#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 33

Jaye's Journal x12

 

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen…”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I have a pretty big bone to pick with Mr Emerson, for in my experience, he had it backwards. Just try to make a decision and see what happens.

The minute you do, unseen forces start to work to make bloody sure it won’t happen, and it seems to have all the resources in the world at its disposal.

This year, it has been one thing after another to slow down our working progress and my current WIP, PayBack has taken several ages to finish.

Most of it was to be expected to be fair, what with various age-related ailments and the eyesight falling to record levels. Then the extended period of surgery, first one eye and then the other. Throw in a cartload of family problems and the result isn’t pretty. If I could see where I was going, I might start running!

I have been blessed cursed with more than my share of patience, so I have weathered each obstacle and handled it to the best of my ability, but it has left its mark. I am so tired of never getting where I want to be. Of constantly fighting that small voice in my head that tells me to give up and forget about everything, to go and sit in the garden.

Well, that idea is very tempting and if it stopped raining for a while, I probably would. I have been known to sit out there, rain and all, but I can’t get my freshly hacked eye wet, so not this time.

Speaking of the latest eye surgery. After the first time. I thought I was prepared for the ordeal. It isn’t a pleasant procedure and left me giddy and feeling very sick last time, but it didn’t hurt at all and the improvement in that eye was almost immediate.

This time it hurt. It felt as though he was gouging my eye out with a spoon and several times, I nearly signalled him to stop as I feared it would get worse, but he managed to finish without me screaming the place down. Like last time, I was giddy and nauseous, but also very upset. He never apologised for hurting me, or asked if I was all right, just disappeared, leaving the nurses to take care of me. They were wonderful, and after a lovely cup of coffee and ginger biscuits, I felt better. The eye was aching, and this would continue for several days.

Two days on, and the ache is fading. I am a little disappointed with the result so far, compared to the first eye. The sepia effect has gone but the lens glare is worse this time. The first eye manages without glasses now, but the vision in the second eye is still blurred.

(They don’t tell you about the lens glare, and it was disturbing until I discovered what it was. My first thought was that the new lens was loose and/or trying to come out, but I was seeing the edge of the lens catching the light. This fades as the lens beds itself in its new home and the edge of the scar heals over…)

I am not allowed to do much for a while, bending, lifting, wash my hair etc… so I thought I could get cracking on the preparation for the book launch. A golden opportunity to sit at my computer all day, or so I thought. But the eyes get very tired, so not getting as much done as I thought.

Hopefully, all of this will pass and the sooner the better…

 

(Thank you for all your kind thoughts and for listening!)

 

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 29

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

There have been so many ups and downs this week, and I’m giddy.

The first few days I couldn’t do right for doing wrong. Jobs I do on a regular basis were going wrong and as for some of the new stuff I am trying to learn, don’t ask.

At one point I thought my brain must have gone for a walk, as I couldn’t understand a bloody word!

This was bad enough, but then I discovered that some of the work I thought I had managed to do, was in fact, rubbish. Add to all of that, I was trying desperately to get used to Windows 10 and a new version of Word too, and everywhere I went, everything seemed to have been updated or changed, sometimes for the worse. My life was becoming unbearable (as a writer/blogger anyway!)

So, during all of this, when I turned up at the hospital for the post-surgery check up on my new eye, I was delighted to be told it had healed beautifully and was behaving brilliantly. Not that I was getting the benefit much as the other eye seems worse by comparison. I seem to spend most of my time with one eye shut, but at least something had turned out all right.

The next few days were a strange mixture of joy and confusion as my good news was slowly suffocated by everything malfunctioning. This Windows 10 is the devils work and my laptop seems to be joining forces with it, almost convincing me to find a better way to spend my time!

What kept me going was the determination to rescue that Oak sapling and encourage it to be a bonsai. I knew this would be hard to do, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone…

Tune in later this week for how it all went!

