What are you laughing at?
Do you know what kind of humor makes you laugh? I had a vague idea when I was writing my novel. Poppy Mackenzie is a quirky character, a 'fish out of water' kind of gal, who has a subtle skewed view of the world that some find amusing. I was almost shocked, in a pleasant way, at how many reviews mentioned how funny they found my book.
So I've been thinking about this for a while, like how different we are when it comes to our senses of humor. Growing up, I was not the funny one, I was the one who laughed at other's jokes. My brother was the clown who told stories and jokes and everyone laughed. I was the quiet one in the corner who either laughed or scowled in disapproval if his remarks were derogatory or hurtful.
As I became a teen I discovered that boys found me funny and attractive. I still couldn't remember a joke, but my off-track view of the world seemed to entertain them. It was a bit of a mystery, but I liked it. I think sharing a sense of humor is one of the important things that keeps a marriage alive and satisfying for decades. And I found myself attracted to people who found me amusing and I gravitated to the authors who amused me.
Introducing Getting Traction Blog
No, it's just a place to put my thoughts that I don't mind sharing with the universe, with perhaps some useful or entertaining ideas and occasional resources you might want to pursue. I will edit to be sure someone in Khazikstan or anywhere else won't learn about my most private opinions.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Is it spontaneous or can we find ways to create it?
For years I thought I was a good writer but couldn’t come up with inspiration for fiction. I could write newsletters and educational content. I often wrote poetry inspired by a broken heart, a new love, or a donut shop closing after 30 years. But the idea of writing a novel with interesting characters, facing a villain or other obstacles, and all the essential components of a good read were beyond me for decades.
I’d read a thousand books and over and over I told myself I could write something even better than them. But the ideas never materialized or they sounded like they’d been done too many times. Sometimes they were too close to my reality which wasn’t that entertaining or exciting.
Then one night Poppy arrived in my half-awake brain...
The Pigeon Did It!
One of the things that captured my imagination with the blog title 'Getting Traction' is its application in my mind to so many aspects of life. Business, creativity, longevity, fitness... I could go on. And today I'm thinking about the dangers of forgetting I'm no longer 40 when I decided to get back into fitness.
I bet you think you know what's coming...
A moment for self-care...
Relaxing with Murder and Mayhem
Why are we fascinated with fictional murder yet feel uneasy with actual murder and violence on the news? And why is some kind of death a significant part of almost every bestseller on the market today?
My son has asked me why I enjoy murder mysteries when I am totally non-violent person who has never come close to considering murder or even assault. Well, I came close to imagining doing it, but that is a long way from the reality of offing someone.
I’ve asked other authors and readers why they seem like perfectly normal, civilized people, yet relish a good murder or several, as in the case of Midsomer Murders. We each have our own criteria for what is interesting to read or watch and what makes us move on to the next book or film. We also have our own unique motives that provide us with an acceptable reason to kill someone. I ask myself… what would it take for me to kill someone? Still searching for that answer, but ideas pop up from time to time.
Keeping it simple for longevity and the creative life...
So many things on my bucket list that I procrastinated about or got detoured from by relationship troubles, money issues, aging challenges, or really... just fear! Fear of what? Failure, or at least not living up to your own or others' expectations. And that's one reason my book took eight years to get published! What about your book, business, or fitness goals? Have they gotten lost in a pit of fear while you whiled away the days watching Netflix or letting the unimportant nonsense keep them distracted?
For many of us, COVID put a kink in our wellness plans. The gyms and yoga studios closed. The pools closed. Walking outside was an option, as long as there weren't crowds of anti-maskers shuffling past. And forget about travel or even camping, since all the campgrounds closed down.
But enough about that...
What book character doesn't eat, drink or breathe... no, it's not a vampire!
When I read a book, I love an earthly setting. Foreign lands are magical. Beautiful old buildings, lush landscapes, and of course dazzling coastlines whisk me away and into the story. I know many of you love reading or creating fantasy worlds, sci-fi galaxies, and lands filled with magical creatures and demons. Those are fun and give you a lot of latitude to imagine or create them.
But I'm more of a real-world woman, so when Poppy (my heroine) developed in my mind, she had to be transplanted to one of my favorite places in Southern California. Laguna Beach in Orange County. If you're not from this area you may have a stereotyped idea of California, or think of Disneyland, tech companies, or multi-million dollar mansions. All those exist but Laguna feels like another world to me. Beautiful hidden beaches, arts festivals, and a cool old town village all combine to transport you to a different world, yet still reality.
A little poetry... Kelp Dance
Thriving in our third act... turning on our light!
Your 'healthspan' is different than your lifespan. It describes the years of aging while you are still active, productive, and healthy. It's important for me because I have no interest in spending my last decade as a semi-invalid. You probably don't intend to either, but for so many Americans, that is the result of years of the sad American diet, inactive lifestyle, and exposure to toxins. However... This post was not meant to be a lecture on preventive health strategies, but an encouragement to thrive in our third acts.
One of the favorite characters in my Poppy MacKenzie stories is Tia, Poppy's great Aunt Maureen. When I started writing her she was about my age. Now that it's taken me many years to finish Book One, she's still stuck in her late 60s, while I have advanced well past that. Add two years of pandemic living and I really started to feel my age, like many of you. But I can feel the changes coming...
To Kiss or Not to Kiss... that is the question!
Turns out, it’s kind of like hugging, releasing a veritable cocktail of hormones to help us reduce stress, sleep better, and enjoy the effects of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. More kissing also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone related to increased risk of heart disease.
Well, all this being said it seems like more kissing and hugging are in order, but most of us got a lot less during the last two years. Being single and living alone without even doggie kisses, means I got next to none. How can we get those benefits during times like those?
Finding a 'happy place' in a world gone mad...
There are people who live there perpetually. What's their strategy? Do they ignore news of the world around them? Some believe a higher power has it all under control and there is some kind of sense in suffering. Others just shrug and say 'it's not in my control so I'll just live my own life' or 'I've got enough trouble of my own...' I think most of us dip our minds into that scary world of madness and mayhem for as much as we can handle, then retreat to our own comfort zone.
As much as I would like to, I can't just ignore it all. And I certainly don't want to dive into politics or controversial social issues here in my blog. However...
A taste of poetry...
I wrote this one while learning that golf and your own head game
were connected. Well, golf or no golf, your mindset impacts your whole life.
Enjoy but watch out for those alligators!
Standing at the Tee
Perfection in my sights
The rabble has its say
“Hold back…Hold on
That’s not like you!”
Whisper of genius
Smothered by the drone
Bunkers like coffins
Hazards with alligators