Hubby and I are just coming to the end of the most amazing, long-weekend research trip to the Scottish Highlands. It was rather an essential trip and has, thankfully, been very fruitful and most enjoyable. As I type this blog entry, Hubby is snoozing on the bed beside me in our lovely hotel room. The work is all but finished and now it’s time to chill. Dinner is booked for 7.30pm and I think a glass of fizz is in order.
So, the reason for the trip? Well, this weekend has been the culmination of months of hard work and of riding an emotional rollercoaster. Essentially, this weekend has been a major contributing factor to me finally writing the finishing touches to my very first ever novel.
Writing the book has, in a way, taken over the past few months of my life and every possible minute has been spent researching, writing, sobbing, tearing my hair out and writing some more. In between this I have been making signs for my craft business and looking after my family. When possible I have also spent time with my wonderful friends and visitors to our new home. Phew!! I must sincerely apologise to those who have been adversely affected by my scatter-brainedness since I began writing the book! I would like to say it will be different from hereon in but who am I to lull you all into a false sense of security?!
The book is, now, just about complete and I have mixed emotions about that fact seeing as it has been such an enjoyable journey; even though it has seen me up until the early hours of the morning when the burning need to write has simply taken over me; much the same as my usual need to create ‘stuff’.
The story is set in the Scottish Highlands and so it was essential for me to visit in order to give the story more depth. My wonderful parents have looked after Puddleduck and I can’t thank them enough and Hubby took time away from work to spend the trip with me for the project that has become very important to him too. He has been my harshest critic, my biggest supporter and, in some ways, my muse. This has been something I have wanted to do for so long but I simply could never fit in the time needed to complete it prior to our move.
I have become very emotionally invested in the lives of my characters and I could envisage them in all the locations we visited. It is like they have come to life for me and being up in the Highlands has made their story much more tangible.
Our first and most important stop was at the Atlantic Bridge. The stunning, stone structure was built by Robert Mylne in 1792 and joins the Isle of Seil to mainland Scotland. It holds a very special place both in the book and in our hearts. After this it was on to a little village called Ellenabeich which has its own natural harbour, views over to the little isle of Easdale and the most amazing rock face as it’s backdrop.
Glenfinnan was serene; as always the sound of the rippling loch breaking over the pebbles whilst we sat at the edge of the water, sent a feeling of calm directly to my soul. The sun was quite powerful for October and we just relaxed, taking in the surroundings, just the two of us. Bliss. Then it was on to Glencoe.
The Buckle at Glen Etiv was of the utmost importance to our visit and being there was emotional. I almost expected to see people fitting the descriptions of characters from my book walking by as we stood looking upwards, in awe, at the rocky face of the rugged mountain.
Loch Tay was a bonus location. We had never been before and it was somewhere we simply chose to go just because we could. Each if the locations for the book had been visited by lunchtime Sunday and so we headed towards Abernethy. Loch Tay is quite vast and there are little white houses dotted along the edge of the shore. We parked up and took some snaps of the loch against the cornflower blue sky. It was simply stunning.
Thankfully book number two is now in the pipeline and so, although I am sad that book one is complete (I have enjoyed writing it so very much) at least I know that I have something to work on.
The next part, I fear, is going to be the hardest: Which publishing routes to attempt; how to go about getting my story out there; will anyone be in the slightest bit interested? Who knows? I can honestly say that this has never been about money (although Hubby says a Land Rover Defender would be good). It is about people enjoying reading what I have created and falling in love with the characters as I have. It is about proving to myself that I can do this. And it is about my in ground need to be creative. So…..watch this space!