Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can A Change Of Scene Spur Creativity?

“What are you thinking?”
Last November, my daughter Anne stared at me with a look of disbelief. This is a normal scenario for me. “I’d like to go back to Scotland, but I also want you and Heather to come.”

She looked doubtful. “You’re serious.”

I assured her I was serious and had been thinking of a return trip for some time. The fact that I’d read lots of novels set in Scotland,  watched movies like Rob Roy and Braveheart and had visited there many years ago may have affected my decision.

”So when do you want to go?” I could see wheels turning inside her head. “I know Heather can’t go until the summer.”

I laughed. My daughter loves travel and I knew she was considering my idea.
She nodded. “Well that’s going to take some planning.”

I agreed knowing there would be more to it than just getting a  plane ticket and hotels..

She picked up the phone and called Heather, her older sister, who almost immediately said yes.

My friend Susie said she hoped I came back full of ideas and enthusiasm to write. For the past few months, I had hit a wall in writing. It’s funny how this malady can sneak up on you causing self doubt and second guessing. It throws one completely off course, happens at the most inopportune time, but forces you to look at what’s working and not working. There is nothing more soul killing than staying where you are and not moving forward with a plan and seeing where it leads you. At least that's the way it is for me. So Scotland was my change agent. You may ask why Scotland. And what can I say? Spring like temperatures unlike the 108 degrees in Texas, a trip back in time with history everywhere, blooming flowers, friendly people, and for romance writers, men in kilts everywhere.

We landed in the hilly city of Edinburgh in the early afternoon, the first city on our tour, and breathed in the cool fresh air, temperature 65 degrees.

 Later we settled into the Sheridan Guest House. This old victorian house was spotless and we were greeted by Rowena our hostess who showed us to our tastefully decorated rooms. The extra touch were phalenopsis orchids in both rooms adding to the ambience.

We gazed from our windows and there was Edinburgh Castle sitting high above the city. The sound of bagpipes echoed in the distance.
After a short rest, we selected The Ship on the Shore at Leith for dinner. In our part of Texas we don't get seafood right off the boat and Scotland has an abundance.
We each chose a different type of seafood. I chose a  platter and it had mussels,sardines, monkfish, brown crab, bass , shrimp and trout. I have never seen so much food. My daughters chose scallops, and salmon. It was a pricey meal but one of the best seafood dinners we had in Scotland.

The Shore side of the Water of Leith was the original Port of Leith and the location of The Ship on The Shore Restaurant and Bar.

A pier was later built to the north in the late 1700s.
"Tall masted sailing ships berthed at the Shore, while scores of crewmen loaded fish, coal, grain and hides for export to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Ships returned with wine, fruit, spices and cloth.
As ships grew too large for this shallow river mouth the harbour was moved north but the buildings on the Shore still show evidence of the old port."
This description of the Shore, above, is taken from a notice board at the Shore erected by the City of Edinburgh District Council, Forth Ports Authority and the Water of Leith Conservation Trust.

We returned to our guest house and went to sleep with the noise of seagulls outside our windows.
To Be Continued..

Ruby Johnson writes romantic suspense with a twist of medicine and mystery.Her experiences as a certified registered nurse anesthetist practitioner are reflected in her characters and her stories. Ruby earned a BA degree fom Stephens College and a masters degree from the University of S.C in Columbia. She completed her education in nursing and nurse anesthesia at the Medical University of S.C. in Charleston. She now resides in Texas. When not writing, she’s traveling. But after years of being on 24 hour call, her present life allows her to switch from putting people to sleep with anesthesia to waking them up with words.. Ruby is a member of Romance Writers of America, Yellow Rose RWA, NTRWA, and Greater Fort Worth Writers. Follow her on, twitter@rubypjohnson . 


Thorne said...

Great post! Can't wait for the next installment. There will be more I hope.

Ruby Johnson said...

Thanks for your comment. Yes, I have more posts to share. It was indeed a great trip.

Cal said...

Gosh, you look like you had a good trip. Thanks for sharing.

Laine said...

Nice post, perfectly designed to make everyone sweltering envious. Beautiful pictures.

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