I've enjoyed my second winter living aboard Zonder Zorg in the Historic Ship's Harbour in Gouda, Zuid-Holland. During my nearly seven months in this peaceful moorage, I've finished drafting the third volume of the Posted As Missing series of World War One novels, and I've begun the fourth. I've also finished rewriting, fine-tuning and polishing my novel, Spilt Wine, which has been picked up by a small publishing house. So, it's been a successful sojourn here.
The canals opened to unrestricted navigation a few days ago, and my intentions are to begin by heading eastward along the Hollandse IJssel to Utrecht and follow the Vecht northward. When I get to Veesp or Muiden, I'll decide my onward direction. The intention is to end up in Friesland and Groningen for another season of exploring.
Exploring is in many ways like writing. We have an idea where we're going, but the directions and route details are fluid as we proceed, influenced by external and internal factors. Characters can sideswipe plots and take them off in unplanned directions as easily as beautiful side canals or enchanting towns can change our navigational itinerary. That's what makes it exciting.
I've looked across the Turfsingel at the three-century-old windmill, de Roode Leeuw for nearly seven months now, and it's time to move on. I'm looking forward to seeing where this year's plot will lead.