Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow…

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Yesterday

Yesterday my life felt as though it was hanging on a hair. What could go wrong, did.  I couldn’t think straight, I dropped things, walked into doorways.

One of those days when I should have stayed in bed. Mind you, I probably would have fallen out of that. Thank God yesterday is over.

Today

I have the bull by the horns, or so I think. I start by tidying up, do the washing while the drying is good, then read a good book before trying to write a bit. So far so good, the washing is on the line, kettle on, coffee made. I do my best thinking while reading a good book.

Tomorrow

Let tomorrow take care of itself. But we don’t. We try to lasso it into place. Make it what we want it to be. It rarely turns out to plan and we can thank the cosmos for that, then fate steps in. The future is already out there, how else could we walk into it? Nowadays I don’t plan ahead too much. I let the cosmos surprise me…

©AnitaDawes2021

Fave from the Grave…

Halloween

Pumpkin pie is a must

Along with cobwebs and dust

With lanterns alight, bowls of sweets you cannot eat.

Children come, their faces aglow

Doorbells ring, sweets to go

Painted witches, ghosts and ghouls

Could be your nightmare has come to call.

Strange entities look back at you

Or has your mother-in-law arrived at last?

Doorbell rings, don’t let them in

They’re not just children, disguised within.

A night when ghosts roam the land

Who can tell what stands without?

Is it sweets they want, or your soul to take?

Don’t let them in, blow your lantern out…

When Anita wrote this stunning Halloween poem, I just knew I had to do something special with it. When I read it aloud, it sounded so dramatic and creepy, the idea of creating a video trailer with it seemed a really good idea.

Now, I have made a few trailers in my time, but I am not an expert by any means. Most of the ones I made for our books are pretty basic, as understanding all the complicated instructions sometimes had me running screaming from the building!

So, knowing how much fun I have had in the past, I really threw myself a curve ball by wanting to make this video more stunningly complicated than anything I tried before, with moving images, spooky music and narration.

This is how I have achieved some really wonderful things in my life. I get an idea, and in no time at all, I can see the finished item in my head and I will move Heaven and high water to bring whatever it is, to life. This is what was happening right then with my idea for a trailer.

I discovered that Pixaby.com has free video clips, so I collected a good selection of suitably dark and spooky ones. Then I visited YouTube and their audio library. I found some very similar music to the Halloween film. My dream was taking shape!

With my first trailer efforts, I used Movie Maker and as my teachers used to say, “Could do better!” So I knew there was nothing else for it, I would have to learn how to master the finer points if I hoped to create a masterpiece.

I watched so many tutorials on YouTube and wrote copious amounts of notes and bit by bit, I learned the basics.

This was a month ago. I knew I needed time to practice, as nothing happens in much of a hurry around here, but wasn’t prepared for just how long it would take. Time and again, I tried to get it right and time and again I failed miserably.

Trouble was, it didn’t look that hard. But, and this is what always happens to me and anything to do with technology, it never quite seems to work for me. I get lots of nearly’s and almost’s, but like most people, this would never be good enough for me.

I learned how to shorten the clips and move them about. I added a title page and one for the credits at the end. I had my music and knew what to do with it. All that was left to do was plug in my microphone and narrate the poem.

This took several attempts as something kept stopping my voice from registering.  Much later, I managed it, but when I played it back, parts of my voice were missing.

I was on the verge of pulling my hair out by then, so I closed everything down and walked away. This procedure seemed to go on for days and I was no nearer perfection than I was at the beginning.

I don’t compromise easily, but in desperation, I tried Photo Story.  This system only allows static images, not exactly what I wanted, but I tried anyway.

I also tried Movie Maker again, but the result was the same.

My dream was fading.

In the end, I conceded a temporary defeat and posted the poem on our blog.

My determination has not dimmed though. I will keep trying to conquer Movie Maker or something similar, and hopefully, future trailers will be better.

Chasing Daylight and My Thoughts…

Chasing Daylight:How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life Kindle Edition

“Must the end of life be the worst part?

Can it be made the best?”

At 53, Eugene O’Kelly was in the full swing of life. Chairman and CEO of KPMG, one of the largest U.S. accounting firms, he enjoyed a successful career and drew happiness from his wife, children, family, and close friends. He was thinking ahead: the next business trip, the firm’s continued success, weekend plans with his wife, his daughter’s first day of eighth grade.

Then in May 2005, Gene was diagnosed with late-stage brain cancer and given three to six months to live. Just like that.

Now a growing darkness was absorbing the bright future he had seen for himself. He would have to change his plans, quickly, and capture what he could of his last diminishing days.

Chasing Daylight is the account of his final journey. Starting from the time of his diagnosis and concluded upon his death less than four months later, this book is his unforgettable story.

