Mostly depressing book update–enjoy!

So I signed a contract to publish my book. It’s a memoir, and it’s going to be called “Princess of Pirates: Or, How I Ran Away to Sea.” If you read this blog regularly, you know that. If you didn’t, you do now. If you remember the post from a year ago announcing the book, you may even be wondering, “What is the freakin’ holdup with that damn book?!”

My editor, Brenda Knight, resigned today, citing, I think, “irreconcilable differences” with the new management. Start Publishing, which bought my publisher, Cleis Press/Viva Editions, a few months ago, is taking over, and will more than likely have to begin the process of hiring another editor. Heaven only knows how long that will take, and there was already a backlog of several manuscripts waiting to be edited when Brenda resigned, mine among them.

Obviously I want them to take their time and find as good an editor as possible. I’m a part-­time editor myself, and I know a good editor can take a so-­so manuscript and make it so good you want to cram it down your throat. (See, a good editor would have made me change that line.)

But even prior to Brenda’s leaving, there was a huge publication delay as they worked through the sale, and that is pretty much why I stopped blogging temporarily. My wonderful agent Anna, whom I love in a way beyond all human comprehension, recommended I blog anyway. She said I can build excitement about the book’s release. So here I am. Meanwhile, Anna’s taken care of everything for me, from frantic emails to calling my (now former) editor to repeatedly stroking my pathetic and yet nevertheless strangely stroke-­receptive ego.

When I left New York, I was broke and despondent and pretty much felt like a failure. My only consolation was that moving back in with my parents would allow me to save the money I needed to take this epic sailing voyage and write a book about it­­money I never would have been able to save while living in New York. That part actually went off without much of hitch (except when I missed my flight home from the Azores, but that’s a blog post for another day).

You know what happens next. I made the proposal, went to sea, came back, and wrote the book. My agent and my editor couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. I figured everything else would fall into place if I could just get that one book under my belt. So I waited. One month turned into two, then three, then six, then nine. My editor still hadn’t read the book, and now it looks like she never will. I’m still underemployed. I always figured I could look for a “real job” after the book came out, and that having a book might give me a leg up in doing so.

But now, here I am, still no book, still no release date, and still stuck in the unenviable position of still having to figure out the entire rest of my life­­where I’m going to live, what I’m going to do, how to stave off the inevitable day when parents have to heave me and all my meager belongings out the door. (Hint: win a lawnmower in a Shop Your Way sweepstakes and give it to them. It’s the best idea I’ve come up with yet). And now-­­bonus!­­-not even the reassurance of an editor to tell me this all-­important step will ever take place.

I always knew a published book would be the first step toward catapulting me into that mythical upper echelon of writers, the ones that seem able to make a living while still having time to travel the world. I don’t know precisely how that upper echelon works; or whether anything I’ve done or will do will be enough to put me in it. I don’t need to sell 200 million copies. I really don’t.

I just want to be able to make a living doing what I do best. I know there are many variations of that, and I’m willing to consider all of them. I’m not afraid of hard work, or more work, or having to have patience.

Still, having a book would help. At least it would make me legitimate in the eyes of most people who counted. I thought it would help me not feel like a fraud when I tell people I wrote a book. (“Oh, cool! When is it coming out?” “I, uh, don’t know.” *Slinks off*)

And then today, the person I was counting on to help usher me through those gates is no longer in the ushering business. (Now she’s working with Blink-­182. But I guess they need her more than I do, right?)

So where does that leave us? Essentially, at the exact same place I was when I posted more than year ago. I guess the only difference is that the book, this time, is written.

(In case anyone was wondering, yes, I am working on another book. A novel this time. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it lately, but I hope to finish it before the end of the year. So I got that going for me, I guess?)

So, anyway, good news, everybody! Get excited! My book will be out…sometime. Probably. And after that, maybe my life can begin.

(Also, in other news, Princess of Pirates has a Twitter account! And it’s totally different from my regular Twitter account! You’ll have to check it out to see exactly what I mean.)

Into the blue

All right, you guys, this is it. On Saturday I leave to cross the Atlantic Ocean not 1, not 2, but THREE TIMES in two months. Needless to say, internet access is nonexistent at sea, but the Oosterschelde blog, via satellite, will help fill the gap left by my absence. The crew takes turns writing posts. If you’re at all interested in this pirate insanity, I urge you to follow along!

Now, deep breath. Here’s the sked. As a quirk of the flight I booked, I fly to Madrid first.

Followed by a couple days couchsurfing and tangoing in sunny Buenos Aires.

Not me (yet).

Before I jet again to the End of the World, where I’ll just have enough time to visit Tierra del Fuego. No, Dad, it’s not just a punchline.

There’s a bar here, too.

Before meeting my shipmates (I’ve already “met” one, hi Lotte!) and setting sail on the Oosterschelde.

The seas won’t always be this calm.

From there, it’s all water for a long, long time–up through the tradewinds, the horse latitudes, then the tropics, then the whole thing over again in reverse. This takes roughly 60 days.

See?

