Jaye’s Journal # Week 41

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

Does anyone really enjoy promoting their work?

 

At the beginning of the week I managed to bite the bullet and bravely announce the launch of my latest masterpiece, Silent PayBack. I asked for help from our writing/reading community and was very surprised by the immediate response that almost overwhelmed me.

Like a lot of authors, I am not fond of all the trumpet blowing that you need to do to send your brainchildren out into the world.  It usually comes as a great surprise to many writers to discover we prefer the peace and solitude of our writing caves, rather than the noisy, complicated world of publishing and promotion.

In the real world, parents send their offspring into the world to find their own way, confident they have equipped them with everything they will ever need to make a success of their lives. You see them turn away to return to the now empty nest, trying not to feel sad that this stage of their lives is over.

Writing a book is not like this.

We cannot simply stand at the door and wave goodbye, confident we have done all we can. We must go with our creation, often equipped with a virtual crowbar to prise open all those tightly closed doors!

This week, I am floundering around like a ship with no rudder. I stumble from one problem to another, making to do lists like there will be no tomorrow. If I do manage to achieve anything, it seems to happen by magic and not by intent.

I have done book tours before, with moderate success but always with the same low level of confidence, probably due to my lack of know how.

This time, however, I have tried to learn more about the process, in order to make it easier and ensure more book sales.

But between you and me, I cannot wait until I can retreat into my cave and pick up my favourite writing pen again!

 

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1.PayBack Memes.jpg

 

Huge thanks for everyone who has offered to help with the launch, and all those who have grabbed a copy at the Pre-sale on Amazon.

A bargain at just .99p or $.99 for one more week!

Amazon UK:  amzn.to/2p4xxzg

Amazon US:   amzn.to/2LXHgjO

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 40

Jaye's Journal x12

 

In many ways, this week was the worst yet for me.

 

I soldiered on, trying to accomplish something towards my impending book launch, but everything I touched turned to rubbish in my hands. I managed to reach Thursday without shooting myself, but it grew steadily worse. I knew if there was one more insurmountable difficulty, there was a danger of me running for the hills. I tried everything I could think of to escape the feeling of doom that was gradually seeping into everything I touched, but it wasn’t having a bar of it. Looked like I had found a branch of doom that was far more stubborn than I was!

I checked the weather again and although the entire week looked just as glum, with rain everywhere, that day seemed brighter, or was I just hoping for a little sunshine?

We hadn’t walked to our local lake in ages, having almost resigned into believing we couldn’t walk that far anymore. It was only about a mile and a half and quite a pleasant walk through town, but it was the return journey that always had us crawling home, groaning with aching joints. Desperation made me determined to dispel that idea and we set off, walking slowly and enjoying the fresh air. The sun was trying to make an appearance and I could feel the doom dropping away from me the further I walked.

We sat by the water, watching the assortment of ducks, geese and swans, going about their business. Most were busy hunting for food, while others were bossing each other about, causing short-lived arguments and noisy wing flapping that had the local children laughing. The sun sparkled on the water, the light breeze rippling the surface and for the first time in ages, I felt myself relaxing.

Anita was watching something on the far side of the lake, and I tried to see for myself. They looked like ducks, but something kept me watching, willing them to come closer. They took their sweet time but eventually they came close enough to see they were a pair of black swans.

I have had this thing about black swans ever since I worked near the River Thames, some forty years ago. My office window looked out over the water and I confess I spent more time than I should watching what went on out there. I hadn’t been in the job long before my new workmates introduced me to Smudge, a lone black swan who seemed to like that part of the river and could be seen every day. He once had a mate, but something had happened, leaving him alone. I knew that swans mate for life, and that Smudge would have to live the rest of his life alone. I was alone at that time too, so in a way we shared our loneliness. At least that ‘s how it felt back then.

The new arrivals made it to our side of the lake, and I watched them gliding about, completely engrossed in what they were doing. They ignored the other wildlife and seemed to be searching for more than food, or was I endowing them with the sadness I felt for Smudge all those years ago?

I took loads of photographs and tried to capture them both on video too, but either my camera malfunctioned or I didn’t press the right sequence of buttons. It seemed doom hadn’t quite disappeared after all, but at least the photos weren’t bad.

