#TheSundayWhirl ~ Wordle 448 #Poetry

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Solemn days

I woke today knowing

there would be no hug for Mother’s Day

I hope the smile on my face

would be a reminder of times gone by

Having kept my distance, I walked home

and put myself in lockdown

Hands clean, I restrict my movements

To shopping for food

Count down the days

Until I can hug my wonderful mother

I call her that evening

To blow kisses down the line…

©anitadawes 2020

#Jaye’s Journal… Enjoying a happy moment!

 

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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.

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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.

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

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My favourite Camelia

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

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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

 

Sharing a post from Susanne Lakin from @livewritethrive.com

I read this inspirational post this morning from Susanne Lakin @livewritethrive.com and had to share it here…

 

Wake Up and Pay Attention. This Is Not a Drill
Hi writer friend,

I don’t know what you think about the corona virus. But one thing I do know: a lot of people are NOT taking this threat seriously. There are a number of states here in the US in which there are no restrictions in place. Where people are crowding in malls and going out to restaurants and ignoring all the warnings and precautions.

Can I just say this is not just stupid but deadly? Honestly, as Howard Dean said the other night about the young people cramming the beaches in Florida, thinking they are immortal or something (I’m paraphrasing here): Great. Have fun. Now you will go home and be responsible for killing your grandparents. You want that on your conscience?

In China, about 70% of all deaths were due to exposure to family members with the virus.

In Italy, families tend to be very close, and so their young people spread the virus to their elders and killed them.

I want to share a part of an email I got today from my friend Brian in Italy. Please read this:
“Thanks for your message, thoughts and prayers. It means a lot.

The situation here is really tragic. I actually live in Codogno, the small town where the first case was discovered. We’ve been in lockdown for nearly a month now: same here, everything closed except essentials.

I’ve never seen anything like this: each time I open Facebook, I see news about someone who has passed away. In our village alone we’ve had close to 100 dead in about 3 weeks.

Of course, being such a small town, we all know each other, so it’s even harder when you ‘get the news’ and you knew the person.

Hospitals are almost full and will soon reach the point where they won’t be able to cope anymore. And there’s still a lot of people who don’t understand how serious this is. You see them in the streets, in parks, etc.

We can only pray this goes away soon and that everything goes back to normal in a relatively short time.

Fortunately I, my wife and our 6-month old son are ok. We’re at home and never go out. As things stand, that seems to be the best and only cure.

Praying that it doesn’t affect you guys as bad as it is doing us.”

I guess Brian didn’t get the memo and images we have–that doctors are more than overrun in Italy and are having to choose who lives and who dies. I’m sure there are governments around the world worse than ours–not telling their citizens the truth of the dangers and statistics.

In the US, our president doesn’t want to look bad (if the virus numbers prove to be high), so though he has promised for weeks we will get test kits, which seems easy for the rest of the world to get, he isn’t delivering. We are being fed so many lies for political reasons. And because the US administration delayed months in preparing for this virus, we are now two weeks behind Italy’s dire situation, if even that.

So … you’re a writer. There is no more critical time than now to use your words.

Don’t spread lies. Don’t soften the danger. Use your words to tell others to stay home. To help those in need.

Call your local and state mayors and governors and representatives and tell them to start preparing for the flood of virus patients. They can commandeer stadiums and empty hotels to become makeshift hospitals. Tell them we must make manufacturing companies to switch gears and make ventilators and respirators and hospital masks and gowns. We did this during WWII. We certainly can do this now.

We may only have days, not even weeks, to help prevent thousands of deaths.

A study shockingly shows that if those in China had started isolating and shutting down gatherings even ONE DAY earlier, they would have prevented about 67% of the deaths. Conversely, if they had waited one more day, there would have been 67% more deaths.

I could go on and on. As Dr. Fauci, highly respected expert says, we should err on the side of being cautious and excessive. When you or your loved ones are dead, it’s too late to regret you weren’t more careful.

Stay home. Just stay home.

If you need to go to get groceries or something essential, go, but sanitize everything. Every grocery item you bring home, wipe it down with a bleach/soap/water solution. Let every item stay wet for 4 minutes before putting away. Sanitize every box that gets delivered before you open it. You can read all the guidelines recommended.

Keep in mind that the virus particles can stay viable in the air for 5 HOURS. That means if you go to the market and someone sick coughed hours earlier, you can still get sick. Masks do NOT protect from the virus. Keep using sanitizer as you shop. Wipe everything down, especially your phone and any touchpads or counters you touch. If you use gloves, be sure you don’t touch any part of your body while wearing them. Throw them out before you get to your car, then sanitize your hands, your car door, your steering wheel. Don’t take the germs home. I sanitize every piece of mail I get out of the mailbox.

