Wednesday, January 31, 2007

West Helly-Aa and more...

We had some fun down on the beach last night. More on that below.

During the day I worked some more on plotting/character for When the Heart Believes. There are niggling little things I'm having trouble resolving, so I spent a lot of time free-writing about characters, plot ideas etc. Especially the beginning. I've had two beginnings now and scrapped them both. I THINK I might have one now that will work, though there are still some plot points that need to be finalized. And I have to hope I'm not stretching the bounds of believability with the circumstances leading up to the opening. Rene made a good point about Beginnings the other day, so I had that in mind yesterday as I worked.

Yesterday evening, however, Sean and I went down to the beach to take part in the third annual West Helly-Aa - a variation on the Shetland tradition of Up Helly-Aa
- a rite during which the old year is sent packing and the light is welcomed by burning a replica Viking longship.

Here's the boat, before the ceremony started:

Sean and me with the boat - not the most attractive photo of us, but y'all can see our costumes. I'm technically out of period, but considering the temp down on the beach was about 5º C, I figured velvet was warmer than linen and sacrificed authenticity for warmth *g*:

Circle of lit torches - I took this from down on the beach:

The procession of torches:

ends at the boat:

where it's lit on fire:

We left reasonably early on as Sean had to get back here to go to bed for his early shift. Still, it was great fun and we look forward to participating again next year :-)


Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
Also Currently Reading: The Adventurous Bride by Miranda Jarrett
Link of the Day: Interview with Claire Delacroix/Claire Cross


Melissa Marsh said...

That looks like so much fun! Hope you got all your plot problems resolved. It's those little niggling doubts that sometimes will turn into huge problems later on if we don't resolve them now!

Margaret Evans Porter said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time. Keeping traditions is a great connection to the past!

Kelly said...

Great pictures, Tess! And good luck with the beginning. Hope you nail it.