#Flights of Fancy: Lifted…

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Lifted

Beneath the crown lies his head

He blessed the world to make it new

Did we listen to the words he said?

Do we pray for those in need?

Do we let life squeeze us dry

And walk on by?

Am I my brother’s keeper

His burden should I lift?

My footsteps grow deeper

Ground depressed

My own burdens are heavy

With his, I cannot rest.

These words were spoken long ago

To one you help along the way

To you, my blessings will be sent

Your burdens lighter along life’s path

I carry it before you to light the way…

©Anita Dawes

Flights of Fancy: Dream…

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Dream

I need a dream to wrap my head around

The kind that angels bring with love and light

To let the new day in.

A dream to say you walk beside me every day

And if I fall, you will catch me

You won’t let life break me.

You are the wind that bends the trees

My shield against the rain.

I can take my life back, for with you I am whole again

I walk tall, sidestepping the rocks along the way

You are my love, I will never be alone again…

©Anita Dawes

 

Jaye’s Journal (from the middle of insanity)

 

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My brain needs a disciplinary, as I can no longer make it behave.

Mind you, it must be contagious, for my laptop and tablet are exhibiting similar tendencies.

I have just spent the best part of an hour, first with the laptop and then the tablet, trying to run through my emails from the comfort of my armchair.

The laptop was on a go-slow, so I switched to the tablet.

This annoying piece of crap had decided not to respond at all. Patience personified, I kept trying, only for the battery to drain away faster than a chocolate teapot. Something it shouldn’t have been able to do, seeing as it wasn’t actually doing anything.

 

I can feel the day coming when I will take a hammer to the both of them, as I am not sure how much longer my brain can cope with these insanity-inducing contraptions.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t aware of all the wonderful things they can do. When in a good mood, of course.

But I ask you, is it asking too much to have a piece of equipment that actually does what it says on the tin?

We wouldn’t stand for such substandard performance from any other electrical object, so for all that’s Holy, do we put up with it?

The main desktop PC is not immune to such shenanigans, it’s just sneakier. Its favourite trick at the moment is ignoring whole sentences while I am busy typing them.

I get no warning, no sign that something has gone awry. The first I know about it is when I try to read the work back, only to find yawning great holes where parts of my story are missing.

I tell you, it is beginning to feel like a conspiracy…

On the bright side, and I do try to find this, even on those grey days, nothing can affect my pen and paper. Sometimes I am so glad that I can write, blissfully, as far away from technology as I can get. As happy as Larry, knowing that I am in total charge of the creative process.

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So, to end on a much happier note, I have to report that the first draft of PayBack, my WIP, is almost finished. I have enjoyed writing it so much, that even the thought of all that editing is not denting my good mood in the slightest!

Season of Mist…

 

and cobwebs…

 

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

 

 

This morning was a typical autumn morning, misty and damp. And usually the way with weather like this, every fence, plant and bush was covered in lacy, fairy-like spider webs.

Each one soaked with dew and very visible.

 

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

 

 

Despite what other people say about the tensile strength of spider silk, all of these magical webs always seem to vanish the minute the sun appears.

Time was of the essence, so I grabbed my camera and rushed outside. I have long wanted to capture a web in all of its intricate beauty, so there I was, running around the garden in bare feet and a nightgown, trying to capture the best of these webs.

We marvelled at the patience and intelligence, even the ingenuity of all these spiders. Such complicated ways of anchoring their masterpieces.

All that work, and in the space of half an hour, nothing left to show for it.

Now, where have I heard that before?

 

Then I remembered.

I had just finished uploading several chapters of the current WIP when the computer crashed. I prayed that it had automatically saved my work, as Word does have this capability, but once the dust settled, I couldn’t find these new chapters anywhere.

Then there was the time a while ago now when floppy discs were being replaced by far better ways of saving data. As if ours had heard the word, they suddenly became corrupt, taking several manuscripts with them. Despite expert help to retrieve these files, we never saw them again.

I can understand losing something as delicate and fragile as a spider’s web, but technology should be more robust, in my opinion…

This got me thinking about my own footprint. Would I vanish without a trace when it’s my turn to shuffle off? Would anything I have ever done, remain? Live on somehow, without me?

Today’s world doesn’t seem to support longevity. Technology moves on, leaving things outmoded and obsolete, so fat chance anyone remembering me unless I manage to do something totally memorable, or achieve greatness in the next few years!

 

 

#Poetry: Teeth…

 

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The dentist sits alone at night

Counting teeth with all his might

No fairy in his youth did come

No silver dollar with morning light

His tooth, taken by another’s hand.

Now he has more to place beneath

His pillow white. Each morning

A silver bright dollar he did find.

Who placed it there in dead of night?

He does not care. Just to see the dollar

Bright, fills him with youthful

Memories, sheer delight…

©Anita Dawes

Inspiration…

 

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This quote gave my optimism quite a boost. Much needed after recent events, I can tell you.

 

Sometimes, depression tries to creep into our lives, hoping we won’t notice.

I have felt it gently nudging me this past week, every time something refuses to work or I cannot make it work where I could before.

Sometimes I wonder why I talk myself into trying something new, for I don’t really have that kind of enquiring mind, not any more anyway. Either that or I am finally becoming too old to put myself through it.

