Better Late than Never!

All the indications are pointing towards a much better week for all of us, a little more freedom in the world and less problems for us to deal with, so feeling extremely optimistic.

Last week I really found myself rolling with the punches so often I lost track of everything. The truckload of family troubles had gathered momentum and what with worrying about Anita’s health, a large part of me wanted to just crawl into a dark cupboard and stay there.

The weekend was a game changer for most of our troubles. Fate obviously decided to play fair for once and with a bit of wangling, most of the bigger problems have faded away like a bad smell.

No news from the hospital yet about the MRI, but Anita seems to get a little stronger each day. She is really fed up with all the restrictions (and me being on her case!) I must be really careful not to overdo the nagging as she is a bit like a dodgy stick of dynamite! I mean, how do you stop someone worrying, when they were obviously born to worry?

The book tour for Anita’s new book, Annie’s Song began on Saturday. We will be posting all the websites involved every day to allow people to comment. This is the first time we have enlisted the help of Silver Dagger Tours, which has turned out to be more than lucky, for one way or another we didn’t get to do much promoting of Annie’s Song.

Best laid plans, eh?

With the dust barely settling, my mind is already wondering what to do next. I had some serious thoughts about the current WIP and might shelve it to make way for something different. Maybe something that has nothing to do with detectives?

We have been a bit lax with the newsletters this year, so must do better there too…

And finally, has anyone anything to say about STORY ORIGIN?

Sounds a bit like Book Funnel, but is it something we should be looking at?

Hoping this is a much better week for all our readers too!

Bonsai Surprises…

I switched off my PC after lunch yesterday and spent the afternoon catching up on repotting my bonsai trees.

It should be all done and dusted by now, but one way or another I seem to have been chosen to be the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Always late!

I never like to be late for anything, so I enjoyed the glorious weather and the peaceful company of my trees. It was blissfully quiet in my yard and I could feel the tension leaking from my muscles.

It doesn’t matter how often I visit them, there is always something new going on, either naturally or from outside influences.

Peanut Foliage

Like the time I found these strange plants growing in most of the bonsai pots. Such pretty foliage, which I discovered were peanut plants, deposited by the local squirrels.

I have discovered tiny mushrooms growing and caterpillars munching, but today I found something I had never seen before.

Many years ago, I had an olive bonsai, quite an attractive bonsai, but it never flowered, so no olives! Sadly, I had to give this tree away when we moved house, but a few weeks ago, I found a young bonsai, what they call a trainer plant on Amazon of all places. They said it was guaranteed to produce olives, so I bought it for the princely sum of £9.99 never expecting it to amount to much.

Out of nowhere, it has produced two flower spikes. Too soon to tell what colour the flowers will be, or if I will get any olives, but my fingers are crossed!

Another bonsai that was bought on a whim was this Japanese acer. It was little more than a twig when I saw it in my local garden centre, but the leaves are incredible, so many enchanting colours. It is still little more than a stick, but in time it may develop into something special…

You might like to read this post about bonsai not being perfect too!

#Jaye’s Journal…

Monday was the day for tackling the new editor on WordPress.

First impressions were good, and I managed to create a standard paragraph post with an image. Said goodbye to all my misgivings and felt a little smug!

On Tuesday I tried to do it again, but it turned into a wrestling match. For some reason, it didn’t seem as easy today. I swear they have changed things overnight!

It always take me forever to muddle my way through anything new, so I know I will get there eventually but I would get on better if they stopped tweaking everything!

Today, everything seemed to fall into place as if by magic. I’m playing around with colour and found where to add the tags and categories!

Provided nothing changes too dramatically, I might hang on to my sanity after all!

Speaking of things changing, I logged into Buffer this morning to schedule a week’s promo posts, only to be met with this message…

WELCOME TO NEW BUFFER!!

The air in the office was blue for nearly an hour as I tried to discover exactly what they had changed. Turned out to be everything and I nearly threw in the towel!

