OWO Woe

OWO (“Oh-woe”), otherwise known as Odd Woman Out, is a fiction novel I’ve been posting weekly on Wattpad.

It’s almost completed.  Yay!   So why the “woe”?  Because 1) it’s nearly done and 2) what’ll I do next!?  <LOL>

There’s a lot on my plate—the next Triple Threat Investigation Agency book, blog, artistic/technical efforts—but it’s a pleasant challenge to write something that’s different, something outside the ol’ comfort zone.  Granted, OWO was a twenty-some-year old project I pulled out of a drawer over a year ago, so there was no need to start from scratch or head-scratch.  owo1a

If you’ve got absolutely nothing to do one afternoon and are looking for something to read or take a quick look-see at, maybe you could check it out?  I always welcome feedback.  Here’s a quick rundown:

Alexia Raidho (or Alex, as she prefers) searches for self and soul as she travels along a literal and cerebral journey.

Through diary entries and fiction writing, Alex reflects upon exploits, accomplishments and failures, and speculates whether she might be an odd woman out.  Relationships, even those of a volatile and abusive nature, have impelled her down paths she might otherwise never have taken.  All—gratefully, she’ll willingly admit—have expanded her vision, talent, and maturity.

Her honesty can be raw or pained, melancholy or funny, depending on what or who she is reflecting upon.  Encounters, accidental or intentional, occasionally hold consequences while eccentric family members often make for entertaining—if not embarrassing—moments.  Friends and lovers, on the other hand, can make for surprising ones.  

Is it an adequate summation?  I’d say so.  I’d also say [admit] that the first half of the book is much stronger than the last.  Maybe my enthusiasm had started waning back then, as it [sort of] did now.  Could it have been better, edited more thoroughly, rewritten after twenty-plus dust-collecting years?  To be sure.

So what’s the next Wattpad project?  Something related to soul-searching and faith finding, to releasing emotions/thoughts/regrets collected over time.

It may be the tale of an only child born to two angry, bitter alcoholics.  Sadly, Tuula (not sure why that particular name came to mind) could never cut the apron strings and many decades later ends up caring for a mother who only had time for the bottle when she was growing up.  Words of love and kindness never existed, and still don’t.  As the years bleed through her fingers like ink upon paper, Tuula arrives at a belated realization: there is indeed truth to the notion that people perpetually seek acceptance and praise even when logically and rationally, very deep down, they know it will never transpire.

When you’re a writer, the world truly is your oyster.  Imagination and/or life serve as fabulous fodder for creative endeavors.  Here’s to perpetually pursuing and using our God-given talents . . . and embracing every moment. gifaminoapps

Manners Matter

A handful of post ideas accelerated through me yesterday like the DeutscheBahn ICE speeding through the German countryside.  I impressed myself.  Woo-hoo.

However, I decided to go with a topic that popped into the wee noggin after the blog idea blitz: manners.  Remember those?  The way one person acts towards another?

No, I’m not being sarcastic.  Okay, maybe a little.  There have been a few recent incidents that leaned toward bothersome.  Civility shouldn’t be that difficult to demonstrate/deliver.  It takes but a few seconds to respond to a question.  When a favor is requested, the “requestee” doesn’t have to commit.  They can simply state they can’t do it, need time to consider it, or will get back—and then get back.  It’s called showing respect . . . being well-mannered Don’t agree to do something if it’s not going to happen.  Honesty is a refreshingly wonderful thing.

As bloggers/writers—salespersons in our own rights—a certain level of blog etiquette is required.  We want to attract followers, not lose them before they’ve even been secured.

If we’re critics, reviewers, or analysts, we may have negative comments to provide but, hopefully, we’ll do so in a courteous manner.  And if someone comments on our comments, let’s be considerate when we comment back (how’s that for a commentary comment?).

When someone doesn’t agree with you, that’s totally okay.  Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinions.  Embrace dissimilarity.  It makes the world go around.

No one likes a troll, someone who’s mean or negative, or out to bait/bully.  Don’t be one and don’t troll back.

Focus on: building winning relationships; developing respect; treating others as you’d like to be treated, and; acknowledging when required (if you use a photo or quote that’s not yours, cite and/or link).

