Anita Speaks…

I don’t know if its old age, pushing inspiration so far back, but my mind has this large empty space. It keeps telling me I will never write a new novel. That those 400 white pages scare the bejesus out of me.

So, I tell myself, try a novella, as it seems weeks ago when I last held the pencil. It would seem I am only good for short pieces and poetry. These, I still love to do.

Words press against my mind, asking to be written. Late at night, there are different kinds of thoughts. Words that do not want to be read by anyone.

Thoughts I must keep to myself. The kind of things you wouldn’t speak in daylight. They pop up like some kind of evil demon, a black shadow most of us would rather deny. Keeping the beast well caged, we try to get on with the day.

The rains stops, there is a rainbow. Sunlight through your window reminding you of the magic this world has to offer.

Old age disappears for a while. I grab at this new enthusiasm with both hands, wondering what I will make of it.

Watch this space! They are right, old age is just a number.

It’s as loaded as you want it to be…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Jaye’s Week… Swings and Roundabouts

My brain needs a disciplinary, as I can no longer make it behave.

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

I have just spent the best part of an hour, 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 had 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, why 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 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 have to report that the first draft of Swan Song, my WIP, is taking shape. I was slow to get cracking but it was good to get back in the saddle again…

© Jaye Marie 2020

Throwback Thursday ~ Jaye’s Journal ~ sometime in 2019

This is the post I wrote when I finished writing Silent PayBack, my fourth novel.

I still remember wondering what the world would make of it, but so pleased it did reasonably well. Well, I thought so anyway.

So I have not been pleased with my progress of late, thanks no doubt to the on-going abomination and various other problems.

Are there days when you cannot cope with your chosen occupation?

2019

I have had many jobs in my time and hated quite a few of them, but never thought I would ever feel less than love for writing.

Lately, I have been having days when things seem to be slipping, a digital carrying-on that can plague anyone who switches on a computer.

This week, I had more than one day like this. A fatal mixture of an old and feeble person trying to use an equally old and feeble computer.

The overall tone of the week surprised me, seeing as I had just typed those magic words at the end of Silent PayBack, my WIP, I should be happy or at least relieved, or optimistic reaching the end of what has turned out to be a fascinating if complicated story.

Secretly though, I knew why I wasn’t jumping around like an idiot. I am an idiot (most of the time), but that wasn’t the reason.

I was secretly terrified that, having written this unusual and complicated story, that I wasn’t competent enough to present it in the best possible light.

This is a story that I didn’t know much about initially, or how to write it. It has been one hell of a learning curve. The research alone took almost as long as writing it.

2020

so here I am again, trying to create the impossible. (at least that’s what it feels like!)

I now have the actual storyboard on the wall in front of me, but the plot, characters and possible outcome are all still inside my head. Will any of it ever transfer to the pc screen?

If I have anything to do with it, it will…

© Jaye Marie 2020

A Hundred Lifetimes… ~ #Poetry

7.jpg

I am eighteen and my life is broken
I need a new one. With no idea how
or where to find one. Some would say
I am too young to give up on life.
They would feel the same if they had
a hundred lifetimes stuck inside their heads
Their voices, their faces swirl around like a cyclone
All vying for attention, needing to be heard
To be remembered. There is one girl
that shows up more often than the others.
She looks like me, could almost be a twin
All but for the scar on my chin.
Riding home on my bike from college, I hit a small pothole
 I flew over the handlebars and landed flat on my face.
Helped up by a passing stranger,
who gave me a hanky for the blood dripping from my chin.
Walking the rest of the way home, I realised
I could no longer hear the voices in my head
They were all gone. I was the only one left
I felt ready to begin my life again…

©anitadawes 2020

#Throwback Thursday~#Out of Time… #MysteryThriller

Haiku Out of Time.jpg

Excerpt from Out of Time…

Kate sat at the table in the Vestry with her head in her hands. She couldn’t believe Jack had found her again, in spite of all the Snowman’s security. She kept seeing the ivory roses, blood dripping from the petals, laid on the altar like an offering. Only Jack could have thought of something that macabre.

The blood reminded her of what had happened to her beloved Dylan, her silver tabby. Jack had ripped him apart in her kitchen, strewing blood and fur all over the floor for her to find. At least this time, she wouldn’t have to clean up the mess.

Why had Michael gone outside?

She knew he was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that their relationship was over. After all this time it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. But going against David Snow’s specific orders was foolish and irresponsible. Maybe his depression had grown bad enough to warrant taking such a risk. Or had he wanted to die?

The voice disapproved. ‘I did ask you to try and be kind to him, Kate. Even though you couldn’t love him, you, of all people, should have treated him better than that…’

It was true; she could remember feeling that bad. Jack had that effect on most people. Just knowing he was out there somewhere had made her suicidal in the past, and the feeling wasn’t too far away at the moment.

The Snowman should have let her see Michael, her imagination couldn’t be worse than the real thing. Right then, it didn’t seem real, and she kept expecting to see him come through the door at any minute. She wished with all her heart that she had run away the first time she suspected Jack was back on the scene. Michael’s sudden reappearance had reawakened all her old desires and dreams, rendering her incapable of thinking straight.

