Arm Chair Traveller…

My new desk
Arm Chair Traveller

So who says you can’t arm-chair travel on a Sunday. I was on my Facebook account and noticed a posting and picture for Cullins fae Camas Malag – Isle of Skye by Caledoniadreamn. So had to check it out. I haven’t explored the whole of Skye and wish I had while I lived in Scotland. So I noodled around Google and found some information about this part the island. I found more ruins, standing stones, old castles, lochs and greenery. I love the Internet for the fact that I can visit places and add to my bucket list.

Loch Slapin and Bla Bheinn
Loch Slapin and Bla Bheinn

Skye is not that big compared to some islands nor is it small. It packs a pretty good punch of history into its length and breath. Sometimes its funny when I am mapping out a story and I come up with these ideas and then one day, surfing, I actually find a place that fits most of the description in my mind’s eye. It’s scary. As if I have been there before and I am now just recalling the place as I put ideas on paper. When I hit on a name, thinking entirely its made up, and then find out it’s factual, I wonder if I’m not tapped into something.

Rubh an Dunain. near Glen Brittle

Oh well, I’m just surfing today and enjoying a lazy Sunday…and thinking…how about you?

Poem: Call me, call me home Caledonia

Kilchurn Castle
Kilchurn Castle, @VisitScotland

Call me, call me home Caledonia

Call me, call me home
Back to the green blankets
That marks your glens
And shoulders your Lochs
The landscape that arouses my spirit
Now and for eternity
And remains in my mind

Runrig - Malcolm Jones
Runrig – Malcolm Jones

Sing me a lullaby
A sweet Gaelic song
‘Aig Cridhe ar Ciúil’
The music of your heart
To sooth my restless soul
And quiet the ache of my
Longing spirit

Break in the Cloud
Break in the Cloud






Love me as no other
Embrace me in your
Braw arms
Kiss me
Press a cup of your sweet
Water to my parched lips
And quench this wanting
Cradle me against your breast
Quiet my fears

Clashnessie Waterfall in Autumn
Clashnessie Waterfall in Autumn



Call me, call me home
Back to your forest greens
Moors of russet bracken
Bright yellow gorse
And purple heather
Let me smell the perfume
Of fresh tilled ground
The musk of mother Earth

Assynt 15th December 2011
Assynt 15th December 2011

Let me hear the whispers
Of the meadows
Where the wind talks
And spirits seem to play
Let me feel the pulse of your heart
©Scottish Poems I

Well, I’m compiling my next book of poetry to be published by Christmas. I thought I’d give you a few snippets over the next couple of weeks. Enjoy

New Presentation in development

A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses:  A Symposium on Ancient Greece
A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses:
A Symposium on Ancient Greece

The laws of the heart are fickle. Why we love one place over another is  wholly individualistic. What tugs at one heart, doesn’t another. Perhaps this lends credit to the thought that there is no perfection in the world.  Perhaps we need to see past the labels, look beyond the obvious and accept places for what they are. Look for how it changes you, how it awakens your
spirit and sets it free.

We are all reluctant to face new challenges for fear of the unknown and other nuances only our self can explain. “We balk at the threshold of adventure (Vogler).” We fear the potential of influence that landscapes could have on our journey through life. We are afraid of the connections that they might create. And yet as a writer, I find my greatest muse in its diversity of textures, illumination and voice. I find myself through travel
as I find connections with other cultures and traversing the landscape.

We are souls living in a dynamic world; a soul in transformation just as the tourist landscape. The concept of a hero’s journey as ascribed by Joseph Campbell and adapted for us in the Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, can be applicable to the traveler’s life. This presentation will examine how ancient Greece influenced the concept of the journey through the textures of landscape, illumination of culture and voices of its ancient literature.
This dynamic development sets the stage for the development of modern tourism.

I will be presenting The Tourism Journey and the Search for the Authentic at our A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses: A Symposium on Ancient Greece.  The Exhibit runs from October 7th-November 7th.  Looking forward to this.  My kids will attend during their class period for credit.  This should be fun.

