Here I am to revive Pitchmen Enthusiast and chat about Toys-R-Us.

Three or four years ago I ended my venture of writing here at Pitchmen Enthusiast. After doing that, it pretty much ended my many years of interest in the direct response industry. It’s funny the direction that life took me–to working in the marine industry instead–but getting my own brand out there as BoatShowGirl. While I love doing that, my Pitchmen Enthusiast blog gave me a passion for business and a reason to keep up with the industry news and it helped me in the long run. It was my weekly homework to help with life and my ideas for the future. I could find something to be excited about or a piece of news that would make me want to write.

That’s kind of what happened to me recently.

I saw articles on LinkedIn about Toys-R-Us going bankrupt, and the comments that followed… and guess what? It made me say, “Wow. I wish PE were alive so that I can talk about this piece of news.” And so, here I am, I am reviving it so that I can talk about business once again.

First of all–I solely believe that Toys-R-Us is the equivalent of Sears or JCPenney in that aspect–so are we really surprised this has happened?

The last time I was in a Toys-R-Us was a while ago and their prices were either double or triple the prices of say from Wal-Mart, Target or some other named store. In this day and age, parents are looking for the cheapest price of toys so they will shop online or ads before they buy to see where they can save some money. Secondly, mostly kids want electronics now and the normal every day toys of yesterday are being forgotten, or they play with the physical toys for only so long to outgrow them and want something new. Our world is moving so fast with new, new, new that hardly anything stands the chance of being constant.

I’ve seen some mention of this in comments or other websites: locally owned toy stores are getting the Toys-R-Us customers because they lure them in by way of being personable, or set up a play station. I’m sure that’s probably true. Local businesses are back in the game.

So honestly, this is really all I have to say about that, because again, this is one of those things that should’ve been predicted a few years back.

I am looking so forward to coming back and writing about business topics! Cheers to reviving Pitchmen Enthusiast!

Side note: I have brought back some old entries that you may have read and remember, or never have read, in the event that you want to catch up to see what Pitchmen Enthusiast is all about.

BoatShowGirl returned to IBEX in 2017.

Going to IBEX this year was a little different. Last year, and the previous years, I kind of felt like I didn’t belong because I wasn’t a “professional” per se, but this year…I personally felt a little different, and accomplished a few personal goals.

So I ran into Volvo, and asked them what they planned on doing with Seven Marine. They will be keeping both brands separate, so when we got to boat shows, nothing’ll change. Which is good. There was mention of keeping up the improvement of the brand. And, I even threw in a little advice to the guy I was talking to… don’t screw up my favorite brand. Haha!

I met Dana from SureShade and I really enjoyed seeing one of my favorite products in action. They also handed out the best gift baggie which included: a mouse pad, a pen, a keychain, sunglasses rope thing, etc.

I caught up with someone I chatted with last year, but no update about the results of statements yet.

I talked to several people about what I–as BSG–want to do and one person seemed really interested in my idea and I think really truly got what I was wanting to do. I haven’t sent the follow up email yet, but I will for sure.

Anne and I got to chat for a moment outside at the IBEX opening party. This was the first time I got to stay for that, and I spent time with my friend Graham from Canada, his dad and Mike from Tampa’s very own Freedom Boat Club. It was a good time. {Needless to say, Anne’s advice on continuing to do this Boat Show Girl thing has really lit more fire under me. I need to do this, and I need to do this well.}

I’m a little bit clearer now on what I need to be doing. I would like to be a recruiter person for the marine industry schools. I think if I got a chance to help the students decide where they’d like to be, and explore their interests in the industry, it would help me personally (where I never know what direction I’m going because I like to do so many things) as well as fulfilling that earlier desire of being like a teacher but without all of the schooling.

Education is a huge part of who I am — especially the literature part. I want to know people’s stories and why they love the water so much and what brings them to it.

I definitely want to be recognized as a writer, which I have lapsed on very badly, and I do apologize for that. I am, however, taking a writing class at my theatre and it’s really helping to inspire me to write about things I fell short on passion. So it’s coming back.

I know that I want to find those couple of brands (maybe ONE or TWO unlike companies in each area) to help promote and become a brand ambassador for….

Since I am raising a hermit crab, it is really important to me for the love of all animals, especially sea animals. I would love to do something with that in honor of my baby E.

And, last but not least, I want to be someone who helps change this industry for the better and get recognized for an upcoming under 40… before it’s too late.

I know I have had many, many set backs this year. It’s been the worst year I’ve ever had, but I am most determined to never look back at that but look forward, move on, and become a better me for you — every day.

Moving forward, NO DAY BUT TODAY in the world of BoatShowGirl. 

