Broken Glass… #Poetry

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Broken Glass

Each step I take I am sinking deeper

as if walking on hollow ground.

Life is a cracked mirror

splintered images of self

looking back at me

each with a different expression.

I have lost myself in a

kaleidoscope of broken glass.

Which piece holds the real image of me?

Are we truly at the mercy of fate?

Do new winds change the things we look at?

I pray my eyes see the truth

before I am dragged into the mire…

aaaaa

Uninvited… #poetry

 

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Uninvited

Watch out for that stranger of unknown danger

You may have brought back from a dream

That uninvited guest that won’t go

The one that lives in the shadows

He knows your name.

You hear him whisper late at night

“Come back to me, our dream is real…”

You know that it’s not possible to live by day

Then dream the same dream night after night

Yet it never stops. You see strangers wearing his face

You rush from the rain, not looking where you are going

Stepping from the kerb, you are knocked to the ground

Your world has no colour, the way it used to

As if a grey cloud has swallowed you

You wake with the driver leaning over you

A stranger wearing his face, the face from your dream…

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Darkness… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Darkness

How can I speak of a time of darkness?

My soul is not yet born

It waits for the light to bring the world into being

To build oceans, land, and people.

Then I can take my turn on this planet

I am still waiting, remembering the dark place

The cackling voices whispering

Of a time before the darkness

When fate was hidden from man

Given and taken by an invisible presence

How man can have more than

One fate thrust upon him.

How luck can be thrown

Like a handful of sand on the wind

Letting it fall where it will.

How some are born with extra luck

Without the help of scattered winds.

How the soul can be destroyed

Leaving an empty space

For the darkness to grow.

For cruelty to make its voice heard

Before I was pushed into being

I heard the whisper, the secret, the key

To make your life the way you want it

All I have to now is remember as I grow.

Time has a way of taking what thoughts it will

The way some dreams fade come morning.

Do they journey back to their original place

Are they gathered up, sent out and used again?

Does this account for dreams repeating?

Is the source of all things running low

On all kinds of material?

Is that why so many people feel

Their lives are the wrong way around?

That they do not belong.

Can I change it, did I hear the secret right?

Would I remember how to

Drive away sadness, despair

Bring the light where it is needed

Keep the darkness where it belongs…

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The Days are Far Too Short…

 

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Writers the world over must be grateful that someone invented Indie Publishing, but I wonder why they didn’t invent a better way of marketing the books we create while they were at it?

By better, I mean a way we can understand and implement, a system that actually works?

Now, I know I have a problem with technology, but I have tried my best to make head or tail out of it, and, overall, I have managed to understand and even utilise some of it.

Most writers are not wired to master marketing.  We want to write, not blow our own trumpets. The mere thought of being more visible than we have ever been in our lives is enough to chill our blood. We understand that we must make meaningful connections on social media, have book trailers on YouTube, for marketing is all about knowing, liking and trusting, but we also know there is so much more to it.

The experts say it is okay to begin with baby steps, sharing everything we do, but where do we go from there?

Do we…

Make a plan for our marketing activity?

Get excited about our progress and share the excitement?

Keep pushing the boundaries of our comfort zone?

Learn new techniques?

Try paid advertising, even though it is an expensive nightmare?

Keep changing all of our keywords, hoping to hit on some that work?

Need a newsletter, podcast, more trailers, FB ads?

Have we checked we are doing all we can on all the media sites?

I have tried most of these, but there are simply not enough hours in the day for everything!

There is no easy way we can implement everything we learn.

There is also the writing to consider, as this is the most important part of your marketing campaign.

Somehow, writers must learn to manipulate time, prioritise until our brains bleed, and hope we stumble upon the magic formulae…

(unless someone out there has already discovered it, and if you have, please let us in on the secret!)

 

#Wordle 385 #Poetry

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Cardboard cut-out

The prophecy spoke of changes, strange times ahead

Of a girl with monochrome eyes, shades of black and white

I immediately thought of a mixed up yin and yang

I read the text three times, underlined before the week ends

With no idea who sent it, I dismissed it

My mind retained the thought of such strange eyes

I barely slept that night.

How can my mind slip in and out of dreams so fast?

So many black and white movies

As I moved from one to the other

There was no interaction, which was strange for me

I felt invisible.

