Scottish Adventures, and a realisation…

You may have noticed a theme in this blog. Clearly, I love my history, and my historical fiction, but there’s a particular fondness for anything north of the border. A fortnight ago, I was thrilled to head back over to Newton Stewart, in the beautiful (and painfully quiet) Dumfries and Galloway.

Quiet in visitors, but not in historical sites to visit, including some with very interesting links to British history, such as the beautiful Dundrennan Abbey, practically on the coast of the Solway Firth, and the place where Mary Queen of Scots famously spent her last night on Scottish soil, before crossing into England, and what she hoped was Elizabeth’s support. We know how that one ended…

Dundrennan Abbey

But Dundrennan is far more to me than just where Mary’s story started to unravel (for her, at least, for us, it got very interesting!) – it’s also, when combined with a couple of other sites nearby, part of the inspiration behind Whitehart Abbey, the location of a timeslip novel which has been fizzing around my brain for the last year or so. It started last year, when we visited both Dundrennan and Glenluce Abbeys, again in a single week, and finally came together when we popped up to Oban later in the year. Proof, if proof were needed, that some of my best thinking happens when not at home. Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, after all, came together partly on a train, partly in, well, the Tower of London (fairly obvious that one!).

Although I do most of my writing at home, I do a lot of my thinking and plotting out and about, ideally in the locations I’m writing in, or at least somewhere similar. I think it’s a case of being away from all the dull distractions of every day life – no laundry, no cooking, no cleaning. And perhaps, no computer. Nearly all of my plots and plans make their first appearances in notebooks, written long-hand. It seems for me, thinking and computers don’t mix!

The upshot of all of this is, I suspect, that I need to go on a lot more journeys and holidays… What a shame that is!

But how about you? Where do you do your best thinking? Do you get to go there as often as you like?


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