How it All [Kinda] Began

Forever Poi, the fourth in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, has taken much [much!] longer than anticipated.  But there were extenuating circumstances truly not in my control, so I’ll just count my blessings and offer gratitude to the Great Power that is that it’s nearly there.  Hurrah!!!!!

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I went for another final edit (#23), but glad I did—found a couple of “flaws”.  You read and review, scrutinize and consider, yet you still don’t necessarily always catch those wily little buggers  As writers, we often see what we think is there and sometimes what’s not there.  This is a good reason to have someone else take a gander—new [fresh] eyes, that sort of thing.

I thought I’d go back and share when JJ, Rey and Linda seriously [or not] discussed the possibility of becoming Hawaiian private eyes.

And speaking of time, it was hard to believe that the Connecticut Caper—as Rey laughingly called it—had happened nearly a month ago. Yet in some ways, it felt like a year. The entire episode seemed dreamlike and distant.

I dropped onto the only piece of furniture I’d purchased for the Brentwood apartment so far: a beautiful two-piece leather sleeper sectional sofa that set me back a lot more than budgeted for. But it would serve as a perfect focus piece and last for years, and I wasn’t planning on being that extravagant with anything else. It rested to the side of a large deep-set fixed window with solid panel shutters. Sitting here, I could gaze four stories below onto a lush courtyard with two burbling fountains.

Christmas was around the corner and it felt strange to not have my nephew Quincy racing around, trying new seasonal recipes, or sticking Quincy-would-like gift suggestions in obvious places. The first week of December, Mom usually had the B&B decorated with lights, holly and ivy, and a couple of tinsel-trimmed Christmas trees. A stunning silver menorah rested on the dining room sidebar for Jewish friends and guests.

I’d made a move to California. Sold all belongings, put the Wilmington condo up for sale, packed clothes, and wondered what I’d gotten myself into besides a three-day weather-forecasting job at a local community television station. I’d have to find other work, of course, if we didn’t make money serving as professional sleuths (which I had doubts about), but it was a start. Rey was planning on getting the detective agency going in the next month or so.

Yes, that was correct: detective agency. Back at the Moone manse, as the three of us were packing and making promises to stay in touch, Rey had revealed a plan that she’d been considering since May-Lee had been wheeled away: opening a private investigation agency in California. To make her happy and keep me sane for the remainder of the brief stay, I’d said I’d consider the wild notion that seemed as probable as a Minnesota drought in January. But somewhere and somehow over the weeks, I’d decided maybe it wasn’t that wild after all.

Even Linda had gotten caught up in Rey’s enthusiasm. I wasn’t quite sure how to inform them about California’s strict licensure. They’d be devastated to learn they weren’t going to be private investigators any time soon. Among other things, we’d need a combination of education in police science, criminal law or justice, experience equaling three years or 6,000 hours, and to pass a criminal history background check. Oh yes, we’d also have to receive a qualifying score on a two-hour written exam. It was surprising that Rey hadn’t yet discovered that; or maybe she had and had simply refused to accept facts. In any event, at present, in addition to scouting offices, my cousin had signed up for a business course. Kudos to eager and determined Cousin Reynalda.

The drive back from Connecticut had afforded Adwin and I time to talk about life, goals and objectives, feelings and family. By the time we’d reached Wilmington, we’d decided that moving in together was probably not a great thing. We truly weren’t that compatible or in sync, and that was fine we both acknowledged. I loved Adwin, and he loved me, but in the grand scheme of things we weren’t really a romantic couple or marriage material; we were more of a buddy-bud duo. We’d remain in touch and he’d visit California, and I’d see him—and Fred—whenever I returned to North Carolina. We’d take the odd vacation together. Pledges were made and, with a bit of luck, they’d be kept.

I stretched bare legs onto the sofa, and sipped mango nectar from a bottle via a straw. It was thick and sweet and perfect for the sunny weather outside, and seemed to work well with little, decadent mouthfuls of a Red Velvet cupcake I was enjoying. I’d been off sweets since Connecticut—hadn’t wanted to see another cookie to save my life, but this morning, after a three-mile power walk, I’d dropped by Suzee-Sooz’s Cupcake Houz and bought the sinfully delicious treat that was nearly the size of a soccer ball. (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.)

