Jaye’s Journal ~ week 17

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

For so many reasons this week has been a nightmare.

I received a letter from the hospital summoning me for another look at my cataracts. This has imposed a deadline on my editing, for after that date, I may not be able to see what I’m doing, depending on when or if they decide to do something this time.

Seriously though, I am getting really fed up with not being able to see properly. Everything is blurred, and print is so small.  And don’t get me started on the headaches!

Having a deadline is one hell of a way to buck my ideas up, that’s for sure.

Just when I was feeling positive about everything and things were moving  along swimmingly, BT decided to upgrade their email site, resulting in the most awful balls up. If this is what passes as ‘better’, I must be a monkey’s uncle!

Not only is it poorly arranged, but the layout sucks, AND it keeps going wrong! I mean, I don’t ask for much, just that things work the way they’re supposed to.

Moving on to what I’m supposed to be doing, the editing of PayBack. Right in the middle of thinking I was doing a brilliant job, I realised that somehow I was out of my depth. This turned into what the hell did I think I was doing, so everything crashed right there!

I am beginning to think my brain has finally decided to be old and past it after all. All without consulting me, I might add. I keep forgetting where I am in the process of editing, and what I’m supposed to be doing. I spread all these chapters on my desk, trying to make sure the plot was running smoothly. I found myself staring at them, with absolutely no clue. My head was empty, and I had never felt so lost in my life.

I don’t understand what is happening, for I usually breeze through editing. Hell, I was an editor long before I became a writer and love doing it. The chance to polish your story until it shines is a glorious part of writing, and here I was, unable to organise a piss up in a brewery.

Editing, as you know, is a series of systematically checking everything. You must be methodical and do things in the right order, something I seemed to have forgotten how to do.

For the first time in my writing career, I might need an independent edit…  Something I never thought I would ever say…

And if all of this wasn’t bad enough, I have eaten all the chocolate!

watermark xjj

 

 

99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

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April 18, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about gender. It can be fixed or fluid. Explore the topic on your own terms and open your mind to possibilities and understanding. Go where the prompt leads!

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Boys and girls

My mother’s despair plain to see

At my unladylike behaviour

As I climb the conker tree

With my dress tucked inside my underwear

To beat the boys was my game

I take my brother’s double cap gun holster

Make my own bow and arrow

Dolls and frills were not for me

Until a daughter came to me

I dress her in silks and frills

As my mother would have liked to see

Quite the woman I turned out to be

My daughter never climbed a tree

No guns, no bows and arrows

Today’s boys and girls play the same…

AAAAA

How to Help…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

How to Help

Trapped in silence, in a world not my own.

Golden castles on purple lawns, trees with leaves of blue beneath

Pink clouds on navy skies, with orange stars like staring eyes

Golden bridge leads to clock tower bright, beyond the castle gate,

Through shining castle walls she stands,

Her heart beats in frozen time inside her flowing gown

Eyes that search for hands to touch, to take from wizards spell,

Her body that he snatched, held inside a rock of old

A doorstep now to his castle black, quantum leap I need,

 As I watch children play under midnight skies

They sing of a time when their golden castle will return

To bricks and mortar, with a queen they can touch.

I cannot find a way to help. In silence held by wizard’s spell

To echoes beyond golden castles gate…

AAAAA

Walls…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Walls

These hollow walls, tales unfold

Time trapped in memory

Time ticks on, murders unsolved

Death awaits those who live here

Psychic band of travellers step inside

Woman’s bones they find

 Beside her, small bones wrapped in cloth

How long they waited to see the light

The world to know of their plight

Father’s shame, for daughter’s sin

He lay beneath the wooden boards

Blessings now they say are held

Tears to send sweet souls to freedoms day

How many souls lie trapped in hollow walls?

AAAAA

I See You… #Poetry

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I See You

I See You

I see a piece of you

like a puzzle that has slipped out of place

it’s the reason you are out of step with your life.

I see the chaos in the space between

strange moments that don’t fit

that don’t belong to you.

As if someone is trying to occupy

the space before it closes.

I hear your voice, the sound belongs to another

harsh, cruel. It scares me as if someone

has taken a piece of my mind.

Does it match your missing part?

Will we find a way to put them back in place

I see a piece of you

like a puzzle that has slipped out of place

it’s the reason you are out of step with your life.

I see the chaos in the space between

strange moments that don’t fit

that don’t belong to you.

As if someone is trying to occupy

the space before it closes.

I hear your voice, the sound belongs to another

harsh, cruel. It scares me as if someone

has taken a piece of my mind.

Does it match your missing part?

