Happy New Year!
I know it’s actually January 15th, but the last time I was here, I was talking about Christmas love stories, so this is my first chance to welcome 2019 in with you!
I love the beginning of the year. I am a calendar junkie, and one thing I do at the beginning of every year is take a large laminated wall calendar and write my writing schedule and publishing plans for the year on it. I have a lot of writing lined up for the next two years. One story in particular is on my mind, because the entire book takes place on a cruise ship. However, I’ve never been on a cruise before, so my husband and I talked about it and agreed that taking a cruise is a priority for me this year. The more we talked about it and the more we prayed about it, the more we knew that me taking a cruise alone is exactly what I need to do. I can experience all of the cruise-ish things I need to experience, arrange tours and interviews with staff, and get the experience I need to effectively write my book without having to make up too many details about my environment, and I can do it without being distracted by a companion.
I leave at the end of the month and will be gone for 7 nights. My husband asked me last night if I was excited about going. The answer is twofold:
- I’m apprehensive and intimidated: I’ve never been on a cruise, so all of it is an unknown. I will be alone, which is my preference, as I said, but it doesn’t make navigating through boarding and finding my cabin and all of the things that take place during a cruise easier.
But, as I was talking to him, I was reminded of the time he was in Afghanistan and was able to take leave and meet me in Dubai. I traveled to Dubai alone – a western woman entering a Muslim country. I had to go through security and customs alone and had no idea what to expect, so I was a bit intimidated by the prospect. But it was easy. I had no issues. So much so that when he had the opportunity to take a class in Kuwait four months later, I flew to Kuwait alone to meet him and felt absolutely no trepidation about the trip — because it was no longer an unknown.
So, if I’m honest, what intimidates me the most is the unknown — which is the reason I’m going in the first place, so that it will become known. Kinda of a vicious circle.
- I’m excited: I really enjoy being alone. But what I enjoy more than that is being alone in a crowd. One of my favorite things to do is to go to a shopping mall and just watch people. It’s fascinating to me and it feeds the writer inside of me in ways I cannot explain. So, the idea of being in a confined area for 7 nights with the same people — 7 nights as emotions ebb and flo, relationships experience stressors that come from being away from all things normal, excitement changes to boredom changes to excitement — to be alone in that crowd and to be able to sit back and watch and observe….I feel like I’m going to come out of it with SO MUCH character fodder that my curiosity about people will be abated for a long time.
I’m excited about the opportunity to work – to work without wifi, to work without chores, to work without errands, to work without anyone expecting anything from me at any time for an entire week. For the last couple of years, my writing time receives regular interruptions — interruptions I allow and I’m not complaining. However, this is going to be amazing, because my focus for 2019 is to reclaim that writing time and to get back up to a production schedule I had four years ago. This trip will help retrain my brain to write when I need to write and focus only on writing at that time.
I love learning new things, and this entire experience will be new to me. I can’t wait to see what I’ve managed to pick up during my week on the ship.
I can’t wait to write this book. My fingers itch with the idea, with the concept, and I know my readers will love it.
Research is tantamount to good writing. I learn better hands-on, so this type of research is really, really good for me. I plan to have a large notebook with me ready to write down all the story ideas I get from just all the people watching I get to do!
Have you ever been on a cruise? What was your favorite part about it? Any tips for this first-timer?
Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will be entered to win an autographed paperback of my book Courting Calla and will also be entered to win Inspy Romance’s monthly gift card giveaway!
Ian knows God has chosen Calla as the woman for him, but Calla is hiding something big. Can Calla trust Ian with her secret, or will she let it destroy any possible hope for a future they may have?