Milk maids? ~ Short story and a reviewer’s insight into the world of Tallis Steelyard

Reblogged from Jim Webster, aka Tallis Steelyard:

Milk maids

I am constantly reminded that it pays to project a wholesome image. I was with Shena, my lady wife, at an event held to inform and encourage writers. If memory serves, Saon Keeber had organised it, and to be fair to him, had largely funded it. I think he’d convinced the Port Naain University that they should reach out to writers and ‘give us the tools we needed to make a success of our careers.’

In reality we’d all turned up because Keeber had promised there would be a good buffet and to be fair to him it wasn’t merely good, it was excellent. Indeed there was so much food laid on that even when we’d filled poacher’s pockets and in some cases, knapsacks and carpet bags, there was still enough to eat.

Interestingly Keeber did steer away from the technical craft side of our craft and instead concentrated on presentation. Again, he spoke a lot of sense. After all, a patron wants their poet to turn up clean, fragrant, sober and presentable. I realise some ladies expect the poet to add ‘rakish’ to the list, but I would stress that it is never as a replacement for one of the other four, it’s an extra.

As I mentioned, Shena was with me. She tends to shun artistic events, claiming they can give her a headache. Or, in certain circumstances, they give her an overwhelming desire to brain the speaker with a pie plate, as the only way to stop him droning on, apparently mesmerised by the sound of his own voice.

On this occasion Shena had a cold coming on but was determined to fight back. So the minute the buffet opened she started self-medicating on mott ham roasted with honey and mustard, grapes, and a number of glasses of a perfectly acceptable fortified wine. She felt this combination would not merely help her fight the cold, but would also help her cope with the sanctimonious twaddle she was sure was going to be part of the evening. One problem with this remedy is that fortified wine does tend to make her less tactful than normal. Still, given that she was surrounded by writers, tact would be wasted anyway.

Continue reading at Tallis Steelyard

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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21 Responses to Milk maids? ~ Short story and a reviewer’s insight into the world of Tallis Steelyard

  1. jwebster2 says:

    I confess that I’m with Tallis on this one. When surrounded by too many writers, tact indeed can be wasted.
    Shena’s cold cure recipe has merit as well 🙂


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