Tagged: gems

Conflict of Interest

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 23

Challenge  #10: Write a story involving something that sparkles, and someone who wants to steal it.

“On behalf of Ólafsson and Sons, I’d like to thank you for banking with us and—”

“Ahem.”

Grundi Gunnarsson and Frig Hjörleifsdóttir turned to stare at the dragon who had just poked his head (and most of his neck) through the window.

“I don’t mean to interrupt,” said the dragon, “but I have a proposition that I think you’ll want to hear.”

“I’m sorry,” said Frig, “but this isn’t a good time.”

“I’m afraid it’s the only time.” The dragon poked its beaky snout towards the cloth pouch on the table. “It pertains to those sparkly jewels of yours, so naturally I must put the idea forward before you entrust them to the care of this establishment.”

“I really don’t think that—”

“Hang on.” Grundi put up a hand. “Let’s at least hear the creature out.”

“Well, Ólafsson and Sons is a fine institution with plenty of satisfied customers who trust them with their treasure, but have you at least considered the dragon-guarding option?” Continue reading

The Gilded Swan

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 1

Once upon a time, there lived a king in a marble tower. Around the tower there lay a city, and around the city there lay a wilderness, which the king tended as though it were a garden. No beasts stalked its hills, and no brigands lurked beside its roads, though the king’s domain stretched on for many miles and the members of his watch were few.

One evening, a sorcerer passing through these wild lands stopped to seek shelter in the tower. In exchange for a meal and a night’s rest, the sorcerer offered the king an enchanted rose: one that would never wither, and would never lose its scent.

But the king had many roses. Beyond the walls of his city, they sprang from the ground like wheat, and his tower was never without them. It was customary for his subjects to leave roses as gifts, the king explained, but surely a powerful sorcerer—a noble visitor from a foreign land—could afford to leave a more substantial offering?

A dark look passed over the face of the sorcerer, but still he conceded that the king’s words were true. “Bring me milk and honey, and a single pearl,” said the sorcerer, “and I shall conjure a gift like none that you have seen.” Continue reading

I Do Jewellery Now!

Flash Fiction Month may be over, but I’ve been busy ever since. I’m a member of a local arts and crafts society, and when one of the other members suggested that I sell my books at an upcoming tabletop sale, I thought “Why not?” But then it proved impractical to order in paperbacks, and I’m reluctant to encourage people to pay for my flash fiction collections since the ebooks are free, so it was pretty much just Face of Glass on disc. I actually feel like I’ve put together something really good–you get multiple ebook formats on the same disc as the audio of the three tales–but with a six foot table you really need to be selling more than just one thing.

Face of Glass CD ExteriorFace of Glass CD Interior

So I dusted off my tools and put in a couple of orders for some shiny new materials and I spent a week or two weaving bracelets. If I’m honest, it really was more about making the table look good–and not just showing up at a craft sale with a bunch of identical (if carefully produced) CDs like some kind of weirdo–than it was about making something I actually expected to sell. Still, I was pretty happy with the results.

This one has actually been sold, but the buyer wants a different kind of clasp.

This one has actually been sold, but the buyer wants a different kind of clasp so I’ve still got it for now.

I’ve been focusing on writing for the last couple of years–the last five or so if you count academic work–but before that I actually did quite a bit of jewellery. I had some in a local shop for quite a while, but despite having my work (more or less) available on the high street it didn’t do tremendously well. I sold a handful of things, and it brought in a bit of money, but the jewellery was most useful as an option for unique Christmas and birthday presents. I hate getting people chocolate or anything else you have once and then it’s gone, but it’s a nightmare trying to find something else different year after year.

Trailing Vine Necklace

Fun fact: I originally got into jewellery by making armour. The “leaves” of this trailing vine necklace are more commonly used in scale armour.

Long story short, I went in on Saturday morning thinking that if I made my money back on the table, I’d be happy. And I did! Plus a fair bit more. By the end of Saturday, as far as I was concerned, Saturday had been a roaring success. I’d made a little money, I’d got my books in front of a crowd for a whole day, and the jewellery had attracted a lot of attention. I was looking forward to more of the same the next day, but at that point Sunday was a bonus.

I came up with the idea of weaving a handful of brightly coloured anodised aluminium links into some items. It's subtle, but it makes a massive difference.

I came up with the idea of weaving a handful of brightly coloured anodised aluminium links into some items. It’s subtle, but it livens up the whole thing.

Sunday was not a bonus. Sunday was three times as busy. A lot more people stopped by my table and a lot more took an interest in the actual process of making the stuff. There were more kids around on Sunday, which definitely helped–they were really keen to find out more about how everything was put together and how long it took, and once I was talking to them more people came to listen. There was actually a bit of a crowd at one point!

The swirling sections of this chain are known as "Mobius Roses," so the clasp was an obvious match.

The swirling sections of this chain are known as “Mobius roses,” so the clasp was an obvious match.

But while the event was already a success just in terms of being a fun weekend with lots of interesting people, it turned out to be a very good move financially as well! It’s definitely not enough money to let me quit my day job, but since I don’t have a day job it’s pretty much the best thing I’ve got going on at the moment. It seems as though there are a lot of craft sales coming up nearby, and if this one is anything to go by then my main problem will be making things faster than people buy them! Admittedly that’s mostly down to the fact that these bracelets each take hours to make, but I feel like this is still a good position to be in. It’s got the added bonus of being something I can do in my own time, so I’ll be able to keep it up (or stop suddenly without seriously annoying an employer) while studying for my MA over the next year.

So it looks like I’ll be doing this again pretty soon, and I may even open up an online shop at some point. In the meantime, if you see anything you like then just let me know!