Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Happy Beltane and Go Blue For May

Today is the first of May and Beltane, a day symbolising the start of summer, the end of the chilly weather *stares out window at galeforce driven winds* okay, in theory, and for me a celebratory month. Today also sees Romancing the Genres celebrating its 7th Blog-o-versary. The topic is surprising things people don't know about us that have happened over the last seven years, and we've been encouraged to do giveaways! My post will be on the 18th of May, and you'll have to wait until then to know my surprising fact and what I'll be offering up, but I also have an extra post on the 5th of May with what I'll be celebrating this month and why May is so very special to me.

Bonfires are of special significance for Beltane - deemed sacred - so you may be wondering why my ring of fire above is blue. Well, as Laurie posted yesterday, we are going blue for May!

Looking for Blue skies and smooth sailing to cure ALS
May is ALS Awareness Month and twelve sci-fi/paranormal/time-travel romance authors have joined forces to donate 25% of their May book sales to the National ALS Association! Help us raise money to support the ALSA in their mission to provide care for ALS patients and continue their research to find a cure for this heinous disease.

Look for these hashtags on Twitter to find and help support our efforts:


Find more information and links to all the participating authors on the landing page (Lea’s site):

Or check out the Blue Book Cover Brigade Team Page on the ALSA Site (where you can also find more information on the condition, the association and their work, and more ways you could help):
ALSA Twitter: https://twitter.com/napaALSride
ALSA Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/RidetoDefeatALS/?hc_location=group

Pssst, if you already have Keir I've decided to donate any proceeds from sales of any other of my blue cover books, so even if you just opt for my short story Reboot at only 99 cents, you'll still be contributing to the cause! Just click any of the covers below to go to the sale links, and be sure to check out all the other authors books by going HERE: http://www.leakirk.com/supporting-als.html

And May all your skies be blue!

Chook Update
Goodness, it's been a while. Not sure where we got to. So...
Phasma in the snow...just over a month ago
New girl Phasma has laid her first eggs! It took us a while to figure out it was her as unlike the Pekins she doesn't perform the loud and proud egg song after laying. Instead we get a mournful banshee wail if she can't get in to lay - chickens have this weird thing that no matter how many nest boxes you provide them with, they all want to lay in the same one (and often all at the same time!). Or in the case of mine, the corner between the two nest boxes, and they will all try to squeeze in (or stand outside complaining). However, she's now gone broody and a savage one at that. I have to wear gardening gloves to turf her out of the nest box so the others can lay! Oh, well...
Kairu with Scoop in the background
More surprising was catching old timer Kairu back to laying eggs. At almost five years old and after she struggled at the end of last year, we thought her egg days were over (garden hens average 5-7 years in age, and grand matriarch Scoop, who is 6, stopped laying at age 3). But nope.
Saffie considering a cooling dip during a brief heatwave!
And then new girl Saffron started laying too...which is just as well as baby Firefly went broody for the first time after laying for just four weeks. But that's a good thing because...

Hatching eggs! Yup, having hatched Firefly last year - the only surviving hen out of 12 eggs - she's about to become a surrogate mum herself. As I don't breed my own, I'm concentrating on the passing on of skills. Firefly's surrogate mum Pitch (who sadly passed away recently) was a master forager, a fiercely independent and curious soul, and Firefly inherited that. So I'm really hoping her chicks will too. These are Barbu d'uccle eggs - also known as the bearded bantam. They're even smaller than my sablepoots (with which they share some genetics), with a neck ruff and feathered feet. They're reputed to be super friendly, and popular with children as their small size makes them easy to handle. Since my sablepoots have gone from refusing to hand feed to being constantly under my feet in the space of two months (compared to my Pekins, some of whom still don't want to know years down the line), and are related to d'uccles, I'm hoping for some really sociable girls. Nine days to go!
Writing Update
Um, don't even ask...

Cosplay Update
Youngest's Plague Knight costume is coming along...
 ...while I bought a couple of pieces for a quickie Tenth Doctor cosplay for eldest. Middle child's X-men Quicksilver just needs some gadgets made for his belt and his trainers painted silver.
Meanwhile it looks like I'll still be wearing my Anakin outfit, since I never seem to get time to do myself a new one. Sigh.

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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.