The last dream before waking

There she stood on the clean white sand, blue seas behind her

The sun setting, walking towards me

A black and white cut out, shining through a heat haze

I felt as though I looked through strange glasses

This last dream stayed with me all the way to the store

I needed coffee

There she stood outside with yin and yang eyes

My cardboard cut-out

Advertising a new black and white barley twist

She wasn’t there yesterday, so who had sent the text?

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In The Beginning…

 

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I was looking back through some old posts and found this one, written at the end of 2012. This was when the madness began…

 

2012: My New Year Resolution!

Next year I have decided (this is Jaye, by the way. Anita is busy writing!) that I will become more adept with all this technology. I have been stumbling along, picking up bits of information here there and everywhere and have come to glorious conclusion that my efforts are not quite good enough. Close, but no cigar, to quote Anita.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think I have learnt a massive amount of stuff in my stumbling’s but if we want to be successful in any way at all, I have to learn more. This will not be easy, for at my age (69) my brain cells are dying faster than I can count! I have never liked computers, I think they were invented by the devil to drive us all insane. But the reason I persist (apart from the fact that I am one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet) is that my mind cannot accept the fact that the devil is possibly cleverer than I am at using a computer.

It’s only a machine, I tell myself.

It’s do-able, so do it.

Other people do it and do it well. So can I.

Really?

Who am I kidding?

Myself unfortunately. But I digress. I can do anything I set my mind to, always have. Might take me forever, or might have to modify what I wanted in the first place, but I usually get there. (Once I have driven everyone bonkers in the mean time!)

Now for some back patting…

In 2012, I learnt how to upload Anita’s books onto Amazon. (And you don’t want to know how long that took!)

After that, I uploaded them all to Smashwords. (Difficult, but worth it, amazing people!)

I even managed to create a paperback copy of Bad Moon Rising with Createspace. (Don’t ask!)
I had a go at designing our own covers, but need to improve a hell of a lot!

