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Monday, April 16, 2012

Another Deleted Scene from Scotch Broom

Some of my best stuff was left on the editor's floor. At least that's how I'd like to characterize some scenes cut from Scotch Broom because of the nagging of my critique partners. Okay. Okay. So we don't need to know every little bit about Kat's stay and the B&B in Thurso, Scotland.

In researching the area where she's tramping about, I found the location of the trainstation. But I knew that a certain someone had to show up before Kat left town. For that matter, she had letters to deliver to the Trow King Connor located within the Otherworld which happens to be an alternate magical reality in the Flow Country of Northern Scotland.

So, she had to find someplace to stay the night. By the time various readers decided that not much was going on at the lovely inn in Thurso, I hacked out the overnight part, and just had Kat go find lunch to give certain someone time to arrive.

Here's the part that stayed in the book which didn't change much until the third from last paragraph:

Kat reached the station and found the schedule tacked up on a corkboard. She went to the ticket window to find out the fare.

“How much to Inverness?”

“That’d be fifteen pounds, thirty pence, lass.”

“When’s the next train?”

“Och. You just missed the morning train. Next train leaves at 19:07.”

“Oh. Well, I...What time did you say?”

“That’d be 7:07 to you. The trains run on a twenty-four-hour clock.”

“Can I buy my ticket now?”

“That you can. It’s an open ticket; you can use it whenever you want. Maybe you’ll enjoy Thurso and want to stay a few days.”

“That’d be nice, but I do have people to meet in Inverness.” Kat handed over the twenty-pound note, and the clerk counted back her change. “I’ll come back this evening.”

“There’s a good fish and chips place right down the road if you’d like a bite to eat.”

“Thanks. I’ll try it out.”
Here's the part that was cut:
“I do have people to meet in Inverness.” Kat handed over the twenty-pound note, and the clerk counted back her change. She turned away from the ticket window and took a few steps, when the clerk called out to her. “If you’re needin’ a room fer the night, you might try the Waterside. It’s decent and not too dear.”

“That’d be great. Which way?”

“Head north on Princes Street. That’s the street right out there,” he replied pointing to the street on the opposite side of the train platform. “Turn right on Sir John’s Square, then left on Sinclair. Walk quite aways, and take a right on Sir George’s Street, a quick right on Janet and keep going ‘til ya see it. Ye’ll be right by the river.”

"Um, north then Sir George—.”

“Nae, lass, right on Sir John’s, then Sinclair, then Sir George.” The station master paused, and seemed to notice the expression on Kat’s face. “Here. I’ll draw ye a map.”

Kat grinned. “That’d be perfect.”

Photos of Waterside Guest House, Thurso
This photo of Waterside Guest House
is courtesy of TripAdvisor
 She followed the map the station master had drawn. On Janet Street, she stopped in front of an old brick, two-story house. Windows on both floors faced the street, and a single door led inside. Since it looked so much like a private home, she wasn’t sure whether she should knock first or just go inside.

When she got close to the reddish door, she saw a beautiful brass doorknocker. Taking that as a need to knock before entering, she reached toward it. When she touched it, the knocker spoke. “Welcome to Waterside House. Please come in.” Kat jerked back, surprised. While talking doorknockers were the norm on Galdorheim, she didn’t expect to find one in the mundane world.

The door didn’t open on its own, so she grabbed the handle and pushed it. Stepping in, she found herself in a small lobby. To the right, an archway opened to a wallpapered, well-lit dining room. The wallpaper was a little too flowery for her taste, but it was overall a pleasant room. Turning back, she saw a dark-haired woman standing behind the small counter, wearing a dress straight out of the 19th Century MacSears catalog. Kat was certain she wasn’t there when she came in.

“Good day, may I help you?” the woman said in a sweet contralto voice.

Kat stepped to the counter. “I’d like a room for the night. I’m waiting to take the train south tomorrow. I missed today’s.”

The woman consulted a watch hung on a gold chain attached to a brooch. “Just missed it seems. I thought I heard the train pull out, but I’m so used to the sound I don’t notice.”

Pulling a big leatherbound ledger from beneath the counter, she opened it facing Kat. “If you’ll fill out the information, I’ll have the maid check your room. A single, yes?” She tapped on an old-fashioned bellhop bell, which dinged pleasantly.