“Hey you.” The door opened with a bang.

“Hey yourself and watch it. I don’t want to buy a new door, thank you,” I groused, watching Rey all but dance into the small L-shaped living room, Linda in tow.

Both were dressed in the same Chip & Pepper jeans and similar Aloha shirts. While Linda sported colorful Converse runners, Rey wore strappy sandals. I half expected them to have the same polish on their toes and fingers. Maybe they’d both been deprived of high school friendships and were making up for missed girly-girl BFF moments.

I looked back at the shirts. Hawaiian wasn’t Rey or Linda’s usual taste. Oh-oh.

“What’s up ladies?” I asked suspiciously, putting my drink aside but keeping the cupcake on my lap. I suspected I’d be needing sugar-enhanced comfort momentarily.

Linda closed the door and followed Rey. They leaned into the kitchen counter comprised of pretty pale blue and dusty rose ceramic tiles. I liked the cozy, bright kitchen, but why did I suddenly suspect I’d not be enjoying it for long?

Rey moved into melodramatic mode. “The licensing requirements to become private eyes in California are tough.”

“We’d don’t have the qualifications or background,” Linda affirmed.

Oddly, neither looked deflated or upset. I smiled dryly and said nothing.

“I know, you’re thinking that our detecting days are over before they’ve even begun.”

Not really, but I eyed Rey expectantly.

“They’re not!” she announced gleefully, hanging an arm around her friend’s shoulders. “Guess what?”

“I couldn’t even begin to,” I responded wryly, gazing from one to the other.

Rey grinned. “We’re going to become…”

“Hawaiian P.I.s!” Linda finished with a jubilant grin.

“Pack your bags, Jilly!”

The Red Velvet cupcake caught Rey in the middle of the forehead.

An index finger sporting neon blue polish removed some of the frosting clinging to her brow. She licked it and smiled. “Delicious. Mahalo.”

Should all go well, Forever Poi will be available around the beginning of August.

Aloha, my friends.

 

Forever Poi . . . Takin’ Forever ?

Hey guys, Rey here.  The Boss is under the weather and may be out for the count for a wee bit.  If so, you’ll be hearing from me a lot.  If not, it’s back to editing tidbits—snippets of advice, I believe she calls it—mid week.

I know she’s been wanting to update you re “Forever Poi”, our latest case.  Good news!  It’s almost complete.  If all goes well, it’ll be available as an e-book the first week of July.

On a personal/professional note, though, I wanted to share thoughts on “Forever Poi”, our third case at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.

Cousin Jilly (JJ), as you may know, had doubts when I first suggested becoming private eyes.  Come to that, so did my best friend, Linda.  I’m happy to say JJ’s feeling pretty good about it now; she thinks we’ve learned a lot and honed some must-have P.I. skills.  With time, she believes (hopes) we’ll develop a solid reputation.  It’ll be a stellar one, I say!

Linda’s of the mind that we’re still doing a lot (too much) by the seat of our pants.  Pfffft to that.  If you can’t trust your own judgment, whose can you trust?  Still, as long as cases come our way, she sees us doing this for the long haul.

And me?  I’ve always believed we’re awesome P.I.s.  Sure, we can be rash on occasion, but sometimes, you really do need to seize the moment.  If that means doing a little B&E or beaning a villain, so be it.

Yeah, I’d say we’re pretty pleased with our choice of profession.  Here’s to the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals always catching their culprits.

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Break Time (Sorta)

That 9-5 j-o-b has The Boss in training all week, so her time’s more limited than usual this work week.  But have no fear, Rey’s here!

She’s been posting about editing, but I’m gonna steer clear; sure, I could research a related topic, but to be honest, I’m not really into it like she is.  So what’s my post about?  Me, who else?  Okay, okay, the three of us—JJ, Linda, and me.

Update re “Forever Poi”.  The Boss is still at it.  Work/life have been getting in the way, but she’s determined it will be ready sooner than later.  Besides, she wholeheartedly believes nothing good comes from rushing.  So true, so true.  To be honest, though, the three of us would love it if we could move on to our next big case; there’s rumor of one coming soon.  Fingers crossed!

