Why I am reposting Broken… #Poetry

 

 

Broken coloured shards of light

inside a kaleidoscope

caught inside a tumble dryer

that’s how my life feels.

Broken, trapped inside a bubble

waiting for someone to burst it

let the pieces out, try to put them back together.

How can one life be so fractured, splintered?

How can I have wasted so much time

on a fool with no eyes to see?

Was he blinded by the shards of light

from an ancient woodland?

Did the light remove part of his

knowing, his ability to love?

Can my love remove the blind?

I am reposting Anita’s lovely poem today because I am broken.

Somehow, I have become a virus victim. I don’t think it is THE  virus… but today all bets are off!

my temperature keeps soaring, but not having trouble breathing, so not really sure of anything yet. I do feel a little better today, so maybe it is on the way out!

Thinking of you all,

Jaye

 

 

 

Progress Report! (Or how I learned to love my work again!)

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BABY STEPS!

 

I have been an editor/proof-reader for years and always considered myself reasonably good at my job. I never had any complaints, which is my benchmark for how good you really are. In fact, several Literary Agents complimented me on the quality of our submissions.

English was always my favourite subject and I read a lot of books, but never once considered being a writer. I was far too busy managing Anita’s books, back in the day when manuscripts had to be submitted to agents and publishers in a very particular fashion.

Over the years, we received stacks of very encouraging and favourable letters from both agents and publishers alike, almost leading to publication a couple of times but sadly, despite almost being good enough, Anita was never published.

This might have been why I didn’t think of being a writer, after all, I knew better than most, just how bloody hard it was. But eventually, my muse arrived. This was just after the Kindle phenomena took off. Suddenly, everyone could publish their books on Amazon, and it was supposed to be so easy, anyone could do it.

I have to say, in fairness to all the wonderful writers out there, I did find it very hard to write a full-length book. 70.000 words seemed an impossible target, and I doubted my capabilities every step of the way. That first book taught me so much about plot and dialogue, character arcs and subplots, even though it made my head spin. The day I finished Nine Lives, a sense of achievement crept over me as I realised I had become a writer!

That was in 2014, and I went on to write two more thrillers after that. Most of you will know the fun I have had finding the right covers for my books, but I didn’t worry about the content at all. After all, I checked them for spelling errors and I had my editor head on, so they had to be fine.

Or so I thought.

What happened to make me doubt myself?

I had written a memoir/novella about my fight with breast cancer and published it on Amazon. It received one review that commented on how short it was, and when I took a long hard look at it, I had to agree. Not only was it far too short, it could be a lot better. That was when I knew I would have to check my other books too.

I read Nine Lives again and was shocked at the state of it. Where was all the brilliant writing, the competent editor, the jaw-dropping prose? To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly, I wanted to crawl away and die. For nearly a week, I battled with unpublishing my books and throwing them away, for the thought of rewriting them seemed an impossible task.

Gradually, common sense prevailed. They were my babies, I was an editor, I could fix this.

One thought kept me going. If I can now recognise the faults in my writing, does that mean I have improved over the years? I am pretty sure I have, for I am looking at my work with a totally different mindset. Most of what I see is amateur, almost childish. There were so many repeated and wimpy words and adjectives by the bucket load. It probably would have been easier to start afresh, but I am nothing if not stubborn, so I have tried to improve all three books, or die trying! They might be the only thing I leave this world to remember me by!

 

More Important than Silence!

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Image by Pixabay.com

There will be no #Silent Sunday post this week, as I was reading Jill Dennison’s lovely post about Hugging and decided we needed these more…

Here is an excerpt…

“Today is for hugging friends! Hugging has been around for millennia and is practiced by almost all cultures as a way to connect with others without using language. Hugs have traditionally been given in may scenarios: as a greeting or goodbye, for sympathy or congratulations, and for gratitude, support, and affection. The word “hug” seems to have come from “hugga,” an Old Norse word meaning “to comfort.” “Hug” was first used around 1610, to describe a wrestling hold. It began being used for its current meaning in the 1650s.

Hugs may release a hormone called oxytocin into the bloodstream. This hormone, produced in the pituitary gland, helps lower blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol. It also reduces anxiety, improves mood and memory, and increase bonding and closeness. Those who hug often tend to have increased empathy for others. In order for hugs to be beneficial, those participating must trust each other and both want to hug. Otherwise, the opposite effect happens and cortisol levels rise, causing stress.

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Image by Pixabay.com

I love a good hug and feeling sorely deprived of late. So this post is for everybody who feels the same.  Consider yourselves well and truly hugged today!

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

#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

 

This is me, being positive…

 

Thinking, is it ever a good thing to do…

I have been told that thinking is a dangerous thing to do at my age.  It is possibly a dangerous thing to do at any age, if you think about it, for who knows where it may lead?

But I quite like thinking, and all the things that trigger it off. Like books and pictures for instance. What I could do with is some method of retaining said thoughts, as they usually evaporate like so much smoke, never to be seen again. I make notes on everything in a vain hope of remembering all the good stuff, and it works some of the time.

Then I am told ‘what do you expect, at your age?

But this is the difficult part. My mind does not feel old, even though it seems to have more holes in it than my favourite cheese, and when I see or read something that stirs my imagination, I am back in my prime, having a sneaky feeling that this is not all there is for me.

