We Want Your Island Stories!

You’re sitting at the bar, on cocktail number it’s-no one’s-business, and you’re swapping island war stories with the handful of others on the stools beside you. Some tourist or island newbie in the mix has got everyone inspired to bust them out – the ridiculous, the frustrating, the unbelievable, and most always, the downright hilarious. These are some of my favorite times – shooting the shit with fellow islanders, laughing our asses off, and celebrating the humor of this crazy life we’ve chosen for ourselves through collectively observing its inherent quirk. Communing with those who have been there, done that is a major happiness booster and often times, cathartic even. It’s moments like these that inspired me to start Women Who Live on Rocks in the first place. And over these last couple of years, this clan of island people – past, present, and aspiring – connecting here over the rock lifestyle has turned out to be just as much fun (if not more!) as one of those impromptu storytelling sessions at the bar.

Whether you’ve lived on a rock for 10 days or 10 years, you no doubt have your share of tropical tales to tell. You know the ones – those tried and true island life anecdotes you regale friends, family, and other visitors with whenever they ask you what it’s really like to “live in paradise“. Those are exactly the ones we’re looking for! We’d love to have you (yes, YOU!) write with us and join in on the fun. Here’s how…

– WHO IS ELIGIBLE –

Women (sorry, boys) of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. We love to have a variety of perspectives on this site – in fact, fresh perspectives are exactly what we’re looking for. What would you like to talk about that we haven’t covered yet? What other aspects of island life do you and your uniqueness have to share? The only catch is that you must currently reside on a tropical island (it isn’t Women Who Used To Live on Rocks, after all). It doesn’t have to be a Caribbean island either (though that’s where most of our writers are currently dispatching from). Any coconut-laden isle will do, especially ones we haven’t heard from yet – Hawaii, the South Pacific, you name it, we want to hear from you!

– WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU –

One of my favorite writerly quotes is one by Flannery O’Connor – “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” I have certainly found that to be true writing about my island life on this site. Not only has it helped me to crystallize some thoughts and feelings I didn’t fully realize I had, it often leads me to new insights and appreciation for the beauty and humor that surrounds me. Island life can be frustrating – writing about it with a focus on the funny aspects naturally makes you a happier, more easy going person in the grand scheme of things. If you look at a bad day full of island debacles as writing fodder, it makes it feel much less punishing!

If you’re a writer yourself, contributing here is a great way to gain more exposure for your writing. Between social media and those who subscribe to our site, you have thousands of new readers at your fingertips. If you have your own website/blog, I’m also more than happy to link it in your bio and on the main site for people to access.

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Lastly, this is a great opportunity to take the time to put down your island stories for posterity’s sake. You never know how much longer you’ll live on a rock. Capture the memories before you forget them – you’ll thank yourself later, if anything, at the retirement home when you always have a crowd pleaser at your disposal that will save you and your fellow old timers from listening to another one of Gertrude’s jam-making snoozers.

– WHAT YOU COULD WRITE ABOUT –

 The possibilities are endless – island life is teeming with comedy. Sometimes it’s the smallest interactions that make for entertaining anecdotes. Sometimes the humor is visual – photo posts like this one are always fun. I’m open to all kinds of creativity and an island spin on anything from how-to articles, lists, rants, poems/songs… whatever inspires you!

– HOW TO GET STARTED –

It’s simple – just write yourself a short bio (you can see examples on the “Meet the Women” page) and email it to me at chrissann@womenwholiveonrocks.com along with a picture you’d like to accompany it. I’ll get you hooked into the site so you can write whenever the island muse strikes you.

– OTHER NOTES –

There’s no big commitment to worry about getting sucked into – our writers contribute as much or as little as their schedules allow. There’s no pressure, it’s all for fun, and done at your leisure.

There’s no need to stress yourself out over the actual writing either. As the site’s editor, I’m here to help you in any way that I can to make sure you are proud of your posts once they’re published. Feel free to bounce ideas off of me and seek me out if you need inspiration or thoughts on how to flesh out a story.

If you are concerned about your privacy, you are more than welcome to write under a pseudonym (several of our writers do – see Dillinger, Baldrick, Ginger, and Iris Tramm). We also have a disclaimer on our site that if you feel the need to protect the privacy of individuals/places, you can change any names you like.

–   –   –

So what are you waiting for, island girls? Join in on the fun – making people laugh is one of the greatest gifts available to us. And please do share this with any of your fellow island women out there who may not have heard of us yet – the more the merrier!

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Chrissann Nickel

About Chrissann Nickel

Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands, against all logic, feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the Caribbean, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps, but these days, she’s a card-carrying member of the Barefoot Nation. She is utterly enchanted with vinyasa yoga, especially when practiced on somewhat precarious, deliciously Instagram-able surfaces (she's @WomanOnARock) such as paddleboards, boats, cliffs, or even the occasional willing friend’s body. She vehemently believes that toucans are the best animals ever (period.) and there is no convincing her otherwise (though imperious roadside goats come in as a close second).

