Writewritewrite (and edit)

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Doing a large amount of writing is both the most exciting and the most boring thing imaginable.

Right now it is a slow time for the commercial production I do, which means I’m taking the opportunity to work on some longer-format projects that I have been meaning to do for a while, and occasionally deep-cleaning a closet just for the sake of variety. Because writing, as I’ve said, is not always exciting stuff. I love the research, the excuse to read and reference and take notes for hours – I feel like I’m in the research montage of every heist movie ever at that point – but the actual chained-to-the-desk writing part can be a bit tedious, especially if the weather’s nice and you hit a segment of writer’s block.

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Fortunately I have some fairly exciting things that I’m writing about, which I thought I’d catch everyone up on today. You can picture me surrounded by maps and charts and cups of coffee and my favorite pens and endless notebooks as you read. My cat should probably be trying to sprawl across my laptop at the same time. Life’s tough for a writer.

You could also picture me swearing under my breath as I peruse the online thesaurus for yet another synonym for “amazing” and trying to re-find a tab I just closed and mopping up the coffee my cat spilled, which is probably more realistic. But it’s your mental picture so you get to choose.

So… projects!

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My biggest upcoming project is a combination webseries/podcast called The Haunted Seas, about ghost stories, legends, and hauntings involving the ocean. We’re aiming for 2 pocasts and one webisode a month right now, and I’ve just finished writing the first podcast, about the Ghost Ship of the Northumberland Strait, a fiery phantom that plies the channel between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We record it tomorrow, and it should be live in time for next week’s blog update. Then late next week I go to St. Simon’s Island in South Georgia to shoot our first webisode, about the haunting of the St. Simon’s Lighthouse.

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not actually the St. Simon’s Lighthouse. This is the Tybee Light in Savannah.

In between writing sessions for these, I’m working on two e-books: one is a guide to spiritual and meditation retreats in the Southeastern US, and one is a guide to Georgia golf courses. If I can find a spiritual retreat in Georgia that involved silent meditation AND golfing, I will have hit the mother lode. There’s some sort of joke to be made about the crowds at a golf tournament being practically a silent meditation anyway, but I just… can’t… find it.

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When I absolutely cannot take the desk anymore, and the cat’s spilled all the coffee, I get to go outside (assuming it’s not raining) and train for my other upcoming project, which is a 240 mile combination kayak/bicycle trip through the Florida Keys, which I’m attempting – probably solo, as none of my friends are sufficiently insane to go – in April or possibly May. Starting in Key Largo, I’ll paddle to Key West, and then ride my bike back to the starting point. I’m calling it “The Turtle Traverse”, because “There and Back Again” is already taken, and because I’m planning to make a donation to The Turtle Hospital in Marathon at the end of the trip.

So that’s it for projects! Stay tuned for updates on these and any other Constant Holiday crazy I can come up with. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, where I try to post at least one photo or video daily.

Now I need more coffee.

 

 

At the Edge Of The Sea… Shane

Continuing the edit for my film At the Edge of The Sea this week. I am so close to being done I can… well, maybe not taste it, but catch of whiff of it here and there. We have so much spectactular footage I want the film to be nine hours long so I can show it all off.

One of our huge helpers, interviewees, and all around awesome people in the film is Shane, from North Island Surf & Kayak. If you’re in the Tybee/Savannah area you should totally check them out! Kayak and SUP rentals, tours, and all kinds of crunchy outdoor goodness.

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“My Dad always told me there are two types of people as pertains to the ocean – there are those who can take it or leave it, or those that can never leave it.” – Shane 

Photo of the Week: JB

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Screencap from footage shot by Phillip Spears and Orlando Thompson II for Edge of the Sea, of shrimper JB who kindly took us out on his boat the Agnes Marie. JB is one of the last independent shrimpers in the Tybee area, and his day starts well before dawn, as the Agnes Marie chugs out of her marina to patrol the local shrimping grounds, and ends with him selling his day’s catch to local restaurants. “People ask me what kind of shrimp I sell – I tell ’em, FRESH!”

We’re a KICKSTARTER!

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Excitement-o-rama! The film project I am making this summer is one step closer to reality – we now have a Kickstarter to help with funding! I am working on a nature documentary ( with Phillip Spears http://www.phillipspears.com and Orlando Thompson of Paper Bag Films) that will shoot in Tybee Island, GA later this summer (July) and we’re looking to raise $1750 to add to our own personal money (this is a labor of love, not a commissioned project) to cover our travel costs and expenses. So if you are at all a fan of Constant Holiday and want to see us take the next step, check out our Kickstarter page and make a small donation!

 

http://bit.ly/ZL0ZHq

 

 

A Mini-Story

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Just to start the new year (two thousand and ten IN THA HOUSE! whooo) on a fun note, here’s a quick mini-story from this summer – not enough for a big post, just an appetizer. A fun-size, if you will.

I went to Savannah this summer for a shoot and got there early enough that I could go down to Tybee Island and watch the sunset, something I have done approximately 15 zillion times, being a resident of Atlanta, but somehow never get tired of. It’s not the greatest beach I’ve ever been to – I grew up in Florida, so the bar is pretty high – but what it lacks in pristine white-sandedness it gains in having the lovely Tybee community around it, where I keep swearing I will rent a beach house for a week one summer, and, also, in being the nearest ocean to land-locked Atlanta.

So after watching the classic Tybee sunset, all wispy clouds and tangerine skies, watching the pod of dolphins that frolic near the lighthouse cavort in the sleepy evening light and some little kid hit her brother with a sand shovel, I headed back to Savannah proper, and on the way off-island (all this beach talk is going to make me listen to Jimmy Buffet for the rest of the day, and it’s nineteen degrees outside) I saw the sign in the (horrible) picture above.

You can’t really see it, but it says, “Fresh Local Shrimp – FRYED”. Not Fried. FRYED. Which for some reason amused me so thoroughly that I had to whip the car around and go back to see if I could get some of these locally prepared misspellings for myself.

(And for those of you who think I am mocking, allow me to say that it took me five tries to spell “thoroughly” above, and I am by no means confident that it’s even correct now.)

Sadly, the Gerald’s catering truck was closed, and deserted except for the enormous fiberglass pig that was standing beside it, forever snuffling the grass for some plasticine tidbit. But that just gives me a reason, a quest, if you will, to go back. Like I need one.

Assuming I can find it. True to form, on an island – an ISLAND – with only one road on or off, I got lost on the way back to Savannah (trip number fifteen zillion and one) and it took me two hours to get back to Savannah and my hotel. Next time, perhaps, a dictionary – and a map.