Tag Archives: dog

Blog Number Ten – Writing Confessions

ImageI have been bad, very bad by writing standards. I have not written anything new for ages. I blame the good weather, smallholding tasks that need doing, and escapee piglets. To the point we’ve had to electrify the vegetable plot, because the little ones are small enough to squeeze under the barb wire fence and even through the gaps in the gate.

Last year, we replanted the broad beans three times to failure from wet weather and slugs. This year, we have a healthy crop and aren’t about to be complacent by letting either the rabbits or gambolling piglets get the better of our haul. Then there’s shopping to be done, day jobs, walking the dog, checking the sheep and leaves on the line (sorry, wrong season).

But you get the idea. My mind hasn’t been on the job. When I’m not writing full book proposals to agents who will most likely just send me a rejection, I’m making sure the piglets have got water and trying to tame them. This involves sitting in the middle of the pig plot and trying to let them near enough to me without freaking out. This seems to tap in to their agoraphobia, so they don’t venture far from mum in this scenario.

Being the side of the fence is completely different. So far, I’ve had more success at feeding time. If I lean over the barbed wire fence while trying to avoid the big mamma’s muddy snout in my face, I can get a stroke of their soft fur. Oh, and now eating my shoes is their new game. As I’m trying to stroke them, they get their own back by mungeing on my Moshulus. Have-at-you for trying to domesticate me…

Again, I digress. It could well be that having finished my book (in my opinion) means I have little drive to write the next in the season, until I well and truly exhaust all my agent options. I have written the plot structure, but something hidden is holding me back.

Next month, I am attending a literary festival and have booked a slot with an agent for a bit of guidance at where I must be going wrong. So I am holding off approaching publishers myself or throwing the dog out with the soggy towel, to do the self-publishing option.

Feedback so far includes the following, in no particular order: ‘It doesn’t read as a story’, ‘not right for my list’, ‘witty and interesting but difficult to sell in the current climate as an unknown.’ Is celebrity king? Do people only want to read the autobiographies of the rich and famous? But then nothing. All I can do is wait. 😦

Right now, some news, any news would be welcomed, even if it is more rejections. So my little face creased into a smile when I read an email saying that a sample of my work will be included in August’s edition of Writing Magazine. Not because I am some ‘bright, young thing’, but my work is going Under The Microscope. This is the regular feature in the magazine, where you submit 300 words of your work and it is critiqued by an expert. So I have publishing news of some sort. I am doing my best to resist breaking into a sweat, the sort I do when I’ve drunk the boss’ coffee or realise I have to sing a solo at the village pantomime. While I am letting all see my work, this is better than an empty inbox. Let the world be my judge.

Please visit www.facebook.com/LucyGhose to see photos and read sample chapters of my book. Click the ‘like’ button to keep updated with my writing journey.

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Blog Seven – Animal Checklist For Dad

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Morning Routine

First off, feed the sheep first (one ice-cream scoop in the green tray), then feed the lambs (one scoop) in the metal trough in the creep feeder.

Then you can get through the gate – make sure you put the top loop over the gate. Feed the pig first by the fence (1 ice cream tub full from the sack in the black dustbin. VERY IMPORTANT Do not feed the sheep pig nuts as it can kill them). The electric fence isn’t on, please leave it off.

Make sure the pig has water (she’s drinking a lot now she has babies). If you’ve got time, count the babies through the hatch at the back of the sty – you can get in through the other field. (There are three black and seven orange ones)

Then feed Thomas The Ram (use the black bucket on his gatepost) his quarter of a scoop. Then give him his haynet (just one a day)  – do NOT go in the field with him, he gets very headbutty these days. Check he’s got water too.

We built a ramp out of mud at the front of the sty so the piglets can get in and out – mama pig keeps destroying it. Just make sure they aren’t stuck outside without her if it’s really wet or really hot.

If it IS hot, mama pig likes a wallow, which can be made by spraying the hose on the mud – otherwise she tips up her trough and makes her own, then ends up with no drinking water.

The dog: He needs a mug of biscuits in the morning, half to one cup at lunchtime, one cup at dinner. He has pulled one of his front claws off quite badly, so just keep an eye on it. Please don’t give him cooked bones of any variety. DON’T leave/let him in the field with the sheep – they WILL beat him up.

Evening

Feed animals any time from 5pm onwards. Same routine and amounts as morning.

Count the piglets and check pig’s water.

Make sure the gates are closed behind you, especially the gate halfway up the field.

Other stuff:

If you are worried about either the sheep or the pigs, call Richard’s brother as a first port of call or the the vets (numbers enclosed).

If you need to go in with the animals, always have a bucket of food for distraction while your back is turned. This is important with the pig and the ram. IF ANY ANIMALS ESCAPE THEN SHAKE A BUCKET OF FOOD – THEY WILL FOLLOW YOU.

Good luck and thanks for helping us out!

(Please visit my Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/LucyGhose for photos and updates on my writing progress)

 

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