BIG NEWS: I've Signed with a Literary Agent!

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::::::::::::::::::::: A N N O U N C E M E N T :::::::::::::::::::::

I am thrilled to announce that I’ve signed with literary agents Aemilia Phillips and David Patterson of Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency.

::::::::::::::::::::: T H E S T O R Y :::::::::::::::::::::

In March 2014, we set sail from Puerto Vallarta with our two young daughters on our sailboat, Rebel Heart. During the passage, our 13 month old fell ill. A cascading series of events resulted in our calling for help. Activating our rescue beacon meant saving our baby and also losing our boat (and only home). We hit the button and survived a dramatic at-sea rescue but returned to international media criticism about our parenting. While the world debated our child rearing choices, I wrestled with the trauma of the rescue, the loss of our dream, and whether or not my relationship was strong enough to survive.

In the years since our daughter’s illness and the rescue at sea, we have given only two interviews about what happened to us. One interview was with This American Life and the other to The Journal of Emergency Medicine.

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::::::::::::::::::::: T H E   B O O K :::::::::::::::::::::

I am happy to announce that I have completed a manuscript that tells the story of not only our rescue at sea, but how my husband, Eric, and I met, why we decided to live and adventure together on boats, and what raising our children aboard from birth until the rescue was like. 

I cannot wait to share for the first time, the complete story of our Rebel Hearts and am so excited to be represented by Aemilia Phillips and David Patterson at Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency.

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::::::::::::::::::::: F O L L O W M E F O R U P D A T E S :::::::::::::::::::::

Join my email list for more updates here. I promise not to inundate your inbox. There’s more about who I am and bio-y stuff on my website charlottekaufman.com.

#RebelHeart #KidsOnBoats #WomenWhoSail #AmWriting


More on Instagram

Australia bound for Women Who Sail and Rebel Heart

Australia does Wild West photo ops too! 16 year old me with a fellow cheerleader and football player in Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Australia does Wild West photo ops too! 16 year old me with a fellow cheerleader and football player in Queensland’s Gold Coast.

When I was 16 I traveled to Australia as the youngest member of the Alaskan All-Star Cheerleading team. We cheered for the Alaskan All-Star Football team in Queensland at their annual Down Under Bowl. 

Kangaroos. Let me repeat: Australia = kangaroos.

Kangaroos. Let me repeat: Australia = kangaroos.

Tomorrow I fly to Australia, twenty two years since the last time I visited to speak at Women Who Sail Australia’s third annual Gathering on the Bay in Port Stephens, New South Wales (north of Sydney).

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As the founder of Women Who Sail, I’ve been invited to speak about my motivations for creating the group and why I think it is so successful. Our main group has almost 15,000 women and non-binary sailors. To give you an idea of how fast the group grew, I started it in December 2011 with only nine members!

We have over 37 sub-groups that span the globe with almost 16,000 members in them as well. 20 of those are regional sub-groups, some are even in different languages. Five deal specifically with topics surrounding health and living aboard. And 10 are various interest groups like Women Who Splice, Women Who Write, WWS Unicorns (LGBTQ Sailors), and Women Working in the Marine Industry. 

All six of these women (me pictured in blue dress) lived on sailboats and had babies in Mexico during the same sailing season as I did in 2013/2014! Four of the six of us sailed across the Pacific with our families in the same season as well.

All six of these women (me pictured in blue dress) lived on sailboats and had babies in Mexico during the same sailing season as I did in 2013/2014! Four of the six of us sailed across the Pacific with our families in the same season as well.

In addition to talking about founding Women Who Sail, I’ll be talking about the rescue at sea that happened to my family in the spring of 2014 while crossing the Pacific Ocean on our sailboat, Rebel Heart.

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Four years ago today (April 3) we made the decision to hit our EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon ) ensuring our 13 month old would get the medical treatment she needed and also knowing that flipping that switch would mean a water rescue and losing our boat (and only home for over seven years.)

[ If you are just hearing about what happened to us as we sailed across the Pacific Ocean you can listen to This American Life’s Episode 525 to hear more about why we had to call for help or read author Kevin Grange’s article in The Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEMS). ]

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Other than our interviews with This American Life and JEMS, neither Eric nor I have shared any further details about what happened before, during, or after the rescue. I think it’s fitting that the first time I talk about what happened to us I will be amongst sailors, and female sailors at that.

