Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Goodbye and Hello. (I Hope!)

I've been writing this blog - a companion to my eBay shop of the same name - for some time now. But things change. I'm still collecting antique textiles, still dealing in them, but over the past six months, it has become clear that the balance has shifted and I'm doing far more writing - and publishing under the Wordarts imprint - than antique textile dealing. I don't think I'll ever stop. I'm too passionate about textiles for that and find them well nigh impossible to resist. So I'll still be haunting my local saleroom, still doing a bit of buying, researching and selling.
In fact, I often become so fascinated by my textiles that I find myself writing about them and their history in novels such as The Curiosity Cabinet, and my newest novel, due for publication to Kindle in the next week or so, a Scottish historical novel called The Physic Garden.

Over the past eighteen months, my novels, short stories and plays have been selling well on Amazon's Kindle Store (the handful of traditionally published books aren't doing too badly either) and there are a lot more where these came from, all kinds of backlist titles, as well as new but as yet unpublished work. I plan to publish something, whether it's a trio of short stories, a piece of non-fiction, or more full length fiction, to Kindle, every month for the whole of 2013. I may not manage it, but I certainly have enough good material to do it!
Alongside this, the plan is to put at least some of this work out on Kobo and to publish all the novels, starting with the Physic Garden, which is very dear to my heart, in paperback as well, for those who haven't yet converted to e-readers. It's a tall order, a lot of work, and it will be exciting - but time consuming.
Added to this, I'm a regular contributor to a blog called Authors Electric - you'll find me blogging on the 18th of the month, but there are lots more fascinating and varied posts on there, so do check it out. I'm also serving on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland, as well as on various local village committees, I blog regularly about writing on my Wordarts blog AND I have a new venture planned with a handful of other writers for later this year.
All of which has meant that I've been neglecting my Scottish Home blog.
But there's more to it than that. Quite often, I'll write a post about the history of a piece of embroidery, for instance, or an interesting antique - but I won't quite know whether it belongs here, or on the Wordarts blog. My own 'Scottish Home' in rural Scotland, is a big part of what makes me tick as a writer. The Physic Garden, which is set in Glasgow and in the countryside round about, in the very early 1800s, brought that home to me very vividly. And of course, there are textiles and gardens in it.
So, I've taken the difficult decision to amalgamate the two blogs. All the posts from the Scottish Home will be staying where they are. I'm not deleting anything. But in future, I'll be writing - rather more often, I hope - about a mixture of writing, textiles, history, gardening, living in Scotland, more writing - and all kinds of other interesting things, as well as a few reviews of new and old books thrown in for good measure.

If you've been following this blog, it will still be here. But if you want to read new posts, please go to Wordarts, and follow me there. Which is why I've titled this post Goodbye and Hello. See you over on Wordarts, I hope.

Monday, January 07, 2013

My Dolls' House At Christmas - And A New Project

The house with the dolls going about their business!

The nursemaid at her sewing machine.
 There's been a very long silence on The Scottish Home for which I apologize. Before Christmas, I was busy with a couple of writing projects which took up almost all my time.
They still are taking up a lot of time, but one of them is particularly relevant to The Scottish Home, of which more in a moment. Just between Christmas and New Year, we succumbed to a nasty virus which seems to have floored most of this village. We became couch potatoes for a while and spent most of our time watching old movies on the television. Fortunately, we were well supplied with them! We're on the mend now, but it meant that our Christmas holidays weren't as vibrant as they might have been and we had to turn down one or two nice invitations.

You may remember that last year, my 'big' Christmas present from my husband was a magnificent Georgian style dolls' house. I had wanted one for a long time. Alan had made one for me many years ago, but it wasn't quite the style I wanted and it was rather big.

Eventually, I gave it away to a young family member, but I stored up all my miniatures, some of which had been brought back from Vienna by my late mother when she and my father lived there for a year. I knew that sooner or later, I would find the house I wanted.

Maybe Mrs Dolls House Doll is feeling a little unwell too? A doily makes a nice mat.
And then I found it, online, in time for Christmas 2011: the house I had been looking for.
I made an offer on it, and it arrived, carefully packaged, in a huge cardboard box. As soon as I could, I dug out the box with all the lovely furniture and miniature items, and installed them in the house.

The cook takes a welcome break in her kitchen.
I've been 'playing' with it on and off all year. There is quite a bit still to do. I think it already looks lovely but I want to make curtains and stair carpets and more decorations for the walls which still look a little bit empty to me. The house has a couple more dolls now, too. At first, the family consisted of a mother, father, little boy and baby. Now there's a nursemaid and a cook, too. I like to pretend (well, I am a writer, after all!) that the house is really much bigger than it appears, that there are rooms you can't actually see.

Mr Daddy Doll reading. No Kindle in evidence though! 

I took quite a lot of photographs of the house trimmed up for Christmas, so here they are! We even included a Christmas tree with a little bough from the lodge pole pine which was our own Christmas tree. And I took the three tiniest dolls out of my big Russian doll and put them on the mantlepiece in the drawing room.

So what about this new project? Well, for some years now, I've been dealing in antique and vintage textiles as a way of helping to buy a little more time for my own writing. Now, though, the balance has shifted a bit. I'm not abandoning the textiles altogether, but thanks largely to Amazon, I can now spend more time writing. I have, however, learned a huge amount along the way, so I'm currently working on a guide to dealing in collectibles, mostly online, as a way of making some extra income. It strikes me that many people would find it useful. It should be ready for publication as an eBook in the first instance, by the end of January. That's the plan, anyway. Watch this space for more information.

The Nursery