What’s THE Story?

What’s THE Story?

Hey, it’s Rey, the last and best <LOL> in the story posts.  There are so many, it was tough to determine which to share.

Following the template created by the gals before me—specifically The Boss, Linda, and JJ—away we go!

∞ Personal

A two-parter.

The first is about the prickly relationship between my mother and me.  She didn’t much care for me becoming an actress, something I knew I’d be come hell or high water when I was nine years old.  When I left home at 19 to pursue that dream, it created an even bigger rift.  In truth, though, we’ve never been close.  Her thoughts about life and the cosmos and all that were a bit odd (okay, if I’m going to be totally honest, they were downright loopy).  Since I’ve become a P.I. the two of us have made an effort to forget the past and accept each other for who and what we are. WPReyprickly

Is it working?  Yeah, kinda.  Time will tell.  So while the final “Mom & Me” chapter has an outline, a full draft still needs to be written.  It’s all good.

Linda, JJ and I are in the same boat re lack of relationships.  Considering I’ve been married three times, I’m not that keen on commitment.  And given that most of the guys I’ve dated have been major duds, yeah, so not keen.  Confession: I like flirting.  It’s fun!  Sure, I wouldn’t mind having someone to date on a semi-steady—but not serious—basis.  I like eyeing gorgeous guys, being in their company, having them feed my ego.  That’s fun, too!

I think, though, that the relationship I really need to develop is the one with me.  I have a lot of growing and learning to do (as Linda has said on more than one occasion), and I’m kinda looking forward to that.  So the “Rey & Co.” chapter, at this time, is only a list of points and to-dos.  I’m guessing it won’t be completed for years to come and that’s all good, too.

Professional

Another two-parter.

I was a B-actress for years, as you know, and still do some acting, mostly in commercials and, now and again, community theater.  Love being in front of the camera too much to stop doing it completely.  It’s the ham in me (as Linda has also said on more than one occasion).

Do I see myself returning to it full-time?  Maybe, when I’m older—as in retirement older.  So the final “Rey the Artiste” chapter won’t be available for a few decades.

Then, of course, there’s the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  I enjoy being a P.I.  Love it, love it, love it!  I even get to act now and again when we’re trying to get info outta someone or snoop around a business or company without attracting attention.  It’s challenging and dangerous, for sure, but it’s also rewarding, and I’m not just talking financially—it’s very satisfying helping people in need.

The last chapter of “Private-Eye Rey” will have to wait to be completed.  There are a lot of scenes still to happen.  Love it, love it, love it!

Lucky

Took me a while to find the right adjective.  Life hasn’t always been smooth.  I’ve struggled to eat and pay rent.  I didn’t (don’t) always get along with people.  But I’ve been lucky to do what I’ve wanted to (dreamed of), meet some fantastic folks, live and work on the beautiful island of Oahu, and grow as a person.  I’d never admit that last one to Linda, but I truly believe I’m developing and changing.  I haven’t been much of a reader or learner, but I make an effort—nix that.  I don’t try: I do.  May not always be successful, but that’s not important.  It’s what’s accomplished, even if only to declare, “I did that”.  <LMAO>  That sounds more like something Linda or JJ might say. WPReystoryUSE

Yeah, I’m very lucky and I’m gonna keep counting my blessings.

What’s Your Story?

We all have one—personal, professional, life-changing, funny, sad, and/or <insert adjective of preference>.

Given I’m a writer and blogger, it seemed appropriate to share mine.  But which one?  . . . Well, why not two or three: personal, professional, and faith-bound [adjective of preference].

♦ Personal

As I grow older and [finally] mature <LOL> I view life and events from different perspectives.

