Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pick the Dragon?

The day our dragon boat took to the water was one we will not forget.
Apart from the water spirits being kind to us, so was the weather.
After the event we celebrated with families and friends.
And already plans are afoot for a Dragon Boat Regatta on the Tamar.

For me, its quite a change from sailing a tall ship!

Dragons on the Tamar River

Once the launch was over, the Devonport crew joined the new Launceston dragon for a friendly race at the Sea Port.
This will be the first of many events for the Tamar Tittilaters.
A very enjoyable memorable day!!
Photo: The Devonport boat if in the foreground as the Launceston paddlers head off (Barbara of Beaconsfield)

Drumming up the water spirits

After the ceremony, the Launceston Dragon Boat took to the water.
Aboard are 20 paddlers and a drummer in the bow and sweep in the stern.
The paddlers keep time to the sound of the drum.
It is the drum which ensures the water spirits know that the dragon boat if coming.
On our second paddle, our distinguished monk was delighted to take his place in the bow to drum up the water spirits.
Also on board are the paddles invaluable coaches - the two Pauls.
Photo: Coutesy of Barbara or Beaconsfield

Waking the water spirits

As the 'dragon' ladies listen to the ceremony, a traditional Tibetan bowl is sounded.
This is to wake up the water spirits and receive permission to enter the water.
A pround moment for the first crew of the Tamar Tittilaters of Launceston' Dragons Abreast Inc.
Photo: MM paddler nearest camera

Opening the Dragon's Eye

The dragon's 'third eye' is located on its forehead.
As part of the traditional ceremony it is opened (a painted line in red). This gives the dragon (and its team) clarity and focus.
The two other eyes of the dragon are dotted in white to allow it see more clearly.
It is a tradition that all new dragon boats are blessed by Buddhist monks as the dragon is a symbol of the water.

Dragon Launched on Tamar

Yesterday was a Pink-Letter day on the Tamar River in Launceston.
It marked the launch of the Dragons Abreast latest Dragon Boat.
Dragons Abreast is a world wide association whose members are survivors of breast cancer or their survivors.
Hobart and Devonport already have their own dragons.
The aim of the dragon boat association is to promote both fitness through paddling and fun for all the participants.
The blessing of the 'dragon' (a creature of the water) was conducted by a Buddhist monk whose gave a traditional blessing in Engligh and Sanscrit (the ancient and sacred language of India).

A naval adventure set in 1802

It's two months since I updated my blog - the reason - I have been flat-out writing my latest manuscript.
I won't quote its title yet as two of my previous novels have had their titles changed (much to my disappointment).
As I mentioned below, with the death of Bob Tanner, my agent, I am not sure where I will be sending this work but I'm hoping International Scripts will be able to place it for me.
As a brief insight into the latest novel - it is a naval adventure set in the pre-Trafalgar years of 1802/3.
It is written primarily for a male audience, though anyone who enjoys the adventures of Horatio Hornblower (CS Forester) or Captain Jack Aubrey (Patrick O'Brian) should hopefully relate to this one.
I'm still debating whether to use my own name or a pseudonym.
Do men read naval adventures written by a woman?
Photo: HMS Victory - Portsmouth MM

Bob Tanner dies

Last week, Bob Tanner, my literary agent in London died.
He was 88 and still working.
Though I only ‘met’ Bob through our email conversations, I soon came to realise he was a man of few words, astute and had a vast knowledge of the book business in the UK.
Bob accepted me into his stable of authors (which includes many distinguished writers) in 2005.
At the time I was a raw beginner and it is thanks to him that my first novel ‘Sea Dust’ was published.
Subsequently I have had two other books published thanks to International Scripts.

Recently I had been polishing up my latest manuscript to send to Bob and was hoping he would like it.
My hope now is that Bob’s daughter, Jill Lawson, a fellow director of the company, will take over where Bob left off.