Lighthouse Letters

By Sharma Krauskopf

Eshaness Lighthouse in the north-west corner of Shetland at Sunset.

This is the index page for a series of articles Written by Sharma Krauskopf and originally published in the former "Scottish Radiance" e-magazine, by kind permission.

Best selling author Sharma Krauskopf was born in Iowa, USA and graduated from Purdue University with a BSc in English and Psychology followed by Master Degree work in Psychology at Ohio State University. She has been self-employed for 30 years as President of Innovative Consulting Service, a Michigan based corporation, which does educational seminars for agencies serving low income and disadvantaged populations, public speaking, and publishing. The company conducts educational workshops and has five video training programs used throughout the United States featuring Sharma. The company is still active and it is still in business after 30 years. Sharma still does some consulting but mostly it is writing books, for magazines and for internet sites.

She was also Webmaster and editor of Scottish Radiance specialising in all things Scottish and wrote numerous books on Scottish and Irish lighthouses plus a best-selling children’s book and a book about Waterford Crystal. In 1999 she succeed - after a number of earlier disappointments - in buying Eshaness Lighthouse in the far north-west of Scotland. She used the location in winter as a writing retreat for work on her Web site and her books. Her husband Dean is an agricultural consultant for Michigan State University and broadcasts a weekly gardening show for WJR, Detroit. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. There is more on Sharma at her Personal Web Site. The graphic here is of Sharma at Eshaness Lighthouse.

Sharma reluctantly closed Scottish Radiance so that she could focus on a big screen movie. She wrote the screenplay and is now executive producer for "Keepers", a drama about an assistant lighthouse keeper who struggles for survival on a rugged island when automation's fury annihilates his job and home and destroys his boss.

NOTE - the index below is a "work-in-progress" and further pages will be added soon - so make sure you bookmark this page and check back for more articles from Sharma.

  • Over the Sea Travel by ferry from Uig on Skye by way of Tarbert and Stornoway, hoping to be able to buy the lighthouse cottage at the Butt of Lewis.
  • Where Eagles Fly Bus journey from Tarbert in Harris to Stornoway in Lewis, shadowed by an eagle.
  • A Birthday at Edinbane A flying visit to Butt of Lewis lighthouse and a magical birthday party on Skye
  • A Celtic Soul Wants to Go to Scotland A Celtic Soul is someone who loves Scotland but may not live or have ever been there.
  • Goodbye to Orbost The sale of Orbost farm brings back memories of great times spent there.
  • Hogmanay Rose Learning to experience the small treasures which come your way
  • The Trip of the Two Ladies Two very different ladies making a train ride unforgettable.
  • Mystery Airplane Trans-Atlantic Air Travel
  • Capercaillie Rarely seen in Scotland now, despite the male being the size of a turkey.
  • The Distillery Gardener Not just a gardener but a photographer, guide and raconteur...
  • Predators Coping with human and animal predators
  • Why Lighthouses? Why lighthouses are so attractive to so many folk.
  • Coffee and Shortbread at Turnberry And a visit to the local lighthouse - of course.
  • A Small Gigantic Country Writing a guide book on Scotland Sharma had to take an in-depth course on what the country had to offer!
  • The Shetland Ponies The delight of seeing wild Shetland Ponies in their own environment.
  • Snow Comes to Speyside Blizzards, ice, sleet and more snow and fog on a journey disrupt travel arrangements.
  • Dreams Do Come True After five years of trying to find a lighthouse keeper's cottage in various locations in Scotland, Sharm and her husband are successful at last and buy the accommodation at Eshaness in Shetland.
  • The Window The many different views to be seen from the window at the cottage at Eshaness Lighthouse, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Tall Ships In 1999 a fleet of over 100 tall sailing ships called at ports in Scotland including Greenock on the Firth of Clyde and at Shetland. Because of other commitments, Sharma missed the magnificent sight of those ships (but the article still has graphics of a number of these magnificent vessels).
  • Murder and Mayhem in Edinburgh Detective novels based in Edinbrgh by Ian Rankin and Quintin Jardine.
  • The Caretaker Dedicated to a wonderful man whom Sharma came to treasure in a special way.
  • Roaming in the Gloaming - "Gloaming" is definitely a Scottish term, which the dictionary defines as evening, dusk, twilight.
  • Storms at the Lighthouse Perched on a cliff on an island to the north of mainland Scotland, Eshaness is subjected to many violent Atlantic storms.
  • Lambing - Necessity, Not Tradition - the busiest time of year for many farmers in Shetland is "lambing," when Scotland's millions of ewes are giving birth to new lambs.
  • Poor Dore Holm Sharma's imagination resulted in her writing a children's story about a sea stack near Eshaness that is shaped like a dinosaur and how it saved a whale from getting stranded.
  • Close Up and Personal with Dore Holm Sharma gets the opportunity to go out on a small boat to get a close look at Dore Holm and gets to see lots of sea birds and seals as well.
  • The Whales, The Whales Sharma decides that she can so without seeing Orca whales in the sea near Eshaness - they prey on her friends the seals!
  • Snow is Snow Although Sharma is used to snow back Michigan, she was unprepared for the different types of snow encountered in the far north of Shetland!
  • Home From Home The advantages and the problems of having two homes 3,500 miles apart. Is the glass half full or half empty?
  • The Cliffs The cliffs on Shetland are high and dangerous and have to be treated with respect.
  • The Spinning Wheel Having decided to put to good use some brown and black fleece Sharma buys a spinning wheel on ebay - and even manages to get one that had been used for four or five generations by a family of Morrisons - and Sharma is a Morrison by birth!
  • Northern Lights Being located so far North Sharma is often able to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.
  • Walking Among the Orchids One of the surprises on Shetland is to find so many wild orchids in all colours and sizes
  • The Window Gardener If you want to grow flowers in Shetland the safest place to grow them is on the windowsill!
  • A Princess Visits the Lighthouse Sharma was most impressed by the warmth and friendliness of Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth's daughter, when she came to visit Eshaness. The Princess takes her role as a patron of the Northern Lighyhouse Board seriously and has paid a visit to many of the lighthouses, including the remote Shetland location of Eshaness.
  • A trip to Remember Sharma doesn't regard Eshaness as "remote" but flying back to Shetland one winter which involved serious delays to her flights nearly persuaded her otherwise!
  • Heathcliff When Sharma arrived at Eshaness she was greeted by a very proprietorial herring gull; after some resistance, Sharma eventually felt sorry for it and began feeding the bird and now it is bringing its youngsters to be fed as well!
  • Musical Trips to the Islands The music and words of the Scottish songs, particularly those about the islands off the Scottish coasts, mean a lot to Sharma.
  • Food Glorious Food Living in both Scotland and USA for long periods, Sharma often yearns for the food that she can't have at that particular moment.
  • My Hobby Sharma went to an auction for the first time in Shetland and found it great fun. She then began buying items and selling them on Ebay and did surprisingly well! She not only learned about the various items but found herself dealing with people all over the world

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