My tiny brown notebook has been filled with to-dos lately -- even more so than usual. Last night I dreamed I lost my passport while in line at Panda Express, a place I have never eaten. And along with working feverishly on Dissonance 2, I have been scribbling plans on legal pads, which is a surefire sign something is up.
What is up, you ask?
(The MV Explorer: Don't call it a boat. It's a ship. They are VERY PARTICULAR about this.)
You might remember that last year, I joined up with The Institute for Shipboard Education to teach on their Winter Enrichment Voyage. It was an incredible opportunity -- beautiful sights, amazing new friends, tamarind ice cream, a chance to fangirl Sandra Day O'Connor, Cookie O'Clock* and the Panama Canal! (I also carded the former Director of The CIA when he boarded the ship, but I choose to believe he was impressed with my committment to national security.)
Apparently, I did not suck, because I've been asked to teach on this year's voyage, Passages and Exchanges!
During last year's voyage, I gave three lectures on writing and publishing. Lectures are great, of course, but what I really love is sitting down and talking with people about their writing, having a two-way conversation, digging into craft and structure. And this time around, that's exactly what we're going to do. I'll be teaching eight classes (one for each day we're at sea) each focusing on a different aspect of storytelling.
This isn't a cruise specifically for aspiring authors, but for people who love to learn, so we'll be starting with the basics. But because it's a workshop environment, I'll be able to personalize the instruction -- and I'll be around to talk shop outside of class, too. Probably at Cookie O'Clock.**
Last year's trip was phenomenal. It's not your typical cruise ship -- it's a giant, floating university. ISE's Semester at Sea is for college students, but Enrichment Voyages are shorter trips, designed for anyone who wants to learn. There's even a kids' program, which my girls will be attending. There are meditation workshops, expert speakers, dance lessons and service excursions and dolphins. (Well, I can't guarantee the dolphins. But there will definitely be Cookie O'Clock.***)
If you're even the slightest bit interested in going on this year's Enrichment Voyage, which goes through Central and South America, you can get more information here. If you want my friend Doug Mack's take on last year's trip, he's got a hilarious recap series over at his blog.
And if you have any questions for me, hit the comments, and I'll answer as best I can.
(Doug is always up for shenanigans.
Photo: Jim and Adrienne, who made me laugh nonstop.)
* Cookie O'Clock is the magical hour on the ship where they put out trays of fresh-baked delicious cookies, right as you're getting snackish. We usually comandeered a corner table, and talked writing (sometimes we even wrote).
** Corner table. Garden Lounge. Oatmeal rasin are my favorite, and bring a notebook.
*** Seriously. Everyone needs Cookie O'Clock in their life.