Thursday, October 7, 2010

Scottish Heritage as Inspiration

by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Years ago, I traveled to Brussels on business and saw a billboard ad for whisky featuring a braw Highlander. At that moment, I decided I wanted to write romance novels with yummy Scottish heroes. Well, it was years later before I began my first novel, Just Beyond the Garden Gate. A time travel romance, of course, my favorite.

I wanted my heroine to travel to the past from a US town swathed in Scottish myth. I thought the best way to create such a place was to have the town near one of the many Scottish festivals. After much research, I decided on the misty Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering O' Scottish Clans. And thus, my fictitious village of Anderson Creek and my Garden Gate series evolved, hopefully someday to find a publisher.


This past weekend we loaded up the SUV with camping gear and headed to the Williamsburg Scottish Festival. So little time, so much to see. I thought I would share some of the sights with you.






2010 Wiliamsburg Scottish Festival
Opening Ceremonies



Got Pipes? -- Piper from Clan Hamilton














Athletic Events


Rathkeltair

Albannach

24 comments:

Sheila Tenold said...

Dawn, Scotsmen rock! Your photos made me want to experience a Scottish Festival.

I found inspiration closer to home. As a horselover I only have to drive aways to find sexy cowboys, wild bull riders and easy-on-the-eyes ropers.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Oh, Sheila, yummy. Living on the east coast, I have to travel way too far to glimpse a hot cowboy. I'll have to live vicariously on that one. :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
It looks like so much fun! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I would have loved to have gone.

I missed the Highland games here in Michigan because I sprained both my ankles and had a concussion from the day before the games! (I fell at the zoo of all places). I was so very disappointed!
~Melissa Stark

Lee Lopez said...

Every year Hubby and I go to the Gathering of the Clans in Pleasanton, California. It's tons of fun. The sad thing is, every year it gets smaller. There are less booths, and traditional Brit foods, and with that the crowds are much smaller. I'm just wondering how much longer they'll keep putting it on. I'll keep going until the bitter end. It's always a lot of fun.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hey, Melissa, thanks for visiting. The fest was a blast! Hopefully next year you can attend the one in Michigan. :)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lee. I hate to hear a Celtic event is fading. I think it is important for the younger generation to get a sense of their roots. I imagine the economy is having a negative effect. So sad.

I used to visit Pleasanton all the time for business. Is Strizzies Restaurant still there?

Pat McDermott said...

Looks like you had great weather, Dawn. I would have loved to hear some of those bands. Love those bagpipes, and I never turn down the volume when Celtic harps are playing. I hope those kilts and pipers filled you with tons of ideas for new stories!

Jill James said...

Dawn, what a great event. We have Scottish Highlands games around here but I've never been. They are like in July/August. 110 in the shade is not my idea of a fun time.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Wonderful weather, Pat. And the music was FAB. The atmoshphere at a Celtic fest is always filled with magic; we'll just have to see what the energy conjured up in my subconsious. Thanks for popping in.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Jill. Thanks for stopping by to see my PICS. I'm not fond of hot weather either. If you are ever traveling where it's cool, and there's a Celtic festival, check it out. Tons of fun! :)

Mona Risk said...

Great photos Dawn. It looks like a fun festival. No wonder it inspires you a good story.

Sarah Hoss said...

Thanks for posting the photos and I am glad you all had a great time! I have to say that I am jealous that you got to hear Albannach! I love them. Sigh, maybe I will get lucky and they come to a festival near me. I have been to the one in Northern Indiana.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I, too, have Scottish heritage and cannot seem to be around enough of it. We used to have Scottish games close to where I grew up in California, but they are no more. We were lucky enough to be in Scotland three years ago right now. Wish I was there absorbing all the Scottish atmosphere. I don't take my heroines to Scotland, I bring my heroes to the gold rush from Scotland and they are fun to spend time with. :)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks for checking out my PICs, Mona. The festival was fun and my muse is energized. Now we'll see what develops.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks for visiting us, Sarah. I've been really lucky. Albannach plays at both of the games we attend.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Your stories sound interesting, Paisley. Scotsmen are yummmmy. Thanks for stopping by.

Nancy said...

We go to the Grandfather Mountain Games each year and just got back from the NH Highland games. Someday we plan to hit the Williamsburg games. Hope to see you there! Great article aND pictures. Albannach ROCKS!

Joanne said...

Hi Dawn,
We were fortunate to visit Scotland a couple of years ago on a home exchange. We stayed in Glasgow, but purchased unlimited train travel. We enjoyed much of the gorgeous Scottish countryside.
Great blog!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I agree, Nancy. Albannach rocks! Maybe we'll see you at Grandfather next year. Thanks for visiting.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I'm so jealous, Joanne. I haven't been to Scotland in ages. I told my husband next year. Let's see where that gets me. :) Thanks for dropping in.

Carly Carson said...

Thanks for the pics. I did notice that one guy whose kilt was swirling had on shorts. Heresy!

The Scottish games I'm near in the summer did not appear this year. Hope it's not a trend.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Oh, Carly, I noticed that too. Definitely heresy! Hopefully, the games that have faded will reappear when the economy gets better.

Thanks for visiting.

Kristal Lee said...

OMG! I love Albannach. They really set the tone for the highland games. Ours are held in January. I can't wait!
~www.kristalleeromances.com

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Yeah, Albannach is awesome. I could listen to Jamsie speak for hours. And the beat. OMG is right. Thanks for stopping by, Kristal.