The End is Near…

The new me seems to have acquired a deadline.

I have recently discovered that coming to the end of writing the end of your WIP is a fascinating experience, although in some respects, quite sad too.

This is a new feeling for me and surprising, for I am writing my sixth book!

All I remember about finishing those was an immense feeling of relief. I wonder why I feel differently about this one?

But I digress…

Creating a satisfying ending for all the characters you have come to love (or not!) involves some serious decisions. Will they walk into the sunset, happy and fulfilled, or will they face a difficult ending, one they didn’t see coming?

As a writer, you end up being judge and jury as you decide their fate. I love being in charge, all the creation, the character development, the sadness and the joy.

Each story I write will be totally different to anything I have done before, even if the genre is the same.

Different people’s lives and situations, all living and breathing and all under your control.

Being a writer must be the best job in the world!

All this productivity is having a knock-on effect on everything, and although I welcome all this mental activity, I am having trouble understanding why I end up with so many more plans than those I started with. Usually, having nothing to do with what I am doing at the time. So much for not having so many irons in the fire!

Finishing one job lands me among all those ghosts of other projects I either made a mess of or have completely forgotten about.

My mind does try, bless it, to think along dual idea lines, and I have had serious talks with the muse, to stop cramming my head with so many ideas, to at least wait until I finish one!

Jaye

Busy is, as busy does…

Sweet peas

There’s not as much going on in the office as I would like, but I have been busy elsewhere. I usually sow some seeds every Spring, with varying degrees of success but this year I must have been blessed!

These sweet peas seem a little reluctant to climb up the poles, I expect they will get the hang of it eventually. Excuse the weeds that are trying to climb into the pot!

Dwarf Sunflowers

I have lost track of how many times I have tried to grow sunflowers. Big ones, short ones, every colour available, but no good. This year I am trying short bushy ones, and so far, so good!

Dahlias

Dahlias are another favourite flower and almost managed to reach the flowering stage last year. Determined as ever, I tried again this year, only to have the seed trays ravaged by the local birds. I am left with six plants…

Tomatoes

These tomato plants are from my local Tesco. I bought them to get a head start over my tiny seedlings, but they don’t want to grow either, still too cold, I expect.

Tiny Tomatoes

These were ravaged by the birds too, and these were all I could salvage

?? Sea Holly ??

I love sea holly with its blue metallic leaves, and bought these plugs from a well-known nursery, but when do they get blue? Or have they sent the wrong thing?

Azaleas

These azaleas were from old seeds I found in the shed. I never expected them to germinate! I wonder what colour they will be?

More than a seedling, a willow sapling

I snuck this sapling onto the list, as I am rather proud of it. A three-year-old willow cutting, on its way to being a bonsai…

A thought has just occurred to me. I am going to need some larger pots and mounds of soil if they all make it! I also wish it was as easy to grow a book…

Jaye

Another Bonsai Post from Nebari Bonsai…

Chinese Quince update

Brian VF Chinese quince May 14, 2022 2 Minutes

I bought this tree on eBay in 2006, and it is spent some time in the ground, had a few chops, and a few different fronts. But it is finally started to settle into its shape, and I decided to put it in our club’s annual show this year.

I have been bored with some of the trees lately, and less than inspired, so I thought it would be good to try to put a tree or two in the show that have never been shown before. A couple reasons, first, it adds some variety to the show. Second, it pushes me to advance different trees to a higher level. This year, the quince and the Stewartia will be making their debut appearances in a show.

I had already pruned it back a month ago, and sprayed it heavily several times with Mancozeb to stave off the rust. So far, knock on wood, it hasn’t been a problem this year.

Click HERE to read the rest of this lovely post from Brian at Nebari Bonsai…

Jaye’s Best Day of the Week ~ WIP Wednesday

My days get busier than ever, so allocating just one is difficult. Wednesday is always WIP day, even though other things constantly get in the way. As usual, fate stuck his nose in, deciding my morning.

I started well, waded through the emails, checked comments on WP and made inroads into our media overload, almost ready to start writing…

When the mouse started playing up again.

Jumping around like an idiot, refusing to go where I pointed, not doing a bloody thing for my happy Wednesday. This happened last month, and I ended up buying a new mouse. Surely it can’t want replacing already?

So, I did what any self-respecting blogger should do, I switched everything off and moved to my writing chair.

