The Castle Chose – #2

My novel-in-progress takes place in two, distinct locations and time periods. I’ll use two, significant characters to help explain. Jenna Hickson lives in present-day New York City, and Sophia deKeith is living in 14th century Scotland. You may wonder how there can be a connection between the two, but there is. And… just in case…

A Scrap of Plaid

After the battle of Culloden in 1746, the wearing of a kilt or Highland clothes (plaid) was banned. Failure to comply came with a steep penalty – a first-offender caught wearing a kilt could be imprisoned for six months without bail. A second offense would result in transportation to any one of His Majesty’s plantations…

Shirt Politics

When Jamie and the others set off in Season One to collect the rents, he has no idea that he is about to become a political pawn and unwillingly support Dougal’s Jacobite agenda. Even though Dougal’s speeches are in Gaelic, we (like Claire) catch on to what he’s up to. And to bolster support for…

A Heart’s Story

They were a gift from a man who said she was the love of his life. She believed him to be honest, opened herself to him, and dared to be vulnerable. Shamed and broken, she blamed herself for believing his tender, loving words. “You romantic fool!” she chastised herself again and again. “Will you never…

The Surgery Window

There are times when part of a set becomes a fascinating, compelling part of a story. I noticed the window in the first few episodes of Season One of Outlander and followed it along as it played a captivating role in the dramatic impact of the scene where it appeared. I was struck by how…

Deciphering Dougal

It’s hard to figure out what’s simmering beneath the surface of Dougal’s masked countenance. I thought it would be fun to explore the possibilities in “The Gathering.” At the oath taking, Dougal is the first in line to swear his allegiance to Colum, but it looks more obligatory than anything else. He looks irritated and…

The Best Welcome

The somber, weary Highlanders returning to Castle Leoch are a welcome sight for Glenna Fitzgibbons (Mrs. Fitz). Her greeting seemed boisterous, almost startling to me until I hit the pause button and thought about it. When the Highlanders set out on their journey, she had no way of knowing if she’d see any of them…

Three

I bought this little grouping and gave it to my mother on the first Mother’s Day my daughter was alive (1977). I felt it represented the three of us, three generations of women in our family. When my mother passed from this life (15 years ago today), I took it back and have it in…

Not Available in Stores

In this season of gift-giving, I look back with a grateful heart and mind at those I received that had a direct influence on my present status as a writer. I had no notion in those early years, but now I see that my family was (perhaps unknowingly) planting the seeds that would lead me…

Outlaw King’s Elizabeth

After watching Outlaw King more times than I feel the need to admit, I wanted to explore Elizabeth’s journey and the challenges she faces as she navigates the new life that has been chosen for her. Her first challenge, though not an unusual one for the time, is having no say in who she will…

Outlander’s Murtagh Returns!

Once it was revealed that Murtagh would be returning in Season Four of Outlander, I have been wondering how, where, and when it was going to happen. One screen grab appeared to show him walking through the gates at River Run – after Jamie and Claire left for Fraser’s Ridge. “He’s missed them!” I said…

Where is This Going, Anyway?

There are times where I need to write, and I have no idea where the inspiration is going to come from. What I have learned from these short pieces, is that they’re about so much more than what I thought or originally intended. I’ll provide a couple of examples – you can read the entire…

Claire’s Amazing Strength

Claire is an amazing, strong woman. Her love for Jamie drives some of her actions and make us gasp in awe. She shows us again in “Heaven and Earth” when she leaps from the Porpoise in the dead of night. It’s literally a leap of faith. She doesn’t know where she’s going, if she’ll find…

Love, Time, and Loss

When someone you love and treasure becomes absent from your life, it leaves a void that can never be filled. It’s a heartbreaking loss, whether it’s brought about by death or the ending of a relationship. You never “get over” losing someone; you have to find a way to move forward with your life without…

The Dragonfly in Amber

I’ve read the second Outlander book, watched the episode more than once, and I have a bit of jewelry as a remembrance. But why a dragonfly? What relevance or meaning does it bring to the characters and their journey though this part of the series and beyond? The first time we see the dragonfly in…

