Last week, I sailed away from my normal, solitary writing schedule across the wide, beautiful Gulf of Mexico with the Florida Romance Writers. Readers nowadays know me as a mystery author, but that wasn't always true. I began my career writing historical romance, and much of what I learned about the craft and business of writing I owe to that generous, supportive group. One of the special events they host every two years is their Cruise with Your Muse Conference, and this year I said, I'm going!
The fun began on Thursday night with a welcome cocktail party. Friday was a day of workshops, including the fabulous Michael Hauge who discussed plotting and characterization. Later that afternoon, I took in the Ice Show at the skating rink. On Saturday, we had the day to explore the shops of Cozumel, or, for the more adventurous, take excursions a bit farther into Mexico. That night a bunch of us went to the Motown Tribute show before dinner. Sunday, on our way back across the Gulf, there were more workshops because, after all, this was a "working" cruise. We also held a booksigning on the Promenade Deck. I didn't sell a ton of books, but I had a great time!
Authors Debra Andrews, Nancy J. Cohen, and Deborah Grahl
Sitting at the booksigning with authors Sandra Madden and Priscilla Oliveras; I signed Murder at Rough Point
With buddies Tina Stitzer and Rose Lawson
That's me with SuperRomance author Sharon Hartley
My wonderful agent, Evan Marshall, and his lovely wife, Martha
The beautiful blue waters of the Gulf
Despite our busy schedule I did manage a little quiet time all to myself - so important when a writer is refueling the creative well.
It had been a number of years since I had cruised, and this made me remember how much I enjoy it. I think I need to cruise again - soon!