I am always amazed at the serendipitous moments in real life and in writing my stories. Many, many times, strange 'coincidences' happen and things work out in mysterious ways -- much like Robert the Bruce finding and watching the spider in that cave in Ireland when he was hiding. According to legend, it was observing the spider's relentless efforts to weave its web and inspire the Bruce onto bigger and better things....(If you magnify this photo, there's an itsy bitsy spider in the corner of one of the panes of stained glass in the Abbey at Dumfernline...)
Anyway...I believe that these moments happen and make things/my stories better. When I was writing my novella THE CLAIMING OF LADY JOANNA, I decided to use evil Prince. . er. . King John as a character but the story had to be set in Springtime in England. Well, heck, I said, as I wrote the novella and researched it as I was writing it. Amazingly, I discovered that the ONLY year King John actually held an Easter court in England was. . . the year in which I set my story!
Those kinds of things have happened lots of times in my life and my writing. Serendipity. Moments and events that I couldn't have planned but are special.
When I'd planned my first trip to Scotland, something I'd dreamed of for years and years, I ended up in the hospital. I begged my doc to let me go (once they couldn't find anything wrong with me) and I ended up joining the rest of the group a day late. Because of that, I flew to Scotland on my own, took a train across and into the Cairngorms and into a small town called Pitlochry. I also met a number of people I would never have met and was even helped from the train station by a nice young man who showed me around the town and found a ride for me (on a Sunday when no taxis were available). Pure serendipity.
One of the best examples of serendipity occurred during my first trip to Scotland when I stayed on with 2 friends - Sue-Ellen Welfonder and Lisa Trumbauer - to travel out to the Highlands. As we were on our way back to Glasgow, we passed by the sign for this castle I'd never heard of: Dunstaffnage. So, as Sue-Ellen fills me in on the history of it, we toured, climbed onto the battlements, walked the acres around it, all the time never dreaming that it would turn into a romance novel for me a few years later.
So, what's this all about? Well, I'm planning another trip to Scotland and I am in search of serendipity. I'll be driving all over the Highlands, visiting the islands and lots of places in between. And I'm hoping that something will click, something will ping, something from the cosmic universe to point me in a direction or inspire me. I suspect, with scenery like this-- -- it will happen!
While Terri is busy planning the trip, her latest Harlequin Historical - THE CONQUEROR'S LADY - is hitting the shelves. After beginning the story in her HH Undone, A NIGHT FOR HER PLEASURE in June, the Knights of Brittany return as Giles find his newly-betrothed wife marrying someone else! Visit Terri's website for more information about her upcoming novels and novellas.. www.terribrisbin.com
(okay - yesterday in work, we were talking about Elton John's TINY DANCER and how it was sung in a movie that none of us could remember; as I'm writing this blog, I changed the channels and came upon ALMOST FAMOUS as the whole group in the bus is singing along with TINY DANCER! Serendipity in action!)