Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Ocean

Ocean: From the Middle English occean, from Latin oceanus, from the Greek Okeanos, a river thought of as encircling the earth. (Which it is.)

For a time I commuted between our guest house at Lille Maho on St. John and school on St. Thomas. This meant my day started around 5 in the morning. I'd get up, eat breakfast then Mom and I walked a quarter of a mile on an rocky trail (pretty much in the dark) over a hill to get to where the jeep was parked. By that time it was about 6:15 or so. The jeep ride to Cruz Bay took at least 30 to 40 minutes, most of it over a dirt road. From Cruz Bay I caught the 7 AM ferry to Red Hook on St. Thomas. From there I got on the jitney that dropped me off at Garden Street in down town Charlotte Amalie. Then I walked about four blocks up Garden Street to arrive at All Saints with plenty of time to get settled before school started at 8 AM.

Reverse the process and I usually got home somewhere between 5 and 5:30 PM. It was a long day.

One time I was on the ferry going back to St. John and behind me were a tourist couple talking between themselves. I was probably reading something, a homework assignment or a book for which a report was due. The 30 minute boat ride was a good time to get school work in. Realize that St. John and St. Thomas are separated by three miles of ocean called Pillsbury Sound. Here the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea mix, a swirl of currents and tides. It can be calm and flat as a bowl of mercury (like the picture above) or it can be a tempest with waves ten or more feet high, baring its fanged white caps.

We're talking the ocean, here.

As I sat there I heard the woman ask the man, "Are we on a river or a lake?"

How could someone travel (either by plane or ship) all that way and not know where she was going. And then once there, not know where she was?

Writing can sometimes be like this. We can write and write and write believing we know where we're going, only to discover we've lost our way, that we don't know where we are in the story, don't know where we're going.

It's happened to me...I've been that woman. Am I on a river or lake? What a surprise to discover I'm floundering in an ocean of words that isn't going anywhere at all!

What about you? Ever been lost at sea?


  1. I love looking at the ocean but I'm not so keen to be on the ocean... and I'm often lost at sea!

  2. haha I get lost at sea all the time ;)
    Love the photo

  3. I'm actually terrified of the ocean, all that open sea and no safe ground in sight. This stems from the fact I can't swim. You'd never catch me on a boat!

    As for writing, I do get lost at times, but with a quick check of the map I'm back on track again.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  4. Most definitely! Have just found land again though :)

    Gorgeous photo!



  5. I am an ocean girl too :)

    People who travel can sometimes be the most lost of all of us :)

  6. I feel queasy in a rowing boat so only embarque when it cannot be avoided. When I worked in Norway I had now choice but catch a boat from the shipyard out to a construction site in a deep water fjord no matter what the weather.
    I'm often 'all at sea' when it comes to writing.

  7. Ahahahaha YES! Lost at sea on a regular basis.

    I lived in the Keys and the ocean is a most beautiful sight. Love your analogy, Bish. Sometimes we don't know where we are headed in our writing or in our lives. :-)

  8. I love the ocean. And I'm lost all the time. Thankfully, the dolphins help lead me back to reality...

  9. This is wonderful. I like how you compare our words to the ocean. And how nice of you not to laugh at the could, a river or lake, seriously?

  10. I can get lost just about anywhere, but when I'm writing that seems to be the best place to be. Once lost, I have to find my way back to the story and since I don't have planned route, a lot of interesting things happen as I go.

    I do think I could tell the difference between a lake and the ocean, however. :-)

  11. My sense of direction often malfunctions, so yes I can get lost at sea!

    That's such a beautiful picture. Even though your day was long, it must've been so wonderful doing your homework on the ocean!

  12. WOW, you brought the writing theme in nicely.
    If I followed you to work, I'd be ready for a nap when we got there. That was yesterday's letter.
    Happy O Day

  13. That is a glorious picture. Lost at sea? Most of the time.

  14. I'm floating around in a life boat as we speak! (or type...) But, I'm hoping I get the direction I need soon. :)

  15. Oh, the ocean is my happy place!

    I don't start writing a project until I have a pretty good idea where I want to end up. Although sometimes I feel adrift somewhere in the middle.

  16. That's a really beautiful photo.

    And yes, I've been lost at sea plenty of times. In fact, my WIP and I are currently on a journey without a compass... nice to bump into fellow travellers on the way, though!


    Tessa's Blurb - Dream. Imagine. Write.

  17. That sounds like a hell of a long way to get to school!

    Where I live, a 2 hour drive in any direction will take me to another country.

  18. Ahhh, the ocean is my favorite place to visit and vacation and hope to retire! I love the ocean and the beach; it just brings a sense of calm~
    love your story...

  19. Oooh! Another post on ocean! I love looking at the ocean when I get the chance. It's so mesmerizing. Maybe I should write a novel about the ocean and mermaids or something? ;)



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