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Shelves Full of Scottish Books

A Room of Her Own: 10 Things Every Novelist Needs

Story can happen anywhere. Scenes from my novels have unfolded in a busy Glasgow airport, in a poorly lit hotel room in Dallas, on a kitchen counter in Auckland, in the passenger seat of a car rolling through rural Ohio, on a coffee table in Johannesburg. When deadlines loom, writers write, no matter where life finds …

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Our Shortbread Baked December 14, 2012

Let’s Bake Scottish Shortbread for the Holidays!

What fun we had with our Livestream event, Live from Lizzie’s Kitchen! If you missed it on Friday the 14th, no worries. You can watch it on your computer screen anytime you like with a simple click.  We baked shortbread, chatted about Scotland, and spent some time with Elizabeth, one of The Women of Christmas. And my …

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Big Black Bird on a Chimney Pot

A Very Scottish Winter

Tuesday morning, December 4th. The air was still. Cold. A thick mist moved round Loch Lomond. Pale sunlight touched the snowy mountaintops. The landscape had little color, and the trees were black silhouettes. Loch Lomond lay before us glassy, reflective, serene. Even the birds were silent. Wrapped in our woolen scarves and heavy coats, we …

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A Fairy Amid the Flowers at Cambuskenbeth Abbey

Does Scotland Really Have Fairies?

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” ~ Sir J. M. Barrie, Scottish journalist, writer, and dramatist (1860-1937)       One autumn afternoon in Edinburgh, I tiptoed round a centuries-old close—a passageway or courtyard—trying …

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Gravestones at Dryburgh Abbey in the Borders

Welcome to the Quietest Place in Scotland

I love cemeteries. Aye, really. Before you think I’m daft or the least bit morbid, here’s why I’m keen on kirkyards, like the one above, viewed through the sixteenth-century remains of Mar’s Wark, built in Stirling by the Earl of Mar. The grounds are green, the air quiet, the mood contemplative. On any weekday you’d …

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Full Scottish Breakfast

What Is a Full Scottish Breakfast?

Every lodging place in Scotland, from five-star hotels to one-star hovels, offers a Full Scottish Breakfast. By “full” the Scots mean “complete,” but I promise you, full is what you’ll feel when you finish the last bite of that tattie scone. You may be surprised at what you won’t see on the breakfast tables of …

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William Jackson : A Scottish Island

Where Can I Find the Best Scottish Music?

A decade before I fell in love with Scotland and her people, I fell in love with her music. The Tannahill Weavers came first, then Capercaillie, followed by a host of fiddlers, pipers, and flute-wielding Scotsmen. I easily have a dozen versions of “Are Ye Sleeping Maggie?” and “Hey, Johnnie Cope” on the CD racks …

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Bench Overloking Selkirkshire

Why Do So Many People Love Scotland?

Is it the Highlands, the Islands, the history, the mystery, the bagpipes, the poetry, or the braw lads in kilts? Aye, it could be that last item, but in truth, it’s all of the above and much more that draws our hearts toward the misty isles. Some enjoy a round of golf on a windswept course …

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