Scotland Day Two

Good Tuesday morning everyone!

I have eleven pictures for you today.  We will be talking about the iconic Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

The tea rooms are absolutely beautiful.   There are three levels, though there used to be five!  On the bottom is the gift shop and a smaller tea room.  It wasn’t set up and in use when we were there but it looked like it was used for tea tastings.  Go up one flight of stairs and you’re at The Gallery.  The Gallery is a very masculine room with rich, dark woods.  Once you’ve wound through the narrow spaces, dodging tables and patrons and climbed the next flight of stairs, you find yourself in the Room de Lux.

The tea rooms were designed and built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Kate Cranston, his most generous and consistent patron.  She gave him the opportunity to design everything from the silverware to the furnishings to the walls and windows.  Though Ms. Cranston sold the tea rooms when her husband died it was later purchased by Anne Mulhern who began the recreation of the site by restoring the Room de Lux first.

And I have to tell you, the restaurant is stunningly beautiful and, despite the decades between its origin and its restoration, it is steeped in history.

On to the pictures!

This is Sauchiehall St.  'Sauchiehall' is pronounced 'sawk-ee-hall'.  It is a combination of new and old that gives it a unique feel.

This is Sauchiehall St.. ‘Sauchiehall’ is pronounced ‘sawk-ee-hall’. It is a combination of new and old that gives it a unique feel.

The people were wonderful to watch, (even if some were not as polite as you'd like).  This lovely man was feeding the pigeons.  Once the word went out on the wind that he was there, dozens of birds came winging up the hill, straight for the bench Val and I were sitting on.   We could feel the air beneath their wings.  *pauses for a Bette Midler moment*

The people were wonderful to watch, (even if some were not as polite as you’d like). This lovely man was feeding the pigeons. Once the word went out on the wind that he was there, dozens of birds came winging up the hill, straight for the bench Val and I were sitting on. We could feel the air beneath their wings. *pauses for a Bette Midler moment*

 

Just cuz 😉 (image courtesy of Google)

The exterior.  It's a beautiful building.

The exterior. It’s a beautiful building.

This is that front wind we see in the previous picture.  Val and I had lunch in the Room de Lux. It certainly was luxurious!

This is that front window we see in the previous picture. Val and I had lunch in the Room de Lux. It certainly was luxurious!

All silver and purple.  Plus the mirrored friezes on the wall.  The originals were leaded and, I'm quite sure, absolutely beautiful.  Though, these were lovely.

All silver and purple. Plus the mirrored friezes on the wall. The originals were leaded and, I’m quite sure, absolutely beautiful. Though, these were lovely.

We finally got to looking at the extensive menus and, after much discussion with our server and the kitchen manager, finally ordered.  They have the most wonderful, highest gluten free bread I have ever seen.  This is my grilled bacon, tomato and brie sandwich.  It is, by far, the most wonderful sandwich I've ever eaten.  Ever.  I want that bread!

We finally got to looking at the extensive menus and, after much discussion with our server and the kitchen manager, finally ordered. They have the most wonderful, highest gluten free bread I have ever seen. This is my grilled bacon, tomato and brie sandwich. It is, by far, the most wonderful sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Ever. I want that bread!

This was dessert.   Ahem.  We tasted it before I got my camera out.  We tasted a LOT of if before I got my camera out.  The small plate had a 2x2 inch brownie on it that was at least an inch thick, very fudgy and warm and oh em gee so good.  Val let me have two tiny bites and hoarded the rest!  The bowl had two HUGE meringues with an inch and a half of clotted cream and some fresh berries between them.  Divine.  Heavenly.  The Gods would have been jealous.

This was dessert. Ahem. We tasted it before I got my camera out. We tasted a LOT of if before I got my camera out. The small plate had a 2×2 inch brownie on it that was at least an inch thick, very fudgy and warm and oh em gee so good. Val let me have two tiny bites and hoarded the rest! The bowl had two HUGE meringues with an inch and a half of clotted cream and some fresh berries between them. Divine. Heavenly. The Gods would have been jealous.

Part one of the Willow Tea Rooms' history.

Part one of the Willow Tea Rooms’ history.

Part two of the history.

Part two of the history.

Our cute and eager to please server, Dan.

