Prose & Poetry ~ very dark/depressing {you’ve been warned}

PROSE 11.24.16  

This room is dark and cold like a jail cell—but not trapped between the hollow of darkness—where the only thing you see are locks and chains. Every time I blink I see stuffed white cat statues standing tall and rats running around for blood like they’re the only vampire into the night. Glancing down at myself—it’s the same wardrobe that has been wrapped around my body many times. The same wardrobe that hides me and my soul from the world that can’t even see me in the flesh when I’m not wearing it.  

My eyes are closed and I’m taking a walk through a cemetery. I am hand in hand with a ghost. Shortly afterwards, a pack of ghosts then start to follow me, chanting something that I cannot seem to comprehend. Every time I stop walking, so do they, and as I look around nothing but fog covers the darkened skies. I continue walking until I catch my breath after my heart palps a few times.  

And, I am awakened to bath water full of blood. I am sitting in my claw-foot tub at my very own Victorian-style house. The blood is mine, and I’m not yet dead. Dammit. I think to myself. I caught sight of the white light and it pulled me in—but it lied, it fucking lied—so here I am again…..awake, and the pain still exists. Over and over—it sings—like a song I used to like before it became the definition of a broken record. 

I used to imagine that if I were anyone else, if I were some other person, would people care about me more than the person I actually am? It’s a twisted point of view for someone fighting to be happy within one’s self, but also looking in a broken mirror at midnight with tears in her eyes and mascara running down her face. And no one, absolutely no one, there by my side to catch me as I fall to the hard cold tile. Almost a thousand tissues surround me. I am so heartbroken. Why doesn’t anyone want to love me? Simply because some people just were not meant to be loved.

I watch Fight Club religiously. I study Tyler Durden as he plots to fight his inner demons. In a sense, I already am him. In another sense, I want to be him. But every single time I get up with the urge to do something fabulous or life-changing, my very own monsters that hold me down are telling me: I am nothing, I am unloved, and I get punched in the face with those realities. I am not even good enough to be a speck of dirt for someone to step on.

You see, I’m a writer—deep down inside—I know this is my true calling, but I just can’t seem to make it work. I tried to bring something to fruition a few years back, and since absolutely no one cared to read what I had to write, I made a fictional name and posted under that. I wasn’t even worthy of any attention under a faux name. Since then, I’ve hidden myself, and my feelings… but if I don’t get this out I’m going to burst inside. I know it’s going to be a really long life without love, that’s why I’m placing bets on my cards on hoping I die young.

After damning the entire world, including my body, for letting me live—I took a shower to wash all of the blood off of me. I felt like I was living a horror movie, and I was the main character that just got slashed by the serial killer that somehow figured out my pin code to the alarm system on my house was 3713. I got out of the shower and wiped the steam off the mirror and looked myself in the eyes. It was the first time I really saw myself. So sad, blue, to the point of black. Barely breathing. Then, my mirror shattered all over the floor and a piece of glass cut my leg. I just embraced the pain; it felt better than the alternative.

That’s when I realized I need to release these feelings to the atmosphere because maybe, just maybe, someone else has had them too. And if I can save a few souls before I die, that would be my gift to the world, and I can then rest in peace when my remains are scattered in the ocean.

POETRY 12.30.16

rubies fall like bullets from the sky
and diamonds crack in the ground,
from sunset to moonlight
forming rose petals full of lies.

suitcases full of letters
that belong to words in a sentence
galloping across the galaxy
wishing for a better novel to attend.

a telephone that never rings again
and the silence is deafening.
words being shouted across ten universes
and it never reaches the right one.

days when one never sees sunlight again,
because it is boxed up and packed away
just like yesterday’s memories
that seem to mean nothing more than that.

and poetry,
poetry pours from the dying soul
into a river of seas
right where her remains were meant to be.