I know she wants to extend a wholehearted, heartfelt thanks to all her followers, so on behalf of the Boss: thank you!!!

Starting with me, I’ve got a three-week engagement at a community theater as Betty Rizzo in Grease.  For those not in the know, yes, I do sing.  Don’t get many opportunities anymore, except at b-day parties, but it’s all good.

 

JJ’s got an invitation from “Sometimes Boyfriend”, a cocky undercover agent who’s too way too dishy for his own good, to visit him in Miami.  Personally, I think she should ditch the dude, but she thinks she’s suffering from “bad-boy syndrome” and just can’t seem to rid herself of the symptoms.  Been there.  Poor kid.

Linda’s still doing wine and food blog reviews.  Loves it.  She’s made friends with a couple of women in the building where the agency’s located.  They’ve started going out for lunch every Thursday.  I’m glad she has new people in her life; I’m just hoping she doesn’t forget who her BFF is.

There you have it folks.  The Boss’ll be back on the weekend with more editing advice.  Given the last one was about plot and subplots, I think she’s looking to post about conflict and friction (because, as I understand it, the plot contains, or should contain, a lot of both).

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A Triple Threat Sing-A-Long

Hey.  Rey here.  Got a treat today—all three of us are posting.  The Boss is in a bit of a funk this week.  She’s missing “home” (H-a-w-a-i-i) and can’t find a way of getting here any time soon.  But she’s keeping the faith.

To boost her spirits, we decided to do what she calls “an aside”—we’re sharing about our time on Oahu.  We’ve already posted about our life as P.I.s and our likes and loves about this place, but we haven’t really talked about why it’s so near and dear, how it’s shaped and influenced us.  So, here’s a sum-up from each of us, including what we consider the quintessential mele (that’s Hawaiian for song) from our favorite Hawaiian artist.  . . . Have to laugh.  Linda’s eyes bugged out when she saw me use “quintessential”.  But as I often say: I’m not just a pretty face.

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Reynalda Fonne-Werde

Life here has softened me a bit.  Yeah, my colleagues think I’m melodramatic and sometimes reckless and self-centered.  I am, I admit it.  When I want something, I go for it.  And I think this is perfectly all right when working a case—a private eye needs to go with her gut.  On the human side, I’ve learned to like animals (a lot) and have taken to saving the monk seals (a cause dear to my heart).  I tend to listen to people more and can be sympathetic and feeling.  So yeah, I’ve definitely softened.  Damn.  I hope I don’t turn into a mush-ball or anything like that.  My quintessential song is by the very talented, and greatly missed, Iz.  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

JJ Fonne

I’m loving that Rey’s become proactive in different ways.  Life here has changed her.  It’s changed us all.  We’re happily ensconced in burgeoning careers and personal crusades.  My cousin and I have bonded.  Sure, we have our tiffs and life’s not always rosy, but I can’t complain about anything.  It may be a cliché saying, but it’s true:  it’s all good.  This is going to sound cheesy, but my quintessential song is “Tiny Bubbles” by Hawaiian pop icon Don Ho.  (Even if I sound like sound like a frog that’s barely been missed being run over by pick-up truck, I have no prob singing his signature song in the shower—with absolute gusto.)

Linda Royale

Contrary to what JJ’s posted, I can’t say I’ve changed a lot since moving here, but I’m certainly grateful and count my blessings for having the opportunity to live and work here.  I have to confess, when Rey suggested becoming professional private investigators, I didn’t take her seriously.  In fact, I humored her—for weeks.  When it became obvious she was totally serious, I attempted to talk her out of it.  But she’s strong-minded, among other things, so P.I.s it was.  I don’t regret it.  At all.  As for Hawaii, the aloha spirit does exist—it’s almost tangible—and it’s infectious.  And on that note, my quintessential song is Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk/Formation”.  Talk about infectious.  It makes me want to dance every time.  . . . And maybe, just maybe, it will “up” The Boss’ “funk”.

Aloha from Rey, JJ, and Linda!

