Last week, my amazing wife and I got to do something we've always wanted to try: go on a cruise. It was a short cruise, just a few days from California to Ensenada, Mexico, and back over my wife's fall break (she's a teacher). We had a blast, and I got to spend some quality time with the characters of the next Dark Crossroads Encounter (look for it next year next year!). On the way, I learned a couple of things:
On a cruise, "all you can eat" takes on a whole new dimension
I knew that food was one of the big draws of cruises. I did not realize that there were no limits, like, ever. It only took one night sitting with experienced cruisers to realize that you were able to order as many entrées, appetizers, and desserts that we wanted, not to mention the 24/7 pizza bar.
I'd like to say that we showed remarkable restraint and that we were conscious of what we actually needed, rather than eating everything in sight. Yup, I'd sure like to say that, all right.
Watching Poseidon immediately after a cruise may be harmful to your health
Lesson learned: Do not watch creepy thrillers about cruises after having just gone on a cruise. The only way it would have been worse would have been to watch it before the cruise or, heaven forbid!, during it
When we got home, the Amazing Jenna and I decided that it would be fun to watch one of the only movies about a cruise we own, so we sat down with our kids and watched Poseidon, the 2006 remake of the 1972 Poseidon Adventure. For the uninitiated, the basic premise of both films is that a cruise ship is hit by a massive wave that flips it upside down. A small group of survivors then attempts to climb through the ship and escape through the bottom, which is now the top.
Both the classic film and the remake are incredibly intense. The remake, which was directed by Wolfgang Petersen (The NeverEnding Story) has a few minor missteps (the CGI is pretty bad and I have a hard time believing that even the most adventurous child would wander off like the one in the movie does given the situation), but it is still a heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Our kids were royally freaked out. So were we.
"Characters, characters, characters" is the "location, location, location" of writing
It's an old truism that the three most important things in real estate are "location, location, location." Well, for writing, the same can be said about characters. Who the characters are make or break a story, and knowing the characters can help any author figure out what happens next, especially when they are blocked.
This week, I spent quite a bit of time getting to know the characters of book 2. I'd known them somewhat before, but after spending 4 days documenting everything about them in a process I call "note vomit," I feel like they are real. I can't wait to spend a year working with them to create another, spooky story.
Side note: I donated copies of both my books to the ship library. If you ever travel on the Carnival Inspiration, check them out!
Who else has been on a cruise? What was your favorite part?