Our cruise to Spain was exactly what we wanted — kind of like the slow boat to China. We left Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a Sunday and spent twelve days at sea. It was eight days from departure for our first stop – the Portuguese island of Madeira. By then we had begun to unwind and felt like we were finally on vacation.
The ancient barricade wall at Funchal
Painted on the barricade
The capital of Madeira is Funchal and that is where our ship docked. What a beautiful place. The trip up to the peak of the mountain in a taxi allowed us to stop at some spectacular gardens.
Then we rode the cable-car back down to the city. It was hair-raising but worth it for the fabulous views. Old buildings, beautiful churches, tiny gardens clinging to minute spaces on the steep hillside. Definitely a must see.
A resident of the gardens
We had a fabulous trip, starting out from Vancouver airport. We had a stop in Montreal, then straight down to Fort Lauderdale. We were lucky enough to stay in Florida for five days. It was lovely, we visited friends in Fort Myers on the western side of the state, who live in a gated community — quite different from our sprawling landscape. Then we travelled over to Cayo Costa which is west of Fort Myers to visit some Canadian friends who spend the winter down there on their boat — again very different from our ability to take up as much room as we need. It was beautiful, we saw manatees, a gorgeous lagoon and were fed a delicious lunch.
The ferry taking us to Cayo Costa
The bay of Cayo Costa
When we sadly left our friends to return to Fort Lauderdale, we were ready to board our cruise ship for a trip across the Atlantic. Never imagined we would ever do this, but it was fascinating. More to come. 🙂
I’ve just received a new map for my Last War series of fantasy fiction. My daughter drew it for me and between us we located the details of where Khandarken lies along the Catastrophic Ocean. Adar Silva is to the south, also along the ocean and a strong ally for Khandarken. To the north is Legitamia, a country ruled by its own dictator, Barrington the Benevolent. Relations are frosty, especially after the conference in the capital, Gilsigg, resulted in the death of Khandarken’s Leader in Book Three. This is on top of the invasion across the border in Book Two.
To the west is Jiran, a loose affiliation of tribal areas dominated by the Penrhy and Shafoneur families. No one is on great terms with Jiran.
Truth and Treachery, The Last War: Book Three is now out in print, with ebook soon to follow. Come with me on this exciting ride into a sci fi world where nothing is as it seems!
Visit Amazon to have a look – http://tinyurl.com/hw748dz
There are lots of ways to do it, of course. We all have our favourite. But the lists out there are interesting to study.
One of the best ways is to write in a vacuum. I was part of a writer’s group that took a table at a market fair in downtown Victoria last summer to sell our books. I swear that every second person who stopped at our booth was a writer who was partway through their first book. Would I look at it and perhaps give an edit? Could I sell their book at our booth once it was finished? How did you get a book up for sale on Amazon?
Most of these people were writing in a vacuum and had been for years. They had failed to find themselves a support group for critiques, a party of authors who shared their experiences and information with each other. It can be difficult to do. Showing someone else your work is high tension stuff– what if they hate it? What if they tell you it’s great when it isn’t? Or the other way around – tell you it isn’t great when it really is?
But in reality, it’s the best step you can take as a budding author. Get out there and show someone else your work. Ask for honest feedback, and give the same in return. Your writing will only get better with the exposure.
Have a look at – Don’t Derail Your Writing Career Before It Starts, blog by Anne R Allen at annerallen.com
I attended a writing seminar taught by Robert Dugoni. He’s a bestselling author of police detective mysteries and about 35 people arrived from all over Vancouver Island to hear what he had to say, which turned out to be quite a lot. And it was not only interesting but useful information.
I’ve written a few books now but am still learning and I learned even more on Saturday. Here’s a sampling . When creating a character –
- make him strong, along with other attributes he might need for his role such as leadership, cunning, loyal – all great virtues
- give him an Achilles heel, such as depression, over-stubborn, jealous – any one which will allow him to be vulnerable
- make him believable so the reader can identify with him, but also larger than life so he can be admired
- make him sympathetic, where the reader can identify his fault, not pathetic where the reader can’t relate
But the most compelling part of the workshop was the ending. Dugoni reminded us to enjoy writing, and not to get so caught up in the marketing, readings, production of material that we lose the fun of it. Good words to write by.
To learn more about Robert Dugoni, check out his website at http://www.robertdugoni.com/