If the weather doesn’t improve, we may not walk all that way again until Spring and maybe we will see the black swans again. Now that is something to look forward to!

 

Thank you for reading – please feel free to comment or share for I would love to hear from you!   Best wishes from Jaye Marie

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK/

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 39

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

Where I find out just how patient I can be

After having both cataracts removed from my eyes over the last few months, I have waited patiently for them to heal. In many ways, this was not a pleasant process.

My vision gradually became so much clearer and the increased amount of housework I have been doing will bear testimony to this. (the house is a lot cleaner now, as I tackle all the grime that I haven’t been able to see before, with or without glasses)

This new development is ironic in a way, and only serves to emphasise the fact that I still cannot see that well to read or use the computer.

I will still need glasses for close work, but until my eyes have healed, I must wear my old ones which aren’t working any better than before. In fact, my eyesight seems worse when I wear them as the prescription is wrong.

Doing anything became a tiring and depressing struggle as my new eyes constantly fought against them, and I couldn’t wait to get them changed.

Waiting to see my optician has been a frustration I could have done without, but finally the day arrived.

She was impressed by the level of improvement in my eyes and declared that my distance vision was now 20/20. My near vision has also improved substantially too, and I will need a much weaker prescription.

All of this was wonderful news, of course, but now I must wait for these new glasses to be ready, but eventually, the waiting will be over.

Talking about waiting…

I am having a little trouble organising the launch sequence for my new book, Silent PayBack, and if I don’t get my act together soon, I will miss the opportunity of successfully marketing it before Christmas. It has been the wrong time to finish a book, what with everything that has been going on (or not going on, if you see what I mean!)

It has taken me so long to edit and do all the necessary stuff that most of the joy has fizzled out along the way. I have been running on stubborn determination most of the time, I can tell you!

Right now, I am wrestling with the content of my launch newsletter that will coincide with the pre order date. I have been trying to understand the finer points of Mailchimp, the people who hold our subscriber list, but it seems the harder I try, the further away the answers get. Something I have never understood, so no change there!

Once, I did attempt to change to Mailerlite, who are supposed to be more user friendly, but didn’t get past the sign-up page. Now, I’m not stupid, (says she confidently) I can sometimes be slow to grasp the finer points but usually manage to get there in the end.

 

Although, I get the sneaky feeling that this may be another aspect of growing old, whether I like it or not!

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 38

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

I am a bit late writing my journal this week, due mainly to the last seven days being nonstop crazy. Every time I think we might get to relax and do some serious work, something else turns up!

The first half of the week was a nightmare what with no landline or Wi-Fi. I say no Wi-Fi, but I was piggy backing on my neighbours, so was able to do quite a lot on my laptop.

BTW… Does anyone know why Windows 10 doesn’t seem to have the facility to switch Wi-Fi sources? I have searched until I’m blue in the face but cannot find it.

I had hoped that life would improve once the status quo was restored but fate had other ideas. That was when a few domestic problems blew up in my face and at that point I wanted to leave the country as there seemed no point being enthusiastic about anything.

I tried to work but it was hopeless. I couldn’t concentrate. It was depressing, having what felt like a ton of spanners landing all over my plans to start the preparations for the launch of PayBack, my latest detective thriller book.

I spent most of yesterday trying to convince myself to shelve my plans until life settled down again, even though if the worst happened, this might not happen at all or at least take a very long time.

That was yesterday, but today I feel so much better about everything. In a way, I think I am challenging the fates to do their worst, for I know that once I am in this mood, I will fight to the death to finish what I start.

Just to seal my determination, I have been busy making a trailer, preparing promo material, and considering the makings of the first newsletter. You never know, I might even start writing dates on the calendar…

Watch this space for further developments!

©JayeMarie

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 37

Jaye's Journal x12

 

Emails: Do you find them delightful or disastrous?

There are days when I find our never-ending list of emails such a chore. Days when the list is stuffed full of messages from people I don’t know, and endless advertising.  Not to mention all the get-rich schemes and must-have courses that cost a fortune!

It can take two hours to sift through them all and this must be done twice a day, seven days a week.

