Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Boldly Going Fourth... #amwriting

At the beginning of next week I celebrate two very important anniversaries within a day of each other. My 23rd wedding anniversary is on the 8th of May. I've now been married for more than half my lifetime, a very peculiar concept. It seems a long time to spend with one person, and yet it doesn't feel like any time at all. I still get a shock when I look in the mirror and the face looking back isn't the same one as in this wedding photo, lol. I can only hope that fate will allow us to spend another 23 years together.
It will also be my fourth anniversary as a published author. Here, the reverse feels true. It feels like I should know what the heck I'm doing having learned so much, and yet it's no time at all in the publishing industry, where it can still take a year for a book to be released after contract. But in that time I've released fourteen novels, novellas and short stories. I've had four publishers, and lost three. I've seen huge, huge shifts in the publishing industry, authors behaving badly, amazing success stories, and the darkest sides of publishing. It's been quite a rollercoaster!
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And while Keir and I share a fourth anniversary, May sees the first release in an exciting new collaboration between authors in the SFR Brigade - Project Portals! Four volumes of first chapters from a smorgasbord of science fiction romance, fronted by Sender Najan, our Master of the Portals! The exclusive cover reveal took place at The Galaxy Express 2.0 HERE, where you can find out more about the project and the cover art.

Chook Update
On Saturday, while roaming the garden, my chooks were attacked by a fox. The damn thing actually came INTO MY HOUSE to maul Effie and try to drag her off. Having heard the squawking, I ran into the back room, thinking the furry ginger back belonged to a braver than usual cat. No. The fox tried to run with Effie but I stomped on it and chased it down the garden screaming blue murder and set to throttle the beast.
Then just as I was about to run it from my territory, Spaghetti jumped out in front of it and got grabbed. I went for the fox again. Maybe it was me screaming, but it dropped Spaghetti too and ran for it.
By now my youngest had come into the garden - my special chicken wrangler. I picked up a stunned Spaghetti and put her in a nest box, then herded the others into their fenced run. Chiana had got herself trapped between the garden fence and the back of the run, but at least she was safe from the fox and I managed to retrieve her later. Effie had disappeared and my heart dropped to my shoes.
Then youngest found her hiding in some plants. I put her in the nest box too. Surprisingly, considering the mauling she got, Effie decided she didn't want to be fussed over and marched out to join the others in the run. Spaghetti was another matter. Eldest and I checked them both over for injuries (during which the fox returned TWICE and was chased off by my 11yo who I'd put on guard duty). The two chooks appeared unharmed, although Effie has lost a sizeable number of feathers. I think they saved her life. Spaghetti, although we couldn't see any injuries, went into deep shock. At the time of writing we have her in a box indoors, in the quiet and dark with food and water. It may be an injury in her throat we can't see or just shock. We have to wait and see.
The fox returned a third time and I chased it off. I can't believe the boldness of it coming into my house. The chooks are secure inside their run, but we now plan to build something bigger and stronger, since we can't safely let them wander the garden again unless we stay out with them. No fox is getting MY girls. This weekend has SUCKED.
ADDITIONAL: famous last words. Spaghetti recovered but sadly the fox returned and she was not so lucky a second time. We also lost Rush, and Kyru was mauled and in deep shock. We are debating rehoming our remaining girls as I can't take losing any more to that predator. I failed my girls.


  1. Very sad, Pippa. I feel so bad for you and your chooks. What a horrible thing to happen. Now it becomes more clear why there are foxhunts.

    You know we've been thinking about getting some chickens too, but we have an even bigger problem than your #$%@ fox...we have coyotes. Packs of them. They're lethal to barn cats and small dogs so I don't know that chickens would stand a chance, unless we spend the time and money to build a run to keep them completely enclosed. Since we're getting plenty of fresh eggs for free right now, I don't think we'll risk it.

    Many congrats on your anniversaries! (You'll have a huge one coming in a couple of years.) That's a gorgeous wedding shot of you two!

  2. I feel pretty guilty because we essentially got a major warning with two injured chooks, and we still gave the damn thing another opportunity that costs us two of our girls. I'm pleased to say Kyru has recovered and Effie seems none the worse for her near miss, but I still regret the loss of Spaghetti and Rush which we could have avoided.
    TBH, despite that and the fact I would probably throttle that fox if I got my hands on it, I still don't agree with fox hunts. They are a barbaric and totally ineffective way to deal with foxes, more a legal way for certain people to indulge in cruelty to animals. And that's only done in the country. Our killer is an urban fox - little fear of humans, living in a place where fox hunts don't happen, and even if we caught and killed/relocated ours, another would just claim its territory. I've spent a weekend researching them to find ways to persuade it to avoid our garden and especially our house. My youngest was actually in the room when the fox came in. They will go through catflaps into houses too. They don't tend to attack unless cornered - there have even been cases of the playing or attempting to play with young children - but I would like to discourage it. Apparently they are very upset by change so we're looking at strong smelling repellents, PIR noise deterrents, and a stronger coop.
    And I've heard about coyotes. I guess I should be grateful for a solitary predator, though that's bad enough (and they will attack cats though rarely dogs). There's been talks about reinstating wolves in this country since we hunted them to extinction - much as I'm in favour of animal conservation, I'm not sure I want to be fending off wolves after failing with a single fox!
    Thank you. Yup, we're hoping to celebrate our silver with some new wedding rings - hubs is broken after a work accident, and I couldn't get mine back on after my last baby so we'd like to invest in some really nice custom white gold and get them reblessed. 😊


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