Hi everyone. Our little publishing firm, Red Engine Press, is planning a 15-day “Storytellers’” cruise of the Panama Canal from Fort Lauderdale, FL, to Los Angeles, CA, on the Emerald Princess. The date of sailing is January 22, 2024. I’d like to invite those of you who are interested in an event that will be fun, educational, and creative. Hopefully, it will raise your personal profiles whether you are a publisher, publicist, researcher, novelist, historian, artist, cartoonist, photographer, editor, publisher, book designer, bookstore owner, etc. Quilters and knitters write books too. Art has many forms. And so, no, you don’t have to be a Red Engine Press author to join us.
NOTE: Since the more of us there are will generate better pricing for each of us, you are welcome to bring friends or family. And if you fear bringing your family might change your experiential goals, understand…it’s a big ship. There are many things to do, see and eat onboard and there will be lots of shore excursion options too. You will be welcome to do your “own thing” at any time…and that includes family or friends who either might want to participate in our storytelling activities too—or who might have different ideas about fun. Our main goal is to have time together, to learn from each other…and to explore the ship and the various ports of call along our route. And create art!
Leading up to the cruise, we hope that everyone who is traveling with us and participating in our activities will begin posting to the Red Engine Press blog at: www.redenginepressusa.com/blog. You can post about your book, a place, an interesting character, an adventure, what you hope to get out of the cruise, etc. You can also interview people you meet along the way and list those interviews too. The goal here is to get you comfortable posting regularly and to introduce you to each other and our various audiences. It’s also to get readers interested in us and our adventures.
In the months until we sail, I suggest posting something short…and include video or pictures to illustrate. I also suggest posting often to build your confidence and audience. When we are sailing, hopefully you’ll be posting to the blog several times a day…even on shore days.
Throughout the cruise…especially on sea days, we will have a private meeting room where we can share tips on writing, genres, blogs, cover design, art, editing, illustration, photography, podcasting, how to use your phones to do research or record our adventures—and anything else that…pardon the expression…floats your boat. We are not going to charge a fee for any of that programming, but we do hope each of us will share resources, expertise, and ideas with the larger group. As folks decide to join us, we’ll ask them if they would like to showcase their special talents or if there is something they’d like to learn from their fellow creatives sailing with us.
Here is a link to the particular cruise so you can get an idea of what we’ll be seeing and doing …on and off the ship.
And here’s a quick video:
NOTE: We will be sailing through the new lochs, however, our contact Kerri will be setting us up with an option to tour the historic lochs as well.
Here is an expanded view if the itinerary. There’s more detail if you go to the Princess site though.
While we are sailing, I’ll be encouraging everyone to post to the Red Engine Press Blog—either videos of our adventures, or pix that you’ve taken of the ship or the Canal or the various ports of call, or stories about food or culture or the Canal itself or any of the tours you might choose to take. You can even interview each other and post those conversations to the blog if that’s your interest.
I’ll be encouraging you to share all those blog posts to other social media sites too. I hope that by then, everyone will be comfortable with blogging on our site. The goal of course is to build interest for what we are doing as a group and acquire new audiences for our books, photography and art. Along the way, we’ll learn from each other and have fun. Also, at the end of the cruise, Red Engine Press will publish an Anthology of our articles, poetry, short short stories, photos and artwork.
If you would like to join us, let me know and I will get you in touch with our Princess Representative, Kerri Anne Boyle. If you decide to go, you’ll be working through her. Princess expects $200 to hold a cabin for two. The total charges will depend on the kind of room you choose, of course. However, our rates will decline the more of us there are in the “group.” Kerri will also help us find rooms close to each other …or not…depending on your preference. If you are traveling alone and would like to find a roommate, let me know and we’ll try to match you up with someone else in that same situation.
Just a note, my family and I will be traveling to Florida from Arkansas by train and back from LA by train as well. However, Princess has arrangements with airlines if that’s your preferred mode of travel. Kerri will help you with that too.
It’s still early of course, but if you do want to come please give me a heads up even if you don't want to commit quite yet. If you are experienced cruisers, I’m sure you know how cruises work. If you are brand new and want to talk, just email me questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, someone already wanted to know if he will need a passport. And the answer is yes.
Looking forward to chatting with you all about the things you’d like to do. Or answering questions. The Panama Canal has been on my bucket list for at least 50 years. I’m excited to finally have it in sight.
More information will be shared as we realize how many folks we will have. Also, if you plan on joining us and have a special expertise that you would like to share with your fellow sailors, let me know.