#Jaye’s Journal ~ Growing old is no fun!

 

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I always thought I would sail through old age, much as I have coasted through my life so far. Don’t get me wrong, it has been eventful and not that pleasant on numerous occasions.

But I am a survivor if nothing else, and despite several attempts to stop me in my tracks, I have managed to overcome the obstacles that have been thrown my way.

Even the biggies, like two heart attacks and cancer.

So, why am I complaining?

All things considered, I thought growing older would be a doddle, but it isn’t.

I have become half a person.

50% of a person if you like, what with one good knee, one shoulder and hip, and of course, just half of a working brain.

Add galloping arthritis to the mix, something hell-bent on total domination and my days are getting better than ever!

I do try to improve the status quo with gentle yoga and stretching exercises, careful attention to my diet, mainly to stop eating known arthritis triggers, which is harder than you think for all my favourite foods are on that list!

Probably whistling at Dixie (whatever that means) for nothing seems to be working properly yet.

I am currently trying to simplify our workload (when did it all get so complicated?) in order to have more leisure (me time!) and to give the remaining brain cells a fighting chance, as I have an awful lot of writing I still want to do!

I would be interested in hearing how everyone else is coping (or not) with their advancing years…

 

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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

 

 

 

 

You Couldn’t Make it Up…

 

The week started with one hell of a noise in our road, culminating right outside our door. The local water board were fitting water meters or something all along our road, and we had several workmen, looking at the hole they had just made, looking at each other then back at the hole.  We wondered what the problem was for they seemed to have successfully finished several of our neighbour’s installations, but ours was obviously a problem of some sort.
After much head-scratching and worried expressions (reminding me of one of those comedy sketches), they all went away, leaving us none the wiser.

We found out that some idiot had tried to chop their way through a gas pipe, so we were subjected to more workmen (gas board this time) doing the same head-scratching, worried look routine as they tried to figure out what to do about it. Finally, the problem was sorted, the pipe was replaced and the hole partially filled in. But not with what came out of it… what did that mean?

We did wonder why they hadn’t finished filling in the hole, but we weren’t prepared for the next turn of events. It began to unravel like one of those Monty Python routines.
Two men came and put some of the dirt back, an hour later two different men used an angle grinder to make the hole in the pavement nice and square. Then they finished filling the hole.
Oh good, we thought, nearly finished.

Not a bit of it.

Nothing else happened that day, and we supposed they might have forgotten all about it.

Two days later a huge lorry turned up and proceeded to tarmac the hole with much song and dance. This job needed three workmen. I might point out that said hole was all of 15 inches square!
We were in stitches wondering how long we would have to put up with all the barriers that were beginning to look like a fixture if the week’s activities were anything to go by!

Another day passed and first thing the next morning a van arrived (was it my imagination, or did the driver look a bit sheepish?) and took all the barriers away and the saga of the hole was finally over.
It only took 9 workmen and 4 days…

You couldn’t make it up, could you? And if you did, would anyone believe you?

And despite the comedy/drama unfolding right outside our door, I actually managed to do quite a lot of writing. (and I didn’t need 9 workmen either!)

How about that!

Ghosts of the Past…

 

 

I was looking back through some old posts and found this one, written at the end of 2012. This was when the madness began…

 

2012: My New Year Resolution!

Next year I have decided (this is Jaye, by the way. Anita is busy writing!) that I will become more adept with all this technology. I have been stumbling along, picking up bits of information here there and everywhere and have come to glorious conclusion that my efforts are not quite good enough. Close, but no cigar, to quote Anita.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think I have learnt a massive amount of stuff in my stumbling’s but if we want to be successful in any way at all, I have to learn more. This will not be easy, for at my age (69) my brain cells are dying faster than I can count! I have never liked computers, I think they were invented by the devil to drive us all insane. But the reason I persist (apart from the fact that I am one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet) is that my mind cannot accept the fact that the devil is possibly cleverer than I am at using a computer.

It’s only a machine, I tell myself.

It’s do-able, so do it.

Other people do it and do it well. So can I.

Really?

Who am I kidding?

Myself unfortunately. But I digress. I can do anything I set my mind to, always have. Might take me forever, or might have to modify what I wanted in the first place, but I usually get there. (Once I have driven everyone bonkers in the mean time!)

