Sham-Belly Shack

The latest saga in our series of modern day South African fairy stories.

This is the latest book in the Imaginaeries Series. What? I hear you say… it’s a series now? Indeed it is. Well, okay, this is more of a novelette. A quick read – but one with vital bits of information that will ultimately feed into the big picture.

Sham-Belly Shack – the latest title in the Imaginaeries series.

Last year (2018) was a little shambolic and it flew past real quickly. But now Igz and I are back on our beetles, erm… in the saddle and this is the first of many novelettes. But enough of the chit-chat! You want to know what this title is all about… right?

The blurb!

In all honesty, I must thank Sharon Michaels. She put out a post on Instagram, challenging writers to join her in writing a short story, from start to e-published finish, in the month of March. I accepted the challenge and here it is! Although I did cheat a bit – it’s longer than her prescribed amount of words.

Our plan is to write lots of little interesting back, front and side stories for the different characters, that will all link up and lead to a grand finale.

Simply click on the link in the side-bar to buy the book. Or read a sample.

No beetles were harmed in the making of this cover either. Although I am not entirely sure that I can say the same for our garden.

By the way… if you have not already read ‘The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen’, perhaps you should start with that first. (Check out the sidebar for that one too.)

Please let us know what you think! Reviews are the things that make the world go around for authors.

Launch of “The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen” on 25th November 2017 @14h00

The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen will be launched in the very same nature reserve where this story is set!

On Saturday 25th November, between 2 and 4 pm you are invited to come and spend some time in the Glen and imagine your own fairies.

Or try your hand at hula-hooping and see if you are as good as Ivy Lion. (No – this is not only for kids – adults are welcome to try too!)

Go on a fairy walk and see if you can spot some magical stripey beasts, or maybe one of the other furry critters that lurk in the bushes. You might even see Frederique…

Hmmm…. You are wondering who Frederique is, aren’t you? You’ll have to come to the launch and buy the book or ask the author.  Or you could buy the eBook on Amazon now already if you can’t wait that long to find out.

There will be other magical fun stuff too.

Normal Faerie Glen Nature Reserve rates apply: Pre- schoolers are free; R6 (children 6-12y); R6 (pensioners); R11 (adults 13 – 60y).  A portion of the sales on the books will also be donated to the Friends of Faerie Glen Nature Reserve.

Pre-Order your own signed copy NOW!

It gets even better – everybody who either buys a book on the day or pre-orders a copy of The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen goes into a lucky draw and stands a chance to win this adorable little Ribbets Ridge fairy house to start your own fairy garden. (Kindly sponsored by Fairy Wonderland Suppliers.) Special launch price is R100 and they will all be signed too. The real books have delightful illustrations – although we’d prefer it if you imagined your own fairies! They will make gorgeous Christmas presents.

It’s really easy to pre-order – just click on the link.

 

Want to write a review?

But that’s not all… if perhaps you have already read The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen – and you’d like to write a review (either on Amazon or email it to Ginny and she’ll post it as a blog) you’ll go into the lucky draw and stand a chance to win this particular one of Igz special one-of-a-kind Imaginaerie dolls by the name of Poppy Mars.  (Igz, the illustrator, is not only an artist on paper but is also fabulous when it comes to creating other wonderful things too.)

 

 

Want to know more about what’s in the book…

Amid the hustle and bustle of daily life in the Glen, the Imaginaeries are also getting ready for The Ball – a glittery event that takes place at the first new moon after the leaves have fallen. But will PESCOM come to the party?

Ivy Lion makes Gogo Gaia very angry when she experiments with colour and Winona Wurm’s mischievous pets are given the ultimate warning at the Moonlight Meeting. Marigold discovers that not everybody is sunshine-flavoured. Madame Shews, the snooty French shoe designer is up to something for sure and the Bollywoggles are keeping an eye on her. Mor-a-Bella escaped from a cabbage bog but is life going to be any better in the Glen? Will Pete the Publisher ever perfect his environmentally friendly newspaper? Can Granny Catty convince Mr Grumpy Pants to stop being a hermit and accompany her to The Ball?

Meanwhile things keep disappearing… could there be a thief in the Glen?

The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen is a whimsical fairy story set in a real nature reserve in Pretoria, South Africa.

Feel free to contact Ginny if you want any more information.  Remember you can like The Imaginaeries on Facebook too!

Marigold… the sunshine-flavoured fairy.

By now you all know that my daughter Igz is illustrating the print version of The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen!

When I say illustrating, I mean little sketches – what we really want is for you to use your imagination and magic up your own version of the fairies.

Slowly but surely this really is happening. Really… it is. Or it had better be.

She brings them to me one by one. Usually I have to beg for the latest masterpiece.

Unless it is a Sunday morning and then she’s hovering around outside our bedroom window, sending whats apps with beggy hands saying “When OH WHEN are you getting up you lazy baggage!!???”.

(In case you are wondering, Igz lives in a flatlet on the property – she has keys to the house, obviously, and sometimes leaves little illustrated presents for me on my laptop.)

We are breaking the mold of fairies. There are no cute little fluffy dresses and sparkly bows. Instead, the Imaginaeries roam quietly around the Glen in spotted sneekers and comfy snugs. They wear trendy leggings and jeans with little cropped tops. They have wing-piercings, tattoos and all sorts of other fabulously jazzy stuff. They are free-spirited and outspoken.

Judge for yourself…

This is the final version of Marigold.

 

PESCOM vs ESKOM

Could this be Big Bush Willow?

In our faerie storybook, The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen, PESCOM gets mentioned.

For those who do not live in South Africa, this is a rip-off of ESKOM – our only electricity supplier that is much ridiculed and scoffed at for various reasons… high tariffs, bad management, frequent power failures, scheduled power outages due to failing equipment, top management getting bonuses when the company is pleading poverty etc etc.

