Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah . . . A Personal Post about Zip

Rey, who often covers posts when I’m not around or feeling a need to step away, isn’t available.  So, here I am.

I decided to break from Editing Tidbits this weekend and share a few thoughts and happenings.  Nothing earthshattering or life-changing.  Nothing of major significance—“zip”—but a little personal.  wkndblog2

This week, I seriously gave thought to stop blogging/writing.  It’s kind of a conundrum in that I’m stressed when I’m not able to write, I’m stressed when I do.  Heck, I’m plain stressed.  Period.  <LOL>  But then I have to ask: do I truly want to cease doing what I so much enjoy, even if I can’t do it to the extent I’d like?  Should I?  Could I?

Some health issues have been plaguing me of late.  Not sure if they’re a result of being frazzled or because I’m truly [annoyingly] experiencing a glut of minor [irritating] maladies.

As you know, I take care of my elderly mom and work a 9-5 job, so juggling time is tough.  The job, in fact, is actually coming to a close as it’s being—drum roll <rat-ta-tat-tat>—automated.  Yeah, that popular early 21st century word we know so well.  They’re moving me into a new role, but I’d rather they do what they’ve been doing to others in and around my age: urging early retirement (with a decent package).  Why?  Besides that fact I really don’t want the new role (I’m not sure it’s a good fit, to be honest), I’d like—love!—to write and blog full-time.

About 18 months ago, give or take, I started A Writer’s Grab-Bag and a corresponding FB page (The Triple Threat Investigation Agency).  Dreams and plans abounded, as they still do now, which is awesome, but they’re also still that: dreams and plans.

Writing’s been a decades-long joy.  It’s fun, therapeutic, and challenging.  I like to think [hope] that maybe I’m entertaining people with my tales.  Teaching and mentoring have always been pleasures, too; thus, the [hopefully] edifying posts.

Here’s to stress and “frazzlement” dissipating soon and getting back on course.  Two simple sayings we know well: “when one door closes, another opens” and “things have a way of working themselves out”.  Deep within, my heart and soul say: just continue to keep the faith, kiddo (even when some days prove super challenging).  Trials and tribulations, great or small, help us learn and grow.  Who can argue with that?  Ultimately, it’s all good.

There you go, a little wearing of the heart on one’s sleeve from yours truly—a personal post about “zip” . . . “a-dee-doo-dah”.  <LOL>  After the rain, there’s always sunshine.  As James Baskett wrote . . .

♥  Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay  /  My, oh, my, what a wonderful day  /  Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way  /  Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!  ♥ 

Have an awesome weekend, my friends.

And from the trio at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency—who intend to enjoy the beach and watersports this sunshiny weekend, those lucky gals—aloha!

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A Triple Threat Sing-A-Long

Hey.  Rey here.  Got a treat today—all three of us are posting.  The Boss is in a bit of a funk this week.  She’s missing “home” (H-a-w-a-i-i) and can’t find a way of getting here any time soon.  But she’s keeping the faith.

To boost her spirits, we decided to do what she calls “an aside”—we’re sharing about our time on Oahu.  We’ve already posted about our life as P.I.s and our likes and loves about this place, but we haven’t really talked about why it’s so near and dear, how it’s shaped and influenced us.  So, here’s a sum-up from each of us, including what we consider the quintessential mele (that’s Hawaiian for song) from our favorite Hawaiian artist.  . . . Have to laugh.  Linda’s eyes bugged out when she saw me use “quintessential”.  But as I often say: I’m not just a pretty face.

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Reynalda Fonne-Werde

Life here has softened me a bit.  Yeah, my colleagues think I’m melodramatic and sometimes reckless and self-centered.  I am, I admit it.  When I want something, I go for it.  And I think this is perfectly all right when working a case—a private eye needs to go with her gut.  On the human side, I’ve learned to like animals (a lot) and have taken to saving the monk seals (a cause dear to my heart).  I tend to listen to people more and can be sympathetic and feeling.  So yeah, I’ve definitely softened.  Damn.  I hope I don’t turn into a mush-ball or anything like that.  My quintessential song is by the very talented, and greatly missed, Iz.  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

JJ Fonne

I’m loving that Rey’s become proactive in different ways.  Life here has changed her.  It’s changed us all.  We’re happily ensconced in burgeoning careers and personal crusades.  My cousin and I have bonded.  Sure, we have our tiffs and life’s not always rosy, but I can’t complain about anything.  It may be a cliché saying, but it’s true:  it’s all good.  This is going to sound cheesy, but my quintessential song is “Tiny Bubbles” by Hawaiian pop icon Don Ho.  (Even if I sound like sound like a frog that’s barely been missed being run over by pick-up truck, I have no prob singing his signature song in the shower—with absolute gusto.)

