Sunday, July 13, 2008

SAYING YES

I read an interesting article in a magazine this month about saying yes to opportunities.
It got me thinking how often I decline invitations just because it's inconvenient or pushes me out of my comfort zone, so when I had an opportunity to hitch a ride from KoOlina (Oahu) to Nauwiliwili Harbor (Kauai) on a 38ft catamaran I said yes.
We left at 5:30 am. It was still dark.
We watched the sun rise behind us.

Threw up the spinnaker. The trip took 13 hours. It takes me a bit to get my sea legs on a longer sail -- it's a challenge and can be quite demanding.
Of course this photo is a fake. We were on autopilot most of the way but I did get to man the helm and point into the wind when we had to take the main sail down when the shackle on the clew broke. That was exciting...

When we approached Kauai, it was cloudy and the sun was setting.
I was dropped off at the fuel dock, met a friend for dinner in Lihue and made my way to the airport to fly back to Honolulu. When I finally got back to ORION it was well after 11 pm.
It was exhausting, exhilarating,disconcerting, nerve wracking and yet I'm so glad I didn't say No. I think that's a positive characteristic for a writer. You have to be able to take risks and say yes. You need to experience things so you can write about them. You have to spend the same amount of time actually living life that you do sitting in front of the keyboard giving characters life. At least that's my opinion. What do you think?

24 comments:

Jay said...

I agree.

Get OUT THERE!!

Like that kid Matt from whereinthehellismatt.com. There's a whole wide world waiting for us.

My mother is content to live her life within 10 square miles from home and play in the dirt. I, alas, am NOT.

Joanne said...

This would include experiencing jury duty ;) Seriously, I agree. How can our characters become real, how can readers connect, without lending them our own anxieties, happiness, fears, awareness. I think they become what we know.

ORION said...

ha ha ha ha Joanne...isn't it funny how selective one can be?

Lisa said...

I agree...life experience makes its way into everything I write. Without it all our characters and settings would just fall flat. Great post.

Janna Qualman said...

Well done! And, not only does it build character, it can serve to build fodder for future characters. :)

My hubby has expressed an interest in learning to sail, but I question how well it would work on a 600 acre lake...

laughingwolf said...

all grist for the mill, pat... so go for it, at every opportunity!

:: Suzanne :: said...

Hey, thanks for dropping by my blog and for the comment.

Dawn Anon said...

woohoo...in that case, i'm totally on the right track. I spent all day yesterday doing something fun and pushing the envelope!

i had been feeling guilty for not writing. Thanks for the re-frame! :)

The Anti-Wife said...

Well said! Good for you for pushing the envelope.

ChrisEldin said...

You are so brave. I could never be so far away from land.

But I agree about saying "Yes." Life is very short, yanno....

Those pics are gorgeous!!
:-)

Les said...

Yes! I'd do this in a heartbeat. Not that I know what when the shackle on the clew broke means. But I can fake it, right?

ORION said...

It's easy Les, you just respond,"Yeah that damn clew...ya can't live with 'em and ya can't live without 'em."

ORION said...

Also it's the part on the sail that's labeled:
C-L-E-W

Les said...

Ah! And after that I can say, "I'm just going to check on the bilge pump." After all, I know what that is. It's that damned thing below the forward berths that runs all night long!! Beats the alternative, though.

Chumplet said...

In your case, it was important to say yes so you could experience the sights, smells and swells of the sea again, just so you could add to your repertoire of wonderful memories to draw from.

Whew. Long sentence.

Kim Stagliano said...

Yes! Great post. I have a character who is about to have an affair. I can just make that part up, right? Tell me I don't need to log onto that ashleymadison site! ;)

K

ORION said...

I recommend using your imagination for that one Kim- just like I don't suggest that you have to fly to the moon or search out aliens...some things just HAVE to be made up from scratch!

kaui Hemmings said...

Hey! Lunch this week or next?
Kaui

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I couldn't agree more!!!!!

ChrisEldin said...

Sat down to write, but feel fidgety and want to surf. Stopping by.....


;-)

Holly Kennedy said...

This is so very true. It's easier not to push comfort zones, but when we do that's when all the good stuff happens, creatively
or otherwise :)

ChrisEldin said...

I have a pic up.

Now--fidgety *and* drunk.

Not a good combo.
:-)

BClark said...

I am always amazed when people whine they are bored!! There is so much to do and see, get off your duff and go. Super that you took your sail, who knows when that experience might come in handy. Lots of life experience to draw on to make your characters come alive. Best to you, Barbara

Bookfool said...

Gosh, I can't imagine saying no to that kind of opportunity. You'd have to hit me on the head to stop me. Really hard. With some kind of very painful implement, like a hammer.