At war with myself.

By Mike Jastrzebski

Both Christine Kling and I have written in the past about the difficulties of writing and living on a boat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but after all, the subtitle of this blog is So you want to quit your job, move onto a boat, and write, and it seems only right that I should occasionally post about the obstacles as well of the joys of this lifestyle.

IMG_0832The problem is that right now I’m not even writing. While Mary’s finishing up the copy editing on Stranded Naked Blues, my new Wes Darling mystery, I’m attempting to play catch up with the business aspects of self-publishing. Along with trying (not very successfully at times) to keep up on my blog posts, I’m rewriting all of my book descriptions, redoing my web site, and working at setting up a mailing list so that I can notify readers when my next book is available. And although all of my books are still available on Amazon, they are no longer exclusive. This past week I put all of my books up for sale on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple and I am hoping to get a Facebook author page up and running soon.

Finally, I am following in Christine’s footsteps and setting up a design contest with 99designs for a cover for Stranded Naked Blues. This will allow me to have multiple designers work up sample covers for the new book.

Cold but beautiful, at least by Florida standards.


The only way I can get all of this done is by sitting and working in one location. In this case it’s St. Augustine. This also means that along with the effort it takes to shop and keep warm up here (we have been burning between 70 an 80 pounds of charcoal per week in our wood/charcoal stove over the last few weeks), I am putting off all non-essential maintenance on the boat. I know it will catch up on me and I figure Mary and I will need to spend at least 4-6 weeks just working on the boat before we take off again next fall, but after all there are only so many hours in the day.

Well, I’m off to work on those publishing projects, and for those of you up north I hope you don’t hate me for complaining about a winter that had only one night where the weather dropped to a very cold 32 degrees. And yes, I’ll admit that I’ve been really spoiled since we left Minnesota and brought the boat down here to Florida 11 years ago.

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About Mike Jastrzebski

In September of 2003 my wife, Mary, and I moved aboard our 36-foot Sailboat, Roughdraft. It was our intention to take the boat south from Minnesota to warmer climates where I would write a novel. Six years later I have completed 3 mystery novels. I have published the first two books, The Storm Killer and Key Lime Blues as e-books and trade paperbacks. The third book, Dog River Blues will be released in early 2011. It is my intention to use this blog to share what I’ve learned while trying to get published. I will also blog about the trials and tribulations of living on a sailboat. We sailed the boat from Minnesota to Mobile, Alabama where we lived for two years. We also spent three months living in Key West. Currently, the boat is docked in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In 2011 we plan to take the boat to the Caribbean where we plan to drift until it is no longer fun.
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One Response to At war with myself.

  1. James Musters says:

    You face a difficult problem.

    One the one hand: Staying still so you can focus on the inner world inside your head. A place in which you hope to birth an alternate reality, and capture it with enough clarity to make the mirage appear real and the people three dimensional.

    One the other hand: Many great works of music and writing have been fermented in travel, adventure or just good walks in the mountains. From Melville’s experiences at sea; Hemingway at war; Laura Wilder’s on the prairie; Lord Byron’s travels through Mediterranean boudoirs; to Beethoven’s #6 from nature.

    But it is not just places you visit or people you meet, but the people you meet who fascinate you, and challenge you. The people who’s lives and choices you come to understand, from their interior world view.

    The proverbial blank page or blinking cursor is a good prompt,
    for regurgitating a tail about the lives of the people already in your head.

    With luck there is a bunch of really interesting people,
    fighting to have their story told, their point of view framed.

    Steinbeck’s landscapes were not a Disneyland where they switched out the lights at night, but full of people with stories to tell. Be it from their point of view, or like Twain and Steinbeck genteelly poking fun at the ridiculousness of their convictions and prejudice.
    Both found parts of their fictional people from getting to know and understand real people, from different walks of life, and how they thought. What made sense in their worlds, and then show that thinking, even if it was not the authors view.

    An author trying to flesh out a character by grafting factoids onto essentially uninteresting people is like trying to pump one’s resume on a dating sight, rather pathetic and often transparent.

    If you don’t have a head full of really interesting people, who are jumping up and down go get you to wright their story, maybe getting to know a few real people who are uniquely interesting and different might help.

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