Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A romantic trip?
by Linda Hall
If you look carefully at my picture, you will see that I’m sitting on our boat and we’re in front of the Statue of Liberty. During May, my husband and I sailed our used but new-to-us boat from Maryland to our home in New Brunswick, Canada. It took us exactly four weeks. I have had people say, “Oh that must be so romantic.” Well, there were a few of those kinds of moments, but think about this. You are camping with your husband for a month and you can’t leave the tent!
My husband and I have sailed a lot and I always think sailing is like writing a romance novel. We got wind. We had one rather miserable day when we sailed from the end of the Cape Cod Canal to Gloucester, MA. The state of Massachusetts concaves to the left at that point, and when you come out of the canal, you have two choices: you can ‘make a run for it’ and go straight to Gloucester. Or you can hug the shore and stop in at Boston.
We decided to make a run for it. Mistake. Halfway across the eight hour journey, the wind built, the storm rose, and the ocean became mountainous around us. I went down below. I plugged into my iPod and hugged myself onto the berth while I listened to short stories on my iPod to keep my mind off the storm. Almost there, I poked my head out and it was worse. Around us were thunderstorms. Now, when there are thunderstorms, a place you do not want to be is out on water in a thunderstorms with that lightning rod 'mast' waving in the sky and saying, “pick me! Pick me!”
We couldn't leave. We had no where to go but straight across. I thought about book middles, when things are going poorly and the distant finish line seems so far away and the work seems mountainous.
But then there were the calm days, the days so glistening with sunshine and dolphins that seals that you wanted to hug the day to yourself and never let go. We get those days in life and writing, too. The sparkling days, the good times. You wonder if there could , any more beauty would be blinding than the words you just wrote. They’re brilliant! You have it! You don’t have to turn in your Writer’s Card.
But mostly the trip was a little of each, and writing a book is like that too.
But now I am home, and back at my computer ready to get to work to meet these deadlines and hoping for more sunny ones than stormy ones.