Friday, February 19, 2010

Just A Peek

Spent this week in Miami - only 52 to go. The place is one giant tropical traffic jam. Gonna miss the haunted seaside town of St Augustine. The plan is to go home on weekends - 600 miles round trip. What's so bad about 30,000+ miles of driving?

We're trying to find a suitable place to live down there, but our definition of suitable seems to be creating some problems. Givin' up lotsa space, our beach & the quiet of our hometown. We ain't sardines & we'll never sacrifice fresh & clean. (Deb is freakin' out too!)

These are pictures of some of the things we'll be leavin' behind .....

The City Gates. See the ramparts in the background below that tie into the old fort? There's even a moat!  

The Castillo de San Marcos - built from coquina. It's where Jack meets Talia in BAD LATITUDE.

This is Treasury Street. One of the shorter ghost stories in BAD LATITUDE is told from here.

St George Street. Lots of art galleries & shops. My book can be found in the 'finer' stores. Hah! 

Matanzas Bay - (Translated means slaughter). The view from downtown through the inlet into the ocean. Calico Jack Rackham's ship appears in these waters in the middle of the night

Crescent Beach - Where Nan & Pop Rackham live. Oddly enough, it's where me n' Deb live too! See how crazy crowded the beach is? Nothing like Miami. Can't even drive on the beach down there. Sheesh.

This aerial view was NOT taken by Deb. If I can figure out a way to fly from Miami to the (tiny) St Augustine airport without spending a fortune, maybe she can get this shot in the future. Where we live is to the far right - just out of view - in the area where the intercoastal & ocean almost converge. Pop's massive boat dock is on the intercoastal. Nan calls it 'The Rackham Navy Base' now that they've added an 82 foot schooner, named RECKLESS ENDEAVOR to the collection. Rattlesnake Island is also just out of the picture - again to the right (south).


There's a coupla chapters in RECKLESS where this OLD JAIL provides the scene. It's a bummer when you're dead & still can't get outta the clink. A primary character for this part of the adventure is based on a friend from Indianapolis. She & her husband are real ghost hunters. Alas, poor Mary is a ghost (in the book).


The Bridge of Lions, taken from our boat. This bridge was taken apart piece by piece & refurbished to its original condition - including the polished marble lions & is being reassembled. A temporary draw-bridge was built before it was dismantled. The work will be finished this year & the temporary multi-million dollar bridge will be removed. I used this bridge as a focal point in a couple of chapters in both books.


Ah... The lighthouse. One shot from our boat Laffin' Gaff, & the one below from the grounds at dusk. The place is seriously haunted, just ask Jack & Kai. I spent hours editing at a table in the shadow of this place. It's also the backdrop for a couple of chapters in BAD LATITUDE.

This was also the location for my 1st book signing. Sold a few books as I recall.

Deb set this up. I was pretty well rattled at the start. Won't be any signings in 2010.   

No more fishin' 'til next year. I'm lousy at it anyway, just like 'Pop'. The fish laugh at me.  

So there's a peek into what kinda stuff goes into my tall tales, as well as a look at what I'll be leaving behind for the better part of a year (sniff!). Fortunately, inspiration is everywhere. RECKLESS is being tweaked (not sure when it'll come out now - under the circumstances) & the 3rd (& maybe last) book is underway. A portion of (untitled) takes place in The Everglades, 40 minutes from our temporary "home". Deb has graciously agreed to explore & take pictures from an airboat. She'll do whatever it takes to help Jack Rackham & 'Pop'. Did I mention that sometimes I pull up Deb's pictures on the computer screen & stare at them while creating a scene? Hopefully there will be plenty to pull up from our adventures in south Florida. The book thing, with us anyway, really is a collaborative effort. I mean, the poor girl has to read & listen to my drivel - even in draft stage. I feel bad 'bout that.