First, my current password didn’t work, and I found out by the process of elimination, that they had reverted to a password from years ago. Not a good sign…

Feeling far more confident than I had a right to, I switched heads and made sense of it all, so that’s another notch on my belt this week.

If I could just figure out why Google have abandoned me, I would be well pleased!  I like to upload some of my photos there, to be accessed by my tablet but for some reason, I can’t do that anymore despite trying everything I can think of…

When did life get this complicated?

I’m signing off now to work on this month’s newsletter with Mailchimp.

Now that WAS one huge learning curve!


For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita’s books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, where mine (Jaye) are all mystery thrillers.

We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read.

Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon.

If you enjoyed your visit, we would love you to leave a comment…

Hoping to see you again!

Two Weeks Ago…

thermometer-833085_1920.jpg

nurse-37322_1280.png

 

Two Weeks Ago…

 

 

Looking back, it seems such a long time ago that my temperature began to rise alarmingly, and I thought the worst. I never once thought it could have anything to do with cystitis that had been plaguing me for years.

I mean, some things you simply must learn to live with, like your mother in law or the resident ghost.

This time, however, it was serious.

Cystitis had progressed from a simple bladder problem to a full-blown kidney infection, possibly both kidneys.

My doctor was in lockdown, so my family telephoned the helpline 111 for help. I was given a week’s course of a strong antibiotic and told to drink as much water as possible.

It was a nightmare of a week.

A week when death seemed preferable to the agony I was going through. I was semi-conscious most of the time and unwilling to eat. The pills were seriously upsetting my stomach and made my body hurt even more, which I did not think was possible.

After what felt like a lifetime of pain, my temperature finally slid slowly back down to normal, but I didn’t feel normal at all. That would happen gradually and I’m not quite there yet!

I have lost 7 lbs somewhere, but don’t feel any different.

As I am writing this, my body still hurts and my head refuses to function properly. I keep trying to think of all the projects I had planned before this happened and wonder how my muse is feeling. I hope it feels better than I do, for we have much work to catch up on, seeing as how I have been reminded of how valuable our time is…

And I have just wasted enough of it already…

©Jaye Marie 2020

stay-home-5010475_1920

 

Jaye’s Journal… Progress Report!

 

Jaye's Journal x12.jpg

Progress Report

 

Just when I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be doing anything creative this year, there has been a breakthrough.

It was bad enough before Covid19 but since it arrived, I have been floundering.

I am used to feeling like a ship without a rudder, indeed, I have done some of my best work like that, but this was different. There was no ship, never mind a rudder, no get up and go or even much of a guilt trip about my non-activity.

There was so much I wanted to do this year and it wasn’t really my fault that so much has happened to derail me. Malfunctions of every kind, postponements galore and then along came lockdown.

I would normally have loved an excuse to hole up like a hermit, as I love being on my own. Quite a different thing to be banned from going out and it has really been getting my goat.

I tried to reason with myself, even tried bribing but I wasn’t buying it.

Then something must have happened.

I have no idea what, but my brain started working. I mean, it was cooperating like crazy and before I knew it, I was in my working clothes and sawing wood like a crazy person.

Replacing the old bonsai shelves is underway, and that’s not all…

DSCF3453.JPG

One done…

DSCF3454.JPG

As you can see, not before time…

I have also been editing the last few chapters of Anita’s new book.

Picked up a book I have been dying to read, Himself by Jess Kidd and am enjoying reading it.

While all this was going on, I managed to get a priority slot with Tesco, so starving is now on hold, at least for now.

I have finally been working on the storyboard for my new WIP, for my detective, David Snow, has won the battle for his sequel to Out of Time. I had the feeling he would.

So, I seem to be firing on all cylinders now and hope it lasts, for I am enjoying being back to my old self. Figuratively speaking, of course…

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal… Enjoying a happy moment!

