Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Santa Barbara: A Perfect Place for an Anniversary

The August theme for the Write...Edit...Publish blog hop is VACATION.  I am submitting this non fiction piece, but I am a fiction author and always looking for reviewers of my debut novel, Dreaming of Laughing Hawk.
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Our wedding anniversary falls mid August. I decided #43 deserved a special departure from the ordinary. I chose a weekend escape to Santa Barbara. I always bring up the fact that we never had a honeymoon and, since there is no arguing with that, I get my way.

Santa Barbara is a sparkling jewel set between the Santa Inez mountains and the Pacific. It has a long history enriched by the Chumash, Spanish missionaries and soldiers, and the Mexicans before it fell to the United States in 1846.





Modern day Santa Barbara is characterized by it's Spanish Colonial architecture and red-tiled roofs.
The Santa Barbara County Courthouse, dedicated in 1929, is amazing. I have never seen such a beautiful building, so unlike the typical utilitarian buildings in most municipalities. Offices buildings for financial institutions and law offices also follow the colonial architecture.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse


Interior of Courthouse


Interior of Courthouse
Shopping in Santa Barbara

We decided to stay at the Spanish Garden Inn just a few blocks from State Street. State is the main drag for tourists: it is lined with restaurants and boutiques and terminates at Stearn's Wharf.
Courtyard of Spanish Garden Inn
The Spanish Garden Inn was perfect, expensive, but perfect. Our room was beautiful and comfortable, the service was outstanding, and the location was ideal. Breakfast and refreshments were wonderful and included in the price. The hotel is just a few blocks from where all the action is. Parking is free and you really don't need a car if you are hanging around the main tourist area. (For 50 cents, you can catch a shuttle bus that runs up and down State.) My favorite thing about this hotel was that the foyer and rooms are filled with watercolor paintings that were created by one of the hotel owners.

What always strikes me as unique about Santa Barbara is its elegant, but easy-going attitude. There is a kind of peacefulness, even when crowded with tourists. You can cross a street without fearing for your life. Motorists patiently wait for pedestrians to cross rather than trying to run them over like they do in my neighborhood.

Naturally, the homeless tend to be attracted to the climate and beauty of Santa Barbara. There didn't seem to be so many panhandlers hanging around on our recent visit, but they are there. Where I live, the down-and-out stand on corners with crude cardboard signs and ask for donations. In Santa Barbara they take a somewhat different approach. They sing or play music or sell silk flowers. Some have adopted humorous and inventive ways of panhandling. Next to the Wharf, they lay down blankets and invite tourists to cast their change from the wharf.  I mean, who can resist trying to hit the red hot lover category with a quarter?



Stearn's Wharf

Dinner was at the Bouchon (bottle cork). Great food, although the menu is somewhat limited. It is kind of hidden. A tiny little sign is about the only thing to identify this romantic little restaurant, located just off State Street on Victoria. There are plenty of wonderful restaurants to try in Santa Barbara.

It was a perfect day and evening. We could have stayed longer, but then we would have had to find a cheaper place to stay. The Spanish Garden Inn spoiled me for any other place. Oh well, any longer and I might have been tempted to shop for real estate.

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Now that you've visited my blog, I hope you'll check out my novel, Dreaming of Laughing Hawk. I'm always on the lookout for reviewers. Please contact me at ll.katmarian@gmail.com if you would like to be a reviewer.

18 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary, what a lovely place to stay and celebrate. The pictures are wonderful and the architecture is fabulous, what a great Court House.

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  2. What beautiful pictures. Santa Barbara looks like the perfect getaway spot...
    The architecture is amazing, especially the Courthouse Interior...
    Happy Anniversary!
    <a href="http://writer-in-transit.co.za?'>Writer In Transit</a>

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  3. Hello Linda. What lovely photos. That County Courthouse, wow. LOVE it. Thanks for the tour. Sounds like an amazing anniversary -- sounds like you've made up for the lack of honeymoon many times over, lol! It's great to hear of the laid back attitude here and the imaginative panhandlers get my vote. I hope this particular person made enough money to get a square meal or whatever he/she needed.

    Thank you for posting to the inaugural WEP bloghop Linda.

    I can only recommend your book highly.

    If anyone reads my comment and wonders if this book is worth it and would consider reviewing for Linda, you can take my word that this is a great read with hardly a typo/grammar mistake at all! You can read my review on Amazon if that would help.

    Denise

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    1. Thanks, Denise for plugging my book. I really appreciate that you took the time to read and review it. I'm always looking for good reviewers so anyone out there who would like to review my novel, let me know and I'll send you a copy.

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  4. Nice story - I have never been to Santa Barbara, but I remember the soap on TV. ;) I would love to visit this place, though. Looks beautiful!

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  5. Beautiful pictures! and it sounds like a great (belated) honeymoon destination. Would love to visit someday. I always enjoy your posts, fiction or non-fiction.

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  6. Great pictures! I've been to Santa Barbaera once, but it was mixed in with L.A., Hollywood and Beverly Hills so I can't really distinguish it in my mind. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, though!

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  7. The church is gorgeous. That little courtyard reminds me of Old Town in Albuquerque, NM. (We lived there 4 years.)

    Congrats on 43 years!

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  8. Thank you all for dropping by for a little taste of Santa Barbara. That's the cool thing about California. There are so many unique places.

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  9. I've never been to Santa Barbara. The court house is beautiful. California drivers are the only ones who will stop in the middle of the street for pedestrians. Nowhere else does anyone do that to my knowledge. I suspect it takes Californians awhile to get used to that when they move elsewhere. If you ever come to Colorado, look me up.
    Nancy

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    1. Well, in most places in California--LA and Orange County especially--they usually try to run you over. I found Santa Barbara much more polite towards pedestrians.

      I haven't been to Colorado in 30 years or more, but I remember camping out there, Pike's Peak, and the air force base. Such beautiful country.

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  10. Thank you for the stroll down memory lane! I LOVE Santa Barbara and have ver fond memories of my stay there...

    Gorgeous pics!

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  11. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    http://tattleterry.blogspot.com/

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  12. What a great vacation you had, especially for your anniversary! I haven't been there so it was nice to read about it. Found you on Denise's WEP bloghop.

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  13. I've put your book on my to read list on goodreads...

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    1. Wonderful. I hope you will give me your critique.

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  14. Santa Barbara is so lovely, and the climate there is just about perfect year round. Great photos. That courthouse is amazing. Glad you spent the money and stayed in luxury. The homeless money-maker photo is hilarious, too. Very creative. I'm going to put your novel on my TBR list.

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    1. Thanks. I hope you enjoy my novel and I would love to hear back from you.

      Linda

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