20 Jun 2015

Cyrils' Nuts

Hello my little chickadees

Well there I was sitting in the garden in my favourite bamboo chair, in the Mock Orange arbour which is just coming into bloom. A good friend shaped the bush so that I could sit there at my leisure and either write my books or watch the sun go down in the west as I inhale the beautiful perfume.
Tonight Iwas watching the sun go down.

Suddenly there was a noise by the fence. I assumed it was the collared doves who have been doing a lot of billing and cooing lately along with the pigeons. When they land on the fence it's with a mighty thump. Anyway I digress. i turned to see what was there and ... nothing!! Obviously a change of mind about disturbing me. Mind you I'm sitting quite close to their feeding area. I turned back to enjoy the sun setting and there it was again. I turned so quickly I almost strained my neck but it wasn't playing me for the fool again. 

Sitting there grinning at me was Cyril the flipping Squirrel.

"Well don't just sit there Cyril, come and join me. Besides I'm getting neck ache from this angle."

"Are you going to tell me off Tee?" 

"Why would I do that Cyril? It's far to warm to get raspy with garden animals."

He edged his way down the fence and sat on the upright log in front of me watching patiently.

This little tinker and his family have driven me nuts over the last few years. Digging up newly planted tubs, flower beds etc, and then making holes in the garden for me to trip up in. All in the name of burying his winter stash of nuts.

I caught him watching me with his head slightly to the side wondering what was going through his little brain.... Probably eyeing up a new place to bury his nuts. I suddenly realised that his coat looked a different colour from the last time I saw him. It looks more grey now (Certainly not 50 shades of ...) Perhaps he's getting a bit old. 

"So then Cyril what have you been up to since i last saw you?"

"Oh a bit of this Tee and a bit of that. You know I like to keep you on your toes. Actually in some cases (recently for instance) flat on your face, I saw you take a nose dive from my hideaway in your trees." 

"I often sit up there watching you when you're weeding and planting. It passes the time away for Cyrilina (the Mrs) and myself. I'm surprised you haven't heard us chattering and having a bit of a giggle at your expense. Here is a picture of us but she's a bit shy." 
"Just to give you a heads up I've planted some more nuts in your wild garden, Oh! and some in your planter by the shed." 

"Cyril this is not on mate. I give you free run of my garden. I've never complained when I've tripped over the holes you've made. And how about when I put all those pansies in my planter last year and you dug them up to hide your stash. They had only been in overnight! Oh and what about when you chased that bird around my garden because he was trying to eat some apples I put out. You're supposed to share the food!"

"Yeah I'm sorry about that Tee. He was an ugly mutt though and I've never liked him. He watches where I put our food and then tries to dig it up. He's nearly as bad as those pesky magpies. I'm getting a bit forgetful these days and the Mrs has to dig up everything so that she knows where it is. Sometimes she forgets to cover it over  again but then she has a lot on her mind at the moment. Did I say we will be having some extra mouths to feed this winter? No? Well I'll try and keep them under control. We had an awful time trying to find a new home when your tree blew down in the winter storm. Thank goodness you had other trees in the garden.

"Oh see now I feel bad about the way I have been running you down to other folk."

"Well maybe we have both learnt something during our chat."  Oh by the way, did you know I have a Facebook page? Our mutual friend Jim set it up for me. You just have to search for Cyril the Squirrel. Right then I can't sit here chatting all night the Mrs will have my nuts grilled for her own dinner."

"Come back and chat some other time Cyril and don't be so nervous next time. I honestly don't bite." 

As he climbed back up the fence he turned and looked at me with his 'another sucker won over' look and popping a nut into his mouth (a gift for the Mrs no doubt) disappeared into the trees to find Cyrilina. 

I was left pondering where he had hidden it during our chat.

Sighing I poured a glass of wine and continued to watch the sun go down. Then I would fill in all the holes made in my planters and the holes in my grass. Two can play his game. 

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 Laters Potaters

17 Jun 2015


Hello my chickadees 

Lots of news to update you on but I'll keep all that for another day.

The lovely Christy Nicholas is with me today AND it appears I've finally got the spelling of her name right. So then, off we go on my now infamous blog - a - bob - along.

Christy's bio to start with ...

My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were.  I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others.  Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write.  Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad. 

Ah! I love the sound of all that Christy. A woman after my own heart.

So lets continue with this interview then.

*    Tell me all about Christy Nicholas. No one is listening apart from me and I won’t tell anyone.