Poem: And I felt…

Pan of Stonehaven
Sunset over Stonehaven, Scotland

And I felt...
And in the pale light of morning, I outstretched my arms
There was more than a whispered thought of life
There was a rumbling in the ache that had made me weep
For the weeks that held me prisoner
As if my voice had been stilled, my breath captive
And as the heat of the day took hold, seeping
Under my very skin, touching my soul
I dropped all defenses and screamed
Letting my spirit peel off into the ethereal realm
Laughing, laughing, laughing
I was free

©A Moment, A Breath, A Beat in Time, Betsy A. Pudliner, 2011

Reflection: Can this day be better…

Sense of time and space
Sense of time and space

So yesterday was ‘one of those’ days. It’s gone; it’s dusted; it’s binned. Hopefully, today is better.

I’m in the midst of grading career plans and trying to think of new ways to ‘push’ my students into thinking about their careers in hospitality and tourism.  The constant question that I ask and receive blanks stares, or nods of heads is “What do I do now?”  Eager minds are more than counting down the days until they are free of this cage.  Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t just a game of “Life”

Game of Life

Well in today’s economic hard times, knowing what you want to do and mapping it out is preferable than walking into a interview with that same blank stare.  I wish they would do more reflection in their assignments but half the time, they just want to get it done.  Then they blame me for not following directions and their lackluster grades.  I suggest journaling, reflective journaling.

Granted, Moon (2006) stipulates that the conditions have to be stimulating enough (maybe I’m too boring) or they have to be motivated (God, knows I try).  Still this type of writing has its benefits.  I talk from personal experience.  Yet, I too, have run into that mother of all dry spells with my own journaling and reflection.  The middle of no where sucks the life from these veins and creativity from my gray matter.  How can I expect students to want to do it if I feel their ‘pain’.

I wish I was a better doodler.  I think I could convey my mishmash of clouded mind in the one big picture; one big sheet of just gray noise.  That is how I feel.  Even the magazines, their pictures and words do not jump out at me like they normally do.  So I’m stuck in the mundane, not even treading water at the moment because the mud is keeping me pinned.  How do you get out of the rut in the middle of no where?

Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle #13
Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle #13

I need to hit the road…need some adventure.  Need to slip into the extra ordinary.  I need to pack the ole car and fill up the tank.  I had an inkling to drive out west until reality set in and common sense over ruled that idea (economics, people!).  But again, there is more than one way to escape.  I just need to find that perfect place, that right condition in which to generate the spark.

I’m thinking…I’m thinking….

Poem: Home

Sun on the grass
Sun on the grass

I gave you a quote earlier from a poem I wrote back in 1987.  Thought I post the whole thing.  This is copyrighted, published in 1993.

These emerald walls that tower above
And kiss an azure sky
I remember
They are my home

On the ferry
One the ferry to Isle of Lewis

Now I am just a passer-by
With conflicting emotions of continued
In torment do I always linger and delay
In leaving
My most favored hills

Conemaugh Gap, Johnstown, PA
Conemaugh Gap, Johnstown, PA

Under the lush canopies
That crowns my beloved path
I find my way home
To the places of my present
And my past

Glencoe Pass Pan
Pan of Glencoe Pass, Highlands of Scotland
Air Travel, Pittsburgh, PA
Flying home to Pennsylvania

Just as I have found my way
I leave my soul behind
Forever to haunt and play
Knowing that already my heart
Is buried deep beneath this clay

Sligachan Glen
Sligachan Glen, Isle of Skye

Whichever path I find
That may lead me back this way
To the home that will and always be
The one in which I wish to stay

©Home, 1993

Our Social Fabric…

I love the Budweiser’s commercials and especially, when in my Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism, we start our module on Food and Beverage Management.  Now I have other disciplines in my class, notably this semester consumer affairs and merchandising, even two students from psychology and one from journalism.  I try to draw parallels and inter-relationships between the historical development of beverage management (okay, brewing) with marketing, shifts in social thoughts and patterns and the development of new technology.  These areas are all vital because the needs and wants of society were changing.  Brewing was part of our social fabric and still is.  The local tavern or pub, even restaurant is at the heart of community.  Maybe not as much as in Europe and other countries, but it still remains a strong social center.  These symbolic representations also promote our own mythology (factual and fictional–just think Santa Claus with Cocoa Cola).

So I thought I’d share one of my favorite ads, one of many that I will use to discuss sales, marketing and hospitality within several of my classes.