Some of us have wonderful parents, others have tolerable/fair ones, and a few have ones we wish could be returned to the Customer Service desk.  I grew up with alcoholic parents.  Mom was nasty, Dad quiet (save for glassy eyes, you could never tell he’d been “imbibing”).  I didn’t like my mother much and she—gauging by the attitude and comments—didn’t much care for me.  Childhood and adolescence consisted of humungous tummy knots and treading on eggshells.  Imagination was my BFF. WPstory2USE

The final chapter of this personal story is that I eventually realized my father did love me in his unique, undeclared way.  His own life events (including internment) had shaped him and he did the best he could considering the circumstances.  Mom had made unwise choices and blamed the world—and me—for them.  Maybe it wasn’t the right thing to do (blame someone else) but decades later I finally understood the reasons behind those choices.  I forgive her.  I even love her (she is my mother, after all) and I’ll continue to take care of her during these twilight years.

Professional

I’d wanted to be a writer since Mr. Kennedy complimented something I’d written in Grade 7 English class.  My childhood BFF, Imagination, had already nudged me into composing comics and chronicles.  Later, they evolved into books.  Confession: I wasn’t good.  At all.  Joining writers’ groups and taking classes provided guidance, and while I absorbed all I could, I didn’t necessarily apply it.

Serving as ESL and SE teacher/trainer, and technical editor, didn’t help in the creative writing front.  It was only when I heard instead of listened, read other writers (by the truckloads) and sat back with a truly critical eye that it all started falling, slowly but surely, into place.  That true “a-ha(!) moment” arrived after what seemed a short lifetime.

The final professional chapter will be written the day I finally lay down the four-ink pen and leave the keyboard behind.

Life—and work—is all about learning and growing, realizing and applying.  It’s all so very good.  Tricky and testing, but very good.

Faith-bound

Maintaining faith has been a struggle.  Although I sincerely believe in the Big Guy, his Son, and the Good Book, I—like many—frequently ask “why?”  “Why me?”  “Why this?”  “Why can’t I get a break?”  “Why . . . why . . . why?”  <LOL>  Maybe it’s easier to view ourselves as victims, to place the blame elsewhere.  Accepting responsibility and/or taking action can prove daunting.

We’re given challenges for various reasons.  In my case, I honestly believe He wants me to learn forgiveness and patience.  The forgiveness I believe I’ve acquired, the patience—hell no.  Oops.  Heck no.  I truly am my father’s daughter: he possessed none, either.

The last chapter in this story is that I will master patience.  It will continue to be a struggle, unquestionably, but it will happen.  My faith will grow and stabilize . . . and I’ll be a better person for it.

There you have it.  Three short-and-sweet stories that have shaped me and/or will continue to do so.  It feels good to purge, to wear the ol’ heart on the sleeve, to be honest and open.

The next three posts—more stories—will be authored by the trio from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  (Rey’s already pumped up.)

And what about you?  What’s your story? WPstory3USE

Making Choices / Feeling Good

Last weekend I posted about contracting with a publisher.  As with most things in life, I’m always a tad nervous about taking on something new (okay, a lot nervous).  Not sure why.  Just am.  Silly me, I know.

In any event, as posted, I took the plunge and signed on with Creativia.  So far, so good.  In point of fact, pretty gosh-darn good!

After joining the Creativia Facebook team, I received numerous greetings from fellow authors.  It was heartwarming to be welcomed in such a, well, welcoming manner.  <LOL>

Who knows where this [new] publishing road will lead?  All I know is that I’m pleased to be on it.  Perhaps I won’t make much money, if any (I’m a realist), but I’m definitely looking forward to this new adventure and learning all I can along the journey.  WPgoodclipartquery

Yes, having to make choices can be [very] scary—but there’s nothing better than feeling good about actually making them.

Still Lovin’ Nancy

Not long ago, I reviewed three Nancy Drew mysteries as part of a stopover in Nostalgia-Land.  Another visit—er, post—seemed in order, given I’d read three more of the YA mysteries.

Mom-care is becoming increasingly more challenging and leaving less time for me to do much for myself.  So when Mom is taking a nap, Nancy proves the perfect quick and easy read.  I’m transported back to a quiet childhood time when life was perhaps no less stressful but, somehow, simpler.

The first two are originals from the 60s while the third features a new 70s cover and is “modernized”.  For example, in the old books, Nancy’s titian-haired (brownish-orange) while in the newer ones, she’s reddish-blond.  Male cops no longer rule supreme.  And lo and behold, instead of frequently wearing dresses/frocks, the girls regularly sport jeans.