Our cute and eager to please server, Dan.   Nope, no idea what happened with the lighting here.  

And the beautiful Mhairi, the kitchen manager. She worked very hard at making sure we had a safe and wonderful meal.  She totally succeeded.  Went well beyond the call of duty.

And the beautiful Mhairi, the kitchen manager. She worked very hard at making sure we had a safe and wonderful meal. She totally succeeded. Went well beyond the call of duty.   And it’s like Dan & Mhairi had their own ideas about the lighting for their photos. 😀

It is totally well worth a visit.  We enjoyed every moment, even when the Room de Lux was flooded with teenagers on a school trip.  It was a beautiful meal in beautiful surroundings.

You can find the Willow Tea Rooms website here.  If you’re in Glasgow, I encourage you to pop in for a cup of tea.  We went to 217 Sauchiehall St. because of the history.  It was incredible.  

Thank you Dan and Mhairi for making our visit so worthwhile.  

Off to do more NaNo plotting! I think I have a handle on it now.  And Kris is an RCMP officer in the Criminal Intelligence Division.  From there his position is very fictional.  I’m looking forward to the story.

Muah.  

 

Oh Thank the Gods!

It is FIVE days to NaNo and I still don’t have a plot but I have a beginning – sort of – and I have my main character fleshed out.

Meet Mr. Kris Riddell: 

Age 44, Canadian

Appearance: 

  • Salt & pepper hair, more salt than pepper, shaggy layers that just touch his collar
  • Beard is in perpetual scruff, neat but the hairs are always a quarter inch long, almost completely white, except for the mustache which is still mostly dark
  • Deep set, dark green eyes surrounded by long lashes, topped with sparse narrow eyebrows that peak in the middle, laugh lines create narrow creases around his eyes
  • High, sharp cheekbones
  • Full lower lip, slightly thinner upper lip, usually curved in a smile when he isn’t on the job
  • Dimples, laugh lines around his mouth mostly hidden by the facial hair
  • Straight white teeth
  • Strong jaw line, slightly pointed chin
  • 6’3” tall, broad shoulders, well muscled but sleek looking rather than body builder carved, trim waist, tight ass, torso and leg length are almost equal, slightly longer legs, long arms, big hands, well manicured fingers (kept that way to keep his gloves in one piece and no mistakes when handling his weapons and, frankly, because he likes it, he was bred that way)
  • Looks as good in biker leathers as he does in a three piece suit, don’t get me started on how he looks in a tux

 

Personality:

  • Loner
  • Friendly and personable, he is a chameleon that can fit into any situation, despite the ever-present scruff
  • Country music man, likes some alt-rock, favourite song is Kenny Rogers’ Islands in the Stream
  • Single-minded in completion of goals and tasks.
  • Very passionate, about his wolves, about sex (believes that the female pleasure is tantamount to a great experience for both)
  • Loves intensely; there was a girl he met in high school, once-in-a-lifetime type love, despite their youth, she died a month before their wedding because of a drunk driver, he’s had a few girlfriends since but has always held them at a distance – each one has left him because of it, now has a few regular lovers
  • Teetotaler
  • Dominant

 

Profession:

  • Is an agent of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service – started career in law enforcement because of Megan’s death, recruited by them as a young officer in the RCMP
  • Began study of mammology in mid-30s to pursue his passion- the preservation of wolves
  • Mammoligst specializing in the anatomy, physiology and ethology (behaviour) of North American wolves
  • Has special, secret permissions from USA’s Homeland Security to hunt poachers in the US, carry his weapons and shoot to kill within any US territory
  • Uses the mammologist as a cover for intelligence gathering
  • Generally works out of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and British Columbia to help protect Canada’s natural resources from terrorists
  • Is often called to track other criminals by other agencies such as the RCMP, the FBI and US Fish & Wildlife Service

Background:

Kris was born into one of Canada’s richest families.  His great-grandfather started their fortunes with the peddling of coal and they moved from there to oil.  His father, Stephen, had since diversified, to keep from losing too much money as the oil futures bounced up and down.  Stephen was foresighted and he had hoped that both of his children would go into the family business.  Kris’s sister, Aphrodite, (named for the Greek God, the favourite of their scholar mother, often called Dite), was as much a business mogul as their father, with an innate sense of business trends.  Stephen was disappointed but understood Kris’s switch from business to law enforcement in his early twenties.

