Hummingbirds Among Wisteria

Catalina_HotelEarlier this week, I enjoyed a few days on Santa Catalina Island. We took the Catalina Express from Downtown Long Beach where we passed the Queen Mary and the empty Spruce Goose dome.  Beyond the breakwater, we sat on the front deck enjoying March weather, unseasonably in the high 70s. Less than an hour later, we were in Catalina’s port village of Avalon.

Avalon is hilly, but the green hills behind the town rise even more sheer and include buffalo herds, the Wrigley mansion, and Zane Grey’s getaway home, now the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel. Not far from the dock, in the midst of decorated tile and t-shirt shops, restaurants and ice-cream parlors, I found the Catalina Coffee & Cookie Company. That nailed Catalina as a terrific place to do a writer’s retreat.

Much of the block where we stayed had been built in the late 1890s. We had a cottage at the La Paloma – Las Flores, “one of Avalon’s hidden treasures – full of old world charm reminiscent of New Orleans, with iron balconies, brick work, flowers and vine covered walkways.” La Paloma Cottages were built over 100 years ago.

While my friends took the glass-bottom boat tour and wandered Avalon, I created a beat sheet for the first of four novels in a paranormal series and wrote about four pages of notes. I sat in a small patio at the top of the tiled steps beneath a canopy of wisteria and a half-dozen chittering hummingbirds.

I will be doing Camp NaNo in April and will write the last half 0f the fourth Abishag mystery An Eggshell Present in the mornings. In the afternoons and evenings, I will work on the paranormal.

The third Abishag, Riddle in Bones, is still with beta readers till Monday. Unless the unforeseen strikes, I expect the release of the 150 page short novel to be late March or early April. Around April 4th, I’ll be offering the second mystery, Indelible Beats, for 99 cents. Watch for the announcement.

It’s good to be home among family and cats. Still…every now and then, I look out the window and miss the smell of the sea, chatting with friends, and hummingbirds among the wisteria.

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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6 Responses to Hummingbirds Among Wisteria

  1. Kaye Klem says:

    Hummingbirds and wisteria! Lovely image. : ) For a lovely getaway…

  2. dayya says:

    Wonderful! Reminded me it’s been a long time since I’ve visited Catalina. A fine way to spend a retreat. d:)

    • mlknowlden says:

      I’d like to go again because it was a lovely way to do a retreat, and I’d like to do the inland tour which I’ve been saying for years. I’ll watch Groupon for more offers.

  3. Rebecca Lang says:

    Glad you got so much work done at your retreat.

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