Approaching The Time Of Janus~~by Mark Huntley-James

It’s the end of the year where we look back at what happened and embrace the prospect of the new, or perhaps just brace for what’s coming. I used to skim through all the photos my partner had taken over the year, just to get a feel for what happened, because many years ago I reached mid-December and was amazed that we had apparently had a year where nothing happened and nothing got done. It was only after skimming the photos that I wondered why we hadn’t retreated into hibernation in late September out of sheer exhaustion.

I know it’s a largely arbitrary choice to pick this as the end of the year. The weather and the short days, and all that goes with mid-winter makes it feel like a time of the old ending and the new beginning, but that’s only because I live in the northern hemisphere.

So, arbitrary or not, how was the year? Sat outside and wrote, spent time with our poorly cat, moved on a few projects around the farm, and generally got on with life. Perhaps I’ll skim through photos later and see what really happened.

One thing I know for certain is that I found time to do a little reading. So, this year, I learned a little about the Cutty Sark sailing ship, courtesy of Steven J Pemberton and then innovative approaches to finding homes for the homeless from Christine Larsen. Back in February, John Nedwill shared adapting his life to COVID, and in August reminded me of blackberrying when I was a kid, and those words from my Grandpa “I’m just going for a stroll” which would result in another few pounds of fresh fruit. I certainly couldn’t help a smile at Søvn Drake’s tale of emerging from behind the masks back in July.

So, how was the year? Forget the downsides, the grim times and the worries, and look back over a year of OMP blogs, full of good cheer and thoughtful moments, full of opportunities where the bright spots are lifted out of adversity and given a polish to let them shine.

And next year? I’m only guessing, but more of the same, but better.


OMP Admin Note:  Mark Huntley-James writes science fiction and fantasy on a small farm in Cornwall, where he lives with his partner and a menagerie of cats, poultry and sheep.

He has two urban fantasy novels out on Kindle – “Hell Of A Deal” (http://relinks.me/B01N94VXBC ) and “The Road To Hell” (relinks.me/B07BJLKFSS  ) – and is working on a third. His contribution to the One Million Project: Fantasy anthology is While We Were Sleeping.

He can be found online at his blog http://writeedge.blogspot.co.uk, his website (https://sites.google.com/site/markhuntleyjames/), and occasionally on that new-fangled social media.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

CHRISTMAS LOVE TO YOU AND YOURS~~by Christine Larsen

Four little wooden dolls in Christmas outfits, against a background of falling snowflakes

Readers who are also dedicated adventurers and travellers will recognise and fully understand the detours and unexpected interruptions that are the ‘norm’ for all journeys. ‘The best made plans of mice and men!’ In my last blog post I talked of pot-holes — of all sizes and shapes. Some can be avoided by a quick swerve, but others prove deceptively deep and difficult (if not impossible) to escape from. Such a one appeared ominously in my path this week.

A recent CT scan revealed an unwanted and most unwelcome small lesion in my brain. I’m told the earliest changes this intruder is likely to introduce to my world are some visual problems and increasing headaches. The good news is that I’m not a headache sufferer, and so far, all is good except for a vertical block loss of some peripheral vision. This messes with my judgement of avoiding obstacles on my sides when walking (particularly my left, and syncing between my brain’s messages to my fingers when typing on my computer keyboard. Luckily, individual keys are clear, as is my computer screen. So I must concentrate on putting my fingers on the correct keys when I start, then all is good for this old touch-typist (uhrr… maybe a few more typos than usual— grrr… If I start on the wrong keys, I invent a whole new language… (clever?!?) All adds up to heaps of corrections (which I passionately must correct). Urhh, mostly, until I get fed up or lazy, or both.

All of this is taking a lot of time, as well as ultimate concentration… but I’m getting there, and much practice should make a difference. If I can keep my creativity at a happy level, I’ll be well pleased… and blessed!

Pain levels are well-controlled and sleeping well with help of Bowen therapy sessions and some lovely supportive medicos (not including my new oncologist replacing my lovely first one who took up another position interstate, sadly… (loved her)). I have named this one my OINK-ologist because he’s a pig of a man and his attitude was ‘if you don’t do chemo or radiotherapy… you’re just a waste of my time!’ Charming, huh? Also suggested I not wait too long to change my mind about ‘going it alone’, like when I’m bedridden with pain and collapsed spine and can’t walk any more! Good news week, hey? He also raised eyebrows in a disgusted look about Bowen therapy and other exercise and breathing expansion I planned to try to help myself. As you can imagine, I’ve divorced him. Actually, think he did me a great favour — my backbone and determination have increased immeasurably since those words! Good news is that all other medicos I’m involved with are fantastic. So helpful, caring and supportive. I wonder if they know what an old-fashioned ‘bedside manner’ is, and how much difference it makes to sad and sagging spirits. Most times, it looks as though they’ve concentrated on terrible, unreadable handwriting at ‘doctor’ school.

Speaking of hand-writing, my other fantastic development and ‘good news’ is that my much beloved and treasured longhand, cursive writing is still a skill of beauty, affording me much pleasure and pride. It’s just tremendously slow compared to my skilful yesterdays, but you can still feel the love, hey?

I realise one must accept limitations and lessened abilities of age and/or disease (or for some, tragic accidents) — all of which change everything, and must cause detours in the route of any journey, wherever and however it be taken.

To quote a popular expression of today, , ‘IT IS WHAT IT IS’ and as such, the quicker we accept our altered realities (as opposed to our hopes and dreams and wishes), the happier and healthier we are.

For me, this particular Christmas has been exceptionally challenging and difficult up until a day or two ago when I made a decision to concentrate on, and accept, my new direction, my new status ‘quo’, and choose to attempt to create a really great Christmas 2022. I’ve promised myself to start early with lots of my most beloved Christmas decorations and make the most cheerful Chrissie home possible, taking all the extra time and concentration I need these days.

I think my blog posts in the interim will be shorter, but hopefully continuing in my most positive fashion.

I have so many dear friends praying and wishing me the very best. Failure of the dedication of my heart and soul is not an option I will ever accept or embrace.

Our world and its people have endured such unhappy years recently!

Just for a change, let’s make 2022 a good one, hey?


OMP Admin Note: Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.

Christine contributed A Bonny Wee Lassie to the One Million Project: Fiction anthology.

To find out more about Christine and her work:

ceedee moodling  (Christine’s website)

Christine Larsen, Author

 – on Wattpad

–  on Facebook

– on Tablo

– on Amazon

Old McLarsen had some Farms (farming memoirs)

ceedee4kids (Christine’s children’s book site)

Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology