When Shadows Fade…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

When morning shadows fade, I shrink back into darkness

Forgotten until daylight when I can once again search

For the one who stole my lifeforce while I was dreaming me.

Yet, he has no face, not fully formed

I must be quick before he takes more from the shadows

To become the one I am meant to be, leaving me in darkness

Never to step into the light to find my own form

To live outside my own form, my own shadow

The faceless one will not give back with ease

The fight will be fierce, I must protect the little I have

I am forced to hide in darker shadows, wait to find help there

from those who wait to live outside.

Not an easy thing to ask, each life force is a precious jewel

To find one that is jaded is my hope

One who has lost desire for the outside.

To borrow from this being is dangerous,

as I might forget my own desire

A risk I must take if I am to live outside my shadow

For there is one there I dearly wish to beside

I have watched her from the shadows

Planned our wedding, seen the birth of our children

I have yet to make it so,

to breathe the same air, I must find the jaded one

plead my case, steal his life force if I must

She is worth the evil I would carry to the outside

A sin on my new-born soul.

It can carry many more, not that I intend to

I will escape the evil voice that haunts my shadow life

Lay down all previous sin as I take form from the jaded one

As I do so, he will fade into eternity

There he will live again, in a better form of self

There is no way back, still, I will send him

His sins may be as fleas on a dog’s back, too many to count

I care not, my need is greater

I see him now, crouched in the darkness, a lone wolf

Waiting his own demise

I am here to help him on his way, I will ask first,

if his answer is unfavourable, I will steal from him

Gather more from those who hide with him

They have given up, I shall not

 I will find what was stolen from me

I will live again, outside my shadow…

©anitadawes

Has the New Year started well for you?

Picture by AFP

I have never once thought that blogging could be detrimental to your health, but just lately, I have come to think that it could be.

Surely not, I hear you say, and I will admit it doesn’t seem likely, not on the surface, anyway.

I was nervous when I first started writing/blogging. Could I get to grips with the technology involved? Would I be any good at it? Would anyone ever talk to me?

I had a million questions, which are all very natural when you embark on a new adventure, and although at times it has been a frustrating and difficult journey, overall I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

So what on earth am I on about?

Just lately, a strange feeling has been creeping in, insidiously, like wisps of smoke. The internet is like a mirror, reflecting everything we bloggers do.  As a good proportion of bloggers are writers, you get to see what their lives and careers are like and it can be very reassuring if they are struggling just like you, facing the same problems and difficulties, but the more successful ones are an inspiration, showing you what you can accomplish if you work hard enough.

We have been blogging for nearly eight years now, and have met some amazing people.  Helpful, considerate people, generous with their advice and friendship. You gradually become part of their world, a world where anything is possible and you can afford the luxury of dreaming.

I can hear some of you tapping your fingernails, wondering where all of this is going, so I will try to explain.

Everyone says that with patience and hard work you can achieve your goals. But I have been patient and worked as hard as I can, but no nearer to anything even remotely like my goals.

And this was my epiphany… maybe my goals are wrong?

Something must be wrong with me, for on a bad day my enthusiasm wanes. All that wonderful optimism seems to leave the building.

I have been thinking about this year and it is clear that I must come up with some resolutions that work before the men in white coats come to take me away!

Not that this year can be the same as before for so many things are different now, starting with trying to get my head around it being 2020!

Then there was my number one symbol of the New Year, Big Ben. Seeing him up to his ears in scaffolding was a little upsetting on New Years Eve…

Big Ben has always been a very special symbol in my life. I grew up in London hearing the deep resonant sound of the bell. The imposing majesty of the building is one of my most enduring memories of my time there.

London has many such landmarks and I love them all, but that tall clock tower on the river Thames embankment is by far my favourite. By rights, my favourite should be the river itself, feeling as I do about water, but no. Very close though.

‘Big Ben’ is really just a nickname for the great bell itself, inside the famous clock tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. Built in 1858 and 96 metres high, it is the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. But the bell itself is not the biggest. St Pauls Cathedral has a slightly bigger one, weighing in at 17 tonnes.