There are a lot of marvelous quotes to be found about manners, but this one—from author and activist (among other notable things) Bryant H McGill—is simple and clear:

 Good manners are appreciated as much as bad ones are abhorred. 

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To Breathe or Not to Breathe

That is not the question, but a must.  <LOL>  Managed to catch a nasty cold, which is evolving into a cough.  Breathing is a challenge.  I’m walking around smelling like essence de Vicks, with mind in automaton mode, and body parts screaming for analgesic cream and chiro sessions.

Still, somehow, I’m managing to get blogging/writing things done.  Working here and there on the fourth in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, “HA-HA-HA-HA”.  Have taken a step to finding a new cover designer, but have a way to go.  Haven’t yet formatted “Forever Poi” (had hoped that someone else would long ago have done it, as requested numerous times but, alas, has not).  That’s okay.  Sometimes it’s a good thing when something doesn’t work out.  Know what I mean?

My first official post of 2019 is a tribute to the name of my blog in that it’s a “grab-bag” of thoughts and plans, yet much ado about nothing . . . though perhaps not as comedic, if at all (I am sick, after all).  <sniffle, snort, snuffle>  [Hmm, there’s a poem in that.]wpredboxuse3

On the posting roster is sharing 25 unknown facts about myself.  Maybe this’ll be of little interest to readers, but it’ll serve as a useful personal purge.  Expect that shortly.

Am definitely keeping an eye open for new pics for my blog and Facebook page.  Taking those little baby steps I used to write about back when.  Better to reach that final destination painstakingly slowly—and safely—than take a few [painful] headers along the way.

. . . Is it just me or does this first week of January feel like it should be the last one?  Time soared like a hawk pursuing prey, then suddenly slowed like syrup poured at a mid-December Montana picnic.  Can you spell y-a-w-n?

Young business woman yawning

Say, here’s something not yet done.  What would you, fellow bloggers and writers, and followers, like to see on this blog?  Continued writing/editing advice?  More frequent reviews (than once every four months)?  Excerpts from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency mystery series?  Personal thoughtszzzzzzzz?  <LOL>  I’m open to suggestions so, please, suggest away!

On that note, my friends, my cold and I bid you <achoo> adieu.  Stay healthy; be well.

Resolutions, Pledges, and Promises

Call them what you will—most of us make them at the start of a New Year.  And then many of us sweep them under a mat before the end of a New Year we’d hoped would be different, better, calmer, different.

It’s Linda, authoring the first official post of 2019 for The Boss, who’s managed to catch someone’s nasty cough and cold.  T’is the season!

It seemed fitting to reflect on something we focus on once the spectacular, celebratory fireworks show has ended.  We’ve all made resolutions at one time or another—those qualities, habits and manners that need improving (as we perceive).  In terms of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio, we haven’t made them in years, but I asked Rey and JJ, as well as The Boss, to each provide three resolutions they’d like to adopt for 2019.  My BFF only agreed when I offered to provide mine as well, so here we go:

Rey:

♦   Resist learning and open my mind more.  ♦   Be less melodramatic or devil-may-care (Linda suggested that one).  ♦   Expand the agency.

JJ:

♦   Become a better marksperson.  ♦   Be less “waffley” when it comes to boyfriends/lovers.  ♦   Learn to surf (because I so hate the water).

Me:

♦   Become skilled at a martial art.  ♦   Do more volunteering.  ♦   Eat healthier again (private eyeing often means eating/snacking on the run, which results in grabbing/scarfing fast food).

The Boss:

♦   Not allow negativity/depression to re-gain the upper hand.  ♦   Re-embrace faith and hope.  ♦   Learn, learn . . . and learn some more (so that blogging and all the technical knowledge that it requires no longer daunts).

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All these are certainly achievable.  The big question, though, with any resolutions/pledges/promises is: just how much effort will be invested to make them actually happen?   <LOL>   Time will tell, dear friends, time will definitely tell.

Have an awesome 2019, everyone—may your dreams and desires come to fruition this year.  God bless.

WHAT GOD HAS FOR YOU IS FOR YOU!

