31 May 2007

Thirteen Animal Allies

Thirteen Celtic Animal Allies

The following list gives many of the animals known to the Celts and told of in their legends and myths.

1. Adder (snake) - Associated with wisdom, reincarnation, and cunning. The Druids carried an amulet called gloine nathair (serpent glass). In the Scottish Highlands, the adder symbolized the Cailleach's power.

2. Badger - This animal is unyielding in the face of danger and is noted for its tenacity and courage. The badger will teach you to fight for your rights and defend your spiritual ideasYou drank a bottle of pop and not a soda.

3. Bear - The bear was noted for its strength and stamina. It can help you find balance and harmony in your life, and the strength to do what is necessary.

4. Wolf - The wolf is a cunning, intelligent creature, capable of out-thinking hunters. It can teach you how to read the signs of Nature in everything, how to pass by danger invisibly, how to outwit those who wish you harm, and how to fight when needed. Sometimes the world, seen on a journey, will lead you to a spiritual teacher and guide.

5. Butterfly - Many cultures cal butterflies the souls of the dead and the keepers of power. They will teach you to free yourself form self-imposed restrictions and to look at problems with greater clarity.

6. Cat - The cat is a strong protector, especially when facing a confrontational situation.

7. Crane - The crane, with its colors of black, white, and red, was a Moon bird, sacred to the Triple Goddess. Magic, shamanic travel, learning and keeping secrets, reaching deeper mysteries and truths.

8. Crow - This animal is to treated with care. Along with the raven, the crow is a symbol of conflict and death, an ill-omen associated with such Goddess as Macha, Badb, and the Morrigan. It was also considered to be skillful, cunning, single-minded, and a bringer of knowledge. It is of value when trickery is needed. It also teaches you to learn from the past, but not hold onto it.

9. Deer - THe deer represents keen scent, grace swiftness, and gentleness. There are ways of reaching your goals other than force.

10. Dragon - The dragon symbolized the power of the Elements, especially that of the Earth, but also of the treasure of the subconscious mind.

11. Hare (rabbit) - Associated with transformation, the receiving of hidden teachings, and intuitive messages.

12. Salmon - The salmon teaches you how to get in touch with ancestral knowledge and put it to practical use.

13. Wren - A sacred bird to the Druids, its musical notes were used for divination. As with many other birds, the wren was considered a messenger from the deities.

Source: Joelle's Sacred Grove

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
Dog's Eye View 2. Christina's Shoebox 3. Samantha Lucas 4. Amanda Young 5. Jenny's Wandering Thoughts 6. Off the Wall Thoughts 7. Emerald City Guy 8. NJ Walters 9.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

30 May 2007

Pictures of the Day - RT 2007

Thought I'd share a couple of pictures from my RT odyssey. I really didn't take too many photos this year at RT itself, but took several of our side trip through New Orleans. Some of these are higher-res so I'll only post a couple at a time. Enjoy!

The Breakfast Crowd at Cafe du Monde, Jackson Square, the French Quarter.

A "before" picture of our breakfast - BEIGNETS!! YUM! I guess I should have taken an "after" picture, but I was covered in powdered sugar and couldn't pick up my camera.

29 May 2007

Blog Etiquette - Opinions Needed!

Hi everyone,

I've been asked to write an article about blog etiquette for my company's web site. If you have a minute, I'd like some opinions if you dont' mind!

What in your opinion is "good" blog etiquette?

What is considered "poor" blog etiquette (bletiquette? LOL)

You can email me privately if you like (carolanivey @yahoo .com). No names will be used and the innocent will remain, er, innocent. :P


26 May 2007

The Forgotten One

Read about the inspiration for my upcoming novella WILDISH THINGS on the FaE blog. Enjoy!

25 May 2007

What is Carolan Doing for Fun Tonight?

Okay, get your minds out of the gutter, people.

The Toledo Symphony presents Bugs Bunny on Broadway! Hee!

