Life Changing

Update

Well this is ridiculous, I was going to say happy {insert correct month here} to you guys, but I just got seriously confused about which month it is! This may say something about how tired I am! I’d like to say I’m Astonished but I’m not surprised.

As the title suggests there have been some life changing events as I’ve welcomed a baby into the world. It’s been a little busy, but the tiny beast is currently asleep so I’ve snuck away to take care of some typing!

I’m still working on the final three chapters of the Poisoned Well, and I’m so proud that this project is continuing, even if it is slowly! Line by line, paragraph by paragraph it will be finished!

Free Short Story

In the meantime a brand new release is available for download!

HopeCover

Hope is a second short-story from Arenith. It also takes place during the events of Burning Embers and has some characters you might recognize…

Burning Embers

I’ve also reached my second target of sales with Burning Embers! 50 copies sold! I know it’s a rather modest target, but I’m so excited to have so many people read my book. They seem to be enjoying it to! There are some new reviews popping up!

**** This story was gripping throughout, and you want to see Feia through her whole journey. Probably my favourite character was Vesta, Feia’s friend who winds up travelling with her. I couldn’t help but be swept up by her. There is a depth there that made me so vested in knowing more about her.

What I loved about this book was that it brought in so many strong women, but they were all strong in very different ways, and not all of them in a way that helped others. Feia herself developed far more strength as a result of being around these women, though she still found her own way of expressing and using it. – Pysgrad April 2018

*** I enjoyed Burning Embers. It certainly starts out with a bang… I wanted more. More of everything. But I think that will make me enjoy reading book 2 to satiate that craving. – March 2018

**** This was a really good book!! It was hard to put down! There is magic and a little romance and friendship all mixed in! – Dec 2018

Friends of Fibi

Finally, in my connection without writers and artists I’ve come across this author whose box-set is releasing this week!

The Isolde Saga

The Complete Story has just been released on amazon! A fresh box-set release this week it’s receiving excellent reviews and is a real gem of a find.

The Dead Walk. Magic Has Returned. The Netherworld Awaits.

Death plagues Isolde’s village and everyone thinks that the demon, Orlog, has returned from the northern wastes. Isolde knows it is true because she hears the demon’s voice whispering for her. But as the pox spreads, no one has time to listen to Isolde or her warnings.

The wanderer, Skaldi, hears Isolde though. He believes that she is telling the truth, because he knows that her future is tied up with the fate of the north lands. For Isolde is a netherwalker – one who can pass the veil of death unscathed, one who is a dancer between worlds! But Orlog knows the truth too and Isolde realizes that the demon never wanted her village… but only her soul!

While the land is torn apart by war, demons and the undead rise to rip apart the world. Isolde is forced onto an epic quest to end the evil that threatens her world. But it is not just her soul on the line, but the fate of all humanity.

The Isolde Saga is an epic fantasy series. If you like fast-paced adventure, heroic deeds against impossible odds, and magic darker than the abyss, then you will love this fantasy adventure.

Finally

I’ve updated my instagram and can now be found #bookstagram(ing) like a pro at greypixi.

I also just wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your support so far! Have a lovely May and happy reading.

Fibi xx

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Off off off the hook! Daily Prompt

A second #RoyalBaby will soon be joining the Windsors in England. Given the choice, would you rather be heir to the throne, or the (probably) off-the-hook sibling?

This is my response to the Daily Prompt above:

Well baby news is something close to my heart at the moment. We’re currently anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new baby nephew. I am so excited to meet him. I’m a very lucky Aunt to have three nieces and a nephew and every day I can’t help but miss the little monkeys and wish I could see them more often. Every baby is so special and as my nieces and nephews have grown into such cheeky individual I can’t help but be reminded of how privileged I am to share in their lives.

I feel a bit young to have children of my own but delight in creating things for them, making them water-colour story books to treasure with the hope that, maybe one day, in years to come they’ll be worth something. Who knows, if I become a successful novelist people will be dead keen to get their hands on my early little cartoons and miniature books.

But back to the prompt. Which would I rather be? Power is something I explore in Burning Embers and the sequels. Can you ever feel prepared to rule over a country or does power always corrupt? Is it best to watch from the side-lines and enjoy the ‘freedom’ the comes from this. Or does being a sibling automatically open you to a more negative commentary in comparison to an older sibling? Will you never be as good, where as your sibling is considered charming as appropriate to a prince, will you automatically always be seen as verbose. Are you defined by the need to create a clear distinction between the favourable and unfavourable candidate for King or Queen?

