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These are virtual flowers for Anita

Yesterday was a very bad day for all the family.

We received a worrying update from the hospital that literally ripped us all to pieces. We all cried as the enormity of the doctors words slowly sank in. Anita’s heart was so seriouly damaged that the only thing they could safely do for her at the moment, was to continue all the medications and hope she could rally under her own steam.

This morning I was determined to try and speak to Anita, as they did say it might be possible and that was good enough for me. The hospital phone line was busy for the longest time but when they finally answered me and I was put through to the ward, I was told there was a phone in her room and if I hung for a minute, she would get me the number.

Minutes later, I heard Anita’s voice…

I expected to hear a frail old lady, for that was how she looked the last time I saw her. Imagine my surprise, when the voice I knew so well, greeted me with all the bounce and enthusism I knew of old. She sounded well, strong and as cheerful as always. Of course, I gently quizzed her for details and everything she spoke of sounded hopeful and encouraging. They were really impressed with her progress and even mentioned being able to go home at the weekend!

We talked for ages, passing the phone back and forth with her son Stephen, and when we finally signed off as they had come to check on something, it was two very relieved people who hung up the phone. We passed the phone number on to the rest of the family, as they were desperate to hear her voice too.

Tomorrow we hope to hear when they will be taking Anita to the Cath Lab for an angiogram to assess the damage and the necessary treatment…

We are so grateful for all the prayers and good wishes coming in from all over the world, and I’m sure they all had a part in her amazing progress!

Sharing a post from Susanne Lakin from @livewritethrive.com

I read this inspirational post this morning from Susanne Lakin @livewritethrive.com and had to share it here…

 

Wake Up and Pay Attention. This Is Not a Drill
Hi writer friend,

I don’t know what you think about the corona virus. But one thing I do know: a lot of people are NOT taking this threat seriously. There are a number of states here in the US in which there are no restrictions in place. Where people are crowding in malls and going out to restaurants and ignoring all the warnings and precautions.

Can I just say this is not just stupid but deadly? Honestly, as Howard Dean said the other night about the young people cramming the beaches in Florida, thinking they are immortal or something (I’m paraphrasing here): Great. Have fun. Now you will go home and be responsible for killing your grandparents. You want that on your conscience?

In China, about 70% of all deaths were due to exposure to family members with the virus.

In Italy, families tend to be very close, and so their young people spread the virus to their elders and killed them.

I want to share a part of an email I got today from my friend Brian in Italy. Please read this:
“Thanks for your message, thoughts and prayers. It means a lot.

The situation here is really tragic. I actually live in Codogno, the small town where the first case was discovered. We’ve been in lockdown for nearly a month now: same here, everything closed except essentials.

I’ve never seen anything like this: each time I open Facebook, I see news about someone who has passed away. In our village alone we’ve had close to 100 dead in about 3 weeks.

Of course, being such a small town, we all know each other, so it’s even harder when you ‘get the news’ and you knew the person.

Hospitals are almost full and will soon reach the point where they won’t be able to cope anymore. And there’s still a lot of people who don’t understand how serious this is. You see them in the streets, in parks, etc.

We can only pray this goes away soon and that everything goes back to normal in a relatively short time.

Fortunately I, my wife and our 6-month old son are ok. We’re at home and never go out. As things stand, that seems to be the best and only cure.

Praying that it doesn’t affect you guys as bad as it is doing us.”

I guess Brian didn’t get the memo and images we have–that doctors are more than overrun in Italy and are having to choose who lives and who dies. I’m sure there are governments around the world worse than ours–not telling their citizens the truth of the dangers and statistics.

In the US, our president doesn’t want to look bad (if the virus numbers prove to be high), so though he has promised for weeks we will get test kits, which seems easy for the rest of the world to get, he isn’t delivering. We are being fed so many lies for political reasons. And because the US administration delayed months in preparing for this virus, we are now two weeks behind Italy’s dire situation, if even that.

So … you’re a writer. There is no more critical time than now to use your words.

Don’t spread lies. Don’t soften the danger. Use your words to tell others to stay home. To help those in need.

Call your local and state mayors and governors and representatives and tell them to start preparing for the flood of virus patients. They can commandeer stadiums and empty hotels to become makeshift hospitals. Tell them we must make manufacturing companies to switch gears and make ventilators and respirators and hospital masks and gowns. We did this during WWII. We certainly can do this now.

We may only have days, not even weeks, to help prevent thousands of deaths.

A study shockingly shows that if those in China had started isolating and shutting down gatherings even ONE DAY earlier, they would have prevented about 67% of the deaths. Conversely, if they had waited one more day, there would have been 67% more deaths.

I could go on and on. As Dr. Fauci, highly respected expert says, we should err on the side of being cautious and excessive. When you or your loved ones are dead, it’s too late to regret you weren’t more careful.

Stay home. Just stay home.

If you need to go to get groceries or something essential, go, but sanitize everything. Every grocery item you bring home, wipe it down with a bleach/soap/water solution. Let every item stay wet for 4 minutes before putting away. Sanitize every box that gets delivered before you open it. You can read all the guidelines recommended.

Keep in mind that the virus particles can stay viable in the air for 5 HOURS. That means if you go to the market and someone sick coughed hours earlier, you can still get sick. Masks do NOT protect from the virus. Keep using sanitizer as you shop. Wipe everything down, especially your phone and any touchpads or counters you touch. If you use gloves, be sure you don’t touch any part of your body while wearing them. Throw them out before you get to your car, then sanitize your hands, your car door, your steering wheel. Don’t take the germs home. I sanitize every piece of mail I get out of the mailbox.

But don’t just follow the guidelines. Tell everyone you know. Do what some are doing in cities when they see people in groups in the streets: they are yelling out windows: “Go home and stop spreading the virus!”

