Changes of Mind and of Scenery (Cecilia Peartree)

 August has been a strange month, which has traditionally been the case in Edinburgh anyway with its multiplicity of summer festivals. This year I managed not to go to any of the official Festival or Fringe shows, but I did get to a Book Festival session which was excellent and also gave me an idea of what the 'new' Book Festival venue is like (it's very nice). 

I had started the month intending to finish a novel in my historical series, but something made me change my mind, and instead I shelved it at 40,000 words and started work on the 25th in my mystery series. I wasn't sure what made me do this, although now, a few weeks after my change of mind, I feel it was the right thing to do, because I've taken my series characters up to Highland Perthshire and I wouldn't have wanted to leave it any later than the autumn to do this because of the weather! Also I love Highland Perthshire and ideally I would have gone there myself this year, but after catching something that was or wasn't Covid in July, I didn't think I was fit enough to enjoy it. Writing about it, and in the process remembering past visits, has helped a lot. At the moment I'm trying to organise myself enough to go to Pitlochry to see something at the theatre before the end of the summer season there, but as time goes on and other commitments pile up, I think the chances of that happening are quite small. Maybe next year.

The Black Wood of Rannoch

Killin, Perthshire

It was when I followed a link sent to me by the National Archives advertising their book sale that I finally realised why I had shelved the historical novel. One of the books in the sale was a guide to title deeds for family historians, and I seized on it with glee. In fact I had left the characters in the historical novel in the process of searching for title deeds in an estate office full of deed boxes and other documents, and I had absolutely no idea what title deeds even looked like, let alone what information they contained, which was partly why the novel had come unstuck at that point. Anyway, I'm hoping I will power through the book, when it arrives, and then have all I need at my fingertips when I open the Word file again.

I've particularly enjoyed taking my series characters, or some of them anyway, away from their usual haunts and seeing how they cope with new challenges. The part of Perthshire around Loch Rannoch is a special gift for a mystery novelist as most of it has no mobile signal, and there is very little public transport. Not to mention all the remote places where people can come to grief for all sorts of reasons. I'm hoping I can get them all back home safely in the end!


Debi said…
What wonderful news! I’m sure the lack of a mobile signal won’t bother Christopher too much!!
Peter Leyland said…
A change of scenery gives a change of perspective, Cecilia, and how true for your writing as you are now going to use the title deeds guide to kickstart that novel you were working on.

I am about to travel to Elgin to visit relatives, a bit further North, but I am hoping for an escape from the drought, both metaphorically and in reality that exists down here.

Those woods and streams in the photographs look like an excellent source of inspiration.
Thanks for your comments, Debi and Peter.
I hope your trip to Elgin goes well, Peter - my brother lived in Forres, which isn't far from there, for some time, and we found there were some good walks about there as well as interesting castles etc within reach.

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