Last Monday, Ann blogged about the help she received from her critique group. I thought I would do the same. Just yesterday an email arrived from one of my critique partners who is traveling in Europe. When I learned Brian was flying into Edinburgh Air Port, I asked him to take notes of the country side because I have the ladies in my upcoming novel, Harbor Hills Road, deplane at that airport. Imagine my surprise and gratitude when I read the following note from Brian See.
It was a great sensation walking down the steps exiting the KLM flight from Amsterdam. The Edinburgh air was musty and chilled with the moisture left after the morning fog had lifted. My feet hit the tarmac at the bottom of the stairs and the race with other departed passengers was on. Who would get to the customs gate first? I felt good about my prospects having been one of the first people off the plane.
“UK residents to the right, all others to the left,” the agent kept repeating with, “Have your entry form ready with passport,” interjected every third or fourth time.
“What form is that?” I ask.
He rips a three-by-four slip off a pad and hands me a skinny three-inch blue pen and points behind me to a small counter while continuing his rote cadence. Shit. I haul myself along with light luggage which no longer felt light or like luggage—more like an anchor now. I realize my bladder is beginning to exert some pressure. Just what I need, right? I fill out the form and turn around to find myself at the end of a long line. So much for first through the gate. It appears the UK residents get priority service. Soon I’ll be doing the tight bladder shuffle. On the other side of the passport agents, I see the familiar man and woman symbols we are universally accustomed to.
Finally, the UK natives are through and all agents are waving my line forward. I hand the lady my slip, answer a few pointless questions, ask about currency exchange and head for the WC. Now the only pressure is to get to the station and catch a train for Glasgow. I’m getting quite weary having not slept yet. I trade currency at the exchange and grab my luggage. Out on the sidewalk there is a ticket booth for the busses. I buy a ticket to the Edinburgh central station and hop on the waiting bus. The streets are busy like any city. For the most part, buildings are devoid of bright colors or large plate glass windows. Stone and brick are the main themes. There is a tower, very gothic, Medieval and tall. The stone is so dark it appears black and foreboding. It could be right out of a Hollywood movie. I wish I had time to go and see it up close. The famous Edinburgh Castle is perched above the city not far from the train station. It’s been forty-five years since I was last here.
The Scots are friendly, smile quite a bit and have a penchant for joking. The invasion of people from other cultures is sharp in contrast. They scowl and are curt in conversation almost angry.
I hop a train for Glasgow.
Most of Brian’s words will find their way into the scene I need. Thank you, Critique Partner.