#Jaye’s Journal ~Week 46

Jaye's Journal x12

 

The day of my hospital check-up had arrived, and I felt oddly apprehensive. I had been worrying (just a little bit) that this might be the year that the mammogram would not be clear. Whether I thought four years clear might be pushing it a bit, I don’t know, or maybe it was because they had called me early?

For four years, I have been summoned the week before Christmas, so today’s appointment felt strange, even before I got there.

It was cold and wet as we travelled to Portsmouth, and I forced myself to think about everything else, determined to ignore the feeling of dread that had been following me around like a stray dog for days.

Turns out my summons was just for a check-up chat, and that the mammogram will be next month, like always.

The doctor gave the boobs the once over, checking the lymph nodes lumps and for lumps, and found nothing untoward, whatever that means these days.

All in all, this pointless visit (to me, anyway) made a four-hour hole in my working day, and I was already playing catch up.

But that’s life, isn’t it?

 

I read something the other day, something that made a lot of sense when I thought about it. These days, having a good think almost needs an appointment, but I digress.

Apparently, if you concentrate too much on all the small details, you will never get anywhere and end up going around in circles. A bit like I have been doing all week!

We must keep our eyes on the horizon… the one major goal that shines brighter than anything else, for if we allow our concentration to wander, even a little, we will end up getting nowhere, or worse, in the wrong place entirely.

I have a lot of plans in my head now, but my major goal isn’t at the top of the list. I had thought it would get there all by itself if I got all my ducks in a row!

 

My muse is clearly frustrated and wants to be writing. If I am honest, so do I.

I miss the daily discipline!

 

So, I don’t seem to be progressing much lately, most of the things I plan to do are proving both difficult and downright impossible. Maybe I am getting too old, at least I hope that’s all it is. Everything is either too complicated or takes too long, and my patience is wearing a bit thin.

My enthusiasm has given up and taken a walk, and I sincerely hope it won’t stay away for too long!

Tomorrow I will pull up my socks and get organised…

And that is a promise to myself that I intend to keep!

©jayemarie

 

Jaye’s Journal ~Week 45

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

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 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.”

****************

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 34

Jaye's Journal x12

This week has been the worst yet.

I am still struggling with the WIP and although the last read through went well, trying to come up with a decent (and rivetting ) blurb/book description has been hitting a wall.

One day in the week, I think it was Wednesday, I found myself actually hating the whole thing and walked out of my office. I spent the rest of the day watching repeats on tv, hated the guilt and feelings of failure that were trying to consume me. Luckily, I woke up the next morning in a much more productive and positive mood, and the project is back on track.

My eyes are presenting a problem that I wasn’t expecting, however and this might be affecting my patience. Which is normally legendary, but has been falling down on the job. My eyesight is improving in leaps and bounds, but having to wear my old reading glasses has become something of a nightmare.

It became so bad, that I was forced to steal a pair of Anita’s reading glasses just to see to read something. Her eyes are nowhere near as bad as mine, which shows how much mine has improved. I have to wait several weeks before I can get new ones and I’m rapidly reaching new levels of annoyance.

9471d3139cf69b25a2b9a18e1acf7814.jpg

 

 

Desperately trying to find something more positive (and pleasant) to think about, I found myself watching some water colour trailers on YouTube. This is something I used to do, until writing grabbed me by the throat! I day dream about actually doing some of these crafts this winter, and the idea is doing wonders for my poor tired brain. My WIP has pushed it to the limit this year…

My Other Love…

 

srtyu.png

 

For one reason or another this year, I haven’t been taking as much care as I would like with my collection of bonsai. Not entirely my fault either, as the weather has been all over the place, what with the heat waves and then torrential rain. Handy, in a way, because they love rainwater.

Some of them need repotting, and I only managed to get to a few which has been nagging me ever since. Repotting is important, especially for the smaller ones as they use up most of the goodness in their soil. This is usually done in the spring, before they start to grow again after the winter hibernation.

 

Finding the right soil mix has become difficult too, as my usual supplier has run out and shows no sign of restocking. The right soil is important, as free draining is essential. Waterlogged roots will eventually kill the tree.

 

My great niece found me sniffing the soil of one of my bonsai the other day and wanted to know what I was doing. She probably thought I had lost my marbles, as it must have looked a bit strange. I explained that a healthy bonsai with a good root system and the right soil, would have a very pleasant and distinctive smell, and is a good way of checking you are taking care of it properly.

 

We have more hot weather to come they say, so I will find out if any of my trees need emergency repotting. If any of them wilt in the heat it will mean their roots have little or no protection from the elements. I don’t want to disturb the roots, not this close to autumn, so will have to replace what soil I can, leaving the roots undisturbed.

 

bonsai-3125717_960_720.jpg

Hawthorn: Tree of the Week: Image by Pixabay.com

 

Progress Report

There have been no new signs of life from the rescued Oakey Dokey yet, but the few leaves he has are still green and healthy. He is probably busy beneath the soil, creating new roots.

 

©JayeMarie

 

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 33

Jaye's Journal x12

 

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen…”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I have a pretty big bone to pick with Mr Emerson, for in my experience, he had it backwards. Just try to make a decision and see what happens.