I think being heir to the throne would be far too responsible a job for me. It would probably be best if I were far further down the list of possibilities. A castle would be nice though, and a sword…and a dragon……..please? (Just a tiny one????)

Happy lunch everyone,

Fibi xx

I believe!

I’m sure you’ll all be sick of me talking about this, but thank you Daily Prompt for a perfect oppertunity! Another reason to believe….

Currently my reason to believe is the generosity of the people around me. A few weeks ago I put out a call for poems, stories, artwork and photographs to pull together in a book. The purpose of this book was to help raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis and the fire fighters charity via Alex’s Adventures.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of work I received back, and the immense quality of so many of the pieces.
One of my favourite things is a poem written by my three year old niece about her favourite person. Honestly, it’s inspired! But there are also some gorgeous short stories and many poems dedicated in love to those who have passed on from this world. I’m so proud of the collection and just feel so grateful to all of the contributors who helped make it what it was.
It’s been an emotional journey, pulling it all together but it’s worth it. I hope it does well as all proceeds will go to charity and help raise awareness for things that are close to my heart.
One final, enormous thank you has to be to a friend I contacted, out of the blue just two days before sending the book to print. I asked, because I knew he was into arty things, if he had any illustrations that would fit the theme. His response was just incredible. He managed to get three amazing pictures back to me, for three poems. They are amazing and so beautiful. His website is Unknown Creatives and they come very highly recommended.
If any of you lovely bloggers would want to review this raw and heartfelt collection that would be amazing! Please contact me 🙂

And here it is! You mean the world to me… a collection made and dedicated to love.

I can’t stay mad at you – Occupational Hazard!!

My cousin Alex is doing ten amazing challenges in ten months to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis and the Fire-Fighters trust to mark ten years since his sister passed away due to this destructive disease. In the past four months he must have walked, cycled, horse ridden and kayaked more than 300 miles! Not to mention the miles put down by everyone joining in with the cause. So, to help him I decided to pull together a collection of poems, short stories, flash fiction and art work from friends, family and fellow creative people and create a book that we will be able to sell; all profits donated to charity.
I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the submissions I’ve received and they’re still coming in! The theme is You Mean the World to Me. Now, this post is supposed to be forgiveness based and I’ve named it Occupation Hazard. I’ve come a long way around, but I’m finding it hard to read the submissions. They’re so beautiful and so many of them are raw. I’ll be honest; the first reading of each submission is tending to leave me in tears.
I’m not usually an emotional person. It takes a lot to choke me up and I’m certainly not one to wear my hearty on my sleeve – well, that’s what I like to think anyway! But I keep choking on the words that other people have sent to me, in honour of this amazing cause. Don’t get me wrong by any means. I am LOVING pulling everything together and working on something physical which will both help the charity’s and act as a kind of record for what my cousin Alex is undertaking. I didn’t expect to need a box of tissues when reading through though.
Luckily, after the initial waterfall-inducing whammy of the pieces, I’m able to step back a little bit. Or at least, I know enough of what they each are to put them into a cohesive order for the book. Make me cry once, shame on me, make it happen twice – well…well done your creative geniuses for creating such moving pieces.
I forgive you all though.
Thank you.
Fibi xx

Looking out my back door: Spiders in the Toilet.

Another Daily Prompt 🙂
The back door is ancient, thick and warped slightly with age. Flakes of red paint fall away when you slide back the bolt. Well, you jam it back with as much force as you can manage, because it likes to stick. It’s got black plastic handle which doesn’t turn anymore. You just have to pull it towards you, sharply, and try not to punch yourself in the face. I find that ducking to the left is usually the best option, but try not to tread on the cat who is inevitably sat on your feet, refusing to go through the flap.
The back door opens over two concrete steps, the edges chipped with age. Stepping down, your faced with the outside lavatory that was built with the house. The flush chain dangles lifeless and half-snapped off. The toilet seat is dark and thankfully shut. Who knows what could crawl up from the pre-war plumbing. We used to use that toilet, when we were children. In the summer time we’d run in, skidding with our bare feet on the icy on the concrete floor, vision green and speckled from the sun. It was a favourite habitat for spiders, even then. Once, I forgot that we shouldn’t lock the door and I was stuck. My own, white-washed cell and a lock that wouldn’t budge. I panicked and my poor father tried to climb in through the skinny window. He must have been standing on a ladder because even now, the window is well above my head. Just as they were about to cut the door away from its hinges though, the lock gave. It’s game was up.
After that summer, it became a home for kittens. Our cat made her bed there and had her litters. I remember sitting on the dusty floor, cradling fluffy bundles on my knees.
Next to the toilet is the coal shed. I think, it was only ever used for coal one winter and then never again – because we gas installed. It’s still lined with the dust but it’s where the ice-cream freezer lives. Yes, we make you work hard for your dessert in my family.
There’s supposed to be another door, between the outside and the shed and the toilet. But it came off years ago.
Now you just step out, into the garden. Overgrown, filled with flashes of pink, purple and yellow wild flowers. The giant hydrangeas’, the strawberry plants, sweet pea and blackberry bushes. You can lie on the soft green grass and imagine you are anywhere in the world.