Will we find a way to put them back in place

will life tear more away,

as if we were no more than cardboard cut-outs

from a forgotten jigsaw puzzle…

AAAAA

 

#Writephoto ~ Beyond #Poetry

Thursday photo prompt: Beyond #writephoto

Use the image below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 24th April  and link back to this post with a pingback to be included in the round-up.  There is no word limit and no style requirements, except to keep it fairly family friendly.

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Sunlight beauty beyond the trees

Pyramid doorway beckons

Ode to Pythagoras

I stand safe in shadows

This sunlit vale hides what my eyes cannot see

My heart weeps for want

A distant cry, drums beating

Forest burning

Loves memory written in smoke

A call borne from pain

How can I reach where my feet will not go?

A singularity of knowing holds me fast

Two hearts beat beyond the branches entwined

In triangular splendour they wait for me

Take time to feel their welcome

Reach out, take hold of safe hands

To hold under sunlight’s warm embrace…

AAAAA

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A New Poem on the Block! #Haibun

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Thanks to Colleen Chesebro, and her weekly poetry challenge, most of us have heard of Haiku’s, Etheree’s and all manner of wonderful forms of Japanese poetry.

This one Anita has not tried before. It is called a Haibun.

~~~~~~~~~

A broken bridge across a lake of blue, I take my chance to see the other side.

Where flowers grow of strange shimmering hues.

My fortune lies along the path I see, but In whose footsteps do I follow?

What will I find! A chance is taken, just in time.

Scented morning

Life changed

New dawn

New life

 

Trapped… #Poem

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

Trapped

I am trapped inside a strangers dream,

No escape until she wakes. She knows my mind

 My thoughts echo to the double heartbeat

She dreams of wizards, witches, elves,

Nothing I am interested in

Her dream changes as she leaves the woods.

A dark cavern envelopes us,

Strange faces whisper close

Instructions given I cannot quite hear

She stirs, moans, whispers

I cannot do it; she is too hard to hold

Is she talking about me? I hope not

When she wakes, will I be back in my own head?

I scream, thinking of ways to wake her

Nothing works, she sleeps on no dreaming

I am stuck here waiting until morning

A thought enters my mind as I too fall asleep

Is she dreaming me?

AAAAA

An Easter #Etheree Poem…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

On

A hill

Three souls wait

Dark judgement called

One crown of sharp thorns

His mother waits below

Sound has vanished from the world

Standing close, Joseph holds the cup

Take your mother; hold her as your own

Day three gave rise to a new religion…

AAAAA

Tallis Steelyard Book Tour… Something of the Night by Jim Webster @JimWebster6

Today, it is our turn to host the next instalment of Tallis Steelyards incredible story.

We hope everyone is enjoying it as much as we are!

 

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Something of the night?

I suppose I ought to just call her Lotti, if only because that was the name she ‘worked’ under and inadvertently ended up with. I’m trying to be tactful here because I always liked Lotti, but it has to be admitted that her occupation was perhaps not the one her mother would have hoped she’d have gone into. There again as Lotti never knew her mother, we cannot be sure of that.

Lotti was a foundling and was raised in one of the foundling hospitals. No need to mention which one. They were good with her, taught her to read and write and trained her to be a lady’s maid.

Hence at the age of fourteen she went out into the world set on a new career. But alas it did not go well. There are houses to which you would send a fourteen year old girl, and there are houses you wouldn’t. And frankly there are houses where you would only burn them down when you could

guarantee you’d got the entire family and all the staff trapped inside. I will say no more.

Lotti left that house and desperately tried to make a living. Eventually, after trying any number of things, most of which didn’t last long, with employers who were more or less sordid but none who were what you might call decent, she decided she would have to take charge of her destiny.

Feeling that fate seemed to demand that she provide what we might call ‘erotic services’, she’d make damned sure she was properly paid for them.

Her knowledge of the houses of the apparently respectable had given her an insight into a market which she felt she could fulfil. Thus she set out her stall as ‘the naughty maid.’

Men of a certain age would hire her and send her as a birthday present to a friend, ensuring that his wife and family were out. ‘Gentlemen’ would even hire her themselves. She demanded payment in advance, cash only, and it was tucked away in an account with her usurer before she would ever cross her client’s threshold. Some looked down on her for it, but as she pointed out, how many innocent maids were left alone because she was there to provide the service?

The reason I knew her was that the foundling hospital had somehow instilled in her a genuine love of poetry. In her late teens she had many of the poems of the masters off by heart and she would occasionally come to the barge bringing a bottle of wine, a ham, or the makings of a meal. She’d dine with Shena and I and we’d talk poetry and the art of versifying.

Who knows how long she would have lived this existence, but then she made an error. She would get the client’s address and the money and she’d just knock on the door and be shown inside. Except on this occasion the address was slightly wrong. Obviously I’m not going to tell you what the address was, but they’d got the numbers the wrong way round. So Lotti knocked on the door of the wrong house, if memory serves it was number fourteen rather than forty-one.

