Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Scotland the Brave

Today I got two small booklets in the mail from James McBain, the chief of the clan and the McBain of MacBean. In case anyone missed it, my maiden name is MacBain, and I'm going to Scotland this spring. I had written the clan headquarters for directions to the MacBain memorial park outside Inverness, and they referred me to the chief. He sent cordial emails and said he would send me a booklet he'd written on the story of the clan from prehistory until the present. I can't wait to dig into it. He also sent me a booklet by his father, titled An American Scottish Chief. His father, Hughston (being a Texan I misspelled it as Houston) was Chief of the Clan when I was growing up in Chicago, and he used to talk on the phone to my dad about how they were related. I have a file of correspondence between the two after Dad retired to North Carolina. From a brief glimpse at that booklet, I see that the clan was without a chief and without land for about 200 years, not recognized among the clans of the Highlands. I gather Hughston brought it back to life, so I'm most excited to read these two books.
Spent some of the afternoon hyperlinking the short stories in Sue Ellen Learns to Dance back to the Contents page for the Smashwords edition--something they require for their "premium" catalog. It took me a bit to go back and figure out how to do that, although I'd already mastered linking the chapters to the content page. But it makes me proud when I can do it, so I'm gloating a bit tonight. We'll see if they accept it. I spend a lot of time revising my electronic books.  But in some ways Smashwords offers a much better product than Kindle. Just now I got word from Smashwords that the short story I've posted, free, The Art of Candle Dipping, has too many consecutive paragraph returns. Scarlet-like, I'm going to worry about that another day.
Tonight Betty and I had tapas at Sapristi, one of our favorite restaurants, and then I blew it--ordered chocolate mousse which I can rarely resist. Betty just watched me eat it, the wretch. Tapas were good--smoked salmon on toast, a skewer of chicken and mushrooms, Spanish torta (an egg and potato baked thing), dates baked in bacon, and endive filled with blue cheese, diced apple, and walnuts. A really good and healthy dinner if I hadn't had the mousse. But everyone's entitled to a splurge.

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