“Yes. Just me.”

Kat wondered how anybody in the house could hear it, but a door behind the counter opened right away, and a young girl stepped in. She also wore a 19th Century maid’s costume, complete with a frilly white cap over her thick red hair. “Is the single ready?” the woman asked.

“Yes’m, but I’ll go check.” The girl lifted the hinged counter on one end and headed for a stairway to the left.

Meanwhile, Kat had been puzzling over the questions in the Guest Book. Where should she say she was from? Auto plate? What was that? Maybe she’d only fill in the things she knew and see if that sufficed. She wrote the date and her name. That was all she did know. The woman leaned forward to read the ledger upside down, a talent of innkeepers all over the world.

“Where do you live?” she asked.

“On an island north of here. I rode a boat down from the Shetland Islands.”

The woman nodded. “Just write Shetland Islands in the space then. No car? That’s fine. Not many people have them.”

Kat did as requested, then the woman turned the book to face her and made a notation of the check-in time. “One night will be nineteen pounds, sixty pence, including tax, of course.”

Kat unslung her bag from her shoulder and rummaged into the foldbox for another twenty-pound note. She handed it across the counter. The woman handed her a few coins in change. By that time, the maid had come back down the stairs.

“Here’s the key to your room,” the woman said, handing over an old brass key. “Tara will show you the way.”

Kat picked up her bag and followed Tara up the stairway and down a hall to the end room. “The bath is through that door,” she said, pointing out the obvious, since it was the only other door in the room. The room was already opened, so Kat walked in and laid her bag on the single bed. She turned to hand the forty pence to Tara, but she was already gone.

She wondered if the woman at the desk had chosen the decor for the house. A faux wainscot separated the top and bottom of the walls. The bottom wallpaper had vertical stripes of lavender and green wallpaper. The top was lavender with little flowers all over it. The one window looked out onto a pleasant garden.

She flopped down on the bed and bounced a couple of times. Her first hotel room! Kat felt more grown up already. She glanced up to see a black box. It took her a moment to recognize the first television she’d ever encountered. “Well, might as well get cleaned up then find someplace for dinner.” She didn’t have to go far for dinner. A Fish and Chips walkaway sat directly across the street.

* * *

Photos of Waterside Guest House, Thurso
This photo of Waterside Guest House
is courtesy of TripAdvisor
After a good night’s sleep, Kat rose early, repacked, and went down to the dining room. Her room tariff included breakfast. She intended to eat a lot to keep her going all day on the train. She sat at a table for two by the window overlooking the street. The same maid she’d met yesterday, Tara, came to her table and set down a teacup and small teapot.
“Would ye be wantin’ coffee, Miss?” she asked.

“No, tea is fine. Do I get a menu or—?”

“Nae. We serve the full breakfast. It’s what we offer.”

“Okay, but isn’t it wasteful if I don’t like something. Wouldn’t it have to be thrown out?”

“We collect the leftovers to feed to the pigs. Missus has a cousin with a farm.”

“Okay, then. Bring it on.”

Tara curtsied and left the dining room by a swinging door in the back. She soon returned with a huge tray balanced in both hands. Kat watched as Tara laid dishes on the table. Sausage formed in a square, something fried and brownish, scones, another kind of muffin, and a fruit cup.

“What’s that?” Kat asked, pointing at the brown stuff.

“Fried haggis. Will that be all?” Tara asked.

“Um, no, this looks like more than enough.” Wanting to get the flavor of the countries she visited, she thought she should try the haggis. She’d already set the sausage aside since she didn’t eat meat any longer. She stopped before biting into the haggis, remembering that they cooked it in a sheep’s stomach or something like that. Sometimes it’s better to be a vegetarian. She wished they served eggs, but found the scone delicious, especially with the thick jam that came with it.

* * *

Now, wouldn't that have been good scene to keep in the book? Thinking back on it, I wish I'd kept it in. There's so much I learned about Scotland making me want to visit even more. This little B&B is exactly where I'd like to stay when I make that trip.

SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim

A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Marva Dasef:
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Scotch Broom Trailer:

Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble. Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.

While dodging the goddess’ minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat's brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger too. Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.

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