When a Trip is Worth 1,000 Words by Nancy Lee Badger

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 by   7 Comments | Posted in Blog · Uncategorized

When I started scribbling on a legal pad in the backseat of a car, during a family road trip, I never thought I would sell a novel. To quit my job, then lounge around in my pajamas, was not yet a dream I thought to pursue. Little did I know that all this would happen, AND that I would keep traveling.

It might sound like fun to some, but writing is hard work. It is a job. It is my profession. I did quit my high-stress job, but only because I was lucky enough to have a husband who cared for my happiness. He agreed to keep working AND to sell our home in New England. Doing so allowed us to buy a smaller home in North Carolina, near family, and bank the profit. It also afforded us the ability to travel more…no trying to coordinate vacation schedules.

2013 NHHG 016Some days I would rather stay in bed, but other days I cannot wait to travel, to gain more insight into the worlds I dream of building. One of those worlds encompasses Scotland. A trip to Scotland is on my Bucket List, and until I travel across the pond and walk the Highlands. or throw driftwood into the North Sea, or photograph the Loch Ness Monster, I do the next best thing: I visit Scottish Highland games and festivals.

Over the years, I have dressed up in costume and accompanied my kilted hubby. I take photos, and write in my ever-present notebook at these festivals. Researching life in ancient Scotland is more pleasant when immersed in the culture, surrounded by like-minded individuals. Here is a short clip I took of an athlete turning the caber. Click HERE

With arms raised, his triumph was well-earned. Of the previous eight athletes, I watched, only this man did not fail in the attempt. This event is difficult, so I wanted to learn more. I mean, why toss a telephone pole end-over-end? Research showed that when ancient Scottish warriors or hunters came upon a stream or crevasse, they would cut down a tree, and toss it so it would land and create a natural bridge. Makes sense. Tossing the caber has turned into the most popular athletic event at all the games I have visited.2013 Oct 5 Scotland Co HG 004

I might be alone when I write at home, but it is when I travel that ideas flow. Lucky for me, and for my Scottish time travel romantic novels that use Highland games and athletes in my plots, I can visit festivals from spring to autumn. When I write at home, I listen to the radio, but when I travel to Highland games, I am serenaded by bagpipes, and kilt-wearing marching bands. Quite inspirational! If you would like to see how exciting a massed band can sound, check out a video I took HERE

Is there some festival, show, sports events, play, movie, farm, city, museum, restaurant, train, cruise ship, beach, or amusement park waiting to lend you ideas? Us a camera, your phone, or a notebook and be ready!

Here are some links to upcoming Scottish festivals, and only a small sample, that could help you with your writing:

Loch Norman Highland Games, Huntersville, NC

Stone Mountain Highland Games, Atlanta, GA

Scotland County Highland Games, Laurinburg, NC

New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival, Lincoln, NH

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Linville, NC

Gathering of the Clans, Pugwash, Nova Scotia


About the Author

Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. After publishing three books in her Highland Games Through Time series, she will soon release My Lady Highlander, the first book in her Kilted Athletes Through Time series.  

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7 Responses to "When a Trip is Worth 1,000 Words by Nancy Lee Badger"

  1. Comment by Mairi Norris
    February 13, 2014 2:11 pm

    This is an interesting post, Nancy. I share your love of Highland Games, and greatly desire to return to Scotland for a long visit.

    Thanks for the info on the caber toss. I thought it was originally just a test of strength and coordination for warriors. Great info to know.

  2. Comment by Linda Andrews
    February 13, 2014 4:18 pm

    I like visiting the local Renaissance fair for the same reason. It’s almost a window back in time with running water:D

  3. Comment by Dawn
    February 13, 2014 6:19 pm

    Great blog Nancy, have been to some of the festivals you named….have great one here in Greenville. Traveling is always an adventure.

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