Sunday, 1 January 2023
Sunday, 16 October 2022
Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Friday, 17 June 2022
Saturday, 11 June 2022
I have great news! My Passarelle Construction article has been accepted by Practical Boat Owner magazine. It will feature in the August issue of the magazine. I can't wait to see it in print.
Here is the teaser for you:
"Cruisers who sail in the Mediterranean, need to be prepared for the Med style mooring, either bow or stern to a dock. to make getting on and off the boat easier, many people use special gangways called passerelles. My 32-foot Ted Brewer designed, East Orient is like most offshore sailboats - high bow and stern, which makes them safe at sea, yet more difficult for boarding. After a visit from elderly guests, I became interested in finding a better way of getting on and off my boat than by stepping on the anchor and climbing over the pulpit. I was delighted to see John Chipps building a passerelle on the dock in Lefkada, Greece where both of us were staying for the winter."
Read the entire feature article in the August issue.
Tuesday, 5 April 2022
Most people have great stories to tell. Even children. I strongly encourage everyone to write down their own stories or your parents', grandparents' and other family members' stories. They say that history is written by the winners, but with a simple and free program, anyone can be an author. Check out the kdp program and become a published author.
My latest book is now available both in English and French.
Saturday, 1 January 2022
Stop Making New Year's Resolutions That Are Sure To Fail -
Do What Works (And Is Fun) Instead
Most of us know that making New Year's resolutions doesn't work. Over the years we vow to exercise, eat better, save more money, work harder, quit smoking. But life happens, holidays end and soon other things take away our attention.
I believe that we resist making positive changes because it all sounds so negative and a lot like drudgery: diet, exercise, quit smoking. Who wants drudgery? Life is too short for drudgery.
So, why not make New Year's promises that are fun, easy to keep and good for us instead? Here is how:
Monday, 6 December 2021
Tuesday, 2 November 2021
Over the summer, while many of us were sailing, I changed the name of the Lefkas Writers' Group to a more inclusive one, Cruising Writers' Group. The name will remain such, since some of our members keep cruising all year.
Members and prospective members who will be spending the winter in Lefkas Marina or nearby are welcome to join us once a week on Wednesdays at 11 am at Porto Cafe. Our first meeting will take place on November 3. Those of you who are not nearby, feel free to join us via Facebook Messenger video.
I would also like to thank Lizzy Bolan for her unstinting support in keeping this group going both through lockdown last winter and also over the summer.
Wednesday, 25 August 2021
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Monday, 5 April 2021
Thursday, 14 January 2021
This is the question a new writer posted on a forum recently. Here is my answer:
I write, read, research, edit, or critique every day. There is always one way or another to move my WIP (work in progress) forward. Sometimes it's by tinkering with my Scapple plotline, other times by sorting the chapters and creating a synopsis in my Scrivener project file. In between, I read authors I admire (Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje at the moment) to figure out how they create beautiful paragraphs. I also host a Writers' Group, (online at the moment), and update my two blogs, so that keeps me going every week. I have a deadline every Sunday at midnight by which time I must submit 3,000 words to my Scribophile group ready for a week of critiquing. And if I get stuck, there is always the Scribophile Forum to check. :)
Monday, 11 January 2021
I wrote my most recent book, a memoir, Atlantic Crossing in the present tense. This is not the most popular way to proceed. Most memoirs are written in the past tense. As in, "When I was a child, blah, blah, blah... and then I grew up to... blah, blah, blah."
For example, Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen was written in the past tense. "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills," she begins.
But my choice of the present tense worked by immersing the reader in the story. And so, I decided to write my next book, Love and Loss, also in the present tense.
Today, browsing Amazon, I noticed several books by well known and successful authors were written in the present tense. Here they are:
Michael Ondaatje used the present tense in his memoir, Running In The Family. "What began it all was the bright bone of a dream I could hardly hold onto."
Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace is written in the present tense. "Out of the gravel, there are peonies growing."
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert begins, "I wish Giovanni would kiss me." Present tense.
Good to see.
Saturday, 12 December 2020
While writing, you want to describe the setting, the characters and the action. But do you need to describe the inside of a bathroom? Probably not. Do you need to describe in detail the character brushing his teeth? Not likely. Everyone knows what the inside of a bathroom looks like and what brushing teeth is all about. But you might want to describe the character as he or she looks in the mirror. And even there, not every detail. Just enough to give the reader an idea of age, sex, level of attractiveness, and attitude of the character to themselves.
"If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there." - Anton Chekhov
"Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It's not just a question of how-to, you see; it's also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing." - Stephen King, On Writing
Only describe details if they're important to the story. Or in other words, your descriptions should be the length of a girl's skirt: long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep it interesting.
Tuesday, 1 December 2020
"The essential support and encouragement comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell."
Think about this, the next time you are having difficulty writing. Someone out there will benefit from reading your book.