Today was a good day. There were several beautiful poems, inspiring stories and articles that had me reaching for my notebook. Smiling one moment, then wiping the tears from my eyes the next. There was also a couple of helpful posts that might make my life more interesting.

I like to share the better and more helpful emails with our readers, when we get them, of course. I mean, you can never have too much of a good thing, and if we can cheer up or help at least one person each day, I consider that a good day.

There is one aspect of our email list that does concern us, and that is the amount of companies trying to fool you into opening their emails for fraudulent purposes. We are advised to ignore them and never open them, but if it’s a company you use or belong to, it can be worrying. Supposing it’s genuine and you really need to read it?

I mean, how are we supposed to know the difference?

Much more of this, and I can see that letter writing might be making a comeback!

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 36

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

What exactly is a coincidence?

“A coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection…”

“A coincidence is something that is not planned or arranged but seems like it is. Technically, a coincidence is an occurrence of events that happen at the same time by total accident.”

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It doesn’t seem to matter what we talk about in our house, it can be on any subject but within a very short time we will hear or see a reference to it.

It could be an image we see on TV, or on a passing truck. Sometimes, someone will quote our words back to us while we watch a programme. I even find some of the key words of our discussion as answers or clues in my crossword puzzles.

It’s as if the Universe has joined in our conversation somehow…

Yesterday was the best yet.

We were working on Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge and the image prompt was a discarded bottle in the desert with what looked like a letter inside.  I had printed out the image so we could discuss the best way forward.

Literally, within seconds, Eamonn Holmes on the This Morning programme on ITV, started saying that the genie was out of the bottle!

We are quite used to these coincidences, but this one had our jaws dropping!

There are times when whatever this is, seems to go crazy, firing coincidences at us repeatedly. It usually involves a subject we would love to know more about and creates an avalanche where we will see and hear references to it for several days.

We have heard that synchronicity, a term originally coined by Carl Jung, is supposed to mean a meaningful coincidence that can only be explained by a phenomenon of energy, but what does it really mean?

Are these happenings really signs from the universe, confirming we are on the right track, but which track and what are we supposed to do about it?

Can it really contribute anything to the way we live our lives?

 

©Jaye Marie

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 29

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

There have been so many ups and downs this week, and I’m giddy.

The first few days I couldn’t do right for doing wrong. Jobs I do on a regular basis were going wrong and as for some of the new stuff I am trying to learn, don’t ask.

At one point I thought my brain must have gone for a walk, as I couldn’t understand a bloody word!

This was bad enough, but then I discovered that some of the work I thought I had managed to do, was in fact, rubbish. Add to all of that, I was trying desperately to get used to Windows 10 and a new version of Word too, and everywhere I went, everything seemed to have been updated or changed, sometimes for the worse. My life was becoming unbearable (as a writer/blogger anyway!)

So, during all of this, when I turned up at the hospital for the post-surgery check up on my new eye, I was delighted to be told it had healed beautifully and was behaving brilliantly. Not that I was getting the benefit much as the other eye seems worse by comparison. I seem to spend most of my time with one eye shut, but at least something had turned out all right.

The next few days were a strange mixture of joy and confusion as my good news was slowly suffocated by everything malfunctioning. This Windows 10 is the devils work and my laptop seems to be joining forces with it, almost convincing me to find a better way to spend my time!

What kept me going was the determination to rescue that Oak sapling and encourage it to be a bonsai. I knew this would be hard to do, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone…

Tune in later this week for how it all went!

AAA (2)

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 19

Jaye's Journal x12

 

I still have to juggle the laptop and computer, just to wade through my email list. Whatever is wrong, BT either doesn’t see it or could care less, despite my wordy complaints.

Days passed, and I learned how to cope with my malfunctioning emails. I am sure it helps to be stubborn like me.

Then they sent me an email, asking for feedback for their recent changes. I couldn’t believe it. Had they received my complaints? Or were they under the impression that I liked the mess they had created?

Needless to say, I did answer their email, but I wasn’t polite. At all.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING WEIRD

Our hot water system is on a timer, and we always have plenty of hot water. So I was surprised to find it barely warm when I washed my hair. Investigation revealed that a switch had been turned off.

Strangely, no one had touched it, so I turned it back on.