Kris’s parents – Stephen and Ruth – have a loving marriage that has been an inspiration to both of their children.  The reason Kris’ favourite song is Islands in the Stream is his parents.  They celebrated their 20th anniversary when Kris was 17 with a vow renewal with their Kenny Rogers song was their bridal dance.  The love they showed for each other and their family imprinted on Kris at a deep level.  He had already met Megan and been dating her for two years.  He was deeply in love with her and planned to marry her, she planned to marry him right back.

At the age of 19 he proposed to Megan.  They planned to marry at the age of 21 and, with the help of their parents, had a plan to have a small but romantic wedding with their friends and family in attendance.  One month before their wedding, Megan was out running some final errands when her car was t-boned by a drunk driver.  No one understood why the woman was drunk at noon and no one could ask her, she died at the scene.  Megan died of complications two days later.

Kris immediately went into law enforcement.  He worked his way through the ranks quickly and ended up being approached by the Canadian Federal Marshall Service.  They recruited him and he developed his tracking and hunting skills further.  He took a special interest in poachers, animal abusers and black market trading of exotic animals and animal parts.

He grew to love wolves in particular and used his free time to go back to school to become a mammologist.  He combined both his loves into a job that allows him to make extensive use of third love – motorcycles.

At the age of 4, Kris was a lover of vehicles.  He saw a BMX trick rider in a TV show and instantly began begging his parents for a bike.  Being the indulgent (yet firm) parents they were, they got him the bike, safety gear and lessons on riding one.  He rose through the ranks of the under 12 crowd then, just as he was getting to be well-known, he discovered motors.  At the age of ten, he begged his mother for a motocross bike.  She talked his father into it and it became a lifelong love of motors.

Now, at the age of 44, he has three women he calls friends and lovers across the country, he does bike rides like the Iron Butt Association’s SaddleSore (1000 miles in under 24 hours), the SaddleSore 1600, 2000 and 2500K (24, 24 and 36 hours respectively) and the Iron Butt Rally.  The Rally occurs every two years and it’s a lottery to gain a spot, if you complete their prerequisites.  He works hard enough and long enough to do these rides almost at whim.  The Rally is 11 days, 12,000 miles, expensive to do and a real coup for any biker to get into. 

It’s also where our story with Kris begins.

***

Sexy, isn’t he?  I’m still not sure what his story is  here but we’ll find out.  

…won’t we?

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Muah

Linlithgow Palace

Welcome to the first of my posts about my trip.

With 978 pictures to choose from, it’s the first of many. *laughs*  Unfortunately, since I’d forgotten my camera, they’re all taken with my phone.  We could have taken the effort to find and purchase a new camera but I had limited resources (both financially and physically, though Val did her best to help with both).  I wasn’t concerned, my phone camera may not be the best, but it’s not the worst. 🙂   I think, having gone through all the pictures, that there were times when I was definitely a very poor photographer.  

While the trip was difficult on me it was extremely enjoyable and I don’t regret a moment of it, or anything I’m going through now.  There were times when I couldn’t stand still, or my hands wouldn’t stop shaking and the pictures are blurry and there was nothing to be done about it.  So with that in mind, let’s go on.

When planning the trip, I wanted to start with a bang.  I wracked my brains for the perfect thing.  I was tooling around our area of Scotland (via our friend, Google) I saw a few things – Loch Lomond, Stirling, Linlithgow.  Now, our plans were to do the Highland Explorer tour, (that got cancelled on us), and that covered Loch Lomond and Stirling.  That left us with Linlithgow.  I did some research into and – I’ll admit – somewhat reluctantly scheduled it in.

My reluctance was wholly unfounded.

Now, I need to remind you that I am a believer in past lives, in feeling history, and in the energies left by people.

Linlithgow was absolutely amazing.  If you stand quietly, close your eyes and just breathe you can hear the voices of people past.  You can feel their emotions and almost see the history play out.

