Inside Story on the Inside Passage – Part Two

I’ve never been on a cruise before. If I had been given a choice of vacations, it’s not the one I would have picked. And ironically, this was the year I was going to go to Burning Man. A cruise to Alaska is about as far away from that as I could get. Dara Marks thought it was funny, Burning Man vs. The Feminine Heroic (the name of her workshop on the cruise).


To tell you the truth, I find all this to be a bit surreal. Right now I’m sitting in the deck chair of a moving city, levitating above the ocean, staring out as the Canadian coast rolls by. When I’m in the belly of the ship, I feel like I’m inside an enormous hotel and easily forget we’re moving. I mean, there’s a casino, a library, a huge theatre, cinema, and miles of long halls that remind me of The Shining.

I’m in an inside cabin; not the original plan. The group did some trading around of rooms yesterday and I just said put me anywhere, I’m easy. If I ever in my lifetime take another cruise, I will not book an inside cabin. I realize some people get sick watching the world move by, but I get claustrophobic in a windowless room. So, a note of caution if you ever book a cruise and you’re at all uneasy in small spaces.

In any case, it was so dark and disorienting when I woke up this morning that when I hit deck 10 and saw the coastline, I started to cry. Okay, I tend to cry at the drop of a hat these days being pre-menopausal and all, but it was just so stunning. So much wild, untouched land. I was reminded, once again, that I’m part of something much larger than myself.

We all met up for the first time last night. Fourteen women workshop attendees and our fearless leaders: Dara Marks and Deb Norton. As we each introduced ourselves, Dara handed us a present: a workshop binder, journal, pens, crayons, coloured markers, and chocolate – all inside a beautifully decorated gift bag. We’re loving it already.

Most of us are over 40, but we’re not all writers. We have a few brave visual artists along for the ride. And even as writers, we have differing backgrounds. Dara’s background is in story development for screenplays and Deb is a playwright and theatre actor. The title of the course is Engaging the Feminine Heroic and the idea is not to negate the masculine side of story-telling, but to understand the differences and how to use them together for a fuller, deeper, richer story.

More on that later… right not it’s time to do my homework. 🙂



Filed under adventure, serious play, workshops

3 responses to “Inside Story on the Inside Passage – Part Two

  1. sounds like you’re having some mixed feelings about your cruise but loving the class thus far. i don’t think i’d like a room without a view either. hope you’re making lots of new friends and writing some good stuff. see ya at your next posting.

  2. remember to set your alarm for the alst night of the 2009 :15 experiment! every night this year I have been HOME–how boring!

    have fun on your cruise–I’ve never been on one!

  3. Michelle,

    When I reread that it sounded a bit negative. You are right about mixed feelings about the cruise… because at times it was such an odd experience… but I do think cruises have their merit. There’s no shortage of things to do, that’s for sure, and they’re great for groups of people and families.

    The workshop was one of the best I’ve ever taken.

From my brain to yours

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