Monday, May 21, 2012

Mexico, a writer's paradise...or is it?

So, I live on a boat several months out of the year. Preferably at anchor. Lots of time to write, right? Wrong. 

Conception Bay, Baja California, Sur, is where we spent this winter. At anchor. With sketchy Internet, no electricity or running water on shore, and  25 miles from the nearest town, it is a wonderful place to hang out. Just the spot to write, write, write. Wrong.

Living on the hook requires a vast amount of time spent, well, living. Groceries come from miles away, electricity if self-generated with generators and solar power, water is made from sea water (11 gals an hour, we use about 5 gals a day),  basics are not so easy to come by.

There are a couple of small places to eat on shore, but social life is what the hearty beach dwellers, RVers, and boaters make it. Card games abound! Painters gather to paint. Dancers gather to dance. And writers? Far as I know, I was the only one within twenty five miles last year.

But what do I do all day that keeps me from turning out a novel a month? Here's a typical morning in the life of Jinx and Mad Dog (my first mate) at anchor.
4:00 am  Mad Dog gets up, has coffee, reads.
6:00 am  Mad Dog takes first nap of the day
7:00 am  Jinx wakes up, has coffee, gets on Ham nets. (My call sign is KC6YMJ) These amateur radio nets are crucial to cruising. This is where we get the weather for that day, and what is coming. This bit of info dictates the day's activities. If it's gonna blow over 25, we have to move to a safer anchorage. If under 12, we can safely leave the boat and go do "stuff" on shore.
8:30 We dinghy in to the beach, Jinx walks, Mad Dog plays cards with guys on the beach.
10:30 Late breakfast on beach or back on boat
11:00 Mad Dog takes second nap of the day. Jinx writes...or reads...or makes ice cream...

Days fly by, and suddenly winter is over and it is time to head back to Arizona. Surely in Arizona there is plenty of time to write? After all, electricity comes from a pole, water from a pipe; it's a friggin' miracle.

Now it is time to put on paper all the ideas I jotted down this winter, meanwhile doing all the promoting of my books that didn't get done without good Internet. So what am I doing? Blogging!

But next year on the boat I will, yes I will, turn out at least one book. Honest. Cross my heart. Really. I mean it.


Diana said...

I hope you find the time to write many, many more books in the Hetta Coffey series. I'm on the second book and I'm loving it - as I did the first book as well. I seem to find time to read only after midnight, so I'm staying up into the wee hours of the morning - last night I read until 3:30am and even then I didn't want to quit.

"Trouble with Water" began as a really, really good book and ended with excellent! "Trouble With Water" ranks in the absolutely OUTSTANDING category!

Good work! Great job! You can add me to your list of fans who love and enjoy your books.

Claudia Kay Johnson said...

Jinx, I want to thank you for helping me through a very difficult time in my life. My beautiful and beloved granddaughter, Claudia Lux Dunavant, died on Aug. 4, 2012, at age 4 months and 6 days. It was SIDS. We are devastated. I discovered your books as audio download selections from my local library. I am listening to all of them available in order. I love Hetta and Jan and miss them while I am at work and they are waiting for me in the car on the ipad each day. They have kept me great company as I try to heal and to escape my pain and disappointment and incredulity and anger and grief. I spent a wonderful week at San Carlos (as in Just Add Trouble) when my brother was working on a project there very similar to the one you described. It is uncanny. I was with my son, who was about 13, and my daddy, who was in his late 70s then. I knew this was a "right of passage" trip, that my boy would be soon grown up and not interested in a trip with mama. Daddy is alive and well, but he won't be taking any large trips like one from Tennessee to Sonora, Mexico, in his 80s. I have hundreds of amazing photos of many of the things you describe. Plus, we actually were caught in a fishing boat MILES into the Sea of Cortez when a terrible storm came up. It was the most terrifying 22 miles of my life. Again, thanks. Thanks so much. Hetta and Jan are just about to go find Granny Ye, so I can't wait until I leave this office at 4:15 today and see what kind of trouble finds them.