Scottish Highland Games, oh my.

This past week end I attended the Scottish Highland Games at the Alameda fairgrounds in Pleasanton with my good friend, Tresa. Besides having the opportunity to see a lot of good looking men in kilts, I wanted to connect with the MacNicol Clan. I drew on the MacNicol clan for inspiration in my books, Return In Time, Somewhere to Belong and the soon to be released third book of the series, Away Over-Yonder. 

Dale Nicoll of Clan MacNicol and Me.

Dale Nicoll of Clan MacNicol and Me.

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I think it’s only fair to mention that my characters in the From Time to Time series are all completely fictional. I make stuff up. But that really is me with Dale Nicoll of Clan MacNicol. I had a grand time as he told me all about the clan and their homeland on the Isle of Skye.

Dale Nicoll telling me about Clan MacNicol

Dale W. Nicoll telling me about Clan MacNicol.

While I was visiting the Clan MacNicol booth, we were entertained by the Nicolson pipe and drum band. Sharp looking guys, don’t you agree?

Nicholson pipe and drum band

Nicholson pipe and drum band.

Nicholson big drum

Nicholson clan brings out their big drum.

What a treat.  After hanging with Clan MacNicol for awhile, Tresa and I wandered around the fair grounds and eventually made our way over to the area with the Scottish highland guards. We met some very pleasant, sharp looking warrior, guards. They were very nice to tell us about the weapons used when the Scottish warriors went into battle. And they took the time to pose for some picture taking. Really nice guys.

Scottish highland guards

Might fine Scottish highland guards.

We also met one of the guards, Michael. In my books, one of the brothers of my MacNicol clan is named Michael. Fairly impressive looking.

Scottish Highland Guard.

Scottish Highland Guard.

Michael with his son, Andrew. Like father, like son. Great guys doing a great job defending mighty Scotland. I felt pretty safe too.

Michael, Andrew with Tresa and Me.

Michael, Andrew with Tresa and Me.

A Scottish highland guard with his wife, Kim and daughter, Kaylyn. Very nice people, past and present.

Michael with wife and daughter

Highland Guard with wife and daughter, and Me.

I had a grand time. And now I have a lot of great stories to add to my collection. My only regret is that I have to wait another year before the Scottish games return and I can go back to visit with my new found friends. But I’m already looking forward to next September.

Enjoy now and enjoy always, T

Doing my best, as best I can.

I’ve recently sent off my manuscript for Moonlight Dreams to an editor I like and admire. I’m hoping it will be well received. Hell, I’m hoping she loves it so much she wants to pee her pants.

But then, I took another look at it, again, and I’ve found ten (or twenty!) errors. You know, little things like misspelled words, typos and such, and I think Crap, Crap, Crap, why did I do that?

And then I sit back, take a deep breath – to keep for throwing up – and remind myself that what’s done is done. And it all okay. God still loves me, even if no one else does, TYG.

If the editor likes the story enough, she’ll want to work with me. If she doesn’t (like the story) the lack of those ten (or twenty) typos isn’t going to change her mind. At least  I hope not.

I mean, really, if the likeability of my story rests on the absence of any and all typos, I’m toast, or perhaps moldy old Swiss cheese, turning green and full of holes. Woe unto me.

But! If she really likes my story, and can get past my tendency to make a few mistakes, (God bless my human soul) then we’re golden. Every day I get up and try to do my best. Some days are way better than others. Some are like sucking lard through a straw. Some days I shine. And every day is another chance to try and do my best. Not Mark Twain’s best, or Suzanne Brockmann’s, or Monica McCarthy’s, or so&so XXX’s best,  [fill in blank with your favorite and bestest author].  I can only do my best.

And if I love myself and the world around me – the world will love me back. So here’s to loving me and loving you. Cheers and Enjoy always, T

In a Gratitude Attitude.

I just came from a WOW meeting at Unity. WOW stands for Women Of Wonder and we always have great speakers and heartfelt participation from our group. Wednesday’s focus was on abundance and affluence. I was reminded of how helpful it is to be grateful for everything good in my life and how focusing on the good brings more good into my life. It’s that old law of attraction thing.  We attract that which we focus on. So today I’m focusing on a list of things I LEA, Like, Enjoy and Appreciate.

