I may not have buk-buk-buked (or is that bukked?), but my stomach sure as heck was doing flapjack flips.  Still, Ms. Warrior being who/what she is, persevered and ambled to the (oh-so-comfy) chair with head and shoulders held high . . . and tummy hoping not to liberate the grilled cheese sandwich it had happily welcomed a couple of hours earlier.

As the saying goes: you only live once.  So, embrace what moves you.  And move the tattoo gun did (providing some quasi discomfort, but not out-and-out pain).  Four-plus hours of outlining and shading was weathered with scarcely a blink or a tear or a flinch . . . until the last hour, when several calming breaths proved necessary.  Still, said and done with [relative] grace.

For those contemplating getting a tattoo, consider—very seriously—what you want.  Select something that reflects you.  It’s a representation of your soul and core . . . history . . . road through life . . . desires/dream . . . strength and conviction.

anotherA111tattshopAAA

Regrets?  I’ve had a few, but this is not one of them.  As soon as my “badge of courage” is healed, I’ll display it proudly.  😊

Root-a-Toot-Toot . . . Getting a Tatt

Not quite sure where the “root-a-toot-toot” came from, but it popped into my head in terms of the title.  After the first draft of this post, I looked it up.  Besides being the title of a book, it means “something noisy, riotous, or lively, specifically in the early style of jazz music”.

Interesting.  And so not what this post is about.  Which, by the by, is in no way related to writing/editing, blogging, or the pretty private eyes from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  It’s a this-is-what’s-happening-in-my-life one.

. . . I’ve opted to get a tatt on my arm.

It was supposed to be a small one on my lower inner arm.  But the artist explained, if it’s small, it can’t be as detailed as I’d like it to be.  What I was hoping would be around 1½” is now going to be around 3-4”.  An in-your-face tatt.

For quite some time (years), I’ve wanted to get one of a honu (Hawaiian turtle) and hibiscus flowers—nothing terribly clever or unique or spectacular, by any means, but … pleasantly pretty.  It was to serve as a tribute to my love of Hawaii and my writing (the “gals” at the agency), but it’s become more than that.

It’s a tribute to my (ever so) slowly emergence/development—as my own person.  This woman is finally embracing the life of an individual, not an extension of someone else, not being molded (controlled) by another.  Finally, I am ambling down that winding pathway, toward that light at the end of the tunnel, to stand alone, tall and tough, (though I will undoubtedly wobble now and again).

While this really has nothing to do with tatts, it’s a fun little [uplifting] root-a-toot-toot vid.

It’s going to take five hours (perhaps you’ll hear me wailing over the waves).  But, once said and done—and pain and tears subsided—I’ll wear it like the badge of courage and strength it will be.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye . . . Literally

My audiobook, Forever Poi, can now be downloaded from Audible, and will be live in Amazon and iTunes in the next 72 hours.

Forever Poi is the fourth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series and follows the adventures (and mis-adventures) of the pretty private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—as they take on their third case.

It’s a challenging one, to be sure: determine who is responsible for a double arson and double murder.  Are the arsonist and killer the same person?  The P.I.s believe so.  As they search for clues, JJ (Jill Jocasta Fonne), her melodramatic cousin Rey (Reynalda Fonne-Werde), and her best friend, Linda Royale, encounter a plethora of possible culprits.

The day before the fire, Carlos, one of the arson victims, had an ugly break-up with his partner, James-Henri.  There were financial issues, too.  Could James-Henri have done the dastardly deed to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  What about the second victim, Mary-Louise?  Given her sketchy past as a queenpin, could a former foe have murdered her?  If so, was Carlos merely collateral damage?

These are the official Audible links . . .

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B0B52J37FQ/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-313370&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_313370_rh_us

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B0B52F5NQT/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-313370&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_313370_rh_uk

1aaaaudibleIf you’re interested, please let me know.  I have a few coupon codes—25 for the US (https://audible.com/acx-promo) and 25 for the UK (https://audible.co.uk/acx-promo).  Please note that the coupon codes can only be used via these acx-promo links (and can only be used once).

A short, but rather sweet post (for yours truly).  😉

Loving What we Do

I’m back.  Yes, I’ve been bummed out . . . “suffering” from what I advise people not to let get to them (that was a mouthful, wasn’t it?).  Unconstructive criticism and negative attitudes.  Silly me.  To think I’d almost allowed someone to influence me to stop writing.  Silly me twofold.

