Monday, March 25, 2013

The Jib, the Hull, and the What?

As I mentioned in my previous post; I was to attend a Banquet Saturday night for a local Sailing Club.  To be honest, I didn't know we had a local Sailing Club.  Kind of land bound here.  We do however, have some good lakes scattered about; and those who love to sail make frequent use of them.  Between April, and October, SISA (Southern Idaho Sailing Association), holds several regattas, (Glossary provided below).  I feel it was a successful event.  I went in, and actually talked to people!  About tillers!, and hulls!, and Oh, My!- there are a lot of names for things on a boat. 

I will be studying such terms, and diagrams over the next several weeks; because when I'm out on the water, being yelled at; I want to know why I'm in trouble.  I met several people who were more than happy to answer my questions, and offer important advice such as: 

Clothing:  Wear layers. It can get pretty cold because of the wind. Gloves- we'll be pulling lines (ropes) and it can be pretty painful. Sneakers- with good tracking.

Food: Bring a sandwich/water. Nothing fancy- something you can eat with one hand is best.

Bathroom: Go before you get on the water. Some boats have a "toilet." But...yeah better to go beforehand

Precautions: They can supply life jackets. It is important to wear a good sunscreen, and if possible one that protects from wind burn as well.

As you can tell, a very entertaining sailing post is on the horizon.  Maybe as soon as early May!  I look forward to sharing it with you.  In the meantime, outside of studying sailing terms; I will be working on my story, and getting my characters in to a more complicated situation- involving a prison convict, and father issues.

Regatta: A series of boat races, usually of sailboats or rowboats, but occasionally of powered boats.

Hull: The main body of a ship or other vessel, including the bottom, sides, and deck but not the masts, superstructure, rigging, engines, and...The outer covering of a fruit or seed, esp. the pod of peas and beans, or the husk of grain.
Tiller: a lever used for steering, attached to the top of the rudder post. Used mainly on smaller vessels, such as dinghies and rowing boats.
Jib: A triangular staysail at the front of a ship.
Staysail: A sail whose luff is attached to a forestay.
Luff: The forward edge of a sail.
Forestay: Long lines or cables, reaching from the bow of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast. can look up the rest.  It just goes on, and on...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The bright side...

This post is coming late, and I apologize.  I like to post on Sundays because I usually have a lot of time to reflect before I write.  This last Sunday I was reflecting on why I owe the Federal Government money, and why my dreams of financial Independence were yet another step away.  I admit it took a couple of days to look on the bright side.

Today is different.  Today my mind is free to dwell on other things.  Positive things.  New things.  You see; I belong to a small band of Adventurers.  Once a month we gather together, and attempt something we have never done before.  This coming Saturday I am going solo on a reconnaissance mission for an upcoming adventure.  I will infiltrate an exclusive party, gather information, and through my contact- whom I have never met; will network on behalf of my team.  If I am successful my colleagues and I will soon be posing as crew in a local, competitive, sailing race.  Hopefully, no one will catch on that I have no idea what I'm doing.

I mean, you haven't caught on yet; have you?  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In which I don't talk about writing...

I've been thinking lately of where I'd like to go if I got the chance to travel again.  Over the years I have been to Canada, Mexico, Honduras, and Indonesia.  Although these opportunities have blessed me in various ways; I can't say that any of these locations were a part of my Travel Bucket List.  In truth my List is quite small.  There are really only three locations on my mind as I write this.

1. Machu Picchu: 15th-century Inca site. 7,192' Elevation. Cusco Region of Peru, South America.

To be honest, I never thought much of Machu Picchu.  In fact, I'm not sure I had heard about it until college; and that was only because of a brief line in a poem I read by Gwendolyn Brooks.  I didn't think about it again until a few years later as I was flipping through channels, and PBS was showing a special on the Inca Civilization.  The majesty surrounding this now empty city was breathtaking on film, and I realized that I wanted to stand there myself one day.  I imagine it is quite humbling.  You can travel there by train- and I have always wanted to travel by train!  There is an impressive hike up of course, but totally worth it.

Also- look how much fun these alpaca's are having!

2. France: No city in particular.

I want to visit France one day.  I actually made a promise to my Father that I would.  He had me promise to find a small cafe, sit outside, and have wine, with cheese.  He had traveled there himself for work, and I know that he wished he could have taken me to see it.  We lost him several years back, and I miss him greatly.  This is not a promise I intend to break.


3.  Scotland:  My heritage.

I am not fully of Scottish descent; perhaps three-quarters?  However, no place in the world feels so uniquely home to me then Scotland.  I know that my anticipation may exceed reality when I finally get to go; but somehow, I don't think so.

Where would you go?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In which I am sick, and tired.

It has not been the most productive week.  I was able to write out a scene Wednesday night, between work, and babysitting; but other then that nothing.  I had good intentions for this weekend, but this weekend had other intentions for me, and I spent all of Saturday between the bathroom, and my bed.  Today, I was able to get up despite some seriously achy legs, neck, and shoulders.  I even took a walk.  I thought getting my blood moving would be beneficial.  I made it up to the Cafe I frequent; but I spent most of the time staring out the window. 

I realized that the notebook I grabbed was a journal I took to Honduras last Summer.  I read through it, and it brought back good, and negative memories; it is interesting to read what you wrote in a different time, and most certainly; a different place.  It feels like more time has passed then really has.  I had forgotten about the Honduran boys collecting giant beetles in discarded plastic bags; only to chuck them at our girls as they walked by.  I forgot how sweltering the sun could be even high up in the mountains, and how hard it was to communicate; not just with the Hondurans, but with those on my own team.   There weren't many entries in the journal, so it didn't take long to read.  After a few more minutes of staring out the window, and at blank paper; I gave in, and walked back home.

I wouldn't say it was a completely fruitless venture; I actually thought through a character I'd been debating about for several days now; and found a spot for them that actually made sense.  This character would probably be the most magical character I have so far; in fact- this character shouldn't even exist.   My intention going forward is that my characters are limited in special abilities.  And, that can be hard when trying to make a story based in a fantasy world go forward.  My Main Character isn't going to find out he has a secret parentage of Gods, or Wizards.  I want him to be as real as you, or me; but vital to the story nonetheless- just like you, or me.  It can be difficult to balance.  At least I have more pieces fitting together.  On the other hand I still have so much to write out, and I'm feeling pretty puny right now.  Hopefully, I'll have a chance to sit down this week, and update my story.  Soon I will need to print a copy out, and take an editorial pen to it.  I don't want to get rid of much right now- only make sure the sequence of events is making sense.

I have a lot to do this week; but here is what I'll probably be doing momentarily.