To Write…

That is the question…

At the end of last week, I summoned up a ton of enthusiasm for my so-called writing life and the future of my current WIP. I say so-called, for it hasn’t amounted to much so far this year. There have been a few lively patches of activity, which I thoroughly enjoyed, followed by periods of other such business.

Commonly called life, although I really wish it wouldn’t bother me as I can do without it. This week, for instance, has filled up over the weekend with repairmen, doctor visits and a visiting relative, culminating in Milo’s vet appointment for the snip and chip.

It could be worse, I suppose, as the minute the weather gets warmer, I will need to show my face out there and go through the motions of being a gardener. It has to happen soon, I suppose.

All this lack of writing progress has happened because I have lost my early morning window. This was when I would be the only one awake, and for at least two hours, the writing world would be my oyster.

I have tried to cultivate an evening slot, but I am so tired by then that it hasn’t happened yet. It is beginning to look like I must choose between promoting and/or advertising to get the job done.

Of course, all of this is most distressing, as I have always managed to cope with as many irons in the fire as needed.

Added to all of this is the certain knowledge that time is definitely speeding up.

There used to be time to think, for a start…

Jaye’s Days…

This might be a new year and all that, but am I the only one who feels like
their magic spark has gone out?

I have been blaming this feeling on health and other problems, but maybe
something else is going on?

We are constantly told that reading more will make us better writers and
that we should blog with enthusiasm to build up our presence on the web. But I
find that some of the things we do seem counterproductive and time-consuming.
Confusion is not a happy place to be, so my brain has rooted out its thinking
hat. Not sure if that might be an oxymoron!

Don’t get me wrong, reading does make me think and probably improves my
vocabulary, but sometimes I end up reading too much, taking time away from my
writing. When I first started blogging, I read everything I could get my hands
on, desperate to learn the secrets of the black magic box of the blogosphere.

And admittedly, I learnt a lot.

Just lately, though, I have noticed a slight change in my attitude to all
things blog related. It suddenly dawned on me that, as bloggers, we are trying
far too hard to be the best at what we do with our constant searching for the
golden egg. And because we are so busy running around like headless chickens,
we are losing sight of our focus, the real reason we blog in the first place.
We might even be missing the plot or choosing all the wrong moves.

I have been worried that there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to
do everything. With the increasing amount of emails and time spent on social
media, there isn’t much left for writing or blogging, come to that. Not to
mention any new ideas that need to be explored or any of our other interests.

It could be time to step away and have a long hard look at what we do. Time
to prioritise and cherry pick what we really want to concentrate on, or even
find different ways of doing it. Don’t ask me what, for my brain hasn’t gone
that far, yet. I just know it is time for something new, exciting even. How
about that?

Life might be different when the weather settles down, but I doubt it. I
think we must concentrate on what we can do and do well, instead of chasing so
many rainbows…

What does everyone else think?



Saturday… Joy and Confusion…

I hoped to find enough Spring growth to do a Six on Saturday post today. Unfortunately, these were all I could find but such a joy to see.

I also hoped to create a post about my hospital appointment on Thursday. Sadly, the stuff they injected into my arm that day had a weird effect on my brain, rendering me incapable of coherent thought. I slept most of yesterday but feel like my old self today.

I had some amazing news which, although very welcome, created confusion and many questions.

The procedure went well; the only painful bit was putting the catheter in my arm. The lights in the room were lowered, and the machines fired up and stickers placed on my chest. Once the drugs were administered, my heart began to hammer as if trying to get out of my chest. This was only supposed to last a few minutes, but it felt much longer as different parts of my heart were watched and recorded.

So many questions were asked about how I had been feeling lately, and I explained my weakness and breathlessness. The doctor seemed puzzled, and then she said the most amazing thing. That my heart had managed to bypass the blocked artery! It had found another source and was performing beautifully. I couldn’t believe it. All this time, I have been suffering from painful angina, terrible breathlessness and lack of strength, which was all due (I thought) to the totally blocked artery. To be told that my heart was perfectly fine and happy seemed unreal and impossible. My doubts must have shown on my face because she tried to explain it better. There was no way that my heart was causing any of these symptoms; something else was wrong. She advised a full respiratory investigation, as this was where she thought the trouble lay.

So, despite the wonderful news, I had more questions than answers. Worrying questions. I am asthmatic, so well used to that, but it has never made me constantly breathless. And if this pain in my chest isn’t angina, what the hell is it?

Of course, I am delighted that I won’t be having a heart attack any time soon, but I face another long wait for this new investigation. Now that I know I will be around for a while, I have decided to pull myself together, exercise more, lose a few pounds and concentrate on my writing…

Thank you, everyone, for being there for me. Your support was much needed and very appreciated. Bless you, all…

A Little Unexpected…

Image by AVAKA photo from Pixabay 

Just when my keep busy campaign was working well and I hadn’t had a single negative or worrying thought about my upcoming hospital test, life decided to throw a curve ball at us.

