Monday, August 16, 2010

Back from the Beach

It was hot. The beach in August usually is, and this trip proved no exception. Still, it was fun -- again, no exceptions to trips to the beach, as it's one of my favorite places on earth. This visit to Sunset Beach was with family, shifts of 14 of us in a rented house a block off the beach. With the exception of one little trip into Calabash designed to take a break from the burning sun, my car sat in the driveway. We walked daily on the beach, played in the surf and a little further out, and marveled at the greatness of the ocean.

At this juncture, some environmentally-minded blogger might tangent about how bad things have become for our world's oceans, or the magnitude of pollutants in the water, or something else of great concern. Don't get me wrong -- I am concerned about the health of waters, and we do our part to keep it clean and use it sparingly. (Spending time on a sailboat makes one very aware of how precious a resource it is, both for drinking and for enjoying.) But the little girl in me still loves to catch a good wave, splash at the water's edge, and watch coquinas dig fervently below the soft sand's surface as a wave rolls back out to sea. I still dream of sailing on the waters to faraway ports, mourning that I do not own a sailboat to go in at this point (or the resources to buy another). And I still look at the waves with wonder, in awe of the ocean's vastness and secrets it gives up only to those who go in search of them.

I recently read Robert F. Burgess' book, They Found Treasure in which he interviewed treasure hunters in Florida. In the company of hunters like Mel Fisher, Burgess learned stories and techniques used during dives that sometimes spanned decades. Given my interest in the subject, you can bet this was the first book of several yet to be read that will help round out a certain character in my next book. I started an outline, and have been writing a little most every day, even while at the beach. I'd like to say I have a first draft nearing completion, but that's not the case. Rather, I have the bulk of a 20-page outline started. Unlike The Pirate's Bastard for which there was no outline, this current work is starting out as a full outline with lots of details and dialog (my favorite part of story telling) that help formulate the direction of the story. I have yet to do a full interview with each character, but that's coming. They are in the process of telling me who they are.

Most all of them love the water. It's the constant that binds us all together, in the end.

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