The Pirates of Pamlico Sound

01 Mar 2006

Note

The Pirates of Pamlico Sound is a novella available (formerly) on Lulu.com as a paperback hard copy. There's a quick opening chapter in Salem, MA. Then the rest takes place almost exclusively in locations around the Pamlico Sound / Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Synopsis : A woman finds her personal life and love life mysteriously interconnected with pirate and colonial items (and people) in this supernatural tale that alternates between modern times and the past. (Not an arrrg! -type pirate story.) Rated "mature," but only for suggestiveness / sensuality (i.e., adult themes, not explicitness).

Actually, this book got me into a little hot water with my wife, if I recall correctly. She said I clearly "understood women" more than I normally let on -- and then extrapolated that, if this was true, then I have no excuse for being the primo asshole that I am sometimes. Well, if I successfully portrayed the female mind, maybe it was just a luck-shot. (And, I think maybe I'm perhaps less of an asshole now than I was then. ... Okay, maybe not.)

Enough of that... As I've taken this book down from Lulu, I've decided to post it here in its entirety. It's serialized in order, so I hope you enjoy it.


Introduction

FEBRUARY 2007 * PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA.

This book was written during the month of November 2005 as part of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) event (which can be found on the web at www.NaNoWriMo.org). It’s a load of fun, so do check it out. A few quick notes before we begin:

First, I’d just like to state a premise that “All women love pirates.” There are no exceptions to this rule. If you’re female, you love pirates. Period. Even if you say you don’t, everyone knows that you secretly do.

A year or two ago, as I was working on another writing project, I jotted the statement above into a notebook, thinking it could be used as the basis for a decent screenplay at some point. I envisioned a small group of women finding a pirate outfit in some barn in the Midwest. One at a time, the clothes would transform their love lives. The movie would be called Pirates of the Prairie, which to me sounded like an intriguing title (as there would be no real pirates so far away from the sea).

But, then we vacationed in Nags Head, and the pirate stuff was everywhere. On November 1, 2005, I thought it would be fun to whip up some tale that takes place all around the Outer Banks — not necessarily a traditional arrrrg ! pirate story, though. This one has much of the spirit of the screenplay idea I mentioned above. As such, there are some highly suggestive scenes that should probably merit at least a PG-13 rating in terms of the language.

Speaking of suggestive content, I wanted to avoid the normal literal descriptions inherent in so many love scenes. (“He touched her here, she touched him there.”) That kind of stuff is boring to me, and probably to many others as well. I remember reading an interesting book on the subject ages ago by a guy named William Gass. The book, called On Being Blue, took an in-depth look at this kind of language, offering opinions on what makes for effective writing in this style. I had much of that book in mind while writing three specific scenes herein.

Pirates was written as quickly as possible, of course, and probably contains numerous factual errors, logical problems, historical inaccuracies, awkward phrasings, typos, and grammatical faux pas. It must be taken in the spirit of NaNoWriMo — to simply complete a 50,000-word manuscript within 30 days. However, I did try to at least make things interesting at times. For example, I particularly enjoyed transitioning back and forth from the past to the present. Not only, in my opinion, does this enhance the momentum of the story, but in this case, the transitions themselves become almost their own part of the story. They function almost as a separate, whimsical conversation taking place across time.

For much of the historical detail (names, dates, years, etc.), I relied on numerous web sites. These included, but were not limited to the wonderful Wikipedia, sites documenting the history of the Bath colony, Native American genealogy sites (esp. the Algonquin tribe), sites that discussed the Salem witch trials, sites about religious and French history, MapQuest, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Census Bureau and, for one important detail, the Victoria’s Secret web catalog. (Hey, sometimes you just gotta do the research!)

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