Category Archives: Scotland 2011

St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Please check out the video of my poem and photographs entitled: Coming Home: To The Place Where I Belong

Slainte

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Filed under Ireland 2011, Scotland 2011, Writing

2012 Blog Information

Crunchy numbers

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

In 2012, there were 9 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 39 posts. There were 11pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 34 MB. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 9th with 55views. The most popular post that day was May 9.

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Filed under 2011 The Keepers of Éire Trip, England 2011, Ireland 2011, Scotland 2011, Writing

One Year Ago

One year ago I boarded a United Airlines / Aer Lingus flight from San Francisco to Dublin, Ireland via Boston. Over the course of the next three weeks (2 weeks in Ireland, 4 days in Scotland, 4 days in England) I fell in love. Well, I fell MORE in love. Having spent the previous two years researching as much as I could about Ireland for my novel, The Keepers of Éire, I had already fallen in love with the lands of some of my ancestors. Specifically, my Irish ancestors: the Crowley’s and my Scottish ancestors: the McKay’s.

Someday I’d like to visit more of Europe, to see my mother’s side—the Holland’s and Stickney’s. And, of course, Spain for the Bernal’s. But that is for later.

I’ve learned so much this past year: about Ireland, the places my characters travel to, the writing process (write, write, write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite), and my own writing habits. I’ve learned that I’m not just a fantasy writer, but a Writer. I write whatever I am inspired to write, including personal narrative and poetry. I’ve learned that sharing my love of my story with others and my travels inspires me to work harder, to write more. I’ve learned to let go when my characters divert from my idea of the storyline and allow them to tell their story. This is hard for me—the organized, outline following, meticulous planner. Okay, anal.

I loved Ireland. The spectacular and historical places I visited, the mystical stone dances and ruins, the vibrant cities, the festive pubs with their soul-touching music, and the incredibly wonderful people. The images are forever imprinted in my memory. Along with my computer’s (over 3500 photos and video clips). I do have the DVD I compiled, though only a few have seen it. I promise, I have it and hope to have viewings at some point. I only hope I do justice to the land and people of my ancestry with The Keepers of Éire.

One year age: the airplane doors closed. I sat anxiously in my seat by the window, and wondered what the next few weeks would reveal to me. My heart beat with excitement and wonder.

My life changed when I started writing this story.

And, I fell in love.

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Filed under England 2011, Ireland 2011, Scotland 2011

Trip DVD is ready

Eureka!! It must have been the offerings to the chocolate donut gods (thanks Lani & Marlene). I was finally able to figure out why the DVD of my photos and video clips from the trip wouldn’t burn- the menu screen had animation that kept the DVD from encoding. Once I stopped the animation, I was rewarded with a freshly burned DVD (believe me, this was a good thing).

So, to recap: I whittled down over 3500 photos and 50 video clips to a more respectable DVD slide show (complete with music) and short video clips of all three locations (Ireland, Scotland, & England). And, the whole show is just under one hour.

Tea & biscuits, anyone? How about tea & Scottish whisky? Or Guinness? For all my friends close by, I’ll send out some invites for the viewing party. We’ll probably need a few different days and times to accommodate everyone.

Slainte mhath! (To your very good health!)

Me and Newgrange, Co. Meath, Ireland

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Filed under England 2011, Ireland 2011, Scotland 2011

June 2 – Home

Hello,

Sorry to be so far behind in posting. As you probably guessed, I’m home. Trying to get back into the swing of things after the three week trip, battling a nasty cough, and dealing with the passing of my grandmother while I was away.

I am sorting through the roughly 3500 photos and 40 video clips I shot to put together a streamlined dvd presentation.

Also, I need to get back to writing, and rewriting some scenes based on my findings on the trip! My measure of success is in knowing I will be telling my story as accurately as possible.

Thanks so much for following me on this incredible journey. I hope to continue blogging as I write, so check back often.

For those wonderful people I met along my journey: Thanks for making my experience such a fulfilling one. Keep in touch.

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Filed under England 2011, Ireland 2011, Scotland 2011

Scottish Highlands – May 19

May 19: Day 2 of the Highlands tour and we are off to see Clava Cairns – 4000 year old stone circles and burial mounds. Let me just say: Awesome!! So like the ones in Ireland. When I write book 2, my Scottish dragons will need to reside near these stones to pull their magic from this place.

We continued to Culloden Moor where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobites were finally defeated by government soldiers in April 1746. After reading Diana Gabeldon’s Outlander series, I have a loyalty to the Jacobites and seeing this battlefield and the many headstones of the Highland Clans was heartwrenching.

Onward through the Cairngorms National Park toward Pitlochry. We stopped briefly at Ruthuen Barracks, another stategic government stronghold of the time.

Lunch in Pitlochry. Notice the McKay?? Ancestors of mine?

We toured the Blair Athol Distillery. They produce excellent Scottish Whisky. No photos allowed inside due to the high alcohol content within the buildings (risk of sparks from electronic devices).

Our last stop of the tour was at the Hermitage, where we hiked a lovely path to a waterfall and got to see some forest.

The tour concluded back in Edinburgh. Our tour guide, Bill, told wonderful, rich stories of all that we saw. I met some wonderful peopleKen and Connie from Canada, Andrew and Lisa from Tasmania, and the rest of the baker’s dozen. I am so glad I found this tour and was able to join in. It had everything I wanted to see in the Scottish Highlands and more. Kudos to Heart of Scotland Tours.

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Filed under Scotland 2011

Scottish Highlands – May 18

May 18:  I embark on a 2 day tour through the Highlands. After meeting tour guide Bill and the twelve other passengers, the 15 seat bus headed out of Edinburgh. We passed Stirling Castle, but had no time to stop for a tour.

Our first stop was in the Trossachs to meet the living legend, Hamish the Hairy Highland Cow and his young offsping, Honey.

Next, we stopped in Glen Coe, perhaps the most famous Scottish glen. This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the Macdonald Clan by the Campbells took place in 1692. The landscape is gorgeous, volcanic mountains carved from thousands of years of glacial ice.

Onward we pressed to Glenfinnan. There we saw the Glenfinnan Viaduct which has been featured and made famous in the Harry Potter movies.

Glenfinnan is historically important as the landing site of Bonnie Prince Charlie in mainland Scotland to begin his 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. (More on this later). Glenfinnan Monument erected in honor of the Bonnie Prince.

Due to the incliment weather, we could not see the whole of Ben Nevin, Britain’s highest mountain. So, we travelled on to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. The castle was attached, but never breached- though the garrision there were determined to keep it from Jacobite forces and eventually tried to burn in to the ground. What remains today is as close as they got to completely leveling this strategic location.

It rained hard for some time while we explored the ruins, then we were treated to a fantasic rainbow over Loch Ness. (There may even be Nessie in the picture somewhere).

We concluded day 1 in Inverness (which translates to: mouth of the river Ness). A great first day in the Highlands.

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Filed under Scotland 2011