Anita’s health has settled down a lot over the last year. The medications were all doing their job, and although she would love a little more energy, there were no worrying elements. That has been my department since last summer.

The latest round of routine blood tests revealed that Anita had developed diabetes, either 1 or 2, and the jury is still out on which, also a worrying rise in her thyroid problem. Two new medications were prescribed.

We were suitably impressed by the efficiency and speed in all of this but utterly unaware of what was to come.

Two days later, Anita’s health started to deteriorate. She felt ill and looked terrible. It had to be the new meds, but which one?

She decided to stop taking the one for diabetes. An easy choice, as this was a huge tablet. Another two days later, Anita felt worse and could barely move, so presumably, we had chosen the wrong med to stop. At that point, my sister wanted to put all her meds in the bin, and I couldn’t blame her.

Yesterday, she didn’t take the levothyroxine, and by the end of the day, she felt better, almost back to her usual crazy, happy self.

We will test the other med before presenting the facts to our doctor.

So, just when I needed to stop thinking about all things medical, I wished my symptoms would vanish overnight, as this was not a good time for me to be out of action…

Ten Days until D Day… (not that I’m counting, you understand)

Trying to keep busy, rather than worrying about the fast-approaching hospital appointment, I thought I should concentrate on just one subject. Being haunted by all the outstanding jobs was getting me (and them) nowhere.

I had already given up on the WIP, as my brain wouldn’t relax enough to get back into it. I ended up picking one problem and shoving everything else into a mental box labelled LATER.

I must have picked the right problem, for I was immediately fired up and enjoying myself. I had chosen to re-edit my very first story, Nine Lives, followed by a new cover and fresh marketing. Being back at work was definitely better than worrying!

It was while I was editing that I remembered something I read recently about a programme called Autocrit. Highly praised as the be-all and end-all for writers and is supposedly better than Grammarly, my long-time editing tool. I decided to check it out, for I had recently discovered a new and bad trend in my writing. I have been repeating a lot of words!

This is something Grammarly has never picked up, but Autocrit does.

The more I browsed, the more interested I became. They also have many features you find on Scrivener too, which was a surprise.

Everything I need is in one place and costs the same as Grammarly. There is also a free programme which I will try first, of course.

All of this activity did stop me from worrying, but the moment I switched off the PC and put down my red pen, it was still there, waiting for me. Somehow though, it didn’t feel as scary. I am in the capable hands of the medical profession, so I am ready for whatever happens. I just hope it doesn’t involve cracking open my ribcage!


Jaye’s Days… Circling the Drain?

The hospital appointment for my heart stress test arrived yesterday, for March 2nd.

At first, I was confused as I wasn’t expecting one so soon. It wasn’t long before signs of panic turned up too. Would they find something but deem me too old for surgery? Or suggest that it could all be in my head? This is a popular choice, BTW. Or would they decide to carve me up to give me more old age years?

My Angina has been getting slowly worse, and I cannot do much. Stubborn doesn’t worry about that, though, and I am doing the important stuff, even if it takes me a while to get my breath back. There’s not much to choose between Anita health-wise and me, as she is sleeping much more these days. I often wonder who will go first.

I try not to think about dying, probably in case I put the idea into the ether. Commonly called pushing my luck. I think we are supposed to be scared of dying, but I haven’t been scared of much in my life. There have been a few things that should have given me pause, but I never worry about dying, despite coming close a few times.

In the past, when life became unbearable, I often wished I could simply fall asleep and never wake up again. This never happened, of course.  This taught me to find solutions and find them fast, not to prolong the agony.

Of course, there have been one or two monumentally bad and sad times when I couldn’t wriggle out of a situation or avoid the problem. I wanted a magical spell to banish all the suffering and misery.

Times that I would love to change or make amends for, even now.

Times that could possibly be considered bad enough to send me to that other place when I finally shuffle off this mortal coil.

That, hopefully, won’t be for a while yet…

Hiding the Cracks… #Kintsugi

After seeing the doctor yesterday, I am feeling so much better about many of my problems.

I had reservations about the appointment as it was to see a doctor I had not seen before, and I already felt a bit passed on if you know what I mean. There is not much continuation anywhere these days.

I recognised him immediately. He had retired years ago but hated retirement, and was back to dip his toes into the water. He was a brilliant doctor, kind, considerate and knowledgeable. I hoped he hadn’t changed.

He must have studied my case history before I arrived, as he didn’t have to glance at the computer screen at all. We talked, really talked, about all my health problems, making me feel cared for for the first time in ages. He agreed with some of my treatment, but not with others. The cardiologist, for example, was wrong to say I shouldn’t be feeling ill and breathless. He shouldn’t have stated that my advancing years would have a bearing on my treatment either. I am, however, expecting an appointment for a stress test to find out what my heart is up to, and he was pleased to hear that.

My waterworks have always been a problem, and nothing has ever helped. This time he did refer to the computer screen, as he had compiled a list of all the meds I had ever had over the years, including the results. He prescribed a totally new (for me) medication that he thought would help with my annoying on-going earache too.

