Sunday, 2 July 2017


Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Keepsakes (2014) Post 183

Keepsakes is a companion volume to Charms (Post 182). While we were working on the three-volume novel anthology that was published as Charms, some writers mentioned they would love to be involved if we ever did a similar project for adults. Thus came Keepsakes. Instead of metal charms being offered and sent out as prompts, we had small items that could be classified as keepsakes... odd things that might be collected over the course of a long lifetime. Various writers claimed a keepsake, and wrote its story.

Once again there was a novel framework on which the stories were fixed. This time, the house was named Keepsakes. It was the home of Lavender Merriwether, who died at the age of one hundred. To amuse herself during her last few months, Lavender hired several writers to produce the stories of her keepsakes, and had them hidden away in the house. Here, after Lavender died, they were discovered by her descendants; her daughter Primrose, her granddaughter Rosemary, her great-granddaughter Lily and her great-great-granddaughter Briar. Each of these women spent some time in the house, collecting together items and clearing the rooms. Each found a new understanding of life and of herself and her relatives, in the process. To add to the proceedings, Lavender and her husband Tom both remained in the house as ghosts, watching as their family gradually sorted itself out.

For fun, I hired an illustrator to do some impressions of the women in the story. You can see the result above. Once more I had a great many keepsakes to distribute, a great many authors to coordinate and a great many stories and poems to weave into a narrative. It was great fun. A friend donated the beautiful cover art, and once again the novel anthology came out to be distributed by the authors. The entire book was around 165000 words, with each chapter having its own title plus the stories within listed as in these examples:

Chapter Two
 In Which Primrose Encounters a Witch in the Sugar
Dream Keepers (pendant pouch)
The Red Shirt and the Dolphin (dolphin charm)
Cut-Price Beauty (witch charm)

Chapter Ten
In Which Rosie has Mail
Leaving Lucy (tall cat charm)
Light Among Shadows (Egyptian girl charm)
Wildflowers (flower sticker)

To read more about this anthology, go to

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

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