Now for some back patting…

In 2012, I learnt how to upload Anita’s books onto Amazon. (And you don’t want to know how long that took!)

After that, I uploaded them all to Smashwords. (Difficult, but worth it, amazing people!)

I even managed to create a paperback copy of one of our books with Createspace. (Don’t ask!)
I had a go at designing our own covers, but need to improve a hell of a lot!

Created this blog site, but still not sure I am doing it right (or even if I am happy with it!)
But as I said earlier, it’s all out there in 2013 and all I have to do is find it and make it work.
How hard can it be

 

I was looking for inspiration and usually manage to find small nuggets of the stuff in our old files and posts. I needed to find a substantial amount of it, as my mind was a less than delightful blank! My only excuse is that our house is fighting the flu bug, and intelligent thought was the first casualty!

I wanted to sum up the past year, wax lyrical about how much better 2019 was going to be, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think of anything worth writing about. 2018 was a disappointing year, a wall-to-wall struggle if I am honest. We were out of our depth for most of it, playing catch-up and pretending everything was fine but we were nowhere as productive as we wanted to be. So if the New Year was going to be more of the same, I don’t think we had the heart to soldier on.

Reading that old post and feeling the excitement of our beginning, made me sit up and wonder where all that excitement has gone. Where was my determination to crack the code that would open the door to our success?

I was sure it couldn’t have gone completely and was probably lurking around somewhere, but I had searched for it and come up empty, leaving me feeling sad and frustrated. I mean, I had a book to finish, a very long to-do list and a pile of fascinating and helpful articles and information to wade through. There was also that list of dreams ideas for trailers, posters and promotions.

Full of germs and feeling terrible, I wasn’t really in the mood to try and put our world back to rights, but I knew I wanted to, needed to if I was honest. There was no way we were going to stop, so I have three days to pull myself together, ready to step into 2019.

Not much has changed since then but surely something must have?

Do you ever look back to see how far you have come?

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

 

 

 

Dust… #Poetry

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Dust

Last night an angel

came to haunt my dreams

On waking, I found two numbers

Written in the dust on my windowsill

I know that doesn’t say much

for my housekeeping

Anyway, numbers, 11 and 14

I made a note, hoping there would be more

Sure enough, by the end of the week

I had six numbers that I played on the lotto

Thank God for dreaming, I won something!

Try not to dust too often ladies

You never know when you might be visited…

©anitadawes 2020

Not a Good Week?

 

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Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay 

 

Already I am not enjoying 2020 much.

I don’t feel right and my brain is refusing to do anything constructive. Inspiration seems to be on holiday, and if I get any slower, I’ll be at a standstill.

 

The results of the mammogram I had just before Christmas hasn’t arrived yet, and until they do, I always fear the worse and this is probably affecting everything else.

Various appliances around the house are playing up and the kitchen light died last week. It’s one of those circular fluorescent tube lights and finding any replacement tubes is getting difficult. I really should replace it but can’t face doing it now.

So, the only light we have in the kitchen comes from the cooker hood, which is not ideal. You risk being poisoned in our house this week as I cannot see what I’m doing!

And can you guess how many times I have switched on the light and waited for it to come on?

The internet is being its usual annoying self, and I am getting so tired of nothing working the way it’s supposed to.

And finally, I have made an appointment at the opticians, as my eyes are tired, and the headaches are getting worse. I worry that they did something wrong when the cataract was removed last year, so best to get it checked out.

 

But…

 

The light tube turned up and I can now see what I’m doing in the kitchen.

The results of the mammogram turned up and ‘show nothing suspicious’ so I am delighted to be another year free from cancer. Four years now, so looking good!

Had my eyes tested again and will have to have new glasses as my eyes have changed again since the cataracts were removed last year. Two new pairs cost me a bloody fortune too, but I was assured that my eyes should settle down now.

No improvement in the brain /inspiration department, but at least I am trying to find a way around it. I mean, everything else seems to be on the up…

©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?

 

#Tuesday Book Blog ~ Doggerel by Sue Vincent #HumourousVerse @SCVincent

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The relationship between Ani, the inimitable Small Dog and her two-legs, first came to light in ‘Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two’. Their poetic adventures continued in ‘Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End’. In this new collection of poems, their daily life together takes centre stage. From the perfidy of humans who insist on bathing dogs, to the unpunctuality of writers at mealtimes, the relationship between two legs and four is explored in verse. The Small Dog reveals her continuing fascination with chicken, tennis balls and the compulsion to re-write Shakespeare, while exposing her two legs’ misdemeanours to the world.

