Fingernails across a chalkboard

I’ve been an editor for over thirty years, and some things drive me crazy. This may not interest you at all. That’s fine, but today my skin crawls from the sound of fingernails raking across the chalkboard.

I wish some of the copy editors out there in publishing land would stop imagining that adverbs are a writer’s enemy, the newest dirty word that must be excised at all costs. Why do they assume one should shuffle along with an adjective stuck in the wrong place, pretending to be something it isn’t? (Too many instances of the emperor’s new clothes, and tailors will go out of business.) I know that’s how some folks speak, but how will anyone learn if we don’t at least clean up our writing?

I read voraciously and eclectically. Today, the day of the fingernails and squeals, I’m reading an action novel written by a fellow who knows how to tell a good yarn. It a great bad-guys-versus-good-guys tale that’s so much fun, I can’t get mad at the author for his grammatical gaffes. But his copy editor? His proof reader? Please, tell me they know the difference.

“…I need to do it quick.” And, “He walks slow.”

You see what I mean? Ly is a grand suffix. It would fix those words right up, wouldn’t it?

And then there’s: “I’m done.” What? You’re cooked? No, you have finished. “I got done with the turkey.” You were cooked with the turkey? No, you finished roasting/cleaning/cutting/basting the turkey. You didn’t get done with anything. You finished it. Done is the past participle of to do. He does it. He did it. He has done it. I do it. I did it. I have done it. (I will do it. I should do it.)

If you want to use the verb “to do” then use it. “I did it,” not “I’m done.” If you mean you have finished the project, then say so.


In the last chapter of the book I found a “for him and I.” Now surely editors (if not college-educated authors) know about nominative and objective cases. They must. For him works. But for I? Nope. Not a chance. It’s for me, guys.  Please.

Pretty please?

Now that I’ve whined, I’ll wish you a very happy Thanksgiving Day.

Where is Sea Venture’s Crew?

We took a sabbatical from sailing while we helped daughter Ariana marry her now-husband, Chad, and attended to land issues. Ariana’s wedding was outside, on the water, so we put a lot of prayer into the weather issues, especially when rain pummeled the area just one week before the wedding. The heavens opened, homes flooded, and folk in this part of the world had water issues comparable to those from Hurricane Floyd, who slammed the East Coast a number of years ago. It was quite messy.

But the wedding week seemed blessed: sun and more sun to dry the land and allow all the lovely young women to enjoy their bare shoulders. It was gorgeous!

And here’s one of the bride’s parents with the couple.

We hope to be back on board our floating home sometime soon. Until then, we’re landlubbers for a change.

Sunrise and Clouds

Boaters study the sky for weather clues, even when they’re not on board. Here we are, thousands of miles away from Sea Venture, and we not only study the clouds, but we rush to grab the camera when a beautiful sky welcomes us.

I took these pictures early Monday morning.  Storm clouds hovered.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Back in San Carlos

A friend took this last winter here in San Carlos, but as we’re busy getting the boat ready for hurricane season, we aren’t taking many pictures.

Just thought I’d let you know where we are, that we’re at anchor now and enjoying the lovely air conditioning, that there’s a slight swell from the south coming in through that opening behind Sea Venture — probably wending its way all the way from the Pacific storms way down below Cabo. Still it’s lovely to be back.


Sunrise on the Sea of Cortez. Praise music piped to the cockpit, in Spanish, of course, but, oh, so very, very full of the magnificence of God. By sunrise, we’d been at sea for four hours.

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 speaks of time in large and small terms. At sea, it feels as if one has only the large and the long…the stretches of silence (the music off and the audiobook finished or not yet begun) broken only by the sound of the engine that must propel us toward land when the wind fails…the vastness of water as the land we left disappears and the one we approach remains merely a promise.

Being at sea forces contemplation. I don’t know how one can remain an unbeliever in the midst of all that majesty. Prayer wells: how can it not?

And now we’re tied to land, this time in a marina. I’ve pictures of it all on the sailing blog.

Time becomes less contemplative, busier, because the world swirls with activity even in the sweltering heat. And now I’m working on a manuscript that a friend of mine recently read for me. I haven’t met Nicole Petrino-Salter face to face, but I value her, not merely for her talents, but also for her integrity and for the friendship she offers. And so for me this is, “A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together.” (Ecc 3:6b-7a) I’m searching for that passion, Nicole. Tearing apart and sewing together. Keeping and tossing.

Pictures, La Ramada to Guaymas

I linked to a file of pictures we took en route from La Ramada to Santa Domingo to Guaymas, but sometimes that’s just too much trouble. For those who don’t like to click on links, here are a few highlights.

Crossing the Sea Again

We’re exhausted, but we made it.  Little wind, calm seas, fun visitors on board, Spanish worship music piped to the cockpit — what more could one want?

We couldn’t go into the marina as the wind decided to come out to play as we approached the harbor. Here’s the view a ce moment.

I  added a link to photos from the trip across. I’ll post more soon.

Heading North–La Ramada

After spending a lovely evening with Bill and Laurie Simpson of Iron Maiden (think BIG steel motor-sailor with ALL the comforts of home), we left Isla Coronado this morning en route to some place further along the journey. The windless morning grew rolly, which is not our favorite way to travel, so we decided to hop into one of our favorite anchorages, La Ramada, a cove just around the headland from San Jaunico. We pulled up just as two catamarans who’d been with us in Coronado upped anchor — Chat de Mer and What You Gonna Do, both from California.

Now we have the anchorage to ourselves. The wind piped up just in time for the cats to sail south (directly into it) and for us to cool off, first by diving to clean the prop and the bottom, and then just to relax in the lovely breeze. The wind waves made snorkeling difficult, but that’s what will keep us young.

I just served a dinner of some of the leftover Dorado (mahi mahi) that Bill had caught and brought to Sea Venture on Wednesday night. As I’m the one who is passionate about fresh fish, it was up to me to clean and filet and cook the darling thing on the barbecue. Bill and Laurie are the sort of friends one wishes to be anchored near; we are sorry we are going in opposite directions.

So, tomorrow we head further north, probably to Santa Domingo in Bahia Concepcion. As soon as the weather window opens, we will cross to Guaymas/San Carlos.

Pictures will follow when we next have internet.

Storms to the left of us, storms to the right

And another one stopped en route this way!

I wish Michael had taken a picture of the screen from last night.  Multiply the size of the storm below by three, and you have the size we faced. It had a growing center, high winds, and looked to be about 250 to 300 miles in length. The wind blew northwest, and it was headed right to us. At app. 50 miles out, it dissipated.

Thank You, Lord.