Our first views of Linlithgow offered wonderful views of history and ...antique?...architecture.  We were immediately thrown into the past.  (Despite the cars ;) )

Our first views of Linlithgow offered wonderful views of history and …antique?…architecture. We were immediately thrown into the past. (Despite the cars 😉 )

If I remember correctly, this is the Linlithgow Town Council buildings.  "Linlithgow Burgh Halls."

This is the Linlithgow Town Council buildings. “Linlithgow Burgh Halls.”

Even the path to the castle gate was steeped in history.  Along the wall on the right are plaques detailing every Royal who stayed in the palace from Mary, Queen of Scot.  She was born there and crowned queen at the age of 7 months then shipped to France for her safety.

Even the path to the castle gate was steeped in history. Along the wall on the right are plaques detailing every Royal who stayed in the palace from Mary, Queen of Scot. She was born there and crowned queen at the age of 7 months then shipped to France for her safety.

An upward glance in the entrance to the courtyard showed some carvings called "bosses".  These are protrusions of stone or wood and are found on a number of vaulted ceilings in Gothic Architecture.  I liked them.

An upward glance in the entrance to the courtyard showed some carvings called “bosses”. These are protrusions of stone or wood and are found on a number of vaulted ceilings in Gothic Architecture. I liked them.

Once through the entrance, we were confronted with this  Message  Fountain.

Once through the entrance, we were confronted with this Message Fountain.

It is beautiful, complicated and astonishing.

It is beautiful, complicated and astonishing.

We wandered inside and one of the first things we saw was this hole in the wall that led to a hole in the floor.  It turned out to be a prison.

We wandered inside and one of the first things we saw was this hole in the wall that led to a hole in the floor. It turned out to be a prison.

This plaque didn't give us numbers but I have to tell you, it was deep.

This plaque didn’t give us numbers but I have to tell you, it was deep.

Val and I separated  and I wandered around, taking pictures until my camera died. I found some fantastic rooms like this one. This is the Royal Apartments, I think.

Val and I separated and I wandered around, taking pictures until my camera died. I found some fantastic rooms like this one. This is the Royal Apartments, I think.

This is the Great Room, a place of gatherings of all kinds from political meetings to a grand ball.

This is the Great Room, a place of gatherings of all kinds from political meetings to a grand ball.

 (And HEY!  On to day two of trying to write this post!  My built-in keyboard crapped out yesterday and it was a frustrating piece of work trying to use the onscreen one.  Eventually, I gave up.  And by the time I could sit down after supper to work with my external I was out of it with pain, drugs and fatigue.  Only a few pictures left.)

Everywhere you looked there were windows.  The ones that didn't look down into the courtyard offered some fantastic views of the town and countryside.

Everywhere you looked there were windows. The ones that didn’t look down into the courtyard offered some fantastic views of the town and countryside.

Like this view.

Like this view.

This is the courtyard.  Quite big enough for a horse drawn carriage to turn around in and a full household staff to be there awaiting the royal arrivals, don't you think?

This is the courtyard. Quite big enough for a horse drawn carriage to turn around in and a full household staff to be there awaiting the royal arrivals, don’t you think?

I, the woman with the lousy back, knees and ankle, climbed to the top of two of those towers.  ...As close as I could get before encountering locked gates.   I paid for it, of course, but it was totally worth it.

I, the woman with the lousy back, knees and ankle, climbed to the top of two of those towers. …As close as I could get before encountering locked gates. I paid for it, of course, but it was totally worth it.

I leave you with one last view of Linlithgow, Linlithgow Pond.  The palace is an amazing place to visit and, should you be in the area (or within a train ride of the area) you should visit.

I leave you with one last view of Linlithgow – Linlithgow Pond. The palace is an amazing place to visit and, should you be in the area (or within a train ride of the area) you should visit.

My battery died and I missed many pictures I could have taken, until Val gave me her spare.  I missed out on photographing several amazing things.  But that’s okay.  I refuse to regret the things I didn’t take pictures of because being there was so intense and so gorgeous it’s difficult to regret anything.  My goal for taking pictures is to be able to share the experiences, to show you the things I’ve seen in the ways I see them.  My camera phone isn’t that great, overall, but it’s not that bad either, it gets across my vision more often than not.  

This is a snippet of the sights I enjoyed in Linlithgow and I hope you enjoyed them too.