I love writing.  Not so much blogging anymore, to be honest.  Maybe it’s the time factor (there ain’t a heckuva lot, as Rey might say).  Maybe that it’s a struggle to often find fresh material.  Maybe it’s just that I want a <bleeping> new crisp and clean one.  . . . Maybe it’s just that I want to switch gears and begin editing on a regular basis.

But I digress.  This is about loving what I/we do.  It’s a passion.  A need.  A compulsion.  I love writing for me as much as I love writing for others—in the hopes of providing entertainment and escapism.  While it’s only me and the pretty private eyes from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency on the writing/blogging team right now, that doesn’t mean the team can’t grow (not that JJ, Rey, or Linda want that to happen).  All in good time (that elusive continuous passage of time that often seems to take its own passage).  All in good faith . . . hope . . . desire.

Doing what we love brings satisfaction, happiness, __________ (you fill in the blank).  It goes without saying that we need to embrace that.  If I didn’t have my writing, I can’t imagine what I’d do in its stead.  Sit in the armchair and watch TV with glazed eyes?  Stare out the window and wonder what I should be doing?  Dust endlessly?  I suppose there might be something worthwhile to take its place (once I figured it out) . . . but I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve writing.

I could never give it up—for anyone.  Don’t you, either.  A cliché saying, yes, but so apropos: follow your heart (and don’t let anyone break it or you 😉).

1sat (1)

(Still) Bummed Out

Hey, it’s Rey. 

It’s JJ, hey. 

Good grief—you’ve got Linda, ha-ha-ha (if you’re going to be “cute”, ladies, then I may as well join in).

Linda:

The Boss is still bummed out, so the three of us put our heads together and agreed to post as a trio.

It’s one thing giving advice, it’s quite another following it.  So, what has our boss’ knickers in a knot?  While working on a promo sheet, she went to Amazon and read reviews for her books (she hasn’t done that often and it’s been a long while since she last did).  There were some 5- and 4.5-star reviews, which made her feel great . . . but, alas, there were also some 1-star ones.

Now, you can’t please everyone all the time and we all have different tastes in stories, so that’s fine, and expected.  If you really didn’t like the book, you’re entitled to state this.  What you really shouldn’t do is call someone’s work crap, criticize the editing and typos, or just be out-and-out offensive.  Needless, to say . . . she’s [still] bummed out.  So much so, she’s wondering if she should continue writing.

Having been on the end of nasty criticism, I can feel her pain and distress.

Rey:

Yeah, so can I.  Being panned sucks, big time.  And while I may have posted the other day about—more or less—remaining courteous, I’d be inclined to tell the “editting” criticizer to look at their own writing, ‘cause, honey, you can’t write to save your life.  Me-eow.  😉   (And you wouldn’t want to know what I’d tell the others.)

But that’s the catty side of me, the person I once was.  These days, I’m not as quick to carp or condemn in return.  I’ve got two A-1 colleagues—my cousin and BFF—who (usually) keep me on the straight and narrow.

So, I say, let it go.  Revel in the good reviews and forget about the bad.  Sure, they’re going to hurt, but life ain’t always fair and people ain’t always nice.  So, live with it; suck it up.  Or, as I suggested the other day, go to the source and ask them to elaborate.  Maybe they’ll provide useful feedback.

JJ:

That’s an interesting proposal, Rey.  I get it: recognize the criticism and/or ask for feedback.  I think, though, I’m going to disagree with you.  Or, at least, say: determine from that review, if it’s worthwhile to address it.  The tone, the comment(s) should help you determine if it’s worth pursuing.  However, my opinion re a bad book review, is . . . walk away.  Let it go.  It’s not worth the grief that could develop when the exchange heats up (and it may very well do that).  Be professional.  Always.

Who’s the bigger person?  The writer/doer or the criticizer?  I wholeheartedly believe if you have constructive criticism, provide it; if you’re just being malicious because you’re having a bad day or week, or that’s just your [unfortunate] nature, then take it out somewhere else—go hit a few golf balls or play whac-a-mole.

