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Beyond here be Dragons

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  #1  
Old 03-20-2016, 07:52 AM
KBR (Offline)
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Default Beyond here be Dragons


For a long time, I considered my course. There were charts on the tops of every surface in my house. But finally, one spoke above all others. It said on the top, bottom and both sides "Beyond here be dragons", and I knew that was my fate. To chart a course that left the known and threw me into the beyond.

All the tension disappeared when the decision was made. The movers arrived and emptied the house in half a day. I took one last look taking in the climbing roses, stone walls and the deep green cedars and left. At the dock, Charles bought my Austin-Healy 3000, and I watched him drive it away.

The 80 foot schooner was a knockoff of the Canadian Bluenose fishing schooners. She had a spoon bow and the elegant lines of her larger cousin. I threw my backpack onto her decks and had the bos'n cast off the lines. Her name was Ariel. She had cut off all of her hair and had what was left pulled into a small ponytail topped off with a ball cap turned backwards. She jumped on the deck, and cranked up the little in-board. It took us away from the pier, past the boats moored out in the bay and on towards the mouth of the harbor.

I looked back one last time at the tiny fishing village. It had been home for these last five years, and some part of me was sad to go. When we cleared the jetty, I saw one of the fishing trawlers coming in. They waved at me not knowing that I won't be at the pub tonight to hear their fishing stories and rejoice in the fact that God had brought them home safely one more time.

Slowly, the village dips below the horizon. And everywhere I look is a grey ocean and blue sky. Ariel is adjusting the trim of the mainsail and smiling. I don't know why she decided to come, but I'm glad that she did. "What next skipper?" breaks into my aimless thoughts. "South by Southwest Ariel." "Aye,Aye skipper" I hear.

I go down below and get a large, heavy satchel and drag it topside. I get close to the edge and pull a phone out of the satchel. Then, I haul back and throw it into water. It disappears below the surface almost immediately. Then, my laptop and ipad and desktop PC all follow the phone to the bottom. Ariel smiles and goes below. And she too surfaces with a similar bag, and her electronics join mine on the way down.

From the bow, I watch the fire of our local star turn the sky to orange flame and sink slowly into yellow and ocher and finally one flash of green before disappearing. And then, gradually, the sky darkens and the milky way thick and dazzling moves overhead.

I don't regret this course. Sometimes you need the courage to leave something close and familiar for wider horizons though the water is deep and help unlikely this far into the blue.


Last edited by KBR; 03-23-2016 at 11:17 PM.. Reason: NP
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2016, 09:36 AM
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When you threw it in I thought maybe you threw it in to the satchel.

How about throwing it overboard?
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick Pierce View Post
When you threw it in I thought maybe you threw it in to the satchel.

How about throwing it overboard?
Comment did not make much of a splash did it, Mr. Pierce?
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:15 PM
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I completely agree Mr. Pierce. I will make a change. But my time on WB is limited by the demands of work / life. My threads will go dormant at times. It doesn't mean I'm ignoring the comments. I'm just unable to participate during those busy times.

I don't foresee a retirement any time soon which is unfortunate. I could use the time to get my health where it should be. I had to have a heart surgery a month ago today in order to put a stent in. I'm at that stage where things are breaking down a bit. I agree with your comment. I will make a change.

Thanks! Kirk
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Comment did not make much of a splash did it, Mr. Pierce?
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by KBR View Post
I completely agree Mr. Pierce. I will make a change. But my time on WB is limited by the demands of work / life. My threads will go dormant at times. It doesn't mean I'm ignoring the comments. I'm just unable to participate during those busy times.

I don't foresee a retirement any time soon which is unfortunate. I could use the time to get my health where it should be. I had to have a heart surgery a month ago today in order to put a stent in. I'm at that stage where things are breaking down a bit. I agree with your comment. I will make a change.

Thanks! Kirk

Well this certainly clarifies your (current) process.

Thanks and best wishes.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:11 AM
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I didn't think I was going to like this but I did, a lot.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2016, 06:46 AM
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Nicely done. Effective description and just enough philosophizing.
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2016, 04:22 PM
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Hi there!

Since the others already told you the great bits, I will go a head to be more critical as a reader and a writer. I assume this is the introduction of a larger piece so I will comment accordingly.

