NaNoWriMo and Cruise Adventures

Announcement time I’ve decided to tackle this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge.  Short for National Novel Writer’s Month, this is the name of an organization and the event they hold.  In a nutshell, this is a writing challenge with the goal of producing an original 50,000-word work of fiction.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Write what you know.” 

With that quote in mind, I’m writing a quirky cozy mystery entitled “Shimmy on the High Seas.”  What could be better than a belly dance intensive?  One that takes place on a cruise to Hawaii.  Join belly dance instructors Rory and Soph as they find themselves at the heart of a strange mystery.  Will our dancing duo figure out who did it before someone else gets dun in?

Read more about my novel project over on my website

I love cruise Vacations

Well, I actually enjoy traveling as a whole, but in particular, I really enjoy cruise vacations.  There’s great value in paying one price that includes transportation, food, entertainment, and amenities.  While I love Vegas and will jump at any chance to fly to Europe, I find that I really enjoy the slower pace that a cruise vacation offers.  I enjoy it so much, in fact, that my next sailing is less than 40 days away!Cruise-Clips.jpgI’m excited that my next trip features a passage through the Panama Canal, along with stops in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Columbia.  I might even be back to Porto Vallarta to visit this Sculpture on the Isla Cuale.Sculpture-PuertoVallarta, mexcico.JPG

I love Belly Dance

If you have ever visited my website, or read any of my books on costume design, then you know that I love all things belly dance.  Since Mr. Twain suggested I write what I know, my murder mystery is taking place in the heart of a belly dance retreat, “Shimmy on the High Seas.” Although not entirely autobiographical, friends will probably notice some similarities between our two lead fictional characters and the two real-life characters below.  Fiction allows us to be a different version of ourselves, but my fictional self is just as in love with “The Cloth of Egypt” as I am!


I love Cruising and Belly Dance Together

Once upon a time a long time ago, I went on a belly dance-themed cruise that went from the port of Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico.  “Arabian Nights at Sea” was a fantastic trip!  This three-day adventure featured a series of workshops by such notable luminaries as Fahtiem and Mesmera among others. It made such a lasting impression on me that I’m going to craft a similar seminar as the setting for my novel.

Read a First-Hand account of the 14th sailing
of “Arabian Nights At Sea,” by Princess Farhana

Fast forward to present day, when I choose cruise vacations for their fine food, relaxing atmosphere, places to work, and lots of entertainment.  Nothing makes me feel more disconnected from the pressures of daily life than being surrounded by water.


50,000 words

Can I reach the ultimate goal of reaching November 30 with a 50,000-word manuscript?  The best places to follow my progress via images is Instagram.  However, at this point, I can see a lot of FaceBook live check-ins as well.  In the meantime, here’s my temporary book cover and a link to my NaNoWriMo page where I will be updating my word count regularly over the course of November.


So once I complete the NaNoWriMo challenge, and have a rough 50,000-word draft, I will print it out and take it with me to edit while on my next cruise adventure!


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