Saturday, April 06, 2013

Tartan Day and following the band


The Declaration of Arbroath, which declared Scotland’s independence from England, was signed on April 6th, 1320.

Firstly it set the will and the wishes of the people above the King. Though they were bound to him 'both by law and by his merits' it was so that their freedom might be maintained. If he betrayed them he would be removed and replaced…

Secondly, the manifesto affirmed the nation's independence in a way no battle could, and justified it with a truth that is beyond nation and race. Man has a right to freedom and a duty to defend it with his life.   from

In 1997, Tartan Day became official across the United States in recognition of the Scots influence in America and that our own Declaration of Independence was modeled after the Declaration of Arbroath.


Edinburgh011-lkh500During the Creative Mojo radio interview, I mentioned that my Rehearsal series was inspired by my favorite band back in the 70s. It was “coming out day” as Nessa said, since I hadn’t said publicly which band that was. As it turns out, yes, the band was from Scotland and that gave a lot of us teenagers and pre-teens a huge interest in Scotland and in tartan. Hey, the BCR lads wore it to honor their BCR computer painting by LK Hunsakerheritage (or … to catch attention) so of course it was super cool, although in those days it was only super cool for Roller fans. It’s everywhere now, and it is “sick,” or whatever they say these days to mean cool, to wear plaid. Think it’s only circumstantial that it’s in vogue now that all those teens are now grown up and running things? Hm. Maybe.

Anyway, yes, Raucous, my band in Rehearsal, was inspired directly. And no, they are not meant to be an imitation. Raucous is an American band with a Scottish interloper, and they’re rock in the vein of Chicago and Journey meet KISS. As Kilts along the Royal MileI told Nessa, I was still a young teen when I created this story and these characters. (Don’t worry; the writing has been completely redone since then!) The idea of a new guy coming in affected my thoughts and of course the tartan thing is there (but not worn by my band), and I borrowed a couple of names as a tribute of sorts.

Mainly, Rehearsal comes from my music obsession and my obsession with wanting to know and understand people’s backgrounds, the whys and hows of what they do and their choices, even when they are people I don’t know. I’ve also made a habit of studying the ripple effect in interpersonal relationships. Everything we do affects those around us, even if we don’t see it. Rehearsal has a huge ripple effect to it.

-- What happens when you give up something you want to help someone else? How does it affect that someone long term?
-- What happens when you choose to stay quiet and let things take their course instead of guiding them?
-- What happens when you don’t tell someone how you feel?
-- What happens when you make judgments about things you don’t fully understand?

There are many, many other ripples in the story, but all of these things spread wider than any of the characters expect.

Dinner GuardianAnyway, it’s Tartan Day, so back to Scotland. The photos in this post are my own, taken in 2008 when we went on a whirlwind Scotland, Ireland, England trip. The guy to the left is not a Rehearsal character (so far). He stood guard over dinner in a Medieval Castle dungeon.

The guy at the top is a bagpiper we found upon our entrance into the Highlands. We stopped and talked with him (yes, you have to love that accent!) and got our photos taken and picked up a Highland Sounds CD.

Along the way, everyone we met was incredibly friendly and The Wee Whisky Shopit’s hard to go anywhere else and see as many smiles as we did across Scotland. Maybe that’s because we were so happy to be there they were laughing at us. Or because their Whisky is THAT good. (In Scotland, it is whisky, not whiskey.)

LKinScotlandAlthough I began writing this series looooong before I ever visited Scotland, our trip provided some luscious detail that has been and will be included more here and there as it fits. (To the left is me along Loch Ness.)

Now what I need for the series is to tour with a rock band so I can to add to my internet research with more luscious details. Okay, that’s not likely, but then I never expected to meetwith Duncan Faure the BCR, either, and in recent years, I have met two of them. with Alan LongmuirNo, they are not like the characters I created to work with the story. Hm, well, maybe bits and pieces are similar. ;-)

Happy Tartan Day to all Scottish Americans! And to all who love Scotland and all things tartan for whatever reason.

Here’s an excerpt from Rehearsal: A Different Drummer when Susie meets the Scottish interloper for the first time:

~~ ~~ ~~

As Susie walked beside him, she did her best not to let her nervousness show. What was wrong with her? She hadn’t been nervous when she met the other guys; well, not very. And she was nineteen now, not sixteen as she’d been on her first visit.

The guitarist’s eyes remained on her face. They were gorgeous: bright blue, with long lashes, and so shockingly direct. She generally didn’t like stubble on a man’s chin, but his accentuated his ruggedness. Maybe that wasn’t the right word. It was more ... a sensual aura. As she had felt at a greater distance, the man truly emitted pure sensuality.

“Suse, this is Duncan O’Neil. Susie Brooks.”

She barely heard Evan, but she already knew his friend’s name.

He extended a hand without releasing her eyes. “It is a pleasure.”

She felt the calluses on his fingers as he gripped her hand firmly, but carefully, as though trying not to hurt her. “Thank you. It’s nice to meet you finally, since I’ve heard so much.” Good. She had managed to keep her voice from shaking.

He glanced at Evan with a slightly raised eyebrow, just one. It was adorable.

“I know you remember me talking about Susie.” Evan touched her back again, her lower back: a possessive touch that didn’t make much sense, considering.

Duncan noticed and released her hand. He studied her as though trying to remember. Evan obviously hadn’t talked about her much.

“My friend from Pennsylvania. I wrote that she moved out here.”

Now, a sign of recognition. “The one your mum took care of?” He tilted his head with a touch of a frown. “He did no’ describe you well. I was picturing a young girl, which you are no’.”

A young girl? Was that how Evan saw her?

“I can no’ imagine why anyone would no’ want you around.”

Susie pulled her eyes away in hopes he wouldn’t see the warmth she could feel crawling into her cheeks. Why was he getting to her? It wasn’t as though she had never received a compliment from a guy. She’d received plenty, but most had only been lines, not real.

“I am sorry. I did no’ mean t’ embarrass you.”

She forced an imitation calm and grinned at him. “No, it’s ... I was thinking the same thing ... about you... I mean...” Cursing herself silently, she shook her head and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry. It’s been a long week. What I mean is ... Mike was just giving you a hard time. You fit with the band well. I hope you’ll stay and give it a try.”

“Hey, that is a compliment, coming from Susie.” Stu jumped in and nudged Duncan’s shoulder. “She’s the one who always has an objection for everyone we audition.”

Duncan barely glanced at Stu and his eyes were back on her. “D’ you hang with the band much?”

Band talk. She could handle that. “Pretty often. Whenever I’m not working.”

“In that case, I migh’ just hang around a while.”

ChaoticCurrents-thRehearsal: The Series
- A Different Drummer
- The Highest Aim
- Of Chaotic Currents
- books 4-6 still to come

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