AAA (2)

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 26

Jaye's Journal x12

 

During the discussions about my cataracts, I was assured that between eye surgeries I would not notice too much difference between the new eye and the old one.

It has since become clear to me that they were in no position to make such claims, as the difference between my eyes is unpleasant and very marked.

The remodelled eye does not need the distance glasses anymore, and its reading capability has improved dramatically too.

The other eye seems so much worse by comparison and I’m sure it’s not my imagination. Luckily, they want to fix that one as soon as possible, but in the meantime, I am finding reading and writing quite a trial. (even with one eye closed)

Of course, all of this is seriously delaying publication of WIP, for although I have almost finished editing, I don’t have a snowballs chance in hells chance of getting to grips with any promotion.

The upgrade to Windows 10 is still ongoing and I’m almost at the end of my rope there too as there are still a few wrinkles that I cannot seem to get around. I might have to admit defeat and make do with what I have managed to sort out so far.

I’m just grateful I have a reasonably well-behaved laptop to take up the slack. The print is small but manageable.

Add to all the above not being allowed to bend over or exert myself in any way for a week is frustrating the hell out of me. I’m not sure why either, unless they worry about the eye falling out?

AAA (2)

 

The New Eye…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

Yesterday was a glorious day.

Far too good to be sitting in a hospital waiting room, I thought. To say I was nervous would be putting it mildly, but I needed new eyes, so there wasn’t much I could do about it. We were the first to arrive, hoping this early appointment would lesson the waiting. I think it did, but it was still three hours before it was all over with.

I am usually quite brave when it comes to this sort of thing, and have spent more than my share of time in hospital for one reason or another. This was supposed to be a simple proceedure to change the lens in my right eye, but it didn’t seem that simple once they got started. For a start, I hadn’t given the actual doing of it a thought. That once they strapped me down and clamped my eye open, I would have to watch what happened, close up and very personal.

It wasn’t painful, well not in the sense you first think of, and took about twenty minutes. I felt a lot of pressure on my eyeball, gallons of fluid were sloshed in a regular intervals, but the extremely bright light I had to stare at was making me feel giddy. When this light began to move rapidly about, creating a surreal psychedelic effect, I began to feel decidely ill.  I would imagine it was like one of those LSD trips from the eighties but not being a flower child these days, it was not pleasant and I prayed it would be over soon.

Then they strapped this clear plastic shield over the eye with copious amounts of sticky tape and said I could go back to the recovery room. But when I sat up, the room revolved around me. I wanted to be sick and knew if they wanted me out of there, I would need some help.

That was when an attractive male nurse arrived and asked if I needed help. I have never been so grateful to be offered an arm in my life. I made it to the recovery room and enjoyed a welcome cup of coffee.

That evening was a nightmare. I had to keep the shield on until the morning, when I was allowed to clean the eye and start the regime of drops. In the meantime, it was itchy, sore and uncomfotable. The tape was pulling my skin and my head was killing me.

I tried to look at my emails, hoping I could do some work with my one good eye, but to my disapointment, that eye wouldn’t focus either. By then, I was tired and frustrated. The tv was just a blur, so I listened instead, wondering how long it would be before I could actually see anything.

I was awake early this morning, desperate to be rid of the shield and clean my eye and as I pottered about, I made an amazing discovery. I could see clearly through the new lens. In fact, it was showing up the other one something rotten. Everything looked clean and fresh with my new eye, while the old one was making everything look old and dirty.

Hopefully, I won’t have to wait too long to have that one done too…

Already, I have discovered a major drawback to all this improvement and I may have to spend the next few weeks catching up on the housework, either that or stop looking around with my old eye!

AAA (2)

Life, but not as we thought it would be…

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In an effort to ignore what will be happening tomorrow, I have been burying my head in the computer, trying to catch up on all the things I haven’t managed to get around to on the newly installed Windows 10. Some days I love the new arrangement of everything, but days when it defeats me are still happening.

In my wildest dreams, I could never have dreamed what I would be getting up to in my advancing years. Just goes to show how far you can come if you let yourself dream big.

