A few decades ago, I did an essay admiring Stephen Crane’s work “The Red Badge of Courage.” I observed him as if he were a French Impressionist, and words were his pallet and their crafting his strokes. Well received, it was a break through for me. It started my writing life.
Not too long after, I went sailing for the first time. We were flying across the Banana River’s sun-hammered water. Bounded as this lagoon was, it offered the impression of unlimited boundaries as we tacked and tacked and tacked again. I was hooked. Before long, my wife was just as hooked. We raced. We cruised. We cruised some more and raced less. We respect both.
Writing and sailing have impressed, embossed, engraved our lives since. We’ve made major cruises shoe-horned into careers. We’ve shoe-horned charters into tight budgets. We’ve occasionally abused budgets when life stage-whispered, “Do it now!” We’ve been stewards for a septet of boats – one doesn’t really own them. It’s the other way ’round.
I’ve written for Cruising World, Sea, and others when waxing and waning career responsibilities opened windows of time to do so. I’ve written four novels of hopefully improving quality, but baby steps are required by all who fall short of divine inspiration. I freely admit these four books are my toddling, and my inspiration is merely human. My poetry remains private — a communication of feelings for a partner of 43 years, if one counts from the instant I fell in love with her.
Sailing has informed my writing; writing has amplified my sailing. As we prepare to go gadabout for a few years afloat, I’m looking forward to an extension of boundaries, but I’m also wondering, what will be written?
This is a Comment I offered at Write On The Water.