Learning to be Scottish in American-English

The last couple of days, I’ve been working on pesky wee details about the book. Like whether it’s in British-English or American-English. At the moment it’s mid-Atlantic. Half and half. I live considerably to the left of the Atlantic and write for a slew of US outlets, so writing in US English makes sense. But I was brought up just a few miles from that ocean’s eastern hem and each time I drop a “u” or switch an “s” for a “zed”, I have a flashback to Mrs Higgins’ fifth year English class and flinch slightly as I type in each traitorous character. So I am still undecided on this one. Maybe I’ll track down Mrs H and ask for her permission.

I did decide, finally, how many chapters the book has. And what they’re called. I changed it up, chopped up a couple, crossed out some that made me look even more like an idiot than some of the other and put a different intro in. And I think I like it. Seems sensible to start a book called “The Scottish Ambassador” with a chapter that talks about snail racing, heifer dung and what provoked the book’s title .

In case you care, here’s the new line-up and where each chapter is set.


  1. The Scottish Ambassador, Portland, Oregon
  2. Additional Badgers, Salem and Oregon City, Oregon
  3. Cloaked in Time, Gresham and Portland, Oregon
  4. The Scottish Way, Chicago, Illinois
  5. Hark, the Pies are Calling, Memphis, Tennessee
  6. Hellhole of the Pacific, Aberdeen, Washington
  7. Far Off in Sunlit Places, Honolulu and Kailua, Hawaii
  8. Banquet of Consequences, Davie, Treasure Island and Dunedin, Florida
  9. Gaelic Without Groans, Fort Worth, Texas
  10. First Dogs, Savannah and Warm Springs, Georgia
  11. Land of my High Endeavor, Las Vegas, Nevada
  12. Tilted Kilts, Apache Junction and Tempe, Arizona
  13. Bloody Brigadoon, New York, New York
  14. Wrestling Nessie, Williamsburg and Scotland, Virginia
  15. Land of my Heart Forever, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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