For a long time, I considered my course. There were charts on the tops of every surface in my house. But finally, one spoke above all others. It said on the top, bottom and both sides "Beyond here be dragons", and I knew that was my fate. To chart a course that left the known and threw me into the beyond.(Good start, although I think the narrative arc can be deepened more so that the reader get the maximum amount of information as they can in as small a space possible. Here we get an introduction into the main character and we know he needs to travel somewhere dangerous. All good. Now what else can you use to hook the reader? Suggest what is at stake. Why is this journey important. Why take it now. What is the conflict; this don't need to be spelt out but should at least be hinted at. Ideally, all these information should fit in two sentences, three at maximum. The goal is to have the reader ask questions so they would read on and to give them just enough so they are compelled to go on.)

All the tension disappeared when the decision was made. The movers arrived and emptied the house in half a day. I took one last look taking in the climbing roses, stone walls and the deep green cedars and left. At the dock, Charles bought my Austin-Healy 3000, and I watched him drive it away. (I find the first sentence of this paragraph too abrupt as a transition. We barely get introduced to the conflict, at least the choice to go then it's made. The reader needs to be engaged more, to see the struggle themselves.)

The 80 foot schooner was a knockoff of the Canadian Bluenose fishing schooners. She had a spoon bow and the elegant lines of her larger cousin. I threw my backpack onto her decks and had the bos'n cast off the lines. Her name was Ariel. She had cut off all of her hair and had what was left pulled into a small ponytail topped off with a ball cap turned backwards. She jumped on the deck, and cranked up the little in-board. It took us away from the pier, past the boats moored out in the bay and on towards the mouth of the harbor. (Good description of the girl. If the ship is important, there is no harm describing it a bit as well. Use what the main character sees as a way to devote him. How does he sees the world? What does he notices? The things the character doesn't notice speaks as much about who they are as what they do notice. It's a good subtle way to reveal character. Let the reader experience the happenings with the character.) This paragraph also gives a feeling of time being moved a head, so you can also indicate it with "***" between this paragraph and the previous ones.)

I looked back one last time at the tiny fishing village. It had been home for these last five years, and some part of me was sad to go. When we cleared the jetty, I saw one of the fishing trawlers coming in. They waved at me not knowing that I won't be at the pub tonight to hear their fishing stories and rejoice in the fact that God had brought them home safely one more time.(I would cut out the "I saw" in the paragraph so the sentence says "as we pulled away one of the fishing trawlers was coming in" this cuts out unneeded words and remove filtering, which is anything like "I saw", "I thought", "I noticed". Cutting them out moves the reader closer to the scene, allow them to engage better which is what yo want always. The filters creates a barrier so cut them whenever you can. I think there are some others in the other paragraphs as well, but now you know what to look for.)

Slowly, the village dips below the horizon. And everywhere I look is a grey ocean and blue sky. Ariel is adjusting the trim of the mainsail and smiling. I don't know why she decided to come, but I'm glad that she did. "What next skipper?" breaks into my aimless thoughts. "South by Southwest Ariel." "Aye,Aye skipper" I hear.

I go down below and get a large, heavy satchel and drag it topside. I get close to the edge and pull a phone out of the satchel. Then, I haul back and throw it into water. It disappears below the surface almost immediately. Then, my laptop and ipad and desktop PC all follow the phone to the bottom. Ariel smiles and goes below. And she too surfaces with a similar bag, and her electronics join mine on the way down.("Throw into water" reads awkward. Perhaps something like "throw it over the gunnel" would flow better? Good place to add description about the ocean. Too much description bogs a story down, but too little does not allow the reader to fully be in it. Why is the removal of electronics important? Ambiguity is well and good, but some explanations to allow the reader to know what's going on is helpful. You can spread the explanations out, and a large block of just explanation is terrible, but unlike poetry, a story needs to guide the reader a bit more, so to speak.))

From the bow, I watch the fire of our local star turn the sky to orange flame and sink slowly into yellow and ocher and finally one flash of green before disappearing. And then, gradually, the sky darkens and the milky way thick and dazzling moves overhead.

I don't regret this course. Sometimes you need the courage to leave something close and familiar for wider horizons though the water is deep and help
unlikely this far into the blue.

Good start, I can see this could really be an enjoyable and amazing read once it's flushed out more. Hope the comments help
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