You have to remember that the review is based on one person’s opinion . . . or a handful, whatever the case may be.  That’s not a huge percentage.  A negative one or two amid the many positive ones is fine, and expected.  Why?  Because, that’s right, you can’t please all the people all of the time.  So, just smile, chuckle, giggle, laugh, dance.  If you can learn something from it, great; use it.  But, if there’s no value-add, truly, it’s not worth brooding over.

And what do the three of us say in summary?  😊  Live and learn . . . and love what you do.  And don’t let anyone tell or influence you to do otherwise!

Fresh Fodder, Smellin’ Like a Flower

Bad title, huh?  I thought it had a nice little poetic thing going, but Linda groaned and rolled her eyes and JJ just shook her head and walked away with her arms in the air.  Hmmpf.  I don’t see either one of them posting today. 

Hey, it’s Rey.  The Boss has a whack of things to do over the long weekend—yeah, there’s one across the waves and north of the 49th Parallel, which according to Ms. Smarty Pants (Lindy-Loo) is the latitude line that shapes the boundary between Canada and the United States . . . somewhere between Manitoba and B.C., if I got that correctly (and do I really care?).

Anyway, I’m happy to post on behalf of my two fellow [lazy] colleagues.  Maybe I’m not posting something super fresh, but it’s worth touching upon, and that makes it as fresh and fragrant as—you got it—a flower.  😊

The Boss, like most of us, gets bummed out when no one “likes” her post or criticizes her writing / editing.  I get that.  I’ve gotten a lot of criticism in my life, and it’s not easy to deal with, much less accept. So, how do we turn a negative experience into something positive?

Probably the first thing is not to snap at the person who’s delivered the less-than-pleasant “news”.  It’s hard not to want to become defensive, for sure.  But my experience has been that if you can remain cool—take a deep breath or three—then you might just get a useful “take away” in return.  Ask the person to elaborate; they may actually have some useful information/advice.  But if they’re not offering anything of value, leave it, walk away.  Tempting as it might be, don’t criticize in return; that doesn’t resolve much except aggravate the situation; it just makes those sour grapes all the more tart (and hard to swallow).

Look at criticism as feedback.  Criticism is such a negative word, so think of it as feedback—opinions and suggestions.  Those sound so much more upbeat, don’t they?

And feel free to offer your side.  Respond to the “feedback”—not with snarls and an oh-really?! attitude.  Explain your intention, where you’re coming from.  Maybe Mr./Ms. Feedback misunderstood your intent.  And, if he/she didn’t—and doesn’t—get it, move on. 

We can’t be loved all the time, by everyone. That’d be wonderful, but that’s not the real world.  Learning to deal with negative comments about our writing/blogging—our hair, our habits, whatever—is the best course of action.  Who’s the better person?  The criticizer?  Or the criticizee? 

Yeah, I know, Linda’s already snickering about my word usage.  And speaking of criticizers, like my BFF, that’s the beauty of solid relationships; you know where you stand and you how to react.  That’s not always the case with people you don’t know well or at all.  But, regardless of who you’re dealing with, know that responding is best done with a smile (even if forced) and, maybe, sometimes with a grain of salt.

A Whole Lot About Nothin’

Actually, that’s probably more like a whole little about nothin’, because I can’t imagine this post will go on endlessly.

I’m sitting here, sucking back vanilla yogurt, after sucking caramel candies, after sucking back frozen mochi, and experiencing a bit of a sugar rush (never mind wondering why the jeans are fitting a bit more snugly).

It’s one of those mornings . . . days . . . when I don’t feel like posting.  But I’ve never not posted on a Wednesday or Saturday, and don’t want to stop now.  It’s a commitment thing.  Sort of.  Kind of.  If I didn’t post on the timetabled day, I’d probably get mad at myself.  That wouldn’t be good because I get p’o’d at myself enough as it is (hmm, maybe that’s a future post).

I’m guessing as fellow writers/bloggers, you probably have similar don’t-wanna days.  Or should we call them I-wanna-do-this-instead days?

I wanna be walking the dog (if I had one).  I wanna watch [mindless] TV.  I wanna go eat a triple-scoop ice-cream by the water’s edge.  I wanna listen to soothing music.  I wanna eat a big bag of ketchup chips.  I wanna dream of winning a million dollars and all the things I’d do.  I wanna . . . so not be writing a blog post.

