Not a Good Week?

 

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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

 

Is There an Elephant in Your Room?

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Image by Dmitry Abramov from Pixabay 

 

The New Year has begun and already I’m running late!

Week two and I haven’t written my first journal entry yet.

Actually, I haven’t done much of anything this year and I hope this isn’t an indication of the rest of the new year, but I have the feeling it might be. The elephant in my office is rather small, but his presence is disturbing.

Probably time to remove the constriction of the week numbers, so I can just write when the muse dictates, no regular Journal.

A lot of writers/bloggers have been waxing lyrical about all their plans for2020, but the more I read, the more I realise I cannot be like that anymore.

Something has been changing inside my head and it is time to sort out the rather sweet animal that lurks in the corner of my office!

Towards the end of 2019, I was getting more and more depressed about my stress levels and the lack of activity in my brain. Wondering if I really was getting too old for all this blogging/writing malarkey. So much so, I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible to be a blogger and a writer, or does one always suffer from the competition of the other?

Maybe it should be more about quality, not quantity, shouldn’t it?

This sounds hopeful but exactly what does it mean and how can I apply it to my already complicated life?

The little grey elephant is shaking his head, so no help there…

A lot of people have been looking at their stats, so I staggered over to WP and looked at ours, looking for inspiration or confirmation I suppose.

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Our progress since we began blogging has been slow and steady. Pretty impressive for an ageing technophobe, I thought. But maybe not exactly reassuring now that my brain is seriously out to lunch these days.

There is a lot we want to do this year, that’s if I can find out where my get up and go is hiding!  I refuse to believe that this could be the year that the elephant wins, even if he is only a little one…

 

Jobs Outstanding:

 

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Finish editing Anita’s brilliant new book, Running Moon…

 

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Finish creating the book of Anita’s poetry

 

 

 

 

 

And possibly start to write the new story that my character DI Snow has been nagging me about!

And finally, introduce more automation to our website, to give the elephant a few days off…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

I’d love to hear from you, so leave me some comments?

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 52 ~ End of an Era!

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All Change…

 

In the last few months, after what seemed like a lifetime of inertia, the world has begun to change and not just because of Christmas and the approaching new year and century. Our world seems to be changing both politically and socially.

I think we have been doing some changing too, and not entirely for the best. We seem far more tired than I can ever remember being, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with our ages.

At this time of year, we are usually talking about the new year and what we might expect or plan to do with it, but honestly, for once we cannot be asked.

Since we began blogging in 2012, our followers and stats have grown rather well considering how much there was to learn. However, I have the feeling we won’t progress any further until we find new areas and ideas to develop. We also need to figure out what else we need to know, for although we have done well in some areas, we haven’t sold a huge amount of books, and worse than that, the writing has ground to a halt.

Maybe our goal for 2020 should be to stop worrying, slow down a bit and smell the roses?

I usually feel sad on New Year’s Eve, but I have a feeling I won’t this year, for it has been a right old mixed bag of pain, frustration and depression, with hardly any good bits!

I normally open all the doors when Big Ben chimes at midnight, to allow the old year to limp away. Tonight I will be sorely tempted to help it on its way with my foot!

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Come on in 2020 and show us all a little more peace and joy, pretty please?

 

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 51

 

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How has 2019 been for you?

 

I have been doing more thinking than doing this week, about how long I have been on this planet.

I have seen the end of 74 years and looked forward to 75 New Years in my time. I think this means that I have lived through 7 centuries!

Bloody hell, no wonder I feel so old!

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I love the thought of starting a brand-new century but can’t help feeling it will feel very odd at first. I always have trouble getting the date right, so not expecting any change there.

I normally give a lot of thought to all those New Year plans and promises but for some reason, I have been dragging my heels. I have spoken on here about some of the things I want to do but my heart hasn’t really been in it.

 

I have been feeling far more tired than usual, so yesterday, when my batteries failed quite dramatically, and I literally had to sit down step down. I am back on my feet today but think I need some of those strong batteries. You know the ones I mean, with that crazy bunny dashing around, like an idiot!

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All joking aside, I don’t like feeling I’m too old to keep up and the thing is, I can’t tell if things are getting harder, or if I am becoming less able to cope.

Some serious thinking will need to be done eventually to figure out if there is a way forward, maybe in some lesser degree.

Everything seems to be getting more complicated and there’s not much I can do about that, and this is where being stubborn really pays dividends…

 

Are you looking forward to the new century, or do you have misgivings too?

