Better Late than Never!

All the indications are pointing towards a much better week for all of us, a little more freedom in the world and less problems for us to deal with, so feeling extremely optimistic.

Last week I really found myself rolling with the punches so often I lost track of everything. The truckload of family troubles had gathered momentum and what with worrying about Anita’s health, a large part of me wanted to just crawl into a dark cupboard and stay there.

The weekend was a game changer for most of our troubles. Fate obviously decided to play fair for once and with a bit of wangling, most of the bigger problems have faded away like a bad smell.

No news from the hospital yet about the MRI, but Anita seems to get a little stronger each day. She is really fed up with all the restrictions (and me being on her case!) I must be really careful not to overdo the nagging as she is a bit like a dodgy stick of dynamite! I mean, how do you stop someone worrying, when they were obviously born to worry?

The book tour for Anita’s new book, Annie’s Song began on Saturday. We will be posting all the websites involved every day to allow people to comment. This is the first time we have enlisted the help of Silver Dagger Tours, which has turned out to be more than lucky, for one way or another we didn’t get to do much promoting of Annie’s Song.

Best laid plans, eh?

With the dust barely settling, my mind is already wondering what to do next. I had some serious thoughts about the current WIP and might shelve it to make way for something different. Maybe something that has nothing to do with detectives?

We have been a bit lax with the newsletters this year, so must do better there too…

And finally, has anyone anything to say about STORY ORIGIN?

Sounds a bit like Book Funnel, but is it something we should be looking at?

Hoping this is a much better week for all our readers too!

From Bad to Worse?

I didn’t sleep well last night and when I finally closed my eyes, I dreamed of sprinkling grass seed into a seed tray that already had a thick carpet of grass.

Dreams are usually confusing, but I understood this one well enough. My life seems to have taken on an air of futility where I stubbornly keep doing things that are not necessary, and literally ignoring the things I should be doing.

I am still kicking myself for the stupid way I handled that impromptu meeting with David Snow, one of my resident detectives. I should have planned that a lot better than I did and maybe we could have come to some sort of agreement.

Or, left decisions like that until I felt better.

Speaking of feeling better, it appears that I am a long way from better now.

My doctor called me to the surgery yesterday to check on me. I had been on the verge of making an appointment as I didn’t think I was getting better fast enough.

So great minds think alike?

The long walk to the surgery was most enjoyable. The sun was shining, and it felt good to be outside in the fresh air.

I tried not to think about all the closed and empty shops, and the way the few people we saw all kept their distance. (Almost is if they knew I was infected with something!)

Turned out that my blood pressure was through the roof and the kidney infection was still very much alive and kicking!

Ill Taffy Cat

A sample of my wee is winging its way to the laboratory so they can get to the bottom of why the antibiotics didn’t get rid of it, and which one might work better.

So this explains my semi fragile state, continuing back ache and brain confusion. I hope!

The walk home after seeing the doctor seemed twice as long as before and I needed several sit downs along the way. My energy levels were all but crawling along the floor, but I managed to get home, walk up the path to my front door and collapse on to the nearest chair…

This was my first post with the new WordPress editor and wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Obviously, there is a lot to learn but I think I am going to like it!

©JayeMarie 2020

Best Day of the Week!

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Image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay

 

The sun was shining one day last week, and an air of springtime was everywhere I looked, so I found myself wandering around the garden, ending up in my potting shed, checking how much potting compost I will need once I start the marathon repotting of my bonsai in the next few weeks.

It was good to be out of doors so I made the most of it, trying not to wince at the extent of the work that desperately needs doing.

Last year I wasn’t a very good gardener, as editing my WIP and getting it ready to launch took up every waking hour, and many jobs were neglected. This year I intend to be on top of things, well, as much as I am able anyway. There are some jobs that might defeat me, but time will tell.

Most of these jobs involve some serious pruning, as my garden resembles a jungle, something that doubtless will become worse once the growing season gets underway.