Think about my friend Brian. A month or two ago, he was happy living in his beautiful peaceful Italian village raising his baby with hope on the horizon. Now he is surrounded by death, losing many of his neighbors and friends every day. Who will be left in his village months from now, if/when the threat passes. We are being told this could go on for 1-2 years.

Yes, this is an emergency. It’s a war. You have words. Now is the time to use them to fight for our lives. There is no better use of your words right now. Make people wake up and pay attention. Share on social media. Call friends. Get those people in Texas and Oklahoma and Florida and Idaho to wake up and stop spreading this deadly virus.

If the statistics come true for the US as with China or Italy, it’s predicted maybe 70-80% of All Americans will get the virus. Let’s say 200 million people. If only 1% die, that’s 2 million. The virus seems to be killing about 3%. That’s 6 million dead.

Sure, ignore it if you want. Pretend, like Trump, this will suddenly vanish, just disappear. The experts say otherwise.

Better to be safe than sorry. I agree with Michael Moore (listen to his podcast Rumble for more specific statistics) that the worst that can happen if you’re wrong is some people will make fun of you and say you were too melodramatic. So what? Do you care? I don’t. I’d rather save some lives than worry about what people think of me.

Enough for now. I’m sad. I’m angry. But I’m also so grateful to see so many people helping others. I’m working to set up a fund today with my church to make sure everyone has enough money to pay their bills. Many of my friends have been laid off this week. Why don’t you look into doing that? Or find a local reputable agency or church that is helping your community. You reap what you sow. Share the wealth, even if you have little. Surely you have more than someone else, something you can spare.

If you’re sitting around at home, don’t get depressed. Get busy helping. With your words.

Words have power. Use them.

My prayers are with you all.

~ C. S. Lakin

Copyright 2020 Live Write Thrive, All rights reserved.

 

The Outsider…

 

The Outsider…

 

When I found out that one of my favourite authors had written a new story, and that it was being serialised on tv, I knew I had something good to look forward to. Having to wait for each episode might stretch my patience into a wafer, as I don’t like to stop reading when enjoying a good book, but I was already hooked.

 

Stephen King is best known for horror stories like Carrie, It, and The Shining.

Based on the first two episodes, The Outsider is a classic King story and in structure and tone, it feels more like a murder mystery than a horror story. Mild spoiler alert: it’s both.

What’s the story about?

The Outsider tells the story of the gruesome murder of a young boy in the fictional town of Flint City, Oklahoma. Detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) investigates, though it’s not a tough case to crack as mountains of forensic and eyewitness evidence point to beloved local teacher and baseball coach Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman, who also executive produced the series and directed its first two episodes). But Maitland has a solid alibi for the crime, which means that it looks like Frankie was murdered by a man who was somehow in two places at once.

 

The series is loyal to the novel’s dryly grim tone, with Mendelsohn perfect as the weary but honourable small-town cop and Jason Bateman coolly moving as a man who’s watching his life explode in front of him. The first two episodes play out pretty much like the beginning of the book, slowly unfurling the mystery: after the discovery of Frankie Peterson’s body, witness after witness can tie local coach and family man Maitland to the crime. He was spotted offering the kid a ride in his van, and then later seen covered with blood. The crime scene is finger-painted in his prints, his blood type was present, too. But Maitland was also captured on video in a totally different town at the time the crime was committed, attending a teaching conference with countless colleagues who can all vouch for his presence. And his fingerprints are found at the conference site, too.

It would seem that the coach was in two places at the same time, but this can’t be possible, even for Stephen King.  The title begs a question too, who is this outsider?

 

I will be reviewing The Outsider when the series ends…

 

 

Is There an Elephant in Your Room?

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Image by Dmitry Abramov from Pixabay 

 

The New Year has begun and already I’m running late!

Week two and I haven’t written my first journal entry yet.

Actually, I haven’t done much of anything this year and I hope this isn’t an indication of the rest of the new year, but I have the feeling it might be. The elephant in my office is rather small, but his presence is disturbing.

Probably time to remove the constriction of the week numbers, so I can just write when the muse dictates, no regular Journal.

A lot of writers/bloggers have been waxing lyrical about all their plans for2020, but the more I read, the more I realise I cannot be like that anymore.

Something has been changing inside my head and it is time to sort out the rather sweet animal that lurks in the corner of my office!

Towards the end of 2019, I was getting more and more depressed about my stress levels and the lack of activity in my brain. Wondering if I really was getting too old for all this blogging/writing malarkey. So much so, I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible to be a blogger and a writer, or does one always suffer from the competition of the other?

Maybe it should be more about quality, not quantity, shouldn’t it?

This sounds hopeful but exactly what does it mean and how can I apply it to my already complicated life?

The little grey elephant is shaking his head, so no help there…

A lot of people have been looking at their stats, so I staggered over to WP and looked at ours, looking for inspiration or confirmation I suppose.

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Our progress since we began blogging has been slow and steady. Pretty impressive for an ageing technophobe, I thought. But maybe not exactly reassuring now that my brain is seriously out to lunch these days.

There is a lot we want to do this year, that’s if I can find out where my get up and go is hiding!  I refuse to believe that this could be the year that the elephant wins, even if he is only a little one…

 

Jobs Outstanding:

 

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Finish editing Anita’s brilliant new book, Running Moon…

 

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Finish creating the book of Anita’s poetry

 

 

 

 

 

And possibly start to write the new story that my character DI Snow has been nagging me about!

And finally, introduce more automation to our website, to give the elephant a few days off…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

I’d love to hear from you, so leave me some comments?

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 49

Jaye's Journal x12

 

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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#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