UPDATE: I went to the concert prepared to enjoy myself, and I did! If this concert ever appears anywhere near you, I highly recommend it. Fun for the whole family! The cool thing is, my 15-year-old son knew and enjoyed every single cartoon. :)

24 May 2007

Thirteen Clues You're a Tarheel

Thirteen Clues You're a Tarheel

Gleaned from thousands of choices on Carolina Country. I picked out just a few of the ones that I either remember or apply to me.

1. Bananas were for Sunday pudding and not for daily eating

2. You drank a bottle of pop and not a soda

3. You’ve ever had to switch from heat to air-conditioning in the same day

4. You only own four spices: salt, pepper, Texas Pete and Duke’s mayonnaise

5. You know all four seasons: almost summer, summer, still summer and Christmas

6. Fried flounder is the other white meat

7. Your elders told you Raw Hide and Bloody Bones would get you if you left the yard

8. You know how to make “sweet tea”

9. You sat on the porch with your grandma helping her with the cannin’ (which means you shelled peas and butterbeans until your fingers bled)

10. You say, “I’m give out” when you have worked hard and need to rest

11. You rode to the beach in the car with the windows down and your feet hanging out the window

12. You made frog houses in the mud with your foot.

13. You know what “suckering tobacco” means

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Dog's Eye View 2. Christina's Shoebox 3. Samantha Lucas 4. Amanda Young

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

23 May 2007

Why a kilt? Why not?

Totally horked from Alberta, Canada resident Alan Gingles, who clearly loves his motorcycle, his kilts, and most of all his lovely wife Karen. I hope he doesn't mind!

Why a Kilt? Why Not?

1. Kilts are the most masculine garment that a man can wear.

2. Women LOVE them!

3. They're far more comfortable than pants. Crushed nuts are for ice-cream sundaes.

4. Women LOVE them!

5. I'm proud of my Celtic heritage.

6. Women LOVE them!

7. They're versatile. You can wear them casually, or dress them up for more formal events.

8. Women LOVE them!

9. More and more men are discovering the comfort, heritage, and pride in wearing kilts.

10. Women LOVE them!

11. Longetivity. You'll never have to throw a kilt away because you've ripped the knees, crotch, or ass out of it.

12. Women LOVE them!

13. When was the last time a beautiful woman asked you what you were wearing under your jeans?

14. Most importantly...women LOVE them!

22 May 2007

'Tardic Musings

Now that "Wildish Things" has been temporarily put to bed (at least until the edits hit my emailbox), it's time for me to open my Works In Progress folder on my laptop and figure out what to work on next.

Actually I should probably rename this folder the "Wildly Improbable Ideas" folder. This is where I dump random ideas, bits of odd research I've come across, and experimental scenes I've written. It comes as a surprise to a lot of people I talk to that not every book idea becomes an finished manuscript. The creative process is messy, full of fits and starts. The majority of ideas (mine, anyway), as cool as they sound when they first hit my brain, don't have the "legs" to hold up under the strain of 300 typed pages.

I think this is why God made novellas.

Most of the time I find this out in the early stages, when I write the first experimental synopsis. (Yes, I almost always write my synopsis first. Because, as my daughter says, I'm a 'tard.) Other times, I have to write a 50 or a hundred pages to figure it out.

Still, I believe no effort is ever wasted when it comes to writing. Heck, even the great master artists recognized when their painting wasn't working. They'd just slap a coat of white paint on the canvas and start over again.

As artists, and I think in many aspects of everyday life, we need to let go of the notion that everything we do must be perfect the first time. I used to be one of these people who was so afraid of doing something wrong, I wouldn't even make an attempt. No action, no mistake, I reasoned.

But I've come to realize that doing something - anything - is preferable to hanging back and doing nothing. Fear is a powerful thing, and it breeds regret. With the help of some of the world's best friends, I've made the decision, when I come to the end of my life, to have as few of those as possible.

So yeah. No more holding back. In life, in love - or in my writing.

My next Work In Progress (aka, Wild Idea) is going to be a Samhain Red Hots. It may be under a different pseudonym, because it'll be different from a Carolan Ivey romance. That is, if it gets published. There are no guarantees, and I might fall flat on my face.