Now!  As much as I’d also like to share the Willow Tea Rooms with you today, NaNo is in SIX DAYS and I have yet to find a plot.  There’s Kris, my beloved protagonist, but that’s it.  It’s going to be something about animal conservation, biker dudes, wolves (of course) and maybe a woman.  That’s all I know.

Have a great day!  Maybe the Willow Tea Rooms tomorrow, we’ll see.  The ‘rents are coming for a visit tomorrow.  I’m pleased about that.

Muah.

Good morning!

*waves*

*waves*

  Hello, my lovely people! 

I have returned from Scotland and am therefore back to blogging.   I have nearly a thousand pictures to go through and edit before I share them with you.

Scotland was absolutely gorgeous, both in the scenery and the people.  They were absolutely amazing and, almost to a person, extremely generous and helpful.  There were a couple of rude asshats who should have seen my foot in their ass but it wouldn’t be our planet if those people didn’t exist, sadly.  

The rudest people of all were other tourists – deliberately walking into your shot (while you have the camera raised) because they are oblivious to any but themselves.  I have to admit to a few hours of such obliviousness myself but, for me, that was about pain and trying to function while in so much pain I’d have happily let someone sedate me with a brick to the temple.  

The trip was tremendously difficult on me.  It has affected the MCS hugely, although there were many places that weren’t as bad as we thought they would be.  I have to tell you, though, now that I’m back in the clean, safe environment that is The Boyfriend’s cottage – my stuff reeks.  It was like walking into a perfume counter while trying to get my laundry out of my suitcase.  My pain conditions were the most affected though.  I was taking dilaudid every 3 or so hours while tooling around Edinburgh and still, at the end of each day of cobblestoned and unevenly paved roads, I was an automaton putting one foot in front of the other.  I was pulled, pushed, nudged and often cajoled (and nearly beaten once or twice lol) by Val just to keep moving.  

Thank the Gods for Val.   She was an awesome travelling companion and a great caregiver.  She is one of the besties and definitely lived up to every reason she is one while on this trip.  I really, truly, wouldn’t have gotten through it without her.  I had a panic attack while at The Witchery (a fantastic, if pricey, restaurant! If you are ever in Glasgow or Edinburgh [the one we visited] you should make a reservation) and one on the plane home and she managed to diffuse both – even if she did use a medicinal aide for the second one.  *laughs*  

And I have to say that Bruce and Dorothy at Dorwil Cottage in Blackburn were absolutely amazing.  They went to great lengths to try to make sure the cottage was completely safe for me.  There were still problems but the cottage was lovely and adorable, it was much safer than any hotel could ever hope to be and it was fantastic to come home to a home, rather than a hotel.  I will be posting about them first.

I brought back a bunch of stuff.  I am amazed at how much money I actually spent and how my I could have spent.  

  • 7 books
  • 6 articles of clothing
  • 6 pieces of jewelry (3 of which were bought by Val as gifts for me, including beautiful opal and gold earrings)
  • 2 boxes of shortbread
  • 2 packets of cat treats (uh… yeah… we brought treats back for our cats)
  • a condom (hehehe)
  • 2 bags of candy
  • 2/3 of an enormous chocolate bar  (*coughs*  It’s Dairy Milk WholeNut – the nuts being hazelnuts/filberts, my favourite)
  • 1 large macaroon treat  (they press coconut into a bar then enrobe it in chocolate, bloody fantastic, very rich)
  • a fuzzy Scottish cow (yep, seriously)
  • a statuette of a blacksmith for The Boyfriend
  • varying train tickets
  • one pass for almost every historic site in Scotland
  • a box of chocolate penguins
  • And one gorgeous tattoo 😀

I think I’m forgetting something but that’s okay.  

My Moo

My Moo

While I was gone, a wonderful blog, called In the Pages of a Good Book, hosted me as a guest blogger.  I am completely remiss in waiting this long to talk about it.  Sorry, Beckey.

It was for the Shades of Pink project, which, sadly, has only raised $607 so far.   That is a great figure but it is nowhere near as good as it was last year.  Kallysten believes, and I agree, that with all the “donate to fight cancer!” requests on FB, in other places online and in your face in malls and shopping centres that people are burnt out and don’t want to see another damn fundraiser.  I completely understand.