Junaisha (June) writes such positive and inspiring posts, I felt a sincere desire to do something I’ve not yet done: re-blog. Enjoy . . . .

The Godly Chic Diaries

WATCH AND BE UTTERLY AMAZED – FOR I AM GOING TO DO SOMETHING IN YOUR DAYS THAT YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE EVEN IF YOU WERE TOLD – HABUKUK 1:5

Gods promises are defined, dynamic and determined. Nothing can separate us from him or the fulfillment of His promises. God has the most amazing plans for you. He didn’t place you whereHe was going to keep you. He placed you where He can grow you!🌱

A note to myself and for you too – DON’T STOP BELIEVING IN MIRACLES. The best thing you can do for yourself in 2019, and all of life, is LET GO and LET GOD do his heart-changing-flip-your-life-inside-out thing. Turning nothing into something is His speciality.

Think bigger and don’t limit God to what YOU can do. If you settle for what’s usual, that’s what you will continue to receive. Raise your faith and

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Downs & Ups . . . Ups & Downs

Life truly is like a seesaw; one second you’re up, the next you’re down.  It’s all good, simply par for the course.

Given it’s year-end, I feel a need to look back.  No, I won’t reflect on the downs of 2018; there were many and it’d be wise to consign them to lessons learned.  As such, I’m focusing on the ups . . . the plans for a better year . . . such as:

♦   getting my e-book covers redesigned, even if I do it myself (which I rather like the idea—challenge—of doing)  ♦   editing a few books for others (something I’m skilled at and enjoy)  ♦   getting a better handle on creating graphics  ♦   having the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series available in hardcover  ♦   redesigning this blog (a lot or a little remains to be seen)  ♦   making more blogging/writing friends  ♦   endeavoring (with all my heart and soul) not to allow negativity to run roughshod, and . . . not just saying it, but doing it . . .  ♦   going with the flow.

The above reads like a list of resolutions, doesn’t it?  I prefer to view it as “an itemization of things to engage in”.  Time will [continue to] play a great factor, but approach and attitude will prove the essential components.

approach = gambit = advantage

attitude = positive mindset = accomplishment

Now that I’ve stated and posted it, I have to make it happen.  <LOL>

WPcheering Gifer – by Tygradar

Another Year . . . Another Chapter

As 2018 draws to a close and a new year arrives, bringing oodles of possibilities . . . revitalized dreams and objectives . . . fervent anticipation and optimism.

Frankly, for me, 2018 wasn’t a good year.  Faith was tested, hope pretty much spent.  Depression hovered nigh like a mammoth cumulus cloud.  Nope, 2018 was not a good year.

With 2019 around the corner, however, a fresh view and approach are not only conceivable, they’re achievable.  So here’s to:

♦ shutting out the past (and leaving it far behind)     ♦     trusting that things will work out     ♦     ensuring wishes and goals remain true    ♦     embracing the positive    ♦     maintaining compassion    ♦     developing solid relationships    ♦     being grateful for friends and followers    ♦     strengthening faith, and    ♦     believing—knowing—that the Big Guy is walking alongside.

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My fellow writers and bloggers, followers and colleagues: may 2019 be everything you desire and deserve!

To new [amazing] beginnings!  God bless.

Poetry in Motion

More like poetry in john (but it sounds better).

Once upon a time, I dabbled with poetry.  Was never a big fan, in all honesty, but did challenge myself to write it . . . and once written, into a drawer or storage box it went.  And stayed.

The approaching end of a year motivates me to clean up and out—anything and everything.  Last week, I found a few “gems” dated 20 years ago.  (Like, wow, how’d they remain there so long?)

I couldn’t remember writing those poems and some, I confess, seem so bleak/black.  Oof.  But some were interesting, revealing maybe.  Indicative of the time and events in my life, no doubt.

I’ve picked one to post—a purge, as it were.  Given year-end seems a fine time for clearing and cleansing, I’m sharing it . . . as is, even if the temptation to edit and refine is overwhelming.  It should remain as is (as it was was)—a tribute to the evolution of yours truly as a poet, er, writer.