Linda Royale

Contrary to what JJ’s posted, I can’t say I’ve changed a lot since moving here, but I’m certainly grateful and count my blessings for having the opportunity to live and work here.  I have to confess, when Rey suggested becoming professional private investigators, I didn’t take her seriously.  In fact, I humored her—for weeks.  When it became obvious she was totally serious, I attempted to talk her out of it.  But she’s strong-minded, among other things, so P.I.s it was.  I don’t regret it.  At all.  As for Hawaii, the aloha spirit does exist—it’s almost tangible—and it’s infectious.  And on that note, my quintessential song is Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk/Formation”.  Talk about infectious.  It makes me want to dance every time.  . . . And maybe, just maybe, it will “up” The Boss’ “funk”.

Aloha from Rey, JJ, and Linda!

Confessions of a Quasi-Novice Blogger

I confess!  I know not how to respond to a Google reply/notification!  I have trouble replying to a Facebook message!  I struggle (still) to figure out Instagram!  <LMAO>

Is it an age thang?  Or a simple lack of knowledge?  Maybe a bit of both.  I love technology, though I [often] curse it.  Social media I totally get and attempt to pursue as regularly as limited time will allow, but—another admission—some sites/applications [to me] are as nebulous as clouds of dust.

I should probably find a social media expert who works [super] cheap, someone who can explain it in layman’s—er, layperson’s—terms so it’s understandable and doable.

Another bit of a digression today.  When ideas/thoughts pop into the ol’ noggin, you sometimes yearn to share them—maybe because, when you let others in on what you’re thinking or experiencing, the process provides a bit of that warm and fuzzy feeling (and that’s kind of ni-ice).

Blogging: what an awesome platform.  It enables us to open up, confess, entertain, instruct . . . sell . . . meet and greet.  We can reveal dreams, worries, and inexperience/naiveté.  We can expose ourselves to the world, something many of us may never previously have considered, much less done.  In essence, we’re able to wear our hearts on our sleeves (and that’s kind of ni-ice, too). blogsun1

Departures from the norm are a good thing now and again.  But next post, it’s back to the straight and narrow.  . . . Maybe.  Who knows what may catch my fancy the next few days?  <ROTFL>

Thanks for letting me in, my friends.

 

L’amour du Fromage or The Love of Cheese . . . y

Love cheese.  It’s nummy, as P.I. Rey would say, and full of calcium and protein, which is a good thing (we’ll overlook the cholesterol component).

Love cheesiness.  Not in a vulgar or crummy way, but as in silly and fun.

This blog certainly leans toward cheesy.  Many of the photos are stock and are “manipulated” by yours truly.  I’ll readily admit that they lean toward amateurish, which is fairly evident, but I’m okay with that . . .  ‘cause I love cheese-y.

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Sure, I’d like this blog to look professional, but that would require paid-for services, which equals $$$, which I simply don’t possess [at this time].

But what’s wrong with a blog looking homemade?  Muffins and cookies prepared by a loving hand are 10X better than store-made bought.

I’m off on a bit of a tangent today and, therefore, not offering any bona fide advice, observations, or findings.  Merely having a bit of fun, doffing my layperson hat, and patting myself on the back for having gotten this far.

As I grow and develop, gain knowledge from other blogs, and learn through [a lot of] trial and error, A Writer’s Grab-Bag will undergo some tweaking.

In the meanwhile, I’ll stick with cheesy, because as a lover of le fromage, I’m fine with that.

Don’t take life [and blogging] too seriously.  Our time on this planet is incredibly short, my friends.  Have / poke some fun now and again, in an entertaining harmless way of course.  What’s meant to be, will happen . . . in its sweet, blessed time.

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Stoked & Grateful

As the year draws to a close, it’s hard not to consider all that’s transpired.  2017 was a[nother] year to grow and develop, learn and absorb.

A Writer’s Grab-Bag isn’t halfway where I want it to be (time constraints due to a 9-5 job and Mom), but that’s okay.  The important thing is it is up.  When I can eventually do this full-time, it’ll become everything I want it to be.  In the meanwhile?  I’ll simply go with the flow and figure things out—maybe what I’d initially envisioned the blog to be isn’t at all what it’s supposed to be.   <LOL>

I’m taking a little side trip from the usual and posting what I’m grateful for—that I:

  • have this post up and running
  • post twice a week, without fail
  • write daily on the Triple Threat Investigation Agency Facebook page
  • publish weekly on my other blog (a mish-mash of thoughts on a mish-mash of news, ideas, personal doings)
  • am forever learning about life, writing/blogging, Mom, me
  • have managed to keep the faith despite some trials and tribulations (God is good)
  • have “met” some awesome fellow writers and bloggers
  • am almost finished “Forever Poi”, the 4th mystery in The Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, and
  • am totally stoked about [and ready to take on] the upcoming year.

