Saturday, May 30, 2009

Learning to Sail

If you've noticed my absence (and I sort of hope you have), it's because of the looming deadline and the basic need to learn to sail in order to reach it.

My characters have sailed before, as I've said, thanks largely to Peggy Nicholson who has taken them (and me) by the hand and sailed us through all sorts of seas and manuevers.

But Peggy isn't around to help this time. Her friend (and mine, but more hers) Antoinette Stockenberg has done a brilliant job of providing me with a boat and advice, but I haven't felt as if I should be asking Antoinette to answer every question.

So I've been trying to figure it out myself. I have a CD now that is teaching me how to sail. I have a couple of terrific books on sailing that I've mined for detail. And the internet, bless it, has introduced me to a variety of sites and message boards that are answering almost every question I've thought to ask.

The issue isn't really sailing. The issue is Demetrios and Anny's relationship. But it's played out against a sailing backdrop at this point in the book. And the relationship has to be integral to the environment. They have to support each other.

So I'm working on that. I'm also working on recipes using sea bass and saints who have feast days in late May and I'm so looking forward to Santorini where I've got a house I know and family I'm familiar with and every other minute won't be spent trying to figure out the appropriate telling detail -- I'll just know it instinctively.

Still, the challenge keeps the story fresh. And I'm learning tons.

I just wish I could learn how not to get seasick!

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Blogger Jill said...

I love the IDEA of learning how to sail. It always sounds so romantic and Romancing the Stone is one of my favorite movies ;-)
However, people who actually do sail assure me it hard work. Wonderful, but hard work.
Plus, my husband gets horribly seasick (and carsick and plane sick and train sick, but that's another story). I will just have to stick to stories about sailing. Can't wait to read yours!

31 May, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi Jill,
Yes, I think it's terrifically hard work, with a great payoff if you can 'stomach' the sea. I'm very bad at it.

I went with my husband to crew on a sailboat race once and ended up being 'ballast' in the bottom of the boat when I wasn't being sick over the side! And I sooooo wanted to enjoy it.

My characters are enjoying it, though, bless their hearts. It's the emotional stuff (not seasickness) that is complicating their lives!

31 May, 2009  
Anonymous CurtissAnn said...

How brave you are! Isn't it wonderful all the things of life that writing leads one into? You are inspiring me to pick up the pen-ah, keyboard-once again.

01 June, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

01 June, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Curtiss Ann,
Please pick up the keyboard -- or put your fingers on it -- and give me more wonderful stories to read. As soon as I finish the current book I'm going to settle back in for my annual reading of The Loves of Ruby Dee, which is one of my all time favorite books. I reread it regularly every year at least once. It inspires me and it reminds me of my roots.

01 June, 2009  

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