This week in the Den of Doom…

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The lockdown and isolation has entered the Den of Doom (my office) with a vengeance this week.

We have tried desperately to maintain an optimistic attitude about everything, including all those annoying PC malfunctions. I seem to spend more and more time trying to catch up, meaning I never manage to get around to anything creative anymore.

So much so, our respective muses have been AWOL for days!

Undaunted, I had been looking forward to working on the new bonsai shelves. The wood has arrived and so did the freezing weather. I don’t do freezing to death as my old bones refuse to function below a certain temperature.

So, the waiting will continue…

Shame, for I was looking forward to spending hours away from the computer.

 

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Life isn’t waiting for me…

 

In the middle of the week, I started what I thought was a bad cold, streaming nose and sneezing. Of course, I immediately thought I was dying, but relieved to discover that sneezing is not a symptom of the Covid19 virus.

When the tickly cough arrived, I slipped into denial in a hurry.

The experts say that most people will only get mild symptoms and recover quickly, but not people over 75 who also have serious medical problems like heart conditions, asthma and hypertension, also like me.

Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism and I’m pretty sure I’m not dying. In the past I have beaten some usually fatal conditions, so not expecting to lose this battle either if it turns out that I do have it.

The good news is my temperature is normal and I feel fine…

 

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#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

 

My Last Escape?

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Visiting the Garden Centre is always a bit risky, for they have some interesting plants (and bonsai too) so I have been known to lose control and I needed to order the wood for the new bonsai shelves.

The weather was dreadful, cold, wet and miserable. Not even the thought of spoiling myself to a new plant (or three) helped to cheer me up.

It had been so long since we had gone anywhere and the journey to the garden centre is a very pleasant one, by the time we were halfway there my mood had improved a lot. I love living in the country, there are so many fields, trees and greenery in Hampshire it’s quite impossible for me to stay miserable for long!

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

The morning turned into a right fiasco as the only suitable wood they had was a bit fancy and far too expensive. On top of that the man in the timber department didn’t seem to know what he was doing and wanted to charge us a fortune for the wood I wanted, and an extra £20 for delivery!

I tried to remember where I went last time but my brain either couldn’t (or wouldn’t) dredge that information up.

We decided to drive on to another garden centre which was full to the rafters with gorgeous Spring flowers. The wealth of colour was staggering but again I managed to control myself as our garden needs more help than new arrivals now. Their wood department had nothing suitable either so feeling decidedly unloved, travel sick and wet, we went home.

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Image by Anelka from Pixabay 

Once home and warm, I remembered where I went last time. Our local B&Q has a garden centre (and the very wood I needed) at very reasonable prices too.

If the government and Covid-19 have their way, this might well be my last trip to the outside world…

 

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#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

 

 

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 51

 

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How has 2019 been for you?

 

I have been doing more thinking than doing this week, about how long I have been on this planet.

I have seen the end of 74 years and looked forward to 75 New Years in my time. I think this means that I have lived through 7 centuries!

Bloody hell, no wonder I feel so old!

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I love the thought of starting a brand-new century but can’t help feeling it will feel very odd at first. I always have trouble getting the date right, so not expecting any change there.

I normally give a lot of thought to all those New Year plans and promises but for some reason, I have been dragging my heels. I have spoken on here about some of the things I want to do but my heart hasn’t really been in it.

 

I have been feeling far more tired than usual, so yesterday, when my batteries failed quite dramatically, and I literally had to sit down step down. I am back on my feet today but think I need some of those strong batteries. You know the ones I mean, with that crazy bunny dashing around, like an idiot!

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All joking aside, I don’t like feeling I’m too old to keep up and the thing is, I can’t tell if things are getting harder, or if I am becoming less able to cope.

Some serious thinking will need to be done eventually to figure out if there is a way forward, maybe in some lesser degree.

Everything seems to be getting more complicated and there’s not much I can do about that, and this is where being stubborn really pays dividends…

 

Are you looking forward to the new century, or do you have misgivings too?

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 50

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I suppose it was inevitable that an element of Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol should have descended on our house. Anita is very fond of this story and always watches at least one version of it at this time of year, but I have a feeling it has something to do with it being a new century and not just a New Year that is due to start in approx. 19 days’ time.

I am always a little apprehensive at this time of year, wondering what Fate has in store for us all, and at the same time trying to imagine new ways to make it better than this one.

A new century is rather special and needs to be planned with a bit more care than usual, I think. We have been blogging now for nearly 7 years and we have made some amazing progress and friends in that time, but so far, the sale of our books hasn’t exactly improved our lifestyle.

We would love to increase the number of our subscribers /friends, write more books and actually sell some of them.

Although I am very proud of all I have learned, I know there is so much more I need to know out there. Already, the to-do list is growing, headed by getting rid of that dreadful subscription pop up and replacing it with a better sign up form, coupled with finding new ways to connect with more readers.