On the itinerary, I’m hoping, is a tiny little rock in the Atlantic called Ascension Island. I guess it’s controlled by the British, but I’m pretty sure they’ve forgotten it exists by now, along with its sister St. Helena, the “cursed rock” where Napoleon was marooned and eventually died. This is the kind of place you can tell people you’ve visited, and they go, “huh?” (I like that kind of thing).

No, this is not a joke. There’s really land out there.

Until we reach Horta, Faial, Azores, a port that transatlantic sailors have used for centuries, leaving murals on the sea wall. Dolphins and whales, too!

Every one of these represents a different ship!

Conveniently, I can’t catch a flight back to the states until April 18, which gives me enough time to island hop through to Pico.

and the largest island (another flight), Sao Miguel.

Before catching my ridiculously convoluted flight back to Boston, then Minneapolis via Seattle (no that’s not a typo).

Hell, yes, I’m scared. I’ve traveled a lot, but no matter what, jetting off alone (and for me, it’s almost always alone) in the great unknown never gets easier. But I won’t stop doing it.

I’m crazy like that. I’d pretty much have to be.

Buy this book (no, not mine)!

Even at sea, there’s no escape from cops behaving badly, I guess.

Packed with photos from the Oosterschelde’s 18-month voyage from the Netherlands to New Zealand and back again, this book in cooperation with Elastik.Concepts will be published in June 2014. (And yes, I promise to try to photobomb as much as possible, so maybe I’ll be in it!)

Order now and pay € 17,50 (excluding shipping costs) instead of € 22,50. Send an e-mail with subject ‘pre-order book’ to info@oosterschelde.nl with your name, address and telephone number.

Christian Siriano dresses a pirate fairy

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So, this is basically the outfit I’m packing for the trip. Still haven’t found the right wings, though.

Over on USA Today, designer Christian Siriano is talking about how one goes about dressing a pirate fairy for Disney’s new straight-to-DVD flick of the same name–complicated, because you have to consider the needs of both the pirates and the fairies. Tough, because gossamer and burlap don’t always match up.

“Zarina transforms into this pirate fairy so I wanted her to be edgier and cool,” says Siriano of the design. “I wanted this character to be fashion-forward.”

For more on The Pirate Fairy, which stars honorary pirate princess Christina Hendricks as Zerlina, the title character, and Thor heartthrob Tom Hiddleston as the cabin boy who (not-so-spoiler) grows up to become Captain Hook.

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Clearly, you can’t beat a corset.

Can a pirate fairy be comfortable and chic? How do you think he did?

 

 

Sending out an S.O.S.

Are you following the Oosterschelde blog? I am, and you should, if only to figure out how a crew of 28 diverse people manage to amuse themselves for over a month with no land in sight! As they move closer and closer to Cape Horn, the latest of which has proved the classic Message in a Bottle:

The text of the message.

Stay tuned to see who finds it (granted, it may take a while)!

Those are some seriously high seas for that little bottle to take on.

Through the tradewinds

The Horse Latitudes? The Roaring Forties? Ushu…usha…what? In case you were wondering exactly just where I’ll be sailing come February, here’s a helpful map from my friends at the Oosterschelde to get you started:

My route (Oosterschelde) is in purple. My leg is from Ushuaia, Argentina at the tip of South America, up through the South Atlantic and over the Equator, and debarking in Horta, Azores in the middle of the North Atlantic. (How am I getting home from there? Don’t ask).

My ports of call will span the major weather systems and the most storied trade routes, traveled from everyone from pirates and the King’s Navy. Over the next few months, my posts will take more in-depth look at some of the stops! Hop aboard!

Want to sail to Alaska on the Pacific Grace? Of course you do!

Alaskan Glacier ~ Photo by James Warburton

Yesterday, I was excited to receive this exciting dispatch from SALTS, the extraordinary Victoria, B.C.-based sail training organization with whom I took my first (and second) tall-ship voyage:

NEW FOR 2014 – Summer trip routes will include:
A 10-day trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert with exploration in the coastal region of the Great Bear Rainforest,
A 22-day trip from Prince Rupert, into southern Alaska to view calving glaciers and wildlife, and then to remote Haida Gwaii, with final disembarkation in Port Hardy,

A 10-day trip from Port Hardy along the west coast to Victoria, and
SALTS much-loved traditional five 10-day trips that in total circumnavigate Vancouver Island.

IMPORTANT DATE – Registration for summer 2014 trips will open on:

Monday, October 28, 2013 at 8:30am PDT at www.salts.ca.

Berths are available for young people age 13 – 25. No experience is necessary. Voyages fill up quickly (one trip filled up in 11 minutes last year), and once full, a waitlist is taken.

If you’re a youngster (which I, sadly, am no longer) and have any interest in learning to sail tall ships, I recommend you do everything possible TO GET ON ONE OF THESE VOYAGES! This is the first time in recent history (correct me if I’m wrong) either the Pacific Swift or the Pacific Grace has left the vicinity of Vancouver Island for a summer trip. Just think: twenty-two days of discovery–that’s swimming, fishing, exploring, whale-spotting, and of course, sailing–in Alaska is too exciting to pass up! (Can you tell I’m jealous of whoever gets to go?)