Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Waiting Game

Waiting sucks. No truly, it does!

When you sit back and think of how many times in your life you have wait for things, it's astronomical. You get to work in the morning and can't wait to go home. You can't wait to have fun with your friends this week. You have something fun planned for the weekend and can't wait to celebrate. The vacation of a lifetime is coming up and you can't wait to experience the adventure. Wait, wait, wait... it seems like that's all we ever do is wait!

As an aspiring author, waiting is torture! You submit to several contests and patiently wait to see if you're one of the finalists. Sorry, the results aren't out until 2011. You'll just have to wait. You finish your next chapter and give it to your CP. God help you if it's given to her on a Friday. You'll just have to wait until Monday to find out if it passed. Sitting on the edge of my seat until Monday, CP!

What I've learned is to forget about it. No matter what, you will not change the outcome. So why sit and drive yourself crazy? Move on. Submit, deliver and forget about it. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be. Did you try your best? Then that's all that counts. Focus on the now and do not think upon the future. *Repeating several times to self.*  

With all of the hustle and bustle in today's society we all have to wait in traffic, wait at the doctor's office, wait in a restaurant, wait in the check-out line, wait for 'the call.'  

What are some things you cannot stand waiting for?

Friday, October 15, 2010

'Tis the Season

No, I'm not speaking of Christmas... yet. I'm speaking of Halloween. Not only is it a time for ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and candy, but it's also my favorite time of year. My birthday. Yep. Who would've thought?

I often wondered why my mother could not have delivered me a day earlier or even a day later, but no, I was persistent even then. I was destined to be born on Halloween. It's such a magical time for children. Who wouldn't want to imagine being someone or something else for one day out of the year... a chance to escape and to dream?  

When I was younger, there were many advantages about being born on this day. For instance, my birthday parties were always in costume. My family never had to worry about having a 'theme' birthday celebration. Bring a costume and come as you are! Of course, there were always school parties and parades which made it such a treat for me since it was also my special day. No pun intended!

Although, I must admit that sometimes having a Halloween birthday was a nightmare. As I grew older and wiser, I realized this may not be the coolest day to have a birthday after all. I had to live with comments such as, "Oh, that explains why you're such a witch." I'm being polite. Use 'witch' interchangeably. I'm sure you can come up with some creative sayings on your own. I've heard it all.

I remember an elderly man calling in one day to the day job. He was 73 years old and I noticed his birthday was October 31st. When I brought to his attention that I also shared the same day of spendid bliss, I said, "Could I ask you a question?" Imagine my surprise when he answered me before I even asked the question. 

"No, it does not. I'm 73 years old and I've been called everything under the sun. Devil, warlock, ghoul... It does not get better."

So 'tis the season of celebration for select individuals that share this day. So to all of you... Happy Birthday, my dear friends. I understand. For those of you that dare call me something other than my given name, I just might have to cast a spell on you ;)

How fitting that my new m/s is titled: Bewitching a Highland Rogue.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle rests atop the high cliffs east of North Berwick. Sir William, first Earl of Douglas, built this castle in 1358.

The Douglas earls had been modest Lanarkshire landowners in the 12th century, but all of that changed with William's uncle, Sir James of Douglas. Nicknamed 'The Good,' he was very close with Robert the Bruce and that friendship gave way to rich rewards being passed to the family after Bruce became king. That included the barony of North Berwick.

Sir William created this castle which was the last great curtain-walled castle built from new in Scotland. Above the front door, Sir William placed a stone plaque. Although it is badly worn, the heart carved on it can still be made out. In its time, the heart would have been painted blood red. Sir William's adoption of the heart as the family's armorial device displays his indebtedness to his Uncle James, who had been entrusted by Bruce to carry his heart to the Holy Land. That heart remains at the heart of the Douglas coat of arms to this day. 

The most conspicuous feature of Tantallon is the red sandstone curtain wall. Although it has been battered not only by cannon but also by the winds and storms, this castle dominates the cliff side. Following Sir William's death in 1384, his widow Margaret, countess of Angus, rose some medieval controversy. Within four years, the mighty house of Douglas had split into two, the 'Black' and the 'Red.'

Tantallon passed to the Red Douglas earls and remained theirs for the rest of its days. It endured three sieges in its 300-year existence.