Writing Retreat in Hopetoun

Hello, readers. I’m overdue for an update. I have been shuttered away working on The Falconer 3, and trying to sort through personal matters.

First thing out of the way: last week, I disabled my Twitter account.


Will it be forever? Probably not. But for now. For the immediate future. Likely until the end of the month, and — depending on how it goes — maybe past that.

It wasn’t any one particular person or group of people that prompted this decision, but rather a need to get work finished with minimal distraction. You can find me these days on Instagram @_elizabethmay where I update almost daily, primarily with pretty photos around Scotland like this:



So to begin my brief internet “detox”, I spent the week in beautiful Hopetoun, right outside of Edinburgh. It’s famous for Hopetoun House, where the Marquis of Linlithgow resides with his family.


I find that winter is always the best time for retreats because the weather is less than inviting. Despite all the years I’ve lived in Scotland, I’ve never been able to acclimate well to the cold, no matter how many layers I wear. It doesn’t help that the weather has a habit of changing every five minutes — but still, I suppose that part of me remains stubbornly Californian.


This week, the weather obliged my creative spirit by changing every day. So there was sun interspersed with rain, followed by heavy snowfall, and — of course — Edinburgh’s well-known gale force winds. All of this guaranteed that my time outside would be limited to just a few hours, which suited my writing schedule quite well indeed.





I spent the week at a lovely B&B, writing and wandering the fields and forests between South Queensferry and Blackness. I stumbled upon ruins and wee bridges and the most beautiful, twisting, vine-covered trees. It feels like it’s so deep in the country — until a view of the Forth Road Bridge reminds you just how close to the city you are.





The B&B itself was at the edge of a deer park, and every evening these lovely, shy animals would come to graze in the fields. They were a beautiful sight, gathered together like this.


It was a lovely, serene week surrounding myself with beauty, productivity, and activities that I enjoy.

And that’s where I am right now. Thanks for sticking with me, readers. <3