Writer’s Block can B a Bitch

For those easily offended, sorry for the “b” word . . . but, man, writer’s [and blogger’s] block can be just that.

Sometimes, it’s because ideas are bumping around in your brain like out-of-control bumper cars.  Other times, it’s because you’re experiencing a dry spell as arid as the Mojave Desert.  In both instances, focus is proving as clear as the Big Muddy.

Other excuses, uh, reasons include:

  • scheduling/timing, anxiety, dog walking, kitty litter changing, shopping, eating, vacuuming (pick one, any one).

There are several ways to defeat writer’s/blogger’s block and they’re painless, even enjoyable.

My fav: take a walk.  (Ideas come when I’m strolling with no destination in mind.)

Similarly, get out of the house/condo/apartment and enter a different space and head place, like a lounge or gym or park.

Do something creative or entertaining: play a game, color/draw, maybe watch a motivating or encouraging flick.  Music’s nice, too (Christian R&B works for me, but if Five Finger Death Punch does it for you, go for it).

Daydream—about the story and characters, your future, an ideal vacation, the upcoming long weekend, or that perfect world.  Engage the ol’ gray matter.

Jot down words, ideas, or character sketches.  Or record what you’re feeling and thinking (do some free-flow writing).

Talk to someone . . . or the dog, cat or parrot.  Chatting aloud, even with yourself, can take you places (and, no, they won’t be taking you away with a butterfly net).

Search for inspiration.  The folks I follow on Twitter tweet amazing sayings and stunning photos.  After viewing a few of those, I’m feelin’ uplifted and very fine.

Hopefully, one of these options will work.  If not, go looking for something that will . . . like I just did (writing about the writer’s/blogger’s block I was experiencing today).

Ending words: don’t give up.  Persevere.  You’ve got it within you.  Stick to it!  And, above all, keep the faith.

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The Nutty Case of Coco’s Nuts

There’s certainly no one nuttier than Coco Peterson, someone the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals never have the [dis]pleasure of meeting.
Coco’s Nuts has our rookie private eyes attempting to prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur (alleged mobster) Jimmy Picolo.   

There’s certainly no one nuttier than Coco Peterson, someone the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals never have the [dis]pleasure of meeting.

Coco’s Nuts has our rookie private eyes attempting to prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur (alleged mobster) Jimmy Picolo.

In a quest for answers, JJ, Rey and Linda contend with a slew of suspects.  Several persons certainly hated Picolo enough to kill him, but locating the one who actually pulled the trigger proves a challenge.

Detecting travels lead to the world of gambling and the “limb-breakers” that reside in it.  In fact, Picolo’s daughter owes thousands of dollars to collectors in Vegas and Oahu.  Might this have served as motivation to kill her father, so that she could collect on the will?

What about Picolo’s son?  Did Jimmy Junior yearn to take over the pater’s multiple businesses?  What of good ol’ nutty Coco?  The little pest, uh, fellow has been AWOL since his boss’ murder.

Lady Luck smiles their way and the Triple Threat trio discover “remnants” of Coco—his tattoo and jewelry—in Picolo’s million-dollar Haleiwa retreat.  It appears Coco’s another casualty.  Finding the rest of him, however, is as difficult as proving Buddy innocent.

Old friends and acquaintances reappear, but whether they have the trio’s best interests at heart remains to be seen.  And who can forget JJ’s dealer-agent “bad boy” boyfriend, Cash Layton Jones?  She certainly can’t—badly beaten, he arrives at her door one night.

Ever-enthusiastic Kent Winche is known as “The Source” because he has an ear (and mouth) for gossip.  As a Picolo employee, he has access to a sundry of potentially useful connections and eagerly offers to assist.

When the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals get a case, it’s—in gumshoe vernacular—a humdinger of a lollapalooza.  When they’re not discovering another body, they’re dodging crazy characters or racing from a detonating bomb.

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If you’d like to read about the trio’s continuing mis-adventures, Coco’s Nuts, the ebook, can be found at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/656164

https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1370281080

https://www.amazon.com/Cocos-Nuts-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook

Hanging the Shingle on the Triple Threat Investigation Agency Door

The aspiring detectives of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency take on their first official paying assignment: discover an elderly millionaire’s
young wife’s secret. It seems straightforward enough—until the wife is found dead in the sapphire Hawaiian oceanside. As Jill (JJ), Rey and Linda strive to
uncover the killer amid a cast of curious, unconventional characters,
they stumble across several secrets . . . and trip over a few bodies.

Sleuthing proved so much fun in The Connecticut Corpse Caper that JJ, Rey, and Linda have set up shop as private eyes on the lovely island of Oahu.  They’re the proud and excited owners of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.

 Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? is the first official [paying] case: discover the secret of WP Howell’s young pretty wife, Carmie.  Millions, and a much-desired divorce, rest on it.

What seems straightforward quickly becomes complicated when Carmie’s battered body is found in the Hawaiian Pacific.  It quickly becomes evident that she wasn’t the only one with a secret . . . nor the only one to die an untimely death.  Who among a cast of curious, unconventional characters is tenacious (or crazy) enough to eliminate all living liabilities?

In the quest for answers, JJ, Rey and Linda encounter a plethora of suspects on a winding road of many detours—where drug dealers and informants, treachery and blackmail, abound.

Brash young Benny Pohaku, working both sides of the drug-pushing fence, ticks off the wrong people.  Dealer Cash Layton Jones is as galling as he is attractive, and his habit of entering JJ’s condo uninvited results in a few heated encounters.

Carmie’s intriguing if not odd ‘tini friends serve as pieces to an expanding puzzle.  Down-and-out musician, Jon Jonson, had been blackballed by Carmie.  Being unceremoniously dumped could serve as a motive for murder for former lover and trainer Stacy Kapu.  And restaurant co-manager, Benoit Paillisson, had always had a hate-hate relationship with her.

There’s also Carmie’s twin, Gino Carpella, who’s been rumored to associate with questionable sorts.  Had the rift in the siblings’ once close-knit relationship played a part in Carmie’s death?  Or had one of Gino’s enemies retaliated by striking out at his closest family member?

No love is lost when it comes to hubby WP Howell.  Was Carmie’s “secret” damaging enough to prompt the man to kill?

The Triple Threat trio finds the case as clear as the contaminated waters of the Ala Wai Canal.  Fortunately, they have patience and perseverance . . . and occasional assistance from Detective Gerald Ives.

As the body count increases and the suspect list decreases, the women discover the murderer’s identity.  And while major incidents are explained, a few loose ends (and cannons) remain.  These will be addressed, but not necessarily [yet] tied up in the third novel, Coco’s Nuts.  JJ, Rey and Linda are budding detectives, after all, and they still have lessons to learn and skills to hone.

The ebook Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie! can be found at:

https://www.smashwords.com/book/view/598066

https://books.google.ca/books/about/Can_You_Hula_Like_Hilo_Hattie.html?id=i7c8DQAAQBAJ

https://www.amazon.ca/Hula-Hattie-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook

Aloha!

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The Connecticut Corpse Caper: A Precursor to the Triple Threat Investigation Agency

For those not familiar with the antics, uh, cases of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio, The Connecticut Corpse Caper won’t provide any.  What Caper will do is enlighten you re the gals’ pre-detective adventures.

It all begins when seven inheritance recipients gather for a week-long stay at the vast, creepy Connecticut mansion of Mathilda Moone.  As is befitting Aunt Mat’s “unique” (some claim dotty) character, her will stipulates that if one recipient leaves early, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.  As it happens, one does depart—not by choice.

Every character has a secret, as Jill Jocasta (JJ) and her two associates, Reynalda (Rey) and Linda, discover when they slip on amateur P.I. shoes.  Others soon join in the sleuthing, and the bumbling and stumbling—murder and mayhem—begin.

Enter dead bodies and legal sorts.  Enter Fred, the resident ghost, singing a favorite song.  Enter potential inheritance recipients through hidden passageways and corridors.  . . . Enter not-so-dead Aunt Mat.

Fingers point and tongues wag.  It appears any one of the visitors could be a diabolical murderer.  Even those six fatal Moone accidents that occurred during the last decade suddenly seem as if they may not have happened by chance.

Through trial and error, and just good old plain luck, the three women discover who is responsible for the killings.  Questions are asked and answered until a partner arrives on the scene and silences the killer’s voice.

Excitement reigns.  Paramedics and officers dash into the chaos.  Soon, all is explained and there are no loose ends.  . . . Well, maybe not quite.  Those Moone accidents?  They truly weren’t by chance.

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If you’re interested in reading Caper, the ebook can be found at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555494

https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Connecticut_Corpse_Caper

Both ebook and hardcover of Caper are also available here:

https://www.amazon.ca/the+connecticut+corpse+caper

The Tumultuously Delightful Triple Threat Investigation Agency Trio

The gals—JJ, Rey, and Linda—are excitedly immersed in a new case, “Forever Poi”.  The torching of two highbrow Chinatown art galleries is how it begins.

     Ald adjusted the volume.  “Two galleries are about to end up as cinders, specifically the ones belonging to Carlos Kawena and James-Henri Ossature.  Weren’t you supposed to be here for Carlos’ six-to-eight do?”