I LEA:  making love, any time of the day when the mood hits * dark chocolate, I hear it’s good for you! * the ocean, I could watch ocean waves for hours * sunshine and warm days, I like it warm, not too hot, not too cold, but just right * reading a good book, usually romance but not always, I do have other interests * laughing, usually at myself, it’s the best kind of fun * The Big Bang Theory, TV show, it always makes me laugh, which is good for anything that ails you * ying and yang, because balance is so important * gazing off into the distance, as if I’m in deep thought but I’m probably just gazing * full moons, half moons, crescent moons, moon light, as you can see, I have a thing for moons * fairies, I do believe in them * trees, I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree * roses, or just about any flowers * romantic kisses, God bless romantic kisses * sleeping, I’m a big fan of a good night’s sleep * a wink and a smile, if you have one or the other, pass them on * dragon flies, butter flies, fire flies, you know, lite little things with wings (see fairies) * pink flamingos, I really, really lea pink flamingos * pictures of my kids, can’t get enough of them and they’re so beautiful (just saying) * pictures of my friends and family, always like to see what they’re up to now * needlework, pretty little beads and crazy quilts, it’s so me, the crazy thing I mean * the colors yellow and orange, they’re such happy colors

I know this is a rather long list, but I think, the longer the better. And I always LEA longer and better. 🙂

I hope you found something to make you smile today. Tell me something you LEA. Something, anything, one thing, or many many more. It’s all good.

Have fun and Enjoy always, T

The Blessing of Experience.

Experience is a grand teacher, perhaps the best.

It’s all well and good to sit in a class room and listen to a speaker or read through a text book for all the important bits of interesting information, but in the long run, (and trust me, I’ve had a very long run) experience is the best teacher.

Before experience all you have is a concept. (Like the Big Bang Theory – I LEA that show.) I may think I’ll react a certain way in a certain circumstance, but until I experience said circumstance, I really don’t know. I only have a concept, an idea, or a theory. It’s only when the ‘circumstance’ actually happens that I really get to test my concept, idea or theory. Only then do I really know what I would really do, because I did it. Understand?? I certainly hope so. If not, then that’s okay, because that’s the experience you’re having regarding understanding this post…. but I digress.

I may think I’m a good swimmer, but what will I really experience if I fall off a raft while shooting the rapids? Or heaven forbid, off my yacht while in the middle of the ocean. I won’t know for sure until it happens. (No, I don’t really have a yacht, remember, this is still a concept.)

Once upon a time, I had a concept of what it would be like to be a published author. In particular, a published indie author. I read and read and read all about authors and the publishing industry and I was sure I knew what I was doing and what to expect. But NO, I was wrong. Not completely wrong, but fairly wrong. It’s been much better and much worse than I expected. That’s the thing about reality, it’s rarely the way we imagine it to be. It was only when I had the experience that I was able to really know how it felt – for me. And only for me. For everyone else, the experience is different.

And that’s another blessing. No matter how many times we hear about how it is for someone else, no matter how many times we image how it will be for ourselves, only the experience will provide the proof.

So I say, God Bless the Experience. It’s the only way to live. And may I suggest that you go out and have a few of your own, experiences that is.

Have fun and Enjoy Always, T

I LEA the Spring Equinox.

Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox, when daylight and dark are in balance. What a glorious marking of time, to be in balance. Tipping from winter into spring. Breath deep, you can feel the freshness blowing through the air.

To mark this special time, I have another LEA list. LEA for anyone who may not know, means to Like, Enjoy, and Appreciate. I could say I love these things, but I’d like to reserve Love for the bigger things in life, like my two amazing children or my beau, who really is my Lover…

Anyway, allow me to present my Spring Equinox LEA List.

I LEA daffodils. I could almost say I love them; they’re so pretty and bright. They’re such a great color of yellow, so sunny and bright, just perfect for spring time. And such a blessing the way they make their appearance every year around this time. Yes, I LEA daffodils.

I LEA a good cup of fragrant tea, freshly brewed and served in a pretty tea cup. When I was growing up my Mother had a collection of pretty little tea cups that she passed on to me. I still like, enjoy and appreciate the idea of taking a moment to really enjoy a good cup of tea. With just a splash of cream, if you please.

I LEA the way it’s still light out when I leave work at the end of the day and when I get home (if I leave on time!) After spending months going home in the dark, it’s nice to see the green hills in the east glowing in the fading sunlight as the sun sets in the west.

I LEA other people’s blogs, especially the ones that make me laugh or even just put a smile on my face. Or even the ones that make me think a new thought. It’s all grand and I am grateful.

These are just a few thing I lea. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I love these things. Certainly not the way I love my stellar, beautiful, smart kids or my handsome and charming beau, so I believe lea is the more appropriate term to use here.

But most of all, I lea you, because you’re here. You’re here and you took the time to read my blog, so most of all, I lea you. Thanks for making my list. Enjoy always, T