Next day, it was lukewarm, and again, the switch was turned off. Either we had a paranoid interfering ghost, or the switch was faulty.

I couldn’t imagine what kind of fault would do this, so when it happened yet again, I reported it anyway. Maybe a new switch would solve the problem.

We are quite used to strange goings on around here. Remember that mysterious red light reflected in our front room window? We never did find what was making it and it is still there. Read the post here

FINALLY, SOMETHING REALLY GOOD HAPPENED

The beta read I ordered from Fiverr.com last week came back yesterday from Sara Mae. I opened the file, feeling more than a little apprehensive. To be honest, I expected the worst. Maybe Sara would find my story ridiculous or substandard and return it to me unread.

Imagine my delight to discover that Sara absolutely loved it. She was very thorough, pointing out what could be changed to make it better. Most of the points she raised were sensible and logical. I could clearly see what a difference it would make.

This was a trial run to see if it would be workable, ready for PayBack, my WIP and it most definitely was.

So if you need a beta read or help with anything writing related, you know where to go…

watermark xjj

 

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 18

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

This week, I must have found my sensible hat, for most of last week’s problems have just faded away, leaving the rest of them easily managed.

My WIP is written in three acts. Acts one and two have been edited to within an inch of their lives, run rough Grammarly and finally spell checked. Progress indeed!

I am really impressed with Grammarly. It finds all of my mistakes and their suggestions aren’t bad either. It is so easy to use, and my readability has increased tremendously since using it. It really is helpful and doesn’t muck about with the formatting, unlike some I have used before.

The third act needs the works thrown at it now, and after that, I will do the final read through, checking there is enough magic. Also considering having it read to me by the new feature I have discovered on Word.

Despite all of this incredible progress, my dismal eyesight is making everything a nightmare. My eyes get so tired with all the straining, but I am determined to finish the WIP and make it the best yet.

I have also started an experiment with Fiverr.com. You have probably heard of them, they offer all kinds of writing-related services at reasonable rates. For the princely sum of £12, a very accomplished woman is beta reading one of my other books. She has masses of glowing reviews, so hopefully will do a good job.

I hope she does, for I need all the feedback I can get, especially with this new book coming out soon.

 

This week’s Rant

I may have mentioned this before, but I love going through my emails. Some people find this a chore, but to me, they are a wealth of interesting posts and valuable information on some fascinating subjects. Twice a day, (yes, we get that many) I get to explore, discover and enjoy so many delights.

BUT… because BT has recently tinkered (updated) the way we get them, what was once a joy, is now a bloody nightmare!

It refuses to obey me, argues with me and then freezes, so I end up switching to my laptop just to keep my sanity. BT made the mistake of asking what I thought of their improvements this morning, so I let them have my opinion, both bloody barrels!

And a word to the wise, I hear that Twitter is planning an update too!

watermark xjj

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 15

Jaye's Journal x12

 

Are there days when you cannot cope with your chosen occupation?

I have had many jobs in my time and hated quite a few of them, but never thought I would ever feel less than love for writing.

Lately, I have been having days when things seem to be slipping, a digital carrying-on that can plague anyone who switches on a computer.

This week, I had more than one day like this. A fatal mixture of an old and feeble person trying to use an equally old and feeble computer.

The overall tone of the week surprised me, seeing as I had just typed those magic words at the end of my WIP, I should be happy or at least relieved, or optimistic reaching the end of what has turned out to be a fascinating if complicated story.

Secretly though, I knew why I wasn’t jumping around like an idiot. I am an idiot (most of the time), but that wasn’t the reason.

I was secretly terrified that, having written this unusual and complicated story, that I wasn’t competent enough to present it in the best possible light.

This is a story that I didn’t know much about initially, or how to write it. It has been one hell of a learning curve. The research alone took almost as long as writing it.

 

Something strange happened today.

I have recently changed the header image on our website, and that is what I expected to see when I logged on, but the picture I saw was not mine and one I had never seen before.

How was this even possible?

Also, the new header image had vanished. It wasn’t saved with all the other old headers, so whoever had changed it had run off with my new one.

Surely, this couldn’t happen, could it?

Perhaps it was a message from my muse, for I wasn’t happy with my choice, so maybe she wasn’t either…

watermark xjj