|Captain John and I are far from Diamond Lil these days, up in Canada, visiting family and friends. Diamond Lil is back on the dock in Oak Ridge, Roatan, waiting for us to return in just over a week from now.
The time has flown by, as we’ve zig zagged our way through southern and central Ontario, trying hard to visit everyone. We even managed to squeeze a two-day book tour into our busy schedule this past week.
Our first stop was at a little store in Fenelon Falls, a small town along the Trent Severn Waterway, part of America’s Great Loop Cruise and a place full of fond memories from our early boating days. Our first sale was small, but the store owner was enthusiastic and we exchanged cards, hoping for a re-order down the road.
We popped in and out of bookstores in small towns along the Trent Severn Waterway and then headed to Toronto. Our main destination was the Nautical Mind book store on Queen’s Quay, on the Toronto waterfront. We had driven from Keswick down to this store on numerous occasions for charts and books in the years before moving on board DL.
We made a sale here, another small one, and I was thrilled the next day, when my daughter, Suzanne, who was in the city for the weekend, snapped a photo of my book, on display in the front window of this downtown book store.
Port Credit, out on the west side of Toronto was the next stop on our route, where we dropped into the Mason Chandlery, a large marine store with its own book room. We missed the woman in charge of ordering books, but left our card, and came away with hers.
The following day we headed north, stopping in Barrie, Midland, and Penetanguishene, dropping off books at book stores, marinas and Port Captain offices. Diamond Lil is registered in the waterside town of Midland and we spent much time in Penetang and the waters of Georgian Bay before heading south.
While in Midland, I popped into Scully’s Waterfront Grill and asked the hostess the name of the band playing next weekend and, as I suspected, she told me that it was The Martels. So, I left a book with her for my old friends from Bayweb, Gary and Madeleine French, who made it into the story, when we were told by some new American friends at a pitch-in (pot luck dinner) along the Mississippi River, that they had seen a great band, called The Martels, play in Midland, Ontario. It was one of the highlights of their loop experience and we were proud that it had happened at our own home port with people that we knew.
I stopped into the West Marine store in Barrie and gave away a few books, sold one, and was given the contact information for the buyer for all the stores in Canada and the US. So I mailed a copy of the book to the buyer and am now imagining it on the shelves of stores all over the continent.
Our first two reviews on amazon have been great.
"The most entertaining book on cruising the loop that I've read. It has enough information on the logistics and ports of call to help if you’re planning on cruising all or part of the loop but not so much that it bores the reader. The writer and her husband are from Canada and seem to enjoy getting away from winter weather more than those of us who do not suffer thru harsh northern winters, the Midwest winters are bad enough. If you dream of spending this winter away from the cold wind, snow and ice of winter this book is a excellent way to do that whether you’re going to point your boat south or just dream for of doing it."
“I totally loved this book. It's a must read for anyone who dreams of taking a long distance cruise. Mel's descriptions of their trip made me smile. She made the people and places come alive in my mind, and isn't that what a good book should do? If you have any adventure in your soul, buy this book. You'll have fun with it too!”
L Dwiggins, Portland, Oregon
Support from members of our Bayliner Owner’s Club has been strong and we are thankful to all our family members and friends who are spreading the word and increasing our sales.
Mel Stewart wrote yesterday to tell me “I posted a notice on the Island Packet e-mail list serve about your book and its availability on Amazon, with a link to the URL. I got one positive response from a guy in Winnipeg who has boat in the USVI's and could appreciate the book. Maybe some others will pick up on it.”
Yesterday, our carton of books to sell to friends on the island arrived, a pretty beat up looking box, which had been from North Carolina, to Miami, and finally, after stopping who knows where, arrived on the island.
DIP shipping brought our carton to Oak Ridge, not quite to where we had instructed them to deliver it, but close, which is to be expected here. How typically Honduran, three men sitting parked down the road in the hot sun with my delivery, sending a passerby with a message for me to come fetch the carton. So, Captain John had to walk, in the blazing sun, down the narrow, little roadway of Oak Ridge, with the 40 lb. carton on his shoulder. I followed along, waving to the delivery men, as they passed us and our delivery address.
Appropriate, I thought, as John dropped the carton on the counter in the big house, the place where the words went on to the paper, or into the laptop, should I say. When I first started writing the book, I printed a mock cover and stuck it on a book the same size as mine, and kept it on my desk, as a visual reminder of my goal.
Now I have a carton of the real thing.
“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.”
David Joseph Schwartz