At the beginning of the year, I was contacted by a UK publication about writing an article for them. They were looking for around 2,000 words and 6 to 8 original photographs to accompany the piece. The topic? Backyard chickens! They wanted me to inspire readers who are new to chicken keeping, impart my practical knowledge, and basically just write about our experiences with chickens.
I was nervous and tickled, but of course agreed to put something together. I have done small little write ups about us for a couple other magazines. I have had a few of my photographs in other magazines. I had never done something on this scope.
I wrote, rewrote, walked away and came back to, had others read what I had written and finally I shot off the email with an article at 2,100 words and more photos then you could shake a stick at to the editor. Since I wasn’t really sure what they wanted, I wanted to make sure I included a variety of photos for them to pick from. The editor said he enjoyed it and it would go to press mid- February.
Since it is a UK publication, I wouldn’t be able to go to the store to pick up a copy, so I requested they send me one. And I waited. Time passed….. And then our mail lady blessed me with a package today that was sent Royal Air. I knew it had to be a copy of the magazine!
When I pulled it out of the envelope I actually gasped. There on the front cover was one of my photos!!! My article was on the COVER!!! One of my SONS was on the cover!!!
I quickly flipped open the cover to the contents and there I was, looking at myself! It feels very weird to look at yourself in a magazine. I mean, I am no Kate Moss! My article was listed on page 32. My hands shock as I flipped quickly to the proper page. OMG!!! I sat there beaming! My words. My photos. It was surreal.
I started to read the words on the page. They were familiar, long lost friends I had penned months earlier. I giggled as they had changed some of the words to be relatable for their market. Metal trash can had become metal rubbish bin. The words backyard had been changed to back garden. I wasn’t mom any more, I was mum. It was all so delightful.
I turned the page, and the article continued. Four pages?!?! More photos! It was consuming to sit there and read, even though I had wrote it. It was mine, but it was like seeing it all for the first time. And the article continued!
It covered six pages! I have never in my life written something that took up SIX whole pages in a magazine. I was dizzy! I looked at the photos, my flock, my country kids and I beamed with joy and pride. I am an author! And not too shabby of a photographer either I might add. LOL I had taken and viewed those photos many times over, but seeing them published made me realize, they were kinda good!
It’s odd, this article, to see my words and photos spread out for an audience of readers, in hard copy… a tangible thing with weight and texture. I knew there would be edits to my work, because that’s what editors do. But I was surprised how very few changes were made. I did find two sentences that had errors, so I pulled out my original copy, thinking “how did I mess those up, I proof read a million times!” only to find out I had NOT written those two sentences that way. LOL Guess even editors make mistakes.
I know that no one I know will probably ever hold a copy and thumb through these pages due to it being an international publication, but I have a copy to hold and that is enough for me. To show my boys that they are “famous” is exciting. And best of all, somewhere out there, someone starting their chicken keeping journey might just be inspired by or learn something from us. That my friends, is an amazing feeling!