A Tree, Me, To Be

I’ve watched the green-blue waters flow, gently and not-so-gently

And I’ve viewed many vivid sunrises and just as many sunsets.

Wildlife is scarce; watersnakes and alligators and frogs and fish

And many types of birds—their plumage magnificent, their colors intense.

Hanging moss and pungent mold surround this great swampy river. 

The bogs.

Rocks are few, unless you look beneath the darksome waters, near my roots and those of my sisters.

The sky is azure, peacock and mauve, depending on the time of day and year.

Sometimes it’s iron and slate and pitch and it’s not even evening.

This is because

         the storms and hurricanes have arrived.  And with them,

         great winds and pelting wetness.  Fierce and determined.

         Then, finally, calm.

Sounds are minimal.  Chirps and warbles and singsong twitters.

My friends, the birds.

Splashes can also be heard—those amphibious creatures.

Occasionally, man-made noises fly overhead or rumble in the distance.

Hunters?

One night I dreamed about a person who was a successful writer.

She told me how she kept the faith, held it, embraced it, squeezed it and welcomed it

Until it finally guided her to the point, the place she knew she had to be.

One night I dreamed about this same person.

She was a recognized author, a winner of awards.

She instructed me to pick up my pen and never lay it down.

“Have no fears.  Your pen will know the words.  It will create

         the written images

         the brilliant visions

         the probing thoughts

         for you.

It knows what’s inside your head and heart.”

One night I dreamed about her again, this artist of words.

She was standing on a patio—hers—overlooking the crystalline waters of the Atlantic.

She said nothing, simply gestured the aqua expanse.

Believe.

In self and spirit.

This silent message drifted as a veil of opaque white before me.

Then, I knew

Conviction of self was all it took . . . and all it takes.

Some time later, I had another dream.

         But the writer—acclaimed, spiritual, and sage—was not in it.

         In her stead was . . . me.

I stood on the patio, overlooking the Atlantic, a pen and notebook within reach

And all the conviction I’ve ever and never possessed coursed through my veins, heart, and mind.

I was no longer confined, bound by fear and doubt;

The thin, twining bindings that had held me firm, my confidence from spilling forth,

Had fallen.

Fallen into the water . . . to be carried away by the currents and flows.

I could breathe.

Deeply.

Inhale the sweetness of foliage

         the brininess of water

         the coolness of the night

         and warmth of the day.

I’d finished my book.

It had not finished me.

I had another dream.

The writer came to me—

A smaller version

A birdlike version.

She sat on my branch

And placed a gentle, warm palm to

My body, my trunk.

It kissed me and whispered,

“You believed.  And I came.”

I studied her white, crystal face

Delicate and fragile

Like the rime on a cottage window

On a late December’s eve.

There was strength and knowledge

And wisdom that surpassed all time

And events.

The longer I looked at her,

The longer I stared,

The more I saw.

That face, that essence

Belonged to no one

Yet everyone

And, above all, me.

 

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OMG.  Can you spell y-u-c-k?  I see why I ceased writing poetry.  <LMAO>  But it’s all good, because evolution truly is a splendid thing.

Hump Day

Silly name, Hump Day.  Get it.  Still silly.

So the tour’s over . . . and I’ve no more daily tour-update posts.  Back to the regular routine of posting Wednesdays and weekends.

Two takeaways: find a new cover designer to give the Triple Threat Investigation Agency books a new [appealing] look and not call Cash “Aloha Shirt Man”.  <LOL>  Okay, okay, there were a few more takeaways and I’m most grateful for them.  Thank you again, everyone.

On that note, I bid you a lovely Hump Day.  May it be a pleasant and positive one!

Aloha!

Hula for Present Blog Post

 

 

Thank you !!!

Yesterday was the last day of the Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? book-blog tour (although it was a “didn’t happen”, but that’s fine).  What fun . . . and eye-opening.  I have some “must-dos” for January.  <LOL>

Thank you to all those amazing bloggers and reviewers who had the gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio (JJ, Rey, and Linda) and me drop by –  and a huge hug of gratitude to Jina S. Bazzar, who organized everything!

Thank you, thank you, thank you !!!