What made things more interesting was that in this house they’d just hired a new maid from an agency and were expecting her. When Lotti turned up wearing a perfectly respectable maid’s outfit (we shall not mention the somewhat ‘unusual’ underwear), they just assumed she was the new girl. As an aside I’ve often wondered what happened to the girl who was supposed to turn up, did she make the opposite mistake and arrive by accident in the house where they were expecting Lotti? Frankly I don’t know and I long ago decided not to find out.

So when Lotti arrived, she was welcomed by the housekeeper, which was unusual, introduced to other staff, which came as something of a surprise to her, and was then introduced to the Mistress herself. This had never happened before. Lotti inquired, cautiously, about the master of the house, but the Mistress informed her, somewhat sadly, that she was a widow. She welcomed Lotti to her household, hoped she’d be very happy, and the housekeeper then showed Lotti her room and instructed her in her duties.

That night, in her solitary bed in a small room she had to herself, Lotti lay there and pondered the situation. She had been trained to be a lady’s maid, so she could do the job. She pondered her previous employment but eventually decided that she would try this new life.

Over the next few weeks she got to know the others in the household and they got to know her. Both the Mistress and her housekeeper were impressed; Lotti threw herself into the job. Yes there were areas where she was rusty, but when a maid moves from one household to another, there is always a period of transition when she learns the new way of doing things.

On top of that Lotti is, in reality, a nice person with a captivating smile and a genuine willingness to help. Her past had made her wary, but it had not yet made her bitter. As they got to know her, they made use of her strengths. Her ability to be absolutely formally correct in the presence of gentlemen (originally a necessary part of the game she was paid for) meant that her employer let her pay off tradesmen.

Time passed, Lotti became an accepted part of the household, and one morning she woke to the realisation that she was happy.

It was about then that Julatine Sypent, a recognised artist, was invited into the house to paint the Mistress. Apparently her various offspring wanted a portrait of her, and so, under protest, she’d agreed. During the course of the process, which consisted of a number of sittings over a period of weeks, Lotti, as lady’s maid, was the one who fetched Julatine his cup of infusion, offered round the sweet biscuits and generally was on hand should her Mistress need her.

Julatine was utterly smitten with her. One afternoon when she was out of the room he begged Mistress to be allowed to paint Lotti as well. Mistress agreed, even though she was wise enough to realise she might be about to lose a good lady’s maid. So with one portrait done, Julatine started on the second. Now it has to be realised that Lotti wasn’t going to be an easy victim of a painter’s charm. But Julatine was lucky. He’d long realised that a painter has to entertain the person he is painting. The last thing you want is somebody sitting there listless and bored. So he quoted poetry as he painted. Once he realised she loved poetry, he brought in books of it, he ransacked the libraries of friends for books to lend her. Eventually, the painting finished, he leaned back and looked at it thoughtfully.

A little nervously Lotti asked, “Is it all right?”

“Yes, I think it’s about finished.”

“Can I look at it now?”

As she stood up to see it Julatine said sternly, “There’s just one thing that has to be done before it’s fit for viewing.”

A little concerned Lotti asked, “What’s that?”

“You have to agree to marry me.”

She always said she wasn’t likely to get a better offer.

 

And the hard sell!

So welcome back to Port Naain. This blog tour is to celebrate the genius of Tallis Steelyard, and to promote two novella length collections of his tales.

 

So meet Tallis Steelyard, the jobbing poet from the city of Port Naain. This great city is situated on the fringes of the Land of the Three Seas. Tallis makes his living as a poet, living with his wife, Shena, on a barge tied to a wharf in the Paraeba estuary. Tallis scrapes a meagre living giving poetry readings, acting as a master of ceremonies, and helping his patrons run their soirees.

These are his stories, the anecdotes of somebody who knows Port Naain and

its denizens like nobody else. With Tallis as a guide you’ll meet petty

criminals and criminals so wealthy they’ve become respectable. You’ll meet musicians, dark mages, condottieri and street children. All human life is here, and perhaps even a little more.

 

Firstly;-

Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories.

 

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard.

Discover the damage done by the Bucolic poets, wonder at the commode of Falan Birling, and read the tales better not told. We have squid wrestling, ladywriters, and occasions when it probably wasn’t Tallis’s fault. He even asks the great question, who are the innocent anyway?

 

And then there is;-

Tallis Steelyard. Playing the game, and other stories.

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard.

Marvel at the delicate sensitivities of an assassin, wonder at the unexpected revolt of Callin Dorg. Beware of the dangers of fine dining, and of a Lady in red.

 

Tomorrow, the next episode is at https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com…

See you there!