For those of you following this blog, thank you.  Whether there’s one of you, ten or a hundred, I hope that I provide you with some useful information and/or a smile or chuckle.

May 2018 be a truly amazing year—to dreams coming true, good health, and plans/goals secured . . . to always being stoked and grateful. 

Take care, my friends.  Hugs to you all.

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Bagging Interest with an Interesting Non-Blah Blog Post Heading

I love alliteration.  Sometimes it really works; sometimes it simply sucks.  The point?  A blog post title or heading has to be as attention-grabbing as the post itself.

Confession?  I always write the heading first.  Why?  Because it sets the mood and establishes my thought process.  What direction am I taking?  What do I want to cover?  How will those heading words be incorporated into the post so there’s cohesion?

I generally aim to be [somewhat] snappy, humorous, or witty.  My blogging objective is two-fold.  The first is to share what I’ve learned so far.  The second is to pull in readers (and potential followers): to bag their interest and insure they gain something beneficial from the advice.

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As previously mentioned, A Writer’s Grab-Bag is still in the development stage—and I readily admit it will take time to transform it to “just right”—but I’m happy to take passengers on this exciting, educational journey.

I digress [a wee bit].  As a blogger, you have a focus/theme and purpose: to accommodate (gratify) readers with your area of expertise.  Digression is fine now and again (I’m pretty good at it, as you know), but posts should spotlight your focus/theme.

Now, while your posts will undoubtedly contain loads of fascinating and constructive information, the fact is that they may never be read if the headings are unremarkable or mediocre.  Think: catchy and captivating.  Lure those readers like fishermen (er, persons) would use hair jigs to attract bass.

If writing a heading is daunting, get a feel for what others in your realm are doing.  In addition to locating examples, you can find templates (they seem to exist for just about everything these days).

Let’s take a quick look at some simple examples.  “Editing Basics” might be okay for readers searching for juzzzzzt that.  But “The Art of Editing = Big Bucks” might be more enticing.  Here’s a standard (yawner): “Q&A”.  How about “Your Questions Answered NOW!” or “Your Questions Answered by the Best in the Biz”.

This heading, “Bag Interest with an Interesting Non-Blah Blog Post Heading”, is long and wordy.  Is it appealing?  Maybe yes, but probably no.  It does, however, capture the point of this post.  . . . Yeah, I love alliteration.  <LOL>

If you’re truly stuck, you may want to make someone else’s heading your own by playing with it, but not plagiarizing.  Google for inspiration.  If you have the yearning to learn, you have the assurance to succeed.

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The Catharsis of Writing

cathartic =psychotherapeutic = emotional = healthful = releasing artistic creation

We all need to purge now and again—be it cleaning out closets, flushing out bottled emotions, or clearing negativities.  It can be done mentally, emotionally, and physically—through writing and posting, as examples.  Purging is a good thing; it eliminates excess and the unneeded.

I’m borrowing from James J. Cudney IV’s This is my Truth Now blog**.  The 365 Day Challenge involves daily posts dedicated to specific words.  (Hope you don’t mind, Jay.)

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The idea came about courtesy of my Wattpad weekly installment “novel” Odd Woman Out.  Left in a storage box for two decades, I yanked it out during a let’s-get-rid-of-crap spring-cleaning blitz.  Back then, I’d believed it was my pièce de résistance.  <LOL>  But as I started to read it, I saw some merit in it and thus, the weekly Wattpad installments came into being.

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Where does “cathartic” come in?  The events/scenes are more non-fiction than fiction.  A lot of things really did happen—to myself or individuals close to me.  The emotions and feelings, thoughts and reflections of Alex (the main character) have provoked chuckles and cringes, and “whoaaaaaa” and “ohhhhhh” moments.

“Whoa” because it prompts the [wincing] question: did I [he/she] really do that?  “Oh” because it triggers the [energizing] revelation: wow, I actually once thought that way?

The proofing/editing process is a bit unique this round: I’m only reviewing maybe six pages at a time, breaking long chapters into several small ones.  Every reading/edit is eye- and soul-opening.  So yes, writing/posting can indeed prove very cathartic.

You don’t have to make it public if it’s too intense or personal and you’re not comfortable sharing.  (Maybe that’s why Odd Woman Out remained in a box for years?)  But you know, sharing does enable you to purge—which, I humbly admit, is very freeing (and exhilarating).

Catharsis: letting go.

. . . Damn it feels really good.