Scarily, the tower leans slightly to the North West, apparently caused by the tunnelling for the Jubilee Line Underground train.

I came across this picture of Big Ben a few weeks ago, and I was instantly transported me back to another New Year’s Eve so many years ago.

That particular year, my friends and I had decided to celebrate the coming of the New Year in style. We would attempt some kind of pub crawl, visiting as many bars and public houses that we could manage, in spite of the volume of people all doing the same thing; ending up at the embankment for the fireworks and Big Ben’s majestic chimes.

We had such fun that night even though I knew I would not contemplate doing it again, as the number of people all seriously intent on having as much fun as possible, created more madness and chaos than I ever thought possible and a lot of the time I was scared to death.

You see all the crowds on television, but could you imagine being there?

Of course, there could have been so much more trouble than there actually was. That many people, most of them hysterical with excitement and booze could have deteriorated into a riot. But it never seems to. No matter how squashed, drunk or freezing cold you happened to be, there is some kind of reverence going on, as if it would be a sin to ruin that night in any way.

Our journey around London that night was exciting, but I was glad when we found ourselves by the river just before midnight. We had left most of the throng behind and it was almost eerily quiet by the water. The fireworks were further up river and we seemed to have Big Ben all to ourselves.

It was very cold that night, but at least it wasn’t raining. I was one of the few people in our group that didn’t have a partner, something I knew I wanted to change in the New Year. I had no idea of the direction my life would be taking, no plans and not many dreams either, for I had already learned that dreaming was futile.

So that evening ended on quite a solemn note, and as the hands of the clock above us moved closer to the 12, the tears were not far away.

I had never been that close to Big Ben before and was not prepared for how loud the chimes would be. First came the melody and the vibrations seemed to travel up my legs until my whole body seemed to be humming. When the big bell started to chime the hour, the vibrations became longer and deeper and it felt as though my heart would break.

More than fifty years later, the sound of that bell has the same effect, instantly transforming me back to that lonely young woman who had already taught herself not to believe in dreams.

I obviously knew a thing or two back then, for my life has not been full of the stuff that dreams are made of, rather the opposite. But I am still here, not quite ready to give up. So is Big Ben, although undergoing major refurbishment along with the Houses of Parliament. Seeing all that scaffolding around the tower was worrying. If anything went wrong, we could lose Big Ben forever…

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

 

 

Is There an Elephant in Your Room?

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Image by Dmitry Abramov from Pixabay 

 

The New Year has begun and already I’m running late!

Week two and I haven’t written my first journal entry yet.

Actually, I haven’t done much of anything this year and I hope this isn’t an indication of the rest of the new year, but I have the feeling it might be. The elephant in my office is rather small, but his presence is disturbing.

Probably time to remove the constriction of the week numbers, so I can just write when the muse dictates, no regular Journal.

A lot of writers/bloggers have been waxing lyrical about all their plans for2020, but the more I read, the more I realise I cannot be like that anymore.

Something has been changing inside my head and it is time to sort out the rather sweet animal that lurks in the corner of my office!

Towards the end of 2019, I was getting more and more depressed about my stress levels and the lack of activity in my brain. Wondering if I really was getting too old for all this blogging/writing malarkey. So much so, I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible to be a blogger and a writer, or does one always suffer from the competition of the other?

Maybe it should be more about quality, not quantity, shouldn’t it?

This sounds hopeful but exactly what does it mean and how can I apply it to my already complicated life?

The little grey elephant is shaking his head, so no help there…

A lot of people have been looking at their stats, so I staggered over to WP and looked at ours, looking for inspiration or confirmation I suppose.

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Our progress since we began blogging has been slow and steady. Pretty impressive for an ageing technophobe, I thought. But maybe not exactly reassuring now that my brain is seriously out to lunch these days.