Reinventing your 2017 Marketing Plan

(First posted on MarineMarketingTools.com)

It’s almost the end of December, the holidays will be here and gone before we know it, and what we’ll be left with is a brand new year which means a brand new start. Out with the old, and in with the new.

A new president will be taking the helm in 2017—and, just like every election year—it brings an unsurety of how things are going to go overall in our country. The biggest question for the marine industry is what kind of an impact will President-elect Trump make both locally and globally?

It is now what you can consider the quiet time in our industry, and that’s when we should rethink our marketing strategies. Find out what worked, what didn’t, and really improve on that—keeping in mind the concerns addressed throughout the year. Throughout this year, BoatingIndustry.com and TradeOnlyToday.com had a lot of great articles of what we should be focusing on for the future of our industry.

Here are some ideas to help out with your 2017 marketing plan:

  • Take a look at Boating Industry’s Top 100 dealers. Study the top 10 companies and the best in class, see what they’re doing that makes them successful, and take notes.
  • Make sure your company has a mission statement–and revisit it every year. If you have one, are you doing everything that your mission statement says?
  • At boat shows: find a way to let your old and new customers have an experience. Don’t just sell to them. Find out their story of boating, become personable–then sell.
  • Salespeople: when you sell a boat, do not let that be the last time you talk to them. Contact them regularly to ask about how everything is going in their life, and then, find your way to asking if everything is okay with their new boat. If there are problems, find out immediately, and correct them.
  • During the year have a few events that would attract families, especially kids and teens because they are our future. Hook them from the beginning, so they’ll become interested in boating.
  • Reach out to boat rental companies and clubs to see if you can have an event together for marketing purposes, and introduce non-boaters/non-owners to this boating world.
  • Do a little research who your core customers are in your area and check out the demographics. Are your customers mostly baby boomers, gen Xers, or millennials? People who fish or just go out on the boat to have fun? That’ll help out a bit with making sure your dealership targets the right people. If you target to the wrong people, you will miss your mark.
  • Embrace new technology and ways of doing things.
  • And last, but not least, be innovative.

Where in the world did 2016 go?

I’ll be quite honest, I don’t really remember the first half of 2016 before I got involved in the theatre over the Summer One Acts. It makes me feel like I wasn’t awake! ha! Or maybe cause it didn’t really matter.

Sometime in January or February I was brought on by the guys at World of Boating for my BOAT SHOW GIRL gig. What a fun year that has been being on the show and looking at where I was and where I’m at now.

The first quarter of the year: all I remember is that I was in my tailspin of finishing off one entire year of working 2 jobs (60-80hrs) where I didn’t see or talk to anyone outside of work. That was extremely hard. I didn’t mean to cut people off but I had no choice, so I am so sorry, everyone. I also had no choice of not being able to move forward in my projects, either, which put me back a few decades.

In March ~ we got a new director at my work and he changed everything for the better. It was such a blessing to have him join our team, especially since he took interest in where I was going for life in this industry and he’s still cheering me on. We had a really rough time getting employees in the door, which put a new perspective on what we needed for the industry and that helped me train my thoughts a bit.

When I finally left that second job in April…

I went straight to rehearsals for the Summer One Acts around May and started helping out back stage. After 12 years, it was totally meant to be that I came back at that very moment. I met the most amazing people there, and one amazing individual that means so much to me, and has had the best impact on my life. More than anyone ever has.

I celebrated 2 years at Thunder and they spoiled me rotten. They also spoiled me rotten when I turned 30.

Year 30 turned over a new chapter–being with someone I truly cared about, listening to jazz music, and just being in love with life because I knew I could never go back.

In that time – there were so many things that I did, including going to an acting class (that I eventually want to go back to) and getting into the film society. What a year for spectacular things to get involved with, and those were just two of the things!

Give or take a few months, there was a break between Summer One Acts and Over the River & Through the Woods. It was a smaller play, not much to do, and now I’m working with Parfumerie…. which, unfortunately, will probably be my last production to help with until Summer One Acts (or maybe the production before) because I have some of my own projects to take care of.

