Thursday, August 04, 2016

Time-Out Thursday: Finding Beauty Elsewhere

PHS Columnist and Harlequin Historical author Nicole Locke admits - This is the stuff I do when I really should be writing.
As most of you know, I like to be out and about. If I can get some writing in, all the better. That usually means heading to the museums.
The museums in London are a second home to me. Most especially on my latest book, I’ve been hanging out at the British Museum.
The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things.
-- GK Chesterton

For some reason these quotes resonate with me, and especially when I’m at the British Museum. When I visit, I see thousands of people walk into the Great Court. There are endless possibilities here. Turn right, left? Go straight up or down?

If you’re a tourist, you’ll probably head left. Everyone heads left. That’s where the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Frieze are. Only once have I pressed my nose against the Rosetta Stone’s glass case, and I only did it because I had my daughter in hand. Otherwise, I skip it. Oh, I’m not saying it’s not amazing. I’m also not saying people shouldn’t see what they came to see. Goodness knows I’ve done plenty of visits this way. But for me, and if I can, I like to find amazing somewhere else.

I like to find beautiful things randomly. So I enter a room (any room) and go to a case that no one’s looking at. Then I really look.

Now that’s the key. Because for me, I won’t instantly find beauty in the ‘Petrified tooth of a sea animal’. Except because I really looked, I read a poignant story that I found incredibly moving.  In one tiny sentence the museum informs me, the visitor, that there was an opportunity lost. On that little description placard, regret is imbedded. Regret and opportunities lost…oh, there’s lots of beauty there.

Or how about the case holding trade cards? Alright, they ended up being trade cards for milk chocolate, but I didn’t know that when I approached the case, now did I?

Maybe Life doesn't exist solely for the love of beautiful things, or maybe it does. Family, friendships, a sunrise are certainly beautiful and they are definitely random. All I know is I'm always happy to go a different way, and pick a different room. I love to find beauty and amazing elsewhere, and I hope to do it for the rest of my life.

Nicole's third book in the Lovers and Legends series, The Highland Laird's Bride, is celebrating with an Amazon Giveaway!
He wants to amend the past. She wants to kill him.
Lioslath of Clan Fergusson has defended her clan and her orphaned siblings against countless enemies. So when Laird Colquhoun, the man responsible for the death of her father, arrives at the gates of her crumbling keep, she'll fight him all the way!

It's soon clear Bram's famed tactics of seduction and negotiation won't work on this guarded, beautiful woman. But when the sparks between them turn to passion, and they're forced to wed, Bram must do whatever it takes to win over his new bride...

To find out more about Nicole Locke, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.


  1. It's the stories attached to artefacts that attract me too, Nicole. That tiny gem, typed on stiff card, hidden far from the most popular exhibits that gets those creative juices flowing. Enjoy your days at the museum. : )

    1. It sounds like you found a few gems on your travels? For me, I even love the typeset/old paper placard itself. I can't help but imagine the person who painstakingly typed it and what their lives were like...