State of the Savage: January/February 2018

by Keith Savage · 10 comments

The Ba' Game in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland

The last six months have been an upheaval of uncertainty and possibility. Potential job opportunities in Scotland have blossomed and withered as new, future-defining options arose back home for Sarah. All the while I’ve poked and prodded the process of submitting my novel to agents. Would I become a distiller? Would I become a novelist? Would I continue on the current path? The humdrum of routine takes on a mystical shine when you stand on the precipice of a number of very different possible futures. These are celestial moments in life, decisions that years and millions of experiences hinge upon. That’s when the immense gravity of the situation crashes down and holds you face-first against the ground.

These are good problems to have, as I’ve been reminded, and it seems the most stressing choice is now off the table. Living in Scotland will have to wait. It’s hard to see it now, but that’s probably for the best. I live in a great city with amazing friends and family nearby. I’ve also spent six years working on a novel and I need to see the pitching process through to a reasonable conclusion.

While I have submitted my first query letter, if I’m honest I’ve mostly been spinning my wheels here. I find this a disturbing occurrence for I like the story and if I was an agent I’d buy it! Despite that totally objective assessment, something is freezing me. Common wisdom suggests it’s probably a fear of failure, but my money is on a fear of success. Please don’t mistake that for arrogance. I’m well aware of the minuscule chance of authorial success, and as I write this post I think I’m bringing into consciousness what my subconscious has been cringing from for some time. There’s a part of me that enjoys the calm routine I’m in, and my how life would change if I received a multi-book contract! It’s not a pretty trait. I’m hoping the first step in overcoming something is speaking its true name.

The darkness of January is always pricked with a bright spot by the annual Burns Supper. This year my local whisky club served close to 40 people — it has quadrupled in size in the last six years. Heaps of homemade haggis, neeps and tatties (my specialty), roasts, and loads of other dishes were washed down by drams of whisky from all over Scotland (and Japan). Another great success!

January is always a busy month for my trip-planning business, and while this month has been slower than most it has really picked up toward the end. The last three months of 2017 were extremely slow and I’ve yet to figure out if that’s from the Trump effect, fewer people going to Scotland, or just losing favor with Google. Still, reviewing itineraries, putting together trips and holding calls, and getting really in-depth with custom itineraries remains some of my favorite work.

Finally, I’ve been putting a lot of work into finalizing my own trip to Scotland this May. I’ll be over for close to three weeks visiting Glasgow, Dundee, Angus, Aberdeenshire, and Speyside visiting tons of new places and revisiting some I haven’t been to since before Traveling Savage was created. I’m going to visit many new distilleries, explore the North East 250, and return to amazing places like Dunnottar Castle, Glamis Castle, and Arbroath Abbey. I can’t wait to dig into these areas and flesh out Traveling Savage with more information on eastern Scotland.

After this trip I’m flying directly to France for a wedding! It’s going to be a busy five weeks. But these are good problems.

Take care, and Sláinte!

SFC WILLIAM B SMITH US ARMY RETNo Gravatar February 16, 2018 at 7:28 PM

Dear fellow Savage

Are you familiar with The Wild at Heart Books by John Eldridge? They are Judeo Christian based, but right out of a BraveHeart approach to Masculinity. I believe they will validate and inspire you. No evangelism intended, from a fellow savage. Sempre Avanti. PS We land in Glasgow in June


Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 20, 2018 at 10:54 AM

Hi William. I’m not familiar with those books but I’ll check them out. Thanks for the recommendation, and have a great trip to Scotland!


SFC WILLIAM B SMITH US ARMY RETIREDNo Gravatar February 20, 2018 at 11:05 AM

We are troubled with what to try and see in two weeks. Our Families are Clan McPherson, Mac a Gowan, Murdock and I really want my feet and hands in their soil. Any suggestions?


Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 21, 2018 at 7:53 AM

Your best bet is to do some research on if you haven’t already. That should help get you in the right neck of the woods. Good luck!


Chuck NakellNo Gravatar February 1, 2018 at 9:38 AM

Best of luck, Keith. We’ll be drinking and hiking in the Cotswolds and Wales in May, but thinking of you up north.
We can at the very least promise you one sale of your book once published.

Susan and Chuck


Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 1, 2018 at 9:52 AM

Sounds like a wonderful trip, Chuck. Sarah and I might find ourselves down that direction (and Cornwall) in the next few years. Thanks for the support! Take care.


Wayne HammerstromNo Gravatar January 31, 2018 at 9:06 PM

Oh my, one dram(a) after another! Life is good, eh?


Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 1, 2018 at 9:50 AM

No complaints, Wayne. Hope you’re well!


Patsy TartNo Gravatar January 31, 2018 at 2:37 PM

Well well, Keith, I’ll be in Scotland in May also visiting some of the same places as you. Wouldn’t it be something if our paths crossed? Doubtful, but one never knows. Enjoy your trip. I’m going on yet another CIE tour. This time taking my sister but this is my last one. Too repetitive even though I don’t mind that so much. Have a trip planned next year with Scottish Dream Tours and look forward to that.

Best of luck with your novel. I look forward to reading it someday. See, I have faith.

My best to you,

Patsy Tart



Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 31, 2018 at 4:52 PM

That would be great, Patsy. Let me know how your plans shake out. Thanks for reading.


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