Created this blog site, but still not sure I am doing it right (or even if I am happy with it!)
But as I said earlier, it’s all out there in 2013 and all I have to do is find it and make it work.
How hard can it be?

~~~~~~~~

I was looking for inspiration, and usually manage to find small nuggets of the stuff in our old files and posts. I needed to find a substantial amount of it, as my mind was a less than delightful blank! My only excuse is that our house is fighting the flu bug, and intelligent thought was the first casualty!

I wanted to sum up the past year, wax lyrical about how much better 2019 was going to be, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think of anything worth writing about. 2018 was a disappointing year, a wall-to-wall struggle if I am honest. We were out of our depth for most of it, playing catch-up and pretending everything was fine but we were nowhere as productive as we wanted to be. So if the New Year was going to be more of the same, I don’t think we had the heart to soldier on.

Reading that old post and feeling the excitement of our beginning, made me sit up and wonder where all that excitement has gone. Where was my determination to crack the code that would open the door to our success?

I was sure it couldn’t have gone completely, and was probably lurking around somewhere, but I had searched for it and come up empty, leaving me feeling sad and frustrated. I mean, I had a book to finish, a very long to-do list and a pile of fascinating and helpful articles and information to wade through. There was also that list of dreams ideas for trailers, posters and promotions.

Full of germs and feeling terrible, I wasn’t really in the mood to try and put our world back to rights, but I knew I wanted to, needed to, if I was honest. There was no way we were going to stop, so I have three days to pull myself together, ready to step into 2019.

A brand New Year … full of possibilities!

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#Interview with the Author: Bad Moon by Anita Dawes #HorrorFamily

 

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Spotlight on the writing of Bad Moon

or

(An informal interview with Anita Dawes)

 

Today I have dragged Anita away from her writing desk and forced her to sit and talk to me about my favourite book (and I suspect, hers too)

Good morning Anita, make yourself comfortable and tell us how you came to write Bad Moon?

Hello Jaye, this is all a bit strange for me, I haven’t done anything like this before, so I am trusting that you are right and it might just be interesting and productive.

I began to write when I couldn’t stand all the voices in my head. They would not let me rest until I told their story, and once I started, I couldn’t stop!

I just love the minds of the people of small-town America, their philosophy and their way of thinking.

What decided the plot of Bad Moon, was it just your imagination or did something trigger it?

I was in a bad place at that time in my life and I think escaping into another world, even one that was not sweetness and light, helped me a lot. There was a song that caught my interest, from Credence Clearwater Revival, about a ‘Bad Moon Rising’. You could say that that was my inspiration right there.  I think song lyrics are very emotive, you can usually come up with a good story to go with them. My book turned out to be the usual story of good and evil; you cannot get away from it, not in nature or human beings. Maybe knowing that what I was writing was not real, helped me in real life. It is possible.

 Is Annie a biographical character? Did you see yourself in her at all?

  No, I don’t think so. She turned out to be stronger than I could ever be.

 She seems a lot like you, somehow.

Does she? It was not intentional. My mother was the inspiration for the creation of Annie’s mother, and Annie’s father reminds me of one of my stepfathers. A long-suffering doormat. All of Annie’s relatives remind me of crows at a funeral.

But in the book, Annie’s father seems like a nice chap?

Yes, but he is weak, unable to control his wife or her relatives.

 Why did the title lose the word ‘rising’? And where did the idea for Pa’s grotesque carvings come from? They do sound fascinating…

 I had to change the title because there were just too many books out there with the same title. The idea for the carvings came from my imagination really, although I loved the film ‘The Guardian’ with Jenny Agutter. There was an interesting tree in the storyline that could have sparked something.

I always love the macabre side, like the ‘Tooth Fairy’ in The Silence of The Lambs. Making things out of human skin is fascinatingly disgusting, but people have been doing it for centuries.

Despite all her good intentions, Annie has an incestuous relationship with her brother Nathan, before she falls in love with Josh. Did the thought of writing about incest bother you?

No, there is more of that going on than most of us realise. I believe it can be a natural occurrence, as the love you feel for someone – brother or no – can become so strong and overwhelming. It is possible to love more than one person too, we do it all the time.

Your next book ‘Simple’ is very similar to ‘Bad Moon’. Is that what you intended?

Yes, because I feel it is a part of who I am, and I love writing them.

You have not written another story like these two, will you?

Maybe, but it has yet to be proved to me that people are interested in reading them, although I cannot rule it out as I may not be able to stop myself!

 Well, that wasn’t too grueling, was it?

If anyone has any questions or comments, we would be pleased to hear from you!


Brilliant Review on Amazon!

OlgaNM
Bad Moon is narrated in the first person by Annie, a young girl who lives happily with her family: mother (Ruby), father (Jed), and older brother (Nathan). She adores her father, although her mother’s behaviour is far from exemplary (she regularly invites other men to her home and that results in incidents with her husband, who takes it out on the men and seem remarkably tolerant of his wife’s behaviour). At first, Annie is worried that she might end up becoming a woman like her mother when she grows up and thinks it is all due to her mother’s family (her father says that her mother was born under a ‘bad moon’ and she comes from ‘the Hills’ where people seem to have their own morality and rules of behaviour). The inhabitants of the Hills seem to be a directly related to those of The Hills Have Eyes or the banjo players in Deliverance. What Annie doesn’t know is that things are worse than she ever could imagine. She has lived all her life in a world of lies and secrets. She is convinced she must learn the truth to avoid history repeating itself and is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve that. The costs are high indeed.
