Jaye’s Journal: 11th ~ 16th June

 

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MONDAY: The new week begins and I’m not having a great time of it. The pain in my back continued over the weekend and shows no sign of abating yet.  I will try to carry on blogging as usual, despite being in agony, as I intend to keep up our presence on the web and work on my WIP, for it will give my mind something else to concentrate on. I’ll update you on this theory later in the week!

TUESDAY: The muscle spasms seem to have stopped and I am glad about that, but the pain continues.  Anita offered to massage my back with the Ibuprofen Gel and found some of the muscles in my lower back knotted into hard lumps. I am deformed!

My mood has sunk to a new low even for me, as I feel so helpless. The high spot of my day is staggering to the loo after climbing the stairs on my hands and knees!

WEDNESDAY:  I received a telephone call from my GP. The results of my recent urine test show a nasty kidney infection, so maybe the pain in my back isn’t from juggling couches after all! Antibiotics are winging their way to me, so relief should be arriving soon after with a little bit of luck.

THURSDAY: Another depressing day. Pain is no better and the frustration of being unable to do even the simplest thing is taking its toll. Everywhere I look, there are jobs that need doing, jobs I just cannot do at the moment and I want to scream, as in my depressed state I imagine I might be incapacitated for the rest of my natural life.

FRIDAY: I awoke the next morning with a strange revelation. The pain seemed to have receded a little during the night. It might have been my imagination, but it did feel different. I realised that it hadn’t hurt so much during the night either. One hour later, I knew something had changed. The crushing pain had indeed lessened and walking to the kitchen didn’t have my body begging to sit down.

Against Anita’s better judgement, I decide to have a shower, as I desperately needed one. We have a strong handrail over the bath, so all should be well. The pain passed an opinion on my activities later on, but even then, it wasn’t as bad as it has been.

I hope that I have turned a corner and will be back to normal in no time, although I do know I will have to be patient! All of which is a pain (no pun intended) as I have discovered that my muse has gone into hiding. Apparently, she doesn’t do pain!


 

 

 

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Anger…

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

“When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on…” Thomas Jefferso

 

What do you think when you read this quote?

Do you think of anger or frustration?

Or something else?

What is the best way to handle anger?

Is it better to hide it inside you, and never show what you feel?

Or should you vent your spleen, regardless of terrifying the cat?

Some people scream into a pillow or punch the wall… I tried that once and nearly broke my hand.

 

I have been surrounded by angry people for most of my life, and this has surely been the primary cause of the length of my own personal rope.

Having more patience than most people, it must seem as though my rope has no end, but I can assure you that you wouldn’t want to be around me if I ever do reach the end of it.

I have seen first-hand what a bad temper can do to both people and situations, and it’s never good. More damage is done in temper than almost anything else on this planet.

 

Over the years, I have become very good at controlling my emotions. I can be positively seething inside, but no one would ever know. Sometimes it is more difficult and I get perilously close to blowing a fuse. This is when I usually go for a walk.

Even if it isn’t far enough, it usually allows me to rein in some of my errant rope.

 

‘Give someone enough rope, and let them hang themselves…’

 

What do you do when you can see the end of your rope approaching?

 

Jaye’s Journal (28th May~ 2nd June)

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Last week began like any other, full of optimism and plans, doing what I love.

I had finished re-editing Anita’s book, Simple and created a new cover for it last week.  I haven’t updated the paperback yet or sorted out Goodreads. Changing anything is so bloody complicated, and I constantly worry about forgetting some minor (or major!) detail.

Up to 30.000 words on WIP now, and the further into the story I get I find out how inadequate my storyboard is. I ended up spending an afternoon updating it!

The cast of characters are running amok, and I thank God for Words search/find function, it makes it so much easier to find and check all the names and places.

I think I might be creating a monster, as this book has more characters and chaos than any of my other books. It’s a bit like being in charge of a runaway train!

