Posted by: guinness222 | October 14, 2010

“Writing, Sailing, or having a Pint”

          Last night was slow in the Emergency Room at the Hospital where I volunteer on Wednesdays from 4-8pm. (No one has died on my watch yet either!!) At one time there were two of us Volunteers, 4 girls in Admitting (you know, the paper pushers whose value to management in a hospital is slightly higher than a skilled Cardiac Surgeon, afterall they are the ones who put the “debt implant” in without you even knowing it!) 2 ER Doc’s, 6 nurses, 1 security Guard,…..oh yeah, and no sick folks! So I got to thinking and trying to muse about my three most favorite things to do in the world. I took all the qualifiers off the musing, i.e. costs, location, time, ability, etc. so it was a pure “What could you be ecstatic doing the rest of your life and say you had no regrets doing?”

        So I came up with the same three things, time after time, after time. It was a ME, ME, ME selection process, not the usual responsible, parental unit, businessman(?), friend, husband, etc. “Weighted Factors” choices. But it always came out the same!

       I guess there is something to be said for the subconscious mind, so let me explore the choices a bit individually. (Although Heaven to me would be on the after deck, of my 40 foot Catamaran, with a brand new state of the art Apple laptop with satellite uplink to a shore based server, to store my writing as, trust me, there would be volumes of it. Sort of the 12 gauge birdshot approach to “focused” writing. Let an Editor make it all hang together,…oh yeah with a full chilled pint of my favorite selection of “Pints of the Day”, on draught of course. I said that would be heaven, not the potential reality of actuality.)

      First writing. I love to write, even before computers I wrote longhand, (still have some of my original manuscripts and stories even) I even took a typing course one summer as a fourteen year old even though typing” back then” was a “girl” thing,…never a guy. They had secretaries that did that! (Ok so I’m a bit of a dinosaur,…live with it and don’t shoot me women’s lib stuff as I qualified my comment with “back then” , not in my opinion!)

      Everyone has a story to tell, I just haven’t found my “commercially successful” on yet, but I keep writing. I almost don’t give a damn about paying the rent, or mortgage, or the electricity, car payment, or for that matter even going out to look for a job to get the money to do it anymore. I just want to write, and write, and write. Keep trying whatever I can to get it together.( Unfortunately as you have probably already concluded by my remark about having a land based server to store the volumes, I sort of lack a particular “focus” and discipline to do the “laser” thing and complete the World’s Greatest Novel) I like life, what it is, what it brings, how it develops, and what comes with it, every day, day after day, after day. We are probably the most adaptable species the Lord ever put on this earth, yet sometimes His most fragile as well.

      Do I really care if “the vast multitudes” eve read my writing,….I think not because I don’t write for them, I write for me and the “spirit” I mentioned in yesterdays blog. My global circumnavigation, my Olympic Gold, and my “fist pumping” YEAH!!!

      I constantly pick up books on writing, character development, plots, forensic medicine (gotta be able to “off” characters correctly,…right?), subscribe to “The Writer” magazine monthly for years, read as much as I can squeeze in to learn style, plot development, etc. And my feeble writings are all trying to get better. I have been writing a “book” the past year or so on physically recovering from open heart surgery and a triple by-pass. Not all the usual crap, but getting into the physical conditioning rituals you need to do, how to cut years of age off the body, how to have fun with it, and how to push your own envelope so every day, every week, and every month is another “Olympic Gold”

      Hell I even bought software three years ago, and all the updates since, which works on voice recognition so I can just sit and talk into a headset and presto it’s being typed out on the page for me. (My only fear is stupid stuff like spelling, grammar, etc. sometimes the software “guesses” at a word or phrase and that just blows my train of thought.) I guess I need to get a more “structured” approach to my writing, like a written out line, a written “recap” of the entire objective, the chapter objectives, etc. Not to mention believable research to jump at when I get stuck. (I’ve bought several other writers programs, but the one I found best that I found years ago doesn’t seem to exist any more, apparently most writers have already developed their own approach and “structure” tools and notes. Oh well!

     Secondly Sailing.  As long as I can remember I have loved the Ocean, not necessarily the beaches, but the Oceans. As a kid going to, the beach I used to look out at the endless horizon and wonder what it would be like to go farther than I could see just standing there looking out. For my birthday one year when I was about maybe eight or none my Dad bought me one of those “Coffee Table” books on the US Navy, and I devoured it. I knew I wanted to go in the Navy even back then. The lure of the sea was really strong. We never had any boats or access to them so it was not a reality for me then, but as I grew older and reached enlistment age I went in the Navy and learned two things forever. Number one I hated “power boats”, and Number two the sea is far to big to even attempt to wrap one’s mind around. It’s power, it’s majesty, it’s hidden world teeming with life and much more, well I was hooked on the sea. But as soon as I got out I started looking for ways to finagle sailing lessons and “crewing” even on little dinghies. I bought books, read them all, tagged along on . But alas reality, three kids, a mortgage, work and everything else sidelined “the dream” despite trying to juggle buying a 19′ sail boat, spending my entire 2 week vacation restoring her (old wooden Lars Anderson Lightning) only to find out the entire keel needed to be replaced and having reached a stress level at home and work that dictated “Give it up!)  Later I bought a 28′ Sailboat that was fifteen years old and traded a brand new Datsun 300zx I won to get it, and watched a boat yard sink it to the bottom of the bay  six months later, (another story for another time)

        But I know of nothing more peaceful and quiet and calming than sailing, using natures forces and components, your own mind, and a fair amount of strategy simultaneously,….that is nirvana for me, you can keep the 72 Virgins, the eternity of happiness, and all the rest, just let me sail in peace!

      Thirdly “The Pint”. Not just because I’m of Irish heritage or that, but I do love the camaraderie, the warmth and the fun (or “craic” in Gaelic) os sitting, chatting, sipping a pint or two and making new friends. I liken it to Alzheimer’s in that I look forward everyday to who is going to be at the Pub today, what’s new in their lives, how are they doing, and just that warmth of conversation, beer (or Stout, Guinness of course), and a two hour window fo time to enjoy and share.

      So there you go, off to my mental 40′ Catamaran, my imagined Apple laptop with satellite unlink, and a few pints, just running with the wind and waiting for another gorgeous sunset and more peace of mind.


    “You’re never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”

                          —–C.S. Lewis (author of Alice in Wonderland)

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