Take this new and much talked about idea of being able to put reviews on BookBub.

Easy to do, they tell me.

So I find out how it can be done, make copious notes and try to do it. Only to discover that it is only for the US.

Then there is this new (to me) of promoting your books through your subscriber lists. It sounded great and doable. But… and there is always one of those, isn’t there?

I made a start on Mailchimp, our subscriber list people and somehow managed to export our list! I have no idea how or why I did that and have it on good authority that I have only exported a copy and that our list is still there, but I am still worried that somehow my list will vanish into the ether.

So, enter nagging doubt, thinly disguised as depression. I ask myself why bother, why do I care if we only sell a handful of books? Why do I torture myself every single day?

It could well be time to hang up my intrepid dancing blogging shoes and settle for some comfortable slippers…

But will I?   Not on your life!

Death on the Stairs!

 

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When I first saw this photograph, I was shocked at the stupidity of it.

Trying such a death-defying stunt just to decorate a stairway seemed a very stupid thing to do.

Then my mind took me back to the early days when we did so many silly things, trying to put food on the table when the kids were small. I remembered the house that we were hired to decorate. Gloss paint on all the woodwork and a very expensive wallpaper on all the downstairs walls and of course, the stairs. Nothing very complicated, we thought. A piece of cake…

Now, I am very tall, but that doesn’t help with old houses with high ceiling

We had a ladder, but that wouldn’t be any good on the stairs. Then I remembered the exercise bar that I had at home. The kind that spans a doorway so you can do pull-ups. With a bit of luck and a following wind, we could clamp it across the stairs to take the other end of our scaffold board. Make sure it is firmly fixed and level, then we could balance the stepladder on it to reach the top of the wall.

At this stage, I have to confess that I don’t like heights. I get nauseous and more than a bit giddy, but we needed the money.

Praying to all that was Holy, and armed with a carefully pasted and folded length of wallpaper, I ascended the ladder. It was very wobbly and I fully expected to fall and end up in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, wrapped up like a parcel in soggy wallpaper.

Those of you who have papered a wall will know that a fair bit of stretching goes on as you align the paper, trim the top and smooth all the bumps and air bubbles away. Several times, I swayed precariously on one leg but managed to complete my mission.

What I didn’t know at the time, was all the near heart attack moments that Anita was having as she tried to keep the ladder steady. She was in the perfect position to see just how dangerous it was and how close we came to disaster.

We had a lot of fun in those days, taking incredible risks, and some impossible jobs. This particular job was memorable for another reason too.

The owner of the house had several celebrity friends and they would often have to duck under our ladders as they came and went. The best day of all was when Bucks Fizz visited, and Mike Nolan signed his name on Anita’s arm! They signed their latest record for us and told the world about the crazy girls who were decorating their friend’s house!

So, taking risks was worth it that day!

Not every job had such high spots. Like the time Anita knocked over a tin of white gloss paint all over a dark chocolate coloured carpet! The owner caught us trying to scoop up the paint with spoons, and we expected our marching orders (or worse!) But they couldn’t have been nicer about it.

By the way, how are you supposed to wallpaper stairs?

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We want to send a very big THANK YOU to those readers who boosted our follower list to 1000 last week…

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The Life of a Writer… with advice from @AriMeghlen

 

 

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The life of a writer is not what I thought it would be in the beginning.

Maybe years ago it was what I imagined, but in these digital times, it has changed so radically from that idyllic, if rather a romantic notion of what being a writer would be like.

These days, we all wear so many different hats, it’s a wonder we get around to writing anything.

What with the constant struggle to come up with interesting posts; reviewing all the books we read; trying to find new and effective promotional ideas.

Not to mention all the thinking, worrying, emails and planning, there are not enough hours in the day!

So when I read Ari Meghlen’s post on organising your life better, my interest was aroused! In this post, she recommends assigning different days for specific jobs and not deviating from this agenda. This could work, but not sure about using an alarm clock to keep me on track!

I have long attempted to devise a routine that would help me to get more done, but the harder I try, the more complicated and slower I seem to get.

I have always had a problem with rules and restrictions. Or rather, fate seems to have on my behalf. The minute I decide on a certain idea, a timetable or schedule, you can just bet something or someone will come along and wreck it!

I try to be more productive, especially with my writing, and one of the ways I have found that actually works is to try and write 1000 words every day. As I am up long before anyone else in my family, I can usually manage this with ease. So in one area at least, I have it covered!

Ari has some good ideas HERE on her post; does anyone else have anything to suggest that would improve the lives of us desperate to be better organised writers?

Four Seasons: Winter

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Winter is a time when I hope to see snow falling. I know it can be trouble, electric cables pulled down with the weight of it. People left in the cold with no lights, often no water either.

Roads closed, yet for me, it is pure magic. Not one snowflake the same as another. The world under a white blanket.

Spring bulbs loving the cold, a time of woolly hats and warm coats.  Hands hidden inside gloves, snowballs, looking over garden walls hoping to spot a snowman. This all reminds me that a part of us never grows old.

I always build our snowman in the front garden so I can see the smiles on people’s faces as they pass by.

Best of all, it is a time to sit with my family around a log fire, toasting marshmallows as we look forward to Christmas.

Not forgetting the carol singers…

Anita Dawes