The pain in my back is due to my kidney problem, so I am to get my blood checked.

My asthma seems to be under better control now, and my lungs are clear. All things considered, I feel as though I have just had a very thorough medical…

Considering I am a carer for my sister, Anita seems fitter than I do at the moment.

Her heart condition is under control and responding well to the medications. She has developed diabetes and has added to her long list of medications. We now share carer duties and the increasing family problems, and life is beginning to look better than it has in ages.

We are both like those lovely kintsugi bowls. Broken, yet lovingly repaired with precious care…

We would both like to thank all of you for your kind messages and support,

know that it means so much to us… XXX

Clocking In…

Just to let you know we are still around. Our medical footprints continue to get more complex, so resting is the order of the day.

We both feel tired, ill and a little miserable, but have been carrying on behind the scenes trying to get around everything.

I see the doctor again tomorrow, so may have better news then…

Jaye XX

Not One of my Better Days…

We waited nearly an hour in the waiting room before it was my turn to see a member of the cardiology team. I was a nervous wreck then, but I tried to answer his questions sensibly without rambling on.

After running a stethoscope over my chest and checking my swollen feet, he turned to the computer and brought up the images from the angiogram I had back in August. He studied these images for several minutes, allowing me to see them myself.

It was weird watching my blood travelling through the arteries. I saw the stent that had saved my life all those years ago.

The verdict was coming, but I didn’t want to hear it as I knew the next step would probably be a bypass, involving opening my ribs to get to the heart of the problem. Sorry about that; I couldn’t help it!

I didn’t fancy that much, even though, if successful, I would be back to normal and be okay. But I wasn’t prepared for what he did say.

My heart, apparently, was quite happy, as some of the other arteries had rallied around and taken over the job of the blocked one, supplying my ticker with the blood it needed. This is something that usually happens on the right side of the heart. He did add that this, although handy, was not ideal as they would prefer to fix the problem properly…

I took a deep breath and waited for him to continue.

… only not someone of my advancing years. But…

He looked puzzled when he said that, and there always has to be a but, doesn’t there?

My symptoms of severe fatigue and breathlessness, in his opinion, didn’t fit with my heart’s current state and could mean that something else was going on. He added that he would arrange for me to have a stress test, where they put my heart through hoops to see its reaction.

He seemed happy with his decision, but I wasn’t quite finished yet.

I had to ask the million-dollar question.

“If you do find anything, what will that mean?”

“Then we would be forced to operate…”

I hope I don’t have to wait four months for this appointment!

Listening to music has helped me to cope with all of this, so I wanted to share one of my favourites with you all…

WIP Wednesday…

I did wonder how long my calm exterior would last, but I did hope it would stay a little longer, at least until Friday morning and my cardio appointment. I have no idea what they will decide to do about the blockage in my artery; I just hope it’s something simple. All though I have a sneaky feeling it won’t be.

When I woke up this morning, I knew my patience had gone the way of all good things. I wasn’t exactly chewing my nails, but I wanted to.

We all have our own problems, so revealing my shredded emotions was not the way to go, so I had to find a way to keep busy and out of trouble.

I spent the best part of yesterday checking all the links on our website and finding several that were broken. I also found that all of our book images that occupied the right-hand toolbar had no links. I was puzzled, as I knew I had done this at the time.

This problem segued into another, as I discovered that Booklinker, the very useful company supplying writers everywhere with universal book links, is no longer operational. At least, not for me yesterday.

Luckily, our books are on D2Digital, and their links are supposed to be universal. Just a matter of checking and double-checking all of them.

That was yesterday, so what could I do to keep myself quiet and out of trouble today?

Probably not the best time to dive into the current WIP, but that was my first choice. Side-stepping into someone else’s life (and problems) has to be better than anything else I can think of right now.

But wait, I could finish reading Letting Go by Jacquie Biggar. The story of two sisters that I am really enjoying at the moment. As a sister, I can relate to their problems, especially now.

I know what I mean by that; you will just have to guess!

Letting Go Book Description

A coming-of-age novel about the pain of misconceptions and learning from them.

When life gives you lemons…


Mom is barely in the grave and the prodigal child is here to pick the bones clean.

I don’t want her here. My sister’s defection is a wound that won’t heal, and her return simply rubs at the scabs covering my heart.

I’ve managed just fine without her. She can go back to her fancy college and forget about us- that’s what she does best anyway.

If only I didn’t need her help. Or miss her so much.


The day my dad committed suicide I ran. I’ve been running ever since.

Going home is supposed to be the answer. Instead, it makes me question every thoughtless decision I’ve made.

My sister hates me. My little brother barely knows me. And Simon… is engaged.

None of it matters- or so I tell myself. I’m here to make amends and face a past haunted by regret.

As long as I can convince myself to stay.

Letting Go is a young adult romance dealing with tragedy, restitution, and love in all its aspects. The story relates to sensitive topics that may be triggering for some readers.