Maybe it’s blog burnout?  . . . Nawwwwww.  More like blogger emulating sloth, which sounds like another, and rather pleasant, wanna—I wanna be hanging from a tree, closing my eyes to the world passing by.

On that note, I believe I’ll meander about aimlessly and do a whole lot of nothin’.  😉

Two New

Two of my favorite fellow authors have books coming out soon.  Having had the pleasure of reading both, I can honestly say neither disappoint.  It’s a bit too early to provide reviews, but there’s nothing wrong with plugs.  😉

1seanSean Robins’ The Gray Emperor is Book Seven in The Crimson Deathbringer series.  If you’ve read the sci-fi books, you know they’re chockablock full of action (great intergalactic space battles, fanatical alien species) and humor (danger abounds, so do the drollness and farce).  Jim, the protagonist, and his buddies are back and along for the thrilling ride—the beautiful warrior Xornaa, the prankster “insect” Tarq, the solemn unbeaten General Maada.  . . . Or are they?  Perhaps they’re doppelgangers?

1jinas-profile1Jina S. Bazzar’s Shadow Pawn is a future-set murder mystery with a fantasy component.  It revolves around an intriguing protagonist with an equally intriguing history.  Page one yanks you in, as a good book should.  The storyline, action and descriptions, have you wanting to continue reading.  There’s a dark element, which adds to the thrills/excitement.  And who doesn’t love a resilient headstrong heroine who never backs down?

Simple fact: Sean and Jina are exceptionally talented authors whose stories always entertain.  This blog will feature reviews of The Gray Emperor and Shadow Pawn in the next month or so.  Meanwhile, you can find Sean and Jina on various sites (just do that Googling thing); I heartily recommend you check them out.

https://www.amazon.com/Jina-S.-Bazzar/e/B07B2989VT%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.amazon.com/Sean-Robins/e/B07PS1116K%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

A Short Summer Break . . . Sorta

The Boss is away today—too much on her editing plate, but she’s fine/happy with that.

The three of us are still entrenched in the Mo-Mo Martine case.  Someone took out this up-and-coming Montreal-based mobster back when disco and polyester were popular . . . but his body was only discovered recently . . . on our side of the world!

Here’s an excerpt:

He held up a ruddy, scarred hand and then pointed toward the living room.  Before we could proceed, an officer rushed through the front door.  “McLeod’s delayed.  Engine blew on the H1.  And Tenafly slipped down an incline as he was checking out the area.  Twisted his ankle.”

Ald Ives rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath.

I moved to the aluminum baluster railing and eyed the expanse before us: sapphire ocean to the front, stately homes over the incline to our left, and a racket-ball club to the right.  Given how Antoinetta was sitting, it seemed likely the shot had come from somewhere along the tree- and shrub-dense slope.

“Care to do some private-eyeing?” I asked my colleagues.

“Let’s—”

“Leave it to my team,” Ald interrupted Rey with a stern expression.

“Your team seems to be slipping up,” she said with a disarming smile.  “Or is that down?”

He rolled his eyes again and peered below when his name was called.

“The cousin’s here to pick up his sister to take her to the funeral parlor, sir.  What’ll we tell him?” a young officer asked.

Ald drew a deep breath.  “I’ll be right down.”

“Catch up later?” Linda asked.

He nodded curtly and instructed us to provide our statements to Officer Ramsey before we left.  We watched him hasten outside.

“Telling someone they’ve lost a loved one has got to be the toughest part of the job,” Rey murmured.

Linda and I concurred.

“Are we still meeting Harry for dinner?” Linda asked.

“No reason not to,” Rey replied, nodding toward an officer checking something on his cell phone.  “That’s Ramsey, isn’t it?”

I nodded, recalling having met him at an HPD softball game last month.  “After giving our statements, how about we do some digging and see what we can find out about Stefano’s fatal ‘accident’?”

Rey eyed me curiously.  “You thinking it wasn’t one?”

“Pietro had something to do with Mo-Mo’s death.  Stefano died just a few months after.  Coincidence?  Or . . . ?”

“Or,” my cousin said flatly.

“Or,” Linda repeated with a firm nod.

We haven’t placed any bets re who the killer might be, because it could be one of a dozen-plus potential perps.

We do love challenges, though, so we’re going to get out there and meet one head on!