Lookin’ Good with a Logo

?  Logo = Branding  ?

Basically, a logo is a visual (pictorial, illustrative) symbol or representation that identifies you—as an individual, company, or business.  Some might refer to it as a trademark or identity design.  Branding is distinctive name or trademark identifying a product or service, company or business.

Are they the same?  Not really.  But they work hand in hand.  Branding encompasses different components: market/marketing, voice, promotion and positioning, to name but a few.  Brand identity is a broader but more defined approach; it embraces the logo.  It’s said that if brand identity is successful, a person can recognize the brand even if he or she can’t view the logo.

So, let’s touch upon that magical symbol.  I have a new one, er, rather the private-eye gals at The Triple Threat Investigation Agency have one.  It’s simple.  It conveys what the “product” is via the words: Triple Threat Investigation Agency Series.  The magnifying glass and high heel present concepts: sleuth/detective and female.  I like it, but this doesn’t mean others will, of course.  For those following this blog, I’d be happy to receive your valuable input.

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So, what makes a good logo?  Visual appeal, unquestionably.  It should:

  • be crisp, clean, and uncluttered
  • define you, your product or service, company or business
  • be unforgettable.

Because your logo’s going to be around for a while, ensure it’s strong and definitive.

Whether you’re designing your own, or having someone do it for you, go with the one that grabs you: it has to feel as right as it looks.  Make sure to receive feedback, too.  Ask friends and family, coworkers, clients.  Is the message clear?  Does it set you apart from others (specifically, your competitors)?  If your “reviewers” aren’t getting it, your [future] audience likely won’t.  Consider going back to the drawing table.

An appealing, memorable  logo will enable you to connect with your audience . . . and have it remember you.

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Coming Soon . . . We’re Hopin’

That’s hopin’ and not hoppin’, as in frogs and toads.  But, in truth, we’ve been doing a lot of that throughout the “Forever Poi” case.  Er, I should say, oodles of suspects have kept us hoppin’.  And all over the map!

Rey here.  The Boss requested a break.  Given Linda’s surfing on the North Shore and JJ’s volunteering at the animal shelter, that leaves l’il ol’ me to post.  That’s okay.  Between you and me, I’m really starting to enjoy it.

Instead of providing snippets of potentially useful info, I decided to share one of our more hairy “Forever Poi” moments.  Just to give you some quick background, the case starts with a double homicide that occurs when two Chinatown art galleries are torched.  The two murders lead to a few more . . . with a whack of wacky persons and incidents along the way.

I don’t have JJ’s voice, but here’s my account of an excitement-filled evening when a possible witness bites the dust, uh, table . . . .

♦   ♦

 

Dim Donald’s was a long, narrow bar on a side street not far from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  We’d only gone there once, when we first settled in the office but, as Linda had said, it wasn’t our cup of tea.  The inside was dark and drab, the drink selection limited, and the evening crowd looked like a perfect fit for the biker-like place

It was just after midnight and the bar—or watering hole, as I called it on the walk over—held two dozen heavy-duty bikers, uh, drinkers.  Seated on cheap ladder-back chairs at a window table, we ordered a round of beers for ourselves and glass of red wine for Timmy-Tom.

“You hungry?” I asked, unable to stop staring at Timmy-Tom’s milk-pod fuzzy eyebrows.

Cousin Jilly, or JJ as you know her, kicked me under the table.

He waved to a scruffy-looking middle-aged couple wearing jeans and jean jackets over black Ts with flaming skulls.  “I could go for a basket of wings and fries.  They’re pretty good here.”

I got the attention of the only waitperson, an old dude named Ched, who looked like a grinning leprechaun.

“What can I do for you?” Timmy-Tom asked.  He sampled the wine and nodded, and leaned back with a loud sigh.

“Where you around when the fire broke out?” JJ asked and took a sip of watery beer.  The weird expression on her face suggested it tasted about as good as it looked.

“I was at the rear of the first gallery, eating dinner, when the trucks arrived.”

“Was that long after the fire broke out?”

“Not long, no.”  He scanned the bar and shrugged.  “I hung around for a while, thinking they’d get it under control, but they didn’t seem to be having much luck that night.”

