Scotland

Castle Scenes: Part 3

This is Part 3 and final installment of a series of posts about how I’ve been inspired by Scottish castles to create scenes in my novels. We visit Dirleton Castle in Dirleton, East Lothian for this one. Here I introduce Lord Faintree’s solar: The solar is where the lord, lady, or master of a castle lives. It’s… Read more »

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter…Read Aloud

If you’ve met me in person, you’ve probably heard me go on a bit about Scotland. (And if you know me on social media, you’ve seen that too.) So, with my book placed in 1210 on the Scottish lowlands (most the Borders and the coast), it should come as no surprise that I was hoping… Read more »

Castle Scenes: Part 2

This is the second post in a series of how I’ve discovered crucial details within the castles of Scotland to inspire a scene in my fiction. Today’s post is about doors. This door is from Tantallon Castle near North Berwick. I like the solid wood of it (oak, I assume, as my castle’s door is),… Read more »

Story Bite 4: On Conflict

Conflict is an essential part of any good story. It’s what you throw at your characters to make their lives difficult. Conflict can be as universal as someone/something threatening destruction of the world, or as personal as trying to avoid hurt feelings. Conflict is what stands in the way of your character’s attempts to achieve… Read more »

Finding Beauty in Small Places

Sometimes the world can feel overwhelming. Illness (our own or that of loved ones), alarming happenings around us, or disappointments of professional or personal kinds can each drag us under the border of happiness like an undertow in the sea, and keep us down. This year has been a challenging one for many people for… Read more »

Story Bite 3: On Food

Last month’s writing prompt was about setting. I hope your mouth won’t water too much over November’s prompt, which is about…food! For this month, write either nonfiction or fiction. Write as yourself, or pick a character (create your own alter ego, or go ahead and pick someone from your favorite book). Here’s a visual to start: This,… Read more »

Story Bite 2: On Setting

I hope you enjoyed last month’s story bite writing prompt. For October, let’s talk about setting. The setting is where your story takes place, and it’s ultimately description, but there are a lot of ways to show it. Take this castle, for instance. The picture shows the wall that leads up to the inner courtyard… Read more »

Starting With a Castle…

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed my love for—oh, let’s just be honest—enormous obsession with Scotland’s castles. These are the stone behemoths that dominate Scotland’s landscape (particularly in the Borders), looming above cities, countrysides, and seas. Kings, earls, and lords—Scottish and English alike—built these fortresses from the 11th to 16th centuries to… Read more »