It's All About Me


I made my daughters cry. I made my grandsons laugh. All in a day’s work.

That’s what I did to my family with the publication of my first print book, which chronicles the calamities that can befall even a Sunday afternoon sailor. 

Fat Guy in a Fat Boat came off press a few weeks ago. One of my daughters burst into tears when her copy arrived in the mail from Amazon. The other daughter said she bawled her eyes out. But two of my grandsons recited portions to each other and laughed themselves silly at my nautical klutziness.

Publishing a book—not an ebook, but a printed book that you can hold in your hands—is the proverbial roller coaster ride.

There is the book signing, with people thanking me for allowing them to buy a copy. I held my first one last Saturday at the annual meeting of the Catboat Association in Connecticut’s historic Mystic seaport.

Then comes the joy of gratefully presenting a copy to the close friends who have encouraged me for years.

Finally, the days on end when no sales are reported—and the nagging necessity to get on with developing the next book.

The catboat is the quintessential American working boat. Unlike the recreational sloops you see everywhere today, catboats have only one sail and a cockpit big enough for lobster traps and fishing nets. These sailboats were developed probably on Cape Cod two centuries ago and were ubiquitous until World War II.

I bought mine several years ago, christened her Copy Cat and have ever since been trying to learn to sail this beautiful vessel as she deserves. My misadventures reached the point where I had to write a book.

During the past week I’ve signed and sold a bunch of books and received congratulations and well wishes from scores of people—many of whom I’ve never even met.

More important, the experience has prompted me to appreciate what Amazon has demonstrated in recent years. That each of us has something to say, each of us can publish. Because we’re people, and people are interesting.

As a panelist at a writing seminar, I told the attendees not to be overwhelmed by the blank page (or the blinking computer screen). Just start writing. Words will come. Rewrite later.

It was advice I wish I had followed when I was still in school. The experts told me to write every day. But I didn’t. I had fallen victim to the twisted maxim, Dying is easy; writing is hard. So I wrote only when I was paid to.

Today I write in order to give others a glimpse into a world that only I see, because I am the one who’s living it. I write a weekly blog, have two non-fiction books published, two novels with editors and another non-fiction in progress. 

The 18th century British literary lion Samuel Johnson is remembered not so much for his own writing as for the biography written of him by his friend, James Boswell. It’s been called the greatest biography in the English language.

Few of us, if any, have a Boswell to follow us around and preserve our doings for posterity. It’s our lot in life, and our opportunity, to be our own Boswell, observing and recording ourselves—if not for posterity, at least for our grandchildren.

If nothing else, they’ll have a good laugh someday.

In my next post, “ … Is Good News.”

Buy a signed copy of my new book, Fat Guy in a Fat Boat, by emailing

Or order copies from Amazon:

An ebook version is available for Kindle, and soon for iPads and Nook.

Also available is my ebook, A Light from Within, about the small moments of our lives that seem commonplace until they are examined under a creative lens.

Showing 2 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Parker Godwin
    followed this page 2015-03-23 08:55:43 -0400
  • Parker Godwin
    commented 2015-03-14 07:44:07 -0400
    I don’t suppose the working title was, "The Old Man and The C (at boat)?