I have a challenge for you, should you chose to accept it…

Apologies to those that have already seen this on Alex’s Adventures in duplicate 🙂

You’ve all seen my discussions, posts and encouragement of my cousin Alex who is undertaking Ten Adventures to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and the Fire Fighters Trust. Alex has completed 3 out of the 10 adventures in memory of his sister Melissa who passed away 10 years ago.

He’s going up all mountains, kayaking, riding, cycling etc and as I have all of the athletic skill and agility as a two-legged epileptic donkey. I’ve been doing my best to support my little cousin (okay, he does somewhat tower over me these days…) but despite wracking my brains for about six months now, I’ve been struggling to think of what I can ‘do’ to really really help out.

But then, I ordered a gift for my Mum for Mother’s Day. A small, self-published collection of short stories, poetry, flash fiction and musings in a cute little hardback and paperback format. They’ve just arrived and I’m so pleased with the quality of the printing and aaah it just looks lush!

It’s like a genius moment.

I’ve realised what I can do.

I can’t climb a mountain. (I can barely walk in a straight line without injuring myself!)

I can however, pull together a collection of poems, short stories, pictures and art. Publish it with the same company I used for my mums gift and pass on any profits to Alex’s chosen charities.

This is a very good idea!

The title of the collection will be ‘You mean the world to me…’ and all of the collected works will reflect this theme in some way.

It could be a story about a loved one, or a poem someone who has passed away, someone that you just couldn’t be without, a friend or family member. It could also be about your favourite teddy bear or a goldfish. It can be as happy or as sad as you like and any length so long as it’s under 2000 words.

So long as it fits the theme, I’d love to see it!

If you’d be interested in submitting a piece then please e-mail me at inkycygnet@googlemail.com

Fibi

10 Day Blogger Challenge – Half Way There!


day5

I’m currently at a point where I’m determined to keep up to date with my blog, so please find the fifth installment of the 10 Day Blogger Challenge to follow. It does feel a little like a cheap trick, I get to do some nifty self-promotion, with very little added work for today. But if it means I can rattle off a post and you’ll all find some amusement, I’m willing to make a sacrifice.

So, my best posts so far…well, there isn’t a huge amount to choose from; not that my posts are rubbish- I hope, but because I don’t exactly have an exorbitant amount to pick between.  I also run the risk of forcing readers to read the same old thing. However, for my first ‘best post’ I’m going to select something I find humorous and I feel that if you’ve stumbled across my blog, but not read this – than you may enjoy it.

First things first – The Great Pie Incident, a short story based on tragically true events.

This very brief story combines humour and an inability to cook. Fun for all the family! My sister apparently fell of the sofa laughing when she realised what I’d posted onto my blog. My mother was less impressed; but I’m yet to show you the ‘prawn cocktail’ she made at Christmas, or discuss or a cake which was a roll or the…you get the general idea. Like No Pie…

Second Post –

Family Orientated again. I like my story about pie, but I had a look at the stats and saw what other posts have been successful and deserve another airing out the cupboard.  I was delighted to find out that my post of celebration, for a very special lady had scored among the highest! –Whooopee! More people will realise just how amazing my sister is.  Daughter, Wife, Sister, Mother, Friend, Business Lady, Smart-alec… The daily prompt post I feel is worth a read. Also, another food related one. I’m starting to see a theme… Cake

Third Post –

What do I need to learn? Moving forward I’d like to be a better writer, I’d love to have greater style,  clarity and grace.  This post was also a response to a Daily Prompt and I was pleased with how it turned out. I find, sorry guys, that my blogs tend to wander off on their own tangents. But I don’t got no Gramma’ worked. Well, I feel it did anyway. I felt as though I was able to hit the daily prompt, say what I want to say, say it well, tie it up and move on. Success all round.

Let me know what you think, are these my best?

