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Old 08-03-2007, 12:10   #31
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I was just looking at that book on Amazon and thought to confirm the author. That was obviously unnecessary.

You know, I usually write and read a lot better, believe me. I think there is something about this forum….. Or perhaps I am always this sloppy but due to the topic, writing, everyone is expecting a cleaner game.

I’ll try to do better.

Anyway, that looks like a great book. I should put it on my reading list….

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Originally Posted by Amgine
Well, the St. Lawrence isn't a likely route, and will require a fair amount of filling out forms, presenting identification and money... I was trying to think as a teenager of how to avoid getting caught so of course I went with the river route. C'est la guerre et l'écriture.
This is something I am researching. From what I understand so far, according to some new law, pleasure craft no longer have to pay fees for the locks. As for getting through without getting caught, I figured a trip down a river would be more dangerous. The St. Lawrence is larger with areas to hide out. You can also use sail propulsion on most parts.

I have searched and am about to just call the agency that runs the locks, I forget the name but I have it book marked, and ask them what I need to make the trip.
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Old 08-03-2007, 13:57   #32
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Come On Now, horseatingweeds . . .

. . . buck up! You've got a good premise for your book, so don't let any input you get from this forum get you down.

I know you want the story to hew as closely to truth and realism as possible, but I for one am willing to suspend disbelief, if necessary. Jeeze, if everything presented as entertainment had to be realistic, nothing would ever get published or produced!

I don't know if you will ever write the book you have in mind, but just having read your original premise has planted the seed of a story arc that grew to full flower in my mind, and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you for that.

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Old 09-03-2007, 17:46   #33
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Taojones, your encouragement is both helpful and appreciated, and you are also welcome.

As for writing the book, this is a paradox. That which keeps me from working on the book (other work – PAYING work) I want more of.

I just need to stop being so lazy!
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Old 09-03-2007, 18:22   #34
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I Understand

I hesitate to bore you with the details of my working life, but I completely understand what you mean about the constraints of having to put food on the table and a roof over your head taking precedence over trying to find the time to pursue your passions.

After I had graduated from college, I spent a couple of years living in Vail, skiing and working for the local newspaper. At the end of the second ski season, I sold almost everything I owned and spent most of the proceeds on a backpacking trip throughout Europe for several months. When I returned, I scraped together everything I could, and hitchiked out to LA. I had decided on a career in show business!

I had thought they would recognize my writing ability right away, and I would live happily ever after. Not really, of course, but I was patient. I worked nights in a vererinary hospital in Pasadena as the night caretaker/janitor. This, I reasoned, would allow me many uninterrupted hours to devote to my writing.

And it did, but in truth, I spent almost every spare moment sleeping - working nights and sleeping days was something my body never got the hang of, and I was tired all of the time.

I did finally get into the business, though not as a writer. I met a lot of really interesting people once I had gotten established, one of whom was a gaffer who had come to the US from Greece. It turned out he had been a young boy there during WWII, and he had a published novel about life in a small Greek village under the boot heel of the Nazis.

I can't begin to tell you how impressed I was!

Anyway, I told him of my interest in writing, and confessed that I just couldn't get going. I, too, felt lazy. Even ashamed.

One day he brought me a copy of his book, and told me that inside I would find his best advice on how to become a writer. On the flyleaf, he had written, "The only thing you need to be a writer is a good, strong chair! Then sit your ass in that chair every day, and write something."

So I pass along his kind words to you, horseatingweeds. Do with them what you will.

TaoJones
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Old 09-03-2007, 19:06   #35
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That’s also really good advice for students, or for learning programming.

I used to be a ridiculously poor writer, not that I am all that great now. A few years ago I decided on a new philosophy. I would try to develop a new vocational skill, such a programming language or learning a new software application, and also work on some type of personal development.

My first personal development was writing. The first book I started with was Strunk and White, The Elements of Style. I have it right here. My brother, the smart one, recommended it, I mean lent me his copy and bought himself a new one.

I just started doing some part time work for a paper. I have only turned in one article but I just finished my forth. They are reviews of different things, movies, CDs and books mostly. It’s no cash cow but I have some other article ideas I hope they will consider.

Honestly, I’m totally unqualified to write anything, but I guess if only qualified people wrote, all we would have to read is stuff about literature.

