Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Assimilating Part 2

Supposedly, this is a 5,000-year-old Yew tree in a tiny Scottish town called Fortingall. They say Pontius Pilate was born here.

Here's a close up. Our guide said it is the oldest living thing on the planet. Hard to know what to believe, but it's unimaginable, if it's true.

Heather grows everywhere in both Scotland and Ireland. Here is one of the last of the purple blooms. Mostly, we saw reddish brown all over the hillsides. It made me think of the song from the musical, "Brigadoon," about heather on the hill. Brigadoon was about a town that only came alive for one day every one hundred years. When you drive thru Scotland and see all these towns that are centuries old, you can imagine that being possible.

My hubby was fascinated with these "tree tunnels" as we wound are way on the winding, narrow streets.

Meet "Hamish," a hairy cow. No kidding, hairy cows are indigenous to Scotland. Isn't he cute?

Hope you all aren't getting bored with these vacation photos. I love looking at other peoples' trip pics, but not everyone does.
As I'm assimilating the experiences from overseas, I'm also allowing the idea that was sparked in Scotland to emerge. Those of you who write fiction, could you comment a little bit on how you got started once the germ of an idea sprouted? Do you first try to get a handle on who the protagonist is? Or do you focus on plot, trying to figure a beginning, middle and end? Making something up where nothing existed before is totally new territory for me. I knew there was a reason I've been hanging out with y'all.


Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Bored? Not at all!! Love seeing photos of the world!

Tabitha Bird said...

Not bored. I am living my own memories through your photos. Once travelled, never settled. :)

Joanne said...

That 5,000 year old yew must've been breathtaking, to think of the history that has occurred in its presence! As for fiction, I like to start with a pivotal situation, and from those moments, the story sparks off in different directions as it shapes the story and characters' lives.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Love the hairy cow! Who knew? I'm a fan of photography, so these are great for me...

As far as the creative process, I think everybody finds their own rhythm to it. Since I write mysteries, I start with the victim and why they needed to be taken out. Then who would have possibly wanted to murder the person. Then I think of all the things I like in a novel (twisted endings, satisfying subplots--maybe a fulfilling mini-romance, etc.) and think of ways to incorporate those. I make little mini outlines as I go (just for a chapter, maybe) which doesn't intimidate me as much as writing to a full outline. Then I write straight through the chapters, skipping problem areas that are tying me up too long.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Marvin D Wilson said...

The old plant is amazing. I have a friend who traveled to Jerusalem once and saw an ancient olive tree that was alive when Jesus strolled the area. Pretty neat. Thanks again for sharing these - wonderful!

The Old Silly

Helen Ginger said...

I love tree tunnels. There are some old neighborhoods in Austin that, when you drive the streets, you go through tree tunnels. It's such a treat when you live in central TX, where there's mostly squatty trees.

Straight From Hel

Jen Chandler said...

The hairy cow is so cute! I love Scottish Cows. A friend who trekked through Scotland said they call them "coos" and every time I see one, I announce, "Hey, look at the coo!"

Love the pictures of the tree. Really? Pontius Pilate was born in Scotland? I had no idea. Fascinating.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Thanks so, so much for posting these pictures. I'm reliving my own trips by looking at them. I have heather in my garden. It grows extremely well here as our climate is very similar to that in the UK and it reminds me of Scotland.


Crystal Clear Proofing said...

Karen the pictures are great!

I does seem unimaginable that that tree is the oldest living thing on the planet! I am a huge history buff so all of this is just so thrilling and interesting to me! And I love your reference to Brigadoon. Great movie. I am a film noir fan and prefer the old movies over the new releases any day!

I can only imagine how wonderful and aromatic it was being in the midst of all that heather! And I love the hairy cow! He's adorable!

Please share more of your memories any time! What a fun little excursion, courtesy of your pictures!

Anonymous said...

Great photos.
With my first novel, I dived in and expected it all to come to me. Ha ha. Half way through I realized I needed direction and wrote an outline.
I have another idea brewing. Not sure where it's going to go but I think I'll start with a character sketch.