With startling intimacy, it chronicles the dissolution of Eugene O’Kelly’s life and his gradual awakening to a more profound understanding. Interweaving unsettling details of his battle with cancer with his moment-to-moment reflections on life and death, love and success, spirituality and the search for meaning, it provides a testament to the power of the human spirit and a compelling message about how to live a more vivid, balanced, and meaningful life.

Inspiring, passionate, deeply insightful, Chasing Daylight is a remarkable man’s poignant farewell to a beloved world.

What I Thought

I have been reading a beautifully written and thought-provoking book this week, called, ‘Chasing Daylight’ by Eugene O’Kelly. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did, for all sorts of reasons.

For a start, it is all about how he handled the fact that he had only months to live following the discovery of several brain tumours.  I thought it might be hard going, considering I almost died from a heart attack myself years ago, and still feel I am on borrowed time sometimes.

I started to read, pleased to discover that he handled the news well, that he was determined to die with dignity… all very profound and somewhat comforting to me. He goes on to describe how he said a pleasant ‘goodbye’ to all his hundreds of friends, and I found myself looking back at my own life. At what I had achieved, and what I hadn’t, how many people’s lives had I touched.

Three quarters of the way through the book I began to feel sad – not for him, but for me.
You see, I know now for sure that my life has not been that exciting or profound. Too much heartbreak and disasters for a start.
I have been a loner for most of my life, which will probably be a good thing, as there won’t be masses of people saddened by my passing.
That’s if I decide to go (I am still undecided about that!)
As Dylan Thomas said, I will ‘rage against the dying of the light’ as I still feel there is something I haven’t done or achieved yet, and there is still time!
Still time to think about all the things I still want to do, or see, or achieve. ‘Never too late’ is fast becoming a mantra and I wonder what will happen next?

There is a lot to be said for dying suddenly. No time to worry about it or try to plan it, neither of which is very desirable. Mr O’Kelly learned to meditate and unwind using water, something I have been doing all my life. Rivers, waterfalls, the sea, all have a deep profound effect on me. The only thing that does.

So, ‘Chasing Daylight’ was sad but uplifting in a way. The fact that his illness was painless was a blessing and to be desired by all of us, and possibly what stops this book becoming a harrowing reading experience.




Friday Message from us to you…

Friday seems to come around faster than ever these days, but we hope life has been kind to each and every one of you.

Today, we offer two of Anita’s poems and a brand new episode of Teagan Geneviene’s Dead of Winter for your enjoyment.

Journey Nine and it sounds even more exciting!

Not so many reblogs today, but a specially chosen flower to wish you all a peaceful and happy weekend…

The Past…

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Is it old age that has the past rushing in like a raging river?

Lost moments remembered.

The way my legs felt after taking off my roller skates, they were still there, like a phantom limb, my dad said.

The way my backside ached, playing on my bike all day. No trouble leaving the front door open, people walk in any time of the day.

Kettle always on the boil, no worries as to the lateness of the hour.

We were safe playing out after dark. That’s when I took notice of the stars.

A penny would buy a bag of broken biscuits, keep me going until teatime.

Or a bag of chips if you remembered to bring old newspapers.

Running errands for the neighbours meant I always had money to spend.

Mum gave me a shilling a week pocket money, with that I could go swimming, buy a bag of chips after.

Walking home with hot chips in my hand wrapped in newspaper, one of my best memories.

It’s not the same today, they come in polystyrene boxes.

I took my granddaughter swimming. There’s no diving, no jumping, no fun

Just swim up and down. We used to chase each other beneath the water

Pull each other under, who could make the biggest splash is frowned upon now.

Some places had a diving pool only, which feels sterile to me.

That’s the way of things these days, we all walk on tiptoes.

Could be the past should stay behind a dark curtain…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Jaye’s Week…

In an effort to ignore what’s going on all around me, both in the world and in our house, (Anita has an appointment next week at the hospital) I have been trying to bury my head in the computer, trying to catch up on all the things I haven’t managed to get around to lately. In my wildest dreams, I could never have dreamed what I would be getting up to in my advancing years. Just goes to show how far you can come if you let yourself dream big.

I have always hated anything to do with computers for they are illogical, slow and complicated. I firmly believe they were sent by the devil to drive us all mad. At least, that’s what happens in our house!

But it wasn’t always this way.

There was a time when the idea of a machine with such amazing capabilities did seem like a fantastic advantage. But my first encounter with one, some thirty years ago, probably ruined me for life. This was when it was in its infancy, and you had to upload or input reams of data to do even the simplest thing. My son was playing chess on this strange looking box and I wanted to have a go. What he forgot to mention, was if you made even a small mistake in entering this data (which seemed to take hours) you would get a big fat nothing. Stubbornly, I tried and tried but failed to get it to work.

Fast forward to just a few years ago, when Indie publishing started making headlines.

