Journeys are amazing to me. Filled with contradiction, having a destination in mind can be exhilarating, yet the transformation occurring while “away” is subtle. I started thinking more about journeys – those planned and the ones never undertaken – when I friend of mine sent me a copy of The Pirate’s Bastard book review he read in Latitudes and Attitudes, a wonderful magazine for seriously fun-loving sailors. I’m incredibly pleased to have an opportunity to reach this audience, given the nature of the nautical fiction I write. I wish I, too, were still a sailor. I still have fun, just no boat on which to sail at the moment. But I have fond memories of my own sailing days. They drift by occasionally like whiffs of salt air over a rising tide.
Which brings me back to the thought of the journey. In my forthcoming novel, Leaving Lukens, (Fall 2010), the primary character faces a number of journeys with trepidation. Her transformation from being somewhat wimpy to being strong enough to embrace what each journey holds in store is fun to write. Like all good stories, transformation is essential. If everyone remained static, there wouldn’t be any story at all. The lesson for her being offered by different support characters is that she should enjoy the journey as much as the destination. In real life, that’s key as well. Monotony can be challenging; yet it’s in the monotonous that tiny discoveries and slight transformations can occur if we are willing really see. It’s in the paying attention that we learn; and in the learning, the transformation. Here’s to the journey. And here’s to summer breezes filling sails for all of you who still have sailboats.
Laura S. Wharton is the author of The Pirate’s Bastard and the forthcoming historical novel, Leaving Lukens. Visit her website, http://www.laurawhartonbooks.com, for more information.