I have always hated anything to do with computers for they are illogical, slow and complicated. I firmly believe they were sent by the devil to drive us all mad. At least, that’s what happens in our house!

But it wasn’t always this way.

There was a time when the idea of a machine with such amazing capabilities did seem like a fantastic advantage. But my first encounter with one, some thirty years ago, probably ruined me for life. This was when it was in its infancy, and you had to upload or input reams of data to do even the simplest thing. My son was playing chess on this strange looking box and I wanted to have a go. What he forgot to mention, was if you made even a small mistake in entering this data (which seemed to take hours) you would get a big fat nothing. Stubbornly, I tried and tried but failed to get it to work.

Fast forward to just a few years ago, when Indie publishing started making headlines.

Despite my earlier disappointment, I felt myself warming to the idea. I wouldn’t have to input masses of data like before, so maybe it would be easier to use. We all know the answer to that supposition, don’t we?

I still hate computers with a passion, but I do appreciate just how wonderful they are if you can learn the ropes. I still have days when I could beat mine to death with a mallet, but this is more to do with my stubborn brain than anything else. Because they can sometimes do so many amazing things, it encourages us mortals to reach for the stars.

Way back at the beginning of my blogging career, I can remember wondering if I would ever write a book, and now I have written three, well, five if you count the non-fiction ones and am close to finishing another. At the time, I was happily editing Anita’s books. I never thought a muse would bother me.

When it did, I was astonished by just how addictive writing can become. The most surprising thing was the behaviour of my characters. They became like old friends, and I enjoyed their company so much, the first book turned into a series. Even now, they are nagging me to let them loose again!

It has been an amazing and often terrifying journey, from that first ever blog post to eventually formatting e-books, paperback copies and book trailers. Learning how to put a book together was hard, but the writing was the best part, once I convinced myself that it was something I could do, after all.

None of which was easy for the biggest technophobe this side of Microsoft, someone who battles technology every single day for that magical moment when realisation dawns and I finally understands how things work.

I am well past retiring age now, but I am busier than ever and have no intentions of slowing down or stopping, for where would the fun be in that?

This journey still has some mileage, however, for there are a few things I haven’t attempted yet, and several that need improving. So I won’t be putting away my thinking cap just yet.

As they said when I was at school, “There is always room for improvement…”


Jaye’s Journal ~ week 25

Jaye's Journal x12

 

“I have not failed; I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

 

My mind has attempted to narrow my field of worry this week. I know all my problems are still there, but I am doing my best to ignore them and carry on as if I don’t have a care in the world. But apart from what will happen on Friday morning, all I can concentrate on is finishing my WIP.

I thought I was almost there, only to discover several sections that need a rewrite; a character that really should be killed off and then deal with the subsequent effect on the rest of the cast. There is also the question of length. Just how long are novels these days?

I still have what I call the ‘pretty edit’, the final polish or gloss coat for all the characters, their emotions and settings. Making sure the whole thing is as good as I can possibly make it. Only then will I be finished with it. At bloody last!

To avoid thinking about Friday morning and my eye surgery, my mind keeps drifting to the marketing and how I intend to manage it. With having only one good eye at any given time over the next few weeks, this should be interesting.

Previous attempts at promoting my novels didn’t exactly set the publishing world alight, but what with the state of said world, I am beginning to wonder if my efforts will be worth the bother anyway! And before you jump all over me, I know that it really is!

Just two more days to go!

This makes it sound as though I am looking forward to it and I can assure you I’m not!

My nerves are beginning to make an appearance, despite keeping myself busy.  The weather chose today to be kind. Glorious blue skies, masses of sunshine and it actually felt warm. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so I abandoned the editing and left the office. I spent the afternoon in the garden. First, I tended my bonsai who had grown like crazy with all the rain. Then a walk around the garden to see what has been happening in my absence.

Then I noticed the beast.