If you want to take a look I recently threw my sort-of-completed reviews up here The Forum :: View topic - Critique My Reviews

I have fore more sitting here waiting for me. One is pretty cool, Casino Royal. It’s not available to the public until the 16th on DVD, I feel special.
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Old 09-03-2007, 19:31   #36
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St. Lawrence Seaway

As I understand it, the Canadian operations of the St. Lawrence Seaway are now managed by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), with tolls.[1] As of 3/23/06, the New York State Canals no longer charge for permits for non-commercial craft.[2] However, the canals are monitored by customs and the USCG, and registration must be visible.[3] I'm not able to confirm that all the New York Canal entrances include customs ports of entry offices, but I'd expect it as there's a fair bit of cross-border boating there.

It appears the only "port" available in Chicago is at the airport.

I could write a reasoned, well-thought out justification why the rivers are a much better choice for runaways. But the underlying reason is simply literary history; long before Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn escaped to the rivers of the midwest they were synonymous with freedom and adventure to Americans, for slaves, poor immigrants, civil war dissidents, Acadians, and so many more on up to Muddy Waters and the 70's hippie culture (some of whose communes are still ongoing within sight of - or on - the river) and contemporary RVers and social dropouts.

If your heart is set on writing about a passage through the St. Lawrence seaway, then write that. You need to love what you're going to write. Bic (butt in chair) really is the secret to writing.
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Old 09-03-2007, 19:49   #37
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Amgine, I like what you’re saying. Still existing hippy picnics? Where can I get info on these? I’ve never heard of them before.

Just because the boys intend on passage through the St. Lawrence doesn’t mean they won't have to change plans. Remember, their plan is almost as improbable as the success of my book.

This one subject would make for a great whole new topic I bet.

“St. Lawrence vs Mississippi for adolescent runaway attempt”.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:14   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseatingweeds
I figured a trip down a river would be more dangerous. The St. Lawrence is larger with areas to hide out. You can also use sail propulsion on most parts.

I have searched and am about to just call the agency that runs the locks, I forget the name but I have it book marked, and ask them what I need to make the trip.
The St Lawrence Seaway Commission runs all Seaway operations, both Canadian and American. While I'm not positive about paperwork at the upper end of the system, through the Niagara Region (Benny might be able to help) I know that in the lower sections near us there is no paperwork to be filled in, just pay your cash and go. All locks are US$20.00 or CAD$25.00. We cruised up the ST Lawrence from the Ottawa River last summer and all you have to do is hand over the cash. The Canadian locks are trying to impliment a creditcard - ticket purchase programme starting last summer with only limited success. They are still accepting cash. We had no reporting or paperwok to complete going through Canadian or American locks. The boys would have to report to CAD customs if they come ashore in Canada just the same as they will need to report to US Customs when they come ashore there. That, in most cases is a phone call to a 1-800#, but not necessary when in the Seaway.

You are correct about there being lots of places to hide out and the possibility for adventure along the river. Smuggling is a big business this end of the waterway and here are places the OPP/RCMP will not even patrol after dark. However, The St Lawrence does have some areas that are sailing friendly, particularly if you are travelling west-east. The strong current may be used to their advantage with prevailing westerly winds. The 1000 Islands are particularly perilous for sailboats due to heavy tourboat and powercraft that do not seem to know, understand or follow any particular rules or traffic patters. These waters are difficult and taxing in our powerboat. However, this can be just a big part of the adventure. A trip through the 1000 island at dawn would work. They will also need good, accurate charts to get through the area. For example, one of the widest areas in the river is at Prescott, so one might assume it is a good place to sail through. However, the deep channels are close to shore. The middle section is sandbar..... channels are well marked, though. Once past Montreal it should be pretty clear sailing out to the Atlantic.

I hope this information helps a little. I think you could build a good adventure story around the trip.

Lori
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:49   #39
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Channeling Mark Twain

Quote:
horseeatingweeds, he say:
“St. Lawrence vs Mississippi for adolescent runaway attempt”
Now you're getting close to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This might not be a bad approach, tapping into the subconscious shared cultural literacy of the audience. But you would have to make attempts to keep a certain distance from Twain, or it will seen as literary theft and cheap hackery.

