Welcome to Tortoise Soup!

Welcome to my first ever blog at Tortoise Soup! First thing’s first – there will not be any recipes for tortoise soup on this website. Tortoises are for life, not for supper.

My name is Nicky Holland, ‘Tortoise Soup’ is the name of my recently completed children’s novel. I am starting the process of finding an agent and approaching publishers for the book, so this blog will follow this journey to (hopefully) a successful conclusion later in 2012 or 2013.  I will be telling you how I write novels, how my quest is going and will post any feedback and knock-backs that I get. Hopefully other writers and aspiring writers will find this blog useful, and who knows – I may even inspire one of you to create a masterpiece of your very own! Writing is the greatest thing in the world, you can all do it – the hardest thing is typing that first sentence.

This blog will be about much more than writing and publishing. It will also feature contributions from some of the novel’s characters themselves so here is a quick introduction to them:

Ruby Tinker was orphaned when her parents died in a car crash that has left her disabled. Her only friend is her pet tortoise Byron who has grown up alongside her. They live together in a children’s home run by an evil woman called Miss Scratbakk. Scratbakk wants to turn Byron into a tortoise soup to complete a magic spell that will allow her to turn children into slaves.

Byron Tinker is a fun loving, adventurous little tortoise. He tweets daily under the name @ByronTinker. When Scratbakk tries to separate him and Ruby forever he doesn’t let his smallness get in his way, defeating death itself in his determination to be with the girl that he loves.

Uncle Peter has been working abroad (some people think that he is a spy, but he won’t admit it). He has returned home and takes Ruby to live with him. A secret in his past means that he won’t allow Byron to come with her, but if Ruby can break through his icy exterior then maybe he can thwart Scratbakk before Byron ends up in the soup!

My blog will be a mish mash of everything and anything that enters into my strange ol’ head and will be updated on a regular basis so please keep checking in! I see that some blogs like to contain jokes, some contain recipes and some contain little snippets of philosophy. As this is my first ever blog, I am finishing with all three!

Joke first: A man walks past a farm and sees a pig with a wooden leg. The man stands there transfixed staring at the piggy. The farmer sees this and ambles over. “That pig is the best pig that has ever lived”, says the farmer, “he can add up you know – watch this: here pig, what is two plus two?” The pig goes ‘oink, oink, oink, oink.’ The man is impressed so the farmer continues: “And he saved my families lives. There was a fire and we were all asleep. Pig sees this and he nudges his water trough to the house with his snout, tips it over to douse the flames, and then runs into the house a squeelin’ and a hollerin’ until we all wake up and escape. Yes I owe that pig everything, he is the most amazing creature alive!” The man is astonished and says, “that is incredible, but why has it got a wooden leg?” The farmer replies, “well with a pig as good as that you don’t eat it all at once!”

Secondly, its recipe time: This is provided by Auntie Francesca, the lovely Italian wife of Uncle Peter. I know nothing about cooking but I have followed her recipe and it sure is a winner!

Slow Cooked Rice Pudding

4oz long grain rice

1 tin condensed milk

1 pint milk

10z sugar

1oz margarine or butter

Put all of the above into a slow cooker (I think they are called crock pots in the States) and stir well. Cook for around 5 1/2 hours or until it takes on a nice rice puddingy consistency. This is the best, creamiest and most foolproof rice pudding you will ever taste. Auntie Francesca adds a handful of raisins to the recipe but I prefer it sans fruit!

I hope that you have enjoyed my introductory blog, if so then please let me know 🙂 Let’s finish with some wise words from one of the greatest philosophers of ancient times:

“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” (Casey Kasem)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lynnholland
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 08:53:51

    Hi Nicky
    I’m taking my goddaughter to see Rats Tales and saw your review through Google. Amy is studying performing arts and I wanted to recommend your blog for her to read so I thought I better start at the beginning and I’m so pleased I did, I really enjoyed it. Good luck with your writing. By strange coincidence i also have the surname Holland.
    Best wishes


    • tortoisesoup
      Dec 11, 2012 @ 19:20:45

      Thank you Lynn, from one Holland to another, I’m so pleased that you enjoyed my blog! I’m sure that you and your goddaughter will love Rats’ Tales as much as I did!


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