Until next time, always ~ Karen Maeby

Surfing in a Hurricane

Howdy All ~ 

Oy vey. Right when things are finally getting back to what we Floridians can call normal, there’s been another announcement that Hurricane Maria is brewing in the ocean and it looks like her forces are going to be sending her right down Irma’s path. You’re kidding, right? This is a joke, right? #thisistoomuch #waytoomuch Cuz, that’s kinda what it felt like when I saw that.

The Weds-Fri before the 9/10 into 9/11 hurricane was absolutely insane. 8 or more hours of listening to hurricane talk at work, then following the Spaghetti Models website and watching how it can go three million trillion different ways…but yet, it was COMING STRAIGHT AT FLORIDA ON THE EAST COAST…then NOOOO WAIT…the WEST COAST…back to the east coast?! Nope, back to the west coast… MANDATORY EVACUATIONS ON THE WEST COAST, WHEN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HEADING TO THE EAST COAST. East Coast is doing nothing to prepare, but yet… IRMAGERD….Moving more NW more north, more west, now heading STRAIGHT FOR TAMPA AND OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE BECAUSE IT’S A CAT 5, ETC.

Wow. It was stressful, and now, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hate spaghetti.

By Friday, there weren’t many open gas stations and the ones that had anything left was forty cars deep on each open pump. People were going insane–lots of screaming, impatience, and basic nastiness. There was NOTHING left in grocery stores (like cans or water) and most all places were sold out of plywood or anything you normally need to fix stuff in a hurricane.

By Saturday, I was just freaking out so bad that I truly thought this was the end for me. That’s why I said the goodbye that I did on Facebook. Saturday I spent all day packing up my entire apartment–like covering all electronics, getting stuff off the floor, making sure I had enough water in the fridge and freezer and etc.

My neighbor and I ended up going somewhere else in St Pete to stay during the hurricane. Because this thing had been drug out for so long–and when the electric went out–it was basically a waiting game. I kept looking at my phone and seeing that we were in the circle of it all but heard and saw nothing. I got sick of waiting and, as terrible as this is, I fell asleep through the brute of the storm. Oops. So I can’t exactly explain being awake and explaining what I heard… because I was so tired, I heard nothing.

But the stress was enough to kill a person. I was stressed about losing my car that I’m still paying for, I was stressed about losing the house and stuff that I’ve worked so hard to keep, I was stressed about Eisenhower reacting in this storm, I was stressed about losing work and not being able to make money to survive and what to do if something did happen. The headaches and extreme body pain that I got out of this was bad too.

After all is said and done, the power at the place where we stayed went out but we went home to our duplex house and nothing but tree limbs and stuff on her side was out of place. Luckily, it was untouched. We had power. We were thankful. I had NO SERVICE on my phone at all for a week, so every evening I’d walk down to the Gulfport waters and catch up for a few hours before going back dark when I got home. That was kind of inconvenient. But, nothing was touched, we had electric and water… So thankful.

The worst part of all of this was how crazy some people went, how some went out in the hurricane and was killed for being stupid, the way some reacted right before the hurricane, and the people who left their animals tied to trees while fleeing themselves.

The BEST part of all of this… was the chicken burritos (down in Key West someone wrapped up all the roosters/chickens in newspaper and took them away from KW so they’d be saved), the “cone of uncertainty” and “God flipping a fidget spinner” meme, and the single file flamingos from Busch Gardens.

But that’s not all of the best…. my beloved adult hometown of Gulfport had spirit. As soon as this was over, some of the places were open and people were gathered laughing and having a good time. Many people pitched in to help one another. Florida as a whole should be kissing the ground that we’re mostly 95% lucky that (almost all of us) quickly got everything back up and running. The town of Gulfport and Florida was amazingly quick and humble about handling the situation that was given to us (minus South Fl and Key West which will take some time)…and surprisingly, I haven’t seen any insane reactions lately, but I bet they’re heading back to town. Ha! FLORIDA STRONG AND GULFPORT STRONG. Fo’Sho!

Needless to say, I really hope Maria surprises us and goes back out in the ocean. I do not think I am ready for another one nor ready for any kind of rain. Or storm.

I know some of you are probably wondering why I stayed in FL when people were leaving town? This is my home. I want to be here to help if need be and I want to be around my family of friends who (for the most part) didn’t leave. Plus, there’s always that feeling of… if something like a window is broken, will my stuff be stolen? Sorry, I’d like to stay close to my place and make sure it’s okay.

I appreciate everyone who contacted me throughout this whole thing and was worried and asking what I was planning on doing. Thank you SOOOOO much! You guys, it means a lot. 

For those inquiring about Eisenhower: The day of the hurricane, he was acting so funny. Like, trying to climb up to the top of his carrying case. I was hoping to calm him down by picking him up and he pinched me so hard (for maybe a minute) and pinched a hole right through my finger. It. Hurt. Yes, it drew some tears. I kept him close for a few days, and last night (the 16th) when I was holding him, I could feel him go limp. He went into another molt, I confirmed that earlier, and I am praying to the universe that he turns out okay in time. He is moving around and was munching on his old skin… sooooo… that is good news.

In other news, as of Friday (I think?) Eisenhower has a new brother, a Betta fish. His name is Lord Augustus Wolfgang Fishypants. He’s a cute red fish, and he’s already reacting / communicating with me.

I think most of you know already…. I’ve been appointed as the stage manager of the kids show on Saturday and I’m taking Patrick’s writing class on Sunday plus I will soon be doing boat shows on the weekends and then working 2 jobs during the week. I am still staying absent from Facebook (if you message me, I won’t get it), I don’t really have time for much other than posting to Instagram. Please know I’m not ignoring you if I don’t answer. Emails are hit or miss, considering half of it is buried right now from not cleaning it out.

There’s going to be a ridiculous amount of things going on in my life the next 60-90+ days so the BEST bet from now on is to just text or call me at 919-900-0052, ESPECIALLY if you need an answer right away or it’s really important. Leave a message if you call and I don’t answer, or just text away. I have unlimited so it doesn’t matter how long or short the message. 

Love you guys, 
Karen Maeby, Eisenhower & Augustus 

Amazon Kindle Books by Karen Maeby

I have just released my newest book FASHION POETRY in honor of Project Runway coming back to our TVs! Get it FOR FREE along with the following books…. (This promo will run Friday through Tuesday next week. Amazon Kindle Direct is still free through.) 

DEAR ANNE FRANK | Dear Anne Frank is a narrative-based short story set up in a “dear diary” format. It was written in reference to a weekend trip to Washington, DC that the author took in 2010. What is shared is an unique mixture of thoughts ranging from personal feelings in relation to Anne Frank’s spirit, details about the trip to DC, updates since that trip, a poem and more!

MAEBY IT’S ONLY THE BEGINNING | Karen Maeby becomes vulnerable as she pours her soul into her poetry in ‘Maeby, it’s only the beginning.’ She invites you to join her as she tells her story, even though—like many—she’s been hurt before. Her poetry draws emotions from every angle and touches on many subjects such as: soulfulness, general: life, among the living, heartbrokenness, some narrative / non fiction, the ocean, goodbyes, truth, dreams, and so many others.

THE CAPTAIN IN ME SCRAPBOOK | This book is free because it needs to be updated, but it gives you a taste of In Love with a Sailor as well as The Captain in Me. 

This is the scrapbook / preview-teaser for The Captain in Me, of which, also will include my previous book In Love With a Sailor.

The Captain in Me takes your soul for a walk down a long pier on the beach where the only guide is the sunset right before your eyes. It’s the moment where you wake to see that you are no longer dreaming and you are given the chance to take charge. The only existence for the moment would be you and the words to describe how you are feeling when you realize that you can change anything around that you want.

Or, at least that’s how I would describe it. This poetry collection is composed of a mixture of a few sugar coated fiction and 99% non-fiction pieces plus several narrative-based essays. The poetry is a mix of romance with the life of the Sea, locations, characters, deep philosophies and eras of life, and lots of nautical references. My inspiration was the events that occurred while living day to day.

CAPTAINS & SAILORS THE POETRY BOOK | Priced at $2.99, you can get 200 poems!!! It’s free for Kindle Unlimited readers. 

Captains & Sailors: The Poetry Collection is a work of art that touches on every subject you can imagine! Each poem has a flair of narrative based truth to it, and Maeby brings it to life by sharing her dream of a very determined love, the characters in her life, an endless love for jazz music and all things vintage, life’s philosophies, Pirate adventures, life on the Sea and so much more.

So if you are in need of an escape from the wintry wind that the snow storm has brought, this is the book for you. Kick back your feet and imagine yourself sitting on the warm beach—with a drink in your hand—as you are watching the sunset. Use the words in this book as your map to escape your current world and step into viewing the life of a very soulful Pirate named Maeby. This is her “message in a bottle” to the entire world of which she wrote something for everyone.

 

Another trip around the sun at 31.

Aloha everyone! 

It’s another personal year for me as I turn from 30 to 31. Wow, what a year my 30th was… I am pretty sure that I experienced every thing one could experience in a year and then some. I have to thank Facebook a little bit for sharing with me my memories because I know I can’t remember them all on my own.

Last year–turning 30 in 2016–was spent amazingly and it was one of the most epic days, I just wish certain circumstances had turned out different. There was jazz night at the Hideaway Cafe, and a rather large party for Eisenhower and I at work. My actual birthday, our AC went out at work and it was 100 degrees in there… and that was the first time I was taking clothes off as opposed to wearing 15 shirts and 3 jackets. “My first hot flash now that I’m getting old,” they joked.