Still, it has certain attractive possibilities…
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Old 16-03-2007, 23:00   #40
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Thanks for the information Knottygirlz. I was looking at the islands in the St. Lawrence on Google maps. They look like they would be tough to navigate without a map for that purpose, especially with sails. I bet it would be fun though. When in the summer did you go through the locks?

Sonosailor, I really like your boat for my current plot idea. I have been reading over your site. I have trouble accepting that a catamaran doesn’t have the character or appeal of a monohull, perhaps to do my minimal experience with sailing ships.

One character that comes to mind is the catamaran in Water World. That ship had character, besides being impossibly constructed out of trash. Jaws ate some kids off one….

Anyway, my rough premise: grandpa and his friend purchase and rebuild their ship, not unlike your actual story. It serves as their hobby. They also take people on charters where the boys are welcomed to come along as assistants. Health deteriorates as it does, grandpa passes and friend moves to Florida while the ship stays around Bay City. Grandma kicks off and the boat is left with the remaining estate to be split up among the children. The children, in their wisdom, decide to sell the beloved vessel. Meanwhile, the boys get pissed and protest, unsuccessfully. The boat is later reduced in price by its unwise new owners, is abused, and falls into disrepair. Once the boys find their opportunity, they run off and steel her.
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Old 17-03-2007, 05:39   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseatingweeds
Thanks for the information Knottygirlz. I was looking at the islands in the St. Lawrence on Google maps. They look like they would be tough to navigate without a map for that purpose, especially with sails. I bet it would be fun though. When in the summer did you go through the locks?
We went throught the locks early last August. All pleasure craft have to yield to commercial traffic and the Canadian locks (and lift bridges) are particularly bad when it comes to letting pleasure craft go through. They will make you wait for hours before letting you pass. The American locks, though, let you pass quickly.

Lori
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Old 17-03-2007, 08:02   #42
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Horseatingweeds - firstly it would be a little easier and more personal if we could address you by name on these posts so please just sign off with your first name - Thanks.

As for locking through up here, the Welland Canal is entirely within Canada so there are no customs requirements and all you do is pay your fees and give the Seaway Commission details on your boat registration.

On your book, I am also writing a novel at this time - not about sailing - however if you click on my profile, you can see what my boat looks like and it may fit for your purpose. It is traditional looking and ketch rigged and has been and is in the process of being upgraded which I can give you details of.

In any nevent, if I can be of help, let me know and good writing

Randy
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Old 17-03-2007, 08:07   #43
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BTW - there are no customs requirements for Canadian vessels - if it is a US registration as your will be, you would need to stop in Port Colborne at the upper end of the canal and call in to report entry and locking through.

Regards, Randy
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Old 17-03-2007, 11:00   #44
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Everyone else seems to have thrown in plot lines...........

Grandfather has a heart attack after finding out the cost of re-galvanising a slightly rusty anchor.

Later the Children lose their inheritance when they invest in a factory in the far east producing coffee grinders for the US market which ends up with terminal quality control "issues".

Without money they get thrown out of their home by an "evil capitalist", who specialises in making children homeless........and so have to move aboard grandfathers old yacht. A double ended Ketch rigged schooner staysail cutter.

They spend their time dodging "evil capitalist" harbourmasters who won't let them anchor for free.........and planning to flee abroad to escape the "evil capitalists".

When they reach Montana the children get married. to each other. And when in Idaho, to their Uncle. and his horse.

They later buy a gun, but can't agree whether to keep it aboard, one day it goes off accidently "with hilarious results"......apart from for the owner of the boat moored nearby.

To make money they write an account of their travels and escapades titled "The Arsefrazzles", which only achieves commercial success when the sister reaches 16 and her brother "accidently" wires up a Showercam to the website.

And then they lived happily ever after. The End.
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Old 08-06-2007, 00:22   #45
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Hey Benny, you can call me Ben if you like.

I think your boat would be a fine character, particularly because you are a writer and would understand my needs easily.

Sorry I haven’t been by lately. I am still intent about developing this idea.

I’ve been busy with some projects. I had what I thought was going to be a long term job with a news paper. I wrote a few things but then I guess the editor’s psychological problems caught up with him. I hope hiring me wasn’t a symptom…

Now I am writing for a website.

I also have another book that looks like its development is surpassing this one so I likely will get on it first. I’m not sure though. Regardless, there is plenty of time for research.
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