#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 50

Jaye's Journal x12

 

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 Question…

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

 

This morning Jaye asked me how I come up with the words and poems for some of the prompts we do, as she is convinced she couldn’t do this quite as well herself. I dispute this.

I am not good with questions, they normally have me running for the hills.

That inner part of me belongs to me, I don’t like to spill it.

One of my many muses prompted an answer.

First, I think of something.

It could be a word overheard on tv, something I have read, the words of a song.

Whatever it is, one of my muses will jump in, I assume because they liked the thoughts in my head at the time. Then we work hand in hand.

I know the difference when I try to write without one of them. It’s mostly rubbish.

Thank God for outside help, or I would be very bored.

It’s as simple as that…

©anitadawes

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 48

Jaye's Journal x12

 

 

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 42

Jaye's Journal x12

 

It had to had to happen, I suppose…

 

This weeks Journal will not be about my new book release, for I have waxed lyrical about Silent PayBack for what seems like a lifetime. (although, it does seem to be doing rather well, so thank you for all of your support!)

It won’t be about gardening or my bonsai either, because the constant rain has kept me indoors. I dread to think what will happen if it doesn’t stop raining soon. I will probably need an army of machete wielding volunteers to bring what is probably a jungle by now, back under control.

Seeking some new and interesting topics, I found this interesting article about the founder of the internet, Professor Leonard Kleinrock, while browsing Quora for interesting things to write about.

This Professor Kleinrock created the internet on 29th October 1969, and on this monumental anniversary, he has been having second thoughts.

He says that in the beginning, he was thinking about people talking to computers, not people talking to people… and that as engineers, they were not thinking in terms of nasty people behaviour…

I am puzzled by how long it took to come to this conclusion!

So, a New Connection Lab has been formed to welcome research into how to stop online evils, using something called Block Chain Technology, which sounds too much like tinkering with people and their reputations to me.

Apparently, this genius has discovered that this nastiness is far more than John X being nasty to Peter X. It’s nation against nation, and organised crime doing ‘big bad things.’

He says he doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water, but do they really know what they are doing, or what the consequences will be down the line, any more than they did nearly fifty years ago?

Or are we heading for an internet like they have in China?

I wonder what else I can find on Quora?

 

 

Thank you for reading – please feel free to comment or share –

best wishes – Anita & Jaye

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 35

Jaye's Journal x12

In this hot weather, some shop keepers put out bowls of water for any passing dog that might be passing, and this kindness always makes me smile. So imagine my surprise when I was offered a drink of water while browsing the bookshelves at my local charity shop. It was very welcome too!

The woman in charge had one of those containers with a tap and a supply of paper cups. Such a thoughtful gesture in this unbearably hot weather.

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It is noticeably cooler today, so I might be able to think better, something I found impossible yesterday. Finishing PayBack, my WIP was hard enough, but coming up with a rivetting blurb has proved to be beyond my capabilities this week. I have written dozens of them, only to throw most of them into the bin.

I thought about running a poll or whatever you call it, to see what our readers thought, but having not done one of these before, I decided to print the top runners on this post.

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Blurb Version One:

A CITY ON EDGE. A DETECTIVE ON SHAKY GROUND

A serial killer roams the streets of Brighton. When the case lands on Detective David Mallory’s desk, his own personal demon may prevent him from bringing this vicious monster to justice.

As the body count rises, Mallory finds himself sinking under the weight of a heavy secret – one that could jeopardise his job and his reputation.

AN ENGLISH TEACHER WHO CANNOT CATCH A BREAK

Will Taylor’s life is falling apart. Suspected of the sadistic murder of his beautiful wife, he is fired from his post at the University. With so many circumstances stacked against him, how can he prove his innocence?

BOTH MEN HIDE TERRIBLE SECRETS

When their complicated lives become entangled, will David Mallory summon the strength and courage to stop the killer?

And can Will Taylor prove his innocence, reconcile the past and make a new life for himself?

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Blurb Version Two:

As a sadistic murderer preys on the women of Brighton, Detective David Mallory hovers on the edge of the life he wants but haunting childhood memories prevent him from moving forward. Until he can reconcile his past and come to terms with who he is truly meant to be, his fight for justice for the slain women will prove more and more difficult.

