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Scotland

I was in Scotland this past week to meet with a group of women writers. All of us have written or are in the process of writing books about women and the perils they sometimes face. We were there to listen and support one another through the tough process of writing, publishing and promoting our stories. I feel honored to have been included in this newly formed alliance and look forward in seeing where it takes us…

Ingrid Schippers the Dutch co-author of Bloodlines Touch Not the Cat, and I, stayed at the Bargany B&B in Troon. I had a beautiful view of the Firth of Clyde from my room and woke up every morning to the delightful smell of a full Scottish breakfast waiting. Ingrid is also in the process of writing a life-make-over book for women.

Full Scottish breakfast

On our first evening before meeting up with the others, we had dinner at a local pub and were joined by her co-author of Bloodlines, Tom McKerley. Tom lives in Troon and their book is a Scottish Genealogy Mystery Novel, which is a fantastic book that I highly recommend. No surprise Ingrid and I ordered fish & chips for dinner, while Tom ordered Haggis (I did try it and here is the picture to prove it) It tasted okay, I guess, but I don’t think I’ll be eating it again.

When in Scotland, do as the Scottish…

The following day, Ingrid and I set out for the town center and what do you think was the first thing we came across? A used bookstore – which is every writers dream! I was thrilled to find a book of Scottish Love Poems. A great souvenir.

We also stumbled across a great little coffee shop that sold original Scottish arts, craftwork and jewelry called, The Little Shop With No Name. Where we procrastinated intensely over a selection of homemade cakes offered and ultimately ended up with an assortment of them all. They were delicious and easily washed down with two cups of piping hot, green tea.

Lemon Drizzle Cake, Scottish Dumpling, Rich Macadamia Fruit Cake and Cinnamon Apple Scones – yummy!

We worked off our sugar rush with a long walk, on the soft sandy beaches of Troon…

Later that evening we joined the others in a literary powwow, which lead the way to plenty of laughter, a few tears, some spicy Indian food and Champaign. I’m glad I went.

Troon Center

The promenade along the beach

Thanks for a great day Ingrid!

Something big part 3

I shall never, ever complain about Norwegian weather again!

We had the photo shoot for Hjemmet (Norwegian Women’s magazine) at my house on Friday and the weather was a little nippy (sorry, old habits) beautiful!

After a whole month of work, not to mention all the stress that went into this day, it went off without a hitch. Two very lovely ladies showed up at nine o’clock in the morning, one took pictures while the other interviewed my husband and I. She asked him questions about the house and me questions about the book. The book is after all the whole reason I decided to do this, anything for publicity. Right?

They were finished by one, and then stayed for coffee and cake before leaving. I must say, they made the whole experience fun… Thank you, ladies.

However, the weeks leading up to this day were anything but fun, Something Big part 1 and part 2, and my husband now has the Harry Potter scar on his forehead to prove it.

In all fairness, the house did need to be painted, just not at the speed of light. He fell because he was rushing to get the job done and now, every time I see the scar on his face I’ll be reminded again, of all he does for me. Another point for him.

The women from Hjemmet were hardly in their car before my husband was fast asleep on the sofa. I put away the food we used as props and started packing all the stuff I’d loaned for the pictures. I then woke my husband and asked if he could help me return all the heavy, potted plants I’d borrowed. To my surprise he said, “No!” He needed a trip out in the boat… Alone.

It didn’t take long for me to realize he was right, enough is enough. So at four o’clock in the afternoon I put on my pajamas, went to bed and watched one episode of Mad Men (I have a secret crush on Don Draper) before falling asleep. (Darn, I forgot to tell Hjemmet we were probably one of the first homes in Norway to put television in the bedroom).

My son woke me at seven and asked if I could drive him to a friends house, I did (in my pajamas), came home watched another episode of my chain smoking, hard drinking ad man and went back to sleep. I slept until 9:30 the next morning! I can’t remember the last time I slept that long…

The first thing I noticed while drinking my tea and looking out the window the next morning, was all the potted plants were gone… Somebody had returned them while I was asleep.

Thank you, honey!” He wouldn’t let me put a picture of his scar here, so I’m posting a picture of Don Draper instead.

I’d also like to thank Anja for her help and advice, and for lending me all her magnificent treasures.

Marita, for the pretty cupcakes.

Diana, for the excellent cake.

Oasen, for the beautiful flowers.

Espeland Senteret, for building our spectacular new lookout.