book writing

Freedom Is a Noble Thing - John Barbour

I hope you’ll excuse this detour from distillery month, but I felt the regularly scheduled State of the Savage was both timely and welcome for those not so interested in the ‘water of life.’ The big news is that I leave for Scotland on Friday! Over the last 10+ years of traveling in Scotland I’ve visited almost 50 distilleries, and it has long been a dream to work at one — even just for a short time — to learn the craft and capture a sense of the flow and camaraderie.

That dream becomes real next week.

Last November I spent a week in Perthshire… Read more...

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Views over the Perthshire hills above Dunkeld, Scotland

In the midst of grinding through my novel’s fourth draft it seems I missed last month’s State of the Savage. That was a fortunate oversight, for this month has become far more interesting. I’ll get to that shortly — consider it a teaser.

In the months since my last missive I’ve been wading (some might say wallowing) in the initial strokes of my fourth draft. The feedback I received from my alpha reviewers was very helpful and led me to look at the novel from a different angle, which yielded my own insights. The trickiest revisions involved changing the personas of two of the main characters more than a little and rewriting the initial chapters of one of my two POV characters. Read more...

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Characteristically Scottish sign at Corrieshalloch Gorge, Wester Ross, Scotland

I hate election years. All our hazy demons jitter into the light. They aren’t pretty, and en masse they’re a terror that sends me clamoring for the windswept Scottish highlands and islands clinging to the edges of the earth. But it already feels like I’m clinging to something — an asteroid, maybe — rocketing full speed to an oblivion I neither want nor can avoid. It’s times like these when Sartre’s wisdom rings in my ears. On the appointed day what will be will be. In the interim, however, you needn’t listen to the sewage spewed nonstop from news media.

You could go to Scotland instead. Now is a fantastic time to visit.

The fallout of the Brexit vote sent the British Pound tumbling to its lowest rate in over 30 years. While this is not good news for Scottish citizens (or in general, really), it does make visiting a more realistic possibility for the money-conscious traveler. One Pound currently equals $1.31. To put that number in perspective, when I visited Scotland in 2009 one Pound was around $1.80 and just last month a Pound traded at $1.57. As you can see, those are huge differences and the leveling of currency will save you money across the board. It’s unclear if this drop in the British Pound’s value is a reactionary bubble and will disappear as the financial system rights itself, or if this new valuation is here to stay. If you’re considering a trip to Scotland in the near future or next year, it’s worth considering buying British Pounds now. Read more...

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Deep in the mists of Glencoe

The new year has come, winter is fading, and another trip to Scotland looms in just a couple of months. I seem to always plan trips for April/May/June, and so I’m forced into overdrive to finish my projects on time. Going overseas for several weeks is a convenient deadline, and this has been especially true the last four years while working on my novel.

This year is no different.

Before I head off to France and Scotland, my novel will be in the hands of alpha readers. People other than me and Sarah will be reading it… Read more...

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Weapons of Scottish Wars

Last month marked six years of Traveling Savage. Six years! I wrote my first post here on December 13, 2009, almost a year from the date I intended to leave my corporate job. It was a cringe-worthy, rambling manifesto that began a year of philosophical writings on travel intended more to keep me motivated than to satisfy my readers — I had no readers! I wrote in the evenings after work as a test to see if I could stick with a blog, and if I couldn’t then perhaps I didn’t believe enough in the idea. But I did stick with it, and as my departure date approached my pragmatic and soul-blasted selves tangled in an exhausting cage match of fear, anxiety, hope, and excitement. I was leaping into…into what? Read more...

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