The year before that – my 29th (2015) – since I could get in for free because I worked at John’s Pass, I went to the alligator place there and held a baby alligator. I also kissed it. On. The. Lips. There are pictures somewhere on Facebook as the proof. This is the same year I adopted Eisenhower, BUT I had to take a couple of days to think about it. Did I want to bring a wee little creature in my life? I’m so very glad I did. He was meant to be in my life for sure.

I kind of blank out before that… but I know there had been a trip to Florida for my birthday week maybe in 2010 or so (which was amazing because we spent time with some amazing people while here having amazing experiences) and then some more time spent in John’s Pass either 2011 or 2012 (I really love that place). Oh and another year not sure which (2013? 2014?) was spent with Blanche and her BFF eating somewhere.

This year… 2017… a celebration started at my favorite day Christmas in July (25th) with G and I. We went down to Sarasota to a cook out with some friends. I remembered Joe Anthony like I always do. I told G the story about him, how he passed away and the story of my connection with that.

On my actual birthday a good group of us from the theatre plus a few others came together to eat at Neptune’s and it suddenly felt like we were back at the theatre taking a break in between shows! Ha! This was yet another epic birthday for sure. THANK YOU ALL FOR CELEBRATING WITH ME! 

So, I was late to my own party – I was stopped by some people sitting outside at the restaurant next door because they wanted to know all about Eisenhower. They said that sort of thing is why they love Gulfport so much! A GP police officer was eating in there and so he wished me a happy birthday, as well as I found out one of the cooks/waiters there was a birthday twin! They sang happy birthday to me followed by a piece of cheesecake. E and I blew out the candle. Also, we didn’t get any pictures except for what G took of E and then E & I.

Give or take a few more days and Eisenhower has been with me for 2 years. I cannot believe it. I was so scared that he wouldn’t even last a week or two with me, that’s why I was so hesitant, I didn’t want adopt a hermit crab only for something to happen to it instantly. My way of raising him is a little different than what hermit crab enthusiasts have going for their crabs (and, believe it or not, I’ve had those people grumble at me for certain things). As you all know, he does not stay home all the time – he’s seen 3 plays now, attended 3 different work places with me several times, goes on short rides, has been out to John’s Pass multiple times, and sometimes visits downtown GP. One of these days, E will have his own legacy. Everyone will know us as Maeby the Pirate and her crabby son Eisenhower. Only one could hope…

It was seriously one good birthday to spend it with friends who seem as close as family. I am 100% sure that E really enjoyed visiting with everyone too. Thank you all so much – again – and can’t wait to do this again next year! 

Always, 
Karen Maeby 

A Plastic Ocean Film

A few days ago, I went to Gulfport’s library for a viewing of A Plastic Ocean. While I know pollution is growing since there are far more people on this planet, I had no idea it was this bad.

In the movie –

A whale died because it had swallowed such a large piece of plastic.

They opened up several small dead animals and what was inside their stomachs? Piece after piece after piece of plastic. The mother birds who feed their babies were trying to do what nature tells them, but yet, they fed them their fate.

Also, if you eat seafood, guess what? You’re eating what they eat too.

Guys, this is a serious issue, and it should be top priority especially for those who live by any body of water. Even if there’s trash near the coastline (on land by lakes, or beaches) if something catastrophic happened all of that trash will end up in those bodies of water, then it will end up in our sea animals and they will die. I don’t want to see sea critters to be on an endangered species list, especially if it is something like fish that people need to eat and it’s a sustainable business for a whole lot of people around the world.

The only good thing coming out of this being a topic is what some of the countries are now beginning to do with recycled plastics (and other things that can be recycled or trash being dealt with).

If you’ve watched any of the news by some of the eco people—straws, plastic bags and bottles seem to be the biggest problem. My town of Gulfport (FL) is testing out the ‘no plastic straws’ policy. They have paper straws (the other alternative) and of course now there’s metal or alum straws that you can purchase elsewhere. If you’re like me, and want to use a straw (because, ew, drinking straight from the cup while out), we’re going to have to go to the alternative because it’s kinder for the environment.

For someone who is a lover of animals, the ocean, an employee in this industry and a mom to a crab, I feel it is definitely in my duty (now that this movie has woken me up) to do everything I personally can to less contribute to the problem.

As BoatShowGirl—I pledge from here on out that I will become more eco friendly. I will recycle what I can, I will attend as many ‘pick up trash on the beaches’ as possible, and I will become an advocate to save our water…because without water, there is no life, and life must go on.

I truly believe that A Plastic Ocean should be watched by anyone in the marine industry, live by any large bodies of water (or if you vacation there), as well as shown in middle/high school science classes. It is something that needs to be taught to younger people as they will be the ones that’ll suffer from the past generations mistakes.

