Hi everyone,
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!


  1. Mona Risk // January 26, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

    Patrice, thanks for sharing your impressions. I can well imagine your cruise based on last year's Cruise with your Muse Conference. How I wish I was there. Glad you had a great time. Where you one of the brave idols who got lucky?

  2. Aleka Nakis // January 26, 2010 at 8:26 AM  

    We did have a wonderful time, didn't we. What made it so great was the group. Being immersed in the company of so many creative and compassionate minds is a sure fire path to success.
    Thanks for being there and being you.

  3. Patrice // January 26, 2010 at 8:39 AM  

    Mona, yes Eric would like to see my latest book - the first of my "hero" stories, once it's been approved by my agent, of course.

    Aleka - you are so right! What a great bunch of talented, caring, interesting and diverse people, all brought together by a common love for writing. You did a fine job, bringing us all together. Thank you!

  4. Nightingale // January 26, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

    Patrice, I envy you! I've always wanted to go on the Muse Cruise but usually forget until its too late. Sounds like you had a super time.

  5. Pamela Varnado // January 26, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

    Sounds like you had a marvelous time. I love cruises and will definitely look into going next year. How do I sign up to attend the 2011 Muse Conference? If I sign up now, I won't miss out.

  6. Beth Trissel // January 26, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

    Wow Patrice, what a different world you live in from me here on my little farm in the Shenandoah Valley with the blustery snow squall outside. Very interesting to experience this through you.

  7. Patrice // January 26, 2010 at 1:37 PM  

    Hi Linda, Pam, Beth,

    Yes, we all have very different lifes and experiences which makes our novels so unique. I must admit, I do like mine a lot.
    I'm not sure if you can sign up for the cruise yet, but the information will be on the website.
    It's going to be great. Keep January free.

  8. Traci // January 26, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

    Patrice!!The cruise was terrfic and I am so glad you got to come and wow the editors with your great idol entry!

  9. Barbara Monajem // January 26, 2010 at 6:49 PM  

    Wow. Sounds fun but exhausting, just like a writers' conference, LOL.

  10. Mary Marvella // January 26, 2010 at 7:07 PM  

    Patrice, color me green with envy! I'm glad you had a good time and I hope you're ready to write up a storm and submit like crazy!

  11. Joelle Charbonneau // January 26, 2010 at 9:01 PM  

    I'd already planned on setting an upcoming book on a cruise ship. After reading this, I'm absolutely going to take a cruise before writing it....maybe next year a bunch of us will cruise together:)

  12. Jana Richards // January 26, 2010 at 10:43 PM  

    Patrice, this cruise sounds wonderful! What a fabulous way to learn the writing craft, network with other writers, and pitch your work. Combine that with the warm waters of the Caribbean, and it sounds like Heaven to me!


  13. Margaret Tanner // January 27, 2010 at 6:48 AM  

    Hi Patrice,

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time on the cruise. I am green with envy.

  14. Nancy J. Cohen // January 27, 2010 at 7:53 AM  

    Sorry I missed it, although I'd much prefer early seating at dinner. We should take a vote on this for the conference next year.

  15. Judy // January 27, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

    So glad you had a wonderful, informative time, Patrice. It sounds like a great way to have fun and to learn more about writing, which is a neverending pursuit!! Thanks for telling us about it and congrats on your successful idol time...

  16. Anonymous // January 27, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

    Patrice, had I learned about this ahead of time I would have been right there with you! So sad that it was too late to register when I learned of it. Please keep me informed for next year!

    Melba Moon
    President-Elect KOD

  17. Mary Ricksen // January 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

    I am so glad you had a good time. Next year I'm there!

  18. Kristin // January 27, 2010 at 2:18 PM  

    It was a very stimulating and energizing trip. Plus, it was such a wonderful groupd of people to hang out with and learn from.

  19. Joanne // January 27, 2010 at 8:58 PM  

    How fun, Patrice, and utterly wonderful. Sounds like you had a grand time.

  20. Blythe Gifford // January 29, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

    Patrice - still glowing from four days with such a terrific group! I had a ball.