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Talented Friends

This post is a quick big-up to two of my very talented friends, Mirien and Emma Collingwood.

Mirien is an amazing silversmith, and is in the process of setting up her own jewellery making business, Sidhe Silver.  If you love all things elvish, historical, Celtic, mystic, with a flavour of ancient stones rising out of a sunlit morning mist, you’ll love her stuff.  Everything she makes is hand made, one of a kind and unique.  Check out her Livejournal for photos, and if you wanted to commission something specially made for you, that would be the place to go.

I was lucky enough to get this pendant as a Christmas present this year, and I’ve worn it ever since.  I think of it as a compass rose, which comforts me for the fact that I’ve decided not to get one tattooed on my arm after all.  (Because I’m getting a cross there instead.)


Emma Collingwood is a writer I’ve known of from my days in Tolkien fandom, where I admired her and she admired me, but for some reason we never dared to talk to each other and say so.  Fortunately that’s changed now.  About the same time I had Captain’s Surrender accepted for publication, she decided to go into professional fiction too, but as her own boss.  So she published the first of her Penny, Dreadful & Tarbottom Series – Lieutenant Samuel Blackwood (deceased).

sb_cover_jpg Which I’ve reviewed here: http://alexbeecroftblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/lieutenant-samuel-blackwood-deceased/

Now the second in the series is out, The Radiant Boy: Four Ghost Stories from the Age of Sail


This one, unlike the last, is not a m/m romance, but it does do exactly what it says on the tin :)   It contains four charming and moving ghost stories set aboard ship in the Age of Sail.  Slightly creepy, but not the kind of scary that will keep you from sleeping at night, it’s illustrated with lots of  wonderful woodcut-style pictures by Amandine de Villeneuve, and is the sort of thing you might buy to give to your small relatives and then end up falling in love with and keeping for yourself.

Like Mirien’s silver, Emma’s writing is very distinctively the work of a unique voice.  It’s one that I will keep coming back to, whatever she writes, for the charm, good-humour and humanity of it.  However, pirates be warned, this book comes equipped with a curse on any thieving gits who try to take it without paying.

Now I badly want her to get her long novel, The Purser, The Surgeon, The Captain and his Lieutenant out, because I’ve had the chance to see the first half and I’m desperate to find out what happens next.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
This is so lovely of you and greatly appreciated, thank you! Made me blush a bit too. And wow, the snowflake looks great on you, I like it very much on that blue cord, it gives it something 'extra', and you have such an elegant neck - us silversmiths notice these things! I like the idea of it being a compass rose, too, that suits you best, I think.

Edited at 2011-01-31 06:25 pm (UTC)
Feb. 1st, 2011 11:06 am (UTC)
Well, I was so pleased with it I wanted to say something, and a bit of good word-of-mouth advertising is never a bad thing (I hope!)

Yes, I think the cord gives it a kind of hippy rock chic vibe ;) Or it does when, like me, you're wearing it with some retro flared jeans found in the charity shop. All I need now is the biker jacket (I think I threw my old one away, thinking "I'll never get into that again." And now I could have done, of course.)
Jan. 31st, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
The silver pendant is beautiful! I love simple-but-pretty designs like that. I'll be interested to see what else your friend makes. :)
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
It's lovely, isn't it? I also have a silver ammonite pendant which mirien made. That was my previous "wear it all the time" necklace. But she's just made a tree pendant which I'm coveting at the moment. There are definite disadvantages to having talented friends too! I want to buy everything but I can't :)
Jan. 31st, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
I really want to get hold of Emma Collingwood's books once my computer woes are over.
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
I certainly recommend them :) What's up with your computer, btw?
Feb. 1st, 2011 06:38 am (UTC)
Thanks! My netbook crashed Firefox in a completely unrecoverable way, then developed other faults leading to it needing a complete reinstall. While I've been waiting for the repair bloke to explore all possible options and then track down a compatible version of Limpus Linux, I've been stuck with the combination of my mobile phone and a laptop that can't be used on battery alone and goes very slowly if more than one programme is running. Also it has issues with Adobe.
Feb. 1st, 2011 11:14 am (UTC)
Oh no! That sounds really annoying. And these things never seem quick to fix. Still, on the positive side it will probably run a lot more smoothly when you eventually get it back (I hope!)
Feb. 1st, 2011 08:37 am (UTC)
Nice to see your post. I guess I should start trying to follow you on Twitter?

I love the look of the Emma Collingwood stories. I'll order one as soon as my usual post Christmas financial crisis is over :D
Feb. 1st, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
Oh, if you're on Twitter, that would be great. I'm trying to get organized to do one post a week here, but keep off the cuff stuff I can say in a single sentence to Twitter. I'd love to see you there :)

*g* Yes, this is probably not the best point to start saying "look at all these amazing things to buy," is it? But at least you don't risk them not being there next week, as you would with clothes in clothes' shops.
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
I buy 90% of my clothes in charity shops, so I'm used to grabbing my size if there's something there. But books, yes it's good to be able to save the URLs or put them on my wishlist for something to look forward to. I just wish more books had pictures.

I joined Twitter several years ago but have never got to grips with it. I just look in from time to time and read other people's tweets. Like with Facebook, I use it to ensure that the people I like are alive.
Feb. 2nd, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do too. Not only is it cheaper, but you often get interesting things that you can't find in the shops. They're a godsend now that I've shrunk out of my whole wardrobe and have to replace all my clothes. I have a very empty wardrobe at the moment!

I quite like Twitter because it's easy to fire off a single sentence when you think of something, rather than LJ where you have to put some effort into crafting a post. But it did take me two tries to get into it.
Feb. 3rd, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
I know how very busy you are, so I really appreciate it that you took the time to review my book. And of course it's fantastic to hear you liked it! (Took long enough to get the friggin' thing finished. I must be the slowest writer on this planet...)

However, pirates be warned, this book comes equipped with a curse on any thieving gits who try to take it without paying.

Funny story: about two weeks after release of the book, I got a mail from a person who claimed that a friend had tried to scan the book to upload it for sharing - and the scanner had broken down. Ha. HA, I SAY!

I'm desperate to find out what happens next.

You won't have to wait for too much longer. I had to put writing on ice for various reasons, but the final draft is almost finished, Mr. Tarbottom has agreed to edit it, and Mlle de Villeneuve will illustrate the work. Those two are vital for me to get anything done, so I'm very happy about this. The book will be available for free from my website, in weekly installments as *.pdf files. And without a curse!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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