But it'll be fun. And I won't regret the journey.

Oh, and because I haven't forgotten why people really tune in here day after day:

21 May 2007

Scotophile Monday

Popular Scottish Accent
Its amazing how research often proves the blindingly obvious.... A survey of people's reactions to various regional accents has found that Scottish and southern Irish voices are considered to be the most attractive. Read more.

New Seabird Reserve
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is to open a new nature reserve which provides a nesting place for over 150,000 gannets, guillemots and puffins. Read more.

Iron Age Cooking
A culinary and craft festival at the Scottish Crannog Centre in Perthshire last weekend offered visitors the chance to sample bowls of nettle soup and bread baked in ovens of a style used in the Iron Age. Read more.

Wanted: Paranormal Investigators
A specialist company is undertaking a "ghost hunt" in Aberdeen's Tolbooth Museum on 28 July. Paranormal Tours uses experienced investigators but is looking for volunteers to stay overnight in the museum to help to operate the equipment used to measure changes in frequency, temperature, detect motion and record "electronic voice phenomena" - in other words, ghostly noises. Read more.

Memorial to Lost Village
The last family left the mining village of Cairntable in 1963, but Jimmy Dunn, 76, has erected a memorial stone of Loch Doon granite to let people know where his beloved village once stood. Read more.

Edinburgh Animal Shelter May Close
THE 124-year-old Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has warned that its future is at risk after income from donations dropped by around a third. An unprecedented number of animals needing help, combined with spiralling veterinary costs and a slump in public donations has forced the centre to dip into its cash reserves. Read more.

Great Scots - Captian William Kidd
One thing is for certain: Kidd's place in history is secure as an audacious adventurer who commanded a gang of swarthy pirates as he captured ships on the Indian Ocean. What is less secure is the truth behind the deluge of myths and legends, which has sprung a leak in documented history of Kidd's extraordinary life, death, and indeed his birth. Read more.

Old School Spirit Refuses to Die Away
Ewan Irvine of Scottish Paranormal says he has felt the presence of people who worked at the Ragged School. Read more.

This Week in Scottish History
May 20 685 - Battle of Dunnichen (also known as Nechtansmere), south of Forfar in Angus, as a result of which the Picts stopped the advance northwards of the Angles of Northumbria.
May 20 1303 - France and England make peace, releasing forces to attack Scotland.
May 20 1747 - Edinburgh-born James Lind began a controlled experiment which demonstrated that citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a disease contracted by sailors on long voyages. The lime juice which eventually became standard issue to British sailors gave rise to the term "limey" as a name for British overseas.
May 21 1650 - James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, executed at Mercat Cross, Edinburgh.
May 21 1916 - Clocks and watches went forward for one hour as the Daylight Savings Act brought in "British Summer Time" for the first time. May 21 1983 - TSB Bank Scotland (now Lloyds TSB Scotland) formed.
May 22 1611 - King James VI introduced the title "baronet" for the first time. This is the lowest hereditary titled order.
May 22 1859 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, born of Irish parents in Edinburgh.
May 24 1153 - King David I died at Carlisle and Malcolm IV crowned at Scone.
May 24 1852 - Robert Cunningham Graham born. Son of a Scottish laird, he organised the Scottish Labour Party with Kier Hardie, wrote over 30 travel books and was elected first president of the Scottish National Party.
May 24 1916 - Conscription to the armed forces began for the first time.
May 24 1928 - Actor and comedian Stanley Baxter born.
May 24 1972 - Rangers win the European Cup Winners' Cup in Barcelona.
May 25 1726 - First circulating library opened in Edinburgh.
May 25 1713 - John Stuart, Earl of Bute, Britain's first Scottish Prime Minister, born.
May 25 1967 - Celtic Football Club won European Cup.
May 26 1424 - The parliament convened by King James I approved the arrest of a number of the Scottish nobility - and also banned the playing of football.

Scottish Proverbs
Double drinks are good for the drouth.