There’s this new journal phase thing out right now the bullet journal or something like that. Well, instead of buying one, I made my own and out of 5 ‘main’ goals I wrote ‘BE A WRITER FIRST ABOVE EVERYTHING’ and shortly after that is when I got my first writing gig, then my second…..

I’m ending the year with my brand “BOAT SHOW GIRL” getting two new adventures — one I’m writing on a marine marketing website and I was just recently invited to guest blog+freelance on another. I am ecstatic. I tried saying the other day that ‘man, this stuff is happening too quickly’ and my boss reminded me, ‘no, it’s not, you’ve been working for this for a really long time.” Oops. I kind of forgot.

The ending of this year hasn’t been too great though, it feels like everything is set on the same thing every day and not moving forward. I’m getting burnt out on the things I once loved doing, and I can’t stand that feeling, and it doesn’t end up good in the end. But I’m working on making positive changes.

Eisenhower survived his first year with me and his second year molting. I nearly freaked out when he was molting on me because I couldn’t play with him and I didn’t know if he was alive. I can’t express how I felt when I saw his newly born pink crabby body down in the shell though. My heart exploded with happy, and I wanted to write a book from a crab’s point of view of how nature does its thing and they grow up just like humans… but differently, of course.

I’m cleaning up my apartment once again and getting rid of things that don’t matter any more or old papers. It always helps to do that. I started watercolor painting, oil painting, and drawing once again this year. I haven’t written many poems, but quality over quantity, I say. Financially I’m getting back at it — I’m getting rid of my debt. Sloooooooooowly but surely, and my credit score is finally getting to a point where I’m happy with it again.

And, unfortunately, I end this year with not so happy news and news about my baby mutt sister, Bella, passing away. It’s so odd how 4 years ago a memory popped up on Facebook of her face. Ugh. Sometimes I hate Facebook for that reason, in another way, maybe it was a sign of some sorts. A sign from Bella to me.

This years goals I am hoping to have a few plays ready to submit to Summer One Acts, I am hoping that BOAT SHOW GIRL takes me places that I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would, I hope to join in more boating events, I hope to act (finally!), get to go to a few creative classes, finally get organized (even though I say this every year), volunteer at the Holocaust Museum, write and publish a few books, consider doing some art submissions / poetry readings, take voice lessons, and hopefully–within time–one certain thing works out.

I thank 2016 for giving me the best person I know as well as all of the other experiences that went with it. Here’s to 2017 and hoping all other things will work out.

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(Painting I did on Christmas.)

-Love Always, Maeby

Boat Literature (poetry) and a speech about passion.

Boat Literature 
© 2013 Karen Maeby

Summer after summer,
I always anticipate this weekend class!
I have my pen and paper ready
for four full days of training for the marine life.

Boating, fishing, safety: all kinds of training and
endless chats about motors and the specs on boats.
Hours and hours of learning –
I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

Any day of every day is a good day
for reading and acknowledging literature
that ties little philosophical signs
to life stories of old and new.

BOAT LITERATURE
it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner
for an entire weekend of happiness
for this soul who loves the deep blue sea.

This is the poem that I wrote shortly after attending my first few boat shows. I was new to the game of going and so eager to learn about this new passion of mine. Four years later, as I find myself slipping away from this feeling, I’ve realized what I’ve lacked the last few ones. It’s passion. Where do I find it again? I need to dig deep into my soul and ignite that feeling once again.

I’ve become so caught up in the groove of life–work, the things I need to do to get by, starting new businesses in my spare time, reoccurring depression, living/having a personal life, getting involved in so many new activities, and the like–that my brain has not mentally rested or been revived the last couple of shows. It’s super disappointing for me, because this is my escape–I go in totally overwhelmed and feeling as if I’ve lost a battle, and come home feeling refreshed and ready to go.