 

Daily Prompt: Pat on the Back – A party without cake, is just a meeting

Daily Prompt: Pat on the Back

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

It’s getting quite frightening, just how relevant these daily prompts are to my life. They all seem to fit in too neatly with what’s happening to the day they’re given out. Today, this would be a perfect opportunity to say, again, how pleased and proud I was to receive an award from someone who follows my blog.  However, I thought I would instead send my praise elsewhere. This post will be devoted to my Sister.

My sister was recently featured in a local newspaper as a Queen of Cupcakes. (She certainly doesn’t take after our Mother…) My Sister and her husband have four young children between the ages of 12 and 2. As you can imagine, she’s a busy mummy! However, due to the economic climate that she lives in, and the continued amount of government cuts. She receives less and less help for general childcare costs. She has always been an enterprising lady and so, two years ago whilst I was visiting (she lives abroad sadly) she told me that she was going to sell cupcakes. She’d perfected a recipe and was going to start giving the local indoor children’s play area, 12 cupcakes to sell on a Thursday. She was worried that they wouldn’t sell. That no one would want chocolate cupcakes, in a recession, cake isn’t a necessity.

I remember sitting in the car, as she made the first delivery. She came back and shrugged. It would either work, or we’d throw any remaining cakes away. It was no real loss, and it had been worth a try.

Two days later, the play area phoned her and asked for some more cakes. It had been horrible weather, the play area had been packed and the delicious chocolate and vanilla cakes had sold out. I was really proud of her.

Two years later, and my sister provides cupcakes to a variety of local shops and to the same play area. She also takes orders for birthday, christening, communion and wedding cakes. After starting as a novice, she’s built a respected small business.

My Sister is a wonderful person and one really smart cookie too. I feel very proud to have such a kind, beautiful, enigmatic and exciting woman in my life.  She truly is brilliant and it all just goes to show; whatever ever you dream of doing, whether it’s becoming a cake baker, florist, author, sculpture, bus conductor – anything. Give it a go – see where you end up.

Image

I lick your nose!

As previously advertised today is my birthday! Hooray! I feel as though I have been thoroughly spoilt by my friends, family and workmates and would like to take the opportunity to say thank you, thank you, thank you.

Birthdays are an usual creature. They’re a lovely opportunity to expresses how thankful you are, to have someone in your life. I see them as that, a chance to say ‘Happy Birthday – I love you and I’m really pleased that we are family, or that we’re friends – insert correct term here. Or I really appreciate that you are here, if love is too strong a term. So, Birthdays are lovely.

I’m not a present mad person (I much prefer to give presents!), although I grateful for all of the thoughtful gifts I have received! One present I had been desperate to see, was a beautiful Dragon made from glass. I’ll provide a link to the artist shortly so that she can take credit for her gorgeous creation.  It was bought a few months ago and I’d been cruelly denied access to it. I wasn’t allowed to cuddle it either! But today that all has changed, bwahah…

Dragon!

Lewis and Rosie, very kindly, clubbed together and bought me a book of poetry, written by cats. It’s called I could pee on this by Francesco Marciuliano and it’s hilarious. I would definitely recommend it. My favorite poems include such classics as, ’I lick your nose’ and ‘Tiny boxes’.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day.

maybe...

Scottish Thistle

photo

Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to visit the historic Hatfield House. Hatfield house is famous as a home to Elizabeth I. The spot that Elizabeth learnt that she was queen of England, and her Sister Mary wasn’t going to have her executed (as she was deaded) is also located on the grounds. I have to say it was a beautiful day and the grounds are beautiful. If you have a chance to visit, I recommend that you do. The entrance fee to the house is a bit steep at £15.50, but £3 to wander through the extensive grounds and gardens is well worth the money on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

I spent a few hours happily snapping photographs with my phone and have started to edit them, so they’ll start trickling onto this blog over the next few days.

I have to say at this point, that I love scheduling posts! I can go to work tomorrow, guilt free, in the knowledge that my blog is still receiving attention and fresh updates.

Now, the photographs. There were several bunches of thistles, and I took this photo for my dear Mother, the victim of my short story regarding her culinary skills.  My Mum’s family are all Scottish by blood. She was, however, born and raised in England. She’s as English as they come, but she’s not allowed to watch Braveheart. Mother + Braveheart results in several weeks of impromptu lectures about the English and Scottish freedom, neeks n’ tatties (leeks and potatoes) etc etc etc… and so it’s banned from the house. However, this thistle is for you Mum.

I seem to apply the same pixlr filters to all of my floral photographs and I’ll post up the order that I work in shortly. As ever, please leave me a comment and let me know which version you prefer, the edited version, or the raw image.

Fi

Thistle.Raw

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