Another B-Day Cometh/Goeth

Hey, it’s Rey!

And you’ve also got JJ, having a great day!

You’ve got me, Linda, too, scooby-doo-oo!

Scooby-doo-oo?  Like what the <bleep>?

Listen, Rey, I can be cute, too.

That’s not cute, Lindy-Loo, it’s just peee-u.

Ha-ha.  You’re so not funny.

Uh-huh.  As the narrator of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, maybe I should take over, ladies. You two can continue that petty arguing outside—hey, don’t you dare, Cousin Reynalda!  Not one word.

Good, now that she’s buttoned those lips and is [begrudgingly] following her BFF into the yard, I just wanted to give a head’s up that there’s no post of note today.  The Boss has the day off—we gave it to her.  Birthdays come but once a year.

c73f0c0fa8f35c9fe580a4b5b9f2a8baShe doesn’t care much; as she said, “b-days cometh and goeth”. 

Still, it’s a special day, one where you can be a kid again if you so choose, eat [and/or drink] as much as you want, enjoy the day that’s just for you

Have at it, Boss!

Short & Sweet Today

Hey, it’s Rey!  Hope you’re havin’ a fabulous Saturday.  The three of us are, he-he.

We were fooling around with the new FB pic—to include our latest Triple Threat Investigation Agency case, HA-HA-HA-HA.

Another drum roll, pul-leeze ……..

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And another ta-da!

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Whadya think?  Nice, huh, huh, huh?

Catchya later!

Blogger’s Blank Brain (Also known as Writer’s Block)

There are so many things one can blog about, keeping in mind, of course, the theme(s) of the blog—but, can one do so without becoming redundant, predictable and/or b-o-r-i-n-g?

I’d planned on doing an editing-related post.  Ech.  Yawnnnnn.  Didn’t feel like going there.  Nor did I much feel like patting myself on the back again re getting HA-HA-HA-HA completed.  Double yawnnnnn.  (Mind you, I’m so tired these days, everything seems to prove a major yawn, he-he.)

So, I got to thinking about simply posting about, well, posting.  Specifically, how to keep at it, particularly when you’re not feeling it.

The first thing: be realistic about how often you can do it.  Then, commit to it.  I offer a post Wednesdays and Saturdays.  That’s not unrealistic, except that I do have mom-care and a full-time job, never mind part-time editing.  So, maybe it’s not that realistic anymore.  Still, I’ll do my best [for as long as possible] and if I truly can’t post twice a week, I’ll make it known.

The same holds true for you: if you can’t stick with the schedule, let your followers know.  The good thing is that you can schedule posts ahead of time, but you’ll need to write a whack of them in advance; bear that in mind and, if doable, write a few in one sitting.

Stay on the theme of your blog, yes, but see if you can “stretch” that a bit— incorporate topics/concepts that are related, yet not.  If you have a blog about editing, for example, keep providing tips and examples.  But there’s nothing to stop you from reviewing novels/books from an editor’s POV, analyzing the editing involved, and perhaps even interviewing editors or writing about them.  Proofing?  That’s another component of editing.  Dig, dig, dig and ye shall unearth a sundry of subjects.

Do podcasts.  A YouTube vid.  Add graphics, photos, lists, comics, or something silly/fun (if it fits).  I haven’t the time to do anything but straightforward posts (I do say that ad nauseum but, sadly, it’s the vexing truth); that, however, doesn’t mean you can’t do something different/entertaining/enlightening.

Visit other sites for ideas (but don’t steal).  Link to other blogs or sites that may have something of note to share with your followers.  Showcase fellow bloggers.  Another option?  Ask your followers/readers what they would like to see.  Or allow them to post about their experiences, knowledge, opinions as they relate to the theme(s) of your blog.

Topics aside (and now that I’ve also reminded myself of the possibilities), don’t beat yourself up if nothing’s coming.  Just go with the flow and let the chips fall where they may (some days, I do so love clichés).  Put your feet up, sit back, relax; inform your followers you’re taking a bit of a blogger’s blank-brain break (but not too long, because you don’t want to lose credibility or followers).

. . . Well, well, well.  I just surprised myself . . . by writing a brainstorming blank-brain post. <LOL>

A Personal Post

This one’s a difficult one . . . yes, it’s good to share, purge, vent . . . no, it’s not good to complain, cry . . . which I, truthfully, don’t wish to do but, alas, do (LOL).

