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.

Bloggin’ Bonanza

Have we touched upon actually starting a blog?  Methinks maybe not.  So-o, let’s give it some thought.

Why have your own blog?

  • Coz it’s a great way to share thoughts, ideas, reviews—the sky’s the limit!  It puts you out there: you can shine like a star.
  • Coz it can prove a bonanza (not the show, but the jackpot).  It can serve as a fabulous way of generating income (personally, I’m still figuring that out on this end, but it’s a definite objective down the blogging road).

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For those not yet blogging, but giving it serious consideration, you may want to start with some basic background/information gathering.  But that said, why not simply jump in and learn as you go?  I more or less did.  The only thing I did before setting up A Writer’s Grab-Bag was to determine which blog-publishing service / platform to use.  A lot of people had great things to say about WordPress, so WordPress it was; you choose the one that feels right for you.

Happy news for those counting nickels (like I seem to perpetually be)—a blog can be set up and designed for free.  It depends on who you go with and what options and type of reach you’re contemplating . . . and what you’re willing to do without.

Remember, though:  free = limitations.

Decide whether you want a selfhosted blog or hosted one.  The former resides on your own server.  Most people generally, however, go for the latter and pay a third-party to host their blogThis allows for a lot of benefits: a more professional appearance, additional bandwidth and memory, and control over your blog in terms of layout and SEO, among other things.  If you go with a hosted blog, yes, you will have to put out a few of those nickels.  The good thing, though, is you get to focus on your posting and not worry about configuring and all that annoying technical sh-uh-stuff.

Figure out your domain name; think of something catchy, easy to recall, and indicative of your blog.

Part of the fun is designing the blog.  The scheme and layout options are endless!  Feeling daunted, unsure?  Check out blogs that cater to the audience you want to attract.   Scrutinize successful ones.  Research ideas.  Then go for it.  Design one that reflects you and your blog content.  Add those bells and whistles!  You can do it.

Enough food for thought?  Methinks likely not.  But perhaps sufficient enough for you to take the plunge into the blogging foray.  Just bear in mind: there’s a ton (!) of resources out there for beginner/novice bloggers (which I still am), including support groups and communities.  You don’t have to go it alone . . . but you should definitely go for it!

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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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Woo-Hoo-ooooooo WordPress!

Slowly but surely this blog is coming along—a little due to personal detective work (excavating through mountains of info!), a lot due to professional assistance from the wonderful folks at WordPress.

These Happiness Engineers (and, yes, they provide much happiness because they solve a myriad of issues) are helpful and committed.

Kristen S has been amazing.  Proficient and efficient, she responds to all my emails (and there are many) with utmost patience.

There’s a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I’m sure—with the assistance of my happy Happiness Engineer—I’ll become the successful blogger I dream of being.

Happy: that’s one contagious word, very much like Pharrel Williams’ song.  Hmm.  I think I’ll just clap along.

 wdpress