Cutting the soaking wet, overgrown and matted grass may well kill me once I get to it, but there is no one else. I really would like a low maintenance garden, but dreaming won’t get one, so must cope somehow.

I have also booked a ride to the garden centre to order the wooden slats to replace my bonsai display shelves. I am also determined to repaint the walls in my yard as they are worse than grubby. Everything grows like crazy around here, including the weeds and the mould!

Just being outside in the fresh air was wonderful, filling me up with so many good intentions and the joy of looking forward to doing something creative, and muddy…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

What Passes for Progress around Here…

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Image from Pixabay.com

 

I am supposed to be writing a blog post, but my attention is halfway down my garden to the assembled bird feeders I have hanging from a tree and the many feathered visitors busy feasting there.

All through the winter months, the local birds have been keeping me busy, filling the feeders with fat balls and a seed mixture on a regular basis.

I do this every year, but this year has been remarkedly different. So many visitors flocking to my garden, and I love to watch them. Probably too much, to the detriment of any writing. I have also tried to film them in action, but either my hands shake too much or the camera needs upgrading, so the images on here are only a representation of the joy in my garden.

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I am reminded of that saying, “build it and they will come…” And this in turn, reminds me of the constant struggle to create the best platform to help our writing careers.

Not that I am comparing our followers to the flock of sparrows, blackbirds and bluetits that I see every day, just the amount of activity just supplying their favourite food has triggered.

All this activity is running alongside my personal battle with blogging/writing and everything this entails. For some reason, I am having trouble with just about everything I try to do these days and my brain is exhausted with coping with the constant buffering, missing chunks of text and images and the general refusal of technology to comply with even the simplest of commands. It feels like a conspiracy.

Several times I have almost reached the point where I want to take a hammer to my PC, just to escape what feels like the Plagues of Egypt.

So, what does all of this say about my ambition to make our mark?

Nothing good, I’m afraid.

By the time I have fought my way through the chaos, I am drained of nearly all of my determination and inspiration.

But every day, I switch the beast on, quietly confident that this will be the day when the elephant in the room smiles at me…

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Image from Pixabay.com

Meanwhile… The birds are busy enjoying themselves…

 

©JayeMarie 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

 

The Inbetween… #Poetry

 

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The blue hour, when colours blend

Creating a strange place

Unknowable

Yet the mind holds on to something known

Between the space, we call day and night

Not awake, nor sleeping

Running from the dream maker

Towards daybreak

Sunlight full of promise

If only that one nagging thought

Did not remain

What did I touch?

In that moment between

That my heart remembers

Is it something lost to all of us?

©anitadawes

 

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 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!

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 48

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I may not like growing old, and I really don’t, but I have discovered something far worse.

The worst thing of all is watching everyone else grow old too.

And this isn’t restricted to the people you love, your family and friends, but animals too.

I noticed the tell-tale signs a while ago, but it didn’t ring any alarm bells then. Now it has. All those niggly aches and pains caused by overdoing things have now begun to look more sinister.

Somewhere along the line during our lives, I think we get complacent, confident that we can go on forever, that somehow we are indestructible. In my own case, this is mainly due to all the things I have managed to survive and walk away from. So it came as a bit of a shock to realise that this may not continue to happen after all. That one day I might not wake up in the morning.

This is where the fear begins, as you watch the people you love struggle with ordinary everyday activities and see the pain they try so hard to hide. You can’t help it, but you start to wonder who will go first, and selfishly pray it isn’t you.

One of the worst things I see every day is the difference in our magnificent Merlin, our rather large, black and white cat. Always so strong and fit, suddenly he cannot jump up on his favourite chair and seems to be walking slower these days. He is talking far more these days too, and appealing to us with wide, imploring eyes. I wonder if he worries about the future too.

Living each day as it comes, and refusing to think about tomorrow, seems to be the best way. Make each day the best it can possibly be, rather than living every day as if it will be your last, as that gives out entirely the wrong attitude, I think.

None of us knows what will happen tomorrow, but we can only hope there are more days left than we think!

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 47

Jaye's Journal x12

 

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