Linda sniffed her beer and scrunched up her nose.

“Do you know Carlos or James-Henri, the gallery owners?” I asked on a whim.

“By sight.”

“I’m guessing you didn’t see much that night, if you were at the back,” Gail stated, studying him closely.

“I walked around some after dinner.”  He eyed her curiously, as if he might know her, chewed his bottom lip, and finally continued.  “I saw people go in and out of the galleries.  Some were really pie-eyed leaving.  Must have been a helluva party.”

JJ pulled out her cell phone and showed him a photo of Lolita/Mary-Louise.  “Ever seen her?”

He studied it for almost a minute.  “Yeah.  A couple of times.  The first time was maybe a week before the fire.  The lady all but bolted from the back of the gallery, looking fit to be tied.  The second was the night of the fire.  She looked different—all fancy, with her hair in an updo.”

“Tell us about that night.  What did you see?” she asked, leaning forward eagerly.

He smiled sheepishly.  “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but to get to the side street, I needed to walk past her and the person she was with.  I didn’t want to scare them or anything, so I waited in the shadows, figuring they wouldn’t stick around long.”

“Person she was with?” I asked, getting excited re a possible lead.

“She was chatting with someone—actually, they were talking under their breaths, like they didn’t want to be heard.  But there was this urgency about the way they talked and moved their hands and arms.”

“As if they were angry?” Linda asked.

“Angry or worried, or maybe both.”  He nodded to Ched when he placed cheap cutlery and paper napkins on the scarred table.  “How’s the family, my friend?”

“Awesome.  Always good to see you, Timmy-Tom.”  With a wink, Ched saluted and hurried off.

“Can you tell us who she was—”

I never got to finish the question.  Like a melon thrown from an overpass, Timmy-Tom’s smashed-mashed head dropped to the table with a clunk-thump.

JJ and I gazed from the awful mess to each other and back again, looking like we got hit with a stun gun.

Gail, on the other hand, dashed out the door after Tommy-Tom’s killer.

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I’m Ba-ack . . . with Back Covers

The last four-five weeks have been crazy-bad ones . . . but in a good way.  Sometimes you have to undergo a breath-sucking plummet—like shooting down Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Full Throttle loop-de-loop rollercoaster—to ascend again.  And this time, you’re totally revitalized, very optimistic, and ready to take on the world.

Angst now [blessedly] cast aside, I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll.  “Forever Poi” is almost done.  One final edit and all that’s required is formatting, a front and back cover . . . and to find my MIA formatter-designer.  <LOL>

Front covers, as we know, must be appealing, period (I’ve posted about them in past).  Back covers are equally important, but I don’t believe we often give them as much thought or weight.  We should, because as soon as a potential buyer has eyed the engaging front cover, he/she will check out the back.  It had better be equally engaging.

The words on the back cover—about 150, give or take—serve as your selling tool.  They must entice.

In present tense, summarize your novel in one or two paragraphs; ensure to include a couple of key plot hooks.  Such as . . . ?  Your protagonist’s predicament or quest would be ideal.  Add an appealing question perhaps; it often works well in snagging that potential buyer’s interest.

As an example, the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals’ latest case involves arson and homicides.  I’m apt to add something like this to my back cover: Who in the close-knit local art world is desperate enough to set a gallery ablaze in a drastic attempt to conceal two brutal murders?  Yeah, needs a little refining, but you get the idea.

If you’re doing this for the first time, take a look at several in your genre.  Get a feel for what works (and what doesn’t).  Most fiction back covers follow a formula.  They’ll begin with a situation, present a problem or conundrum, provide a kink or two, and then end with a sentence that prompts the reader’s curiosity, be it via aforementioned question or cliffhanging scenario.

Make sure that first sentence is a killer (mystery writer talking).  If it’s not, it won’t encourage your potential purchaser to carry on, much less buy.  Play around.  Use words appropriate to your genre.  Invest serious time in getting that back cover—blurb, selling tool—to prove effective, because you want to attain your ultimate goal: sales.  If you’re able to get an endorsement or two from writers recognized in your sphere, go for it: nothing adds credibility like testimonials.