I'll drink to that!
~Carolan Ivey

19 May 2007

i. am. exhausted.

In a good way.

Click here to read my blog about it over at Beyond the Veil.

I'm takin' a nap. See you in a couple days for Scotophile Monday!

18 May 2007

Spring Frost

It is May 18. May.

My furnace is running. My blooming azaleas are... well, not.

Not real happy about that.

On the upside, I can avoid having to pull out the rest of my summer clothes and be depressed about what doesn't fit from last summer! I guess one more day of snuggling in my baggy sweats and Hobbit cloak isn't so bad.

17 May 2007

Thirteen Amusing Dachshund Names

Thirteen Amusing Dachsund Names

Thirteen amusing names I've seen for a dachshund:

1. Nietzsche (Er, what?)

2. Freud (Fitting, since dachsie cuddles are famously therapeutic.)

3. Andouille (As in sausage.)

4. Schnitzel (For a dachshund, it's all about the snacks.)

5. Meister (Perfect, as most dachsies think they're in charge.)

6. Aggravation ('Nuff said.)

7. Chorizo (Sense a theme, here?)

8. Cinemax (Obviously a drama queen.)

9. Gatorhater (Clearly owned by a Buckeye fan!)

10. Jean Luc (Must have mastered the look that demands snacks and orders its human to "Make it so.")

11. Shwing (Full brother to Ch. ShowUpNakedWithSixPack of Austinpowers Acres.)

12. Strudel (Yep, definitely a theme...)

13. Scheisse Kompf (
Look it up. LOL)

My girls: Click on Fun Stuff, then on Photo Gallery.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

16 May 2007

For all you Moms out there...

My daughter and I sharing a tender moment on Mother's Day 2007. Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? LOL

Actually we get along pretty well. I couldn't ask for a better daughter. Think Lorelai and Rory on "Gilmore Girls" - that's us up and down.

15 May 2007

Picture of the day

It is days like today - sunny, warm, with the purple azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom, that make me homesick for North Carolina.

So I thought I'd share a picture of one of my favorite places, Roan Mountain. Picture an entire mountainside covered in blooming purple rhododendron. From a distance you'd almost think you were in Scotland, looking at Highland heather in full glory. It makes sense that the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are held not far from this spot, the stomping grounds of my father's side of the family.
Hope your weather is half as pretty as ours today!

14 May 2007

Scotophile Monday

Selctions from this week's Rampant Scotland newsletter. Enjoy!

Hanging Chads - Not Just in the U.S.!
The total number of ballot papers which were spoiled or wrongly completed in the parliamentary and local council elections on 3 May has now been calculated at 142,000 - far higher number than originally estimated. That means that 7% of votes cast did not count towards the final results. The high volume has bescen blamed on the poor design and wording of the ballot papers. Last year, research had warned that the design of the ballot papers could cause confusion - but the advice appears to have been ignored.

Scottish Chef Awards
Jacqueline O’Donnell, Head Chef of The Sisters restaurants in Glasgow, scooped the City Chef of the Year Award 2007 at The Scottish Chef Awards this week. This is considered the culinary Oscar for Scolant. Having eaten in The Sisters restaurant more than once, it came as no surprise - see the review at Great Places to eat in Scotland.

Graffiti Artists to "Decorate" Historic Castle
Usually, owners of property try to discourage (if they can) the daubing of their walls with graffiti. But Lord and Lady Clyde, the owners of historic Kelburn Castle near Largs in North Ayrshire, are actually encouraging it. They have invited four of the world's top graffiti artists from Brazil to paint the external walls and turrets of the south side of the 13th century castle. They will have a free rein to paint what they want - the more colourful the better. The project is not quite as daft as it sounds though. The harling on the castle wall has recently been found to be damaging the original stonework of the castle. So it is to be removed to prevent further damage. Even so, the graffiti will stay in place for two-and-a-half years.

