Someone asked me this morning if I still write...their (somewhat negative?) wording was "so much for writing." because I posted about my other business and how happy I am with it on my face book. Yes I write still. But if I didn't so what? It's not like I'm my writing. I'm me. How I choose to direct my me-ness is entirely up to ME. So it was a funny sort of question but now on to the blog post.
I write every single day. I don't have as much time to talk about it but I have several writing projects in the works. And one is a new novel. Its title is Paddy's Four and it'll be a short, totally different book from anything I've ever done. For one thing the main characters are all men which means this can't be complicated right? Sorry guys, I couldn't resist.
When I was a girl my father owned a fishing boat, a long liner, with my Uncle Ray. She was called The Carolyn and Ellen after me and my cousin. She was sold, altered and eventually wound up at the bottom of the ocean. But after she was sold, and before she was gone forever, I used to dream about having a lot of money, buying her back and refinishing her to how she was prior to being sold. I wanted her to be as she was in my childhood when she was my boat. It was a dream of mine to have her back in the family.
Of course, that dream isn't possible any more but something amazing, and perhaps even better has happened. This story I'm working on takes place on a fishing boat. As I am writing the description of this boat, I am transported aboard to The Carolyn and Ellen. I can feel the roll of the Atlantic under her and the smell of fried baloney masking her natural bilge water odor. I see the little step I would have to navigate over to get into the wheelhouse, can feel and smell the felt/rubber on my face as I looked at the lights and blips on the radar screen and the strong hands of my father on my waist as he hoists me up to do so.
If I close my eyes I'm in the galley and I can hear the voices above in the wheelhouse as I sit at the table, see the over painted hinges on the table where it folds underneath and see a crack of sunlight through the hatch in the roof, over the bow.
Sometimes I walk carefully along the back deck, sit on the ledge of the hold cover, watching for jumpers and feeling cold misty salt air on my face. There is more I can describe in detail. I see the rust around the latches, a drip of paint of the modern lifeboat that replaced the dory when safety guidelines demanded it. I see the brass bell that hangs with its tarnish painted finish, the clapper rusted into place so that it no longer rings. The salt water is hard on things like that.
But it isn't hard on my memory. My best and most vivid memories involve the ocean and are untarnished and vivid in my mind.
And I'm going to restore her after all! I'm going to bring her back, not with hull and beam and plank, but with memory and pen and paper . The story will unfold on her deck, in her wheelhouse, in the galley on that great ocean. I will raise her from her watery grave and share her with all of you. The story will be fiction, her name will be changed, but she's my boat all the same.
Oh the joys of creative endeavors and never ending. Give up writing? Never. It is as much a part of me as my heart. It is not who I am but it is the greatest proof of my dreams. I have always written. I just never always shared it. I will continue to write and yes, eventually there will be something to share again. My dreams without fail come true, and usually better and bigger than I dreamed them! I'm just always careful to heed the following.
"Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream...
Never let go of your dreams. They are where your reality is conceived. In birth, they may not appear like you imagined. It's kind of like having a baby that looks different than you expected but love all the same.