Extra! Extra! Read All about It!

Taking a lead from Rey, I opted for melodramatic.  <LOL>

Really, I just wanted to provide a quick update today . . . share intentions, feelings, maybe some warm-and-fuzzy stuff—or not.

A quick aside: “Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!” was popular from the 1890s through the 1930s/1940s.  If you’ve ever watched old movies, you’ve undoubtedly heard this being shouted by enthusiastic young lads hawking newspapers on street corners to announce exciting, and often sinister, news.

For me, the exciting (far from sinister) news is that I’ve finished “Forever Poi”, the fourth Triple Threat Investigation Agency book.  The long-hazy ending finally became as logical as an Excel calculation and as clear as easy-to-follow baking instructions.  Case solved.  New [mis]adventures to come. blog2

 

Now it’s merely a matter of completing the final edit.  Yes, writing “Forever Poi” took longer than expected.  Like, waaaaaaaay longer, but t’is done, so yaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

The contest I’d been mulling over will wait a bit.  Hey, it’s taken [many] months to get to this point, so what’s a few more weeks?  Once “Forever Poi” has been formatted and all, there’ll be a post or two.

There are other things planned (hoped for) re the TT trio and blog, but right now, it’s all about taking life one day at a time.  Nonetheless, the list [still] exists: a mail campaign, the aforementioned contest, a landing page, e-book tours, and blog augmentation, to name but a few.

On that anticipatory note, have an awesome rest of the week.  Back in a few days my friends.  Be well and safe.

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.

wedblog2

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.

download (17)

The Baring of a Blogger’s Soul (Sorta). . . or . . . A Blogger’s Lament

<ROFL>

Feeling a need to share and not impart info so much.

It’s been almost a year since this blog was born.  The dreams, the plans—my goodness.  They’re still dreams and plans!  <LOL>  In all fairness, though, kudos to me for being able to post regularly, not just on A Writer’s Grab-Bag, but on the Triple Threat Investigation Agency Facebook page.  It’s a commitment that I’m, well, committed to.

I’m feeling rather stagnant, however.  While excuses are never a good thing, they’re often valid: in this case, a full-time job (that frequently runs into six/seven days) and caregiving for Mom.  That leaves limited time to read or do much else.

soul1

Yes, I’ve given thought to having someone else handle (a lot of) the technical-promotional components.  That costs $$$, of which there is none to spare.  Dreams being what they are, though, there’s always hope re winning that big lottery pot.

Having done some due diligence—which I always advocate, having been burned a few times—I came across several sites/folks that appeared very promising.  Further due diligence, which included checking reviews from both personal and professional perspectives, revealed that they weren’t so promising after all.  One quick example: a woman had signed up to experience a successful book launch and ended up with a bill for several thousand dollars; needless to say, hers was not a happy ending.

I’m kind of feeling a need to scream at the top of my lungs (to let it all out) and/or smack my head into a brick wall (to knock free the frustration).

I imagine all writers and bloggers have similar moments—this quirky form of writer’s block, which I’ll call blogger’s stagnation.  We know what to do, but for one reason or another, it’s simply not doable.

It’s a question of time and timing, and keeping the faith above all.  You know, when I’m feeling a little peculiar like this, there’s no better solace than listening to an awesome, inspiring song that sounds as fresh today as it did back when . . .

download (3)

 

 

 

Voice 101 or Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Strong

Hey, it’s Rey again.  The Boss overindulged in the sugar/carbs department these last few days.  She’s groanin’ and moanin’, the poor thing.

Linda and JJ are both off enjoying holiday fun and family, so that leaves me.  But seeing as I’m doing two performances daily as an elf at a kids’ theater thru Sunday, I’ll have to make this a quick post.

Given I’m a part-time actress and not a writer—though I’m getting pretty good at it, considering all the posting I’ve been doing lately—a lot of writing and blogging rules are alien to me.  . . . Hmm, I think Linda would have called that a run-on sentence.  Whatever.

Here’s the “topic” for today: voice.  For example, an actor’s voice can make or break him or her.  You have a Minnie Mouse voice and you may be limited in the roles department.  The good thing is, like any skill or talent, you can work at it.  For an actor, a voice coach can be a godsend.

A writer/blogger needs a voice, too.  When you start out, you develop a blog concept and design that’s uniquely you.  That’s very cool.  Now you need to make sure that uniqueness is reflected in what you’re blogging about—and “be projected” in how you write.  That’s also known as—you got it—“voice”.

If you’re super smart and posting about things a lot of us wouldn’t understand, you’d probably write like one of those academic sorts.  Someone who’d be more inclined to post about shopping, fashion, and entertainment could use a more happy-go-lucky tone—one like mine.

Whatever you’re writing, that voice should totally reflect you—it has to sound like you . . . and be you.  Grammar and spelling are easily fixable (there are enough sites/programs), so don’t let them intimidate you like they do me.  Go with the flow and fix the little things later.

Write (speak) from your heart.  Let that unique voice flow.  Chances are, the longer you post, the more your voice will develop because you’ll become increasingly more comfortable and less self-conscious—like me.  You’ll become/feel more natural with how you express ideas and opinions.

If it helps, do what I do when I’m playing a role: I deliver to one person, the guy or gal who’s on the receiving end of a comment or reaction.  I don’t think about the audience, director or producer, or anyone else.  I focus on my delivery, my intent . . . and express it with purpose.  I take pride, kinda like an opera singer belting out an aria.

WPRey3

The kids are waiting.  I better run because I still need to pick up my elf costume (I kinda spilled hot cocoa on it).

I hope my last post of this year on A Writer’s Grab-Bag proves of some value . . . and I sure hope I’ll have a chance to write a few more in 2018 (I’m really getting to like this).

Aloha.

WPRey4

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.

wpress1

If a Picture Paints a 1000 Words, then a Vid Must Paint a Mill

Eye candy’s everything when it comes to viewers/followers sticking with a post and site.  If it ain’t pretty or “fetching”, you’ll likely lose that potential follower.

A Writer’s Grab-Bag aims to be neat and organized, but from a purely personal perspective, I’d bet dollars to donuts many would claim it’s not overly professional.  That’s okay.  Blogs are often personal spaces—spheres filled with subjective thoughts or objective info, or maybe a combination of both, depending on the blogger’s focus/purpose.

Without repeating that photos, fonts, whitespace and other types of visuals make for an appealing site—oopsy, guess I just did—another effective tool to utilize is a video.  I’ve seen a few blogs that use them well—professionally, instructionally, and humorously (as it roll-on-the-floor funny).  It’s one thing I’ve longed to do, but haven’t yet [don’t ask].

For those of you who are new to blogging or technically challenged [intimidated] like me, Google “how to embed a video”.  The steps sound easy enough.  Let’s see if they indeedy-do are.

In my how-to-embed-a-vid voyage through the Google cosmos, I discovered that it’s not a great idea to host your own video.  Hey, I’m pleased as punch to get someone else’s uploaded.  I don’t need to attempt my own; that would mean I’d have to create one.  Yikes!  <LOL>  But if you’re interested in doing so, go for it: instructions abound.  As an FYI: Blogger, powered by our friend Google, is a handy tool for doing this.

Given the focus of this post is embedding a video and I’ve proven successful (it’s unfortunate you can’t see me doing cartwheels as I continue to shriek for joy) here’s a video on how to do just that.

Happy embedding.

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.

WPatt3

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.

WPatt2