Why is it that we plod along, thinking we are doing such an amazing job networking and writing when the marketing monster arrives and calmly informs you that your feeble efforts are rubbish?

But if you have limited funds for any paid advertising, what else can you do?

To cheer myself up, I watched copious amounts of the Chelsea Flower Show, as all those lovely gardens and flowers never fail to lift my spirits.

 

Moving on in a slightly more cheerful mood, we had a family birthday this week, involving a massive collection of family members. Will this be the year with no upsetting arguments, I hope so!

Towards the end of the week, I developed a very painful back. I have to walk almost bent double and painkillers are having a limited effect. Walking is out of the question but at least I can sit on the couch and at my desk, so might be able to get some work done!  We will have to starve until the situation improves, as I’m the only cook in this establishment. I’m trying not to feel guilty about this, but I’m not happy about any of it.

I assumed it had probably happened when I carried the heavy garden waste sack out to the kerb, something I have done many times before. It was only later when I remembered what we were doing the week before, that I realised the real reason for my pain. You remember, those couches we were juggling in and out of our house?

Proof positive, if it was needed, that it is time we started behaving like the old women we are before we break something permanently!

 

My Favourite Villain…

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“Like a beautiful man who farts as he leaves the room, Dexter changed the world for the better, but left a noxious stink behind…”

 

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Dexter: The TV series. 2006-2013

I discovered this series as I was checking out the box sets on my TV. Eight series, each containing 12 episodes, enough to keep me happy throughout the long winter months.

Boy, was I in for a treat!

It turned out that what I had discovered was a lethal formula of black comedy and revenge-killing procedural. From its debut in 2006, Showtime’s adaptation of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels expertly marshalled its own absurdities to deliver a confident, darkly funny show like nothing around at the time.

It was television’s first serial killer procedural: a monster of the week format where Dexter assessed, tracked and killed whichever rapist, spree killer or assassin was in his sights. Rooting for the villain was nothing new, of course, but this took fanboying the bad boy to the next level.

Working as a blood-spatter analyst for Miami-Dade police offered Dexter the Intel and expertise to carry out his campaign. He was the psychopath you could introduce to your parents.

With every episode pored over in forensic detail, it only took the first episode to make me a devoted fan. As a budding crime/thriller writer, this series was like my own personal podcast, viewed from the comfort of my armchair. Every week, there would be something interesting to learn, some nuance or idea that could be utilised in a story of my own.

Dexter Morgan, bless him, played by Michael C Hall taught me so much about the perfect villain. One you could actually like and almost approve of.

And I did!

 

#Jaye’s Journal (or how to Juggle a Couch!)

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image by Pixabay.com

 

Most weeks in our house are usually a mishmash of incidents, some good and a few of the other kind. But whatever happens there is never a dull moment around here!

This past week has excelled itself, hurtling from one mini-disaster to another. At one point, I contemplated staying in bed, just to break the cycle, but as I am the nosiest person for miles, I couldn’t bear to think of anything happening without me. Seeing as how I was born with a sword in one hand and cleaning mop in the other, I could usually cope with anything!

It all started to go wrong when we spotted a fantastic bargain in our local charity shop, a two-seater couch in black leather. It was in perfect condition and a price that would n’t bring our bank account to its knees. So without thinking things through, we bought it, to be delivered the following day.

But what to do with the dilapidated broken down couch in our living room?

The local council have a collection service, so all we had to do was get it out of the house. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? In case you were wondering, it definitely wasn’t.

We are both in our 70’s and not the fittest people on the block, but we were determined. We would do this, even if it meant dragging the couch out of the house in pieces. A not so small nightmare later, two broken and bad-tempered women sat on the old couch in the front garden, swearing never again. We didn’t understand why it had been so difficult, it was a two-seater after all. We clearly remembered the day years before when it was first delivered, so either the couch had grown, or the house had shrunk.

The next day, tempers and difficulty forgot, the new couch was delivered and peace reigned once more. How I wish the story ended there.