But don’t just follow the guidelines. Tell everyone you know. Do what some are doing in cities when they see people in groups in the streets: they are yelling out windows: “Go home and stop spreading the virus!”

Think about my friend Brian. A month or two ago, he was happy living in his beautiful peaceful Italian village raising his baby with hope on the horizon. Now he is surrounded by death, losing many of his neighbors and friends every day. Who will be left in his village months from now, if/when the threat passes. We are being told this could go on for 1-2 years.

Yes, this is an emergency. It’s a war. You have words. Now is the time to use them to fight for our lives. There is no better use of your words right now. Make people wake up and pay attention. Share on social media. Call friends. Get those people in Texas and Oklahoma and Florida and Idaho to wake up and stop spreading this deadly virus.

If the statistics come true for the US as with China or Italy, it’s predicted maybe 70-80% of All Americans will get the virus. Let’s say 200 million people. If only 1% die, that’s 2 million. The virus seems to be killing about 3%. That’s 6 million dead.

Sure, ignore it if you want. Pretend, like Trump, this will suddenly vanish, just disappear. The experts say otherwise.

Better to be safe than sorry. I agree with Michael Moore (listen to his podcast Rumble for more specific statistics) that the worst that can happen if you’re wrong is some people will make fun of you and say you were too melodramatic. So what? Do you care? I don’t. I’d rather save some lives than worry about what people think of me.

Enough for now. I’m sad. I’m angry. But I’m also so grateful to see so many people helping others. I’m working to set up a fund today with my church to make sure everyone has enough money to pay their bills. Many of my friends have been laid off this week. Why don’t you look into doing that? Or find a local reputable agency or church that is helping your community. You reap what you sow. Share the wealth, even if you have little. Surely you have more than someone else, something you can spare.

If you’re sitting around at home, don’t get depressed. Get busy helping. With your words.

Words have power. Use them.

My prayers are with you all.

~ C. S. Lakin

Copyright 2020 Live Write Thrive, All rights reserved.

 

My Last Escape?

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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!

 

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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.

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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…

 

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Death is Calling…

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One of the most misunderstood cards in a Tarot deck, Death is not a card about physical death. The Death card speaks of cycles — endings, yes, but beginnings too — and is a reminder that all things must pass. Hanging on to relationships, feelings, fears, or situations from the past will hinder you from allowing new, better things to enter your life. Take comfort in knowing that in every ending lies a chance for a new beginning.

 

 

 

Death is Calling

 

The local fair, brightly coloured tents, tell your fortunes, predictions 100% correct on the turn of one Tarot card. Find out what’s in store!

I stepped through the lace curtain; the inside felt warm. Bright lights dimmed by coloured layers of chiffon. I sat, handed over my money and turned the one card. Death stared back at me.

The fortune-teller tried to play it down. “It’s not as bad as it looks. It’s the end of something, the chance to start again. To change things in your life…”

I didn’t believe her. A cold chill went down my back.

I could feel death calling, it was after me, after all, I had turned the card, sat facing it.

I couldn’t shake the feeling on my way home. I was almost there; I could see my front door.

I heard the squeal of wheels, a loud thump.

That’s when the chill left me, death had passed me by…

 

©anitadawes 2020

You Couldn’t Make it Up…

 

The week started with one hell of a noise in our road, culminating right outside our door. The local water board were fitting water meters or something all along our road, and we had several workmen, looking at the hole they had just made, looking at each other then back at the hole.  We wondered what the problem was for they seemed to have successfully finished several of our neighbour’s installations, but ours was obviously a problem of some sort.
After much head-scratching and worried expressions (reminding me of one of those comedy sketches), they all went away, leaving us none the wiser.

We found out that some idiot had tried to chop their way through a gas pipe, so we were subjected to more workmen (gas board this time) doing the same head-scratching, worried look routine as they tried to figure out what to do about it. Finally, the problem was sorted, the pipe was replaced and the hole partially filled in. But not with what came out of it… what did that mean?

We did wonder why they hadn’t finished filling in the hole, but we weren’t prepared for the next turn of events. It began to unravel like one of those Monty Python routines.
Two men came and put some of the dirt back, an hour later two different men used an angle grinder to make the hole in the pavement nice and square. Then they finished filling the hole.
Oh good, we thought, nearly finished.

Not a bit of it.

Nothing else happened that day, and we supposed they might have forgotten all about it.

Two days later a huge lorry turned up and proceeded to tarmac the hole with much song and dance. This job needed three workmen. I might point out that said hole was all of 15 inches square!
We were in stitches wondering how long we would have to put up with all the barriers that were beginning to look like a fixture if the week’s activities were anything to go by!

Another day passed and first thing the next morning a van arrived (was it my imagination, or did the driver look a bit sheepish?) and took all the barriers away and the saga of the hole was finally over.
It only took 9 workmen and 4 days…

You couldn’t make it up, could you? And if you did, would anyone believe you?

And despite the comedy/drama unfolding right outside our door, I actually managed to do quite a lot of writing. (and I didn’t need 9 workmen either!)

How about that!

From the middle of insanity…

 

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He’s still here!

 

My brain needs a disciplinary, as I can no longer make it behave the way I want it to.

Mind you, it must be contagious, for my laptop and tablet are exhibiting similar tendencies.

I have spent last evening, first with the laptop and then the tablet, trying to run through my emails from the comfort of my armchair.

The laptop was on a go-slow, so I switched to the tablet.

This annoying piece of crap decided not to respond at all. Patience personified, I kept trying, only for the battery to drain away faster than a chocolate teapot. Something it shouldn’t have been able to do, seeing as it wasn’t actually doing anything.

 

I can feel the day coming when I will take a hammer to the both of them, as I am not sure how much longer my brain can cope with these insanity-inducing contraptions.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t aware of all the wonderful things they can do. When in a good mood, of course.

But I ask you, is it asking too much to have a piece of equipment that actually does what it says on the tin?

We wouldn’t stand for such substandard performance from any other electrical object, so for all that’s Holy, do we put up with it?

 

The main desktop PC is not immune to such shenanigans, it’s just sneakier. Its favourite trick at the moment is ignoring whole sentences while I am busy typing them.

I get no warning, no sign that something has gone awry. The first I know about it is when I try to read the work back, only to find yawning great holes where parts of my story are missing.

I tell you, it is beginning to feel like a conspiracy…

 

On the bright side, and I do try to find this even on those grey days, nothing affects my pen and paper. Sometimes I am so glad that I can write, blissfully, as far away from technology as I can get. As happy as Larry, knowing that I am in total charge of the creative process.

So, to end on a much happier note, I must report that the mindset for the new WIP is firmly in place. I have enjoyed being away from all the technobabble so much, that I shall be doing a lot more of it!

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

Damage Control…

 

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Still looking for some magic…

 

The internet excelled itself today…

What with all the constant buffering…

Then Word, WordPress and Grammarly ganged up on me, and everything I had just spent the entire morning doing simply vanished.

Could this be a ploy to get me to switch to the new WP editor, Gutenberg?

Before I knew what was happening, the sneezing arrived!

Everyone in the family has had this cold and I was hoping it would miss me, but this wasn’t to be. Should have been a golden opportunity to crawl away and die quietly but I just couldn’t do it. It would feel too much like giving in and I can’t remember the last time I did that!

Although I have been dragging my heels for long enough, feeling ill was the very last straw. I decided it was time for the confusion and procrastination to stop, even if my nose dripped all over everything!

The problem began last year when I spent every writing hour trying to finish my detective thriller Silent PayBack. Daydreams and routine went out the window and coaxing them back in again has been difficult, to say the least.

We wanted to try something new this year, something that might make a difference, like having a landing page with either Mailchimp or book promotion with BookFunnel.

I have been re-reading some of those marketing books, looking for helpful hints. Trouble is, most of them contradict each other, leaving me more confused than ever.

But despite all of this, we do have a plan!

(despite the weather, the sneezing and the confusion)

 

  • Our books must be the best we can make them, even if it means spending some money. (you have no idea how hard that was to say!)
  • Check all the covers, editing, back matter and blurbs.
  • Update promo material and create more
  • Possibly switch to Gutenberg editor. (I must be mad to even suggest this)
  • Create new book trailers.
  • Write more character interviews
  • Get more reviews
  • Finish both of our WIP’s

And…

Drumroll please

I have a great new idea for my next book!

 

©JayeMarie 2020

 

 

#Wordle 443 #Poetry

 

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Lost beneath the blood red moon

The air electric with anticipation

Something was coming

The hairs on my arms

Stood to attention

Telling me to run, move,

Fear had no limit

Gripping my mind with iron claws

Imagination ran like water

Sweeping into a giant pool of horror

I should write it down

Hope to come out of this with a best seller

The moon shone red shadows

Through tall dark trees

A feeling of cold dread

Slyly brushed the left side of my body

Something solid had passed me

Now walked behind me

I turn slowly to see I am alone

My thoughts jumping one over another

My thinking strange

A child you need to take care of

Stands to your left

Waiting, his time will come.

I had not planned on having children

My wife and I agreed before marriage

That thought could not be mine

I need to get out of these woods and write it down

Could be I had found the Holy Grail

The inspiration that had been missing for months?

My wife will be fascinated by my adventure today.

When I had done telling her

A strange look came across her face

Right after I said,

how daft to think we would have a child…?

©anitadawes 2020

Ghosts of the Past…

 

 

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 one of our books 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.

Not much has changed since then but surely something must have?

Do you ever look back to see how far you have come?

©Jaye Marie 2020