Story awarded ‘Highly Commended’ by 2019

Saddler, Anne. Dad. Photograph. jpeg

Father was a straight talker, wasn’t he mother? Look what he wrote on the back of this photo.

‘Aden — what a shit hole’ and then the date, February 1952. This photo was taken the year I was born and the ink hasn’t faded. It’s a snap of the port, shot from the deck of HMS Glory.

Father took his camera everywhere. I missed him when he was away. When he left home for that posting, the year was as fresh as the young queen’s face. He always came home with gifts; a souvenir for me, a bottle of Chanel…

A publication exploring New Age practices, philosophy and beliefs

Photo by Jay Castor on Unsplash

What is meant by ‘New Age’

Namaste, welcome to my new publication The Amethyst Eye.

As a young woman in the 70’s I was attracted to the New Age movement that was becoming a ‘life-style’ for many. The movement promised to herald in a period of ‘light and love’ which was very welcome to those of us living in the UK through what were grey, austere times.

Supporters of the New Age movement were interested in modern esotericism, a religious perspective based on mystical/spiritual knowledge. For me, this was not something ‘new’ as I had been introduced…

aka Grey Hen With A Pen

Photo and logo by Anne Saddler


Hello. Welcome to my ‘About Me’ page. My pen name is Anne Saddler otherwise known as the Grey Hen With A Pen.

I live with my husband and dog in the suburbs of a small port, in the county of Cornwall, in the far South West of England. I settled here many years ago after living a somewhat nomadic life. My father was in the Royal Navy and we moved every time he was posted…so every 18 months or so. This meant that I barely had enough time to settle somewhere, and make friends before we moved again.

This constant…

Crystals and how to use them questions 1 to 10

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

1: What is meant by the term ‘crystal energy’ and how does it work?

Crystals help to:

  • calm you emotionally
  • channel your thoughts and feelings
  • stimulate your mental and creative processes
  • balance your chakras and aura
  • aid healing of any physical and mental ills
  • give you strength and courage
  • induce restorative sleep
  • help with meditation, telepathy and lucid dreaming
  • energise your system

Used in the correct way, the electro-magnetic vibrations of crystals can balance and harmonise your body. It is possible that the minerals which comprise the crystal are absorbed through the skin thus aiding healing though contact.

When used as a therapeutic tool, the crystal can act either as a transformer for energy…


A short story and its critique by a competition judge

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

I thought I’d give writing competitions a go

At the beginning of March, I awoke from my annual hibernation, and decided I needed to kick-start my creativity — in order to do this I proposed to enter writing competitions. I’d entered one or two in the past (with no great enthusiasm I have to say) and the only success I’d achieved was one ‘Highly Commended’, so I didn’t hold out much hope of a win, might be a bit of fun.


A short story and it’s online magazine rejection comments

Photo by Mark de Jong on Unsplash

Magazine submissions

As part of my ‘wake-up-it’s-spring-get-writing’ regime I thought it was about time I tried my hand at magazine submissions again. I say again, but actually my one and only submission to a ‘New Age’ print magazine happened a good few years ago.

My pitch of a ‘true-life’ article was successful, they loved the story and wanted it. The pay was excellent. But, and there always seems to be a but, they edited my piece to the point that I hardly recognised it as mine. My unique voice and style was obliterated — I wasn’t best pleased. Although I accepted they…


The ‘misterie of turnery’

Photo by Graham Ruttan on Unsplash

Like the potter’s wheel the lathe
turns and ‘the misterie’ of
the turnery reveals the
art and craft of the turner

himself with skills to use his
tools by hand without a fixed
point of contact with raw wood
evident in his workings

cherrywood, maple, redwood
walnut, willow, birch, and ash
ailanthus, olive, elder
ironwood, orange, myrtle

folk-art traditions, custom
architectural workings
and fine craft for galleries
the reciprocating lathe

may be human-powered by
a bow or a spring, the wood
rotates first in one way then
the other, the turner turns

handles, candlesticks, egg cups knobs, lamps, rolling pins…


Fixed or constrained syllables rather than stresses

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Rhyme or reason

I was surfing through Submittable hoping to find a home for my latest pieces, when I came across an interesting ‘What we are looking for’ by a poetry magazine.

What they were looking for were poems not written in a classical form, that did not rhyme, and that did not have a specific meter or rhythm — in other words they wanted something different from the usual poetry submissions they received.


I am a writer

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

A ‘real’ writer

For the past twenty years I’ve made a modest living from writing but, I’ve never referred to myself as a ‘writer’. Why not? I asked myself. I decided my reluctance to label myself as a writer had come down to one simple fact. A ‘real writer’ was, in my mind, someone who was represented by a Literary Agent, or someone who had had work published by an established publishing house or small press. I’ve never submitted work with a view to becoming published so I’ve never regarded myself as a writer.

I worked for many years as an Adult and…


Witty and often obscene

Photo by Trust "Tru" Katsande on Unsplash

There was a…

“There was a young lady from Venus
Whose body was shaped like a…”

Star Trek fans will recognise the above lines as being spoken by the android, Commander Data, in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data is interrupted by Captain Picard before he can finish the sentence but, I think you’ll agree, we can all guess the missing word.

I’m sure many of you will recognise these lines as the start of a limerick. I remember as a child being very much amused by the limericks of Edward Lear, the writer of many ‘nonsense poems’. …

Grey Hen With A Pen

Anne Saddler lives in Cornwall. She is a writer, blogger, and poet. Anne is a qualified lecturer and former Adult Education Tutor.

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