With an entire city counting on him to stop this madman, can he summon the strength and courage to stop the killer in his tracks and live in his truth?

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Blurb Version Three:

A city on edge. A detective on shaky ground.

A serial killer roams the streets of Brighton, hunting for his next victim.

When the case lands on Detective David Mallory’s desk, his personal demon may prevent him from bringing this vicious monster to justice.

As the body count rises, Mallory finds himself sinking under the weight of a heavy secret – one that could jeopardize his job and his reputation.

With the pressure building, can the troubled detective reconcile his issues and solve the case before more women die?

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So, what do you think of these blurbs?

Please give me your honest opinion.

Tell me what you think, as my brain has given up and I cannot hope to start launching PayBack without a decent description!

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 32

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

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Have you ever had one of those weeks when you have been so busy you haven’t had time to think?

Has your to-do pile grown so big you’re having nightmares about dealing with any of it?

At the end of every day do you wonder why you don’t seem to have achieved anything, despite being on the go all day?

Well, this week was the closest I have ever been to hell without getting burned. The stress levels in the family were at crisis level for a while and none of us coped with it very well.

The WIP (PayBack) is finally finished (I think) and I have just uploaded it to KDP as a draft, so I can have one final read through on Kindle. This is such a brilliant idea! It’s like reading someone else’s book!

Which is handy, because I was getting really fed up with constantly reading my printed copy. On Kindle, I should be able to spot anything that might have slipped through the net.

Time to start preparing the launch. I have been organising like crazy in my head and have a pile of notes on the subject, but now I must make all the right decisions, as PayBack might just be my last book and I want to do it proud, so to speak. Stopping writing doesn’t bear thinking about really, but I found this one so hard to write. I never thought I would ever stop, but the jury is out now, so who knows what will happen once the dust has settled.

First, I must get past the second of my cataract removals next week, and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to being able to see properly again. The last few weeks have been a nightmare, what with the good eye fighting the bad one all the time. Everything I have been doing lately has been managed just a few inches from the PC screen. (I have been Mr Magoo for long enough) All of this was giving me serious headaches and my neck and back muscles are never going to forgive me.

The housework (what housework?)  has suffered and the garden is a mess, and to be honest, the mountain of outstanding jobs is beginning to look impossible to climb, but who knows, we must be in the running for at least one miracle.

Pity we don’t get to choose which one!

AAA (2)

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 26

Jaye's Journal x12

 

As I get closer to the end of editing PayBack, my WIP, I keep thinking about the strange visitor I had just before Christmas. The man who appeared out of nowhere and literally put his finger on what was slowing down the plot in my writing.

Remember him?

You can read that post HERE

Back then he had been so insightful about the lead character in my book, something I greatly appreciated at the time. Then, this morning he had strolled back into my office as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I had no idea where he had come from or even if he was real, but what was he doing here now?

I had a good look at him while his attention was caught by something on my monitor. He wasn’t from this world, for his clothing was old fashioned. The resemblance to Mark Twain was striking, every inch the famous writer and riverboat captain.

I have long been a fan of his wisdom and sense of humour, so if this was indeed him, who better to mentor me and speak to me about my writing.

But how could I tell him he had wasted his journey, as the book was all but finished. I didn’t need his help now. I had to say something but didn’t want to seem ungrateful or rude, but had to say something, didn’t I?

His kindly eyes twinkled as he looked at me and to my relief, I knew he would speak first.

“I see the masterpiece is almost finished, ma’am and I presume from the satisfied look on your face that you think the hard work is done?”

I didn’t know what to say. I mean, what can you say to someone who is probably just the figment of an overtired brain?

“Yes, the book is almost complete, and I am reasonably happy with it.” I waited, wondering what he would say next, but he didn’t seem in any hurry to divulge the reason for his visit. He strolled around the office looking at my collection of books. The computer kept drawing his gaze, but it didn’t warrant a comment.

“I have been thinking about you and how you plan to market the book. Do you actually have a plan?