Whisky Festival - Where Do I Sign Up?
The annual whisky festival in the heart of Speyside has sometimes struggled to attract enough visitors to turn it into a success. But this year's event seems to have attracted thousands of people to Morayshire to enjoy their favourite tipple as well as other events such as ceilidhs with traditional Scottish music, distillery tours, walks, tastings and art. The Whisky Museum at Dufftown even managed to combine two of life's pleasures with a selection of specialist chocolates that had been matched to different whiskies.

Piping Hot
Tickets for this year's World Pipe Band Championships in August went on sale this week. The event is one of the most popular in Glasgow's entertainment calendar, with crowds of over 50,000 spectators in attendance to see 200 pipe bands and 8,000 competitors performing at the highest level.

Scottish Castles Photo Library
This week's feature is Castle Stuart in Inverness. (Pictured above.)

This Week In Scottish History
May 13 1568 - Mary, Queen of Scots, defeated at Battle of Langside.
May 13 1999 - Donald Dewar elected as First Minister of the new Scottish Parliament.
May 14 1754 - St Andrews Society of Golfers constituted. In 1834 it became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.
May 14 1771 - Industrialist and social reformer Robert Owen born.
May 15 1567 - Mary, Queen of Scots, married Earl of Bothwell at 4am.
May 16 1568 - Mary Queen of Scots sailed from Port Mary across the Solway Firth to exile in England.
May 16 1763 - Biographer James Boswell met Samuel Johnson for the first time.
May 16 1791 - James Boswell's "Life of Johnson" published.
May 16 1990 - British Steel announced the closure of the hot strip mill at Ravenscraig with the loss of 770 jobs.
May 17 1532 - King James V established paid judges to sit as the Court of Session, the highest civil court in Scotland.
May 17 1938 - The Marquess of Bute sold half of the city of Cardiff for £20 million, at that time the biggest-ever British property deal.
May 18 1313 - Robert the Bruce invades Isle of Man.
May 18 1843 - Break up of Church of Scotland and formation of Free Church of Scotland.
May 18 1960 - Real Madrid beat Eintracht-Frankfurt 7-3 at Hampden Park, Glasgow, to win the European Cup for the 5th year in succession.
May 19 1795 - Death in Auchinleck of James Boswell, biographer of Dr Johnston.

Scottish Proverb
Never marry for money. You can borrow it cheaper.

12 May 2007

Attention Robin Snodgrass, eBookWorm, and Jessy!

This is your last day to email me your snail mail addy to claim your prizes from my drawings last week! If I don't hear from you by midnight tonight (Saturday), I'm going to hold another drawing and give someone else a chance.

Jessy, you got the grand prize, so don't let this cool stuff slip away! Thanks!


Blogging today on FaE!

Please join me here! Today's post is another creature feature. Don't worry, this time you won't need a gas mask.

And a heads up for this coming Sunday on the Beyond the Veil blog: We're starting a new feature on Divination. Come visit and leave a comment, and you could win a drawing for a free Tarot, rune, oracle or ogham reading, depending on what we're talking about that day. :) Hope to see you there!

11 May 2007

The Greening Time

Today I nipped out of the house for a couple hours to go shopping for herbs at the annual Toledo Herb Society plant sale at the Toledo Botanical Garden.

When we moved last year, I left behind established herb beds, developed over 13 years of hard work. A veritable mini-Provence of purple, pink and white lavender plants; three different kinds of thyme; oregano; St. John's Wort and more. Now I'm starting all over again, but it's not so bad because I have a lot more room to work with, and the soil around here is soft, sandy, and easy to dig. Not like the hardpan clay soil of Medina County!

Not sure they'd have boxes there, I took one of my big, flat Longaberger baskets and I must say I was quite the fashion hit of the sale! Everyone commented on my basket overflowing with herb plants. I came home with:

Lavender (I brought one with me from Medina, but it's not doing well)
Creeping wooly thyme (3) to plant in my stone circle
Sweet woodruff
Orange mint (yay!!)
Columnar basil
Lemon savory
English thyme
Prostrate rosemary
Lemon balm

Most everything except the woodruff and the lemon balm are going in two huge galvanized tubs filled with potting soil on the back patio. These were left by the last owner of our house, and they are very handy and hold water better than the sandy soil around the house.