The Ontario health system, LIHN in particular, has let me down re mom-care.  She has mild dementia and is considered “capable” of making decisions.  As such, she won’t be entering a home any time soon; yours truly can continue to take care of her, regardless of ongoing exhaustion and depression.  “Mom” has it great; she’s waited on and treated like a queen.  For someone who has always been self-absorbed and critical of everyone, she’s done well, and still continues to do so.

I, on the other hand, am not doing that well.  Given I have to take care of her—indefinitely, as the case may be—the aforementioned exhaustion and depression have increased twofold (who’d have thought that possible?).  Evidently, no one cares that the caregiver is so burned out, she can barely stand (or stand it).

As you may know from previous posts, I’ve given up years of my life for my mother, fully aware I’ll never receive a thank you.  That’s okay.  It is what it is.  But I, truly, no longer wish to sacrifice my life.  I’d like to experience it before I myself lay my head down to [perpetual] rest.

It’s exceptionally difficult to remain calm/ sane/ understanding/ patient / focused.  Is this a pity party (as someone called it)?  Perhaps.  Quite probably.  And all’s the pity that no one seems to understand.  Resulting platitudes are aplenty; requested [required] assistance is not.

I made some wrong decisions a number of years ago so, really, no one is to blame for this except myself.  Lessons learned (majorly and, maybe, a little bitterly).  May you make the right decision(s), whatever your dilemma, quandary, situation—or opportunity (which I hope and pray you are experiencing more than the others)—and may you find peace and joy in that.

Take care, my friends.

Do as I Say . . . Not as I Do . . . Ple-ease (!)

A quick post today.  As you may know if you read my FB posts, I finally submitted HA-HA-HA-HA (the fifth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series) to Next Chapter. 

Was I proud?  Happy?  Relieved?  As Rey might say, you betcha!

Lo and behold, I went to cut and paste the epilogue of the next (sixth) book into a new Word document and what did I find?!  That I’d left 10 pages of research notes and the like at the end.  Groannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

<bleep>  I could have sworn I’d deleted those.  Where the <bleep, bleep> did those suckers come from!?  Great editor/proofer, huh?  I couldn’t catch a major faux pas in my own book.  I’m not sure whether to laugh hysterically or weep profusely. 

I’m slapping myself mentally for having been so dim-witted.  Like really? 

And that leads me to the message of this post.  Proof and edit before you submit something—again and again.  It will save in the embarrassment department, unless you’re thick-skinned, of course, and could care less.  I, however, do care . . . very much.

Be as professional as you can be, and take pride in that professionalism.  Do as I say, not as I do.  Groannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

The Pleasure of Perfection

Hey, it’s Rey.  The title’s courtesy of Lindy-Loo, but the post is all mine.

The Boss actually gave me the idea—the inspiration—from something she said the other day.  She’d finished editing “HA-HA-HA-HA”, turned off the laptop, and murmured “perfect”.  Not that she thinks it’s actually flawless or spot-on or anything like that.  Perfect because she’s given it her all and—yeah, although she knows she could edit it another five times—it’s time to say and embrace “The End”.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be thoroughly skilled, or defect-less (my word), or “excellent” but remember this: perfect isn’t about being that, it’s about being good enough in your eyes.  Aim to be the best you can be; there’s nothing wrong with that—in fact, it’s something we should all do—just don’t expect to be p-e-r-f-e-c-t.  That will never happen—as perfectionists (or high achievers, as they’re sometimes called) can confirm—because there’ll always be something that could use tweaking.

There’s nothing wrong with setting high goals, either; just don’t obsess about it.  Take me.  I was a B-actress.  I’d have loved to be an A-list one.  I’m talented, but I also know exactly how talented I am—i.e. I acknowledge my limitations and accept them.  Yes, I can work on them (and I have, and I do), but I’ll never be a Meryl Streep or Julianne Moore, and I am fine with that.  I . . . am . . . good . . . enough.  I take pleasure in being as perfect as I can be.

There are some fields/areas that do need 100% perfectionism—like medical and engineering (anything where being off even a teeny-weeny bit could be deadly or dangerous), but I don’t have the perfect (he-he) background to provide insight on them.  And I suspect that’d be a major snooze-fest if I did.  I’m simply l’il ol’ Rey, a pretty decent private eye, who’s posting about giving something/yourself your all and recognizing how far you can/will go to achieve that.

