Leaves fallen, fruit gone;
just one golden crab apple
steals the limelight.
My heartfelt thanks to Keyur Panchel at Keep Picturing, who has an awesome photography blog and was kind enough to nominate me for the One Lovely Blog Award back in mid-September … sorry about the time-slippage on my part D:
Here are the rules of the award
1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
2. List the rules and display the award
3. List 7 facts about yourself
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on 1 of their posts to let them know they’ve been nominated.
Now I’m going to cheat and break all the rules. This is my twelfth award and I’m running out of new things to say about myself, but you can read plenty of random/eccentric facts from earlier posts via my page Blogging Awards
Before you do this, I’m going to tell you about “The Gadget” that has recently boosted my standing as a domestic demi-goddess: a fact of sorts … hah ;-) And please do stick around to find out who I’ve nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award.
Story Of The Gadget
“What would you like for your birthday?” asked Mister.
“A breadmaking machine,” I replied.
“But women get cross if men give them a household gadget for a birthday present.”
“Not if they’ve requested it.”
Even though my birthday was still a month off, he ordered the machine straight away from Amazon, and immediately it arrived, we had to check it worked and after I’d cooked my first loaf, it seemed silly to miss out on waiting until my birthday to cook another loaf, or two or three …
Not only can this amazing machine be used for bread-making, but also for cakes, pizza dough, and jam-making. So far, I’ve cooked wholemeal loaves, French loaves, and a coffee cake. Apart from them tasting better than the shop-brought stuff, they’re also much healthier as there are no additives. As for the new topping I’ve discovered for wholemeal toast — yum, super-nutritious organic cashew nut butter with sugar-free pomegranate and raspberry jam.
PS Will be providing a report on increases in the waistlines of Mr and Mrs Potter in due course!
I’m going to break another rule and just nominate three lovely blogs I’ve started following fairly recently, which means they haven’t received nominations, or multiple nominations for awards from me before. The links I’ve provided will take you straight to their “about” pages, which describes them far better than I can!
Dead tree in brackets:
a stump in isolation
[Nature’s own sub-clause].
Green monster from outer space
observes death of tree.
attacked by honey fungus;
not long now, tree stump.
Leigh W. Smith of Leigh’s Wordsmithery very kindly tagged me for the 777 challenge back in mid-October (shame-faced at my slowness to respond). Leigh is such a cool writer of most original voice and style. She writes speculative fiction and science fiction, mostly short stories, although she is working on her first novel. Do visit her blog and read some of her awesome creations.
The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress. This is all a bit of fun: nobody must feel beholden to take part and they are free to bend the rules if they wish.
I’ve already done a similar challenge (Lucky Sevens) twice before, for my Speculative fiction novel that I’m busy submitting to literary agents and publishers just now. What I found interesting about this earlier exercise was that my 7 lines changed from the first draft to the last. For anyone who’s interested, you will find the two different versions in these posts — Lucky Seven Time! and The Magnum Opus: Where Did that Year Go? Also, the title has changed several times, with it ending up as Counting Magpies, partly thanks to my fellow bloggers’ input in a recent poll.
At the moment, my work-in-progress involves editing and formatting one of my older novels, possibly with self-publication in mind. It’s not a path I ever envisaged going down but no harm in exploring all avenues. This particular novel, Desiccation, is set in a posh girls boarding school in the 60s and is a darkly comic science fantasy, which I envisage as being suitable for older teenagers upwards. So here’s my extract, although I can’t guarantee that it will appear exactly on Page 7 by the time I’ve finished my edit.
The head girl despaired at both the skag and the hog, but she could just about tolerate them as long as they didn’t start quibbling about her extortionate commission; not that she was optimistic about making a fortune with such shoddy specimens in her employ.
The sport-mad Skag Rag looked more like a boy than a girl with her flat chest, muscly limbs, and short-cropped hair, while Sweat Hog resembled a large pink blancmange. She could have made something of her white-blonde hair, but instead chose to wear it in a limp ponytail, adding to her general air of neglect. The plus side of both girls’ unattractiveness was their desperation for male attention of any kind.
Following that brief interlude, here are the 6 (not 7) people I’m tagging for the 777 Challenge (I hear their feet running off into the distance already!):
Blondeusk of Blondewritemore , who is writing her first novel and was my guest storyteller in August (Note: this tagging is strictly under the proviso that Blondeusk doesn’t take up the challenge until December, after she has surfaced from NaNoWriMo as I’m encouraging her not to read back over any of her novel-in-progress until she has typed THE END).
Sherri of A View From My Summerhouse, who’s writing her memoirs. (And shush, this is secret as Sherri doesn’t know it yet, but I’m shortly going to invite her along as a guest storyteller to my blog).
Dave of Dave Farmer’s Blog, whose fantastic zombie novel The Range is due for publication at the end of this month (watch out for the Publication Day special on my blog). Dave was my guest storyteller in June.
David Milligan-Croft of There Is No Cavalry, who, like me, doesn’t enjoy the restrictions of genre. I’m not sure where he is with his second novel, Peripheral Vision, re editing, but I’m hopeful he’ll take up the 777 challenge. The story is about a boy growing up in the 1970s northern England, who descends into crime and whose only chance at redemption is in finding his long-lost childhood sweetheart.
“Excuse me, has anyone seen my mouse?” Damn, that’s not working.
“Help, there’s a tiger on the loose!” Unbelievable. Still no response. You’re all dead from the neck up.
“Fire! Fire!” Well, that’s flaming useless. My lighter’s not working.
“Does that bag belong to anyone?” Excellent, they’re getting twitchy.
“Make way for the bomb disposal unit.” OMG, I hate crowds.
Phew, they’ve gone. Now I can tell my behaviour therapist I made it through the shopping-centre without panicking.
“Oh, no. Help! Somebody, please. Take it away.”
(shaking my fist at the sky) “What manner of twisted deity creates spiders?”
This week, I went on a hunt for rusty objects and found literally dozens of interesting bits. Rust is one of those things that’s all around us, but we’re so used to seeing it that our brain files it under “unremarkable”, so we end up un-seeing it: that is, unless the rusted object belongs to us and is on the point of seizing up, or collapsing.
Rust is quite photogenic, although I don’t particularly like the smell of it but, as these pictures aren’t for a toddler’s Scratch & Sniff book, that’s not relevant.
Just to make my foray into the world of rust complete, I would really appreciate it if me clever-clogs could tell me the technical name for each item in my pictures above.
Picture 1 — Door on a lamppost, behind which lies the control panel to the electrics. Type of lock?
Picture 2 — Garage door. Type of hinge?
Picture 3 — Fence-panel support. Type of hook and ring?
Picture 4 — Telegraph-pole support. Type of ring?
Your answers awaited with interest. And you never know, I might even mention these objects in a story sometime, if the names for them are interesting enough.