Tootin’ Our Horns

You’ve got all three of us today—JJ, Rey, and Linda.  The Boss is OOO.

The three of us had a row, determining what to post about—something about Hawaii, editing/writing, or us (like Rey wanting to sound off about her few days in Cali and the <bleep> who led her on).  We couldn’t agree.  At all.  It wasn’t just tense, it leaned toward nasty.  So, there we were, tootin’ our horns—in loud, strident ways!

Then, it hit us, rather like a toppling palm frond during a tropical storm.  Why not post about . . . getting along?  He-he.

We agreed that the main thing to getting along is to listen.  With all the disagreeing and yammering, not one of us could hear what the other was saying.  So, pay attention; make an effort to grasp what’s being said, and appreciate it for what it is.   And, if you’re going to comment, don’t condemn or criticize.  Be subjectively objective.

Part of that not condemning or criticizing is keeping an open mind: know/learn all the facts.  Discuss but don’t dispute.  Agree to disagree—in that subjectively objective way.

Be optimistic or upbeat.  Negativity or pessimism can depress/stress others . . . push them away.  The air will be thick and tense, so the general environment will be far from pleasant or productive.

Of course, there’ll be times when feelings/moods can’t be bolstered.  Don’t be afraid to share why; be honest.  You may be surprised at the support you receive.  Accept it graciously and gratefully.

Be polite.  When the three of us get to arguing, we’re focused solely on ourselves.  We could care less what the other is saying (yelling).  It’s selfish.  Give room to others to voice what’s on their minds.  There may be some common ground there, which will allow the “conversation” to progress on a more positive note.  And if there isn’t, then discuss why your views or approaches (whatever the action or situation is) are different—and why that is a good thing.  Being different and having varying views—to use a couple of cliches—make the world go around and add spice to life.

Not an intensively edifying post, but some food for thought (another overused phrase, but appropriate).  On that ending note, we’re going to the mall; there’s a great sale going on, something Rey so enjoys.

Have an awesome Saturday . . . and give someone you don’t know a huge smile!

Under Maintenance . . . We Hope

The Boss is finally updating/revising this blog—a bit anyway.

Hi, it’s JJ today.  Given she’s technically and time challenged, she’s not been overly keen on doing it.  But, this weekend, she’s going for it!  Woo-hoo, as Cousin Reynalda would gleefully shout while doing an incredible cartwheel.

She’s already had one issue—not being able to get the new photo uploaded.  Should be easy-peasy.  But no-o.  Won’t go.  At all.  Many sighs later, she reached out to WordPress and the advice: update the blog template first, then try uploading again.  Fingers crossed (she doesn’t have a lot of hair left to yank out).

Other updates . . .

The Boss is still—very happily—editing regularly.  Rey, Linda, and I are embarking on our next major case, “Disco’s Dead and so is Mo-Mo”.  Can’t wait!  Meanwhile, we’re [also] solving wayward spouse cases and finding misplaced poochies, which has given the agency a fairly reputable standing.  Persistence and perseverance do pay off.

A five-day promo blitz starts on the 20th for HA-HA-HA-HA.  Which reminds me to prod someone re getting that case on a blog/promotion tour.  So many things to do, so little time.

Enjoy your weekend!

When the Mood’s Not There

The Boss blanked out re today’s post.  So did JJ, Linda and me.  He-he.  It happens, right?  We all suffer from writer’s/blogger’s block . . . sometimes, more often than we’d like to admit.

The Boss will readily admit that she has blanked out on a number of occasions of late.  It’s all good.  Oh, by the way, it’s Rey today, hey!

I can think of some things to post about, none really related to the theme of this blog.  And that might be okay, but I think I’ll save those for another time.  So, I’m just gonna shift into auto-pilot a bit.

The Boss has been wanting to re-invent/redesign this blog for a short eternity, which she’s shared.  Poor thing’s stuck with both feet in boggy terrain at the moment, so that ain’t happening any time soon (unless Fate changes her mind, decides to be kind, and grants her some good luck for a change).

But if she can’t redesign the blog or offer new services (like editing and proofing), she can always take a half hour here and there and update previous posts.  So can you.  Instead of scrambling for new ideas, take old ones . . . and add some freshness. 

Update photos and graphics.  Change font colors and headings, add new data or remove what no longer seems of value … “renovate” those posts however you deem best.  Add links.  Maybe you write them from a different perspective.  The three of us—JJ, Linda, and me—are as dissimilar as jelly beans and ice-cream.  Some may not like what I have to say, or how I say it, and that holds true for my fellow private eyes.  But we all have a distinct voice and that is a very good thing.

So, if you’re not in the mood to write/blog, or can’t think of anything new, go with the old.  And add a twist or two.  Remember: everything old is new again—at some point.  He-he.

And you know what I am in the mood for?  Shave ice!  Catch ya later!

The Nothing Post

Rather like Bruce Harris’ The Nothing Book: Wanna Make Something of It?.  A huge hit in the 70s, it was just that: a book about nothing.  You made something of it by [creatively] utilizing the blank pages.

But we can’t have a blank post, can we now?  So, JJ, Rey and I (Linda) put our heads together and . . . came up with . . . nothing.  <LOL>  We truly pulled blanks.

So, when wisps of nothingness flow through one’s noddle, aim for something frivolous yet fundamental.  And that something we have in common: Hawaii.  As such, we thought we’d simply let you come to the Islands and relax a wee bit.

Enjoy!

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>

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?