17 November 2017

Marina Life On A Bulletin Board

How do you know when it's busy season at Indiantown Marina? It's easy to tell. There are lots of Canadian license plates in the parking lot. You have to wait in line for the bathroom. There are empty beer cans on the patio tables in the morning. The washing machines are always in use. And the bulletin board is chock full of notices.

I kind of think that the bulletin board at Indiantown Marina offers a little glimpse into marina life. It's up by the marina office, right next to the dryers. This picture reminds me that I used to think it was weird to do laundry outside. Now it seems perfectly normal.

Here's the main bulletin board. It gives you something to read while you're waiting for the ladies room.

This notice makes me a sad - a missing cat. There were two cats aboard this boat that went missing. One was found, but I don't think this one has been yet.

Have a look at the card for Ristorante Beppe above the missing cat notice. I think this place is in Italy. It would take you a long time to get there from Florida on your boat. And right below it is a flyer for an introductory HAM radio class. A number of sailors have their HAM licenses, including me. The exam was a nightmare full, of 800 fun-filled technical questions. That's something I don't want to go through again.

This is another odd thing to see in Indiantown - a pamphlet for the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, right next to a card for a guy who can help you out with your hydraulic hoses.

There's lots of stuff for sale.

I met the guy selling this stuff while I was getting my clothes out of the dryer. He just completed a solo five-year circumnavigation. His wife flies in and meets him at various ports. Turns out he reads our blog. The thing I'm most fascinated by that he has for sale are the "tubs full of boat stuff." What kind of goodies are inside those tubs?

And the thing people are most excited about is the Thanksgiving celebration, which kicks off on Saturday with a Beatles tribute band. The marina owner puts on several days of festivities, including free food, drinks, dinghy racing, and bands, all culminating in lunch on Thanksgiving Day.

Do you have a bulletin board? What kind of stuff do you put on it? Are you celebrating American Thanksgiving? If so, how?

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15 November 2017

Wordless Wenesday | Lawn Bowling In Scotland

Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - I've never played lawn bowls. It's probably for the best. Someone would likely get hurt. Let's just say when it comes to tossing around balls, they never end up where they're supposed to be.

2 - I wish I had tried it though when we lived in Scotland.

3 - We did play in a curling league for a while, which is popular in Scotland. Again, probably not a good idea to let me loose with a really heavy curling stone and have me chuck it down the ice in the general vicinity of other people.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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13 November 2017

Usually, Normal & Abnormal | A Few Of My Favorite Words

Usually, I have blogs posts written and scheduled in advance. Not today.

I like the word >>usually<<. It refers to normal conditions, which means that sometimes there are abnormal conditions.

Sure, you could argue that abnormal conditions are undesirable or worrying - they're not >>normal<<. But you could also argue that sometimes it's good to not be stuck in the normal.

Right now, things are >>abnormal<< around here. I'm completely focused on editing my manuscript and getting it ready for my beta readers. If things were normal, I'd try editing for a few minutes, get frustrated, and find something else to do, like writing blog posts. Instead, I spend hours and hours each day working on it.

Maybe this abnormal will become my new normal.

So what this means for you is that there isn't an exciting blog post today, just some weird ramblings about a few of my favorite words.

But to make that up to you, here's a picture of one of the things that interrupted my editing this morning. If you know what it is, you'll probably wrinkle your nose and say >>gross<<. If you don't know what it is, consider yourself lucky.

What are your favorite words? Have things been normal or abnormal for you lately?

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10 November 2017

Seven Days, Seven Black & White Photos, Some Explanation

There's this black and white photo challenge going around Facebook. The instructions I got were:
Seven days, seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Tag someone to invite them to join.

Surprisingly, I followed the rules and posted my photos without explanation. But I was dying to explain just a little bit. It was all I could do to restrain myself from adding words to each Facebook post. Because, I like words. Words are good.

So, here are some words which provide some explanation about my photos.

