setting the scene in donal bay….(aka #oceanPark California)


we went to interview someone for next week’s column in Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and after it was done (and fascinating and lovely an interview it was too) we decided it was going to be too crazy on the freeway (rush hour) so we took a different turning and went to watch the sunset on the beach before heading home……..and took a lot of pictures

mainly because we want You to have a Visual of this fictitious place we called DONAL BAY in the screenplay-being-turned-into-a-novel (in reality, it’s Ocean Park, California and yes, we used to live There)

ready to read?

it’s just a little bit tonight – but a few pictures too, so a cup of tea or something sweet might be nice, depending on your time zone/desire:

we’ll wait……….


you’re back – lovely – here we go.



There is a place in southern California called Donal Bay. It’s a few miles down the coastal road from Santa Monica on the way to Venice Beach and you would miss it if you did not slow down and turn left just five minutes (in mellow traffic) as soon as you spot the pier on the ocean side.


There are twinkle lights entwined between all the palm trees down Main Street, an Irish bar, 1940s era eggs and coffee breakfast place and a newsstand with all the Italian and Parisian fashion magazines next to surfing and boating news. There are also several tiny cafes with small round tables in between all the yoga studios and alternative healing emporia.


Late at night, strange mists of water can be seen at the intersection. As you get closer, you’ll see people in wet suits, just back from the beach, washing the sand off their cars in the outdoor hand car wash. They then gather at the Mexican place and sit at the counter to eat three dollar fish tacos and swig from lurid candy-colored soda bottles.

The homeless men and women in black shuffle into formation to sleep outside the old Carnegie Library, just down the street from the seafood restaurant with fishing nets above the door, a mermaid’s torso and the sound of live fiddle music floating out into the night air.


If you turn left from the Ocean road and find yourself in Donal Bay, you will probably never want to leave.  Livy Brennan took that turning last year to see about an apartment share and knew she was here for good.


The apartment was four blocks from the beach and part of a duplex owned by an entertainment attorney called John Mahoney. Several years earlier, John had been visiting a faded rock star client in Malibu who needed yet another divorce, and taken the Ocean road back towards Beverly Hills. He got lost, couldn’t find the I-10 freeway and ended up in Donal Bay. It was exactly the place he had been looking for. He sold his house in Hancock Park and bought the duplex as soon as he could, moving into the first floor apartment on the left and renting out the other units to various creative types who liked to surf.


Livy Brennan did not surf. But she did love to sit at the water’s edge with her shoes in her hand, her jeans rolled up to mid calf and watch the sun slip behind the Ferris wheel on the pleasure Pier.


She was so enchanted by the sunset that she did not see Calliope emerge from the waves.


oh yes – we are Most Excited about writing this one.

bless you for reading along thus far……….more soon.


coffee with Congreve.


the latest Requested Materials from the Los Angeles County Library have arrived!

(or, more correctly, we went to Pick them Up from the shelf and ran our fingers delicately across the tomes looking for the piece of paper sticking up with our original RL surname thereupon)

and so we spent many happy hours late (a bit too late, actually, tired eyes behind reading glasses, finally forced to capitulate and set aside) and a little this morning, with our dark embrace of caffeine…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhere are just two for your delight – – – – – –

From Hymn to Aphrodite:

Sing, Muse, the Force, and all-informing Fire
Of Cyprian Venus, Goddess of Desire:
Her Charms, th’Immortal Minds of Gods can move,
And tame the stubborn Race of Men to Love.
The wilder Herds and ravenous Beasts of Prey,
Her influence feel, and own her kindly Sway.
Thro’ pathless Air, and boundless Ocean’s Space,
She rules the feather’d Kind and finny Race;
Whole Nature on her sole Support depends,
And far as Life exists, her Care extends.

William Congreve, 1710

[Aphrodite and Anchises]

Bright as the Moon she shone, with silent Light.
And charm’d his Sense with Wonder and Delight.

William Congreve, 1710

According to our friends at the Oxford University Press*, these extracts are both from what are known as The Homeric Hymns – a collection of thirty-three poems in epic style composed between the eighth and sixth centuries BC and addressed to various divinities, falsely attributed to Homer.

*and may we say how Modern it is that the OUP (may we be so familiar?) are doing ‘Print-on-Demand’ (top right, of this catalogue page)- – gosh.

of course one does Wonder who these poets were that wrote the Original versions in the once-Ancient Greek and didn’t sign their name so they were passed over by the mists of time and Mr. Homer took the credit (or his Publishers did)?

having done a little ghost-writing-for-executives in our time *coughs* we know the feeling of our words being attributed to Others.


and back to Classical Greece.

you see we’ve decided to put the Hollywood Novel on hold for a moment and adapt the Goddess of Donal Bay (which, strictly speaking is Set in Los Angeles, and there are definite Hollywood Moments).

we wrote it as a screenplay a few years ago and feel ready to write at length to make it (or reveal it, depending on one’s opinion of how-books-are-written) a Novel.

such fun.

we LOVED writing the classical Muses.

the gowns alone…..

CLIO, another muse ENTERS. She flies off the top of the stacks.


Clio is as beautiful as Calliope. And mad as hell.

CLIO We’ve been watching you.

Calliope looks guilty. Clio grabs her arm and shows her a whole stack of self-help books.

CLIO (CONT’D) They call it self-help. Humans buy these books to make them feel better. But they don’t do the work.

CALLIOPE I was just trying to help. They invented these life coach people and said they were the new muses.

CLIO Why did you take on human form? It’s forbidden. You are confusing the human incarnations. You wrote a book with your picture on it, your image is displayed in permanent daylight on those billboards out there, you were on the machine!

CALLIOPE They call it television.

CLIO I don’t care what they call it.

CALLIOPE I’ve been kissed. Clio is stopped in her tracks. Her eyes fill with emotion.

CLIO What was it like?

CALLIOPE Like nothing I have ever experienced.

oh yes.

This is going to be a delicious distraction.

excuse us while we return to Bryon’s translation of Catullus and enjoy (is this possible?) our (small) bowl of Special K (the cereal, not the narcotic).