Sunday, 15 September 2019

Writers' Group in Lefkas, Greece

I've decided to organize a Writer's Group in Lefkas this winter, beginning in November. The group will initially meet at Porto Cafe at the Lefkas Marina. Day and time still to be announced.

Atlantic Crossing - update

It looks like my second book, Atlantic Crossing is finally heading for the finish line. I'm halfway through this present edit, and not having to change much anymore. At least in my opinion. 
I've had a number of people from Scribophile critique most of the chapters over these past few months and one friend has read the entire manuscript in one go. I am planning to send it to two or three additional beta readers before finally sending it to a professional editor. All of this should happen before the end of November. If I can find a publisher, I will go that route, otherwise, I'll self publish in time for Christmas as with my first book, Salt Water In My Veins.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Example of a cover letter that works

The following cover letter has been my standard for many years and it has worked with most of the editors that I've sent my work to. It is brief, has a hook in the first line and gives the editor all the information that is needed. 

All boats leak, don’t they? If not right away then eventually. We search for the elusive drip and then caulk and seal and seal and caulk in a never-ending yet optimistic quest for a dry boat. Is success possible? Is the quest worth it? Or will it eventually drive us crazy? 

I’m attaching a 920-word manuscript entitled, The Drip, which addresses the subject as well as two images. I hope you like it. 
My work has been published by you, at 48 North, also by Sail, Boat Works, Latitudes and Attitudes, Living Aboard, Practical Boat Owner and others. 

I am now cruising on my 32-foot Ted Brewer’s East Orient, Eidos, which is my seventh boat and the one with the least number of leaks (so far, cross my fingers, knock on wood). I have sailed in British Columbia, California, Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas. Since crossing the Atlantic in 2004, I have been cruising in the Mediterranean. I am now in Greece. 

Thank you for your consideration, 

Sincerely yours, 
Barbara Molin

Sunday, 31 March 2019


I've been struggling recently, trying to edit for the umpteenth time my new book, Crossing Atlantic. I've joined a critique group on Scribophile and I've gone through the first draft once already. I think I need to take a break now and get some perspective before going through another edit. Meanwhile, I will catch up on some articles that I want to send out into the world.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book, Finding Flow, would say that the editing part is not challenging enough and that I am bored. To regain the flow experience, I need to increase the level of the challenge. I'm not sure how to do that while editing the same text over and over again, but perhaps in a month I will have a new view of it and it will once again become a challenge.
Click on the video above to hear  professor Csikszentmihalyi's TED talk covering the topic of Flow.

Monday, 18 March 2019

The routine of writing

What helps you be most productive when it comes to your writing? I know we're all different, but what works for you? 
I get out of bed, put the coffee on, open my laptop, then my Scrivener file, and start typing before my brain wakes up and says, "wouldn't you rather check your email, the weather, or the news?" 
I make the coffee and return to the story. I'm already hooked and want to know what happens next. It's like brushing teeth, I'm on autopilot and don't think about it, just do it. Before brushing teeth. 
It helps to write first thing in the morning and sometimes I even wake up at three with an idea, something new to add to the work in progress. Having a habit helps heaps. 
I get to play a minimum of one hour and after that, I do whatever I have to for the rest of the day: make breakfast, clean house, check email (I'm retired). Often, I find I'm still writing four hours later and the coffee is sitting next to me on the table, cold. 
Start with five minutes if that's all you can do but do it every day and slowly increase the time. Write what moves you. Find your writing corner and go there. Surround yourself with comfort items, coffee, whiskey, a teddy, a bouquet of flowers, a favorite shawl. Soon you will gravitate there and it will become your sanctuary. 
And most importantly - have fun! 
Let me know how you organize your writing day in the comments below.

Monday, 11 March 2019

My afternoon run

Now that my broken foot has healed, I started running again. I follow a C25K (couch to 5 Km.) program which begins with a five-minute warm-up, followed by eight one- minute runs alternating with one-minute walks. At the end, there is a five-minute cooldown. Total of about half an hour. I do this every second day.
This is where I ran today.