There is a lot we want to do this year, that’s if I can find out where my get up and go is hiding!  I refuse to believe that this could be the year that the elephant wins, even if he is only a little one…

 

Jobs Outstanding:

 

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Finish editing Anita’s brilliant new book, Running Moon…

 

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Finish creating the book of Anita’s poetry

 

 

 

 

 

And possibly start to write the new story that my character DI Snow has been nagging me about!

And finally, introduce more automation to our website, to give the elephant a few days off…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

I’d love to hear from you, so leave me some comments?

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 52 ~ End of an Era!

Jaye's Journal x12

 

All Change…

 

In the last few months, after what seemed like a lifetime of inertia, the world has begun to change and not just because of Christmas and the approaching new year and century. Our world seems to be changing both politically and socially.

I think we have been doing some changing too, and not entirely for the best. We seem far more tired than I can ever remember being, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with our ages.

At this time of year, we are usually talking about the new year and what we might expect or plan to do with it, but honestly, for once we cannot be asked.

Since we began blogging in 2012, our followers and stats have grown rather well considering how much there was to learn. However, I have the feeling we won’t progress any further until we find new areas and ideas to develop. We also need to figure out what else we need to know, for although we have done well in some areas, we haven’t sold a huge amount of books, and worse than that, the writing has ground to a halt.

Maybe our goal for 2020 should be to stop worrying, slow down a bit and smell the roses?

I usually feel sad on New Year’s Eve, but I have a feeling I won’t this year, for it has been a right old mixed bag of pain, frustration and depression, with hardly any good bits!

I normally open all the doors when Big Ben chimes at midnight, to allow the old year to limp away. Tonight I will be sorely tempted to help it on its way with my foot!

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Come on in 2020 and show us all a little more peace and joy, pretty please?

 

 

 

#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

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December 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the phrase by design. It can be used in any manner — a label, a mantra, a story. Go where the prompt leads!

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At my age, I don’t think about changing my life

It’s more like how to hang on to what’s left of it

If I did give thought to it

I would like to design my own parents

After thoroughly vetting them first

Their childhood, their parents

As they will become my grandparents

Very important

Do they love each other

As much as they show the world?

Not really knowing if this idea

Is better than pot luck

Two people getting together

Then Fate takes over

Thing is, it is not always kind

Mostly, I believe we cannot change anything…

©anitadawes

Christmas Past…

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

 

We have always been a family that goes all out for Christmas. It was always a very special occasion for all of us.

Right back when the children were small, our living room would be transformed into a magical fairy land.

We were never well off and for most of the year, life was tough but one way or another, the stops would be pulled way out at Christmas.

Our tree and the decorations were legendary, and the ceiling would literally be covered in crystal droplets, stars and tinsel garlands.

One year, we had the opportunity to move to a new house on Christmas Eve, so we packed everything away and reinstalled it all in the new place. It took all night, but that Christmas was very special.

 

My own childhood was dismal, I don’t remember celebrating any Christmas or birthdays, so I became obsessed with making up for it when I grew up.

We have always tried to come up with a different theme every year and have had trees of every colour and size. Once we even had an upside-down tree!

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image by Jaye Marie

 

Christmas Present

 

Sadly, this year is going to be different. The family are all grown up and some are married with their own families, so we won’t be spending Christmas Day together for the very first time.

We will, however, be celebrating with them on Boxing Day instead.

Time moves on, we are getting seriously old and beginning to feel a little bit left behind. The thought of Christmas future is out of focus, a distant dream that may simply fade away…

 

©jayemarie

 

 

 

 

How to Make a Book Cover on Picmonkey.com My Way…

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The idea for this post came about after the amazing launch of my mystery thriller book, Silent PayBack. So many people admired the cover, and Colleen Chesebro wondered if I could write a post describing how I did it.

I have tried to make it as user friendly as I could and really hope it inspires you to make great covers too.

Picmonkey.com is an amazing site and has a free option, so you can play around and get used to all the lovely effects they have. It is possible to make covers and posters with the free option, but for a very reasonable £7 a month, you get a lot more choice of techniques.

