Monday, December 21, 2009

Going to Sea

I haven't written here lately. I've been swamped with work, recovering from surgery, moving house, and various literary projects. However, I've made a big decision: I'm quitting my job at Wal-mart and going to be a substitute teacher while I look for permanent work. That will give me my weekends and evenings back, which I plan to use to volunteer with the tall ship, Kalmar Nyckel.

I have been accepted as a volunteer and tentatively accepted for sail training. Assuming I can afford it, I'll be taking the summer off to crew on the Kalmar Nyckel. I'm very excited and looking forward to it, I can tell you that!

Meanwhile, January will be devoted to finishing Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka (5) with the kind help of Alex von Vaupel's technical assistance. It will appear in March. I will also be finishing Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, Vol. 2, which will appear in print in April.

I have also decided to put the Pirates of the Narrow Seas novels into print via a self-publishing POD arrangement; I need cover art, but otherwise PoNS 1 is mostly laid out.

In short, I'm going to be very busy in a good way. The downside is that I won't have much money, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to do the things you want to do. The choice is between being poor and happy and poor and unhappy, so the decision is pretty simple. Since Wal-mart has changed its insurance to be so bad, the difference between having insurance and not having insurance isn't that great. It will only matter in the event of a catastrophe. Here's hoping for no catastrophes, eh?

I am also looking for a laptop or tablet computer that I can do serious writing on, access the Internet, do email while aboard the ship. It needs long battery life and to be rugged enough to survive conditions at sea -- saltwater humidity is notoriously bad for electronics. Preferably a Mac (looking forward to seeing what the new Mac tablet looks like). We stick to the coast so a cell phone link as opposed to a satellite link is probably sufficient, although I might look into the satellite cost for the summer only.

Looking back on my sailing career, I have only crewed on wooden boats. I have been a passenger on a few other vessels, but I'm probably one of the last people in the world that learned to sail on a wooden workboat. The Kalmar Nyckel sail training program is well-regarded, and graduates of the program work on a variety of other tall ships. With a little luck, perhaps I will be able to change my career to tall ship sailor. If so, I will be able to make a living writing poetry and sailing old wooden vessels. Wouldn't that be a dream come true?