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 ** This is My Truth Now reveals“365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.  I will post a characteristic about myself and reflect on it in a blog post for the next 365 days: a full year of discovery into directing the course of my future.”   Visit Jay’s blog at:  https://thisismytruthnow.com

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2 Ps in a Pod: Perseverance & Patience

It was a toss-up whether to write about e-book covers or Odd Woman Out, the weekly-installment novel on Wattpad.

Odd Woman Out won.  Not because I’m attempting to shamelessly promote myself (something I actually suck at, big time), but simply because I’m in the mood to share.

For those unfamiliar with OWO, as I like to call it, it’s a “sorta” cross between mainstream fiction and chick-lit.

Alexia Raidho (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”.  It certainly seems she doesn’t fit into the norm, whatever that norm may be.
Relationships, even those of a volatile and abusive nature, have impelled her down paths that may otherwise never have been taken.  All—gratefully, she’ll concede—have expanded her vision, talent, and maturity.

I began writing OWO a good 25 years ago—yeah, I know, some of you weren’t born then or were still tooting about on a tricycle.  <LOL>  Pretty much completed, into a drawer it went for several years and out it came late 2015.  How’s that for perseverance?

It’s funny-weird to see how you’ve developed as a writer over time.  I know I have, majorly.  This is good.  I’ve [finally] found my voice.  Yeah, there’s still room for improvement, and if there are another 25 years to come, then I imagine I’ll have developed even more.

The point of this post?  Persevere, my friends.  Do what you love.  Take your time and never rush (patience is a virtue, on so many levels).  Grow as a person; develop as an artist [whatever your medium].

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When Life Gets in the Way

. . . of your writing/blogging dreams and desires, you can:

  • weep
  • have a meltdown or two (I’m particularly skilled at these)
  • curse and swear (too melodramatic, but for a few seconds, delightfully effectual)
  • blame it on bad energy or luck (and curse it to death).

Or you can:

  • suck it up, take a few dee-eeeeeep breaths, and work at what’s doable.

Life’s been challenging lately.  The stress level has been Shanghai-Tower high.  This isn’t good, so I’m gonna nip it in the bud—now.

Okay, so there’s no mailing list yet.  The truth is, currently there simply aren’t enough cycles (silly company jargon for “time”) to do all that’s required with one, like monitoring, analyzing and responding.  As you know, like many of you, there’s a full-time job and Mom to care for.  But that mailing list will [eventually] happen.

Okay, so the fourth Triple Threat Investigation Agency mystery isn’t completed.  It’s getting there, slowly but surely.  I’m taking those baby steps mentioned in past . . . and those are better than none at all.

Okay, so at the moment there are no ads.  Investment $ aside (I ain’t Trump rich), there’s the measuring/assessing that goes with them.  Then, if you attract followers, you’ve got to take action.  Action = time = not doable [yet].  But one day, ye-es, they will run—fast and furious like a gazelle pursued by lions.  [That’s good ol’ Rey’s melodramatic contribution.]

Okay, so followers are minimal at this time (thanks to the aforementioned).  Right now, it’s difficult to offer more than two weekly blog posts on A Writer’s Grab-Bag and the one on Typepad (and a weekly Wattpad installment for “Odd Woman Out”).  The awesome thing: they are being done.

If you’re in a similar situation, don’t despair.  It’s all good.  It may not seem like it (just ask colleagues about my huff-and-puff moments), but it will transpire.  I truly believe there are no coincidences, just as I avidly believe in—and trust—the Good Lord.  It’s all about faith and conviction.

Believe in yourself.  If you have to deviate from the course you’ve set, don’t beat yourself up (like I too often have, coz let me tell ya, it hurts!).  When Life gets in the way, just say, “Bring it on.  I can handle anything.  I’ll get through this . . . and I’ll grow as a result.”

Approach Life’s trials and tasks like a matador: challenge with passes, stand firm, demonstrate conviction and face your “opponent”, present the muleta . . . .

You’ve got it in you.  You know you do.  It’ll happen, my friends, it’ll happen.

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Choo-Choo-Choosing

Like an old locomotive, I’m chugging along, choo-choo-choosing the direction(s) of this blog.

In truth, I have a pretty decent picture, kinda like a photo of an awesome vista . . . with a thumb or finger obscuring one small segment.  The only thing stopping me from cropping that eclipsing piece: time.

For now, here’s to chug-chug-chugging along, sharing the journey and communicating knowledge gained.

The first commitment, fellow bloggers/writers is to be consistent and post twice a week (to start).  Expect something Wednesdays and Saturdays or Sundays.

I’m gonna be like The Little Engine that Could.  Not only do “I think I can, I think I can”, I know I will, I know I will!

Choo-choo-choosing to keep the faith and stay focused, and chug-chug-chugging on this fantastic blogging journey: it’s all (amazingly) good.