RT~Girl Power, Hunks, Haggis & the Highlands

RT 2013 was an exceptional experience for my husband and me. Vince and I did an interactive workshop on how to write realistic fight scenes for your female characters. I hope we get a chance to do it again next year and get more people from the audience to try some of the techniques. It’s always easier to describe something when you’ve done, felt, seen or in some other way experienced it. No one wants to experience an attack, so this offers a safe and entertaining environment to see how it may play out for your heroines. DSCN3171DSCN3173DSCN3181

I loved it. Vince loved it. I think the audience loved it.   DSCN3195

Vince also had the opportunity to present on Cathy Maxwell’s panel: Hunks, Haggis & the Highlands, with Susanne Saville, Kimberly Killion, and Jody Allen (Scottish History Scholar). Last year we took our Scottish food business, MACSKIS HIGHLAND FOODS, national. Our flagship food is HAGGIS. Vince and Jody attended Cathy Maxwell’s session on the Highlands at RT 2012 and piped in when some of what was presented about haggis wasn’t accurate. Far from taking offense, Cathy asked them both to join her in 2013. The presentation rocked, not only because all the presenters were wonderful, but because Cathy Maxwell is so darned funny! And, Yes, there was Haggis to Taste! AWESOME….

DSCN3252 DSCN3296   I got the chance to meet and get to know Cathy Maxwell, which pretty much made the conference for me; that and tossing my husband around 🙂  I also got some quality time with Mia Marlow, Bobbie Smith and Heather Graham. One of the highlights for me was meeting fellow Authors of Main Street author, Jill James, in person. How wonderful of her to come to our workshop!

The last year or so has been one of jumping in the deep end for my husband and for me. I’m writing full time, attending as many Highland events across the country as I can while we develop more food and gear for MACSKIS and market it to high-end restaurants, grocery stores and venders at Scottish events. I’m also working with historical researcher, Jody Allen to organize a national conference for writers of Scottish and other Celtic historical romance.

Sometimes jumping in is the way to make things happen. Yes it’s scary…believe me, we live that. It’s helpful when you jump in together. I am thankful for my best friend, the man who lets me take him to the ground in front of a group of mostly women shouting, “Kill him again.” And he does it with a smile and sense of humor that never fails to crack me up. He didn’t balk when I said I needed to see how the lambs where treated before we took our haggis nationwide. He flew me to Colorado to tour the meat processing facility. Not only did this vegetarian go, I saw the animals. (No antibiotics, No growth hormones, These animals weren’t scared or jammed into tiny spaces, they were treated ethically.) He also helped develop a vegetarian version and a gluten free version of haggis. Many die-hard haggis makers wouldn’t even consider that.

The best thing about going to RT or any of the conferences within the writing community is the people you meet. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some fantastic people. The thing that makes this wonderful ride so filled with joy is that I’m on it with Vince. Thanks to best-friends everywhere. You make our worlds, which as writers can be filled with solitude, complete.

DSCN3138   Thanks to everyone who came to our presentations! We had so much fun participating! If anyone would like to get a group together for next RT, I’m all over that :). It would be wonderful getting to know you.

Here’s to jumping in with both feet no matter what you decide to jump into,



13 thoughts on “RT~Girl Power, Hunks, Haggis & the Highlands

    • Our lives over the year sure have felt like an adventure ~ whirlwind and a little crazy, but still an adventure. Neither of us saw this path we’re on coming. Most of it has been, some of it frightening, but then that’s been true for many in this economy, all of it has been worth the trip so far.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed GIRL POWER. I’m so hoping we get a chance to do it again. It may be fun to do one with weapons too, that way everyone could see and feel them. 🙂


      • I should have typed,”most of it has been great…exciting…fun…” So nice meeting you. Hope we get to see each other again soon.


  1. Hi Leigh, I had the opportunity to watch my granddaughter (9y) compete for her black belt and pass, so I can imagine how wonderful your workshop must have been. Too bad I wasn’t at RT.


    • Thanks, Mona! Congratulations on your granddaughter achieving her rank. That takes dedication and commitment. I hope I get a chance to do it next year, maybe I can meet you then. If not, I travel….:)

      Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.


  2. Wish I could have been there. Isn’t Cathy great? She’s such a sweetie! She lives not far from me so I see her on and off. Vegetarian haggis? That’s got me quite curious. Must try it.


    • I replied to you under Carol’s entry…how’s that for getting so worked up over haggis and self-defense scenes ;). I’m such a ditz sometimes. I loved meeting Cathy and I think I’ve found a new friend. I know my husband has :). Can’t wait for the veg to go into production so we can distribute nationwide!


    • As soon as we have the veg in production, I’ll let you know, E. I’m a vegetarian and I love it. The meat eaters at St. Andrews say it is so similar, they don’t mind eating it when the traditional haggis runs out. It looks the same. Right now we’re supplying it until we can have our usda plant make it…finding the suppliers for the three kinds of beans we need and the mushrooms is proving a challenge, hence the wait. The pasties, links and bulk haggis ship across the country now so they’re available 🙂 And, YES, Cathy is wonderful. I’ve found a new friend 🙂


    • Thanks, Carol! I hope I get a chance to do one for you! Hopefully next year at RT. Finger’s crossed. I seem to have replied to E. under your entry as well. 🙂


  3. Leigh, I’m coming to this late, but I really wish I’d been there for your workshop. I’m glad you and Vince had such a great time! Not only that, it’s leading to other opportunities, which is awesome!


    • Thanks, Edie! Every opportunity is one well taken! Hope I don’t miss any as they grow 🙂 Looking forward to this next year. Glad my weapons test is over too! Nice to have both 5th Dans out of the way.


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