Monday, October 20, 2014

Day # 602 Scotland Here We Come

As you know - if you've read most of my blog posts, I sing with the Gwinnett Choral Guild. Last Saturday, we performed "A Diminished Mass" by Scottish composer Alan A. Craig. Not only did Mr. Craig travel from Glasgow, Scotland to be here for the North American premier of his incredible composition, he brought with him a letter from the First Premier of Scotland, congratulating him and acknowledging the GCG and the friendship between Scotland and the USA.

Believe me, it was a BIG DEAL.

Naturally, Alan wore his kilt.

Fran Stewart & Alan A. Craig

At the dress rehearsal, he told us he had written this version of the Mass to paint a picture with music of what the words said. "Do what you're doing with it," he told us, "only do it more." His Scottish r's rolled as he spoke, and we stepped up to the challenge.

Fortunately, I'd managed to memorize the entire 44 minutes of the piece, so it allowed me to focus all my intention on projecting the images he'd woven into his stunning music. The Gloria was glorious, the credo was declarative, the Sanctus felt truly holy, and the ending - dona nobis pacem / give us peace - brought tears to many eyes (including mine).

There was a long, magic moment of silence when the music ended.

At the celebration afterwards, Alan invited us to Glasgow to perform there.

Scotland, here we come!

And don't you just know, I'll be getting all sorts of ideas for my next ScotShop mystery while I'm there.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day #601 - I Just Had to Come Back

Okay, Okay. I know I said 600 days. But that was two years ago. It's time to start up again.

I can't promise I'll blog every day, but so much has been going on, I want a place in addition to my website to talk about it.

As in the past I'll deal with bees and other stuff. I've become much more interested in our native bumblebees (ever since developing the allergy to honeybee stings).

I know you've heard the word about how bumblebees are structurally unable to fly. The wings are too small for the bulk of the body. 

But we all know the bumblebees pay no attention to scientific theories. They just keep flying.

What does all this have to do with why I'm starting up my blog again?

Well, there was a time when I thought I'd never fly. My Biscuit McKee Mystery Series wings seemed too small to let me soar.

But then a New York agent found me online, offered me a chance to write a new series "with a Scottish flavor," and was I interested?

Ohmigosh, was I interested! 

This bumblebee took off flying, writing about Peggy, the owner of the ScotShop in Hamelin VT, and Dirk, the 14th-century Scottish ghost she just happened to acquire on a buying trip to Scotland.

A WEE MURDER IN MY SHOP will be released March 3, 2015, I've already submitted the manuscript for the second book, and am busy researching the third one.

In future blogs I'll clue you in on some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on in the world of a bee-loving writer.

Am I continuing the Biscuit McKee series? Oh yes. In fact, GRAY AS ASHES is being released this month. If you're in the Buford GA area on October 25th, stop by Books for Less  between 1 and 3 p.m.

GRAY AS ASHES deals with multiple cases of arson in Martinsville, Biscuit gets pretty ticked off when a firebug burns down her beloved garden shed. And then there's the dead body in the fourth place that burns.