A Boat For My Potplants


My nautical project took me to glorious places, metaphorically speaking. There were parties on board. There was The World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station. Of course there were plants. And one day even a gorilla.
The boat also became my 'Writer's Retreat'. I decided to become an author, writing my debut novel aboard the boat. The book, called MUDDY WATER, was naturally set in Wivenhoe. Amazingly, several local people paid good money to have their names appearing in the book, and a lot of cash was raised for worthy charities - the RNLI, MIND, The Samaritans, and The Royal British Legion.
Now, my next multi-singular selling novel, FLORIDA KEY, is in 'production', due for publication in October 2017.
I'm sure to be visiting writers' block along the way, as well as euphoria, self-doubt and inspiration.
See how my book goes through all the stages - from initial concept to final print. I'll take you with me on my personal journey as I work on the words, on the cover, on the marketing, and on the publishing.
Maybe it will inspire you too to have a go at bringing out THE BOOK IN YOU. Everyone has a story in them, just waiting to be told, and after all, if I can do it, anyone can.
(Click on the tabs below to see more about the Writer's Retreat In France, the old Boat For My Potplants, Tallulah the Motorhome, Alfonso the Car, and Jane the Woman. And to find out more about MUDDY WATER the novel, click the cover to be transported to its Facebook page)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

My lovely old Grandad used to tell me when I was nee high that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. As it was when I began my love affair with The Boat For My Potplants. And I do still have many miles to go - not least getting a motor - and I'm crossing my fingers that next Friday's meeting with Suzuki will present a positive outcome.

But while all this is going on, somebody told somebody that I'm a painter and decorator and that I've been working on "that boat by the pub with the potplants on it". Back in the balmy autumn I was asked to visit a lovely old wooden sailing vessel that's kept in a farm-shed awaiting renovation and painting, and its owner and I fixed a date for me to begin my first 'professional' boat job, and that date has now come up.

I arrived on Monday morning at 9am. By 10am I was frozen to the bone. Why I had to pick the coldest week of the year is anybody's business - but I'd agreed to do it, so I'd better just get on with it. Cold it may be, but what a privilege it is to be entrusted to work on someone else's pride and joy. And to be paid for it!

I looked at the extensive task ahead and had that deju-vu feeling all over again. The same one that I got when I first began working on my own boat. Just where to start? I had to reach deep inside my mind and pull out a gallon of positive energy to pick up a scraper, and start at the very beginning. It is, after all, a very good place to start.

It's funny how things work out. I would never have been given this job if it hadn't been for the Boat For My Potplants. I could instead have been decorating Mrs Smith's living room this week. Nice and warm. Cups of tea brought to me. 'One sugar today, Neil?' 'Yes please, Mrs Smith'. Nice.

Nah. Boats is more fun. More of a challenge. More rewarding. Give me that deja vu feeling any time.

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