Fate was too cruel. Why had it conspired to bring Jack back into her life at that particular time? If he hadn’t arrived when he did, her brother would not have died and the chain of destruction would have broken.

She wanted to run away but suspected there was no point. Jack would find her wherever she went. The knowledge sunk in that none of them were safe anymore, if they ever were. What would it take to be rid of Jack for good?

Kate heard the door open but realised the noise had come from the wrong side of the room. As she raised her head to investigate, a damp, sweet-smelling cloth covered her face. She struggled against it, but he was too strong.

The room went dark and then faded away…

https://mybook.to/NewOutofTime

Don’t Speak… #Poetry

Image by Maxime THIBAULT from Pixabay

Don’t Speak

Thinking thoughts I dare not speak
They stick like thorns inside my head
How long can I hold them there?
Before they fester, fight their way out
Hurting those I’m thinking about
If I don’t feed them with further thought
Will they go away, stay unspoken?
Then my family will think I am still nice
My friends will still like me
until like most locked boxes
Someone finds a way to unlock them…

©anitadawes 2020

One Good Lie a Day ~ or Make Believe?

The following is a work in progress from Anita, possibly the start of a novel. We would welcome any feedback from our friends and followers as to its future…

Make Believe

I decided it might be fun to make up one good lie a day about my past.

So the next time someone asked me about my parents, I said they had died in a car crash when I was five years old. When in fact, they are alive and kicking and on holiday in Gibraltar.

Instant sad face.

‘Oh God, I’m so sorry…’

‘No need, it was a long time ago.’

That one lie led to many more.

‘So who brought you up?’

‘An aunt. Ancient I might add, so life was a little stale, compared to my friends. Old fashioned, I ran away when I was sixteen. I’m only back for the funeral and will reading. That old mansion of hers is mine. You must come to tea sometime.’

As I walked home, not to a mansion, I might add, I wondered how I could stop this rolling stone from gathering more moss…


Today’s lie has taken on a life of its own.

One minute I hear myself telling someone, ‘my father is an airline pilot.’ Next, ‘he’s a backing singer for the Rolling Stones. My mother is starring in a movie with David Tennant,’ when in fact my mother works in M & S, my father drives a black cab.

Is that more lies?

‘I have been married for three years. It’s our anniversary tonight. Mark, my husband has bought a new car for me. One I have dreamt about. Imported from the USA, a red mustang convertible.’ So I must rush home, ladies. I want to be there when it arrives.’

I heard a little voice in my head say, one of these days, you’ll trip over that tongue of yours.

I had to admit, the lies did explode that day, like a bomb going off but somehow, I managed to keep up with it and sound convincing. At least I could see no trace of doubt on their faces.

All that, and I had forgotten to tell them where Mark had taken me when he proposed. Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

I’m not married, never have been.

One day, Mark or someone like him might come into my life. I could find myself driving down the high street in a red convertible mustang, don’t you think?


I have one of those faces people like to talk to. I sit in a café, before my coffee is half drunk, someone sits opposite me. I send them home with a story to tell their friends. That way my lies go further than my reach.

I have joined two book clubs, need to keep a check on which lies belong to which club. I know I can’t keep this up for too long, however you’d be surprised by how many people I managed to speak to. Some, in the strangest of places.

Ladies toilets for instance. Standing in a queue, I have found bumping into someone’s trolley in a supermarket to be good for a quick chat. Especially if you manage to make eye contact.

Apologies spoken, you pass each other in the next aisle, as if fate has thrown you together you end up at the same check out. I have even been lucky enough to snag a date on one of my shopping trips…


©anitadawes 2020

How to Survive the Hard Times…

This week has been one of the worst times ever, and I have been literally shrinking away from writing anything, even a post, as I’m sure you don’t need any more depressing.

I know I don’t, and I’m drowning in it!

So hard to keep hoping for a miracle…

To keep cheerful when you feel like screaming.

There has been no news from the hospital about Anita’s MRI, and she has been noticeably down this week. I have practically turned myself inside out trying to cheer her up, to no avail. All I have managed to do is make her grumpier than ever!

I have tried to find out about the delay, but the lack of positivity has only deepened our depression. It almost feels as though Anita has been forgotten.

I have also discovered that stress is no friend to arthritis. Something my knees have been proving as they hurt more every day. I cannot concentrate at all, so the WIP is no further along.

The world (and the handcart it occupies) has slid down even further in my estimation. Whoever said that life couldn’t get any worse must be kicking themselves to death right now. Going to the shops has become a nightmare. And I hate wearing a mask!

So if anyone out there knows how to survive these bad times, do let us know, cos were a bit desperate!

Just to prove that all us not lost, stolen, or completely ruined; I want to finish this post on a better note.

Just when depression was biting hard, I was sitting at my writing desk (twiddling my thumbs and hoping for some inspiration) and looking out the window. The view is not great, just our backyard and the shelves with my bonsai. If I close one eye and squint, I can just about see the end of the garden from here and love to watch the trees moving in the wind.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving among my bonsai. Two birds, Mr and Mrs Sparrow were visiting every small tree, darting about in obvious enjoyment.

Image by Pixabay.com

I wondered what they thought of my tiny forest. They must have liked it, for they came back again this morning.

Something to look forward to at last!