I'll corral the mints in one of the pots - they don't play well with others and need to be contained or they'll run wild.

I took a stroll around the herb garden (pictured above) at the Toledo Botanical Garden and just drooled the entire time... it is beautifully landscaped and though it is early, it promises to be spectacular later on this summer.

Well, those are my garden notes for today. Time for me to go find my garden gloves and get to work!

10 May 2007

Thirteen Places I Have Traveled

I couldn't get the html to work, so here is my Thursday 13 in plain old text!

Thirteen Places I've Been

My husband travels for business quite a bit. Being an engineer, he is always looking for the most cost-effective ways to travel, and has learned to work the system to accumulate tons of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. This means that we've been fortunate to be able to travel as a family to some pretty cool destinations at relatively low cost. It's tough having him gone all the time, but these trips almost make up for it.

I firmly believe that every writer should travel as much as she or he can afford. Books and internet research only take you so far!

Here are a few places my feet have trod, in no particular order:

1. England

2. Scotland

3. Ireland

4. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

5. Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelley in Arizona

6. Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

7. Denali National Park, Alaska

8. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

9. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Alberta, Canada and Montana

10. Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks, Alberta, Canada

11. Bavaria region of Germany

12. Key West, Florida

13. Paris, France

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. J.C. Wilder

09 May 2007

I've Been Tagged!!

What fun!

I have my fellow Samhain author, Gloria Wiederhold to thank for this great honor.

Directions - POST RULES

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here goes!

1. I only clean when someone is coming to visit. (Exception - kitchen and bathrooms.)

2. I dust maybe once every 3 months.

3. I have 2 kids who respect me, or at least pretend to.

4. I have two dogs who do not, and don't bother to hide it.

5. I talk to trees, and listen for voices in running waters like streams, rivers and waterfalls.

6. I will buy any book or CD with the word "Celtic", "Irish" or "Scottish" in the title, no matter how bad it turns out to be.

7. I sometimes run across a book in the book store, buy it, and bring it home only to find out I already have it.

8. I will drive 11 hours without batting an eye for a plate of Lexington Barbecue.

I have tagged:

Sela Carsen
Bianca D'Arc
J.C. Wilder
Jennie Andrus
Bronwyn Green
Will Belegon
Melissa Lopez
Dayna Hart

New blog entry on FaE -With Smell-o-Vision

Click here to read my Creature Feature on the FaE blog!

But before you do, make sure you have a can of Lysol in your hand.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

08 May 2007

This week in Scotland

I'm so pleased I've found an attractive tartan layout for my MySpace page! Check it out.

For my fellow Scotophiles, some selections from this week's Rampant Scotland Newsletter:

Scotlands Busiest Tourist Attractions
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Bus Tours
Glasgow Science Center
Blair Drummond Safari Park
National Gallery of Scotland
National Museum of Scotland
Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden
Rosslyn Chapel

Scotland the Wave
Before 180 of the world's top surfers arrived at Thurso beach in the north of Scotland for the second World Qualifying Series event, they had been competing in the warm sunshine at Copacabana Beach in Brazil. Even though they had to wear rubber wet suits, gloves and hoods for the cold conditions of the North Sea, the champion surfers said that the Thurso waves had been the best on the tour, allowing them to reach a high standard of performance.

The Bottle Imp
The Association for Scottish Literary Studies has launched a new ezine named "The Bottle Imp" - named after one of Robert Louis Stevenson's short stories. The ezine's first issue covers a lot of ground, including an article on the historical relationship between Scotland and America and the latest publications on Scottish literature and culture.

Over the Sea to Eilean a' Cheò
Initial reports on a decision by Highland Council to change the name of the Isle of Skye to a Gaelic name of Eilean a' Cheò, suggested that the iconic name was to disappear from the map. It was said that all council documents would use the name and officials responding to tourist enquiries were to use the new name. It was asserted that the change would abolish the anglicised "slave" name and was welcomed by the 40% of the residents who claim to speak Gaelic. However, there were howls of protest, not just from the 60% on the island who do not speak Gaelic and would have problems getting their tongues round Eilean a' Cheò - roughly pronounced "ellan-uh-ch-yaw" and meaning "Island of the Mists".