You’ve got what it takes: have at it, my friends!

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⇒ A big thanks Rey for holding the fort these last couple of weeks. 

Starting Off a New Year Just Right

JJ and Linda haven’t returned from their holiday trips and festivities, so I’m taking over the 1st official post of the year.  The topic was super simple to figure out—how to start off a new year just right.  How, you ask?  Not with those New Year’s resolutions that never last long, but with a goal (or two) and commitment.

As an FYI, I hear that of the folks who make resolutions, not even half manage to keep them until mid-February.  That’s depressing.  But having made them—a lot!—over the years, I can confirm that.  It’s tough keeping promises, but not impossible.  For example, as someone who wanted to be an actress from the age of seven on, I can attest to the fact that if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen—through commitment and perseverance.

Decide on what you’d like to accomplish this year.  Make it a significant and/or life-changing goal.  Avoid having too many goals (or “resolutions”), because too many equals non-success.  Remember this my friends: to attain something means you have to give up or change something, which isn’t easy.  This is where commitment comes in.

Take your goal and break it into manageable bits.  Draw up a plan.  It doesn’t have to be extensive.  Keep it simple.  For instance, when I decided I was going to become an actress, I didn’t hop on the first bus to Hollywood.  I jotted down actions needed to make it happen.  I started reading up on the performing arts and film folks, and learned (devoured) all I could.  I took acting lessons, tried out for community stage productions, and volunteered in the theater world.  Some things worked out brilliantly; some not so much.  That’s okay.  It’s all part of the process.

Consider all the things you can do to make your goal reality.  Know that there’ll be setbacks, that you may receive criticism, warranted or otherwise (some folks can be just plain nasty).  Play duck: let the negative stuff flow off your back like water droplets.

Share your goal with others.  I told my mother (mistake, but live and learn), friends and cousins I trusted, and a couple of teachers.  I felt that by stating my intention—my quest, if you like—I had to, and would, stick to it.

Motivation: be your own driving force.  You can do it if it’s in your heart to do.  I know, because I’ve been there.  Sure, there’ll be off days.  The odd one may even knock the winds out of your sails.  And no, it won’t be simple, but think of it this way: if it were super easy, that awesome (!) sense of accomplishment—joy, triumph—wouldn’t happen.  Let me tell you, there’s no better feeling than experiencing a sense of success that comes from knowing you—yes, you—did it.

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I’ll leave you with some quotes that have kept—and still keep—me from straying off the path (too often):

“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.” – Sammy Davis, Junior (actor, comedian, dancer and singer)

“Life is a challenge, meet it!  Life is a dream, realize it!  Life is a game, play it!  Life is love, enjoy it!” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Indian guru and philanthropist)

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti (racing-car driver)

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews (actor, singer, and author)

Here’s to 2018 being your year.

Aloha.

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Happy New Year’s Cheers

Hey there.  Today, all three of us are posting from different parts of the U.S.—me (Rey) first, Linda second, and JJ third.

** from Hawaii:  Hauʻoli makahiki hou!  It’s been an awesome year for the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  There were a lot of small cases.  Some were challenging and some were fun, and all were put to bed in a pretty timely manner.  The big one—“Forever Poi”—should be completed soon.  In terms of me, I did some fun ads . . . and as an FYI, the money’s going toward a house.  I’m so stoked.  Have an awesome year, everyone.  Here’s to 2018 being a fantastic year!

** from the Mainland:  Cheers!  I’m meeting up with my sister and brother for a few days here in L.A.  Then we’re driving through three or four states for the fun of it.  We’re doing our best to stick to a recently made promise: to communicate regularly and meet at least once a year.  So far, so good.  May your New Year be the best one yet!

** from North Carolina:  Happy 2018!  I’m visiting with Mom and my nephew, Quincy.  He’s growing so fast.  Have been getting together with some old friends and coworkers.  Loving it.  May even meet up with an old beau, Adwin (we parted ways after The Connecticut Corpse Caper, but have kept in [sporadic] touch).  Wishing you all good health, happiness, and prosperity in the coming year!

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♥Aloha from the gals at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency♥

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.

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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.

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