Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Goodbye 2020

We have all been truly tested this year. I've always enjoyed change but this year even I have been pushed too far.

I started the year off in style. Meeting with my Genre5 writing group on Jan 4th set the tone and we all enjoyed lunch together. 

We went back to Gloria's and as we settled in the family room for a much-anticipated laugh a minute session as we usually do, yours truly stepped off, and down into, a sunken living room. I landed on my shoulder and broke my humerus bone. No one was laughing. Two months later into recovery with the help of physio I learned to sleep sitting up and finally could drive again.

Then the world went to hell in a handbasket. Pandemic! Covid-19. These words are now etched in our minds along with new sayings like 'social distancing' 'your bubble', etc. If I heard a TV announcer say these are unprecedented times one more time I was going to scream. Wearing a mask came next. Who knew that wearing a mask is now a fashion statement? We have had to adapt and adjust our way of thinking of what is important to us and those around us. People were dying and the numbers rose daily. Homeschooling and online learning. Businesses closed and many working from home. And to quote many politicians and TV announcers these are unprecedented times. This is only Phase One.

Jamie Tremain was busy in the summer polishing off a book in our new series but things started to wane when Pam made a momentous decision to buy a condo apartment and sell her Townhouse. That was the order I did the deed so was under pressure to sell my Townhouse. Not to worry. It sold in 5 days. All done under the covid guidelines with one buyer walking through the house at a time wearing masks. I had been there for 30 years but no regrets, as I was now on one floor and a walkout to a lovely garden. Moving after thirty years can be traumatic and the downsizing part is hard. What to keep, what to discard? The move was scheduled for August and with covid still rearing its ugly head it kept us on our toes. 

The move went smoothly but life doesn't always cooperate. My friend of 54 years was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. A woman of great strength and courage. She had been challenged with Multiple Sclerosis for fifty years. Fantastic attitude to life. Her motto, She had been dealt a lemon so she would make lemonade. She inspired many people but her mind was made up and as she said, "I've not been in charge of my life for fifty years so I will be in charge of my death." She chose MAID. Medical Assistance in Dying. She was now in palliative care in OTMH Oakville and died on Nov 9th a day that she chose.


Phase two of Covid-19 is well underway with dire predictions and the numbers keep going up. Even I mutter to myself, these are unprecedented times. I'm not mentioning the US election here. That's for another time.  Things could not get worse, right? But life has a way of bringing us to order.

The same week my dear friend died, of her choosing, my youngest grandson died in a tragic accident, not of his choosing. Eleven years old and so full of life. The family is heartbroken. His parents and his eighteen-year-old brother are devastated. Nothing compares to the loss of a child.

Ryan loved to draw

Needless to say, writing as  Jamie Tremain with Liz has taken a back seat. She has been so patient but busy with short stories until I get my mind back. Everyone is affected by the pandemic and life events. I have had a year I hope never to be repeated. The support I have received from family and friends has been wonderful and I am grateful.

Normally I would be tired out preparing food and wrapping gifts for my family. Today I am tired out thinking of where this is all going to end. I am a positive thinker so I will put one foot in front of another and try to look at 2021 in a different light. Many have lost loved ones this past year or have lost their livelihood. Where I live in Southern Ontario we will be in lockdown starting 12.00am Boxing day. I am fortunate to have a roof over my head and food in the fridge. Good friends and my wonderful family to speak to on the phone or Zoom. How lucky I am. I will be dwelling on my friend Sandra and our darling Ryan as I sit and ponder the year from hell.

Hogmanay is a New Year's Eve tradition in Scotland where we say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new. So welcome 2021 whatever you hold in store for us we will handle it if we all obey the rules.

Look for a new series from Jamie Tremain called Grant's Crossing/Death on the Alder.  We hope in 2021.



Monday, December 14, 2020

ADIOS 2020!


Not sorry to see the end of 2020! Vaccines are here so perhaps the end of COVID’s stranglehold on our lives and economies is nearing an end.

Christmas and other holiday times with family and friends to gather have been disrupted and put on hold. But I am grateful to say that my family and friends have been kept safe from the virus. Understandably, though, patience with restrictions is wearing thin. Cracks, often quite large, are showing up with our compliance efforts. I will continue to play nice and abide by best medical advice, but long for the day when I can grocery shop sans mask or no regard for “senior hours”. 

Pam and I still await word from our publisher on the status of Beholden To None,  the third (and last for a while) in our Dorothy Dennehy mystery series. We are anxious to move forward with our next series under development – Grant’s Crossing.  The first book tentatively called Grant’s Crossing – Death on the Alder is now undergoing beta reader testing and final edits. Then begins the process of shopping for a new publisher or taking the plunge and self-publishing.

I’ve been polishing up my short story skills, venturing submissions here and there, and a contest or two. Nothing COVID related either!  Although, never say never.

Baking has become my second most prolific past time, next to writing, this year.  My sister and I have partnered together to produce Christmas fruit cakes and assorted cookies and treats to package and distribute via porch drops to family and friends over the next week or so.

Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love traditional English Christmas Fruitcake!  My sister, Michele, faithfully follows our Mother's recipe every year.

Where would we be these days without video options to keep in touch with family, friends, and for me, the writing community.

Netflix, Prime, Crave, and Acorn TV platforms have kept me entertained. Among shows I had to binge are The Sounds and Queen’s Gambit. Loving Season 3 of Star Trek-Discovery! I'm also watching Castle Rock now, which seems appropriate as evenings are dark and the balcony has gone into hibernation. I’ve  been trying to read more, which helps me, as a writer, become more aware of writing styles, likes and dislikes.

So, I wonder what 2021 will have in store for Jamie Tremain?  For you, I wish health, happiness and an appreciation for all that is still good in this world. Oh, and keep reading, too. Please!

Until next year, this half of Jamie Tremain wishes you a Merry and Blessed Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all things good for this holiday time of year.

See you in the New Year!




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