Birthday Blog for Lovely Lisa

In our book, The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen, there is a character called Winona Wurm. She is the soft-hearted, kick-ass fairy in the Glen who loves animals and looks after them when they need some TLC. She’s also a tad strange because she really loves her naughty little worms.

Because Lisa is the lady who gives the animal science lectures and is pretty soft-hearted and extremely kick-ass herself, we decided to model Winona Wurm after our gorgeous friend.

Don’t you think this drawing Igz (illustrator of our book) did does Lisa justice? From the long flowing locks, to the cropped top, right down to those trendy boots – or snugs as they are known in the Glen.

Dynamite definitely does come in small packages!

Lisa has been involved with the Imaginaeries ever since I first asked her to read the story and give some honest feedback – long before the eBook was published.

I guess she liked the book because her comment after reading was… “Ginny! I’m almost done with your book! Can I please be your PR lady for it? It’s that good! I’m willing to put my neck on the line for it” 

Hells yeah!  And what a seriously classy PR lady to have on our Imaginaeries team.

Well my friend, this is for you – immortalized in the Imaginaeries!

Have a fabulous birthday and may the coming sun-circle lavish upon you only good, happy and magical things.

Lots of love,

Ginny, Igz and all the Imaginaeries in the Glen (especially the worms!)

xxxx

 

Red Paintbrush

Clearly Ivy Lion has been very busy in the glen lately. Check out this magnificent flower that I spotted nestled in the bush.

It’s called a Red Paintbrush. In Afrikaans – a Poeierkwas (Scadoxus puniceus) and according to Leafy Lou aka Louise (yes – there really is such a person who is a bit like the custodian of the glen) this lovely plant is sadly declining due to habitat destruction and harvesting.

It’s sad to think that some people actually steal plants out of the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve.

Gogo Gaia (the Imaginaeries’ leader of the glen) is going to have to be more watchful in future and think up a suitable punishing spell to cast on those humans who do such a wicked thing!

If you live in Pretoria – do yourself a favor, take a hike in this gorgeous nature reserve and check out all the flowers and wildlife – not only are there Magical Stripey Beasties but there’s a variety of other bokkies and little creatures. It’s a fabulous venue for bird-watchers too.

For those who live elsewhere in the world – we’d love to hear about your local nature reserve or any place where you get out and sniff the fresh air. Pictures and guest blogs are very welcome.

Simba the Lion

In our book “The Imaginaeries from Faerie Glen” Granny Catty keeps her cat nip in an old Simba chips packet. Her crazy “cats” love to pretend that they are big and tough like the lion on the packet!

Simba Chips have been a South African favourite since 1957. Of course, this is peanuts in faerie time, but for humans it is not too shabby. If you want to know more about Simba Chips – visit their company history page.

For those who are not South Africans, and don’t have a clue what a Simba chips packet looks like – this is for you.

By the way – this is a great flavour of chips… but back when I was at boarding school – a million years ago – the absolute best treat ever was smoked beef chips with chunky cottage cheese! That combination turned many a grey day into a bright sunny one! In fact, it is still a delicious treat! My roomie then – and long time friend – Marlene aka MAD – used to eat smoked beef chips with guava yogurt! (We both thought that each others combinations were seriously disgusting.)

Seasons

The seasons really do change in Faerie Glen.

Summer in the Glen is magical! It’s lush and green with vines rambling all over the place, dripping assorted flowers. Admittedly, some of the flowers are aliens and not really great to have there, but they still add to the visual charm.

Touched by magic.

Masses of bright orangey-red zinnia-type flowers march along the pathways, along with the delicate (almost translucent when the sun shines behind them) morning glory with their white, pink and purple hues – just like perfect faerie gowns. Thorn trees are green and the thorns are white and pliant. Lantana (vile stuff actually but very pretty to look at) twines itself around branches and bushes in vivid hues of yellows, pinks and orange.

The magical beasties are hard to spot in all the growth and the spruit flows freely. It’s not really possible to cross in more than a few places without getting wet. Sometimes the water dashes down in a torrent and even washes the bridge away.

Once the rains recede it starts to get a little drier.

The green fades to olive-brown. There are still the odd flowers but it’s nothing like summer. It all looks a little faded – as though Ivy Lion has packed her bags and flown off on holiday.  Yet the Traveller’s Joy emerges and is fabulously delicate, draped around the place like fluffy old shawls, glinting in the sunlight.

Winter sees the Glen getting all dry and crispy.

This has a special charm all of its own.

The green has totally gone in most places and you can peer into spots and hidey holes that are totally hidden in the summer. Branches are stark and bare and the birds that perch on them are clearly outlined. You can see the Loeries shouting at each other (or maybe it’s the hikers they are shouting at) to “Go-away”.

The thorn bushes and trees are a little more vicious and tend to clutch and snag if you give them half a chance. The Traveller’s Joy has turned a silvery white colour and still glints magnificently in the sunshine but you can see it is a little passed its sell-by date.

In-between the dry crackly bits, the gentle pink and green aloes soften the harsh landscape, adding bursts of pastel colour to the sepia tones.

The beasties are much easier to spot and you can play Tarzan by holding onto willow branches and leap across the river without getting even vaguely wet.

It’s hard to believe at this stage that anything will ever be lush and green again.

But once the rains come, the water works its magic and the cycle starts all over again.

It takes just a little Imagination!

My younger daughter, Igz and myself have written a book… called “The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen”.

I did the writing but she gave me all sorts of weird and whimsical ideas.

Igz ihas done the illustrating. (This was quite a process.  The concept kept changing slightly but the idea remained the same.)

Actually… we want you to imagine your own characters.

How it started…

My lovely husband and I often go for hikes over the weekend in Faerie Glen Nature Reserve (Pretoria East). It’s beyond lovely there. We think of it as our sanity time in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The veld changes from season to season, but magic is always around. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder.

The idea for a faerie tale first came about when I saw kids (of all ages) mooching around the Glen, trailing after their parents, looking a tad disgruntled. I wondered if they would have rather been at home with their play stations or something instead of being out sniffing the fresh air?  (Of course there are plenty of kids who also frolic and gambol around and are perfectly happy to be there.)

I started imagining all sorts of little faerie-like creatures lurking in the flowers, bushes and trees and began writing stories in my head. Then realised that the Imaginaeries that Igz had been drawing for years would be just perfect. Many of her Imaginaeries already had a back-story and the book simply grew from there.

Also started driving my lovely husband bonkers by stopping every few steps to take photos – from all sorts of crazy angles – because it looked like a great place for a… something… (not giving away any of the story line yet).

Often I’d sheepishly have to pretend to be tying my shoelace or something – to stop from feeling like a real wally when another Faerie Glenner strolled passed us.


It’s actually quite a cutie story, but don’t take my word for it – see what other people think about the book.