HOWEVER!  You’re not just donating blindly here.  You are also getting something out of it.  By visiting the above link (click on “Shades of Pink project”) you not only donate to a good cause, you get a fantastic book.   I started reading the stories before I left on my trip and we have some amazing authors.

Beckey, over at http://inthepagesofagoodbook.com/, invited me to talk about my contribution to the book.  You can find it here.  Be sure to check it out and check out the rest of her blog too.  You get an excerpt from my post and you just may find some other really good reading material as you look through her blog. 

It’s time for me to begin the somewhat daunting task of sorting those pictures.  All 978 of them.  (Val took around 1,500… I’m glad I’m not sorting those).   I will begin sharing my pictures with you very soon.

Have a wonderful day!

Muah

By the way, the above picture of me was taken in a toilet stall at the the Keflavik International Airport in Iceland.  It had really good lighting. 😉

It’s a Lovely Dam Site

No, really.   I have photos of the Parkhill Dam Resevoir today.

Okay, so right now, I am finishing the last minute packing and getting ready to head to the airport.  This blog is being written a week in the past.  *cue spooky time travel music*  I am equally excited for this trip and terrified.  I’ve been dreaming about it since I was five years old and being given the trip was… awesome.  Not a penny being spent is mine and everything is covered.

It is incredibly generous and there is no way I can NOT go.  

But it will screw me up physically.  It will be toxic and it will cause physical repercussions likely to last for months.  

Oh well.  It’s going to be wonderful.   Would you turn down the trip, even with all the possible negative crap that could come out of it?

Nope.  Happy birthday to me!  (It’s also my birthday today, my 41st.)

On to the pictures!

The Parkhill Dam and the reservoir were created on the Parkhill Creek in 1969 to prevent further erosion and control serious flooding downstream.  It was meant to create a storage area and regulate the water flow of the creek.  It resulted in an 800-hectare conservation area that is home to extensive forests, marshy areas and new habitats for small animals like squirrels, rabbits and foxes.  A deer can occasionally be spotted too.  There are also varied species of bird and fish.  The conservation area opened up opportunities for windsurfing, canoeing, swimming, fishing, trail riding both on horseback and motorized vehicles and winter sports.  It’s a fantastic place and really quite gorgeous.  

I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.  We were only at the lookout off Grand Bend Road so I don’t have much of a view of the entire place.  Where we were is gorgeous though.  I like the idea of going once or twice a month, like the second and fourth Friday of the month, at the same time of day and taking pictures. Maybe building a calendar.

Anyway, enough yapping, on to the pictures!

This is a Google Earth image of the resevoir, just to give you some idea of how large it is.  The edge of town is at the bottom left corner.

This is a Google Earth image of the resevoir, just to give you some idea of how large it is. The edge of town is at the bottom left corner.

Had to have somewhere to hang my cane while I snapped the pics. ;)

Had to have somewhere to hang my cane while I snapped the pics. 😉

Saw some interesting wildlife while there. It's important to see the little things in the big picture, don't you think?

Saw some interesting wildlife while there. It’s important to see the little things in the big picture, don’t you think?

Especially when they're about to end up in your hair like this guy.  I love the way the light is in this picture.

Especially when they’re about to end up in your hair like this guy. I love the way the light is in this picture.

To get to where I wanted to do, we had to go up and down the hill.  There wasn't much in the way of support...

To get to where I wanted to do, we had to go up and down the hill. There wasn’t much in the way of support…

...although apparently there used to be.

…although apparently there used to be.

It was really peaceful though.  The scenery was lush and vibrant

It was really peaceful though. The scenery was lush and vibrant.

Full of life.

Full of life.

And really, somewhere we'd love to canoe or kayak.

And really, somewhere we’d love to canoe or kayak.

Our part of Ontario is beautiful and I am so glad we live here.

And now, I am off to take the trip of a lifetime.  I will post whatever strikes my fancy the most when it does while across the pond.

Muah

An Epiphany

Holy crap.  The things you learn about yourself before embarking on a life-changing event.  And it will be life changing.  How can it not?  I’ve been dreaming about it since I was five years old.  “Some day I will go to Scotland and it will be GREAT!”   
(Leprechauns were in there somewhere when I was little, but they’re Irish. 😉 )

As you may know, I leave for my trip in three days.  My stomach has been in knots for days and I’ve been stressing more than I’ve been excited.