To find out more about the movie, find out here: A PLASTIC OCEAN

Some of the major advocates for the water: SAILORS FOR THE SEA

If you’re reading this and have any questions or if you’re a part of the advocacy and want to share your product or company you may comment below. I am looking to connect with those in my area of Florida (Tampa Bay). 

– Karen Maeby | BoatShowGirl

Boat Show Girl is making a comeback!! 

Aloha Everyone!

I’m back! I’m back! (Sort of – but mostly – I’m back!) 

Everything has changed since my last post. I am so pleased to say—after about 2 months from middle of April to the middle of June—I am back in the industry working with a different company. It’s a smaller company, I get to do a variety of things, and they love boat shows. So I’m ecstatic about that last part. I’m only part time there, which allows me to do a plethora of different things. I’m way less stressed and a lot more happy than I’ve been in a while.

I have also decided that it is going to be a permanent part of my BoatShowGirl schedule to take a break around April/May to July/August. There might be a few times where I’ll give updates, but that’s about it, especially since all the main shows are in the spring and fall.

The reason for my break is that the other half of my life belongs to my love of performing arts (writing, theatre, music, art) and I am heavily into theatre right now. We just finished our summer show that happens every year and it took 99% of my free time, but it’s the funnest and it’s my favorite. Plus, it’s the only show out of our full season of plays that I get to work with at least 40 different people.

There’s also a positive spin in all of this. I have a business partner from another job I’m doing, and he loves the water as well, so I sort of have a boat show partner (finally). I think it’s his plan to keep me walking the straight line where I can hit my true potential with this brand.

The guys at World of Boating really wants me to do something with a uniform, and I do plan on doing that…finally….this year.

I’ve been catching up with Trade Only Today and Boating Industry after taking this break, and wow, the news I have been reading!!!

Yamaha buys Bennett Marine

Volvo buys Seven Marine

Malibu buys Cobalt

I mean. I really don’t know what to say. In one point, it’s worrying me that these buys are happening, and in another it’s like are they in trouble and these companies with more money are rescuing them? Essentially, we just lost 3 individual companies in this industry because each one is merging with another.

How’s this going to effect the market now? How will the brand be able to continue being the brand? Will everything be restructured? Will these brands that’s being acquired just disappear?

There’s so many questions! What do you guys think about this news?

Summer One Acts 2017

[ note: part two will come after the show is actually over] 

Aloha Everyone! 

It just doesn’t seem real that we’re nearly two weeks away from the ending of my favorite show of our theatrical calendar. I’m trying my best to not dry heave some heavy tears that I’m sure will fall the last weekend, just like last year, but this year…. is a little different.

Today was that normal Saturday of hell week where the backstage people meet at the Backdoor to put all of the stuff on the truck and take it over to the Catherine Hickman. Walking in the green room–it just felt so big for a moment–and walking out on stage… here we go again..the heart – pitter patter pitter patter and a moment of happiness calming my soul. After not having worked two shows (which was about 2-3 months maybe), it felt great to be back, and I had my usual strong sense of ‘I really do belong here.’

Another amazing feeling was also to be able to quickly put things where they needed to go, do what needed to be done, and be done…until tomorrow’s tech day where I’m sure half of the things will change. Last year I was just too new to know any of this stuff. (PLUS! It helped me to pretty much say let’s get everything packed after Wednesday’s performance, pushed near the door, and ready for Saturday instead of putting it off for another day!)  

I don’t think I actually mentioned this at all on my blog, but back in May–during the auditions–it was my one year anniversary with the Gulfport Players. [By the way, I still think there needs to be a party. Can we make that happen? haha cast party…and yes, I do make a big deal of anniversaries for things I am extremely passionate & care about. So there.] 

It doesn’t feel like a year at all but what an incredible one it has been starting with SOA’16 then hopping into Over the River, Parfumerie, Modigliani, then taking a break for two plays and now we’re at SOA’17. Each one of those plays have had some significance to me, and I’ve written about all of them on my blog.

At SOA’17 auditions: I knew almost everyone walking in the door, and it felt super comfortable to work the front desk after getting experience from a few  other plays. (That’s one of my favorite jobs there. Auditions are literally a way of life…. it’s a large family reunion that’s for sure.) 

At SOA’17 house rehearsals: I remembered props from previous years, so I was able to suggest those, or find them to use. I knew where a lot of things were to go and get it ahead of time. I also created a no-nonsense plan on how to keep tabs of everything in each show, and it deemed successful.

I have learned so much throughout the year by working the shows and working around who I have, and that’s just the technical part. Not to mention, some of the personal things I said last year as we were setting stuff back up on stage–I made those changes in my life, and I’m working on even more.

