I have a story called ‘Dinosaurs’ in the current issue of Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special (out until around 5th June, after which, July’s edition will hit the shelves). Isn’t that a lovely illustration they’ve put with it?
I got the initial idea when I drove past a farm which had a sign up outside: ‘Emu eggs for sale’. That, I decided, needed to go into a story. But that was as far as I got. I jotted it down in my notebook and there it sat, for several months, before the ‘partner idea’ came to me. (I usually need two ideas to make a story – I’ve probably told you that before).
Waitrose has a free weekly newspaper and it often has interesting and useful articles in it (other supermarkets – and newspapers – are available!). Back in March, they had a feature on a producer of quails’ eggs and that was it. As I read about the quirky little birds, who live in polytunnels and are ‘little princesses’ with lots of character, I got the idea for a poultry farmer and a girl who’s a reluctant rep’ for an animal feed company.
It took me a long time to write it and I had to do a bit of research on emus but the end result was a bit different, I like to think – at least, in terms of setting and subject matter – and perhaps that was what clinched the sale.
If you want to know why it’s called ‘dinosaurs’, you’ll have to buy the magazine and read it (or stand in WH Smiths and flick through, very quickly!).
And still on the subject of ‘wildlife’, we currently have 2 sets of bees nesting in our garden. Not sure if ‘nesting’ is the right word but the first lot – and they are tree bumblebees, we have worked out – are definitely nesting, because they’re in our (old, un-used and cobwebby) bird box.
I suspect we might have so many because, completely by chance, we have 2 of the top plants for bees in our garden – wisteria and cotoneaster – both currently in flower.
We also have buddleia, which is in their top 5 too but that won’t flower until later in the summer. If you look very closely at the photo, you can just see the gingery fronts of 3 of the bees. I had to get quite close to take that shot but according to Friends of the Earth, they are ‘very docile and will only sting you if you grab them in your hand’. Well, I’ll try not to put that to the test.
The second lot of bees are in the eaves of our garage and we can’t get quite near enough to decide what they are. Anyway, they’re a bumblebee of some kind too, which means, as they’re not honeybees, we won’t be getting any kind beekeeper to come and take them away to his/her hives. Hmm… I can feel a story idea taking shape…