On the Issue of Scottish Independence

My heritage is Scottish, but I am Canadian.  And although my say is irrelevant on the issue of Scottish independence, I do have some thoughts on the subject.

Deep down the Scotswoman in me is shouting at the top of her lungs “FREEDOM!!!”  I find this an interesting and somewhat unexpected phenomenon from within.  However, despite this cry for independence, my more sensible side is asking “but can you make it work?”Thistle_Blog

As a Canadian, I note that there is a strong propensity to equate the vote for Scottish Independence to Quebec Separatism.  I don’t believe you can equate the two and this is why: Quebec is province, Scotland is a country.

Were Quebec to leave Canada, it would break up a country.  Scotland voting for independence wouldn’t destroy a country, but rather solidify the fact that it is its own country with the right to determine its own future.  Maybe that’s splitting hairs, but it’s how I view it.

Frankly, I think it’s better equated to Canada asking for independence (even though Scotland is not a colony).

But can it be made to work?  That’s the important question.

I note that the current UK government is talking about granting broader powers to Scotland if they vote “no” on independence…so why did they wait so long?  Only when Scotland is threatening to leave – and take their oil revenues with them – does the UK think it’s time to give them greater say over their own lives?  That says to me “you’re only as important as we tell you.”  It also says to me that you’re probably right to ask for your independence if your right to self-determination has been actively withheld until now – when it’s no longer convenient.

Now, I do believe that if independence is achieved, Scotland forfeits its right to use the British pound.  Frankly, why would you want to tie your independence to the economy of the nation you’re trying to gain some distance from?  It’s not a reasonable expectation.  If you want to be your own country, you don’t get to have your cake and eat it, too.

If you choose to be independent, you must go it alone with no turning back.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I don’t think it right for me or anyone else to tell you how to vote because there are no easy answers.  All you can do is your research and – ultimately – follow your heart.

So with that I say, go forward bravely, proudly, and confident in your choice.  It is your future…may you make the most of it.


The Art of Education

A few months back I was contacted by the International Baccalaureate looking to gain my permission to reproduce a picture of my crocheted Medusa for the IB’s educational workbook for their middle years program.

As it was for an educational project I freely gave my consent…and today I received my complimentary copy of the workbook!!  And in fact the image is used twice in their chapter entitled “The Art of Medusa”.

I’ve got to say I’m feeling quite proud 😀

Education through art, that’s a contribution I gladly make.

And here she is:



What Do Your Book Titles Say About You?

Now this is a really clever (albeit time-consuming) art project.  A friend of my husband’s approached him to be the subject.

Basically, you go through the titles of your books (or better yet the books of someone you’d like to know better / describe) and sort out a coherent description, a.k.a. “word poem”, for that person.

Have a Look!

It’s just such a nifty idea!  Have you ever done this?  Is there someone you’d love to do it for?

I may have to try it out for myself…I don’t want to make anyone have to sort through my books 😉

How to Intensify Conflict & Deepen Characters—The Wound

A fantastic read! What it boils down to is understanding that the hurts in our lives – no matter how seemingly simple – can impact us more than we imagine…and that is a terrific tool for character development.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 10.17.54 AM Hmmm, what’s the story behind THIS?

There are all kinds of arguments about which area of craft is the most important for creating great fiction. Plot? Character? Voice? Theme? My opinion. They’re all organs in one body. Our brains will still work if our lungs have bronchitis, but maybe not at an optimal level. Similarly, there are people with brain injuries who have a strong heart. A body can “live” without everything operating in concert, and so can any story.

It’s ideal to hone our skills in all areas, and our goal is to be skilled at all of them. Can we be equally skilled? That’s another debate for another post.

I will say that plot (skeleton/brain) is very important. Our characters (heart) are only as strong as the crucible. Ultimately, all stories are about people. We might not recall every detail of a plot, but we DO remember characters…

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