I had a panic attack about the trip this morning.  I didn’t realize I was so set in my ways, so set in my routines, so *reliant* on my routines, having my things around me, until the wait time for this trip got into the single digits.  I ended up letting Callie talk me through it and then I went to bed. 

I get these little inspirational emails called Notes from the Universe.  I have come to love them.  This was today’s:

Note

 

I know he’s right.  I can’t stay hidden in my little world, only exploring the world astrally while physically only venturing to safe places, known places.  I can’t continue to grow, can’t continue to evolve – as a person or a writer – unless I expand my world and my knowledge. 

I didn’t know how afraid I was to do that until now.

I can do this.  I’m not doing it alone.  I have love and support. 

Shades of Pink 14

It’s October and you know what that means!  Leaves turning, pumpkins being carved, rugrats in costumes knocking your door down.

It’s also time for events raising money for breast cancer awareness. I am pleased to once again be a part of…

bedding sheets and pillow sleep bed

Lovely, isn’t it.

 For today I will give you, verbatim, the promo info Kallysten sent out to all the authors involved.  

As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year, the first Shades of Pink event raised over $10.000 through more than 1300 donations

For our second year, 22 authors have allied for 1 cause: fundraising for research. Their gift to everyone who makes a donation? A romance anthology (ebook) titled Shades of Pink (volume 2), totaling almost 150.000 words / about 400 pages as a PDF.

The suggested donation is $5. Funds are raised via Stayclassy.org and all proceeds go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Readers can also donate to the charity organization of their choice (with a focus on breast cancer) and email their receipt to receive their copy of the anthology in either PDF, ePub or mobi (kindle).

Who: Catherine Bowman, Mitzi Calderone, Vivien Dean, JJ and TA Ellis, Sabrina Garie, Nina Day Gerard, T. Hammond, Susan Harris, Laura Hunsaker, Kallysten, Amara Lebel, Alicia J. Love, Deelylah Mullin, C. Deanne Rowe, Cynthia Sax, DJ Shaw, Alice Stark, Ashley Suzanne, Gill Taber, Natasza Waters, Zoe York, Angela Yseult

When: Now through November 15th.

What: 22 short stories, including…

  • 4 paranormal, 1 sci-fi, 11 contemporary, 1 historical, 2 military, 3 BDSM, 2 YA (some stories have more than one genre)
  • 3 spicy (ménage or kink), 7 sexy (explicit sex scenes), 12 sweet (no sex)
  • A couple of vampires, about three dozen humans including soldiers, geeks, teachers, librarians, writers, survivors, bosses, rock stars, teens, mages, wives, husbands and fiancés, 1 succubus, 1 genie, a few aliens, some werewolves and other shifters.
  • Pink, pink and more pink, including tattoos, plenty of flowers, precious stones, jewelry, a bookmark, a drawing, ropes, lingerie, a car, a bag, a vase, various clothes, an anteater and a squirrel.

Where: Kallysten’s blog

Here you’ll find links to teasers for the stories, interviews of the authors and blog posts during all of October, a FAQ, and of course the link where you can donate and help this worthy cause.

As you can see, there is quite the variety of stories available here.  

A pink anteater??   I have to read that one I think.  And the one with the pink squirrel.  Plus the ones with the soldiers.   I like soldiers.  My story, of course, falls into the spicy category.  Would you expect anything less from me?

Maybe next year.

I will be doing a guest appearance on In the Pages of a Good Book on October 7th.  I will be talking about my inspirations and how I wrote the story and I will include a blurb.  You can also find Beckey on Facebook here and on Twitter @InThePages

I spoke about my story in an earlier post, here, and that’s pretty much how the story turned out.  I have noticed that I am becoming less and less a pantser and more a planner.  I can’t outline every detail of what I’m writing but I seem to be able to stick pretty close to an outlined plot – at least for the shorter stories.   It’s been interesting to see how my writing style is changing.  

But that’s a whole other blog, isn’t it?

On to continue the preparations for my trip!  Down to the last few days now.

Muah