Last year I worked SOA’16 with only weeks away from my 30th birthday. It was such an I’m-working-the-show-as-29-years-old-but-almost-30th amazing 30th year for me: I met my favorite person and allllllllllllllllllllll of my favorite people (not people, MY THEATRE FAMILY) of which I love very, very, very, very, very much! I’ve drawn so much inspiration from all of this and all of you (in poetry, writing or art), learning what I did with the shows, and just every experience in between. The cast parties, meeting outside of the theatre, hanging out together sometimes – all of that – just fabulous! I’ll never forget!

Did I mention SOA’16 was my first year back after being out of the theatre world for 12 years?

Yeah.

That’s why it was so special. That’s why I was so emotional by the end, because–even though there were goals throughout the first half of my 29 years and down–nothing has ever compared to what happened after I joined GP.

Once I crossed ‘join theatre once again’ off my goals/dreams list, I went on and marked up to 100 more off my list in this 30th year! That’s the fastest I’ve ever hit goals and that many! We’re even talking about crossing some stuff off my high school dreams list that were still open, too! It was my returning to theatre that helped me advance my life to try to take control and make it exactly what I want it to be no matter what. I knew I belonged, it just took me 12 years (and that exact perfect timing) to make it all happen. Goals are so much easier to obtain, I’m no longer shy about getting what I want and putting myself out there to try all the new things. There are words and then there are no words… that’s exactly how I feel…and I’m not often speechless.

I want to shout out to everyone I have met because of the players. YOU GUYS are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and I cannot wait until we work more shows together. I’m so grateful that I came to the Gulfport Players “ONE YEAR AGO” and started helping out. I have never met such an incredible group of people who claim each other as home, and I mean that in a way that never will you ever find a group like this one. I am thankful. 

PS – I’ve been taking walks every night that we’re not at rehearsal late or that I’m not doing anything. This photo I took one evening of the sunset just gleaming over the Catherine Hickman. I nearly screamed out, “It’s like the world knows we’re going to be there next week.”

next week’s secret 7.1.17

the “atmosphere, world, sky” knows a secret
and Mother Earth said that it was okay to tell me…
i was in the middle of the road–

and the music stopped in my headphones,
that’s when i heard a whisper
‘look over here child’ and i did

” we’re going to be here next week!! ”
i smile, as i took a picture,
and continued walking down the street

i think we’ve been blessed,
nothing is as holy as having a sunset
light your place on fire with ten thousand colors

magic was dropped off somewhere inside,
get ready for that ride
our show will be creating stars at night

Love Always, Karen Maeby 

 

Wondering why you haven’t seen or heard from me? This is why.

Hello everyone!

Oh boy. I don’t know where to even start but I guess starting at the beginning would be great, aye? This’ll be long so make sure you have tea/coffee to sip while reading!

With a lot (and believe me when I say A LOT) of consideration and talking with my boss after my Ft Myers-Miami vacation in February, I put in my “90 day notice” at T. While it will always be my dream company to work for, the position of which I worked was NOT the dream job (everyone knew this). Basically if you work at a dealership the marine industry is so cut & dry – you’re either in sales, service advisor, parts, warranty or upper management or an admin training to do one of those things. Some companies have a marketing department but we weren’t big enough to have that and that is what I wanted. I really loved working in the warranty but we already had someone, and even if it became available, it was only going to be a portion of the job–not full time–and the benefits from the previous person would never follow out-of-house ever again like I would have wanted to continue.

So hence my big decision. Every time I would go in and talk to my boss, I’d start crying, my heart was breaking even more than what it already had been. I knew that even the thought of leaving was sad, but it was just time to move on. Two years of doing the same exact thing every day was enough but almost 3 was just too much for someone that wants to do a whole lot more with their life (you should see my goals/dreams list – it’s now 1,000 pages long). What started this whole thing was having a really, really good performance review but it being said that they were aware of my abilities and talents and couldn’t satisfy them because a position like what I was wanting either didn’t exist or couldn’t there. I understood.

So on a Tuesday at the tech meeting I told the guys about my “90 day notice” and they were shocked because they knew how much I was Team T forever and ever until the day I die. (I still am!) We didn’t know how long it would take to hire someone, so 90 days felt safe for finding someone, training and giving me enough time to get my act together.

However, not shortly after, a girl had walked in with experience in the same things that I did in the admin role, so they hired her. By the end of the first month I was like, okay there’s just one computer and either I need to stop working (and feeling bad about that) or not let her do anything (and that just wasn’t right)… so I decided to leave two months early. I didn’t want to stay if I wasn’t able to earn my keep. 

All four of my bosses were completely 100% behind/beside me and supported me wholeheartedly. Before I left I got to go on my first seatrial which was a lot of fun and super philosophical for me (yes there’s a poem, it’s on boatshowgirl.com). Also, they threw me one huge party.

