Sunday, April 01, 2007

Launching, contest winners and such

The last time I posted, I mentioned that Jem and Scout (the two recently-hatched additions to our Finch family) had not left the nest. Well, about three days ago all of their parents' twitterings must have had an effect, because they are now out of the nest and flying about on their own. Of course, this necessitated getting a bigger cage. Even though finches are small, four of them in a tiny cage is not a good situation!

The guineas we moved have settled in well, too, laying quite a few eggs. We added a nesting box to their pen, to encourage them to get "broody" and hatch the eggs, but so far the maternal instincts of the hens have been poor. So, we've been eating guinea-egg omelets and using guinea eggs in the pancakes and cornbread. They taste fine, but let me tell you—the shells are doggone hard! I had to whack one three times on the countertop tonight to crack it, and I don't mean a light tap. Sounded like hitting a cueball on the formica top.

The recent Southern Gone Wrong writing contest (inspired by Cathy Pickens's books) at the Crime and Suspense ezine (my baby!) has just finished up, and the winners were selected by vox populi. If you'd like to read the winners, or in fact any of the entrants' stories, just drop by the Crime and Suspense site. There's a link on the main page there. The first and second place winners each will receive a signed copy of a Cathy Pickens book, and the two third place winners (a tie) are getting a copy of BODIES WE'VE BURIED, a book about the national CSI training school and their procedures.

I will have more contests in the coming months, and would love to have your story as an entry. The last three writing contests have been "no fee" contests, and I like to keep them that way whenever possible. Of course, that often means I must rely, as Blanche DuBois, "upon the kindness of strangers" for prizes and so forth. Hey, the ezine has no subscription fee and comes out monthly, rain or shine!

Drop by and read the stories in the contest, take a look at the previous month's issue, download an old-fashioned radio drama, and maybe even subscribe. Like I said, it's a freebie.

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