But–not lately.

I keep forgetting to breathe. I keep forgetting that I’m not doing this just to be doing this. I’m doing it because I have a passion and a goal that I’m trying to work towards. I may not be at that goal–or not for a while–but I’m on the road. I have been given some really good opportunities because of my hard work and it is up to me to continue, not give up, and not screw this up for myself. I can’t let go of that fire that once held me.

I need to be an example for those younger than me. I need to share with them the joy of working hard and towards a goal (or otherwise, making their dream a huge success), having fun and making a difference in the meantime. I personally and professionally need to make a difference in this industry. I have a lot of ideas but nothing happens without action, and every single day, I am working on that. I want to get my hands dirty, solve problems, and help out. I want to carve paths for those younger than me. I want them to have a similar passion.

I want them to eventually have a story to share just like I do. 

-Karen Maeby the Boat Show Girl <3

A year of boat shows 2016 by Boat Show Girl.

The first boat show I attended of 2016 was the Miami International Show. This was the very first show four years ago that I attended, but it was in the old location. I loved the new location of Virginia Key. Beautiful displays and aisle space is what this show brought. My experience came in a different light as I met someone that was supposed to help with my future, but alas, it is the end of the year and nothing ever happened with it….despite my never giving up for many months and being persistent. It just… didn’t work out. Even though it’s really disappointing, maybe it wasn’t supposed to. Anyhow, it was a good trip and I will never drive 4 hours, walk all day long, and drive 4 hours back home ever again. Next time, I will make a vacation out if it.

The second boat show I attended was the Palm Beach International Show. This was the last show of Show Management that I needed to attend to have attended them all (in Florida). Palm Beach was really important for me because for the first time I was acknowledged as media by Show Management. YAY! I also met an industry friend from Canada at this show, checked into World of Boating while there, walked around town and stayed within a few miles of the place overnight. It was a really lovely experience, one of my favorites.

The third show and last show before my break was Suncoast in Sarasota. Even though I went to this last year (I think I did? Maybe the year before?) It was a different experience as well. I toured my first boat in a while.

Fourth show was Bradenton Boat Show during my supposed-to-be break. I went there because my company had a booth there, and I’m glad I went. I hadn’t attended this show last year but the year before. It had grown and by a lot. It was a good time seeing the sales department, of whom I rarely get to see.

Tampa Boat Show was the fifth show this year. I didn’t do much BoatShowGirl-ing because I was working as a normal employee at Thunder handing out free cups for leads. I didn’t even get to walk around this show much at all, let alone take photos, or really have any recollection of boats or vendors. I did, however, make note that this year vs last year was a totally different experience even though I did the same thing. It was more comfortable this year asking people and talking to them. I realized I could do that more than just once a year.

IBEX was six, even though it’s not exactly a boat show per se, it’s industry only. It was an okay time, it was different than two years ago, being where I was at this year vs last year.

Seven was Fort Myers Boat Show which brought a magical location.

and the final number eight…. St Pete Boat Show.

Every single show brought something new: location, people, the atmosphere, freebies, people I talked to and whatnot. I enjoyed myself to the best that I could in the time I had. I’ve made some big steps, and steps back, due to life… but I’m working on it. I can’t wait to see what happens next year when the shows start up again (I’m very unclear on what my schedule will be).

Until next time,

Karen Maeby ~ Boat Show Girl

St Pete Boat Show 2016

Today I went to the St Pete Boat Show. Lots and lots of people out and about.  The red bows and poinsettias were reminders that Christmas is right around the corner, even though it is December and it’s still pretty warm out.

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Icon Aircraft just opened up in Tampa and they decided to greet everyone at the entrance.

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Before even getting into the show, I had to stop at the first food stand to get a hotdog and Coke. I arrived at the show later than I normally like to and hunger was about to hit, so I did that, then quickly walked around the side and inside the tents.

