This past weekend the annual Highland Games were held on Long Island.
What a difference a year makes. Last year Hurricane Irene put a tiny bit of a damper on the gathering…
…but this year the weather was perfect and the clans were out in full force.
Who knew there were so many Scottish-Americans on Long Island??? I only go to the Highland Games for two reasons: One, to oogle men in kilts, and Two:
To score some Scottish soul food. Which is basically sugar, in butterscotch fudge and liquid form. That soda is pronounced Iron Brew and is the most popular soft drink in Scotland (because it’s an alleged cure for hangovers), even outselling Coke. It tastes like neon-colored bubblegum. You can buy a six-pack of it for $14 at the Highland Games but that’s a stomach-turning amount of IRN BRU even for me. So I just got the one bottle, just enough for my yearly toast to my Scottish heritage:
OK, that last one, strictly speaking, isn’t all Scottish. But it is all Vivianish. It’s the only book I know of that I did not write that has a main character named Vivian Swift. In Heart of Deception Vivian Swift rules a cutthroat gang of thieves in Elizabethan London. That fella with the bare chest is Rafe, who finds “Viv” [ this Vivian Swift, the one typing here, does not like to be called "Viv", by the way] he finds her irresistible because she’s all proud and daring and “awakens in him a fire deeper and more consuming than any Rafe has ever known.”
In case you’re wondering about that last sentence, about that fire that “awakens” [pray tell, how do you wake up a fire?] inside Rafe [huh?] and is “deep” [I thought fire was only shallow] let me assure you that the stuff I’ve been slaving over the past week for the Garden Book is nowhere near as bad as that. Oh, yes, what I’ve been writing is pretty crappy and I’m going to delete a lot of it today, but it’s crappy in a jesus is it possible to come up with less interesting drivel way, not crappy in the incomplete metaphor with chintzy buss words on top way. (And that sentence is not Taylor Chase’s fault, by the bye, it’s cover copy ,probably written by an intern at her publishing company, if I know anything about how publishing works.)
My writing has SUCKED this past week because I got sidetracked from my Edinburgh garden essay by this pile:
Specifically, I spent two pages discussing this part of Holyrood House:
The North Tower, the oldest part of Holyrood House, the part where Mary Queen of Scots had her apartments and the part that my mother’s great-great-great-etc grandfather built in 1501 for the Scottish King James IV. There are written records of payment to a stone mason named Marlioun (French Huguenot) whose surname eventually morphed into the somewhat more Scottish-sounding Marlin…see? See? I bet you’re falling asleep even now. And this is how I jabbered on for two pages, adding DATES like 1499 and 1532 into the story. And then I took the reader up the road from Holyrood to show her a church and an old wynd…see? SEE?
The writing process is messy. It’s so easy to stray off topic, to over-think and over-complicate. Thank DoG for re-writes:
So today I have to edit the crap out of my Edinburgh garden chapter, because I know that you, as a reader, would rather NOT have to hack your way through this:
And that you would prefer to stroll through this: