Fjords and Wonders

Helga’s Post #11 — That’s the name of our upcoming cruise to South America, our first trip to that rugged, beautiful continent. It’s both a mutual Christmas present and a special treat  to mark our anniversary. Most of all, it’s our reward for dealing with life’s challenges.

It’s a bit of a departure from our  travel style of years past. We still have heaps of camping gear to prove it. It  gets dusted off now and then when adventurous (and younger) house guests arrive and load the stuff on the way to the great outdoors. For me, camping only has nostalgic value now (and I do have lots of great memories of those romantic jaunts). I feel my body has earned the right to a comfortable mattress and a flush toilet. I’ve done my share of gazing at the horizon through the mosquito net of a two-men tent. Now I look forward to seeing the coast slide by from my veranda on board the elegant Marina, preferably with a glass of bubbles in my hand.

So there’s much anticipation at our house. What it means for my writing though is as yet unclear. Consider this: How much sense does it make to stare at a computer screen when you could be looking out over vistas of majestic fjords on the Chilean and Argentine coasts, or to marvel at colonies of adorable penguins in Patagonia?

Not all is lost however: I will make every effort to devote some guilt-free writing time. Perhaps late at night when there’s nothing to see outside, after the last bar on board has closed and entertainment has retired, and when my husband is happily dreaming about the delicious Escargot Bourguignon starter at dinner and the top-shelf single-malt Scotch to end the evening.

But I am getting ahead of myself. We’re not there yet. Embarkation is still 10 days off. For now, I’m eagerly reading up on all the ports where we’ll anchor or dock. I love doing detailed research of a trip before I go. Also – and this is a favorite pastime – I’m checking out culinary offerings. All menus of the six restaurants on board as well as the grand dining room are already printed out and neatly filed in my document folder. (‘And that takes priority over writing?’ you may rightfully ask).

All to say, I have been distracted. But I’m determined to do the right thing: to honour our challenge and do more writing.*  (Note restrictions below) Who knows, I may surprise you with my page count next week if I’ll be able to post to the blog en route. Maybe it will be a pleasant surprise. Maybe not.


Pages written to date: 47

Pages written since last post: -6 (yes, as in minus)

Reason for minus page count:

  • Splitting my protagonist into two.
  • Splitting the novel’s setting between New York and Vancouver (from Vancouver only)

Pies or other desserts eaten: 0 (I must fit into that sundress I bought 4 years ago)

Glasses of wine consumed: 0 Monday to Friday, for reason of above sundress; 3 each Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the weekend

Days at the gym: 000

How to make up for lost exercise: Tango in Buenos Aires


* Once I have ticked off all items on that mile-long to-do list before we leave for Rio in five days.

7 thoughts on “Fjords and Wonders

  1. Writing while on a cruise – you betcha. I finished TUYA while cruising to Alaska. Use those days at sea constructively, especially if you’re out of sight of land. You have 24 hours in a day – I’m sure, like me, you can pack in not only the entertainment, the food, the scenery and a bit of exercise (I walked the promenade deck for a set period of time), but also to get in two or three hours of writing – and not necessarily late at night, either! My favourite place to write was on the top of the ship, in the library, with the coffee bar at my back, books, games and gaming tables to my left and right, and a window wall straight ahead of me – great for resting the eyes when I lifted them from the screen and dragged myself out of the world of the book. I bet, if you try, you can get a lot more than you think accomplished. And have a great, restful time while you’re doing it! Have a wonderful cruise.

  2. Thank you, Bev! Great advice from writer to writer. You are so right. I probably have more uninterrupted time for writing on the cruise than at home. No interruptions from phone calls, shopping and preparing meals. No laundry, cleaning, and chores. YES! Let’s do it.

  3. Helga, I must overcome my envy to wish you and Emil my heartfelt best wishes and bon voyage for a spectacular, memorable and inspiring trip! What a romantic vision: the ship’s writer-in-residence, sailing through the awesome fjords in the company of her two passions – her beloved husband and her writing. I know you will do justice to both on your trip!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s