Our newsletters need improving, and our presence on some media sites could be better too.

And I also need to find the time to start enjoying my long-abandoned hobby of craftwork again, and if I can, I think this would make 2020 a special time for me…

 

What do you want to do differently in 2020?

 

We would love to hear from you…

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 47

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I actually took the afternoon off yesterday.

My head was aching, so I switched off the PC, grabbed my gardening jacket and went out to our back garden. It wasn’t raining for a change, but the grass was much too wet to be cut. It was, however, very cold.

Every year about this time, I like to start putting the bonsai to bed. This involves removing all the fallen leaves and any weeds. Yes, even in those small pots we get weeds, usually brought by the wind. Sometimes, the local squirrels like to deposit peanuts and other seeds in them too, despite the thick growth of moss.

Once the trees are bare, I check for damaged or diseased branches. I also remove any branches that have appeared in the wrong place, so much easier to see at this time of year.

By this time my hands were freezing, so I cleared up the mess I made and rushed back indoors. I wasn’t outside long, but my head had cleared and I felt good. Nothing quite like fresh air for blowing the cobwebs away.

And although there is still more to do out there, I was glad to get something done.

Suitably refreshed, I spent the rest of the day working on the post I had promised for Colleen Chesebro about how I managed to create the well-received cover for SPB.

This involved several screenshots to show the process, for I find images far more helpful than words alone, so I am closer to being finished.

We recently sent out a newsletter to our subscribers, (which I feel could have been better, thanking everyone for their support for SPB and news of upcoming events.)

Any chance you could let us know what you thought of it?

We would really appreciate feedback, so future newsletters will be better and more interesting.

©jayemarie

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~Week 45

 

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I have been so busy all year, writing (re-writing) and editing (and more editing) my latest detective thriller, Silent PayBack. Then there was the amazing book launch last month and some amazing reviews which totally blew me away, and it took some time for my brain to settle down again.

The past few days, finally being alone with my thoughts, so to speak, I have suddenly realised that the year is nearly over. In a few short weeks, it will be Christmas and then (and this doesn’t bear thinking about) it will be 2020.

2020!

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

I can’t help hoping that it will be a very special year, a new era for us all, maybe?

I had thought that I could take it a bit easier next year and not make any definite plans, preferring to wait and see, but my brain obviously didn’t get that memo and is busy having a field day, trying out different ideas on for size, in theory at least. So, one way or another, things have been creeping up on me.

Anita has a new book coming out, so I will be involved with all the editorial and promotional stuff for that, and we also plan to publish some of her wonderful poems.  (More news and images to follow!)  I have had no ideas for my next book, although the thought of a Christmas murder mystery appealed to me the other day.

I also want to learn how to use PowerPoint, and finally, get to grips with Scrivener. I have always been a loyal Word fan, but since I updated it earlier this year, it’s not the same anymore and everyone seems to wax lyrical on how helpful Scrivener is for a writer, so it might be time to bite that bullet, just to see if they are right!

There are a few family things that will be changing around me too, and I’m not quite sure whether to be terrified or not. Change doesn’t usually bother me though, good or bad, they usually just need some minor adjusting, but I have the feeling some of these changes will be serious and far-reaching…

©jayemarie

Thank you so much for reading my Journal, and please leave a comment or two!

Jaye’s Amazon Author Page:  https://Author.to/JayeLink

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 42

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It had to had to happen, I suppose…

 

This weeks Journal will not be about my new book release, for I have waxed lyrical about Silent PayBack for what seems like a lifetime. (although, it does seem to be doing rather well, so thank you for all of your support!)

It won’t be about gardening or my bonsai either, because the constant rain has kept me indoors. I dread to think what will happen if it doesn’t stop raining soon. I will probably need an army of machete wielding volunteers to bring what is probably a jungle by now, back under control.

Seeking some new and interesting topics, I found this interesting article about the founder of the internet, Professor Leonard Kleinrock, while browsing Quora for interesting things to write about.

This Professor Kleinrock created the internet on 29th October 1969, and on this monumental anniversary, he has been having second thoughts.

He says that in the beginning, he was thinking about people talking to computers, not people talking to people… and that as engineers, they were not thinking in terms of nasty people behaviour…

I am puzzled by how long it took to come to this conclusion!

So, a New Connection Lab has been formed to welcome research into how to stop online evils, using something called Block Chain Technology, which sounds too much like tinkering with people and their reputations to me.

Apparently, this genius has discovered that this nastiness is far more than John X being nasty to Peter X. It’s nation against nation, and organised crime doing ‘big bad things.’

He says he doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water, but do they really know what they are doing, or what the consequences will be down the line, any more than they did nearly fifty years ago?

Or are we heading for an internet like they have in China?

I wonder what else I can find on Quora?

 

 

Thank you for reading – please feel free to comment or share –

best wishes – Anita & Jaye