The Art of Perfectin’ . . . or Playin’ the Blues with Soul

The title popped into my head as I was watching Joe Bonamassa a few nights ago.  Joe, for those not in the know, is a blues rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter.  His career’s pretty impressive; starting at age twelve, he opened for the awesome B.B. King.  Anyway, the post’s not about Joe—maybe another time 😉—but about artists perfecting their trade.

How does one segue from playing the blues to improving a craft?  It’s not that far a stretch.  I was considering how well he played, which made me ponder how musicians constantly aim to entertain and please audiences.  They strive to do/offer their best.  Over time, they refine.  They perfect . . . or play the blues with soul and conviction . . . a metaphor, of sorts.

All passionate artists aim to be the best they can be.  As a writer, I revise constantly to improve my work.  As an editor, I amend to help make other works as good as they can be.  Poets, painters, puppeteers, and performers [love alliteration] . . . those that truly care . . . polish words and riffs and moves.

It’s a labor of love, this repetition that aims for perfection.  Nothing is “great” the first time.  All projects and persons are works [of art] in motion.  So, it’s imperative to keep striving . . . and keep playin’ the blues with soul.

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.    Colin Powell

Long-Term Care, Long Time Coming

A twofold title.

One: my mom is finally in a long-term-care facility.

Two: it takes many decades before anyone enters a long-term care facility.

1wedmom1Fortunately, for my mother, she entered LTC not a moment too soon, given her dementia had increased considerably in the last month while her mobility had decreased to nil in the same time frame.  Fortunately, she’s in one of the best homes around.  It’s hotel-lovely inside and has everything: a chapel, dining rooms, sizable rooms and large windows, classes, just to name a few.  Fortunately, the staff is excellent (caring and considerate, and patient).

Unfortunately, few residents seem cognizant enough to recognize their environment and/or cannot partake of the activities/events and amenities.  Unfortunately, my mother’s ability to recognize and process what is around her is presently sporadic.  Unfortunately, she is confused and despondent; she calls to say no one goes to see her, my daily visits forgotten.

I suppose there are blessings in being unaware (cognitively impaired) for those that are.  For those that are on the other side, offering solace and companionship, it’s saddening.

But life does go on, one way or another, and we can only go with the flow, as swift or slow as it may prove.

We may have been an oil-and-vinegar pair, Mom, but I love you nonetheless.  God bless.

The Guilt Train Ain’t No Gravy Train

1use20220212_121754Perhaps not a great title, but it has a certain alliterative appeal.  It’s certainly better than The Guilt Train Keeps Chugging or The Ever-Rolling Guilt Train.

Guilt.  It’s not a pleasant thing.  It’s heavy, stressing . . . debilitating.  Sometimes it’s warranted, other times not.  In my case, it’s saddening and dispiriting, to be sure.

My mother has been offered a bed and will officially enter a LTC facility Monday morning.  Does she know?  No.  Why?  Given she believes long-term-care facilities are strictly for “crazy people”, and knowing how she reacts to certain things, I felt it wasn’t in her (or my) best interest to be advised that this is happening.

Guilt trip #1:  putting her in a home.

Guilt trip #2:  not telling her about said home.

Guilt trip #3:  being an ungrateful daughter who has allowed her mother to work her fingers to the bone (this she’s been telling me re me/we saying her she has to remain in the hospital a “wee while longer”).

Guilt trip #4:  not being able to provide the care that she now requires and dealing appropriately with the increasing dementia (don’t good daughters [continue to] do everything, regardless of the cost to their own health?).

Guilt trip #5:  not having been an amazing child throughout the years.

On another note, the hospital staff are amazing.  They’d agreed (given the “unique” situation) to keep her there until she is transferred to the facility.  Patient and understanding, supportive and helpful only begin to describe the awesome team.

Yes, she’s been super annoyed and angry at me re her stay in the hospital.  She doesn’t understand that she cannot walk anymore, that it takes at least two people to transfer her from the bed to a chair.  The dementia is not part of the equation—and we don’t talk about that, rightly so.  Some people can handle it when told.  I’ve known some who accepted the diagnosis rather graciously and simply went with the flow, one woman even laughing when she had a fight with her daughter.  “She’ll be fuming for hours, but in two minutes, I’ll have forgotten all about it.”

During the last ten-plus days, I’ve received enough evil eyes to fell the Jolly Green Giant (always liked his beans), heard comments about my many faults.   And, undoubtedly, there’ll be many more to come.

There you have it, the guilt train does indeed keep chugging along.  I suspect it will for a long, long while.

Sorry, Mom, I’m such a disappointment and haven’t been what you wanted me to be.