This is the 40-foot-long, 4-foot-wide, and 6-foot-high hedge that separates our garden from the neighbours. All the rain has caused it to grow alarmingly high. The lovely neat outline I created last autumn now just a memory. Just get the trimmer out, I hear you saying. Well, I could, but if there are any nesting birds in it, they wouldn’t like it. I had a quick check and there were two sparrow nests full of babies about halfway down the hedge. So, the most I could do was trim the end that was trying to block the path. The rest will have to wait until the nests are empty.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the sun. My back is killing me, but I didn’t think about Friday once!

AAA (2)

 

 

The Other Love in my Life…

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This is the first of many posts (I hope!) about the other part of my life that I love.

Bonsai…

This particular tree is not one of mine but I wish it was. A gingko, one of the oldest trees in living memory and might have been here when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

As you can tell from the trunk, it is very old in this picture too. It can take a many human lifetime for any tree to end up with a such a trunk as this. The leaves too, normally quite large, have become smaller and match the proportions of the tree very well.

Someone has cherished and cared for this beautiful tree for a very long time and I would love to know just how old it really is. Probably worth a small fortune too, which rules me out of ever owning such a specimen.

In the coming weeks I would like to introduce you to other lovely trees, some of them my own. And also just what owning a bonsai really means…

AAA (2)

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 24 (a bit late)

Jaye's Journal x12

 

The letter from the hospital arrived yesterday and the first of my cataracts will be removed next week and I have a pre op appointment tomorrow to check me out. I wonder what happened to the ten weeks wait I was told to expect.

We left early to get to the hospital for we can never judge what the car parking will be like and arrived far too early. The hospital was busy, but we managed to find out where we were supposed to be. The Eye department is one of the oldest parts of the hospital and didn’t have any of the iced water machines that I like so much, and my mouth was as dry as a bone.

By the time we sat down in the waiting room, there was still half an hour to wait, so was very surprised when my name was called. A kind and pleasant male nurse welcomed me, proceeded to check me over and then explained what would be happening to me. Though I was a little perturbed when he said I wouldn’t feel a thing, and then calmly said that a nurse would be holding my hand, so I could squeeze it if I felt anything. Not very reassuring!

I appreciated this more than you know, for the last time I was there, I was subjected to a pompous, short tempered consultant who clearly thought I was wasting his time. My treatment today was very different.

I just know that the next six days are going to be awful…

###

There was me thinking I would have plenty of time to finish the WIP and make a few inroads into the marketing, but this unexpected news has literally knocked me for six. Mainly, I hope, because I wasn’t expecting it. Not that I am worried about them slicing bits of my eyes. Well, maybe just a little…

The thought of all this disruption is having a weird effect on me. Instead of getting a move on and pressing the panic button, I seem to be doing the opposite and moving around as though up to my neck in treacle. Almost everything is far too much trouble and I cannot be asked to do anything.

It is affecting the weather too, and it hasn’t stopped raining for days. Absolutely no chance of doing any gardening either then.

Thinking is becoming more difficult too, is it because I am facing the Unknown?

Two days of inertia later, I have managed to scrape together some enthusiasm. Guilt will always work, don’t you find?

After making such good progress last week with the new PC and Word, several peculiar wrinkles decide to make an appearance, completely undermining my confidence again. Needless to say, I didn’t need this.

I have been struggling to do so many things, things I had no trouble doing before.  I have the feeling I am out of my depth with technology, a feeling I haven’t had since the early days.

What do you do when you have misplaced your enthusiasm?

I know that when you get to my age, you begin to run out of things, like patience, common sense, memory and a simple thing like joy. Then there are the knees that no longer want to work anymore and a back that starts to ache even before you get up in the morning.

Add to that several weeks months of only having one usable eye and the next part of my life is going to be interesting.

Just don’t call me Cyclops!

Anita has just said something that made me smile. She said ‘Don’t forget, in the Kingdom of the blind, the one eyed is King…’

AAA (2)

 

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…