The Clue of the Dancing Puppet

A mysterious dancing puppet haunts the grounds of an old mansion, where the Footlighters’ playhouse is also located.  Amateur sleuths Nancy, Bess, and George are enlisted to help solve the case and this time we’re whisked away to the world of community theater.  The dancing-puppet mystery has added dimensions: an erratic self-absorbed leading lady and an overly charming (if not cheesy) Shakespearean actor.  Along with Nancy’s searches for clues, two jewel thieves show up on the scene.   Not a bad read; not a great read.  The keep-your-constant-interest component isn’t quite there.  A 3.5 out of 5.

The Clue of the Broken Locket

Interestingly enough, this was first written in 1934.  When I looked at the copyright page, I saw the very early date and had to check it out.  The premise back then: when adopted parents can’t take care of baby twins, Nancy goes searching for the legal birth mother with the help of a broken locket.

The newer version has two lookalike cousins (who, of course, don’t know about each other initially).  There’s a ghostly launch—love those spooky apparitions!—and a mysterious mansion that goes by the great name of Pudding Stone Lodge.  We have some sinister persons who make mystery-solving difficult for Nancy, Bess and George, and there’s record pirating to boot.  The trio certainly have their sleuthing skills put to the test.  Luckily, they have some assistance from their favorite beaus: Ned, Dave, and Burt.  I liked this one a lot.  A definite 4.5 out of 5.

The Clue in the Crumbling Wall

Our young enthusiastic sleuths—Nancy, Bess and George—have a twofold mission this time.  Not only must they endeavor to locate an inheritance concealed in the walls of dilapidated Heath Castle, they have to track down the beneficiary of a will before the proviso expires.  The grounds of the estate have a maze, a multitude of crumbling walls, and a couple of watchdogs (real ones, as well as human ones).  A 4 out of 5.  (In terms of Nancy, I suppose I’m a traditionalist: I prefer the “originals”.  It’s all about revisiting fond memories in Nostalgia-Land.) WPNDuse1

. . . Yeah, still lovin’ [needin’] the escape.

Tea & Crumpets with Personality

Recently, the trio from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency posted about three writers they’d like to sit down to dinner with.  That provided something to ponder: who would I like to dine with?

Having imparted favorite authors in previous posts, I opted for five people of days gone by that would make the love-to-meet list . . . and it would be over high tea with sweet scones and flavorsome finger sandwiches.

The selection comprises champions and rogues, the wholesome and the unsavory.

Jesus

He was/is, after all, “The Man”, a person in power, a great influence and influencer, the Son of God.  How humbling—and overwhelming—it would be to be in his presence.  I’m a believer.  Others aren’t and that’s fine: to each his or her own.  For me, though, it’s a tad disquieting to read about scholars and the like who argue whether the Jesus found in the Bible is an accurate reflection of the Jesus born just prior to the first century.  . . . But then, it’s all about faith, isn’t it?  And, while I readily admit mine can be tested and tried (frequently in fact), I’ll cling to it like a life preserver.

Marie-Antoinette

The last Queen of France was born Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna von Österreich-Lothringen (as Rey might say, gotta love a name like that).  Claimed to be a pawn, this fascinating woman was a mere 14 when married to Louis XVI (reputedly a cowardly man and unmindful husband).  There’s something about the pomp and pageant of that time, the French Revolution, the clandestine undertakings, the elaborate fashions and hairstyles that intrigue me.  Marie-Antoinette possessed notable shrewdness and strength, and amazing courage during her trial and execution.  Unquestionably, a force in her own right.

Henry VIII

I believe I always possessed a fascination for this intriguing royal figure—ever since watching Keith Michell in the spectacular series The Six Wives of Henry VIII.  At 17, he became king and presided during “creepily fascinating” periods in history: the English Renaissance and English Reformation.  The six marriages aside (which make for great soap-opera storylines), he accomplished much in terms of military campaigns, politics and religion . . . and even penned a song and wrote a book.  Definitely someone who’d provide enthralling historical accounts and gripping narratives.

