£519 to go on the End of Magic

Mark Stay Writes

There’s about a week to go until the 90 days of pledging are up and there’s just £519 to raise for my fantasy novel The End of Magic.

That’s roughly…

  • 52 pledges for the £10 eBook
  • 35 pledges for the paperback
  • 26 Patron paperback pledges (you get your name in the front)
  • 21 ‘For a friend’ pledges (you get two copies),
  • 11 Robot Overlords pledges
  • or just 7 of the five-copy bundles! (Why not go crazy and by a bunch for your fantasy fiction friends?).

This is it – the last push to make this happen: click here and hit that beautiful blue PLEDGE button!

Thank you and a huge bearhug for all you beauties who’ve pledged already!


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Pricking out your brassicas.

The sun is shining, and making all the seedlings grow really well. Now is the time for my brassicas to be pricked out. They’re still fairly small, so I need to make sure I’m very gentle with them.

Here’s how I prick out mine.

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How to prick out your Tomato seedlings.

Pricking out your seedlings is very important, because they need more room to grow and spread their roots. It can be a little bit daunting because the seedlings are very small and fragile. All you need is the right equipment to remove your seedlings (a pencil is perfect), and it’s important to hold the seedlings correctly as well, otherwise it is very easy to break them. Planting them in their new home is also very important as some plants can be very fussy.

Here is how I prick out my tomato seedlings, I hope I’ve covered all your questions, if not, please ask.


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Monday 30th April 2018 – Time to sow your cucurbits.

When I filmed this last week, the sun was shining, and the weather was lovely and hot and sunny. Today however, it’s pissing down with rain, blowing a gale, is cold, and generally really nasty weather. So I’m inside looking out at the garden getting rather miffed off. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it into the greenhouse this afternoon, as I have more pricking out to do. I’ll shut myself away, and hope that soon the weather will become more garden friendly.

In the meantime, here’s how I sow my cucurbits, which include, courgettes, marrows, squash and the like.

Sun please come back I miss you.

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Thursday 26th April 2018 – Sowing Peas.

Peas should be sown successionally, which means, sow a handful one month, then another handful the following month, and keep sowing until August. If you sow your peas this way, then when one lot has finished, the next lot is ready.

You’ll have peas throughout the summer. Mangetout and Sugar Snap don’t freeze at all, so they need to be harvested and eaten straight away.

Here’s how I sow mine.

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Wednesday 25th April 2018 – Pricking out my cucumber seedlings.

Some of my cucumber seedlings are ready to be pricked out and put into 3 inch pots. It’s very easy to do. Now they’re in larger pots, they’ll have more space to spread their roots.

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Sunday 22nd April 2018 – Emily doesn’t do manual labour.

Conveniently today Mark had to go to London. Apparently he was going to see a friends film (so he tells me), but I think it was just an excuse so he didn’t have to shovel more manure from the stables.

So instead of my husband giving me a hand, I made the kids day, and conned them into coming with me and they helped instead. Actually they were up for it. We loaded 17 bags in to the boot of the car, and it only took us 40 minutes. They did say they enjoyed it, so I’ll remind them of that when I need to borrow them again. George is tall at nearly 5 foot 11 inches, and skinny, but really quite strong, so he was doing ok. Emily on the other hand is 5 foot 5 inches, so average height, but manual labour isn’t really her thing. She’s a great writer and editor, just like Mark. She tried very hard, and didn’t do too badly at all. Even she admitted manual labour wasn’t for her.


Because I had the back seat down, I could only give one of them a lift, and the other had to walk. Look it’s not far, just a 5 minute walk down the road. Once we’d got back home they helped me off load the manure from the car, and then they were done.

What do they get for helping me today? Well….. respect for starters, then a bit of exercise, some fresh air. What more could you want? Actually we had a drink and a cake. They like my cake.

I then spread some manure, and then moved 1 ton of top soil. Not all in one go, I’m not that strong!

Dinner, and a long hot bath were in order for all of us. A very good days work. The raised beds are getting there…..slowly.

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