“Practice makes perfect” is a valid saying.  The more you do something, the better you are at it.  The Boss will readily admit she was a lousy (!) writer when she first started out a few decades ago.  She kept applying herself, though . . . kept learning . . . kept practicing.  Still does.  Now, she believes she’s a good (not great) writer—she knows her limitations.  She’ll never be a James Joyce or Margaret Atwood.  She’s not perfect but she is good [enough] in her eyes.  And that’s okay . . . because she’ll still endeavor to do it better the next time around.

I’m going to end this perfect little post; it’s as perfect as I can make it, given my limited writing background.  But I’ve come a long way—just look at my first post.  I won’t say we [all] develop/grow, because I’ve met some people that truly “never learn”.  I think that’s because they think they’re perfect as they are.  Well, bully for them—and, boy, do I have news for them (he-he).

On that note, I hope you have a perfectly lovely Wednesday and week.

Becoming Bulletproof – Part 2

Per the previous post, I wanted to share a [sort of] review of a book—Becoming Bulletproof by Evy Poumpouras—one I’d label both enlightening and engaging.

As mentioned, it was given to me by a friend who understands what “space/place” I’m in these days and thought it might serve of value.  It has, as it’s certainly giving me food for thought.

Besides giving us a bit of background as to how she became a Secret Service Agent, and what that entailed, Evy provides guidance on how to “protect yourself / read people / influence situations / live fearlessly / become bulletproof” (per the back of the book jacket).  Sounds good—is good.

Divided into three sections/parts, we have “Protection”, “Reading People”, and “Influence”.

There are, for example, three types of fear: flight, fight, freeze.  I tend to embrace fight mode, though on the odd occasion, I might freeze.  Speaking of fight, you’ll find information on how to learn to fight; i.e. know your limitations, have a plan, maintain a reality check.

What else might you learn?  How to better secure your life.  “Whether at home, online, or out in public, you’ll have the strategies you need to keep your property, possessions, and information safe.”  Who doesn’t want to know how to do that?

I particularly liked Part Two, with chapters on how to read people, via diagrams as well as descriptions, and how to determine what people are truly saying, via verbal red flags.

As well as being enlightening and engaging, Becoming Bulletproof is a good, solid, straightforward read.  Need I say more?

Becoming Bulletproof – Part 1

I’m reading a great book right now (one I’m not editing)—Becoming Bulletproof by Evy Poumpouras.

The intention was to do a review, but as I was strolling along pre-dawn streets this morning, it came to me to do a two-parter.  One: how the book came into my possession.  Two: the review itself.

This year has been one of sharing, of communicating things about my personal situation, and what a challenge life has become over the years.  I never had the inclination to be transparent [that much] in past, but somehow, these days, this year, it seems a cathartic thing to do.

I’ve been sad/depressed off and on for a long time; sometimes, I can handle it, sometimes I slip deep within and/or spit razorblades.  Lately, it’s been the latter.  I’ve walked away from people (the very, very few friends I have, all three of them).

One friend, however, was sweet enough to give me a feel-better bag filled with lovely pick-you-up pressies.  Scented candles (I couldn’t peel my nose from those heady fragrances).  Sweet treats (how nummy).  A soft blanket (so ni-ice at night).  And the book . . . Becoming Bulletproof (Life Lessons from a Secret Service Agent).  Thank you, Krystyna.

“The one person you should be able to fully rely upon to save you is you.  You are the hero you’ve been waiting for . . .” is how the back jacket reads.  Love it.  Ultimately, it’s true; the only person(s) we can rely on are ourselves.

The book revolves around how to deal with and overcome fear.  I’m all for that; who doesn’t want to take charge of her/his life?

My fear?  There’s really only one: never being free of mom-care.  I’ve devoted most of my life to taking care of a woman who could care less what the toll is on me, nor is she thankful for the multitude of things I do every day.  That’s okay.  Some people simply can’t say thank-you.  And I don’t criticize or condemn her for that; that’s just who she is.

I’m often feeling like one of the walking dead because I am exhausted beyond exhausted.  And hope and faith are merely memories.  But real [uninterrupted] sleep will come one day.  Maybe not tomorrow or next month.  But it will come.  Hope may return and I hope (he-he) it does.  Faith I’m not so sure about, but maybe I take the Wayne Dyer approach to life.  Faith is found in many forms and it doesn’t have to be “religious”.