Day 1 - Winch Handles

I took this photo at a marine consignment shop in Stuart, Florida. In the cozy mystery I'm working on, one of the murder weapons is a winch handle. I'm thinking of designing some sort of nautical based Clue game. Something along the lines of, >>The Captain committed the murder in the galley with a winch handle.<<

 Day 2 - Indiantown Marina

We're currently living aboard our boat in Indiantown Marina, which is between Lake Okeechobee and Stuart, Florida. There are alligators, turtles, and armored catfish living in this water. We also get the occasional visit from manatees.

Day 3 - Killer Bunnies

This game is so much fun! It's called >>Killer Bunnies<<. Here's a top tip - read the weapon cards thoroughly before you play them. I didn't and ended up killing all of the bunnies on the table, including my own.

Day 4 - NaNoWriMo

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) again this year. It's an insane challenge in which you try to write a draft 50,000 word novel in November. My trusty Guardasaurus keeps an eye on me to make sure I hit the word count each day.

Day 5 - Schooner

Cute puppy, huh? Her name is Schooner. She belongs to Tracie and Steve from Sailing Saga Sea. On their way back to Texas from Miami, they stopped by Indiantown Marina to say hi. Always fun to meet fellow bloggers.

Day 6 - Spices

I walked up to the local grocery store the other day for a few odds and ends, including cumin seeds. I've found that the Hispanic lines of spices can be far cheaper than some of the other brands I'm used to buying. And as a bonus, you get to practice your Spanish while you shop. >>Mas semillas de comino por favor.<<

Day 7 - Chaos

If you live on a boat, you quickly learn this one simple rule - >>Anything important that you need will be located in the most inaccessible part of your boat<<. I needed to get my sewing supplies out of the v-berth. This involved moving everything out of the v-berth and creating chaos in the process.

If you had to post seven photos of your life, what would they be of? Do you prefer black and white photos or color ones?

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08 November 2017

Wordless Wednesday | Atlanta Street Art

Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - One of the upsides of Hurricane Irma was evacuating to Atlanta, Georgia to stay with some friends of ours. We got to explore the city and see some of the fun and funky street art scattered about.

2 - We saw great street art in our walks around Atlanta.

3 - Some of it it might be considered graffiti by some, others might call it art.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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06 November 2017

October In Numbers

Clockwise from upper left: (1) Cleaning up a portlight frame; (2) Heavy rains led to flooding at the marina; (3) It's good to have friends who bring you over nachos; (4) Organizing our spices; (5) Fun with Amazon deliveries; and (6) Checking out books at the local library.

It's time for our monthly recap by the numbers. The month started out with some heavy rains leading to flooding at the marina. The electricity got shut off for several days and it was a bit dicey getting on and off the boat. Top tip: when you're stepping in over a foot of murky water, always look to see if there are gators lurking about first. We tackled a few boat projects before Scott went back to Scotland mid-October. Since he's been gone, I've successfully ignored the rest of the items on the boat project list.

So, enough with all of those words, here's the usual random nonsense recap by the numbers:

  • 7 - What Spanish level I'm at on Duolingo. We're talking about cruising in the Western Caribbean this season and Spanish sure would come in handy. So far, I can say useful things like, >>Soy un pinguino<< (I am a penguin) and >>Yo no como pinguinos<< (I don't eat penguins). 
  • 5 - How many cookies I bought at the Guatemalan bakery. I gave three of them away. Did you know that if you share your sugary treats, you get good calorie karma?
  • 8 - Number of dubious looking apples that I turned into applesauce. 
  • 10 - How many books I checked out of the library. 
  • 2 - How many cans of potatoes I used in my new >>Experimental Potato<< recipe. It involved a lot of seeds (cumin, coriander, mustard, carroway), turmeric, and garam masala. Nobody seemed to require hospitalization after eating it, so I've declared the experiment a success.
  • 3 - How many bolts you have screw in when you're replacing the blower fan in our vehicle.
  • 2 - How many attempts I made to try to line up the bolts with the holes, which I could neither see nor feel, and screw the darn thing in place.
  • Nil - How many blower fans that have successfully been installed.
  • 15 - How many >>zoodles<< I ate at a lovely dinner I was invited to. Ever had zoodles? They're adorable. Zucchini is always more fun when you spiralize it. 
  • $20 - How much my new snorkel mask cost. It's one of those full face ones which I've been really interested in trying out. I figure if I don't end up liking it, I won't have wasted too much money on it. 
  • 795 - The number / name of the Dow Corning sealant we used for our portlight. I don't know why they call it by a number. They should give it a more interesting product name, like >>Captain Ron's Magical Water Repellent Solution & Denture Adhesive<<.