At this point in the story, I can blame Anita for what happened next. She had seen (and fallen in love with) another couch in the charity shop, which she assured me, would be far more comfortable than our old three seater. You couldn’t make up what happened next.

To cut a long and painful story short, we bought the three seater and managed to drag the old one out. Slightly easier this time as it could be dismantled. Shame it was so bloody heavy though!

Shortly after the new three-seater was delivered, it became obvious that the blessed thing wasn’t comfortable at all, and had to go. By this time we were exhausted,  unhappy and tempers were flaring. Again!

After three days of juggling large, heavy and unresponsive pieces of furniture, I have banned the word ‘couch’ from ever being spoken of in my hearing again. The furniture we have will just have to last, for there is no way I am going to lift anything heavier than the kettle for the foreseeable future!

 

 

To Be or not to Be?

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This morning, as I was reading the news on my PC, there was an article about recognising the signs of Alzheimers or dementia, and as I am constantly being told that I am well on my way to having one or the other, I gave it a read.

I suppose it was inevitable at my age, 74, for the remarks to start because I must admit, I am nothing like I used to be. (Sssh, don’t tell anyone I said that!)

 For instance:

… How many times do I forget what I am doing, or what I was going to do?

… How many times do I ask the same question or misunderstand the answer?

… Trying to find the right words to express myself.

… Are my mood swings more pronounced? Although personally, despite public opinion, I think I am having more good moods lately.

… Then there are the changes in my vision. (Which are definitely caused by my cataract)

…Do I have trouble learning new skills? (This is not exactly new, I have always been a bit dense, but I get there in the end!)

 

But on the good side:  (That I managed to find a few of these pleased me no end!)

I haven’t yet got lost in the street. (Although I did recently forget my dentist appointment)

I haven’t yet staggered down the road, waving my knickers in the air. (And I hope I never do, but it could happen apparently!)

I have not lost interest in any of my projects or hobbies. Just the time I need to do them!

I can still do sums in my head and follow a plot. (More or less!)

I have begun to worry less about our progress, but wonder if this is down to losing the plot!

 

One of my main accusers is also displaying some of these telltale signs, so it is probably only a matter of time for either one of us falls foul to the disease of the aged…  This isn’t a competition I intend to win, however…

All joking aside, I am becoming a little concerned about the star of my brain. At first, it was amusing and on a good day, it can be hilarious, watching myself do the most stupid of things. Like going out for a walk without any shoes on, or forgetting to switch on the washing machine/computer/iron/oven and wonder why nothing happens. One the best ones was wondering why the kettle didn’t quite fit in the fridge. Even I had to laugh at that one.

All of this is beginning to affect my writing too, despite all the notes I make, and the frantic checking what I actually wrote yesterday.

I still get a satisfying buzz when I reach my daily total, but the extent of my elation is in itself alarming. I am having to work in short bursts, and this is playing havoc with my productivity!

I want to believe this has everything to do with the cataract in my left eye. It has been slowly growing for some years now and is finally large enough to be removed. As per NHS guidelines, of course. My vision is doing such weird things, but could it be affecting my brain too?

If anyone has any experience of this, I would be delighted to hear it.

 

 

Flash Fiction 99 word Challenge for The Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This weeks prompt was to be about a bat and a bat cave…

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The Ghost Bat

It is said that an old hermit lived in the old bat cave many moons ago.  Children called him the batman, chanting behind him as he roamed the woods for herbs to make his potions.

The villagers never worried about the old hermit, leaving food by the cave for him and children would often watch the hermit make his potions.

He had once been a doctor and he still travelled through the village caring for those who needed his potions. On one of those trips, the children noticed the white ghost bat fly from the folds of Henry’s sleeve…

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This turned out to be a lovely coincidence, coming so soon after the flash fiction about a Raven. Anita had dreamed of a white Raven, so that’s what we wrote about.

This weeks prompt was a bat, so out of curiosity we wondered if there was such a thing as a white bat?

And there was. Something weird going on here, and I wonder what will be next?