Writing Excuses Cruise – my dream vacation

I find myself thinking back on the cruise we went on, and all the special moments that we had. And I realize that my brain being what it is, I will start to misremember things, so now it’s time to write things down for my own future self to look back on.

This was such a momentous journey for Niklas and I, with both of us looking forward to it – Niklas looking forward to being away from home and the kids for a while, and completing his mission of tasting all the desserts on the ship, and I was so filled with emotions about getting to meet my idols – the hosts of the Writing Excuses Podcast. Not only that, we would meet other writers and instructors as well, and people that would become our friends.

I was really nervous when we arrived in Kiel, but there was nothing to be scared about – everything was handled to perfection by the team behind the retreat, and retreat veterans were encouraged to help us newbies, and that they did! We felt so well taken care of, and safe. I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event that was this well planned on all fronts, and with the comfort of the participators as the main focus.

Before we boarded we were divided into groups. Hi, group!

It was so nice getting to know people in this way. I had no need to feel anxious after this Quest (we were the only Finns on the cruise, and didn’t know anyone beforehand, so I was a bit nervous!), because it immediately felt as if we knew some people. Which was one of the points of the exercise.

Each group got an quest that started when we got on board the ship.

We were team Science Fiction and I was the chief engineer – just call me Ms LaForge!  

It took a while for us to solve the first riddle, but then we finally found the right bar and the people sitting in it, giving us the next clue: Jasper Fforde (who had the most amazing inspiring talk!), Kathy Chung (who I wish I had had time to talk to, but there wasn’t time to talk to everyone unfortunately…) and Piper J Drake (thanks for the writing sprint and the individual critique! I think about you every time I sit down to write my novel <3 )

Next stop, the Cyber Library where Dan Wells and his daughter Audrey gave us the next clue together with Aliette de Bodard. We had a funny incident at the SciFi bookstore in Stockholm when Dan and his family walked in and the girl at the counter got really starstruck! That was one of the highlights of the cruise – getting to brag to a fellow geek!

Ken Liu (so much fun! And the best short story writer ever) and Howard Tayler – one of my idols from the podcast.

Some of the clues were trickier than others. But our team came through, and we got to go to lunch eventually! 

Before that we met with John Berlyne (thanks for all the advice!) and Sandra Tayler (thank you too! It was so helpful, I felt so at peace after talking to you, and got great ideas for writing at home.)

Then onto the bar where we spent most our time – listening to instructors or writing, because – geeks! Here we met Wesley Chu (who has awesome taste in movies!) and Kenna. Last, but not least Thomas Olde Heuvelt (nice talking to you about translations and also seeing you at WorldCon!) and K Tempest Bradford, who we had an amazing day with at the museums in Copenhagen.

These were just some of the instructors, and I so wish there were more hours to the day when we were on the cruise because everyone was just so interesting and interested and just awesome! We had so many wonderful conversations and I came back with new confidence and lots of happy memories. And luckily new Facebook friends, so that I can get my cruise-fix afterwards as well!

 

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Comments

  1. Not to be a grammar nazi, but just to help a tiny bit with your already pretty good English:
    ”This was such a momentous journey for Niklas and I”
    It should really be
    ”This was such a momentous journey for Niklas and me” (or probably even better in this particular sentence ”myself” instead of ”me”, but i’m not sure why)
    The simple rule to remember is that you use me/I in the same way as you would if the other person was not in the sentence.
    So you would say ”This was such a momentous journey for me” and therefore ”… Niklas and me”.
    But if you were to say ”I went on a momentous journey”, you’d then say ”Niklas and I went on a momentous journey”.

    • Why thank you, mr Grammarian! 😀

      I try not to think too much of how I write just so that I actually _get_ the blog posts written, and not sit and stare at the grammatics of it all for too long. Which is why I tend to write like I talk. Except for when I’m writing something I’m planning on submitting. Which is essentially nothing on this blog. But thank you for your lecture – I will keep that in mind! (and the funny thing I never get any corrections when I write in Swedish, and I _know_ I have made errors in Swedish as well, but when I do write something in-correct in English someone always corrects me – you’re not the first.)

      But please, keep on commenting my English – it probably helps me in the long run, even if I don’t have the time at the moment to go through all my texts and make them into perfect English.

    • Here’s a handy video for you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovi7uQbtKas

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