Carolina: Cruising Past 70: WOW: Finishing Writing My Book

Monday, February 18, 2013

WOW: Finishing Writing My Book

the yellow ones are obviously mine, pink and whites are my daughter Trisha's
toast of champagne at La Flora!
Valentines Day came and with it Bill. Actually, he arrived the day before together with a tall vase of yellow flowers. He was so happy to have had a meaningful one month with his son Jim in Boise, Idaho where he helped with the renovation of the office building they got as compensation for a real estate case they had won. Deejay and Trish had also reserved a table for us at La Flora, a Spanish restaurant at the University District in Seattle where we shared gambas, two kinds of paella and a bottle of rioja. Back at home we laughed till midnight watching Russell Peters while having pie and ice cream for dessert. Who else would take their parents with them on a Valentines date?

It was the longest separation in 4 ½ years of marriage. We were briefly apart for a couple of days two years ago and again for several days last year when I met up with Ann and Jingjing for a brief escape in Las Vegas. Since Bill and I married and started this RV cruising lifestyle, we had been together 24/7.  So, before he left, our pastoral counselor directed each of us to consider it a retreat  and to reflect, every single day we are apart, find meaning in a specific adventure of our 3 ½ year cruise, and recall how it was to be with the other.

The first days without Bill were hard. Compounding the situation was the change in medications Bill’s doctor gave me. I had decided to shift to him and consult him about my continuing breakouts of hives, acid reflux and heartburn. I like the MyChart system of electronic patient records of their MultiCare Clinic, something that would be practical given our constant travels.  I also tried to read the book Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships, a book assignment from our pastoral counselor.

Trisha and Yeye joined me at the Zumba Party
Turning my attention to family, I was also able to get a handle on what was going on with Krishna, eldest daughter of Trisha, who had broken up with her long-time beau and is struggling to earn her keep while finishing her schooling at the Gene Juarez Beauty Academy.  She has reconciled with her parents Deejay and Trisha so she would come to the house whenever I cooked dinner, except for the time when her car broke down. Yeye, Trisha’s second daughter, usually slept with me. When Kenji joined us, it felt like a very cozy party in bed!

my Estrogen Club at the Zumba Party
One night my Estrogen Club joined a Zumba Party. Trisha and Yeye came with me. I must have strained a pelvic muscle. Worse, I stupidly followed it with four days of LA Fitness with Yeye. By the fourth day I could not move! Fortunately, Deejay knew how to handle such sore muscles and in just a few days I was able to function again.

Soon, the combination of my reflections and all the free time I had when the Trisha and Deejay left for work and Yeye and Kenji  were in school, I was able to complete the first draft of my book manuscript with the working title, Cruising to a Life Together, Becoming an American.

It is a 90,000-word book sectioned into 9 chapters 1) Changing Lifestyles, 2) Driving North to the Arctic Circle and South to Mexico, 3) Crossing the Gulf States to the Southeast, 4) Turning West Back to Seattle, 5) Going Back to Florida for the Winter, 6) Driving North from Florida to Maine, 7) Completing North America, 8) Transitioning to Stage 4, 9) Coming Together. And now I have talked to two publishing consultants, Archway Publishing of Simon and Schuster and Author!Author! of Penguin Books. Alternatively, I can look for a literary agent for the traditional publishing route.

 Meanwhile, the draft is being proofread and edited by Bill, the other main character of my creative nonfiction and travel memoir!