Mata Hari

Another great name: Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” MacLeod.  But the stage name of Mata Hari is so much better.  Strong-willed and determined, she realized at a young age that sexuality would get her places.  A Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan/mistress, and infamous “spy”, this attractive woman was convicted of being a double agent for Germany during WWI and executed by a firing squad.  Films like “Mata Hari”, starring the equally enigmatic Greta Garbo, fed the mystery and controversy that still surround her life.  Maybe she’d be willing to share a few intrigue-packed moments over a cup of Lapsang Souchong?

Calamity Jane

There are numerous famous (infamous) western desperados and gunslingers, and all are fairly fascinating, thanks greatly to Hollywood.  It’s hard not to feel a touch of envy re those romanticized villains, outlaws, and baddies—the thrill of riding the range, being unrestricted, having no ties.  A wild-west life would have been uncontrolled and sometimes calamitous, which makes Martha Jane Cannary, better known as Calamity Jane, the fifth companion choice for tea sipping and scone nibbling.  Losing her parents at the age of 12 compelled her to make her own way through that oh-so-wild west.  Another resilient woman, she’d have fine tales to share about her hard-drinking, rabble-rousing years . . . and those benevolent ones where she played nurse to smallpox sufferers.

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Rewriting Dinner

Rey likes to post when The Boss isn’t available, but she’s [happily] on volunteer duty this weekend.  Linda’s flying to the Mainland for three days “just because” (she’s been wanting a break for a while now, so let her have some fun).  As such, you’ve got me: JJ.

Rey’s right.  It’s not always that easy coming up with an idea for a post.  I really had to wrack my brain and then—hurrah!—it came.

If we—Rey, Linda, and myself—could invite three authors to dinner, who would we invite?  Here you have it, beginning with campy Cousin Reynalda.  1WPauthorsAffinityMagazineDOTUS

Rey:  I’m not much of a reader, as you may know, but of the few books I’ve read, these three authors would be very welcome at my dinner table:

Nora Roberts:  Who doesn’t enjoy a good romance?  I like how she began—homebound with the kids during a blizzard.  She just started writing a story and, yup, a star was born—well, not right away.  There were rejections.  I applaud the perseverance.  As a former (now occasional) actress, I know all about rejection.  It’s tough.  But it makes you strong.  And determined.

Danielle Steele:  Her characters are memorable; you get pulled into the storylines, struggles and traumas.  She’s sold 650 million books worldwide, which is impressive, but I really admire that she founded, and governs, two worthy foundations.  The Nick Traina Foundation (in honor of her son) funds organizations involved in mental illness, child abuse, and suicide prevention.  A second foundation, helps the homeless.  How awesome is that?

Janet Evanovich:  She’s what I’d love to be if I were an author: talented, creative, and productive.  Not only does she write various mystery series—regularly—she pens romances, too (in fact, that’s where she originally started).  The actress in me would love to get firsthand advice on character and story development.

Linda While I enjoy contemporary fiction, I tend to lean more toward the classics.  

Jules Gabriel Verne:  Multi-talented as a novelist, poet and playwright, Verne was also one of the first sci-fi writers . . . as well as the father of steampunk.  His personal life was equally fascinating (do check him out).  My favorite book would have to be The Mysterious Island.  I saw the movie a few times when I was a kid and it captivated my interest and imagination.  No question, Verne would be a intriguing gent to break bread with.

Jane Austen:  She seemed an iron-willed, dynamic woman, one not opposed to speaking her mind re British aristocracy—or, perhaps I should say, remarking upon it through compelling characters.  It’s unfortunate there’s so little information about her and that only a few of her letters still exist (I understand she had quite the “acid” tongue).

Agatha Christie:  Who doesn’t love a good mystery?  And this woman penned some of the best!  I’m not sure who I liked more: Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple.  Who wouldn’t want to share a sherry over syllabub with the “Queen of Crime”?

JJ:  Like Linda, I’m more inclined to stick to the classics or “masters”.

Wm Shakespeare:  The Bard caught my attention in high school, when we had to memorize soliloquies from Hamlet.  I’ve been hooked since and every now and again, I make sure to pick up some sonnets or a play, or whatever tickles my “Shakespearean” fancy.  His life and that period in history are enthralling; I have no doubt he’d be a captivating individual to chat with over ale and mutton.

Ernest Hemingway:  His life, travels, journalism, and Red Cross adventures make for riveting tales.  Although his writing leans toward sparse, it’s as descriptive as it can get—when you read a Hemingway book, you’re effectively transported in time and place. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald:  I suppose I’m drawn to globetrotting Fitzgerald because of the years during which he wrote—the earlier 20th-century, the Jazz Age.  Romantic times.  Scary times.  . . . Tragic times.  And here’s a bit of trivia I only recently learned: he was named after another famous American, a distant cousin who wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.

And who might you invite . . . ?

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

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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Day 14 (Dec 14): www.misshoneybug.wordpress.com

Yesterday, Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? (the second Triple Threat Investigation Agency series featuring private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda) was highlighted on Alicia’s cute blog, www.misshoneybug.wordpress.com.  How can you not smile when you’re told: “So far, my posts are freshly baked with love on the same day they go out”.

She readily admits that, being new to blogging, she finds it bit intimidating.  I get that—I still do.  Alicia also advises that while she reads for entertainment purposes, she also does so to expand her mind.  I like that, just as I like the fact that she’s “open to new ideas and new writers and most definitely not wedded to any particular genre or range of authors”.  You have to admire that candor, just as you do this: “I believe books are like people, you wouldn’t like someone calling you a 1-star person right? unless it is on your forehead and the teacher gave it to you.”   <LOL>

One last thing—because you really should visit her blog—is that Alicia’s into handcrafts and making art, as well.  Drop by soon!

 

Happy Halloween from Honolulu Hawaii

The Boss would have been real proud to come up with that heading—she’s into illiteration.  . . . Huh?  Oh.  JJ says it’s “alliteration”.  <LMAO>

Anyway, the three of us are here to share what we’re planning for Halloween, which is always a majorly fun to-do time on Oahu.  There’s a costume party with a bunch of HPD pals, so we’ll pop over around midnight, but during the day and evening, we’re gonna explore what Oahu has to offer, something we’ve talked about in past, but never much done.  Each of us has come up with a Halloweeny event to pursue, so Linda, you start.  What have you got planned for us?

Ever since I watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as a kid, I’ve wanted to visit a pumpkin patch.  So I’m driving us to Waimanalo Country Farms where they’ve got pumpkin picking, hayrides, and a country market, among other things.  The little girl in me can’t wait!  It’ll be a hoot, I’m sure.  What about you, JJ?

I’m sorry to say I got the dates mixed up re the annual Chinatown “Hallowbaloo”—a costume street festival with music/entertainment, art and food—so it’s at the top of the list for next year.  We’re heading over to Haunted Plantation, reputed to be the “scariest haunted attraction”.  Sixty-plus actors haunt a village with what sounds like—ahem—ghoulishly frightening results.  <LOL>  Linda, your face is paler than that of a cartoon ghost!

Yeah, it looks like it did last night, when we did the “Zombie Apocalypse” at Coral Crater.  What a blast!  For those who haven’t experienced it, you gear up and wipe out zombies overrunning a village.  Then, you zip-line to safety.  Like, how cool is that?

I’m just not as huge a fan of zombies and zip-lining as you, Rey.  But once my heart stopped thumping like a snare drum being struck by an eager marching band drummer, I have to admit, I did enjoy the adrenalin rush.  . . . So, are you finally going to tell us what you have planned?

I am indeedy-do, Lindy-Loo.  Given I’m an actress when I’m not P.I.ing, I had to go for something “theatrical”.  I got tickets for—ooh, this is so-o much fun!—a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show hosted by Tita Titsling, who’s touted as the “Premiere Moustache Queen of Chinatown, Honolulu”.  How exciting is that, I ask?  . . . And on that note, everyone, the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency wish you an absolootely hairy-scary Halloween! WPUSEtoo