I read an interesting post from Joan Hall today about WIP…

I was in heaven for the next hour as I worked on my current villain. I like my bad boys to be special and very human, so it’s always a pleasure to be in their company. I wondered why this was and if it said something about me? I mean, creating heroes doesn’t fill me with this much pleasure. Almost, but no cigar, if you know what I mean…

The other odd thing about writing is that I get such promising ideas while doing it. Ideas for different projects, so I must have a notebook beside me.

I also read another interesting post about Writing and Covers from the Story Empire. Timely, too, for I am wrestling with creating a new cover for one of our books.

I have also saved a copy of an article about Newsletters, something I really need to study.

It is lunchtime, and it’s been a wonderful day already … not counting the mouse! They say the devil works in clever ways…

Jaye

Jaye’s Weekly Thoughts…

or What the Hell do the Fates have in store this week?

When this week began, I was determined to do something, anything to make me feel as though I was still on the right page. Any page, mind you, so I left it up to fate to point me in the right direction.

This was before I realised I had a dental appointment. It has been cancelled so many times, I was beginning to think it would never happen, despite having had toothache for months. Not a terrific way to start the week, I thought, secretly hoping they would cancel again as I walked through town.

It was too nice a day for pain and/or discomfort, something that usually happens the minute I sit in the chair, and I wasn’t expecting anything less, as the plan was to remove an incredibly old crown and investigate the reason for the toothache.

I knew this would include the dreaded needle that always made my eyes water. Unavoidable, but after being stabbed like a pin cushion, I didn’t care what they got up to, as I wouldn’t feel a thing!

Turns out, the infection was extensive, YUCKY according to the dentist, so today’s visit was a good thing. Could this have been the reason for my dizziness and earache? Time will tell, but I really hope it was.

Back at home with a temporary cap on the now pristine stump, I tried to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of the week. The WIP, or overdue promotion? I had a list, of course, but reading it didn’t help at all.

What I need is a visit from the muse, someone or something to choose something and insist I do it. I still feel determined, even though my guidance system seems to be out to lunch, despite my good intentions.

I will sign off now and continue to hope for the best. I will let you know what happens, if anything, next week…

Jaye

Exciting New Development in the Office This Week!

My Desk ~ Editing ~ Image by Jaye Marie

I have been turning the computer off early every day this week, desperately trying to knock my current WIP into shape without any distractions

This work has not been a good write by any stretch of the imagination. I have literally lost the plot on more than one occasion, resulting in major shuffles, brain crushing revisions and mind-numbing depression.

To be honest, it probably wasn’t the best idea in the world, trying to write anything. What with all the hospital visits, blood tests and caring for the most unwilling patient in the world, someone who has no idea how to accept being incapacitated, never having been ill in her life before.

So, one way or another, the past twelve months have been a nightmare.

Desperate to do something, anything to lighten the load, I have been trying to create a little enthusiasm around here. I have tried suggesting days out (now Anita is stronger and we can go out!)

Nothing seemed to work.

Until yesterday.

I had left completed chapters of Ghost of a Chance on my desk and was upstairs changing the sheets on one of the beds when I heard loud wows coming from the office.

These sounded like good wows, so I quickly finished what I was doing and rushed downstairs.

Anita has never been interested in my writing, as detective mysteries are not her thing. So, when I discovered she had been reading the chapters AND thought they were good, the sudden burst of enthusiasm in the room was amazing to feel and very welcome. We spent the rest of the day discussing my book and my lack of progress. So, when she offered to beta read/edit it for me, I nearly hit the floor. Editing has never been her scene, always been my job and I love doing it.

Well, I did until I became a writer too, as I don’t think editing your own work is quite the same thing.

So, how is it going?

I have the first six chapters back and am amazed they are not completely covered in red ink. I am also amazed by the points raised, as just changing a few words here and there has made such a difference.

I have always admired Anita’s writing skills, to discover another of her talents has come at the perfect time for both of us…

A new post from Adam’s Art and Bonsai Blog…

Japanese Black Pine, a gift from an old friend

Here’s a humble little Pinus thunbergii, sitting on my work stand.

I’ve used this line before, but….That looks like the back…

My own black pine is still a seedling, even after four years of growing… but one day…

4 year old black pine ~ Jaye Marie 2022

Read the rest of Adam’s interesting post on his new black pine HERE

New Post from Nebari Bonsai…

Twisted Itoigawa restyle

Brian VFItoigawa, Pinching, Pruning, Wiring January 22, 2022 1 Minute

This Itoigawa came from Chikugo-en, via Bjorn in 2014. I started styling it shortly after, and here are a few shots through the years.