     “I had to be somewhere at five.  But I had drinks with Carlos last night to celebrate his forty-sixth and he provided a sneak-peak of the exhibit.”  Xavier’s voice took on on a serious, business-like tone.  “What happened?  Is he okay?”

     “We just found a barely recognizable body.  All that’s certain at this stage is that the fire was no accident.  And the only thing I can confirm at this time is that the little intimate soirée ended at eight on the nose.  Carlos had planned to leave the gallery no later than 8:15 to be at a snooty function at nine.  The fire, as an FYI, was called in at 8:35 p.m.”

     “Did he show up at the affair?”

     “He didn’t tell anyone where it was, so it’s proving a challenge to follow up on.  And I’ve not been able to reach James-Henri.”

They look forward to sharing their mis-adventure(s) late summer / early fall of 2017.  Until then—aloha!

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Rolling Along the Blogging Trail

This is exactly what I’m doing, rolling along the blogging trail . . . like a honey-coated golf ball . . . and progressing like a keen Monachoides vicinus (otherwise known as land snail).

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“Forever Poi”, the fourth in The Triple Threat Investigation Agency mystery series, is taking forever to complete, but it’s all good.  Sometimes you just need to invest [more] time in a project than you’d initially anticipated.

Never rush.  Errors and sloppiness abound as a result (to this I can and will attest).  Take those baby steps I always [ad nauseam perhaps] refer to.  Some say have a plan or an outline; others say take it as it comes.  I’m a have-a-plan kinda gal (coz I am so not spontaneous), but do whatever works best for you.

Straightforward and simple advice for today (I’m counseling myself as much as you):

  • stay focused
  • be proactive
  • suck up as much information as you can, and above all,
  • believe in yourself.

Never give up or in.  It will come.

 

Staying Faithful – Staying Posted

One focus of this blog: sharing snippets of advice.  The other: the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series.

<ROTFL>  To be honest, in my quest to get it looking good, I’d almost forgotten.  The gals—JJ, Rey and Linda—are so not impressed.

So, lest the ol’ gray matter enters scatterbrained drive again (and Rey’s wrath runs rampant), let me advise that the gals are doing exceptionally well.  They’re happily and excitedly ensconced in an upcoming case called “Forever Poi”.

We’ll share a scene or two soon . . . and have a giveaway when the case is wrapped up, and this blog is shipshape and Bristol fashion (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase).

In the meanwhile, if you haven’t already, please feel free to check out their daily adventures at The Triple Threat Investigation Agency Mysteries on Facebook.  (I’m sure the trio would welcome a visit or two.)  I know I would.

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Hey, Didya Hear . . . ?

Or maybe you saw, read . . . ?

This may well be a senseless post to those under 40, but I’m gonna do it anyway.

We know that a mailing list is important—a must—if we want to sell ourselves as writers (or anything else).

Another must self-promotion tool: social media.  And I will personally attest to this: it works.  Period.

One bit of advice: every social media platform has a different audience—with different focuses and interests.  Determine which ones best suit your needs/goals.

I’d recommend not spreading yourself too thin, at least not in the beginning when you’re starting to market yourself as a writer or blogger.  Focus on a couple only and learn everything you can about them—use them to the fullest.  My first choices (and not necessarily yours): Facebook and Twitter.

Get involved with social media groups that have interests similar to yours.  They can provide lots of guidance and support.  If you haven’t already discovered how easy it is to attract viewers/followers, do so now; there’s tons of information and advice to be found and absorbed.  Run with it.

As the [paraphrased] saying goes: you’re only as limited as the limitations you place on yourself.  Faith, support, and creativity know no bounds.  Either should you.

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Mail Lists, Mail Lists, Who Wants a Mail List!?

I do, I do!

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And so do you, if you hope to succeed as a writer.  Renowned gurus Mark Dawson, Derek Murphy, and Joanna Penn (among others) tout the necessity (!) of having one.

I totally get it.  Now, if I could totally do it.  <ROTFL>

Given the weekends are the only times I can work on “technical” components, it’s been three weeks now that I’ve tried to get a mailing list organized.  Every time I follow a couple of steps, it seems there are six more to perform . . . and a-Googlin’ I go.

Eventually, it’ll happen.  It’s merely the multitude of baby steps required for yours truly to get there.  But I digress.  <still ROTFL>

Consider this my first official advice as a blogger/writer: get a mail list going!  It doesn’t matter if you have 10 or 1000 names on it.  The important thing is that you have one.  Everything else, in time, will follow.

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There’s simply too much information about mailing lists to include in a post.  To help you get started, here are three links to awesome sites that can provide essential must-knows and must-dos.
https://markjdawson.com
https://www.thecreativepenn.com
https://www.creativindie.com

 

 

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.