I have lost my inspiration for both stories. Try as I may, I just can't find the words within me to carry on.
I've been spending a lot of time aboard the HMS Surprise as of late (in my mind), at least trying to come up with something for Voyage to Liberty. Surprise is pictured below, though she lacks her Nelson chequer pattern (yellow band with black gun ports) as described in the novels.
A friend of mine gave me a couple books a few years ago from the series authored by Patrick O'Brian. They tell the tale of Captain Jack Aubrey, his friend Dr. Stephen Maturin, and their beloved ship Surprise. They are the basis for the movie Master and Commander with Russel Crowe.
I suppose that's where I came up with "Captain Jack", though I didn't make the association at the time. Anyway, I've read 15 out of 20 novels in the "Aubrey-Maturin" series looking for inspiration. I do admire Patrick O'Brian's attention to historical detail, "nautical correctness", and very exact attention to such things as the wind, tide, correct coordinates, etc. in his books, and that is something I've tried to match in Voyage to Liberty. I've spent countless hours pouring over navigational charts, weather maps, almanacs, personal accounts of the islands, cruisers' blogs, etc. to put forth an authentic tale, and I've been validated by folks who've actually sailed the waters I've described. But for all that, I've struck the proverbial reef as far as the story goes. Every time I try to write it just doesn't seem to work, for either story.
Reading as much as I have, Jack Aubrey hasn't helped me much either. Though I thoroughly enjoy that story line... Hopefully something will break this writer's block I've had for so long now. I think stress has been the major block. The kids' extracurricular activities will end soon, and those have been a big source of stress for me the last couple months, and the novels have been my escape. I hope in the next few weeks I will find my inspiration again. The words flowed from my fingertips without really thinking in the beginning. That's where I need to be again...