Tick, tock

Me with Wayne and our friend Genna high atop Pic Paradis on St. Maarten in the Caribbean.

Me with Wayne and our friend Genna high atop Pic Paradis on St. Maarten in the Caribbean.

by Christine Kling

Okay, so I’ve blown my blog deadline again. I always try to get my blogs posted by 3:00 a.m. so my Friday blog appears all day on Friday, but I’m finding that time is slipping away from me these days. Minutes, hours, days, whole weeks pass, and I look back and wonder where they went.

What’s changed? I’m not flying solo through life anymore. When I used to talk to the Yorkshire Terror, he never talked back. The conversations were all one-sided, and it was so easy to keep on track and focused. This relationship stuff is certainly a challenge when it comes to getting things done (GTD).

All writers struggle with finding the time to write, and most of us here at Write on the Water have written about how difficult it is to work on a boat while writing a book. We’ve often said that we need to focus on one or the other, so we do boat work in spurts between writing our books. Since returning from our week-long trip to St. Maarten, I’m trying to move all my gear off Talespinner (boat work) and get her ready to sell, do research on my new book, keep sales up on my current books (book work), and hold up my end of the conversation. And I’m trying to get ready to leave on a two-month research trip in Europe. This is exhausting!

But lest I give you the impression that I am having second thoughts about this new tandem lifestyle I’m leading, let me also share this. Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m turning the big SIX-O. Tick tock, indeed. Where has the time gone? I don’t feel sixty and thanks to this new life and the joy I find in it, I don’t think I look sixty either. I used to think that sixty meant being a little blue-haired old lady, not a strong, fit sailor.

When I was a child and looking at my grandmother when she was a little old lady at age sixty, the life expectancy of Americans was only that they would live until they were in their sixties. But modern medicine has changed all that and the age keeps climbing. According to this country list on Wikipedia, an American female can expect to live until 82.2 years old, and the USA is number 35 on the list! Canada is #12 and Japan is #2 with a life expectancy for women of  87.2 years. I think the laid-back sailing/cruising lifestyle could add another decade onto that, so if I am going to be around for another 30 years or so, I have plenty of time to figure out how to get my books written with another human being around.

So while this IS going to take some getting used to, and I am struggling with finding the time and the discipline for GTD, I wouldn’t go back to being solo again for one minute!

Fair winds!


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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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4 Responses to Tick, tock

  1. I know exactly what you mean about the aging thing, Christine. My grandmother was old, really, really old, by the time she was 60. I feel like I’m still middle-aged.

    And I look at women who look kind of old but well preserved and think they are maybe pushing seventy. Then I find out they’re in their eighties.

    So Happy Birthday, and I’m not sure I’ve had the chance yet to congratulate you on your new love. Congrats!!! You deserve lots of happy days ahead!

  2. gerald dowling says:

    Getting things done is important, but what about Elvis? He believed in TCB. Taking care of business. If anyone can do it, you can. Happy Birthday and continued success in reaching all those goals out there. You can wonder all you want to about those years but they are somewhere else and all we got it this.

  3. Gail Isaacs says:

    The best that I can say is to enjoy the moment! It took you 60 years to get here, take a deep breath, we will all be right here looking forward to your next post whenever life allows you the time to do so!

    I don’t have to wish you a happy birthday because I know in my heart of hearts that this one will go down in history!

    I’m sending you a long distance hug!

    __/)__Sail On

  4. John Urban says:

    Happy Birthday, Christine.

    Sixty? Not even close. It’s probably teaching that kept you so young. Or living by the beach? Or maybe those early years in California?

    But that line about your life being extended by sailing? I figure my own sailing experiences – plus exposure to bottom paint, red lead, and epoxy – have cut me down by at least 5 or 6 years. And I recall a few wildly crazy sailing posts by you, one not so long ago.

    Then again, it seems you always run into old salts in boatyards who did it all, drank epoxy, bottom paint, and sawdust for breakfast, and are still kicking at 100, so who knows.

    Happy Birthday, Chris, and enjoy this next trip around the sun.


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