80 Post Challenge – Post 23

Describe the longest amount of time you have ever been away from home.

Depends on which home. I have danced around a lot since leaving my mum’s and coming to Leicester. In fact if I could going back and forth in the first year of uni, then it would be a semester at a time that I was away from home an that is AGES! But I’m not going to count that, because its weak. O.o Instead I’ll counting my mapping project that I did while at uni. It makes the most sense because it was between my second and third year, so we weren’t moving out of the house we had found; it was much easier just to stay put.

You may know that I did geology when I was at uni. It was fantastic and took me to all sorts of places that I never would have thought to visit otherwise. Picturesque spots in Wales and Scotland and even in England were the geological features of the UK are most visible. I’ll tell you what as well, the UK is amazing for it! Almost every major geological period is represented here and you can see all of them if you know where to look. I remember a point when I put my hand on a rock from the precambrian and I could all but feel the age of that piece of granite. I felt very small and young.

Anyway, my mapping project was in two parts. The first part was after the first year and sent me to the Isle of Skye for two weeks. A bunch of us went, realising that we could reduce costs and also have a bit of fun if we selected areas on Skye that were different, but close enough that we could share accommodation. We booked up this lovely little cottage between the four of us, drove down in Chris’s car (I still have no idea how the hell we managed to fit it all!) and spent the fortnight going over a small portion of the mapping area in preparation for the following year.

Heh, that trip was a lot of walking up and down hills, running from sheep and getting scared half to death by grouse as they suddenly shot up from the long grass not two feet from where you last stepped. We had a couple of days off in town, got well acquainted with the local pub and even found some other students from our year group who were doing a study further north on the island. All in all it was incredibly pleasant.

The next year we did it again. But this time we did it for six weeks and took another friend with us. We rented a bigger house nearer to the mapping area, meaning that I could just walk out of the place and begin. With the base of what I began the year before I was able to keep painting a pretty comprehensive picture of the rock types of the area and get my map and my notebook filled up enough so that I could come home and write the report.

I’ll always remember the trip because of how long it was. It was about the time that I was really starting to get into working on The Ice Wolf Tavern, though it was called Ileandra Dark Huntress at the time. It was still on MSN before they closed their group feature and was very, very busy. I had plenty of threads to play in and lots of other background stuff to organise to ensure that there was plenty of world content. But at this place, we had no internet! Okay… that is why I remember it so well. It was agony; no internet and I didn’t have a computer either so all of my writing I was doing by hand (I hate writing by hand!).

It reached a point where I had reams and reams of paper and just no idea what to do with it (six weeks is a long time in a place with sparse entertainment, particularly if you’re me and refuse to watch TV). So I think I convinced Dave or Chris to let me borrow his computer so at least I could type a little bit of it. I was writing Gaea at the time so my head was filled with daemons, elves and vampires. Quite a mix when my head was also rammed with dip and strike measurements, angles and various igneous rock types.

It was a fantastic trip, despite all that. One I’d do again in a heartbeat. Probably not so much for the mapping, but because Skye is really beautiful and I enjoyed the clean air, the friendly people and all the walking. Seriously… by the time I was done, I really did have buns of steel!





My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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