I couldn’t resist sharing this post from NEBARI BONSAI…. click on the link to see the rest!

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch… An Acrostic Poem

It had to happen, I suppose.

Anita loves to write acrostic poetry, and for some reason, longer words are more attractive. So when she chose this particular word, I just smiled. I knew it would be in safe hands…

Long winding road ahead beckons
Little did I know, ghost lie in wait
Air, thick, cold with fear
Never ever bends behind fog laden turns
Fathers words of warning echo in mind
Arrive as you mean to go on
In shadow would be helpful
Rain splashed streets shine under moonlight
People rushing, bump against me
Worries rub against my own
Lost time touching unknown thoughts
Lodging in mind, memory stirs, something sticks
Gutters blocked, rain reaching my feet
Wishes held from childhood
Yearn to be freed
New wishes gather in the background
Getting harder to find space to wait
Yesterday’s thoughts stick, unused
Longing for inspiration
Lead laden boots stamp away dreams
Gritted teeth, drag out my steps
Over lightning ahead, I push on
Greetings, warm welcome greets my end
Envying those sat warm inside
Rain doubled the weight of my clothes
Yule logs burning, guests anticipated
Children wrapping Christmas gifts
Happy faces behind frosted glass
Winter eggnog raised in cheer
Yuletide carols sung by the fire
Rain, no worry to those inside
Never ending tide of water
Drowning out all comforting thought
Run now, thoughts charged
Overwrought emotions
Bumping inside grey matter
Willing my legs onward, my socks soaked
Legs cold aching to rest
Longest road I have travelled
Laden with secrets, lights shining from windows
Long lost families come to mind
Arriving unbidden, I sweep them away
Never a good thing to bring into mind
Touching yesterdays ghosts will never do
You need to think of the now
Stay with the dream, polished with wishes
In time spent dreaming
Longing for success
In long dark nights alone
Over playing your hand
Getting nowhere fast with dreaming
On long days you write them down
Getting yourself a diary full of words
On summer nights, you sigh with remembering
Great times you have planned ahead
Of time spent checking each detail
Comforted by foolish dreams
Hope springs eternal…


©AnitaDawes2021

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

It is supposed to be, but I think not. Not the way most people do it, anyway.

I have always hated imitation of any kind, for it always seems to take something away from the original. Why do we need to have substitutions when we already have the original? Why can’t they leave well enough alone?

It doesn’t seem to matter where you go, whatever field you are interested in, there will always be someone trying to copy or improve something.

My pet hate is the remakes of all my favourite films. I watched the new (and supposedly improved) Ben Hur with my family, (it was either that or revising!) But even with all of today’s wonderful new technology, it wasn’t a patch on the original film with Charlton Heston.

I love to watch all kinds of people at work. Artists, sculptors, craftspeople, even plumbers and mechanics. I think this is because my nosy brain just wants to know how things work. My favourite programme at the moment is Artist of the Year and I love watching how all the different artists go about creating original and unique pieces of artwork.

What I cannot stand about these programmes, are the so-called experts who try to tell the artists that what they have done is wrong and how they should have done it. Sometimes the thoughtless and callous way they pull the work apart is so cruel it makes me cringe.

To my mind, no one has the right to condemn or criticise a work of art. Either you like it, or you don’t, but don’t presume to know better than the artist.

As a writer, I subject my work to beta readers and editors so that errors can be pointed out and corrected. This is normally done in a constructive, helpful manner and not in a condescending “I know better” attitude.

Critics always sound so false, their remarks too self-serving and the damage they can do to any fledgeling artistic genius should carry a health warning.

I personally have had at least one scathing critique of my writing; one so bad I wanted to shred every page and then crawl away and hide in a cupboard. It is only when you realise that it is only an opinion and probably not meant to kill the tiny shoots of creativity in your soul that you can pick yourself up and move on.

I may not be a great writer or even a particularly good one, but I am trying my best. At the end of the day, that’s all we can ever do. But what we do produce, whether it is good, bad or indifferent, it is original and not some cocked up imitation…

(And before you all reach for your keyboard, I know I have just criticised quite a lot of people… my bad!)