Sunday, 17 February 2013

 Seadrake pure silver and moonstone ring
I miss the chickens.  I miss their morning clucking, the sound they made when they were laying, the boasting that happened afterwards and the crooning when they found their favourite patch of grass in the sun.  I also miss their eggs.  Each chicken laid differently – at different times of the day, yes, but they also had very distinctive eggs too.  Poppy’s eggs were renown for having light yellow yolks, thin membranes and HUUUUGGGE shells.  Ruby’s were medium, had darker yolks, Speckled Gemima’s were small, spreckled and firm.  They were ideal for poaching, whereas Poppy and Ruby’s eggs were best fried. 
Someday I’ll get chickens again.  I certainly don’t miss de-icing their water every morning in the winter, or finding red mites in the summer (evil things).  The darkest part of hen keeping is when they get ill.  Commercial hens have been bred to produce eggs at a high rate – an unnaturally high rate.  It takes its toll on them and their life span is lucky to be three years.  I know some keepers who’ve got chickens that last 20 years and up, but this is not the norm… those are superchicks!  The cost of feed has also hit the roof, making hen keeping more of an expensive hobby rather than a slice of the good life.  That, has got to be all this rain that keeps threatening crops…
Which brings me to the allotment.  I’ve got my seeds ready, the ground is prepped… it’s time soon to start work.  Just as soon as this cold weather lets up and this heavy drench peters out.  Icy swamps are not good for growing!
And despite having promised life a slowed down pace… I ended up sending a mass of submissions out and am getting acceptances!  It’s amazing and I’m so excited, but it also means more work and manic writing.  I’ve re-started my non-fiction writing as it’s nice to have a trickle of income (even though the per-hour rate is about 10cents an hour).  But it’s nice to have a reconnection with other writers and post interviews of their successes. 
So on to my accepted submissions… Firstly, I’m working on and with an amazing charity anthology for Springbok Publications – the new small press that will be highlighting the plight of the African Black Rhino and all proceeds will go to that charity.  I’ll have a teen fiction slant on my story (I’ll also be submitting a poem) which brings me to the fact that I’ve had a lightning moment and I KNOW MY GENRE.  I’m a teen fiction writer (hear my friends say, ‘duh!’) although I do also write for children (and the child at heart).  No more horror, no more steampunk attempts, no more random submissions for women’s magazines.  It’s all about children’s and YA fiction with a slant on the edgy and dark side.
Okay, okay, I’m rambling again.  Back to accepted submissions.  My non-fiction Three Victorian Women in Asylum is also being taken on by Springbok and I’m going to do my darnedest to help promote it by writing a series of articles and sending them out to (don’t groan) women’s magazines (so, I may not be writing fiction for them, but a good article is different ;)  I still have to finish the draft and pay for the photos of the women (in archive at the moment) but I expect to have it ready by October this year (not the release date, but the date I send it to my publisher).
Next on the list (whew! getting tired already and there is still much more to cover) which is I’ve had my stories accepted with provision to which is a fabulous small press that helped my friend and fellow writer Tim Reed reach bestselling proportions.  As they no longer publish individual short stories, I’ve sent them a collection of teen dark fiction – two have been previously published so they might want fresh new ones and I don’t want to chuck my ‘wrong genre’ unpublished stories in with the goodies I sent them earlier.  So we’ll see.  The real up note on this is that I think they’ll be interested in Downtrodden, my latest teen (well 15+ due to some graphic scenes – I’ve posted snippits of this book on previous blogs) fantasy novel.
Did I say I missed the chickens?  I could use their calming company.  Aside from all the writing tasks I’ve given myself, I also am developing a line of wedding and engagement rings for Seadrake Creations.  I’ll start them from cast silver and have prices up for gold and platinum if people would prefer one metal over the other.  Then, and here is the exciting bit… customers can choose their stone so they know exactly what they’re getting (unless they want me to pick one out – oooh like a dark, dark ocean blue brilliant cut sapphire… drool).
I’ve found that working with my hands keeps my head from spinning new stories and is the most relaxing thing around.  That, and going to craft fairs is a wonderful day out which involves being computer free.  Bliss.
Well, I think that right about wraps things up.  I’ve got my suite101 articles going again, but I may jump ship to helium as suite is yet again changing things and is very vague about whether writers will be getting any money at all for their work.  Ah well, at least I got a few goodinterviews in ;)


  1. Well done Holly. You will be hitting the big-time very soon. Keep going hon.

  2. Great news Holly about your writing work. I too have got my seeds sorted for this year. ive started them in pots and then ill be putting them out when they grow a bit. Love the jewellery your making, their lovely pieces.

  3. Thank you Adele, I hope so!

    Jaki, I hope your seeds have done well over this cold winter. And thank you so much for the nice comments :-)