The Two-Parter Continued: The Still Inexhaustible Robin Murphy

1robinm (1)The previous post focused on Robin Murphy’s critically acclaimed books—and she has penned many, from a paranormal mystery series to chick-lit and nonfiction.  This one centers on her informative [impressive] website/blog.  Her site is what I’d love mine to be: instructive, well written, and smartly designed.

“Where our experience makes your journey easier . . . keep on writing.”

Robin’s absolutely correct about there being countless books, posts, and articles telling us how to market books.  I myself have read many and, for the most part, find that they can impart some tidbits of useful information.  She’s also spot-on when she says, “you need to choose which is best for you and what you feel comfortable doing.”

Not everyone has the time to spend countless hours marketing, networking, and/or promoting.  And while we should be exceptionally careful (wary) about putting out money to do any of these, if the company is legit, then financial expenditures (b-u-d-g-e-t) may also be something to take into account.  Determine what you’re capable of accomplishing . . . and go for it.

The purpose of this post is not to repeat what Robin asserts and presents info-wise, but to have you to visit her comprehensive site.  Check out the fabulous advice/guidance this bestselling author has to offer.  You’ll find writing links, marketing tools and tours, podcast interviews, and even book covers for sale.

1rookie2abc

“Writing is my passion and I have met so many amazing people that have helped me along the way.  I want to share what I’ve learned in the best possible way of instruction that I can.  I hope I can achieve that here and I wish you luck.”

As an aspiring writer (or even a published one), you might want to read Robin’s edifying book, the “practical, hands-on and user-friendly” A Complete “How To” Guide for Rookie Writers.

To learn more about Robin, please check her out at:

http://rookiewriterssolutions.net/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/rookiewriterssolutions/

https://twitter.com/authorrmmurphy

https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Murphy/e/B007TO7NEQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robin-murphy/38/213/338

Blankety-Blank

This is post some may consider blankety-blank.  But this brain is blank re a post topic of worth/note, so blankety-blank to that.

kindpng2111A-ha.  <Light bulb turns on as it hovers above dormant brain.>

COVID-19 and the variants are blankety-blanks.

A toxic relationship is blankety-blank.

Selfish / self-centered / self-absorbed people are blankety-blanks.

A constant complainer is a blankety-blank.

People who won’t see the whole picture are blankety-blank.

Tyrants and bullies are blankety-blanks.

A list of blankety-blanks that can go on for pages and pages is blankety blank.

Life, if one may call it that in relation to yours truly, is [still] blankety-blank . . . but here’s hoping that the distant dim light somewhere at the end of that long winding tunnel will soon be blankety-blank visible.  (Yeah, a pity party is pretty blankety-blank too, LOL, but I had to put it out there, so blankety-blank to me  too.)

It’s a blankety-blank shame when you give something your all, and nothing happens . . . but that does not mean to give up.  Just give over.  And blankety-blank (!), start again.  You can blankety-blank do it (and so can I).  Keep the faith.

Hmmm.  Maybe the old (emphasis on “old”) gray matter isn’t as blank as initially thought.  Yeah, okay . . . maybe that light bulb was a teeny one, but it sure wasn’t a malfunctioning one.

Have a blankety-blank great day (that, my friends, is said with humor and meant with love).

Snow Day, Play Day

And, hey, it’s Rey.  The Boss is off, enjoying a snow day, play day.  Well, not really, but she’s taking the day off.

Living on Oahu these days, we don’t see snow except on TV or media.  To experience it, we’d have to fly to Big Island or the Mainland.  Do we miss it?  JJ does; she likes to skate and toboggan and stroll through the soft white fluff.  Linda says she can take it or leave it.  Me?  I can do without it—except maybe around the holidays.  There’s something about a fire, woolly socks and flannel PJs . . . and snowflakes drifting past uncurtained windows.

So, that leaves me to post.  Well, JJ and I flipped a coin and I won . . . or lost . . . or whatever.  And I don’t have a clue as to what to write about—except, well, maybe snow.

Yes, Hawaii does get it.  Surprised?  He-he.  So was I.  I only found out once we’d moved here.  It snows every year, in fact, but only on the peaks of three volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on Big Island, and Haleakala on Maui.  It’s not usually that much and it doesn’t stick around very long, but it’s there. Oh, there’s also been the odd snowstorm and blizzard.  Yeah, really!

What’s more, hurricane-strength winds blow fairly regularly on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, which results in snowbanks and ice formations.  Last year, the latter saw nearly 3’ of it, creating deep snow drifts.  The white stuff has also been documented as having fallen on the peaks of Molokai and been photographed on another Big Island volcano—a dormant one—Hualalai.

And, not to forget our new home: in 1953, snow pellets descended on Oahu during a series of thunderstorms.  Can you spell brrrrrrrrr?

giphyWinter weather ain’t as rare an event in Paradise as ya think.  On that note, think I’ll grab me a cup of hot cocoa—heavy on the ‘mallows!