I left on a Tuesday and came back on Friday for my lunch party. When I walked in, there were thousands of decorations hanging from the ceiling, on the walls, everything. It was amazing. They gave me two cards, a poster that said “good luck with your next adventure,” a crown that said “retired” (haha), and even bought a flag that said “it’s five o’clock somewhere”. They fixed shrimp tacos for me and we all ate together for the last time. (Eisenhower even joined in and he was sooooo full from the shrimp that he fell asleep propped up against his ship! ha!) With them doing all of this for me, it gives me even more fuel to not give up no matter how much I might fail. They believed in me enough to let me go. And, like a butterfly… if it was meant to be….back around it comes. 

What’s a shocker to the very few that knew about this — I left without having a job or much of a back up. While that might scare people, it did me too, but please know it was for the best. The last few weeks of April I was unraveling at the seams. Holy cow was I ever. After going from doing everything I was doing at the end of last year until April, I was just so overwhelmed I needed one hell of a break… and that, I did get. There were weeks I didn’t get out of bed. I slept up to 20 hours some days. I didn’t talk to anyone really. I wasn’t working, I wasn’t doing the theatre or film at that time, and no other activities other than reading 1-2 books a day. Actually, I did get started on some of the scenes out of a book I’m writing about T, but that was about it. I even “quit” BoatShowGirl for the time being. Yep. My heart and my brain was just so broken by that point. There were so many clouds in my sky that I couldn’t see right in front of my face anymore. My ideas weren’t ideas any more. Nothing would compute. It was not good at all.

Then………weeks later, I went to the Gulfport boat races and reported live to my radio show. I felt sort of alive again being by the water and seeing the boats. It’s a thing I can get behind – boat races – it was awesome.  The next day I went and saw Foolish Fish Girls at the theatre and saw everyone I loved and cared about. I started missing everyone so badly.

The end of April to middle of May, I kept applying to full time jobs. Why? Why in the world would I do that? I don’t know. I went on a few interviews and they didn’t work out. I wanted to strangle myself because I left my dream company to do my own thing.. not to go work for someone else (unless it was freelance/contract)! SO. Ever since having realized that the reason nothing like that was working out is because this is my time to make my future and it is not by coping out and having a cheat job. It’s working my ass off to get everything I ever wanted in this life. When I truly realized that, things started to center out with me again, and I’ve been able to smile and be happy.

After taking that good ole awful couple of weeks worth of a break, I can finally breathe again. I can finally think creatively again. I just feel so free. I can’t explain it. I have ideas. I feel like I have a creative future, unlike what I was feeling before.

One night I was turning in for sleep and a large storm of termites (yay Florida!) started taking over my apartment. It was awful. I ended up running to the store at 10pm at night, getting bug spray and a new metal bed frame. I stayed up for 30 hours straight moving and going through everything in my front room just so I could move everything from my bedroom into my front room. I threw my wooden bed frame out the next day, set up my metal one in the front room and completely crashed.

My neighbors and I had a yardsale this past weekend and just by having a lot of $1 items I made money, more than I’ve ever made at any of the previous yardsales. I’m going to be doing another one in a few weeks. Right now I’m just getting rid of a lot of things I no longer want that’s mine, and it’s helping clear the apartment of so much clutter. I believe that letting go of a lot of things (like items no longer used or wanted) is a part of my life lessons for this 30th year of mine. It’s working well thus far. My apartment is almost back to normal and I FINALLY HAVE A DESK AREA AGAIN. I haven’t had that for a few months now, so I haven’t been able to use my desktop computers which has been annoying! But alas, there’s a lot of room in here and much needed junk is going bye-bye! First step: become less of a past hoarder. I guess? Lol.

Work status: I’ve been getting about 3 emails or calls a day pertaining to my ads about work, so I’m super excited, this is a great start. I will be popping up a lot more places but for now I’m keeping things under wraps. I don’t want to take on too much right at first or talk about many of my ideas/goals because I need to figure out time and prioritizing, but so far… I’m really liking the freedom. Once I’m ready, I’m going to start posting all of the things I’m doing. In fact, if you keep tabs on my websites you’ll probably start to see some stuff pop up. I already have 1 perm job that I started this week, and doing some other work for both myself and others making amounts here and there.

In another sense, it was frightening to scramble money together to be able to pay this month’s rent, but it’s something I needed to learn… in order to work harder, smarter, better to make more money than ever so I’ll never have to go through that again. It’s going to be rough for a little bit, but I’m getting it together, and it’ll get easier.