Despite my earlier disappointment, I felt myself warming to the idea. I wouldn’t have to input masses of data like before, so maybe it would be easier to use. We all know the answer to that supposition, don’t we?

I still hate computers with a passion, but I do appreciate just how wonderful they are if you can learn the ropes. I still have days when I could beat mine to death with a mallet, but this is more to do with my stubborn brain than anything else. Because they can sometimes do so many amazing things, it encourages us mortals to reach for the stars.

Way back at the beginning of my blogging career, I can remember wondering if I would ever write a book, and now I have written four, well, six if you count the non-fiction ones and am close to finishing another. At the time, I was happily editing Anita’s books. I never thought a muse would bother me.

When it did, I was astonished by just how addictive writing can become. The most surprising thing was the behaviour of my characters. They became like old friends, and I enjoyed their company so much, the first book turned into a series. Even now, they are nagging me to let them loose again!

It has been an amazing and often terrifying journey, from that first ever blog post to eventually formatting e-books, paperback copies and book trailers. Learning how to publish a book was hard, but the writing was the best part, once I convinced myself that it was something I could do, after all.

None of which was easy for the biggest technophobe this side of Microsoft, someone who battles technology every single day for that magical moment when realisation dawns and I finally understands how things work.

I am well past retiring age now, but I am busier than ever and have no intentions of slowing down or stopping, for where would the fun be in that?

This journey still has some mileage, however, for there are a few things I haven’t attempted yet, and several that need improving. So I won’t be putting away my thinking cap just yet.

As they said when I was at school, “There is always room for improvement…”


What I Really Thought of Come Away …

I found myself watching this film with the family over the weekend and almost gave up on it, as I am not found of remakes or mash ups.

At first, I thought someone had been playing around with some idea of artistic licence, distorting the original story. Usually this means it will bear little if any resemblance to the classic fairy-tale.

What I didn’t realise, was that they had been doing that, but with two well-known classics, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.

The cast of Come Away seemed to be a bit of an experiment too, and the more I watched, the more I wished I were somewhere else. Watching Angelina Jolie’s face, I had the feeling she did too.

In all fairness to the producer, the storyline isn’t bad, if a little predictable, but the lack of any decent magic was unfortunate, if inexcusable.

There was the occasional light sprinkling of fairy dust, but this does not a fairy-tale make. Tinkerbell was actually represented by a tiny golden bell. Need I say more?

A disappointingly tragic story that I am sorry I watched…

I wonder what you made of it?

White Ghosts… #Poetry

 Image by tatlin from Pixabay

 

Grey clouds on white candy
Black clouds carrying heavy rain
Lovers kiss beneath outstretched umbrellas
Rain splashed pavements wait for blue skies
White prisms of light shine on polished leaves
Trees sway, shedding their last teardrops
The earth greedy with thirst
Eagerly swallows each tear
White ghosts painted on blue skies
Light souls shining through
Touching those below, covering
The earth with memory
Waiting to be remembered
Grey clouds dropping rain
Showering the earth with secrets
Children splash in puddles
As other feet did years ago
Lift your face to the clouds
Taste the rain upon your lips
Do you remember?
Does the taste of something lost, come to mind?
Clouds will bring the rain again
Teasing you, daring you to remember
Secrets of the past hidden in each drop
Clouds pass, unseen by many below
Tilt your head, see the magic they make
The shapes and wonder of sky art…
White bleached clouds sail across blue skies
The day is washed clean as if by magic
Pink clouds hiding behind pillars of white
The day sails through to the purple hue of evening
All is well with my world…

© Anita Dawes 2021

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Jaye’s Week (Not the Best I’m afraid!)

The week hasn’t started yet, and I’m already worrying enough for six people.

You see, because I haven’t been posting about my sister’s health lately, most of you probably think she is doing well. The truth is somewhat sadder, I’m afraid.

Although Anita really did appreciate everyone’s good wishes last year, she said she needed to move on and concentrate on getting better, so asked me to stop the updates. The loss of her health has come as a shock to all of us, including Anita as she has always been the healthiest member of our family. We have since discovered that although she is the head of the family, always first with help and advice when we all need it, she is the worst patient in the world and exceedingly difficult to take care of!

Despite her will power, (and most of mine!) there are still days when she struggles to breathe and has very little strength. Her quality of life drags on the floor and some days we fear for the worst. We are constantly being assured that the pacemaker thingy is doing its job, but at the same time, they admit to the setting being very low to avoid straining her severely damaged heart.

Eventually, our concerns filtered through to the consultant, who rang our house and spoke to Anita at length, resulting in appointments for several tests this week. An Echocardiogram and an Angiogram, blood tests etc. A stent was mentioned, too, so all being well, we may eventually have good news.

In the meantime, though, I am having trouble concentrating on anything, but desperate to keep busy…