Well, I'm back from a fabulous four-day writers cruise, the Florida Romance Writers, Muse Cruise 2010. I'm deliciously exhausted, but all reved up to go. Along with around 30 writers from different parts of the country, and two incredibly wonderful editors, Adam Wilson from Mira and Eric Raab from Tor, we cruised to Cozumel and enjoyed cosy, laid-back workshops along with all that wonderful food. Kathleen Pickering, our Florida president, held an entertaining session - the creative Moshe Pit, where one person fed a first line, followed by a second and so on. It was hilarious and quite awful, but both Adam and Eric assure us they will have a bidding war for this particularly ridiculous story. Blythe Gifford had a wonderful talk on writing when you can't be there, and Traci Hall showed us how to plot using a plot board and stickies - and oh, my gosh! I finally got it. Can't promise that I'll do it, but I get the picture now! The evenings were busy too - we had late night dining, so plenty of time for gambling, kareoking, cocktail parties, nibbling on pizza or sushi, and getting to chum around with old friends and new acquaintances. Since Carnival had to cancel the Key West portion of the trip, we had two full days at sea. Our amazing Heather Graham gave an early talk on Sunday morning, followed by a two hour Floridian Idol where brave entrants offered up two page entries to be read and discussed by our two editors, who were kind, honest, and offered their wisdom and advice. They also asked to see more from several lucky authors! After breaking for lunch, Jenna Petersen gave a informative workshop on writing like you mean it, and then we heard all the negatives and positives of screenwriting with the professional screenwriter, Alexandra Sokoloff. Alex showed us how to use the screenwriting skills and adapt them to books - using the three part structure, and eight big conflict/turning moments, approximately every fifty pages, which changes the direction of the story and keeps us spellbound to discover what is going to happen next. We all do this, right? The final evening, after a prolonged and enjoyable cocktail hour, we had a Psychic hour with readings from the Tarot cards. It was all very informative, laid back, and fun, and I wish everyone who didn't go this year, will put it on their schedule for next year's conference. It's going to be a blast, and a not-to-be-missed writing conference for 2011.
Check the FRW website for more details.
Now, I must go rest!