Struggling with all of the details of replacing the engine in our sailboat has been distracting me from work on the next novel, but I have been able to do a bit of work on a non-fiction book that's been on hold for several years. Dungda de Islan' is the story of our voyage to the
Caribbean, as well as our experiences during our first year in the islands. It's a tale of how we fell in love with this part of the world, to the extent that, after 7 years, we're still here and have no immediate plans to leave. Dungda de Islan' started as a collection of emails written en route, and it has elements of a travel log, a sea story, and the evolution of our relationship with each other, the boat, and the wonderful people of the island nations of the Caribbean. The title is patois, and it translates roughly to Down in the Islands.
It's been a lot of fun to go back and resurrect the experiences, which, like mangoes ripening in the sun, have grown richer with the passing of time. Writing non-fiction doesn't offer the same creative kick that spinning a tale from whole cloth provides, but it is a challenge of a different kind. It's tough to go back through our logbook entries and convert them to a cogent story. Memories surface as I read my old notes, and I find myself wanting to write about things that are only tangentially relevant to the story of our travels, whether metaphorical or physical.
If you've wondered what it would be like to chuck it all and go sailing, this book will give you a good idea. From the lonely splendor of a two-week, two person ocean voyage, to the delight of finding out of the way corners where people are in tune with the elemental joy of simply living, you can ride with us.
Depending on how the engine replacement goes (see http://www.voyagesoftheplayactor.blogspot.com/ ), maybe I’ll post some installments here as I work. I expect to have the whole story done in the next few months, so check back from time to time to see how I'm progressing. The details of the engine job, a story in itself, are posted on the Voyages of the Play Actor blog.