Sometimes I must admit that I really don’t want any more, I am too tired to even consider the possibility. But then there are the other days– days when you forget just how old, and how stiff you are and that you find it difficult just going to the shops and back.
Days when you choose to ignore the sands of time slipping through your fingers and find yourself considering the most amazing possibilities.

Of course, this may be what happens as you approach old age. I don’t know, I have no experience or knowledge of it, not having done it before.

But if you can think, you can dream. And if you can dream I believe you can do anything… at any age!

©Jaye Marie 2020

How do you get rid of the elephant in the room?

 

Last week was such a frustrating time for me, for so many reasons and the end of my rope seems to be getting ever closer.

These good and bad days I swear would try the patience of a saint. This is something I have never professed to be, so maybe I had it coming. Despite the frustration, I approached the new WIP, only to find an alien pile of scribblings that looked only vaguely familiar. I read the last thing I wrote but nothing happened, no clear direction, nothing. I went back even further, with the same results. My heart sank to the floor as it was beginning to look as though I would have to start again.

At this point, my brain nearly went crazy. I wanted to cry, scream, or leave the building and couldn’t make up my mind which. Fortunately, I have a running storyboard of sorts, with a tenuous thread running to the end, something I have not done before, so I studied it, desperately seeking inspiration.

But my brain wouldn’t budge.

Maybe, I thought, had I chosen the wrong genre?  I wanted to deviate a little and drop the crime element. Try something that didn’t need detectives crawling all over it, like a psychological thriller.

By now, I was beginning to feel as though I had lost whatever writing ability I thought I had, along with my brain and my muse. Not that she has ever been a great help to me, more the opposite really. She can argue the hind legs off a donkey and can always find at least three reasons why something won’t work, so I’m not missing her half as much as the contents of my brain.

All this confusion has triggered off some very serious thinking about my future in the cyberworld. Not sure if it’s me or has everything suddenly become more complicated? I am forgetting things more and more and find myself doing the oddest of things (like trying to put the kettle in the fridge) so perhaps it is me.

This needs a lot more thought (if this is even possible these days) so will see you all next week with hopefully some better ideas for the future!

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

 

 

 

Another Chance to read Ancient Evil…

 

This was our first contribution for Diana Wallace Peach monthly word prompt Challenge! Such an awe-inspiring image…

Image by Stephan Keller

Ancient Evil…

The frozen face of a still white moon

Hung against the starless sky

Remembering Zolon crouched below

His hand clenched on ancient evil

Where men were swallowed

Bones crushed by ice white teeth…

                      ©anitadawes 2020

Do You have a House Guest…

 

Today my thoughts melt back to days of candyfloss…

Thinking of my parents and holidaying in Cornwall.  I was ten years old again, remembering stories of elves, pixies and fairies.

And the day I met my houseguest,  Sparrow.

It took a while getting to know his name, he didn’t like to be looked at straight on and the side view wasn’t as comfortable. If I dared to look, he would vanish. He stood about two feet tall, and a shiny blue light followed him, almost as though he lived inside a bubble. I always spoke in a low voice but it was years before he spoke to me.

He communicated by writing in the dust around the house. That makes it sound as though I am a filthy so and so, but let me tell you, there is always dust about, no matter how often you try to rid yourself of it.

I left one table in my study undusted, just for him and took photographs each time he left something for me to read. I asked so many questions, not knowing if he could hear me. Why are you here, why are you alone? Do I imagine you here?

He said he belonged to the house, something the estate agent couldn’t tell me about. That he wasn’t alone, he had a family here, but didn’t mind sharing this space I call home.

You see, the space around us isn’t empty, there is always something there.

You have seen it, that little something that flashes by that you cannot quite see, you felt it there, didn’t you?

You shake your head and keep moving, telling yourself it is nothing. Just the light, dancing the wrong way.

Take a closer look, you might have a house guest…

©Anita Dawes

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Life of a Writer… with advice from @AriMeghlen

 

The life of a writer is not what I thought it would be in the beginning.

Maybe years ago it was what I imagined, but in these digital times, it has changed so radically from that idyllic, if rather a romantic notion of what being a writer would be like.

These days, we all wear so many different hats, it’s a wonder we get around to writing anything.

What with the constant struggle to come up with interesting posts; reviewing all the books we read; trying to find new and effective promotional ideas.

Not to mention all the thinking, worrying, emails and planning, there are not enough hours in the day!

So when I read Ari Meghlen’s post on organising your life better, my interest was aroused! In this post, she recommends assigning different days for specific jobs and not deviating from this agenda. This could work, but not sure about using an alarm clock to keep me on track!

I have long attempted to devise a routine that would help me to get more done, but the harder I try, the more complicated and slower I seem to get.

I have always had a problem with rules and restrictions. Or rather, fate seems to, on my behalf. The minute I decide on a certain idea, a timetable or schedule, you can just bet something or someone will come along and wreck it!

I try to be more productive, especially with my writing, and one of the ways I have found that actually works is to try and write 1000 words every day. As I am up long before anyone else in my family, I can usually manage this with ease. So in one area at least, I have it covered!

Ari has some good ideas HERE on her post; does anyone else have anything to suggest that would improve the lives of us desperate to be better organised writers?