Sci-Fi in the so High Sky

In terms of catchy headings/titles, a little alliteration or rhyming words can work well.  Sometimes they bomb, big time, and sometimes they result in head-scratching or “huh?”.  This one popped into my head and refused to leave, so at the top of this post it had to go.

A while ago, I promised to revisit a couple of authors . . . and I always honor pledges.  Sean Robins’ latest book—The Gray Emperor: An Epic Space Opera/Parallel Universe Adventure, the seventh in the series—has been garnering great reviews.

★★★★★ “I have to say the ability for this author to tell a story has got me hooked. I fell in love with all the characters and it became a goal to find out what happened.”
★★★★★ “I loved this! I highly recommend this to any fan of pop culture, especially Star Trek fans!”
★★★★★ “This book was a Godsend as I was struggling to find a book to engage me. Sean Robins got it right with this book and I’m super excited for more.”
★★★★★ “Plot and characters are well developed and filled with real emotion. Pleasantly surprising twists!”
★★★★★ “I found myself becoming involved with the characters and caring for them and their struggles.”
★★★★★ “I loved this book! Great story, great characters, awesome movie references and humor.”
★★★★★ “This author is very talented, grabbed and held my interest.”

My own one-sentence review: A quirky and fun read with engaging characters and thrilling sky-high battle scenes.

For those not in the know, in The Gray Emperor, ever staunch General Maada leads his fleet to the White Republic universe, where the Xenoakakies rule with an iron fist. There, he encounters a few old friends, as well as some new foes, including the Death Angel, the legendary enemy pilot who’s killed the general’s doppelganger.

While Maada has been through his fair share of dangerous and/or doomed battles, this one takes him into an entirely different realm.  The resolute insects’ hold on this universe seems unshakable, and their fleet dwarfs the general’s in vast numbers and power.  But Maada is indomitable and will fight, whatever the cost.

Maada, flying the Crimson Deathbringer off the ground and towards the approaching enemy fleet, checked his tactical display. Forty-six thousand space fighters from seven different species were following him. He had led the forces under his command into battle countless times, but this was the first time he was in command of an allied force fighting an aggressor with the entire galaxy’s survival at stake. That thought filled his chest with fierce pride.

He had been in this position before, fighting first the Volts, then Father, and later the White Republic’s navy to save billions, but on both those occasions Jim had been in command. This, however, was his fleet, and it would be his victory.

Along for the electrifying ride: Jim Harrison the protagonist and narrator for all the books in the series, Tarq the jokester, and Xornaa the femme fatale mercenary and Xortaag spy.

aThe Crimson Deathbringer Series 1

For those not familiar with Sean, he’s a huge fan of Marvel, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Star Trek.  He’s also a university/college level English teacher who has lived and worked in different countries.  To find out more, please check out Sean and his new book at:

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

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/18999889.Sean_Robins

https://www.audible.ca/search?searchAuthor=Sean+Robins

https://www.facebook.com/seanrobins300/

https://seanrobins73.wixsite.com/website

Taking the Tiger by the Tail

A great saying.  What does it mean?  Something is too difficult to manage or cope with, or a situation too dangerous to proceed with or escape from.

I’m in neither, but it’s been a trying few days—LOL—again.  Just when you think life might just once move along smoothly, it doesn’t.  It refuses to.  So, once again, you have no option but to opt to go with the flow.

Unfortunately, that flow means not finding the time to post . . . yet, here I am, writing a quick one about my dilemma and inability to do so.  😊  That’s worthy of recording.

What do we do when we’re stuck or taking the tiger by the tail (much to its undoubted displeasure)?  We persevere.  Perhaps laugh at the absurdity of it all.  I mean, if things never seem to go right, isn’t it worth sticking your tongue out at and saying “naw-naw-naw-naw-naw, you’re so not going to <bleep> me off today”.

Think about what lies ahead—what can you do, what can’t you do? 

Do the things that you can and take pride in those accomplishments. 

Holler.  There’s nothing better than venting—screaming, shouting, smushing a muffin or flinging it across the room (no, you can’t do that to a loved one or fur baby, definitely not), or jumping up and down.  I rather enjoy shrieking at the top of my lungs, and who cares who hears me?  Just let it out!

Recognize that circumstances will change.  Maybe not tomorrow, but sooner or later they will.  Nothing remains as is forever.  That is a fact.

Do not believe the powers that be have it in for you.  Consider trying times as challenges and lessons; they happen for a reason and enable you to grow.  It’s all good, even if you’re not seeing that at the moment. 

Walk away for a wee while.  Take time to switch gears / alter perspectives.

The list could go on, and you’ve likely seen “tips” like these before.  The point is, when you can’t blog or write on schedule, when life gets in the way, step aside for a time.  It’s okay.  Take a few deep breaths.  Take a break.  Take a walk.  Take whatever you need to rebalance.

And there you have it, taking the tiger by the tail . . . very gently . . . with eyes wide open . . . and a gleeful grin.

Don’t put off  until tomorrow what you can do today, is a great quote by Benjamin Franklin.  But Mark Twain’s may be even better.  Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow. 

Do what’s best for you in the chosen moment.

HAudible

Hey there.  The audiobook for HA-HA-HA-HA, the fifth in the Oahu-based Triple Threat Investigation Agency series (featuring private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda) can be downloaded from Audible . . . and will be live in Amazon and iTunes in the next 72 hours.

HA-HA-HA-HA finds the three women on a serial killer’s buddy list.  When he’s not taunting them, he’s challenging them to “play the game”—by his rules.  Rules are made to be broken, however—or, at the very least, changed.  The trio attempt to determine who he might be . . . not an easy feat, given the lack of constructive evidence and cast of oddball characters. As they endeavor to stop the man from killing again, they must solve a couple of other cases: verifying whether a hubby has a roving eye and ascertaining who is stalking a young, beautiful woman.  Could it be that these two cases somehow intertwine?  And who will prove the ultimate winner in this deadly game of taunts and perplexities: the clever and cunning killer, or the persevering and persistent private eyes?

These are the official Audible links and coupon codes are available for both (US and UK):

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B0B9HX1PLX/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-318953&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_318953_rh_us

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B0B9HY4WZ7/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-318953&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_318953_rh_uk

Please note that the coupon codes can only be used using these acx-promo links.

Contact me if you’d like one.  😊

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’.  😉

Judy Hogan Writes

ramblings of an apprentice author

The Nightingale

Maria Konnel - Youg Adult Fantasy Author

Avisha Rasminda

Hi, I'm Avisha Rasminda Twenty One years old, Introduce Myself As A Author , Painter , A Poet.

Random Ramblings

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

KRISHNA KUMAR SINGH

KNOWLEDGE AND TIPS

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

Wise & Shine

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 One years old, Introduce Myself As A Author , Painter , A Poet.

Random Ramblings

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

KRISHNA KUMAR SINGH

KNOWLEDGE AND TIPS

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

Wise & Shine

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