Otter Numbers Increase
A survey, by Scottish Natural Heritage, has shown that otters are being found in parts of the country where they had vanished many years ago. The devastation of river fish stocks by chemicals and pollution in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a dramatic fall in otter numbers. They had also been hunted for "sport" and because they were thought to kill game birds and reduce the catches of anglers. With a population of around 8,000 otters, Scotland is home to the majority of British otters and has one of the biggest populations of this attractive mammal in Europe. The recent increase in their numbers is seen as a positive indication of clean water and reduced persecution. It became illegal in 1981 to kill otters and they are also strictly protected by European law.

Loving the Much-Maligned Moth
It is said that the public image of moths is that they are brown, boring, fly at night - and eat our clothes. But the Butterfly Conservation Society (which includes moths in its work) has just launched a campaign to persuade us that we should really love moths. They help to pollinate plants, provide food for garden birds and bats - and can be just as spectacularly coloured as their better loved cousins, the butterfly. Whether the project will be successful in producing new enthusiasts - known as "moth-ers" - remains to be seen.

Lachlan's Laws - # 23
That great Highland philosopher, Lachlan McLachlan, propounded a number of irrefutable laws of life, the universe and everything, usually after a "bevvy" in the Auchenshuggle Arms on a Saturday night. Here is another example: "The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think."

This Week in Scottish History

  • May 6 1870 - Sir James Young Simpson advocate of chloroform, died.

  • May 6 1941 - Last major bombing attack on the Clyde area by the Luftwaffe; Greenock was badly hit with 280 dead.

  • May 6 1999 - Election for the new Scottish Parliament. Results were Labour 56, SNP 35, Conservatives 18, Liberal Democrats 16, Greens 1, Scottish Socialists 1, Independent 1.

  • May 7 1890 - James Naysmith, engineer and inventor of steam hammer, died

  • May 8 1945 - Victory-in-Europe Day, end of World War II in Europe.

  • May 8 1701 - Scottish-born pirate "Captain" William Kidd tried for piracy at London's Old Bailey. He was hanged on 23 May.

  • May 9 1860 - J M Barrie, author of "Peter Pan" born

  • May 9 1918 - John MacLean, socialist revolutionary, first Soviet Consul in Britain in 1917, honorary president of the first Congress of Soviets, tried in the High Court for sedition.

  • May 9 1957 - A spectacular blaze at Bell's Brae, Edinburgh, destroyed the premises of one of Britain's largest theatrical costumiers; around 90,000 costumes were lost.

  • May 10 1307 - Battle of Loudon Hill, near Darvel. King Robert I comprehensively defeated English forces under de Valence.

  • May 10 1809 - Andrew Bell, co-founder of Encyclopaedia Britannica with Colin MacFarquhar, died.

  • May 10 1810 - Rev Henry Duncan opened the world's first savings bank in Ruthwell, near Dumfries.

  • May 10 1850 - Sir Thomas Lipton, founder of the Lipton's grocery chain who was a millionaire by the age of 30, was born in Glasgow.

  • May 10 1941 - Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, descended by parachute into Scotland at Eaglesham.

  • May 12 563 - Community of Iona founded by Colum Cille (St Columba) from Ireland.

  • May 12 1725 - The Black Watch regiment was commissioned under General Wade to police the Highlands.

07 May 2007

And the grand prize winner is...

First of all, thanks to everyone who entered!

And a reminder to the winners of the previous packages this week - if you haven't already sent me your snail mail addy, please do so by the end of the week - Saturday, May 10 at midnight EDT. A couple of you already have, but I still need info from:

Robin Snodgrass

So let's get on with the grand prize drawing! I'm having my daughter draw slips of paper from our Shrek popcorn bucket. :) The winner is...


