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

Magnetic Pull… #Poetry

 

Magnetic Pull

Gravity has a lot to answer for

When walking through town

Above my head, electric cables span the space

between the two sides of the street

Pigeons balanced, poised, waiting to

deposit something unwanted on my shoulder

There’s no defying gravity here

These feathered wonders hit their mark

Good luck they say.

A passing stranger said to buy a lottery ticket

You never know

So I did, and now I must wait and see…

©anitadawes

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 49

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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!

From her Mind… #Poetry

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From her Mind

I have in my many years seen shit float

Heard it speak many languages

So the other day I was surprised

When my granddaughter asked

“Nana, if the moon takes light from the sun

Does she cry tears of gold?”

I was taken back by this for a moment

Unsure how to answer

“I believe the moon has shed tears of many colours

Over the millions of years, she has sailed across our sky.”

She seemed content with my answer.

Aged six, I wondered where her thoughts came from

She carried on with her painting

Later, I placed her small picture on my fridge

The full moon in a dark sky, below, the land

a strange quilt of many colours

A twisted kaleidoscope

As I looked at it, I wondered

What kind of adult she will become…?

©anitadawes

Our black and white cat… #Poetry

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

Our cat flap has become a revolving door for hungry strays

Which I am sure they are not

I think, Merlin, our black and white, goes out on his rounds

Telling them there is food back at ours

As fast as I fill his bowl, some unknown visitor empties it

I know two of them, one white with black-tipped ears

The other, a black and white like ours that Jaye calls Bandit.

She is fond of him, but I think he looks like an old boxer

I tried putting his bowl away at night

He doesn’t like that, so now it stays out

Twenty-four seven. Hotel cat paws!

They are like silent ninjas

Merlin asleep in the front room with us

I barely hear the cat flap but

He doesn’t bother moving

I manage to catch the odd tail

Slithering out of the half-open flap

Like the remains of a snake slowly disappearing

There are one or two strays

that Merlin doesn’t like coming into the house

That’s when I hear the hissing,

the banging of the cat flap late at night

He’s choosy about who he lets in to eat his food

So now we buy extra food to keep them all happy…

©anitadawes

A Strange and Unexpected Visitor…

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It hasn’t rained for nearly two days and I was looking forward to escaping the confines of my office and getting some fresh air.  Anita called me to come outside and see something, and she was being very mysterious. I found her standing near my bonsai, pointing to the one on the end of the shelf.

I wondered what had caught her attention, for as far as I could tell, they were all there on the shelf, looking a bit scruffy to be fair for I haven’t been keeping them tidy due to the weather. None of them were missing or damaged, although I thought some of them were looking a bit like naughty children, revelling in my lack of attention.

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Image by Jaye Marie

That’s when I noticed what Anita was pointing to, a very small mushroom was happily growing in the pot alongside my bonsai tree. This tree was a gift from the birds some six years ago. I found it trying to grow between the cracks of the path, liked the shape and colour of the leaves and decided to keep it. I transferred it into a pot, but never did find out what it was called. So, after all this time, how did a mushroom manage to grow in the same pot?

 

Further along the shelf I noticed that my English cherry had changed into its autumn colour, a glorious red. I grew this tree from a cherry stone about seven years ago. It has never flowered, but I hope it will one day.

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Image by Jaye Marie

My eyes returned to the tiny mushroom, and I was reminded of our last unexpected visitor.

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Image by Jaye Marie

I had no idea this could happen, but have seen others since, so quite ordinary really…

©jayemarie

To Be or not to Be?

 

This morning, as I was reading the news on my PC, there was an article about recognising the signs of Alzheimers or dementia, and as I am constantly being told that I am well on my way to having one or the other, I gave it a read.

I suppose it was inevitable at my age, 75, for the remarks to start,  because I must admit I am nothing like I used to be. (Sssh, don’t tell anyone I said that!)

 For instance:

… How many times do I forget what I am doing, or what I was going to do?

… How many times do I ask the same question or misunderstand the answer?

… How many attempts to find the right words to express myself.

… Are my mood swings more pronounced? Although personally, despite public opinion, I think I am having more good moods lately.

… Am I have trouble learning new skills? (This is not exactly new, I have always been a bit dense, but I get there in the end!)

But on the good side:  (That I managed to find a few of these pleased me no end!)

I haven’t yet got lost in the street. (Although I did recently forget my dentist appointment)

I haven’t yet staggered down the road, waving my knickers in the air. (And I hope I never do, but it could happen apparently!)

I haven’t lost interest in any of my projects or hobbies. Just the time I need to do them!

I can still do sums in my head and follow a plot. (More or less!)

I have begun to worry less about our progress, but do wonder if this is down to losing the plot!

One of my main accusers is also displaying some of these telltale signs, so it is probably only a matter of time for either one of us falls foul to the disease of the aged…  This isn’t a competition I intend to win, however…

All joking aside, I am becoming a little concerned about the state of my brain. At first, it was amusing and on a good day, it can be hilarious, watching myself do the most stupid of things. Like going out for a walk without any shoes on, or forgetting to switch on the washing machine/computer/iron/oven and wonder why nothing happens. One of the best was wondering why the kettle didn’t quite fit in the fridge. Even I had to laugh at that one.

All of this is beginning to affect my writing too, despite all the notes I make, and the frantic checking to find what I actually wrote yesterday.

I still get a satisfying buzz when I achieve something or reach my daily total, but the extent of my elation is in itself alarming. I am having to work in short bursts, and this is playing havoc with my productivity!

The Book Tour for Silent PayBack is nearly over, and we have been overwhelmed by the amount of support and good wishes we have been receiving! So huge thanks to everyone involved!

The price will rise on Thursday, so if you don’t have your copy yet, you don’t have long!