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 50

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I suppose it was inevitable that an element of Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol should have descended on our house. Anita is very fond of this story and always watches at least one version of it at this time of year, but I have a feeling it has something to do with it being a new century and not just a New Year that is due to start in approx. 19 days’ time.

I am always a little apprehensive at this time of year, wondering what Fate has in store for us all, and at the same time trying to imagine new ways to make it better than this one.

A new century is rather special and needs to be planned with a bit more care than usual, I think. We have been blogging now for nearly 7 years and we have made some amazing progress and friends in that time, but so far, the sale of our books hasn’t exactly improved our lifestyle.

We would love to increase the number of our subscribers /friends, write more books and actually sell some of them.

Although I am very proud of all I have learned, I know there is so much more I need to know out there. Already, the to-do list is growing, headed by getting rid of that dreadful subscription pop up and replacing it with a better sign up form, coupled with finding new ways to connect with more readers.

Our newsletters need improving, and our presence on some media sites could be better too.

And I also need to find the time to start enjoying my long-abandoned hobby of craftwork again, and if I can, I think this would make 2020 a special time for me…

 

What do you want to do differently in 2020?

 

We would love to hear from you…

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 49

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This week I have set myself the task of re-editing an old manuscript, one with the old-fashioned straight speech marks. I did try to find a way to remove/replace them with curly ones, with no luck. At least, not on the version of Word I am using.

There must be a way to do this, but the advice I get from googling the problem seems impossible to implement. So, unless someone knows an easy way to do this, I am destined to be doing it by hand for the next six months!

Changing the subject to something a little closer to my heart, I have to report that Autumn is happening rather slowly outside my back door where most of my bonsai trees are taking their sweet time to drop their leaves.

Which turned out for the better really, for me that is, as it gives me more time to clear up after the ones that have obliged. Because it has become so cold out there, I am having to cut my trips outside short as my hands get so painful even with gloves on, which means I am having trouble keeping up with everything.

Normally, my trees drop their leaves quite quickly and I can get them all tidied up and bedded down in one afternoon. But this extremely cold weather is playing havoc with all things garden related.

The grass is getting longer by the minute but cannot be cut as it’s much too wet. There is going to be such a backlog to catch up on come Spring as most of my trees will need repotting by then too.

On one of my lightning trips outside, I happened to notice the state of some of the bonsai shelving. The wood is rotting, the brackets are rusting and the wall these shelves live on desperately needs a coat of paint too, so the list of outstanding jobs is getting longer.

This year, through no fault of my own, I have not been a very good gardener, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it, so next year I have a lot of work to do once the good weather returns…

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I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 48

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I may not like growing old, and I really don’t, but I have discovered something far worse.

The worst thing of all is watching everyone else grow old too.

And this isn’t restricted to the people you love, your family and friends, but animals too.

I noticed the tell-tale signs a while ago, but it didn’t ring any alarm bells then. Now it has. All those niggly aches and pains caused by overdoing things have now begun to look more sinister.

Somewhere along the line during our lives, I think we get complacent, confident that we can go on forever, that somehow we are indestructible. In my own case, this is mainly due to all the things I have managed to survive and walk away from. So it came as a bit of a shock to realise that this may not continue to happen after all. That one day I might not wake up in the morning.

This is where the fear begins, as you watch the people you love struggle with ordinary everyday activities and see the pain they try so hard to hide. You can’t help it, but you start to wonder who will go first, and selfishly pray it isn’t you.

One of the worst things I see every day is the difference in our magnificent Merlin, our rather large, black and white cat. Always so strong and fit, suddenly he cannot jump up on his favourite chair and seems to be walking slower these days. He is talking far more these days too, and appealing to us with wide, imploring eyes. I wonder if he worries about the future too.

Living each day as it comes, and refusing to think about tomorrow, seems to be the best way. Make each day the best it can possibly be, rather than living every day as if it will be your last, as that gives out entirely the wrong attitude, I think.

None of us knows what will happen tomorrow, but we can only hope there are more days left than we think!

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 47

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I actually took the afternoon off yesterday.

My head was aching, so I switched off the PC, grabbed my gardening jacket and went out to our back garden. It wasn’t raining for a change, but the grass was much too wet to be cut. It was, however, very cold.

Every year about this time, I like to start putting the bonsai to bed. This involves removing all the fallen leaves and any weeds. Yes, even in those small pots we get weeds, usually brought by the wind. Sometimes, the local squirrels like to deposit peanuts and other seeds in them too, despite the thick growth of moss.