Missing Mynah No More

Hey, it’s Rey . . . and JJ . . . and Linda!  We’re posting as a threesome today. 

It took a while to decide what the topic would be, but I—Linda—thought it might be fun to backtrack a bit and update re a case or two.  Over to you, Rey . . .

Hey again.  Yeah, so we went with Murphie the mynah bird case.  For those of you who missed this one, here’s a rundown.  We were hired to find Mrs. Maynard’s prize bird when he was birdnapped back in August.  The perp(s) had broken into her la-di-da Kahala condo and slipped out with Murphie and his gold-barred cage (yup, as in 24-karat).  They wanted 5K for the feathered fellow.

So we had Linda serve as the go-between; she was to deliver the ransom at a designated place on Kuhio Beach.  Unfortunately, the 5K was “Payment #1” and they didn’t leave the mynah.  But we did luck in with locating one of the birdnappers: Plucko.  Too bad he wouldn’t talk.

Yeah, that dude was more tightlipped than sour-faced Aunt Gertrude when confronted with something—or someone—of “a dubious nature”.  Anyway, Murphie’s cage was found, but the bird wasn’t.  Poor Mrs. Maynard; the dear ol’ gal was so upset.

And understandably so.  Thanks Rey.  It’s Linda again.  We kept an eye on the area, hoping Murphie would return, but one mynah bird pretty much looks like another.  Mind you, he did love hearing “Rockin’ Robin” regularly, so we’d sing that—a lot.  Sadly, no luck. 

Until—it’s JJ (in case you were wondering)—last week!  We’d returned to the park (as we had off and on since September), sang Murphie’s song—and lo and behold, he landed on Rey’s shoulder!  We always came prepared, and this time was no different; we got him into a little treat-filled cage and back to his “mom”.  She was beyond ecstatic.

So were we.  No one likes a happy ending—and a happy client—better’n us. 

Fantastic Followers, Fabulous Friends

Not a rambling post per se, simply an observant [self-indulgent] one … leaning toward followers and friends.

I know my blog has [very] limited likes and [very] few followers (mostly friends).  <LOL>  That’s okay.  It’s not as if I post anything enlightening or eye-opening.  And, in truth, the blog itself is rather blah.  It’s not “pretty” like others.  Not fetching.  Not much of anything, really.  But it’s mine.  And, given what my personal life entails (or doesn’t), I take pride in what I’ve accomplished thus far. 

I follow a number of blogs.  When I like something, I can read the post via email or visit the blog.  When there, I see some have no likes at all except mine, or maybe a small handful.  I can relate, being in the same boat.  Do I feel bad for the blogger?  No, just a little sad.  They’ve put their hearts and souls into something and have received next to no accolades. I suppose that annoying saying is, alas, appropriate here: it is what it is.

On the flip side, other bloggers receive an abundance of compliments/likes and I must confess I am a bit envious (but far from jealous).  Kudos.  And, undoubtedly, well deserved.  I suppose blog likes, followers and friends, are much like life: unpredictable (which can prove exciting) and sometimes unfair (which just plain sucks). 

Merely a meager observation.  And a heartfelt thank-you to fantastic followers and fabulous friends; I love that you care.

Hey, it’s Rey Today!

I’ve got post duty today, so hi there!  And guess what?  I’ve got no <bleeping> clue what to post about.  I’m not into editing/proofing or anything like that, as you know.  I could tell you about my life as an actress or a private eye, but Lindy-Loo, my BFF, gave me the evil eye.  JJ just rolled her eyes and took Button for a long walk.

I guess I’ve got writer’s—er, blogger’s—block.  Hmm.  As Lindy-Loo would say, “dang” (I’d say it a bit differently, but our Boss likes to keep her audience at a “family” level, if ya know what I mean).

Okay, so, back to posting.  How about an update re our new/upcoming case?  It ain’t goin’ anywhere—for the moment.  The Boss has way too many mom-care/job responsibilities at this time and she’s lookin’ it, too (maybe I’ll get her some cream to get rid of those ugly bags under her eyes).

But we still have clients coming our way, so we’re keeping busy and staying grateful.  Always look for that light at the end of that dark [sometimes excruciatingly] long tunnel.  JJ might say “count your blessings”.  Lindy-Loo would tell you to keep your “chin up”.  In other words, stay positive and even if today is a super crappy day (oopsy, sorry Boss), realize that tomorrow may just be a heckuva lot better!

Here’s an old song that we never tire of hearing. . . hopefully, you’ll find it just as uplifting as we do (ya can’t help but sing along and/or dance) . . .  keep believin’!

 

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