Karl Gloeckner has been a wonderful, engaging member of MSpals for a couple years. I’ve been looking forward to interviewing him because his story is quite colorful & deserved to share with others. Karl is a happily married native from South Florida and is a retired Coast Guard captain. To say that Karl has a life-long love affair with the sand and sea, or that he possesses something of a nautical flair, is putting things mildly! He is a licensed sport-fish/yacht captain and small boat builder. He has traveled throughout the Florida Keys, Bahamas and Gulf coast.
Always artistic, Karl has enjoyed photography, music and drawing as well as building custom fishing rods. Just after his daughter was born he moved north from Ft Lauderdale to Jensen Beach. A few years ago, bothersome health issues led up to and confirmed a diagnosis of RRMS. This diagnosis of MS was confirmed in 2012 and although various symptoms can be problematic, Karl puts his focus on living with a smile, positive outlook and attitude – and he strives to spread that same philosophy to others. Karl continued to focus on keeping the creative juices flowing and has found writing to become a therapeutic escape from MS. He has a number of completed manuscripts ready to edit as a reinvent. Here is our recent interview together – enjoy!
Tell me about your writing. What kind of writing do you do? Genre? Who or what is your inspiration to write?
My writing is fiction based on my past experiences on the boats as a captain. I have many years at sea and in the islands and feel the stories will take the reader with me as we marlin fish and the other activities unique to this lifestyle.
When did you start writing & how many manuscripts do you have completed?
I started my first book back in 2012 while in a severe MS relapse which made it very difficult to bring the words to the pen and pad. I feel at ease with a pen and legal pad. This is then moved to the computer for editing. Should the modern techno fail I still have the written words to start over and not lost in space.
Any works published? If so, what was the publishing process like & how did everything turn out? Any current or future projects we can look forward to?
I am in a final run to publish the first book as I type. Going to be what is called an “indie publisher”. This is a growing trend for writers so there isn’t any rejection or fear of this. It is more work in management as a result but worth it I think.
What are your goals or plans for your writing as you continue forward?
I have 6 completed manuscripts now and have another still in progress. My main goal is to leave a legacy behind for my daughter and for those who feel there is no real hope to read a story and let the words take you away and outside of the box you maybe in. The spirit is set free at sea.
Tell me about your ongoing house projects/decor & garden projects. Your tropical plants are obviously special for you to spend time & tender loving care. What do you love most about your gardening?
While able still, I took on a complete house painting detail. All of the paint and varnish on the boats I did myself to a perfect gloss and will match my work to any boat yard.My house paint reflects this with clean trim lines and overall paint coverage.
The outside is my real sanctuary with curved bed lines and tropical as well as Florida natives which are drought friendly. I get many compliments which I say thanks!
The sand & surf is obviously in your blood. Tell me more about beach life & what it means to you.
The beach has been a life long love for me. Learned to swim in the ocean instead of a pool. Surfing is what brought me to Jensen Beach where I live now and it is a short scenic drive to my old surf spot going back to 1972. It is a second home at times and has a good cool vibe at this small beach access.Hope to get back on a board one day.
Passion projects are important. They are therapeutic activities which feed the mind, body, & soul, yes? Describe how it makes you feel? Everyone needs an outlet to decompress and air out. I am fortunate to be retired and have the time to go to the beach or just sit out back under my sail sun shades with an herbal ice tea and enjoy the plants and sea breeze.
Have your passion projects helped you to live a better life with MS?
Without question yes. The camera or plants are an outlet which feeds the writing well.
I’ve seen your posts & pictures on the Facebook groups & I think people are inspired by them…I know I am. What advice would you offer another person with MS or chronic illness to inspire them to keep living life in spite of their illness/disability?
First of all,never give up! it is vital to understand we are a community that are in the same boat if you will and know first hand,something a “well person”will never completely understand.
Why & how is it important for people (whether MS or not) to always search for & find new purpose & passion in life?
With the past life we had the activity was in a good pace. Job and or school with a starting family is the general program. Getting MS complicates this completely to the point that you have to retool and reinvent yourself to what you are capable of doing. Shutting down is not an option!
What’s next on your agenda? Is there something special on your “bucket list” you’ve always wanted to attempt? Are there any dreams you’re determined to chase?
My main goals are to further manage my MS and being pro active. Information is everything but not to dwell on it. Watching my daughter grow up and realize her full potential is everything my wife and I can hope for.
In closing, do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying you’d like to share?
Using a term from my past life as a professional boat captain from the old school,” maintain course and speed. “
Here’s a little video montage about Karl & his beautiful beach adventures! Video created by Mary Pettigrew via iMovie with photos provided by Karl Gloeckner