I am working on a biography of a boat. The boat, the Anna Jackman, was launched in Florida in March, 1958 and sailed to Juneau, Alaska where it served the Presbyterian churches of Southeast Alaska for 25 years. I won’t go into those wonderful stories now. You will have to wait til the book comes out.
But how is it that just in the past month I have made so many new connections? I have been interested in this boat for several years. I even took a 5 day trip on the 52 year old boat in 2012. Research is fun. I have found people who rode the boat to camp. People who did mission trips as youths on the boat. People who were babies on this boat.
Here is the really cool thing. I attended a writers conference last month. BRMCWC is a really wonderful conference that I have attended before. This year I invited a friend to join me. She is working on her first book about difficult medical decisions and the positive outcomes that can be sought. Because this friend bravely registered for a non-fiction practicum taught by Joseph Bentz, I signed up, too. My book about the boat had been languishing for a couple of years.
Anyway, I was shocked to have a former Alaska resident in the class. This guy knew that boats in Alaska are like family. He encouraged me in my writing as did everyone else in the group. What were the chances?
One day after our class, I had a meeting with an editor. Though I did not know the editor’s specialty, since she had not been included in the program, I just told her that I was working on this boat biography. She took a brief look at the draft proposal and suggested I send it in when it’s finished. Wow. Now I have to finish a proposal. That will get me moving.
On the way to lunch after the editor meeting, I met a woman also headed to lunch. I was kind of excited about what had just happened, and I told her about it. She told me she was from Seattle and her mom had lived in Petersburg, Alaska for a time growing up. She also said her grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. So this week I heard from Jeannette, who lived in Alaska and spent much time on the boat during her 8 years there. Wow. What are the chances?
I recently located a blog written by a guy who was an infant on this boat. He responded to my email and said his father was the chaplain on board in 1959. He is going to contact me soon. I also got in touch with a woman who did a mission trip on board in 1981. She has more pictures and stories for me.
Suddenly my writing and research are coming together. God must have known that I needed all these pieces to put together the book he had in mind. God meant for me to meet Ron and Sondra and to get in touch with Dave, Jeannette, and Bill by email.
Excitement is building as to what God has in store for the next months as I work to finish and publish this book.