Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat
Thanks for your review!
I put in the material about women and my experiences because it was essential to the story I wanted to tell. It was integral to the experience, and if I left it out or downplayed it it wouldn't have been the same story. Over all of human history, people have dreamed of going to sea as a means of escaping their demons on land. My personal demon was rejection. At sea, instead of leaving the demon behind, it was amplified - and coming at me in both directions, through my own actions as well as the actions of others.
Let me clarify about this "beautiful" woman thing. I probably should have been more clear in the book, but I do not require a woman to be beautiful to date her! In all the dates I have been on, maybe two at the most were in a real sense beautiful. But just like most people, there are women I am attracted to and those I am not. For some reason that is a mystery to me, I am pickier than most other men in my "hotness rank" (probably around a 3/10 when you consider my height, which does not show in photographs). My taste is probably similar to a man around 6' tall, age 35, fairly slender, professionally employed, around a 7/10 hotness rank. The part of my brain that likes women thinks I am THAT GUY. Even now, age 52, even fatter than I was when the story took place (2001-04).
Strange as it may seem, this is not a choice I deliberately make. It's just the way I am. Nowadays most people accept that gay men were born that way - they do not have a choice (I believe that is so, based on gay men I have known). Likewise, I do not find heavyset, plain women sexually apealing. I do not want to even TRY to sleep with them, much like a gay man rejects the idea of "trying" to sleep with a woman "just to see if he likes it" (although no doubt many have). I find that the idea of sleeping with an unappealing woman has every bit as much appeal as the thought of sleeping with another man! I'm not going to do it.
I wish I could publish a picture of "Megan," but I cannot (I don't want the potential legal hassle). You have to trust me: she was plenty huge, and plenty ugly. Rejecting her does not mean "all I want is beautiful women." I just don't want fat and ugly ones - see the difference?
My depiction of Joyce was accurate, but in a book, especially a book that is already quite long for a memoir by someone who is not famous or did not participate in an historic event, there isn't room to show "all the rest of it" because it's boring. As a strict rule for writing novels, screenplays and even memoirs, conflict is what drives the story and what makes it fun and interesting to read. It's just the way it is. Ever see the movie or read the book ALIVE - about the Andes survivors in 1971? In the book and in the movie, they are always fighting each other, always screaming, virtually always about to come to fisticuffs! Of course, in reality, 97-percent of the time they all got along fine and cooperated and helped each other. But if you wrote a book or a movie with only 2 or 3 percent conflict, it would be BORING. Unreadable, unwatchable. So far, a few people have complained about Breaking Seas because I did not sail around the world, but no one has ever called it boring.
Again, you have to trust me, in real life, everyone mostly got along fine, and Joyce and Megan taught me a lot about sailing and blue water cruising planning. But I did not want to write that kind of book where the characters plod through one dull scene after another, telling each other what they aleady know, "like in real life." Even for a true story that is meant to be honest and complete, the conflicts must drive everything.
Hope that helps to clarify! Keep those questions coming!