Friday, February 22, 2008

Where Does the Time Go ?

     I've spent the better part of  two years working on detailed researching, cataloguing, writing about and gathering photos of England's castles. I am halfway finished with England and then I have North and South Wales to work on after that to make my web site complete before my book comes out. Once I saw how large the project really was, I still felt up to the task and haven't lost any energy for it but this project has outrun my financial fortitude and I am wondering if I'll be able to continue at the speed I've been going.
     I put a lot of detail in my blog which will eventually be transferred onto my official site for the readers of my books to find out more information both historically and for additional particulars. I plan on making the most comprehensive data base on the web for castle information, photos and pertinent particulars for travelers and enthusiasts.
     In charting my daily work, I have done basic research for eight countries but the real work is beyond basic research and into the realm of hunting and tracking down locations, photos or images and finding out the histories. Without the history some of the mystique of the various castles are lost. Some are enigmatic enough without it but we trace many of the origins of modern architecture by knowing what stories contribute to the current look of castles, manor homes and renaissance castles. When I covered Belvoir just a few months ago is a prime example.
     During the latter part of last year I started to get a lot of queries at my castlelady live space blog about the nomenclature concerning medieval castles and determined that it is time for me to write an entry on the terms about the castles which I admit can be confusing at times. Many of the words are medieval so it's no wonder that people become a little perplexed. A moat is not a motte, and a motte is not moat even if they do sound alike. If you are sincerely interested in castles then it is essential that you start reading some good books on castles of the coffee table variety. I can recommend some really good ones and I have a few on my castlelady live space blog under the book list. My books are intended to help the people who have already done their homework and they want to get out there and experience the actual castles for themselves !
     With my current financial status I'm going to have to make some changes real soon involving making serious money. I plan on having an auction again on my castlelady live space blog but in the interim it's just too pressing a matter to keep hinging any real chance of income on this source. Besides that, the auction - especially for The Castle Lady collage- was meant to be for fun. I never intended for it to be a serious money maker but it's a great promotion. That was my feeling when I first started it.
     What you can expect to see this year is a wonderful section on the official site for England which may only get put up halfway but it will be a great start. You will get a chance to see me complete all my research for  England- God willing and the crick doesn't rise ! - on the castlelady live space blog and maybe you will even be the lucky and prosperous owner of a totally unique Castlelady framed photo collage which all your friends and family will "ooh and aah" at for many years to come. I'm hoping you will also have the privilege of being a proud owner of the first book in my Castle Lover's Guides series - The Castle Lover's Guide to England and Wales. If you see me waving at you from your TV screen on PBS, the Travel Channel, Discovery or similar it will be because I finally found the right agent !
The Castle Lady says Mwwaah ! 

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why We Shouldn't Worry About Another 9/11

     Just recently I had a conversation with several travel agencies and found out something I have apparently been oblivious to since my wonderful castles tour I took in September 2001. They seem to think that the industry dried up because of 9/11 but I flew roundtrip to the same airport ( Dulles ) the next year in 2002 on my first foray to Washington, D.C. (This was one of the airports the fatal planes were flown from on 9/11. I flew through Dulles Airport on my trip to Paris for the start of my grand castles tour and flew back through it on my way back home after a week delay. )  I flew again in 2004 to Nashville ( with a brief layover in Chicago on the flight out ) and back with no incidents and I flew three times roundtrip in 2005 through Indianapolis twice and to Albuquerque, N.M. These were all without incidents or delays and there was heavy traffic with each and every flight.
     I suppose my point is that since I got caught right in the middle of all the delays, the worries and sadness of the horrible incident that I would be the most likely candidate to stop traveling altogether and never set foot on a plane again. I never have been much for fear but I am a common sense person to the "nth" degree. Obviously none of it has put a damper on my spirit for adventure and travel. I don't know how the average traveler feels but I've had a lot of company on all my travel since and no one has seemed especially tense through any of it including the travel professionals (i.e. Stewardesses, reservationists, baggage handlers, pilots etc. ) 
     People tend to forget that the real milestone in terrorism on our shores started with the killings in Atlanta in 1996 during the Olympic Games. Someone was falsely accused of the murders and the whole thing was not only tragic but also embarrassing. It was embarrassing especially ( I should think !) to the people who almost bungled the investigation. We want to know that these type of terrorist attacks can be arrested before they even happen. That's only in the movies, sorry!
     The only reassurance I can give to my fellow Americans is this- if you shorten and limit your experiences based on the fear of what might happen you're letting terrorists win a victory before they've ever taken a look at your face. It's important to know what fears are valid and which ones are irrational because these are our instincts as intelligent human beings. It's up to us to decide what those are but don't let farfetched possibilities take a foothold in how you make decisions about your life. Keep the faith. Carry on. Show our true enemies that terror is not in our vocabulary anymore.
Blessed kisses from The Castle Lady !
Everything is always impossible before it works.
That is what entrepreneurs are all about-
doing what people have told them is impossible.
- Hunt Greene