State of the Savage: November 2015

by Keith Savage · 2 comments

View from the western shore of Loch Linnhe, Lochaber, Scotland

The holidays are once again upon us, and I am deep in the planning process for another trip to Scotland. I spend a lot of time searching out unique and high-end accommodations and those are invariably the type that book up quickly. I’m planning six months ahead and for the type of travel I need/like to do it’s right on the edge of being too near the travel date.

Yeah, too near.

If you’re thinking about planning a trip to Scotland or contacting me for consultation services, I recommend you start no later than a year from your travel dates if that’s within your power. You’d be surprised how quickly accommodations fill up after that point, especially when traveling in the high season. If, on the other hand, accommodations are of lesser importance, then you’ve got more time and leeway to plan as you’ll always find someplace to lay your head at night.

Did I mention my new slate of consultation services is now live? Have a look. I’d love to help you plan a trip!

Upcoming Travels

So where am I going? To Scotland’s northwest highlands, a huge area that I am eagerly anticipating exploring in more depth. I’m especially excited because I’ll be able to share this beautiful land with my wife and parents! I’ve used the North Coast 500 as inspiration for this trip though we’ll take a bit longer to do it than the recommended itineraries on that site.

The rough itinerary is to begin with a night around Inverness, probably west in a small town like Beauly or Strathpeffer or in one of the Black Isle’s charming coastal villages, before making the beautiful drive to Wester Ross. We will spend a handful of days there exploring Applecross, Torridon, and north toward Gairloch and Poolewe. From there we will drive the coast to Ullapool and beyond to Achiltibuie where the next trio of days will be spent. I imagine much of this time will entail winding along coast roads, enjoying local seafood, combing beaches, and appreciating the windswept austerity of these distant highlands.

Leaving Wester Ross, I’m planning the next stop in western Sutherland, perhaps around Kylesku, to range out to the most northwesterly tip of Cape Wrath and Durness and all the wonderful lochs and beaches in between. After that it’s east along the north coast for a couple of nights north of Wick in Caithness before returning south to Edinburgh via the A9, which I am well acquainted with. It should be a fantastic trip!

Novel Progress

I spend the majority of my time working on my novel. I’m currently in the midst of my second draft (which is technically my third draft — confusing, I know), and this is more of an editing phase that focuses on fixing broken plot elements. I will finish this draft in December! At that point I will reread the manuscript and decide if I wish to make a “quick” polishing draft before I deliver the manuscript to alpha readers.

You know what that means? Others will read my novel for the first time.

I intend to deliver it in January, which seems appropriate since it marks the four-year anniversary of the novel’s conception. The book is still a long way from satisfying me — my tastes — and that’s why it’s the right time to put it in the hands of others so they can help me address and fix issues I may be blind to after so long in the story’s guts. It’s hard though, working on a creative project you know doesn’t measure up to your tastes. This little video from Ira Glass helps. Creative types will especially appreciate it.

All that said, I am excited! Excited to have taken this idea, wrapped it in hundreds of pages of characters, plots, and wonder, and made it almost ready to share with others. With that excitement comes anxiety — it may well all be crap.

It’s the not knowing that makes creative pursuits both possible and incredibly difficult.

Bill ByrneNo Gravatar November 26, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Been keeping in touch with Carol and Gordon Bulloch from the Dulaig in Grantown on Spey. Still wonderful memories. Have a great Thanksgiving and then trip. Look forward to the book. Bill and Mimmie Byrne

Keith SavageNo Gravatar November 26, 2015 at 9:38 AM

That’s fantastic, Bill! I love hearing about connections made. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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