His question surprised me, mainly because I hadn’t given much thought to how writers managed to sell their books back in his time. I knew his books were popular, but how did they get that way? By all accounts, Mark Twain wasn’t a very good businessman and bankrupt at one point due to bad investments.

So how could I ask his advice about the right way to promote my book?

I heard a chuckle and turned to find him smiling at me.

“I assume by your lack of an answer, that you don’t have much of a plan and by the puzzled look on your face I can also assume that you don’t think I am qualified to offer any advice on the subject?”

He had just succeeded in making me feel both rude and stupid, but he had hit the nail on the head.

“That was wrong of me and I apologise, but your turning up like this is a little unnerving you know. Just how did your books become bestsellers?”

He tweaked his snow-white moustache between his fingers as he thought about my question. “I made many mistakes back then, but I also learned something very important.  The most important lesson was to stop trying to sell my product and sell myself instead. You see, if you can make people like you, they will want to buy your book. It really is that simple.”

My mind was racing. Was this why most of the articles I read always stress the importance of communication?

When I looked up to thank him, the room was empty. He had vanished as suddenly as he arrived, and I wondered if I would ever see him again…

AAA (2)

 

Strange Encounter…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

I was in my favourite charity shop yesterday where the manager was having a book sale. I try never to miss these. I was busy browsing when a customer asked what I liked reading. Offering two books from the shelf she said that she read the first one in a day. I thanked her and placed them on the pile I had beside me, thinking that was the end of the conversation.

‘If you don’t mind my saying, your aura is very bright, the colour strong.’

I could have said that I was not surprised, as browsing for books always has that effect. She went on to say, ‘I’m sorry, my name is Deborah and I read auras. Yours is particularly fascinating as you have words dancing around your aura. They need to be written, a book maybe?’

This I had never heard of and must have looked surprised.

Touching my elbow, she said, ‘Oh, you already write, don’t you?’

She could have been my grandmother, so I didn’t want to offend her. I could tell that other customers were now listening. I didn’t tell her that I had written a few books and lost a few changing from floppies to discs, I should say. The remaining ones safe on their USB’s.

I thanked her for her time, saying I needed to get home. Before I managed to get away, she reminded me not to let the words go to waste. ‘They won’t float there forever, write them. It could be your best one yet.’

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I hadn’t written a complete book in years. The odd ditty for the internet is all I can manage these days.

Once safe inside my house, I looked through the books. Looking at the two she recommended. Everything I don’t remember by Jonas Hassen and Seeing Angels by Emma Heathcote -James.

I have yet to read them and I wonder if there is a message inside waiting to be found.

Maybe a strange Eureka moment?

AAAAA

Time to Think Again!

 

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A new week starts, a time when my enthusiasm usually renews itself, but there is a noticeable lack of ‘get up and go’. It was more like, ‘get your arse moving and see what you can muddle through this week!’

Last month’s USB failure, resulting in the loss of three weeks work, has left a sour taste in my soul, leading me to wonder if I should even be doing any of this promotional stuff. I have ended up juggling so many balls; I am in danger of losing sight of the original dream, consumed as I am with the need to find that one magic ingredient that will make it all worthwhile.

It is always possible that I am not destined for greatness, and I am happy to realise that. Relieved, actually, but that will not stop me from trying my best, and improving my work. (At the time of writing, I plan to re-edit my books and update the covers, blurbs and keywords. I have been having a long hard look and not entirely happy with what I see!)

Little by little, I think I am beginning to lose my edge, the ability to juggle everything and still keep my balance. I seem to recall that this has happened to me before, a long time ago. I was in a relationship, and as long as I obeyed the rules and performed as instructed, I was grudgingly allowed to breathe.

Of course, the day eventually came when I needed more than that when I was tired of the constant struggle to be the person that was required. This wasn’t the first time I escaped from tyranny and it wouldn’t be my last, but eventually, I found a better way to live.

My present struggle is beginning to feel the same, and the need to escape is growing again. This presents a problem, for I don’t want to run away from most of it. I have to find a compromise, a way to keep our options open and the dream alive. I have to stop trying everything and anything, looking for the golden goose, who, for all I know, gave up laying eggs a long time ago…