Sorry to be quiet so long. First there were life events, and then Daughter1.0 and I tagged along with my husband to a work-related convention.
The nice thing about going to work-related conventions is that you often get to stay in wonderful and interesting places.
The nice thing about being the spouse of someone going to a convention is that you get to stay in wonderful and interesting places without having to go to all those pesky talks and meetings. Places like San Diego. Which is where I’ve been for the last few days. Which is why all thoughts of traditional versus indie publication, genre definitions, and other writing-related issues have been wiped from my brain and replaced with, well, boats.
That can happen when the view from your hotel pool looks like this.
To be fair and honest, if I were to sit in a different poolside chair, my view would have been this.
You may think I’m weird, but I didn’t mind that view, either. I’ve developed a philosophy that anything new and different is interesting, and I have never watched a cargo ship unload before.
The ship arrived sometime in the night, fully loaded with containers of pineapple or bananas or some other Dole-ish products. It was so large that it seemed immovable. I stared when I first saw it, wondering if it had been there all along, then decided that even I couldn’t mistake something that big for a warehouse. I believe the arms sticking up from the middle of the deck are cranes that slide on tracks as they lift the containers and lower them over the side to an awaiting train. I can’t be sure about that because they never moved when I was looking. But, since containers morphed into gaping holes throughout the day, I feel safe making the assumption.
The ship disappeared sometime during the next night, replaced by an enormous tugboat. Sorry, no picture.
The water and boats and sunshine gave me the urge to go sailing, something I’ve only done a handful of times, many years ago. Daughter1.0 has never sailed at all. So we hired a sailboat for a three-hour tour. And a captain, because I certainly didn’t want to drive the boat myself, especially with the Gilligan’s Island theme song cycling through my brain.
I sat aft with my butt hanging over the side a bit. Daughter1.0 lay on the bow like an iguana a mermaid basking in the sun.
I remember sailing as a restful, almost meditative activity, especially if you’re not doing the driving. You lie in the boat, watching air filling the sails and sun glinting off of waves. You become hyperaware of water lapping the sides, the flap of canvass, and the occasional shrieking seagull.
Either my memory is bad or sailing San Diego Bay in a 30-foot boat is a different experience than riding on a two-person catamaran on a lake. (Probably both.)
Yes, I watched sails filling with air and sun glinting on water. But the meditative sounds of waves lapping and canvass flapping were largely lost in a cacophony of engine noise. Because it turns out that the US Navy owns large chunks of San Diego’s bay front property, where they keep really big boats. And submarines. And helicopters. And fighter planes.
My meditation was so disrupted that I switched mental gears into “anything new and different is interesting” mode and watched the commotion with interest.
A more meditative experience took place later, while we were on shore. Note that we did not participate in the meditative activity, which would have been more frustrating than restful.