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Showing posts from October, 2010

My Hideaway

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Following on from Lady Tess's lovely post with pics of her home office, and her query for a shot of our cats on my office window sill, I simply had to oblige and reveal my hidey hole.

Well, you could almost literally call it a hole - it's our small spare (single) bedroom. After years of use for visitors or drying the washing only, DH recently re-painted the walls a warm yellow (ideal to brighten up the room on a gloomy Scottish day such as today). We also bought a new desk, a bookshelf to fit above it (still awaiting its turn), and number of nice photo frames and picked some decent pics for the walls. Oh, and a sheepskin to keep my feet cosy.

So let the tour begin:
The usual view. A Scottish autumn day - the stable yard drenched, and the Pentland Hills hidden by low cloud, with the odd ray of sunshine just about to squeeze through. For five seconds.


My desk, with an array of medieval history books, currently about my favourite family - the Angevins, a Thesaurus and The Oxford Libr…

Scottish Dialects in Novels

"Och aye." "Nae bother." "Ye dinna ken."

Readers of Scottish historical novels can't avoid coming across Scottish accents - whether they like them or not.

A well-balanced accent gives readers the experience of 'hearing' the characters, their speech a sign of heritage, upbringing and culture. Sometimes, different accents are used to denote regional differences. This is more in line with the reality of the day, I believe, but quite difficult to achieve. Modern Scots still have different dialects, east from west and north from south. What's 'ye' for some, is 'yoo' for others, and even the odd 'ya' appears in places.

So how does a writer get a right balance? It's a tricky one.

As a (non-Scottish) resident in Scotland I have an issue with the over-use of dialects in fiction. Hints of a lilt are fine, but the continuous use of dialects - especially in characters from different corners of the country using the same speech…