Shimmy On The High Seas: Progress Report

Can You Write a Novel?
Challenge Accepted!

Many years ago, my mum challenged me to create a work of fiction. Of course, I said “Yes!” My mom wants to read a non-DIY or History book by her one and only daughter. How could I possibly say no?

We brainstormed together and settled on a few key features for this project. These general parameters were going to inform the shape and scope of the book. 

  • Cozy Mystery.  Both mum and I enjoy reading a silly-fun cozy-style mystery.
  • “Write what I know.”  I took this excellent advice and set the event at a belly dance festival.
  • An Exotic Setting. Let’s put it on a cruise ship! Many years ago, I attended a belly dance event on a cruise ship.

Shimmy On The High Seas

I bounced the idea around with my co-author and cruise travel buddy Alisha Westerfeld, shown below looking out onto a ship’s wake with my mum. She gave it two thumbs up and the work began. Between Alisha, my mum, and me, we came up with the title of our mythical event, “Shimmy on the High Seas.”

The story takes place on board a 15-day round-trip cruise to Hawaii.  The belly dance event, Shimmy on the High Seas would take place on days 1 – 5, and 11-15.  Between the 6 – 10, the ship visits several ports throughout the Hawaiian islands.  But this fun event is interrupted by the tragic death of one of the event instructors!  *gasp and clutch pearls here*

NaNoWriMo 2018

In November, I took on the Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge and managed to get nearly 30,000 words of the novel completed. Raw and unedited, it needed plenty of work, but I set it aside in early 2019 to work on the rewrite of Costuming From the Hip, getting it ready for its 30-anniversary rerelease.  

Booked a Cruise & Personal Writing Retreat

In 2019, after much nudging from my mum, I booked a cruise for her and me to set sail from San Diego to Mexico. The mission was to eat a bunch of food and work on Shimmy on the High Seas.  We picked our ship, and we bought tickets, for March 2020. 

I don’t think I need to explain why THAT trip got canceled!

In 2022, mum and I decided to finally book that replacement cruise, so we booked for March 2023. The main mission is to eat a lot of food, see a lot of great entertainment, and make significant progress on the unfinished manuscript for “Shimmy on the High Seas.” 

Let’s get this book finished in 2023!  CHEERS!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
February 13, 2023





Who Dunnit?

By Davina

Davina ~ Dawn Devine is a belly dance costume designer, dance instructor and author of more than a dozen publications on Middle Eastern dance.