#Jaye’s Journal…

Monday was the day for tackling the new editor on WordPress.

First impressions were good, and I managed to create a standard paragraph post with an image. Said goodbye to all my misgivings and felt a little smug!

On Tuesday I tried to do it again, but it turned into a wrestling match. For some reason, it didn’t seem as easy today. I swear they have changed things overnight!

It always take me forever to muddle my way through anything new, so I know I will get there eventually but I would get on better if they stopped tweaking everything!

Today, everything seemed to fall into place as if by magic. I’m playing around with colour and found where to add the tags and categories!

Provided nothing changes too dramatically, I might hang on to my sanity after all!

Speaking of things changing, I logged into Buffer this morning to schedule a week’s promo posts, only to be met with this message…

WELCOME TO NEW BUFFER!!

The air in the office was blue for nearly an hour as I tried to discover exactly what they had changed. Turned out to be everything and I nearly threw in the towel!

First, my current password didn’t work, and I found out by the process of elimination, that they had reverted to a password from years ago. Not a good sign…

Feeling far more confident than I had a right to, I switched heads and made sense of it all, so that’s another notch on my belt this week.

If I could just figure out why Google have abandoned me, I would be well pleased!  I like to upload some of my photos there, to be accessed by my tablet but for some reason, I can’t do that anymore despite trying everything I can think of…

When did life get this complicated?

I’m signing off now to work on this month’s newsletter with Mailchimp.

Now that WAS one huge learning curve!


For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita’s books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, where mine (Jaye) are all mystery thrillers.

We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read.

Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon.

If you enjoyed your visit, we would love you to leave a comment…

Hoping to see you again!

Jaye’s Journal… Progress Report!

 

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Progress Report

 

Just when I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be doing anything creative this year, there has been a breakthrough.

It was bad enough before Covid19 but since it arrived, I have been floundering.

I am used to feeling like a ship without a rudder, indeed, I have done some of my best work like that, but this was different. There was no ship, never mind a rudder, no get up and go or even much of a guilt trip about my non-activity.

There was so much I wanted to do this year and it wasn’t really my fault that so much has happened to derail me. Malfunctions of every kind, postponements galore and then along came lockdown.

I would normally have loved an excuse to hole up like a hermit, as I love being on my own. Quite a different thing to be banned from going out and it has really been getting my goat.

I tried to reason with myself, even tried bribing but I wasn’t buying it.

Then something must have happened.

I have no idea what, but my brain started working. I mean, it was cooperating like crazy and before I knew it, I was in my working clothes and sawing wood like a crazy person.

Replacing the old bonsai shelves is underway, and that’s not all…

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One done…

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As you can see, not before time…

I have also been editing the last few chapters of Anita’s new book.

Picked up a book I have been dying to read, Himself by Jess Kidd and am enjoying reading it.

While all this was going on, I managed to get a priority slot with Tesco, so starving is now on hold, at least for now.

I have finally been working on the storyboard for my new WIP, for my detective, David Snow, has won the battle for his sequel to Out of Time. I had the feeling he would.

So, I seem to be firing on all cylinders now and hope it lasts, for I am enjoying being back to my old self. Figuratively speaking, of course…

 

 

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