Oranges in Valencia, Spain

I’ll return to the transatlantic stories of November 2016 after this update.

I just completed my 2017 Viking Sea cruise which included another stop in Barcelona. The Secret Mediterranean trip included Italy, Malta, Sardinia, Tunisia, Algeria, and Spain.

A special thrill to hear the Launeddas, a breath instrument, sounding similar to a bagless bagpipe in Sardinia. As the pipes appear in my YA dystopian novel, it was terrific to check facts and get a sense of the music and setting.


Here’s a brief splurge of memories of my February 2017 Mediterranean trip …

…it was not all about our room steward Von making my bed or finding my favorite hominy porridge with dates for breakfast. It’s Carthage in the sunlight, Algiers from our balcony, orange trees lining the streets in Valencia, mosaics, the shop owner in Tunis with the camels, the falcon on my arm, afternoon tea, papas bravas and the singing and Flamenco, a bravura opera in the Starlite Theater, meeting a couple from Fullerton, California while listening to Launeddas in Sardinia, that PakistanI driver, talks at dinner, passing Sagrada Familia on the way to get coffee, listening to our guide in a glade of 56 pillars, flamingoes in salt flats, green parrots in the palms, churros dipped in chocolate.

Again with the oranges in Valencia, Spain!

The streets were lined with orange trees. Such a happy sight! It made me homesick for the orange ranches back in California. While the guide talked about the medieval history of her city, I thought of our Orange County history touched by mission fathers, conquistadors, Californian Indians, and Mexican laborers. And the orange ranches.

lillian with shoes copyI’m in the early days of sketching out a novella and the second novel in the 1920s Orange Ranch Brides series. The novella will be a brief look at Sadie still trapped by her past but given a peek into possible futures. The draft will be completed before April 1st.

The novel’s beat sheet should be finished mid March. I plan to work on the manuscript, tentatively titled Sadie’s Secret Window, for Camp NaNo April 2017.

The first novel, Lillian in the Doorway (by Michelle Dutton), is available on Amazon. It makes a nice Valentine for those you love.  Including yourself!

Happy reading!  Michelle


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.
This entry was posted in travel, WRITING and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Oranges in Valencia, Spain

  1. roland says:

    looking forward to next book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s