Congratulations, Jessy! Send your snail mail addy to carolaniveyATyahooDOTcom and I will pop that in the mail to you this week.

Thanks again, everyone! I hope to see you at RT 2008!

06 May 2007

CONTEST: Grand Prize Drawing Day today!

Congratulations, AMY, you won the drawing for the Pen Lover's Package! Please email your snail mail addy to carolaniveyATyahooDOTcom.

Today is the day to enter for the grand prize, a Samhain Publishing goodie bag full of fun items from Samhain and its authors. Get your entries in by midnight tonight (Sunday) and I'll draw names first thing tomorrow morning! All you have to do is post to my blog, and you're entered. Even if you just say "hi", go ahead and post!

Everyone who posted to my blog this week is already entered.

Thanks to everyone who joined my giveaway party this week!

05 May 2007

CONTEST: Post RT Giveaway No. 4!

Congratulations, Little Lamb Lost! You've won the drawing for the Button Lover's Package! Please send your snail mail address to carolaniveyATyahooDOTcom!

Today, I'm giving away the Pen Lover's Package. This one is my personal favorite because I always end up keeping pens the longest. :) Since I still have so many from the last RT I attended, I'm okay with giving away this batch.

OK, I'm keeping one, but only because my dog chewed on it, the little stinker! Serves me right for sorting the piles on the floor instead of the table.

So, same deal - anyone who posts to the blog today gets a chance to win the prize package, and you're automatically entered into the drawing for tomorrow's the grand prize, a Samhain goodie bag.

Thanks for visiting!

04 May 2007

CONTEST: Post RT Giveaway No. 3!

Congratulations, eBookWorm, you won the drawing for yesterday's Cover Flat Lover's package! Send your snail mail addy to carolaniveyATyahooDOTcom.

Today's package, the Button Lover's Package! It was so much fun to see RT goers' tote bags literally covered in them. I have to wonder what that airport TSA scanners thought of those! LOL

Tune in tomorrow for the Pen Lover's Package. I always grab at least one of everything, mainly because I go nuts when I see pretty, colorful things, but usually what I end up keeping are the pens. I still have a gazillion left from the last RT I went to, so I'm happy to give these babies away.

Start posting!

03 May 2007

CONTEST: Post RT Giveaway No. 2!

Congratulations, to Robin Snodgrass for winning the drawing for yesterday's package! Please send me your snail mail addy to carolaniveyATyahooDOTcom.

On to day 2! Today's prize is the Cover Flat Lover's package. Same as yesterday, post to the blog today and you'll be entered for today's package, and for the grand prize on Sunday - a SamhainPublishing.com goodie bag filled with fun stuff from Samhain and their many wonderful authors.

Start posting!


02 May 2007

CONTEST: Post RT Giveaway No. 1!!

Couldn't go to RT this year? Pining for bookmarks? Come sit by me.

I'm giving away three different RT goodies packages. Package number one - the Bookmark Lovers Package!

This intrepid author braved the crush of the RT promo aisle to bring you some of the most beautiful bookmarks in the business.

All you have to do to win is post a comment to this entry (or anywhere else on this blog, for that matter), and you're entered!

Come back tomorrow, Friday and Saturday and post again - tomorrow the prize will be the Cover Flat Lovers package. Friday, the Button Lovers package. Saturday, the Pen Lovers Package!

Post anytime between today and Sunday, and you'll also be automatically entered for the grand prize to be given away this weekend - a SamhainPublishing.com goody bag filled with all kinds of cool stuff from Samhain and its many talented authors.

So come one, folks, post a comment and take some of this stuff off my hands! LOL

01 May 2007

Spring Showers Contest!

Samhain Publishing is running a cool contest called "Spring Showers." Go here, read excerpts, and post a comment. The more excerpts you read and the more you post, the more chances you have to win!

I'm giving away a free copy of my first book, "Beaudry's Ghost", and a hand-beaded bookthong. There are dozens of other authors and loads of other prizes, too!

Have fun!