The minute you do, unseen forces start to work to make bloody sure it won’t happen, and it seems to have all the resources in the world at its disposal.

This year, it has been one thing after another to slow down our working progress and my current WIP, PayBack has taken several ages to finish.

Most of it was to be expected to be fair, what with various age-related ailments and the eyesight falling to record levels. Then the extended period of surgery, first one eye and then the other. Throw in a cartload of family problems and the result isn’t pretty. If I could see where I was going, I might start running!

I have been blessed cursed with more than my share of patience, so I have weathered each obstacle and handled it to the best of my ability, but it has left its mark. I am so tired of never getting where I want to be. Of constantly fighting that small voice in my head that tells me to give up and forget about everything, to go and sit in the garden.

Well, that idea is very tempting and if it stopped raining for a while, I probably would. I have been known to sit out there, rain and all, but I can’t get my freshly hacked eye wet, so not this time.

Speaking of the latest eye surgery. After the first time. I thought I was prepared for the ordeal. It isn’t a pleasant procedure and left me giddy and feeling very sick last time, but it didn’t hurt at all and the improvement in that eye was almost immediate.

This time it hurt. It felt as though he was gouging my eye out with a spoon and several times, I nearly signalled him to stop as I feared it would get worse, but he managed to finish without me screaming the place down. Like last time, I was giddy and nauseous, but also very upset. He never apologised for hurting me, or asked if I was all right, just disappeared, leaving the nurses to take care of me. They were wonderful, and after a lovely cup of coffee and ginger biscuits, I felt better. The eye was aching, and this would continue for several days.

Two days on, and the ache is fading. I am a little disappointed with the result so far, compared to the first eye. The sepia effect has gone but the lens glare is worse this time. The first eye manages without glasses now, but the vision in the second eye is still blurred.

(They don’t tell you about the lens glare, and it was disturbing until I discovered what it was. My first thought was that the new lens was loose and/or trying to come out, but I was seeing the edge of the lens catching the light. This fades as the lens beds itself in its new home and the edge of the scar heals over…)

I am not allowed to do much for a while, bending, lifting, wash my hair etc… so I thought I could get cracking on the preparation for the book launch. A golden opportunity to sit at my computer all day, or so I thought. But the eyes get very tired, so not getting as much done as I thought.

Hopefully, all of this will pass and the sooner the better…

 

(Thank you for all your kind thoughts and for listening!)

 

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 32

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

image.png

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you have been so busy you haven’t had time to think?

Has your to-do pile grown so big you’re having nightmares about dealing with any of it?

At the end of every day do you wonder why you don’t seem to have achieved anything, despite being on the go all day?

Well, this week was the closest I have ever been to hell without getting burned. The stress levels in the family were at crisis level for a while and none of us coped with it very well.

The WIP (PayBack) is finally finished (I think) and I have just uploaded it to KDP as a draft, so I can have one final read through on Kindle. This is such a brilliant idea! It’s like reading someone else’s book!

Which is handy, because I was getting really fed up with constantly reading my printed copy. On Kindle, I should be able to spot anything that might have slipped through the net.

Time to start preparing the launch. I have been organising like crazy in my head and have a pile of notes on the subject, but now I must make all the right decisions, as PayBack might just be my last book and I want to do it proud, so to speak. Stopping writing doesn’t bear thinking about really, but I found this one so hard to write. I never thought I would ever stop, but the jury is out now, so who knows what will happen once the dust has settled.

First, I must get past the second of my cataract removals next week, and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to being able to see properly again. The last few weeks have been a nightmare, what with the good eye fighting the bad one all the time. Everything I have been doing lately has been managed just a few inches from the PC screen. (I have been Mr Magoo for long enough) All of this was giving me serious headaches and my neck and back muscles are never going to forgive me.

The housework (what housework?)  has suffered and the garden is a mess, and to be honest, the mountain of outstanding jobs is beginning to look impossible to climb, but who knows, we must be in the running for at least one miracle.

Pity we don’t get to choose which one!

AAA (2)

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 31

Jaye's Journal x12

 

I didn’t think I would be able to manage a journal entry this week, due to my involvement with the WIP. The very helpful beta report seemed easy to follow, I originally thought, until I began to sort things out.

You know what happens, what seems like a doddle always seems to end up far more complicated than you first thought. I am past the half- way mark now, (I think) so quite pleased with my progress.

One of the points raised, was that my main character wasn’t expressing himself properly or enough. I tried to find the reason for this, intending to give said character a lot more to say and feel. It was while investigating this, that I realised what the problem was.

His point of view was all wrong.

He needed to be written in the first person, as this would allow him to think and feel far more than he was now. I changed the POV in the first few chapters, just to see if it worked.

At this point, I hadn’t given a thought to how much work this would entail, or that it would delay the launch procedure even more. But I really liked the result, so will just have to work harder!

Changing the subject completely, I have been watching the second series of Keeping Faith on a box set as a means of unwinding at the end of some very complicated days. I have been blown away by this mystery drama and all the emotion displayed by all the cast members in this series. I’m a sucker for beautiful theme music and FF has a good one, so I thought I would share it with you.

 

By the time you hear from me again, I hope to have some really good news for a change!