Every time there is a hike in the  price of electricity everybody groans.

But – unless you go off-grid and have your own solar power equipment and generator  – one simply does not have any option but to depend on ESKOM.

PESCOM in the book refers to the Pesky Firefly Company that supplies light to the Imaginaeries in Faerie Glen whenever they have a function.

This morning, when I logged onto my favourite blogging site – Niume – I happened to come across a poem called “FireFly” by Invisible Ink. I was reminded that fireflies are indeed lovely flickering creatures of the night and not that pesky at all!

You’ll have to read the book to find out more!

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.)

Feedback from Toni Henning

We’ve been sharing The Imaginaeries with various people who have indicated an interest in “test-driving” the manuscript and so far the feedback has been rather awesome.

Below is from a new friend of mine – a lady who I have never met – but hooked up with on Niume, after I read her blogs and realised she was a bit of a kindred spirit and fellow scribbler.

Toni Henning has her own marketing business – see details below!

Thank very much for your positive feedback (and pointing out some of the glitches) Toni.

Where do I begin? 
At the beginning I guess.
You had me hooked at Imaginaeries! I love the name! 

I love the South Africanisms – the guinea fowl taxis (I had a good laugh!), PESCOM (so glad they got there comeuppance and the worms shone thru), the simba chips packet, the indigenous and alien plants, the loeries saying go away – all fantastic! And the expressions like ‘beastiepoop’… so funny. The interwebs and flutterbytes – so clever! 
Really everything is quite brilliantly written.
Otherwise it’s a very cute story and all your characters come together really nicely at the end. 
Kids (and grown-ups) … but more importantly kids … are gonna love your humour and your amusing character descriptions. 
Thank you for letting me read your book. I trust the feedback is relevant.
Looking forward to hearing the news of it being published and becoming a top seller! 

 

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In this technological age, consumers are shopping online and using the internet to find information about products and services. If your business does not have a website or social media presence, you are invisible to them. What makes a business succeed? EXPOSURE. You cannot be everywhere and your business cannot be open 24 hours a day – but your website can!  Social Media goes places you can’t and it’s open all the time.  Marketing messages need to be reinforced consistently to ensure that you are top of mind in the marketplace.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. A website that epitomises your business and continues to work while you rest
  2. A strong social media presence with a focus on SEO (search engine optimisation) 
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Website design from R500 per page.
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We also offer product photography and graphic design. 

Contact us and let us put together a social media plan that will take your business into the future.

Content writer and social media manager:
tonih@netactive.co.za  www.toni-with-an-i.co.za
Designer and product photographer:
cam@merakistudios.co.za  www.merakistudios.co.za
 

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.

Impatience vs Imaginaeries!

Have to say – I am dying here!

Most writers are such insecure little weasels and I am no exception.

Impatience is my middle name and I have to suck it up and be as patient as possible waiting for feedback from everybody who volunteered themselves and their kids to test drive “The Imaginaeries” for us and give feedback.

Totally understand that people are busy and that this is not like my other books that are a quick read. I mean its 90 whole pages for goodness sake! A novelette.

I’ve had a few great comments back from adults but am now busting to hear what the kids have to say.


“I’ve read it folks and is spontaneous, ingenious, captivating . Big hats off to Ms Stone. Suitable for all ages with a penchant for things faerieistic.”  – Peter Sanderson

“My current favourite read! Can’t wait to hold a hard copy in my hands! Signed of course.” – Lisa Chella (Lisa was the first person I sent the book to read and she wants to be our marketing lady so she must like it!)

“I really, really loved the stories. They reminded me of the Enid Blyton I used to read, but somehow friendlier! So, THANK YOU, for letting me have an early look at them.” – Jaynie Padayachee (Jaynes kindly edited the first draft for me too.)


My family think it’s really funny – this me having to wait thing. They are of the opinion that as soon as I think of something I’ve already done it. So they reckon this is a good life lesson for me. Meanies!

Stay tuned

About the illustrator

Igz is a creative dabbler of note!

Her first love is sewing, preferably renovating previously loved articles into something innovative and dashing.

She’s been doing this since she was a little girl – her mother would find neatly cut up articles of clothing, often new clothing, stashed in various places. At the age of three she would make pictures on the floor with her clothes in the morning, add a scarf or a belt, and then when she was happy with what it all looked like, she would climb into the picture.

She went to extra art classes when she was in primary school. Her gran had given the classes to her as a gift. When the series of classes came to an end, the art teacher told her gran that she would prefer it if Igz did not return. The reason – she wanted to do her own thing. She refused to follow orders and make the same stuff that everybody else was making.  She broke the box at a very early age.

She makes one-off dolls to die for. Fabulously quirky creatures.

Imaginaeries – the dolls

These are the original Imaginaeries – complete with tattoos, piercings and trendy clothes. (They sell for R350 if you are interested in having a one-off designer doll!)

When she’s not sewing, she can be found drawing – on paper, material or any surface that she fancies. Fabulous ink blot drawings, mushrooms, mandalas or more quirky little creatures.

When she’s not drawing or sewing she’s rather fond of hula hooping and is a pro. She spent a year supporting herself by giving hula hoop lessons via skype to ladies in the USA! Not to mention being imported to KZN do hula hoop workshops for kids and adults at a science festival.

At one stage of her young life Igz was a drummer in a band. At another… a tattoo artist.

Like a true artist, she gets bored easily and moves on to the next thing.

Various versions of the Imaginaeries have been circling in her head (and on paper) for the last few years and it’s only now, with her mom available to put her thoughts into words, that the story has fully materialized.