Calling the Crew: Readers and Writers

I’m a sailor — temporarily land bound — and I write stories of women who sail. Some of them sail small boats, some large ones. Most love the water, though I’ve a WIP in which the protagonist is a wife who follows her husband’s dream. How’s that working out? Well, I’ve met a few wives who did the same thing. In my story? Check back with me as it evolves.

Puff is a sharpie, built for my auntie, given to me. Puff became my friend, the soother of my shattered soul, the one to whom I told my dreams. You’ll find her in various guises in many of my stories, as rescuer, as a setting for compounded messes, as an entree to love.  Here she is in Core Sound, running from those gathering clouds. It was a very wet sail.


Sailing Puff

When we took off to cruise on Sea Venture, I wanted a sailing dinghy to play around in various anchorages. Puff II came along with us, but she’s a bit hefty for deck work. Michael plans to leave her behind when we head out on our next adventures. Still, here I am, with my mother, exploring Ballandra. The dinghy may show up one day as an adjunct to the big boat, but she offers less scope for adventure. At least, so far.


Sea Venture’s dinghy

Sailing a big boat is a lot more comfortable. There’s shade, for one thing. And a seat for steering, though unless we’re headed up a channel or into an anchorage, we’ve toys that manage the helm. There are places to hide in a big boat. Places to escape. But you can’t tuck the big boat away in a barn when a storm brews. And if you’re at sea, the storm becomes your enemy, your endurance course. And a great setting for survival.

Sea Venture off Loreto, MX

Sea Venture rarely shows up as herself, but she’s the inspiration. Life on board her for those years can’t help but affect the way I write as it provides so many what-ifs.

Here’s the big boat on her way north. Such stories she holds. Secrets that she breathes as I write.


Anchored in Stillwater Cove, CA

Life on the water abounds in mystery and romance. One night, in that same peaceful anchorage pictured above under the sailing dinghy, we went on deck with a flashlight.  Suddenly, silvery fish zipped to the surface. They did not make me wish for a midnight swim. But imagine if the heroine fell off the boat (or were pushed) into water like that? What a different mood from the daytime’s turquoise shallows.

Bahia Ballandra at night

What about a glide across the water where you see the heron in the picture above?

A different mood. And here’s still another:


So many settings. So much fun.

What I’d like to know is this: Do you enjoy sailing stories? Oh, not stories about sailing so much as stories about people who sail, women who prefer wind-blown hair to high heels.

If you’re a sailor, do you write about the life in more than your blog posts? (I’ve those on Sea Venture’s Journey.)

And if you’re a writer, do you craft your stories about the world you inhabit or about ones that inhabit only your dreams?

4 Replies to “Calling the Crew: Readers and Writers”

  1. And you do it so well, N. Good stories. Good writing.

    It’s hard to go too far from my base, but I’ve tackled some research and did the motion picture scene, the novelist’s scene, the film critic’s, the architectural designer’s, you get my drift. (Ah, a nautical term even. JK). 😉

    1. Nicole, I remember doing research for a story I wrote in the 1990s, the only one without a nautical theme. I set it where I’d studied, in Italy, and where I’d traveled, in the Middle East, but in those days, research happened as it had when I was in school: at the library. Oh, the hours spent digging through tomes in Philadelphia and DC, taking notes and hoping I got it right. Today, picking through Google’s options? I’m like the gourmand with a table full of delicacies. (Though there was something special about those quiet rooms and books enough for several lifetimes.)

  2. Beautiful photos, Normandie!
    My thirteen-year-old protagonist, Leilani, “sails” on her surfboard (when she doesn’t have an arm in a cast!) But she also “sails” in life–doing what she loves–sleuthing.
    I hope you post more about sailing and photos too!

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. Are you a surfer?
      I’ve lots of pictures of sailing on my other blog, and Picassa web albums from many of the places we’ve been. ( Come on over and take a gander when you have a moment and thanks for stopping here to comment.

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