It took me an age to decide what the cover for SPB should look like, and even longer to make it. I’m not that clever with technology, and if a process is too complicated, I tend to run for the hills! I have tried several other sites in my search for one I could learn to use, but always return to Picmonkey.com

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First, open Picmonkey.com. Once you log in, you are presented with the work area.

Choose a blank template: Up on the left, by the Picmonkey symbol, I clicked on CREATE NEW and chose a blank template 1000 x 1600 (kindle size)

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Also on the left, just beneath CREATE NEW, I selected Add an image. Added my background image and stretched it to fit the blank template.

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I clicked on Add an image again and added the first man’s face to the background image. I chose erase from the box on the right and removed everything from the right side of his face.

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Then I added the heroes face using the same method and removed the material from the side of his face too. You will have noticed by now that I am working in layers, all of which can be selected in the box on the right if I need to go back and change anything.

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When I was happy with each layer, I started to add the text. Title, subtitle and author name, all added individually as layers. Finally, I downloaded the finished cover image to my pc.

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All the image layers can be faded individually if necessary. The ability to create these layers on Picmonkey.com enables you to make some great effects.

There is so much more on offer too, so many great ideas and effects, and the best part is, its so easy to use with all the many step by step tutorials.

I should also mention that all the images I use come from Pixabay.com.


 

There is an alternative (easier) method of removing unwanted background, something that comes in very handy for all manner of ideas.

CREATE NEW < size < choose translucent background < Add an image < erase unwanted bits< save

This saves to your hub to used later.

Creating book covers and promotional posters has never been this much fun!

 

©jayemarie

 

 

Four Seasons… #Poetry

 

Four Seasons

The mournful sound of Summer dying

Bare trees, one green leaf clinging

With the last of Summers sigh

Autumn slips past too fast

To the cold grip of Winter

Hard ground beneath your feet

Creatures sleeping, waiting

Cupboards fully stocked for snowfall

Bright buttoned snowmen built

Wooden sleighs sliding

Children laughing

Let me turn the clock forward

Bring on the Spring rains

The smile of daffodils

Let the sun shine

so I can feel warm again…

©anitadawes

The Long Walk… #Poetry

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

 

The Long Walk

I want to dance

To swim the warm waters

Run barefoot through fields of yesterday

When you were there

I have lost more than my soul mate

There are no sunsets, no moon rise

The breeze no longer moves through the trees

The leaves are still

You have taken the air from this world

I can no longer breathe without you here

I wait, drifting like a slow-moving river

Until I can walk the path you have taken…

©anitadawes

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 49

Jaye's Journal x12

 

This week I have set myself the task of re-editing an old manuscript, one with the old-fashioned straight speech marks. I did try to find a way to remove/replace them with curly ones, with no luck. At least, not on the version of Word I am using.

There must be a way to do this, but the advice I get from googling the problem seems impossible to implement. So, unless someone knows an easy way to do this, I am destined to be doing it by hand for the next six months!

Changing the subject to something a little closer to my heart, I have to report that Autumn is happening rather slowly outside my back door where most of my bonsai trees are taking their sweet time to drop their leaves.

Which turned out for the better really, for me that is, as it gives me more time to clear up after the ones that have obliged. Because it has become so cold out there, I am having to cut my trips outside short as my hands get so painful even with gloves on, which means I am having trouble keeping up with everything.

Normally, my trees drop their leaves quite quickly and I can get them all tidied up and bedded down in one afternoon. But this extremely cold weather is playing havoc with all things garden related.

The grass is getting longer by the minute but cannot be cut as it’s much too wet. There is going to be such a backlog to catch up on come Spring as most of my trees will need repotting by then too.

On one of my lightning trips outside, I happened to notice the state of some of the bonsai shelving. The wood is rotting, the brackets are rusting and the wall these shelves live on desperately needs a coat of paint too, so the list of outstanding jobs is getting longer.

This year, through no fault of my own, I have not been a very good gardener, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it, so next year I have a lot of work to do once the good weather returns…

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I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!