  • I’m someone who is interested in many things. I am an accountant during the day, but at night I’m a writer, a beaded jewelry artist, a photographer, and a lover of all things Celtic.

*    What genre do you write in, or is it varied depending on your muse at the time?

  • My first two books were travel guides. I wanted to share my love of Ireland and Scotland with others. Then I had to write my parents’ love story, as it is a true tale of lost and found love. Now I am writing the genre I love reading the most – historical fantasy.

*    Do your characters ever persuade you to change your original thoughts for plot lines?

  • Absolutely! I’m currently writing a book with the Morrigan as a main character. She’s quite imperious and insists on doing things her way!

*    If you had an opportunity to spend a week chilling out with any of the great philosophers or writers from any era, who would you choose and why would you make that choice? What attracts you to them?

  • I think I would love to hang out with Oscar Wilde. He is a fascinating man, both from a writing perspective and a personal perspective. If you get a chance to see the movie Wilde, with Stephen Fry, do so – it’s fantastic!

*    For me, Tirgearr Publishing has become my new safe haven and I’ve been overwhelmed by their attention to detail and professionalism. How do they make you feel?

  • It’s difficult for me to think of them as a company, as they are friends as well. My work with them has opened me to a whole new world, and encouraged my muse. Now they must face the consequences!  Bwahaha!

*    If you could get on a plane with all expenses paid, where would your fantasy destination be?

  • Wow – how could I choose? I’ve already been to Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England, and am heading to Iceland in a month. If I had no worries about expenses, though, I’d probably travel to Antarctica. I’m an artist and photographer at heart – it is the place such dreams are made of.

*    Now you are living in your fantasy world, how would you fill the hours?

  • I would dance among the standing stones, and pray the Sidhe accept me as a friend!

Oh I'm well up for that Christy. Celtic roots would purposefully encourage it.

Thank you for spending time with me today Christy; unfortunately it’s time to leave your fantasy world. I do hope the trip back to reality isn’t too bumpy. Hopefully you will have good memories J


Here is an excerpt from Legacy of Hunger, due out this fall:


Valentia had discussed the trip with her mother at length two weeks earlier, when she had first conceived the plan, before they left for Pittsburgh. She had needed the information of her grandmother’s family that only Majesta remembered. Her grandparents’ names, for instance, and where in Donegal they had lived, and what her sisters’ names had been.
“I think the place began with an ‘A’. Amra? Ardra? Something like that, at any rate. Of course, that won’t be how it’s spelled. Irish spelling is infernal. It’s likely got twelve letters, none of which are actually pronounced.” Majesta’s cynical laugh had made Valentia frown.
“And do you remember anything else about the place, mother?”
“I was never there, child. I remember what grandmother said in her stories; but who knows how much of that was truth, and how much was fairytale? Your grandmother had a vigorous imagination, after all. Oh, I do remember one thing she mentioned… a sort of special heirloom. A brooch, I think. Yes, sit tight here one moment…”
Valentia had often heard of the brooch from Grandmamma and had hoped her mother knew more about it. She trembled with suppressed excitement. Majesta went to her desk and thumbed through her papers. After rifling through three drawers, she exclaimed and held one up in triumph.
“Here! This is what I was looking for.”
The thick paper was old, yellowing at the edges and creases. Valentia carefully unfolded the ancient document, and gasped.
The drawing, done in clean, neat lines, was of an intricate pennanular brooch. It was almost a circle, with a straight pin on the curve to go through the small opening. There were delicate intertwined creatures detailed on the circular edge, as well as on the straight pin. Several stones were imbedded in the design. The piece was exquisite.
Valentia could almost see faint sparks of light crackling along the lines, sparks of blue and purple. She blinked her eyes several times to clear her vision.
“It’s… it’s stunning.”
“My aunt had this special piece of jewelry. She never said how it was special, other than being beautiful. Simply that it was priceless and unique.” Her mother’s voice had a dreamy quality, like she had been speaking from a long-distant memory.
Valentia couldn’t take her eyes off the sketch. She was drawn into the labyrinth of line and form, as if she would be lost forever in the art. It looked just like she had imagined from Grandmamma’s description. 
Her mother’s abrupt voice snapped her from her reverie. “If you can find this and our family, the journey would be well worth the trouble, I think.”
But now, the fire and the subsequent resistance from her father had quelled her hopes. She pushed through the day’s work as they helped the local people rebuild their lives.


Next up on my blog - a bob - along is Publisher Kemberlee Shortland of Tirgearr Publishing

 Laters Potaters