Behind the Scenes

by | Aug 25, 2023 | Finding the Words, Venus & Mars Go Sailing | 3 comments

I love when a fellow sailor pauses on the dock to tell me what a beautiful boat we have. Kagán, however, is not only beautiful, she is also a great sailing, and liveaboard, vessel. But that doesn’t happen without a lot of work behind the scenes. The last few weeks have been filled with those tasks.

We’re at the end of a long haul-out in which we’ve done some work ourselves (like polishing and waxing the hull and oiling the interior woodwork) and hired experts for even more (like stripping and refinishing the brightwork, and complex work on the engine and marine drive system). Kagán is 22 years old now, and it was time for some deep diving into her engine for more than routine maintenance. This investment will pay off, I hope, with many sailing seasons aboard a safe and well-functioning vessel. And, of course, a beautiful one. But it has, at times, felt like barely managed chaos.

As I contemplated riding those waves of chaos with some semblance of calm, it occurred to me that this is not unlike writing for me. There is so much that goes on behind the, literal, scenes of a novel. All of which has to happen (and happen and happen, in the case of writing multiple drafts) for the final story to sail along.

Doing the work behind the scenes, sometimes for weeks and sometimes years, is what makes a boat, or a book, work. It’s what makes them beautiful.

What do you do behind the scenes?

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  1. Jane Gill-Shaler

    Thanks for your insight, Deb. You are so right! I hope you have smooth sailing for many years.

  2. Vic

    Beautiful boat, beautiful lady. Glad all is well with you guys.

  3. Sharon Galkin

    Love those blues…of the boat, of the sky, even the tarp! Thanks for sharing your hard work with us. What do I do behind the scenes? Ahhh, a wonderful question to ponder in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, the upcoming Jewish New Year. Hoping I have done a worthwhile thing or two in the past year; hoping to do more in the year ahead…


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Geologists study the earth and the processes that shape it. Writers study the human heart and the processes that shape it. The GeologistWriter builds a bridge between the two. Come across it with me!

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