Travel as inspiration

I think I’m finally past the jet lag from my trip to Scotland. Until last night I’d been waking up at 4:30 every morning! It’s the only unpleasant part of this particular trip.

Two years ago, when I went to Orkney, I was inspired by the archaeology and stories of bog bodies to write Stoned to Death. Last year, hiking along Hadrian’s Wall, the story of Avenged to Death started coming to me. In spite of that, I wasn’t expecting anything in particular to stir my creativity this time.

I was wrong! We were standing near a cliff at Dunnottar Castle, which hangs on a strategic point overlooking water. There were a few people getting much closer to the edge of the cliff than I was, which made me think of someone falling over the cliff – which then led me to think about pushing someone off a cliff, and making it look like an accident.

Then there were the Rabbie’s Tours buses. They’re small buses, driven by a guy in a kilt, and we saw them everywhere.

Then Mary, our tour guide/friend, was talking about a couple of obnoxious clients she’d had before us.

Then, in Brodie Castle, I asked a couple of questions that the docent couldn’t answer.

Put all those things together, and what do you have? A story called Toured to Death, where a tour guide who’s completely soured on the profession has to put up with a busload of obnoxious tourists – and the worst of the lot has an unfortunate accident. Or so it seems. Pete and Jamie are on the tour because it was given to them as a gift by Pete’s aunt, and they can’t turn it down or send someone else. A couple of the other travelers ask questions that the tour guide can’t answer, but Jamie can – so the tour guide eventually comes after Jamie.

Don’t expect to see this one any time soon – but you will see it eventually, I promise!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Travel as inspiration

  1. Sharon Cox

    Have a mentioned how much I love Scotland. I really enjoyed your travel reports and I was marking notes for my next trip. I only had 4 days there a couple of years ago but I am now looking at doing a bus trip just in Scotland. It is the most stunning country

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