 

Jaye's Journal x12.jpg

 

I have been escaping to the garden more and more lately. The weather has been slowly improving, so I should be able to start working on that very long list of jobs that need to be done.

The need to escape, even to the garden, has been gradually building as the news of this evil virus gets worse.

Everyone is getting edgy, wondering how bad it might get. I have always been an optimist, but I can feel it straining to assert itself.

The shops are empty, and the worry swings between getting sick or starving to death. Some choice, eh?

But… (changing the subject, as I’d rather not dwell on things I can’t do much about)

My bonsai are waking up and this never fails to cheer me up, although this year it seems to be just a little subdued.

DSCF3369.JPG

My Acer says hello…

I have been busy making sure I have everything I need for the repotting marathon, and the wood for the new shelving should be delivered soon.

The rain-sodden grass has been trying to dry out and although I didn’t feel like cutting it, I thought I had better get to it. Just as well I did, for it poured with rain the following day.

DSCF3383 (2).JPG

The rest of the garden is waking up too and did my heart good to see my favourites have survived for another year.

DSCF3374 (2).JPG

My favourite Camelia

DSCF3376 (3).JPG

Not sure what this is called, but I love it!

DSCF3381 (2).JPG

Forsythia, everyone’s favourite

Back indoors I try to come to terms with the virus situation. I can forget everything when I’m in the garden, but it waits for me the minute I come back in.

So many things are likely to change and to be honest, I’m terrified. The situation gets worse every day, yet no one seems to know how bad it will get.

Every time I wash my hands, I think about the people who have already died and pray there won’t be many more.

That a miracle will arrive and save us all…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

My Last Escape?

Jaye's Journal x12

 

Visiting the Garden Centre is always a bit risky, for they have some interesting plants (and bonsai too) so I have been known to lose control and I needed to order the wood for the new bonsai shelves.

The weather was dreadful, cold, wet and miserable. Not even the thought of spoiling myself to a new plant (or three) helped to cheer me up.

It had been so long since we had gone anywhere and the journey to the garden centre is a very pleasant one, by the time we were halfway there my mood had improved a lot. I love living in the country, there are so many fields, trees and greenery in Hampshire it’s quite impossible for me to stay miserable for long!

 

DSCF0446.JPG

Image by Jaye Marie

The morning turned into a right fiasco as the only suitable wood they had was a bit fancy and far too expensive. On top of that the man in the timber department didn’t seem to know what he was doing and wanted to charge us a fortune for the wood I wanted, and an extra £20 for delivery!

I tried to remember where I went last time but my brain either couldn’t (or wouldn’t) dredge that information up.

We decided to drive on to another garden centre which was full to the rafters with gorgeous Spring flowers. The wealth of colour was staggering but again I managed to control myself as our garden needs more help than new arrivals now. Their wood department had nothing suitable either so feeling decidedly unloved, travel sick and wet, we went home.

pansy-337140_1920.jpg

Image by Anelka from Pixabay 

Once home and warm, I remembered where I went last time. Our local B&Q has a garden centre (and the very wood I needed) at very reasonable prices too.

If the government and Covid-19 have their way, this might well be my last trip to the outside world…

 

Happy St Patrick’s Day… !!!5cdd7ecfadca431be88b096dee4f2595.jpg

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Growing old is no fun!

 

Jaye's Journal x12.jpg

 

I always thought I would sail through old age, much as I have coasted through my life so far. Don’t get me wrong, it has been eventful and not that pleasant on numerous occasions.

But I am a survivor if nothing else, and despite several attempts to stop me in my tracks, I have managed to overcome the obstacles that have been thrown my way.

Even the biggies, like two heart attacks and cancer.

So, why am I complaining?

All things considered, I thought growing older would be a doddle, but it isn’t.

I have become half a person.

50% of a person if you like, what with one good knee, one shoulder and hip, and of course, just half of a working brain.

Add galloping arthritis to the mix, something hell-bent on total domination and my days are getting better than ever!