Here’s what I need you guys to do for me: if you live in this area, spread the word that you know someone that wants to do freelance/contract marketing/ graphics/ small office work/ stuff like that. I can do online selling via etsy, eBay and those places. I know how to do a lot of things. My resume is at karenmaeby.com/work Or you can just keep an eye out for stuff like this and let me know if you see anything. I like tiny projects, but I also like ones that’ll keep a stream of income month after month…

As far as everything else… I’m so, so, so, so, so happy I’m back at the theatre helping out with the Summer One Acts. Auditions was actually my 1 year anniversary! I attended movie night with the film society last month and really enjoyed that. For those that I have seen, it’s so good to see everyone again. I’m just counting on a lot of things working out for me with a lot of hard work, and hopefully, another butterfly (not the one mentioned above nor one that has to do with work) will come back around this time again but in a better, different, more permanent way. My heart and soul feels it as my chakras are being cleaned…but it’s just not time yet, dammit. I am not the most patient person which is why ‘patience, young grasshopper’ makes me angry sometimes. 😉

Always,
Karen Maeby

Say goodbye to Boat Show Girl until the end of summer.

Hi everyone,

I woke up with a pang in my side only for me to turn over and pull that thorn out. I realized what I have to do in order to become more successful in life, and that’s hitting pause on some dreams, so that I can make way to finish up what needs to be done in order to come back to it and make it something spectacular. When you are like me–have one million dreams and goals already with 150,000 things going on–and you’re the ONLY one that’s taking care of everything including all the financial responsibilities for every day life+fun+future (since Sir Eisenhower still isn’t making money yet like Mr Crabs!), it just gets difficult with not having all the TIME in the world to do everything that needs/wants to be done. Add in exhaustion of doing this for two years plus a massive sneak of depression that has certainly landed me short of the looney bin…..

I hate hate hate doing this, and–to be quite honest–a comment that someone dear to me once told me almost a year ago reminded me that it is much better to do something the right way the first time and not half assed. Sadly, my efforts into BSG have become a habit of the latter. None of that is intentional of course, it just happens when you have so much going on that all one is doing could be under the face of “too busy” or “trying to catch up” and then it doesn’t become fun anymore… like chores…. I woke up this morning with that on my mind and it was one of those things I just don’t like like dealing with… I don’t want to be seen in the marine industry as a failure, because I want to be a part of the success that turns the industry around for the millennials and its future.

So, with having said that, this decision comes as an extremely tough one. Last year, I went to the Suncoast Boat Show and divvied up the Bradenton show in June as my last show for the summer. This year, unfortunately, I’m starting early and will not be attending one of my most favorite shows, Suncoast.

The guys at World of Boating have been so patient with me and giving me career advice out the wazoo. Last weekend it was presented that “now is the time to go traveling” — it is, but it isn’t, but it is what I want to do. In order to make BSG a success, I am going to have to travel, which means I need to get all of my ducks in a row on figuring out my process. I can’t be all up in the air with unfinished business as I do right now. I have to have a multitude of will-be-successes behind me before I go out, travel and preach BSG. I need more than one purpose to go places and I need to share those experiences, but what? That’s what I  need to figure out.

Right now, I’ve been doing a whole lot of reading and writing and most of it has to do with my poetry stuff especially since it’s poetry month. While I have some of that time and the creative motives to do writing, I need to continue that until that ball also drops. I am–after all–mostly a writer and if I don’t write and experience to write, what’s the point of my main focus in life?

This summer (besides making it to one year of helping out at the theatre for the summer one acts), I will be secretly working on stuff for BSG, still participating in the World of Boating show, and my process of visiting boat shows this upcoming fall starting with either IBEX or Tampa…whichever comes first. Which means, yeah, you probably won’t see me on social media as BSG during the summer. There’s a book that I will be working on called Who Is Boat Show Girl? and I’m not sure when I’ll be publishing it, but it’s certainly one of those things that’s been on my to-do list for so long. I think this is a good time to introduce the world to BSG and make the future all about becoming something.

I want to come back with a lot of my other projects finished and caught up in certain aspects of my life so that I can solely focus on BSG and everything that I can make it.

It was also said by one of the WoB guys that boat shows isn’t where I need to be. More likely it is because it’s the one thing that has shown constant happiness for me, but it hasn’t been lately since I’ve lost a little bit of passion through being so overwhelmed with everything else. Like I said, I’m hitting pause on something so important to me, but it is an evil necessary to become successful and that is something I want to be.

I can’t seem to find the picture(s) right now, but a few years ago I took some where I was straight looking out above the helm of a rather large boat. It showed everything. It was magical and I could see my future. But now, I can’t see the future anymore, the glass has become a serious shade of hazy and I think that’s a good time to stop and regroup before I ruin something really great. What do you think?

As the Silicon Valley folks say, it’s time to pivot. And pivot I will do.

Thank you so much for following me along the way and I hope that you will continue to follow my path as BSG after I come back from my rather large “out of the blue” hiatus. If you ever have any suggestions on how to make my dreams come true sooner or if you want to offer me something when I come back from hiatus, please let me know. 

-Karen Maeby the Boat Show Girl