 

We first met Ani when we started blogging nearly seven years ago, along with Sue, her long suffering two legs and all the other wonderful people we have discovered along the way, and they have changed the sometimes-lonely life of two writer/bloggers into a delightful journey.

Doggerel, this wonderful book of poems will introduce everyone to the inimitable charm that is Ani, the four-legged poet extraordinaire, whose touchingly beautiful face adorns many of the pages.

All the poems are a delight to read, but my all-time favourite must be ‘The Small Dog Suffers…’  describing the many ways Ani has of trying to get around Sue for more food, ending with this last line…

‘and by the way, for afters, I shall help you eat your dinner…’

Sue Vincent’s poems always manage to make me smile and make my day a lot brighter!


About the Author

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer currently living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. Raised in a spiritually eclectic family she has always had an unorthodox view on life, particularly the inner life, which is often reflected in her writing, poetry and paintings.

She maintains a popular blog, https://scvincent.com and is currently owned by Ani, the inimitable Small Dog, who also writes.

Sue lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born. She began writing and teaching online several years ago, and was invited to collaborate with Dr G. Michael Vasey on their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power”.

Since then she has published a number of books, beginning with “Swords of Destiny”, a magical tale set in the ancient landscape of Yorkshire. Her retelling of the Egyptian myths, “The Osiriad”, came shortly afterwards along with her collaboration with Stuart France. Together they have written the Triad of Albion, the Doomsday trilogy and the first books in the Lands of Exiles series.

These books tell a true adventure in a fictional manner. They are at once a journey into the ancient and sacred landscape of Albion and the story of a growing and rather oddball friendship.

The Triad of Albion was followed by the Doomsday trilogy and France and Vincent are now working on the three books in the Lands of Exile series, where the adventures of Don and Wen stray down the paths of fiction.

They have also published a number of graphic works together exploring folklore and legend, as well as writing independently. https://franceandvincent.com/

Sue, along with Steve Tanham and Stuart France, is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, an international modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. https://thesilenteye.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise Christmas… #Poetry

 

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Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Surprise Christmas

My granddaughters have decided

on a surprise Christmas

For their 73-year-old grandma

Good job they told me

where they were taking me

Pulling up outside the ice rink

I carried three cushions with me

One for my backside

One each for my elbows

A crash helmet for my head

I need to preserve

whatever grey matter I have left

what a sight I must have looked

with holly sticking out of my helmet

somehow, I managed to stay upright

on the thin blades they strapped to my feet…

©anitadawes

Wrong Move!

 

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Image by Scott Webb from Pixabay

I had half an hour before the man came to install the new bannister rail, so I decided to nip to the market.

I crossed the road from my house, hardly reaching the pavement when one of those alien people came towards me, head down and holding a mobile phone where his face should be.

Now, as a rule, they see you coming from the corner of their eye, but not this one. I stepped to the right. So did he. I stepped to the left, he did the same, and we seemed to be doing a two-step.

Now I know this happens all the time with people with phones in their faces and is usually quick and you are on your way.

Not this one. He wouldn’t look up from the phone and by now I was getting annoyed, so I let him have both barrels. “Will you stand ******* still so I can get to where I’m going?”

He looked up with a smile on his face, and I guess he wasn’t expecting a woman of my age to have such a mouth on her. He looked to be in his mid-twenties and for a second I thought I might get a mouthful back.

To my surprise, he grabbed my arms and danced me around in a kind of waltz. When he stopped, I was facing my front door, showing me just how far I hadn’t got. He kissed my cheek and wished me a Merry Christmas, leaving me standing there with my mouth open.

For a woman of my age that was quite a moment, and I watched as he went on his way, phone in his face again, neatly sidestepping the people who came towards him.

I stood there with a stupid smile on my face, wondering if any of the neighbours had been watching. If any of them were, they probably thought I had lost my mind. I decided to wait for the bannister man, before taking a second shot at getting to the market.

Hopefully, I wouldn’t bump into any more strange men…

©anitadawes