I find running is a great way for me to relax after writing. I can let my eyes rest from staring at the laptop screen and stretch towards the horizon. Running also lets my mind rest and zone out. 
I come back refreshed and full of new ideas. 
The weather is improving daily and soon, I hope to start swimming again. This is my favorite way to end a run - cool off in the sea.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019


It's spring in Greece. Wild plum blossoms have exploded on the trees on the edge of a lagoon in Aktio. Birds are chirping among the boats in the boatyard, looking for nest sites. Some of the owners have already arrived to prepare their boats for launching. But snow still caps the tops of the mountain peaks to the east and I still turn the heater on early in the morning. Soon, soon, I will stop hibernating and life afloat will begin once again.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Crossing Atlantic

I just finished the umpteenth draft of the ten chapters of my new book in progress, Crossing Atlantic. Numerous people from my Critique Circle on Scribophile have read it, made comments and pointed out some issues. All along, I tweak and tighten and adjust, so that it's as good as I can make it. For now. I'll be revising again and again and again, I'm sure. 
If you'd like to read the early version and perhaps become my beta reader, feel free to check my Patreon page and sign up to be my patron. I also offer other goodies for patrons who support me at different levels, such as audio chapters of my first book, editing services, signed copies of my book and even sailing holidays.  
And this chapter that in a different form won a prize and was published in a sailing magazine is available to read if you support me at the level of co-captain. Hope to see you aboard!

Monday, 21 January 2019

Great program for writers

If you have problems organizing your writing project, whether it's fiction, non-fiction, screenplay, research paper, or a genealogy tree, take a look at the Gingkoapp
It gives you a method to make your planning and organizing easy by a set of online index cards in a tree formation, that can be expanded, moved around and dragged. I can think of a hundred of uses for this program.

Another person bought my book

Someone recently bought a copy of my book, Salt Water In My Veins. Thank you! Whoever you are, you made my day. I hope you enjoy it and feel like posting a review. If you're nearby, I'd be happy to sign it for you.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Salt Water In My Veins: Chapter 3: From a dream to a nightmare

"I have been the owner of my 'dream boat' for two weeks now and the relationship has already become like a stale affair..."
This is the beginning of my story about buying a sailboat.
Become my patron on Patreon and listen to the podcast of a chapter from my book, Salt Water In My Veins.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Rainy day. Good time to write

Today it's raining, so I am editing the third chapter of my next book, Crossing The Ocean.
I joined Scribophile, an online memoir writing group and each week we submit 3,000 words to be critiqued.
Each week I critique five chapters written by my cohorts and receive five critiques from them. 
It's a good way to stay disciplined and I see much progress.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The Beach

Pebbles, shining like gems,
on the beach.
Seashells, crunching like crackers,
under my feet. 
I pick up a broken crab shell
 and wonder what happened.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

And the winning title is: Two Against The Atlantic

So, the deadline passed for the vote on a new title for my story about two people who don't get along on a small sailboat, sailing across the Atlantic. 
There were more than 300 entries, some funny, some strange and some actually quite good. People sent in ideas on Facebook, by messenger, WhatsApp and by text. I chose eight that expressed the essence of the story the best and put them up for a vote. I then asked people to vote on my blog. Sadly, there was only one voter who showed up and she voted for one of the titles that happily I also like. 
And so, the winning title is (drum roll): 
Two Against The Atlantic
Thank you Kayla Cummings for voting and the person who chose this title, feel free to send me a comment on my blog to claim your prize.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Finalists in the 'Atlantic Crossing' Title Contest

Thank you to all who participated with title ideas to my Atlantic Crossing story. Here are the finalists - my favourites. 
I had been hoping there would be more ideas with the word 'Atlantic' included, but it was a fun project and some good laughs. 
You may vote for your favourite by leaving a comment. The deadline is this Sunday at noon, GMT. The finalists will receive an early link to the first 3,000 words of the story on Monday. The winner will receive an early link to the complete third draft once it's finished approximately at the end of February. Thank you again for participating and keep checking this page for updates.
  1. Stormy Waters
  2. Troubled Waters
  3. Perilous Crossing
  4. Rough Crossing
  5. Rough Waters
  6. Two Against The Atlantic
  7. Under The Atlantic Sky
  8. Against The Wind