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends a lot of her time working from home all by her lonesome writing, editing, and cultivating content designed to make her fellow islanders laugh. Besides her writerly pursuits, she moonlights as a yoga instructor, and attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people. If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous personal website, www.chrissannnickel.com

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18 thoughts on “We Want Your Island Stories!

  1. I’m a recently laid off writer/journalist/editor and I’m considering a move to an island. I stumbled on to your blog while doing some research and fell in love. Each post I read, I think I’ve made my decision….I’m moving to paradise. But then I read another and change my mind back (ie sand flies, Mrs. David and no Target?!?! I don’t know if I can live without a Target!). But reading both ends of the spectrum has been extremely helpful in making a major life decision. So while I haven’t yet decided if I will in fact actually make the move to a rock, I HAVE decided I will write a blog all about my island life if (and when) I land on my rock!

    • Sounds about right – island life is such a trade-off, a tough decision to make for sure! Here’s hoping you find some clarity… perhaps we’ll meet someday where it’s sunny. 😉

      Best wishes to you, Courtney!

      Chrissann

  2. Loving this blog! I do seasonal Bar-tending, I spend my summer months working on an island in Lake Erie Ohio! I Spent last winter in Puerto Rico… This November I’ll be headed to St. Thomas! I love the island life and I can’t wait to see what the Virgin Islands have in store for me! Maybe I’ll get to write something once I get there 🙂

  3. This is an amazing site! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I live on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize……Been around here since the mid 2000’s have not left the island now for 3 years. It’s great to be able to read about the fun, laughter and anecdotes of what many consider to be ‘deal breakers’…..I wouldn’t change my Island/Rock life for anything. And now I know I’m not alone and I’m not crazy (well, not in the clinical sense)……..Thank you Ladies……

  4. Hi..at last!! a place to express my living on a rock musings!!
    Love this site.. I live on the island of Jamaica..my island home!
    Grand Island, Florida is my second home…Love the anecdotes on this site!!being a native Jamaican, there are lots to love, cry and share about this beautiful rich mix of people, places, culture and everyday happenings!!

      • Thank you Chrissan! I would love to share one …Looking forward to a wonderful time…

        My husband and I are retired from the banking industry..we live in the hills of St. Catherine. We enjoy working outdoors, literally among rocks!!. We tend our garden of Breadfruits,Ackees, Mangoes, Sweetsops, Custard Apples, Soursops, a few citrus trees and not to be outdone, Coconuts…must have Coconuts! Avocados, Bananas, some Sugarcane. Love the outdoors, all the flora and some of the fauna…;)…hold the mosquitoes!!…

        Let me know how and when you would like any contributions I might have to share.

        Thanks again!

        Regards
        Sharon..Aka,” AprilrainandCustardApples”

  5. Hey there, happy to be a part of sharing the island life stories with like-minded women. I retired in Jamaica almost two years ago. Like that old book begins… “it was the best of times and it was the worst of times”. .. The good far out weighs the frustrations of living in a third world country, and I’m all about the beach. I miss my family ten times more than I estimated and dealing with immigration is nearly impossible, but I’m here to stay. I look forward to this marvelous new connection…

  6. My life was finding my way back home. My Caymanian family immigrated to the US after WWII where my dad worked as the youngest sea captain in the Army Transport. We traveled back & forth visiting family throughout my life, but I never had the privilege of living there until after his death. My world was turned upside down & what I thought was the idea & inevitable move for my own family seemed at the time the worst decision of my life & heaped the scorn of my family upon me. My family back home saw my fulfilling my dream to live in my homeland was abandonment & the extended family who were once so welcoming to me as a visitor seemed to cast me as an outcast & trespasser. My tears could be measured by the bucket load, but my wise boss refused to accept my defeat as I had & insisted I give myself more time & open my eyes to the opportunities uniquely gifted to me. The drama & trauma seemed endless & I feel I’ve lived a 1000 lifetimes. I have eventually ended up 1 of the smallest of the 3 sister islands, Cayman Brac. It’s a topsy-turvy unconventional lifestyle I wouldn’t trade for the world. I’ve seen more of the world by spreading my wings from this small rock through the exposure of so many diverse cultured friends. My highest highs are tempered by my lowest of lows. Talents laying dormant inside of me for many decades are welling up in what some would call my twilight years. I’m 61, writing books, starting up rebellious grassroots movements for recycling & sustainable living, delving into nature & cultural experiences, exploring my spirituality & connections to labyrinths, writing poetry & songs, waiting for the next challenge over the horizon or in the face of the dawning sunshine! When I read your post about the simple pleasures of sharing quirky commonalities with the native oddities at the local watering hole; it really struck a chord. One of my oldest friends here shared this before I made the commitment to move to the Brac-“We’re all a 1/2 bubble off plumb-not altogether wrong, but not quite right!”
    Thanks for this opportunity to share the magnificent colourful lifestyle I’ve harvested in this odd little garden of misfits.

  7. This is an awesome site! I have lived on an island my entire life but I am currently away pursuing my studies. Would I still qualify?

    • Thanks so much, Amanie! I’m so glad you found us. 🙂 Unfortunately, for now I’m limiting contributors to women who currently live on rocks. Be sure to get in touch if/when you move back. Thanks for reading!

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