Once the trees are bare, I check for damaged or diseased branches. I also remove any branches that have appeared in the wrong place, so much easier to see at this time of year.

By this time my hands were freezing, so I cleared up the mess I made and rushed back indoors. I wasn’t outside long, but my head had cleared and I felt good. Nothing quite like fresh air for blowing the cobwebs away.

And although there is still more to do out there, I was glad to get something done.

Suitably refreshed, I spent the rest of the day working on the post I had promised for Colleen Chesebro about how I managed to create the well-received cover for SPB.

This involved several screenshots to show the process, for I find images far more helpful than words alone, so I am closer to being finished.

We recently sent out a newsletter to our subscribers, (which I feel could have been better, thanking everyone for their support for SPB and news of upcoming events.)

Any chance you could let us know what you thought of it?

We would really appreciate feedback, so future newsletters will be better and more interesting.

©jayemarie

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~Week 46

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The day of my hospital check-up had arrived, and I felt oddly apprehensive. I had been worrying (just a little bit) that this might be the year that the mammogram would not be clear. Whether I thought four years clear might be pushing it a bit, I don’t know, or maybe it was because they had called me early?

For four years, I have been summoned the week before Christmas, so today’s appointment felt strange, even before I got there.

It was cold and wet as we travelled to Portsmouth, and I forced myself to think about everything else, determined to ignore the feeling of dread that had been following me around like a stray dog for days.

Turns out my summons was just for a check-up chat, and that the mammogram will be next month, like always.

The doctor gave the boobs the once over, checking the lymph nodes lumps and for lumps, and found nothing untoward, whatever that means these days.

All in all, this pointless visit (to me, anyway) made a four-hour hole in my working day, and I was already playing catch up.

But that’s life, isn’t it?

 

I read something the other day, something that made a lot of sense when I thought about it. These days, having a good think almost needs an appointment, but I digress.

Apparently, if you concentrate too much on all the small details, you will never get anywhere and end up going around in circles. A bit like I have been doing all week!

We must keep our eyes on the horizon… the one major goal that shines brighter than anything else, for if we allow our concentration to wander, even a little, we will end up getting nowhere, or worse, in the wrong place entirely.

I have a lot of plans in my head now, but my major goal isn’t at the top of the list. I had thought it would get there all by itself if I got all my ducks in a row!

 

My muse is clearly frustrated and wants to be writing. If I am honest, so do I.

I miss the daily discipline!

 

So, I don’t seem to be progressing much lately, most of the things I plan to do are proving both difficult and downright impossible. Maybe I am getting too old, at least I hope that’s all it is. Everything is either too complicated or takes too long, and my patience is wearing a bit thin.

My enthusiasm has given up and taken a walk, and I sincerely hope it won’t stay away for too long!

Tomorrow I will pull up my socks and get organised…

And that is a promise to myself that I intend to keep!

©jayemarie

 

Jaye’s Journal ~Week 45

 

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I have been so busy all year, writing (re-writing) and editing (and more editing) my latest detective thriller, Silent PayBack. Then there was the amazing book launch last month and some amazing reviews which totally blew me away, and it took some time for my brain to settle down again.

The past few days, finally being alone with my thoughts, so to speak, I have suddenly realised that the year is nearly over. In a few short weeks, it will be Christmas and then (and this doesn’t bear thinking about) it will be 2020.

2020!

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

I can’t help hoping that it will be a very special year, a new era for us all, maybe?

I had thought that I could take it a bit easier next year and not make any definite plans, preferring to wait and see, but my brain obviously didn’t get that memo and is busy having a field day, trying out different ideas on for size, in theory at least. So, one way or another, things have been creeping up on me.

Anita has a new book coming out, so I will be involved with all the editorial and promotional stuff for that, and we also plan to publish some of her wonderful poems.  (More news and images to follow!)  I have had no ideas for my next book, although the thought of a Christmas murder mystery appealed to me the other day.

I also want to learn how to use PowerPoint, and finally, get to grips with Scrivener. I have always been a loyal Word fan, but since I updated it earlier this year, it’s not the same anymore and everyone seems to wax lyrical on how helpful Scrivener is for a writer, so it might be time to bite that bullet, just to see if they are right!

There are a few family things that will be changing around me too, and I’m not quite sure whether to be terrified or not. Change doesn’t usually bother me though, good or bad, they usually just need some minor adjusting, but I have the feeling some of these changes will be serious and far-reaching…

©jayemarie

Thank you so much for reading my Journal, and please leave a comment or two!

Jaye’s Amazon Author Page:  https://Author.to/JayeLink