. . . Aloh-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

No Summertime Blues

The Boss is taking the weekend to do clean-up and whatnot, so she asked if one of us would like to post.  We all volunteered but, to be honest, not one of us could think of something [interesting] to post.  It’s summer.  Vacations abound.  It’s a time to be footloose and fancy-free, to be less stressed, less preoccupied, less work-driven.  It’s a time to dance!

So, we decided we’d keep it light and bouncy.  Rey, Linda and I (JJ) are simply going to provide you with three songs we think reflect summer cheer and gaiety.

Over to you, Cousin Reynalda.

Hey, it’s Rey!  Yay!  Uncle Gary was a child (teen) of the 70s.  Whenever we’d spend mid-July at his Maine cottage, he’d play 70s music.  That was okay; as a kid, I liked anything upbeat.  He’d always start off our stay—kinda like an official commencement to the cottage retreat—with Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime”.  (Linda, who has a whack of facts crammed in her pretty head, said the name was inspired by a poem by T.S. Eliot, “Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer”.  Ok-kay.)  Ya know, I can still see us dancing on the dock—and sometimes off.  Yeah, good times.

https://youtu.be/yG0oBPtyNb0

And super smart Linda?

I’m going to go with the hugely talented Norah Jones’ “Summertime”.  She has an awesome, sexy voice.  The piano sounds so right—appealing, pleasing, hum-provoking.  When she sings that song, it’s easy to imagine myself reclining on a chaise longue by the pool at sunset, an icy sangria in hand (which I’ve done many a summer eve).  It’s a great way to chill on a breezy, hot solstice eve.

https://youtu.be/czkLkyS_0S0

Over to you, JJ.

It’s a cross between a relatively newer song and an older one; both put spring into my steps and bounce in my bu-uh-behind.  Rauw Atejandro’s “Todo de Ti” is fun and fresh.  Shaggy’s “In the Summertime” is fun and familiar.  You know, I think I’ll go with singer, rapper and songwriter, Rauw.  I’m feeling some serious dance moves coming on . . .

https://youtu.be/CFPLIaMpGrY

Here’s to the rest of a great summer—hang loose and dance like there’s no tomorrow!  😊

Judy Hogan Writes

ramblings of an apprentice author

The Nightingale

Maria Konnel - Youg Adult Fantasy Author

Avisha Rasminda

Hi, I'm Avisha Rasminda. Twenty years old.

Random Ramblings

Random rants, musings and opinions that nobody asked for :)

KRISHNA KUMAR SINGH

KNOWLEDGE AND TIPS

A Petite Girl's Guide to...

Thrifty Fashion . Lifestyle . Money . Travel . Conscious Living

J. P. D. T.

Blogs, Stories, and Poetries

MisaeMich :)

...inspiration through words...

Fantasylife

Don't forget to be awesome!

JOURNEY towards the Perfect Communicator

Hi! I'm Rev. Fr. John Mark, Religious Priest, Spiritual Director of SLRP Youth Ministry

RovingBookwormNG

Books. Poetry. Podcast. Travel.

The Wild Heart of Life

Creative Nonfiction & Poetry

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding ourselves and the world we live in.

She Got Wings!

Self-development

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering

Joan Wiley

Wayward Writer

Judy Hogan Writes

ramblings of an apprentice author

The Nightingale

Maria Konnel - Youg Adult Fantasy Author

Avisha Rasminda

Hi, I'm Avisha Rasminda. Twenty years old.

Random Ramblings

Random rants, musings and opinions that nobody asked for :)

KRISHNA KUMAR SINGH

KNOWLEDGE AND TIPS

A Petite Girl's Guide to...

Thrifty Fashion . Lifestyle . Money . Travel . Conscious Living

J. P. D. T.

Blogs, Stories, and Poetries

MisaeMich :)

...inspiration through words...

Fantasylife

Don't forget to be awesome!

JOURNEY towards the Perfect Communicator

Hi! I'm Rev. Fr. John Mark, Religious Priest, Spiritual Director of SLRP Youth Ministry

RovingBookwormNG

Books. Poetry. Podcast. Travel.

The Wild Heart of Life

Creative Nonfiction & Poetry

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding ourselves and the world we live in.

She Got Wings!

Self-development

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering

Joan Wiley

Wayward Writer