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Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago, sometimes like just yesterday. It took me two years after the rescue to even start to be able to write about it. Another two to get this far along with a manuscript. Speaking at WWSA's event this weekend will be my first time in public reading from the manuscript. 

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I keep practicing the pieces I'm going to share because it's emotional to read them. I'm bringing tissues. The most important part of all this though is that I'm finally ready to share our story with the world. It took four years to get here though. 

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Australia!! If you’ll be at the Gathering, please say hello! 

You can buy tickets here: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/64200/wwsa_gathering_on_the_bay_2018.aspx

#KidsOnBoats #RebelHeart

Goodies for the Girls - Handmade gifts for the drive to Mammoth

{ This post was written on August 10, 2016 but is just now being published. }

I had been thinking about some gifts to make for the girls for the long car ride up to Mammoth and as a way for them to be happy and excited about the move. We bought them some new coloring and activity books and I squirreled them away until I could also make some colored pencil rolls to accompany the new books.

My plan was to make just enough for me, the girls, and a few more as gifts for the realtor, lender, and escrow agent that helped us buy the house in Mammoth. As I posted my progress pictures online though, friends inquired about buying some as well. So days before moving, I was also taking orders for Sew, Sew, Sew Your Boat. #ProblemsYouWantToHave

I listen to a lot of   Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me   while I sew.

I listen to a lot of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me while I sew.

So pretty! These hold up to 36 colored pencils, or gel pens, or whatever you want to put in them. I got the girls new gel pens for the drive. 

This fabric turned out two kitty plushies. They were just small enough to fit in the little bags I was making for each girl. I used fabric markers to write their names.

Next up were these Japanese knot bags. The concept is thus: You make one strap of the bag longer than the other in order to knot the longer one under the shorter, effectively closing the bag while you carry it without any hardware.

I had enough fabric from the Out to Sea quilts I'm making the girls to make Cora a pink bag and Lyra a blue one. I definitely wanted one for myself, and I thought my friend Mele Sato might like one as well, so I made two exactly the same for me and her. Ours were made from remaining fabric from the Starlight Quilt and some gorgeous, orange, organic fabric I'd had in my stash for forever.

Mele helped me to photograph and model them. She also painted the girls toenails while I finished up this project. Thank you, Mele. We love you.

This wasn't the first time I've spent sewing last minute before a tremendous move. I asked myself several times why I was spending so much precious moving, packing, and saying-goodbye time on sewing instead. After some reflection, I came up with two answers. The first is that sewing relaxes me. Similar to weight lifting, I find it meditative. In the midst of chaos, I can sit in front of a machine and focus on creating. Making these things for the girls and for clients, actually helped the move be less stressful.

The second reason is probably a bit of residual scarring from the loss of Rebel Heart at sea. I similarly spent a lot of time sewing and creating right before we left. 

There were the cockpit organizers, both for our shoes, and see those awesome canvas bags on either side of the seats in the second photo? So handy. So rad.

There were the sacrificial covers I made for my fave cockpit chair (a Thermarest folded up in a seated position), and the covers for the hydrovane.

I made a beautiful, large bag to hold Lyra's booster seat from some butter yellow Sunbrella I'd been hoarding. And I took one of our laundry bags and converted it into a bag for her little table. The remainder of that laundry bag was turned into a drawstring bag to hold loose toys in their berth.

There was everything I did for their berth. The organizers I hung, the baskets, the sheets and bedding. Oh those glorious sheets. Do you remember them, dear readers? Remember all the little children of the world on them?

Once the colored pencils rolls, the kitty plushies, and the Japanese knot bags were finished, I assembled all the goodies together. There were turtle plushies, coloring & work books, stickers, and blank art books too.

As I prepared everything for them to see I couldn't help but remember how I had meticulously packed little gifts and activities for the long crossing of the Pacific and for the time we had planned to spend in the Pacific. Maybe part of spending so much time on these gifts was a way to assuage the pain of the work and care I had lost at sea.

Tomorrow is our last full day in San Diego. I plan to give the girls their gifts tomorrow so they have something to occupy them as we pack up the house around them. I'll update on how they liked everything. We leave in TWO days!