A Place to Dream

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, spending hours anywhere between 9000 and 35,000 feet above the Earth. While most of the passengers connect to their electronic devices and stare at the screen in the seatback, I look out the window and dream. I can go anywhere I want – where this plane is…

Outlander and a Life Reclaimed

The moment I learned I was pregnant, every thought of myself coming first dissipated like the morning mist when the sun climbs up over the horizon. It became an automatic reflex in my life, a knee-jerk reaction. Children come first. My wants and needs slid down the priority ladder, and I accepted it not once,…

Of Things Lost, or Left Behind

Time marches on, leaving things behind – some within our control, others not. Loved ones pass from this life, relationships end (by our choice or not), and some things are literally lost. They’ve fallen from our grasp and we can’t locate them. At what point does one stop looking, or hoping for things that can…

Outlander and Truth’s Fragile Veneer

The thin veneer that hides the truth from the rest of the world is applied for reasons known only to the individual that wears it. It’s worn so that we can continue to function in the world as best we can, knowing that, for now, the truth of what’s beneath must remain hidden. How many…

Symbolism and that Pearl Necklace

If you had to choose an object that’s symbolic of your life, what would it be? Perhaps a 15th century castle to house your romantic thoughts and dreams. Something as fine and fragile as the papery petals of a poppy might represent your current state of mind. Or, maybe a three-masted ship carries your desire…

Outlander and the Value of Patience

How does one survive the desert wasteland of Droughtlander? Each day brings September a bit closer, but it can’t come soon enough, if you ask me. Can patience be good or bad? Or is patience simply that, and manipulated by those who use it for their own purposes? I decided to look back and do…

Summer Sledding

It’s June in Florida. Hot and humid. The AC is running its heart out while the ceiling fans twirl in every room. When I step outside, it feels like I’m in a greenhouse. The weeds love it – you can almost watch them creep and crawl, latching on with a stranglehold to anything within reach….

Ross Poldark and That Tiny, Silver Ring

That small, silver ring with the curvilinear “E” for “Elizabeth” had an interesting role to play in Season One of Poldark. Let’s take a glance back.

Outlander and 18th Century Separation

Bidding farewell to a loved one in the 18th century was a constant test of the bond holding them together, coupled with the strength to carry on without them until they returned – if they did. You couldn’t call, or text. All you could do was wait, wonder, and worry. How does one channel that…

Poldark and the Power of Letters

Good stories thrive and survive on conflict, and Poldark serves it up in generous portions. That being said, my hopelessly-romantic heart sought to explore the life-changing power of letters (or lack of) in the 18th century drama. In Season One of Poldark, Ross leaves Cornwall to fight in the Americas. Flashbacks show us his last encounter…

Outlander’s Servants and Blurred Boundaries

Season Two of Outlander brought us to Paris and the opulent apartment of Jamie’s cousin Jared. He’s hand-picked his servants for their loyalty, trustworthiness, and discretion. I wonder how a position description would have been worded. When Suzette and Magnus were selected, what were they told? How were their duties explained to them? I witnessed…

Outlander’s Claire and the Gesture of Reaching Out

What do you do when someone reaches out their hand to you? What emotions/gut feelings surround your decision to take (or not) their hand in return? It’s a simple gesture, but there’s a lot that happens in the moments/seconds leading to whatever it is that you do next. Outlander has some interesting examples to explore…

Outlander’s Claire and Jamie – Forgive and Forgiven

When I was young, I was taught to say, “I’m sorry.” Reluctantly, perhaps, I was brought face-to-face and forced to say the words. I learned to acknowledge that what I’d done was wrong and ask forgiveness. Most times it was granted, but as I grew older, I learned that asking for forgiveness does not ensure…

The Highest Hill We Know

Wednesday at five.   Nancy and I sit on the berm at the edge of the beach. Damp in our suits, sharing binoculars.   Scanning north, our eyes strain for a glimpse of the Hudson. Rolling dust curls, with Dad inside.   Winged, yellow Hornet. Sun flashing off chrome. Now there! Now gone.   Bare…