And that's all for this month. In case you missed them, here are some of our favorite blog posts from last month:

Morning Coffee: Random Thoughts & Oddities
Cruising in the Bahamas Season Recap: Provisioning, Cooking & Eating Out
Do I Really Have to Make My Bed? Or, The Mysteries of Facebook
How did last month go for you? What are you looking forward to this month?

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04 November 2017

Saturday Spotlight | Book Lovers Day

In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday about our eccentric travel adventures and day-to-day life living aboard a sailboat, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.


It's Book Lovers Day today! Sure, some people might say that you're supposed to celebrate Book Lovers Day in August, but the internet tells me that we can also celebrate it today so I am. Don't you just love it when the internet tells you you're right? Although, do we really need an excuse to celebrate our love of books. In fact, every day should be Book Lovers Day, not to mention Chocolate Lovers Day and Cute Kittens Lovers Day.

So go ahead, get yourself a stack of books, grab your favorite form of chocolate and snuggle up with an adorable kitten and have yourself a good read today.

If you're looking for some suggestions on great books to read, here's a shameless plug for the two Insecure Writer's Support Group anthologies.

This is where the "shameless plug" comes in. The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) has an annual short story contest and I was lucky enough to get picked last year for the Hero Lost anthology. I can't tell you how much it boosted my self-confidence as a writer to be selected, especially given the immense talent of my co-authors. If you're a writer (newbie or established), check out the IWSG - great support and great resources.

For those of you who like speculative fiction and fantasy, then these anthologies might be right up your alley. If you're a fan of mystery/crime/thriller genre, then keep an eye out for the next IWSG anthology which will be published next year.

Parallels: Felix Was Here
Print ISBN 9781939844194
eBook ISBN 9781939844200
Science Fiction/Alternate History

Available at:
Amazon (US)
Barnes & Nobles

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
Print ISBN 9781939844361
eBook ISBN 9781939844378

Available at:
Amazon (US)
Amazon (Canada)
Amazon (UK)
Barnes & Noble (print book)
Barnes & Noble (ebook)

The anthologies were published by Dancing Lemur Press, which also publishes some other great books that you might want to check out.

I'm a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy geek, so I really enjoyed Alex J Cavanaugh's Cassa series books. If you like a good space opera with engaging and interesting characters, then this series might be one that you may like too. You can even download the prequel to the series, CassaDawn, for free and try it out. Once you're hooked, check out the other Cassa books on Alex's author page on Amazon.

CassaDawn by Alex J Cavanaugh
eBook ISBN 9781939844354
Science Fiction-Space Opera/Adventure/Military

Free download:
Barnes & Noble

CassaSeries by Alex J Cavanaugh
eBook ISBN 9781939844118
Science Fiction-Space Opera/Adventure/Military

Available at:
Amazon (US)
Barnes & Noble

The Remnant by William Michael Davidson is another one of the books published by Dancing Lemur Press which I've read. It's a cautionary tale of what can happen when freedom of worship and freedom of speech is curtailed. Perfect for those of you who like dystopian thrillers.

The Remnant by William Michael Davidson
Print ISBN 9781939844293
eBook ISBN 9781939844309
Science Fiction/Christian Futuristic Fiction

Available at:
Amazon (US)
Barnes & Noble


Dancing Lemur Press has lots of other interesting looking titles in their catalog. I can't quite decide what to read next. Maybe one of Jolene Nowell Butler's psychological thrillers - Matowak: Women Who Cries and Maski: Broken But Not Dead - or LX Cain's paranormal thriller - Bloodwalker. If you've read any of these or others published by Dancing Lemur Press and have a recommendation, let me know. Check out their website for details of what's on offer. 

Are you celebrating National Book Lover's Day? If so, how? Have you read any of these books? What books would you recommend?

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