The first fifty pages

Being a novice writer, I am still finding my writing process, but I am finally making progress. In fact, I just completed the first 50 pages of my first draft! As they say, the first fifty pages are the most difficult (actually, I do. I say that). They do also represent a good 20-25 %…

The Whisky Experience

With an old friend in town, I finally had company to go on the Whisky Experience tour near Edinburgh Castle. We opted for the Gold tour, costing 26 GBP, which included a dram on the tour plus four different whiskies to taste at the end of the tour. Our tour started with a barrel ride,…

War museums in Edinburgh Castle

I intended to include all of Edinburgh Castle in one post, but there was just so much to explore that the post got overly long. This post includes only the war and military related museums on site, so if war is not your jam, get thee from hence! There aren’t many photos from inside the…

Finally, Edinburgh Castle

After all these weeks in Edinburgh, I finally made it to the eponymous castle. And then it took me three tries to explore it all. On the first day I spent most of the day at the castle and saw most of it, but when I got home I realized I had only seen part…

Reading about writing, part 2

This is the second part about the research I have done prior to writing my first book. The first part focused on general writing tips, research into writing a book series, and finding my genre. This part focuses on research into the specifics of that genre, cozy mysteries, and other odds and ends. Cozy mystery…

Reading about writing, part 1

My process into writing my own book started with research about how to write a book. What can I say, I have a background in academia, and my tried and tested method was doing a lot of research before writing a single line of my theses. So what kind of research have I done for…

Chasing Harry Potter around Edinburgh

Edinburgh is of course the birthplace of Harry Potter, as JK Rowling was living here and writing her books at cafes around town. Quite a few sites were also an inspiration to her, or at least now evoke the wizarding world, whether JK Rowling has explicitly mentioned them as sources or not. There are many…

Craigmillar Castle

More castles in Scotland! Craigmillar Castle came to my attention when I saw photos of Chris Pine shooting a film about Robert the Bruce there a few weeks ago. Well, I missed the fine mr Pine, but the castle was still a great visit. And another castle (after Doune) that I visited where they had…

Writing a book is like decorating your home

As I was looking around my new home, thinking what else it needs to be both functional and beautiful, I was struck how decorating a home is similar to writing a book. In both cases you start with the big necessary things, like a bed or a heroine, then layer on interest in the form…

The Riding the Marches

It was a glorious Sunday when I made my way to town to watch the annual Riding of the Marches. The event has existed for centuries, and in present form commemorates the Captain of the City Band (!) riding his horse to Edinburgh in 1513 to announce the news of the loss at Flodden Fields.…