Annie does not have much formal schooling (she decides to leave school when she realises things aren’t as they should) but she is extremely articulate, and some of the descriptions of the landscape surrounding her home, of her experiences and dreams, her mystical feelings on visiting the caves previously inhabited by a Native-American tribe, and her reflections are beautiful and lyrical. We might disagree with some of her decisions but it is difficult not to admire her determination. She never tries to be liked or makes excuses for her own behaviour (she might blame others at times, but despite not being a believer or having much in the way of role models, she does question her actions and tries to make things better), and she is neither all good nor all bad. It’s a testimony to the skill of the author that although Annie’s head is not a pleasant place to be in, we can’t help but wish she’ll succeed and live to see another day.
With themes including incest, rape, infanticide, murder, cannibalism, paedophilia and plenty of violence, this is not a gentle novel or an easy read. There is sex and violence, although these are not graphically rendered, but anybody with a modicum of imagination will be left with many powerful images difficult to forget. The strong intuition of the main character, the roles of fate, blood and family history and the communities portrayed turn this book into a tragedy where instead of kings and gods we have as protagonists a family in the outskirts of society and outside of history. (The historical period of the story and the outside society are not described in detail and this adds to the sense of claustrophobia an entrapment.)
If Annie is a heroine, a tragic hero or an anti-hero is open to interpretation and I haven’t decided yet. I’m not sure I’d like to meet her in real life, but I know I’d like to read more about her.

 

Our 5* Review for Double Blind by Dan Alatorre#FastPacedMurderMystery @savvystories

Two detectives hunt a serial killer. The killer is hunting them.

 

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A lone trucker is ambushed, shot, and brutally stabbed. A tourist meets the same fate while out for a jog. Facing two crime scenes that could have come from a horror movie, Detectives Carly Sanderson and Sergio Martin search for the crazed serial killer.

Five more attacks happen in a week, launching the entire city into a panic and causing the mayor to throw all of the city’s resources into stopping the rampage. But while the detectives work around the clock, they don’t know the killer has upped the game—by making them his next targets.

 

Our Review

At first, the killings seem random, just the actions of a deranged mind.

I found the descriptive powers of the author, combined with the smell of blood quite stomach churning as I searched for clues. I knew it would be a bit gruesome going in, but wasn’t quite prepared for the intensity of the murder scenes. The author has a very powerful imagination!

I loved the easy relationship between the two main characters, detectives Carly and Sergio. A most unusual pair, but real people, warts and all!

The casual dropping into the story half way through of a major clue as to the killer’s identity almost ruined the story for me, but it was cleverly done and hard to spot.

If I have one criticism about this book, it has to be about the killer. I can normally empathise or sometimes even admire most killers. I mean, they are usually damaged in some way, driving them to murder. Try as I might, I could find no redeeming feature in this man.

Here’s hoping the sequel finds Carly and Sergio with a far more interesting antagonist…

 

Excerpt

The wind gusted, sending the trash into the street in a tiny tornado. Lifting and dropping a McDonald’s hamburger wrapper, the little vortex danced and raged; then, as quickly as it had come, it was gone. The pieces of trash twitched and were still. The chill in the air remained, though. That wasn’t going anywhere tonight.

He glanced down the street. In the darkness, a shadow moved. Sergio held his breath. Opposite side of the street. The motion indicated walking. Tall. Probably a male.

This is our pedestrian.

Moving his gaze back to the sidewalk before anyone could tell him to, Sergio watched the stranger while keeping his face pointed at the ground. The man walked with his hands in the front pockets of his hoodie. The stride was long but not fast. The pedestrian seemed to intentionally sway his shoulders, as if he was walking up a steep hill.

When he’s closer, let him see you see him, then immediately look away. Head down, submissive.

The stranger kept coming. Sergio kept walking, his heart pounding.

What if this is our guy?

If it’s our guy, he will approach you. Keep walking. Casual.

The stranger got closer. He was larger than Sergio had originally estimated. Thicker, and taller.

Maybe six foot two, maybe a little more.

Eyes down. Don’t act like a cop.

He’d have to be big to do all that stabbing, to overcome a big guy like Leo.

But he used a gun to help.

Sergio glanced at the hands in the hoodie pockets. Could that conceal a .38? The man looked Sergio’s way.

Eyes down!

He didn’t think eye contact was made, but if the man had seen Sergio looking, maybe that was the time to walk faster.

Maybe we’ll speed up a little anyway.

On opposite sides of the street, the two men neared each other. Forty feet away, then thirty.

Sergio’s head was humming. This is how he did the jogger. Right on the street. A shot to the chest and then he started stabbing.

The bulletproof vest will protect you from both for a while. Long enough for the teams to get here…

Sergio forced himself to take a long, slow breath and walk slower without appearing to be trying. Sweat gathered on his forehead.

The man had heavy movements, a clumping kind of stride like someone might do when they were wearing new construction boots that don’t quite fit. The stranger stayed on one side of the street; Sergio stayed on the other. The sidewalk turned to gravel and then to mud. Sergio stepped around a big puddle and into the street.

“Hey, bro.”

The stranger’s voice cut the quiet night like a knife. Sergio didn’t look up. He kept his head down and kept walking.

“I got fives and tens, my man. If you lookin’ to party.”

Drug talk. Could be a street seller and nothing more. And if the killer was watching, what would he expect Sergio to do? Or if it’s the killer, what would work best?