I must learn to go with the flow better than I have been doing.  Pull up the socks.  Keep a stiff upper lip.  Let things happen/unfold.  Allow the cards to fall where they may.  How are those for overused—but appropriate—sayings?

wpbookI must also apply what I’ve learned from the book.  It’s merely a matter of putting advice into practice . . . and practice does make perfect (one last familiar saying, he-he).

And, with time, yours truly will become bulletproof.

The Old Boat Float

Hey, it’s able Rey today.  <he,he>  I made a little rhyme.  The Boss is swamped, so I’m taking over on what Lindy-Loo would call “post patrol”.

To be honest, I was a bit lost as to what the topic should be, then I remembered the last one, and our Boss’ favorite (kinda silly) expression: whatever floats your boat.  Like really?  But whatever.

So-o, I thought I’d share with you guys what floats our boats—“our” being the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency, me, Cousin Jilly, also known as JJ, and my BFF, Linda, or Lindy-Loo as I sometimes call her, much to her annoyance.  Don’t know why.  It’s cute, doncha think?

I’m gonna start with her and what, these days, does it for her.

Linda:     Lots of things float mine—blogging, reviewing wines and food, being a P.I., volunteering at the shelter . . . enjoying the day.  I’m fairly down to earth; it doesn’t take me a lot to be happy or content.  But, if I have to pick something “current” that brings me joy, given these trying times, I’d say that it’s the goodness in people—LOL, Rey just gave a big roll of those grass-green eyes and stuck her index finger in her mouth.  It’s true, though.  No matter how difficult and challenging things are right now, so many persons are still reaching out to help one another . . . like Chicago’s “Pilot Pete”, who gathered 6000 coats and gave them to the homeless—with coffee.  I love it.  Hope (lots!) abounds.

Thanks Sister Linda.  And what about you, Cous?

JJ:     Like Linda, many things float mine, but I do love animal stories with happy endings.  As such, I’m going to go with a recent one, where a young navy sailor from Thailand leapt into rough waters, and swam several grueling yards, to save four kittens from a burning ship.  Thatsaphon Saii placed three in a sack and perched one on his shoulders.  If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye—and warm your heart—I don’t know what will.  Yes, hope does abound.    

Okay, that brought on a sniffle.  Last, but never least, me . . .

Rey:     Guess I’m what Linda and JJ might call petty-minded, not in a niggling or nagging way, but in a trivial one.  Sure, saving the monk seals brings me joy (as you may know), and I love private-eyeing—that certainly floats it, too. But I am who and what I am, and the entertainment world (still) does it for me.  I was a B-movie actress and I still do some part-time acting.  Not because I have to, because I want to.  I love being in front of a camera and on the stage.  It’s fun and it’s totally me.  So, you know, I’m going to say what really floats my boat is . . . being honest.

So, friends, what floats yours?

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The Ecstasy of Editing

Okay, maybe it’s not quite that blissful, but it is enjoyable . . . this from an editor/proofreader who truly likes her [presently part-time] job.

As a cross between a developmental and line editor, I can become rather exuberant with the task(s) at hand.  I may remove a lot of words (glaringly incorrect or no-value add ones) . . . or insert them, if I believe the story will benefit from a bit of tweaking.  I never, however, do anything willy-nilly; “logic” behind the updates is always provided.

It’s quite satisfying to be able to assist/support fellow writers, improve their writing, polish their voice—and, ultimately, transform their work into the best it can be.

Editing isn’t for everyone, but if you’re considering doing it professionally, I say: go for it.  Follow your desire, your dream.  But there are a few [minor] things you may want to be aware of:

♥   Keen eyes are a must, as is instinct; you have a feeling for what works.  ♥   Excellent communication skills are also required (which probably goes without saying).  ♥   There are long hours, so patience (and persistence) are necessary.  ♥     The pay’s not always great (especially when you start out) but, with time and experience, it can prove relatively rewarding.  ♥   You may burn out from time to time with the heavy load and aforementioned long hours, but that holds true of any job.  ♥   There will be some guaranteed head-scratching now and again when something makes sense only to the writer, but that’s the fun of it—you can fix it.

The purpose of this post?  You know?  I’m not actually sure.  Initially, the plan was to offer background.  That didn’t float my boat.  Then it was, hmm, what about reviewing the types of editing?  Nawwww; I felt a snore or four coming on.

So, I guess all this is to share that I’m really enjoying editing [again] and, hopefully, I’ll be able to do so for many years to come.

vippngboat1abAh, a compact personal post with a positive spin.  Yeah . . . now that floats my boat.  <LOL>