The inspiration for Finding Felicity came from many sources. An investment banker I was dating. Dreams of travelling to Italy. My own spiritual seeking.
Living in Los Angeles, one of my favorite things to do was to drive up to Ojai or Santa Barbara for the weekend or even a day. On one visit, I stumbled upon a monastary that offered rooms for personal retreat. Intrigued, I decided to book a weekend.
The monastery was high in the Santa Barbara hills overlooking the shimmering Pacific. My room was much like the one depicted in Finding Felicity. small and spartan. During my stay, the Santa Anas were in full force with strong winds blowing in the hillside. In the middle of the night, my window started banging loudly in the winds and the next thing I knew, a monk was standing in my room! The doors had no locks and not realizing a guest was in the room, he came in to check on the noise.
I jumped out of bed - grateful I was actually wearing a nightgown - and he jumped back, too! We stood looking at each other and he started mumbling about the window. He closed it quickly, and hurried out of my room.
Yes ... he was handsome. And yes ... the idea for Finding Felicity was born.
Here's a link to a book about monastery accomodations ... why not?
Guide to Monastary Accomodations