Sergio halted.

The sergeant was loud in his ear. “Do not engage, Walking Boss. If it’s our guy he’s not trying to sell you drugs. Keep walking.”

Sergio did not move.

“Walking Boss, do you copy? Please respond.”

Sergio turned toward the stranger, keeping his head low and peering upward. He took a step toward the big man.

“Walking Boss, we are not receiving your signal. Please respond.”

His eyes. I want to see his eyes.

The man crossed into the street, dropping his hands to his sides. Sergio held his ground. Sweat dripped down the side of his head and into his ear. To wipe it free might draw attention to the earpiece. He let it go, taking a step toward the stranger. “What kind of stuff you got?”

“Walking Boss, do not engage. Do you read me?”

“Just the basics right here. Fives and tens.” The stranger pointed to the hoodie pocket. “But I can get something else if you want.”

The shadow of the hoodie kept the man’s face dark, but his features were coming visible. The man’s teeth were yellow and his eyes were red. Could be a drug addict or could be a killer.

“Walking Boss! Do you read me?”

The red eyes moved forward. “What you want, bro?”

The way he said it made the hairs on the back of Sergio’s neck stand up. The sneer, the thickness of the voice, like he dreamed it. He fought to not react, holding his breath. His racing pulse throbbed in his ears as a drop of ice cold sweat trickled down his back.

It’s not him. It’s not him. It’s not him.

#####

 

Biography

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.

From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heart-warming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.

And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.

“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”

Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.

His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever.

25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”

Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week, Writers Off Task With Friends.

Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

#TuesdayBookBlog: CrossFire by Jaye Marie #CrimeThriller #Fiction

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DI David Snow has another killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits. 

Betrayal and lies come to the surface as Snow struggles to find the truth, but is he looking in all the wrong places?

Can he outwit the killer, or will the truth cost him his life?

 

Excerpt from CrossFire

‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’

Ruth thought she would ease her way in, rather than accuse her straight off, for triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.

The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’

Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’

Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through the previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them can I?’

Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off, but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’

Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’

Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.

She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’

The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.

‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’

Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.

‘Did you do this, Ann?’

When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’

Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in.  ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’

The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode, as the terror of being found out took effect.  ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she were dead…’

‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next, but not which one of them had done it.  ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’

The horror was all-encompassing, as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…

 

 

 

The demons are not just inside the machine…

 

 

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Images by Pixabay.com

 

 

It’s official, I hate my laptop. I would go so far as to say that I hate all computers. The laptop is one of those touch screen ones, and apparently, I have the wrong kind of finger. And it’s not just the one, I have tried them all. The slightest touch has things flying about all over the place, and then there are those other times when I can stab at the screen like a maniac and absolutely nothing happens.

The demon that inhabits the main computer has now moved into the laptop, doing all kinds of things that are totally out of my control. If anything finally kills my dream of being a reasonably successful author, it will be a computer of some sort. My ageing brain is no longer capable of the kind of mindless patience (or insane tolerance) that is needed to use them.

I am convinced they are here to drive us all insane, starting with me.

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any worse…

It has occurred to me that it is quite possible, or more than likely probable, that the weird things my PC has been doing of late, might just mean something is dying inside that metal box. And if I am right, this could mean it will be giving up the ghost just when it is most inconvenient. With this thought firmly lodged in my by now worrying itself into a coma brain, I toddled off to Amazon to see how much a replacement would cost. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I can get a certified refurbished Dell for literally peanuts. Windows 10, 64 bit and all the basics.

Panic over, I could handle it, whenever ‘it’ decided to reveal itself.

Now if I could just get my head around all these new improvements that are taking place at most of the sites I regularly use, there might be some danger of progress being made around here…

Once more with feeling…

For some reason that I haven’t managed to figure out yet, the muse has wandered off. I haven’t added to the word count on WIP, or written any blog posts either for what seems like a long time, but is probably only a day or two. I keep getting these blank moments and trying not to equate them to my old age or the dreaded D word. It crossed my mind that whatever is wrong with the PC might just be contagious, as I also get long periods of quiet in my head, a bit like being becalmed at sea in a boat. Not that I mind any of this weirdness, as it sure makes a change from depression…

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