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Probably my favorite boat of the day. Look at this Canyon Bay beauty:

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At every show, when I’m walking the docks, I always look for fun names of the boats. This is definitely a fun boat name. I’m sure a lot us could relate, eh?

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I like the way this photo turned out. Also doesn’t hurt I love the font type.

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The guys from World of Boating dialed me in and I got to report LIVE from the show. It was awesome.

Overall, the show seemed larger than it did from two years ago (I didn’t go last year). 50% sailboats and 50% powerboats, accessories included in that.

There were mixtures of accessory vendors: a lot of cleaning supplies, some jewelry, unique gifts, a lot of the marinas around here.

I saw my company’s sister company.

I saw (but didn’t exactly meet, only said hi) Bob Bitchin from Cruiser’s Outpost. (Fan girl moment.)

At the entrance, they had a few authors with their books set up outside. I really like that.

Going from the Fort Myers Boat Show to this show in a two week span… yep, both were definitely different experiences and shows.

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So…… this is it. This wraps up Boat Show Girl’s last boat show for the year. It’s been a long one (and lots of shows), but I’ll be looking forward to attending as many as I can next year in a different light. Stay tuned as I do a 2016 boat show wrap up. 🙂 

Fort Myers Boat Show 2016

I realize this is a very late entry write-up about the Fort Myers Show, but it will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect if you want to go next year. From my area of Tampa Bay it only took about 2 hours to get there, and I got a late start.

First of all, no where could I find an exact address of the parking garage on their website, so I had to drive around a couple blocks just to find it. Once I parked, I walked a few streets over to where the signs pointed to the entrance of the show and got my badge.

I walk into the event center and boats were covered in Christmas bows. I almost forgot my favorite season was here, considering the warm temperatures, but they reminded me it was time to tis the season!

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And then, as I’m walking around the accessories, I look up and see this:

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The Harborside Event Center and City Yacht Basin was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been for a boat show. The interior is old-style and beautiful. Chandeliers hanging down, the antique style windows… it was just gorgeous. The location of the basin was amazing too, as it was right by the park where they have art / statues downtown. This area reminded me a bit of Palm Beach Boat Show because they were right there downtown where I got the chance to walk in some of the shops and got coffee before the show. 

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Here’s a glance at what it looked like outside Harborside by my iPhone’s panoramic view.

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And, a look out on the water —

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I went for the experience of the show. I wanted to go last year but I drove from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and then a few days later I flew out to Kentucky–it just wasn’t the time to drive more to Fort Myers (especially over a 10 day span!). I am really glad I saved it for this year when I couldn’t go to Fort Lauderdale.

Overall — the set up both inside and outside booths and boats — were extremely cluttered. One vendor was on top of another. I read an article on one of the marine industry websites where that show is outgrowing the space. I completely believe it. And agree. However, I hope they don’t move it because it’s a beautiful spot to have a show. There were a ton of people at the show, so a good crowd.

This show (even through being cluttered / crowded) really works for them. In my opinion, it is definitely sandwiched between the Tampa and Suncoast show (they’re in the running as my favorites). A semi-medium capacity if you’re wanting to talk local vs. international. Your normal local dealers with smaller boats all the way up to yachts. Lots of my favorite brands there.

I ran into a product I really admire called the LitterBin. Basically, it’s like a normal gallon plastic bin with their logo and a really hard lid where you can shove trash in there, but if it falls over, the trash can’t fall out. You can buy the lid separately and put it on your own bin the size of the lid. I really hope they do well with this product because it is something we need on boats, out on beaches and the like to save our beaches/oceans&lakes just a little bit more…

After looking at everything, I ended up going across the street to where {my other love in this world} seems to be: theatre/arts. You can read about my adventure to the Florida Repertory Theatre by going here.

 

Last but not least…

Here’s a photo of me with my boat show badge. Whoohoo!

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