I do try to improve the status quo with gentle yoga and stretching exercises, careful attention to my diet, mainly to stop eating known arthritis triggers, which is harder than you think for all my favourite foods are on that list!

Probably whistling at Dixie (whatever that means) for nothing seems to be working properly yet.

I am currently trying to simplify our workload (when did it all get so complicated?) in order to have more leisure (me time!) and to give the remaining brain cells a fighting chance, as I have an awful lot of writing I still want to do!

I would be interested in hearing how everyone else is coping (or not) with their advancing years…

 

da26c802ed71c367ee8a88e0c6ac9067

 

What Passes for Progress around Here…

blue-tit-4758034_1920.jpg

Image from Pixabay.com

 

I am supposed to be writing a blog post, but my attention is halfway down my garden to the assembled bird feeders I have hanging from a tree and the many feathered visitors busy feasting there.

All through the winter months, the local birds have been keeping me busy, filling the feeders with fat balls and a seed mixture on a regular basis.

I do this every year, but this year has been remarkedly different. So many visitors flocking to my garden, and I love to watch them. Probably too much, to the detriment of any writing. I have also tried to film them in action, but either my hands shake too much or the camera needs upgrading, so the images on here are only a representation of the joy in my garden.

para one

I am reminded of that saying, “build it and they will come…” And this in turn, reminds me of the constant struggle to create the best platform to help our writing careers.

Not that I am comparing our followers to the flock of sparrows, blackbirds and bluetits that I see every day, just the amount of activity just supplying their favourite food has triggered.

All this activity is running alongside my personal battle with blogging/writing and everything this entails. For some reason, I am having trouble with just about everything I try to do these days and my brain is exhausted with coping with the constant buffering, missing chunks of text and images and the general refusal of technology to comply with even the simplest of commands. It feels like a conspiracy.

Several times I have almost reached the point where I want to take a hammer to my PC, just to escape what feels like the Plagues of Egypt.

So, what does all of this say about my ambition to make our mark?

Nothing good, I’m afraid.

By the time I have fought my way through the chaos, I am drained of nearly all of my determination and inspiration.

But every day, I switch the beast on, quietly confident that this will be the day when the elephant in the room smiles at me…

blue-tit-4017944_1920.jpg

Image from Pixabay.com

Meanwhile… The birds are busy enjoying themselves…

 

©JayeMarie 2020

 

Not a Good Week?

 

light-bulb-3104355_1920.jpg

Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay 

 

Already I am not enjoying 2020 much.

I don’t feel right and my brain is refusing to do anything constructive. Inspiration seems to be on holiday, and if I get any slower, I’ll be at a standstill.

 

The results of the mammogram I had just before Christmas hasn’t arrived yet, and until they do, I always fear the worse and this is probably affecting everything else.

Various appliances around the house are playing up and the kitchen light died last week. It’s one of those circular fluorescent tube lights and finding any replacement tubes is getting difficult. I really should replace it but can’t face doing it now.

So, the only light we have in the kitchen comes from the cooker hood, which is not ideal. You risk being poisoned in our house this week as I cannot see what I’m doing!

And can you guess how many times I have switched on the light and waited for it to come on?

The internet is being its usual annoying self, and I am getting so tired of nothing working the way it’s supposed to.

And finally, I have made an appointment at the opticians, as my eyes are tired, and the headaches are getting worse. I worry that they did something wrong when the cataract was removed last year, so best to get it checked out.

 

But…

 

The light tube turned up and I can now see what I’m doing in the kitchen.

The results of the mammogram turned up and ‘show nothing suspicious’ so I am delighted to be another year free from cancer. Four years now, so looking good!

Had my eyes tested again and will have to have new glasses as my eyes have changed again since the cataracts were removed last year. Two new pairs cost me a bloody fortune too, but I was assured that my eyes should settle down now.

No improvement in the brain /inspiration department, but at least I am trying to find a way around it. I mean, everything else seems to be on the up…

©Jaye Marie 2020