Jaye’s Week… #WIPWednesday

#WIP Wednesday

I spotted this hashtag this morning, on my travels around the blogosphere.

And it made me think of all the works in progress that I have now.

Unless I am working on one, I try not to think of the others too much as it can get a little depressing, but they are always there, lurking in the background.

The main WIP is the new story I have been trying to outline for what seems like forever. This involves an old character, so I know him like the back of my hand. The antagonist, however, is new and I’m having the devil’s own job getting to grips with him, for I think the antagonist is just as important a character as the hero and needs to be written well. So far, he is Mr Nobody!

Having caught up with the housework last week, the garden must be the second WIP. So overgrown, I get rather overwhelmed when I look at it, especially when an old tree fell over out there last week, but determined to get to grips with it, even if it takes a while. That’s if it ever stops raining!

Which brings me to what I think is the last WIP. The project I started as a way of relaxing, but which so far has had the opposite effect. Browsing through Pinterest, I saw this amazing stained-glass crochet pattern, and the challenge to master it was born. I love to crochet, but some of the more complicated stitches are usually a bridge too far for my aging brain, but when has that ever stopped me?

Overtaking and more important than any of the above, is caring for Anita.

( she wouldn’t like to be regarded as a work in progress, so this is just between us)  I am consumed with the complicated business of getting her back on her feet. It has been a week since the pacemaker thingy was installed and the wound is healing well, but she is still weak, lightheaded, and very breathless. I think at least one of her medications is not agreeing with her, but which one? The nurse will be here this morning, so we will see what she thinks…

What a difference a day makes…

I didn’t care that it was raining, or that the wind was so strong it nearly blew me off my feet. I had finally made it to my favourite healing place and that was all that mattered.

I had wanted to come to the island today, to defy the weather and stand on the path overlooking the sea. To climb over the old wooden breakwater and cross the shingle beach and stand at the water’s edge like I always did.

The last time I was here seemed like a lifetime ago now. So much has happened since then, so much misery and heartache, worry and sadness and not much better now if the truth be told.

This was what today’s visit was all about. Time to find some of the peace I always found by the sea, to help make sense of the turmoil in my heart and head. I watched the waves form out to sea, the white horses riding the waves as they galloped to the shore. They crashed down in a roar as the water met the shingle, and I felt myself relax for the first time in weeks.

Image by Pixabay.com

I watched each wave reach further up the beach before it became swallowed by the one coming up behind. The sight and sound enthralled me as it always had, soothing my soul into acceptance. I tried to ignore the wind that was numbing my face and the rest of the pain, disappointment and anger slowly faded away and the tears began to fall, as salty as the sea I loved so much…

The Next day…

The following day we were invited on a trip. This time to Southsea on the south coast, just twenty miles away.

After the battering I received yesterday, I wasn’t keen to go out again, but the sun was shining and the only clouds in the sky were soft, fluffy, snow-white creations, promising a lovely day.

On the way, the view of these clouds through the car windows was mesmerising. Against the clear crystal blue of the sky, the clouds seemed to glow, and the formations were amazing.

Image by Jaye Marie

The day couldn’t have been more different to the freezing gale lashing of yesterday.

While we ate our lunch outside in the fresh air, we were visited by a crowd of starlings. Such beautiful birds with their iridescent plumage and intelligent chatter. They waited patiently for any morsels we felt like offering and made excellent luncheon companions.

When this huge seagull landed among them, we watched to see what the starlings would do but they simply ignored him, and he soon flew away.

After lunch, we were lucky enough to witness the departure of Southsea’s Hovercraft, a huge noisy beast of a machine and we were all sprayed with seawater as it fired up and took off.

I watched it travel across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight, leaving a trail of froth in its wake, gleaming in the sunshine.

This was a short visit, but we all agreed it had been well worth it. It had been a lovely few hours, where we laughed together and enjoyed one another’s company for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime…

Jaye’s Journal …

Jaye's Journal x12

Every now and then, we get a wake-up call, a wonderful moment when a magic light bulb illuminates an area in our brain. This usually heralds a brilliant idea, something groundbreaking or so incredibly sensible, you wonder why it took so long to surface.

Then there are the other kind. The ones accompanied by that awful stomach churning, as you realise how stupid you are or have been.

Today, I had one of these, and it has done absolutely nothing good to my self-confidence. I was rechecking the enormous pile of helpful notes (I use this term advisedly) when the realisation hit me between the eyes.

We make all these lists of things to do, things to remember or try. Then we get a sense of achievement when we actually cross something off. Today, it was brought home to me, just how stupid that is.

I had been watching a trailer someone had made using a company called Animoto. That name rang a bell, but the memory didn’t follow on. Had  I already checked them out? And if  I did, what did I find?

Those of you with fantastic memories will not need the advice I am about to share, but I suspect quite a few of you, like me, will find it useful.

When we read something that needs checking out, we should have a place to record our findings. Either a page in a notebook or an index card in our follow up box. Write a simple assessment, was it good/rubbish/too expensive/unsuitable…and if you logged on to the site, record the URL and your password.

I have no idea why this has never occurred to me before, as I seem to spend my life revisiting sites, only to realise I had been there before. It will be so helpful to be able to see at a glance all the info.

Just think of the time saved!

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

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

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?