Earlier 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.