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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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May 13, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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May 13, 2011
 

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Avalon teacher pens novel CHRISTOPHER BLEIM'S NOVEL TELLS FICTION STORY USING LOCATIONS N AVALON I'm devoted to the Island; I simply love it here. In short, this [gestures around] is my inspiration. Islander: Tell us about the book. Blehm:"Mercy of the Elements" is set right here on Catalina. It is a work of historical fiction, and has elements of romance, mystery, and adventure. Half of the story occurs on Catalina in the present day. Half is set in the year 1587, and follows Admiral Thomas Cavendish as he circumnavigates the globe and at- Islander: What was your big- gest hesitation bringing this to the shelJT. Blehm: A couple of things. First, I want to keep it completely sepa- rate from school. I'm proud of the book, it's not pomo or anything, but a couple parts are a bit racy, and a few parts are violent. It wouldn't be appropriate on a public school cam- pus. So, I don't discuss it at school. tacks Spanish buc- cancers. Another plot line intertwines from Japan. The plot lines collide in the climax. Islander: What inspired you? Blehm: I've al- ways loved travel. Not just a quick va- cation, but living and working abroad. I moved to Catalina Chris Blehm Similarly, I don't express political, religious, or so- cial opinions on campus either. Students deserve an environtnent where they are encouraged to think intelligently for themselves, not one where they are told what to think. Also, several folks have asked me, "Am I in the book.'?" The short an- swer is, "no." No one is froha Egypt, and was just planning on spending the summer, teach- ing diving, and moving on. I fell in love with the place and decided to stay. I'm inspired by the vast globe, the stretches of history I've studied, and the beauty and magic of Catalina. This is one of the most special places in the world. That's also why I'm so passiooate and outspoken in my Islander columns. I Help Fatherless Boys! For Jesus!!! Camping. Fishing. Bicycles www.mentorme.org in the book (other than historical fig- ures such as Cavendish). It is fiction. Now, all writers use perceptions of the things around them, things they see, things they notice, that are the stuff dreams are made of. But it dbesn't point to any one person. For example, there is a bar- tender in the-story. It's not Freddy, or Brian, or Memo. The bartender might look a bit like Big Dave Gotti from one angle, might say something that sounds a bit like Brian, might tell a joke I heard somewhere in town. But the char- acter is fictitious. No actual pres- ent day person is-in the book. It's May 13 through May 19 Shows Nightly at 7:30pm Rated PG For More Information Call 310-510-0179 a novel. Istander: What about loca- tions? Blehm: Lots of Island locations in the book. The harbor and green pier, The Marlin Club, the Airport in the Sky, the Aurora Hotel, Ship Rock. My girlfriend Andi thinks it would be cool to have a Mercy tour of Catalina--where visitors could read the book and visit all the places in it. Some of that will require scuba gear. She's a very special person, and the book would not exist without her support and encouragement. Other locals were invaluable as well. They appear on the back cover and in the acknowl- edgments. 1slander: Is there a lot of div- ing in the story? Blehm: There's enough to move the plot, but not so much that a non-diver would find it tiresome. I try to keep it simple, keep the science accurate, and convey the beauty, majesty, and occasionally the fear and danger of being in a foreign element. Hence the title. Islander: So the book has all the elements? Blehm: Absolutely. And you can see them on the cover. Water, earth, air, and of course fire. Islander: Speaking of the cover, it's gorgeous. Blehm: Many of our readers will recognize Christina Angeli- na's work. She spends time on the Island, and shows in the art festi- vals. I decided her style was right for the cover, and I simply asked her to read the book and go for it.. Trust the artist. I'm extremely pleased. Her contact information appears on the back cover - what an amazing artist. Islander: Where will the book be available? Blehm: Mercy of the Elements is currently available at Sugarloaf Books, Catalina Scuba Luv, The Marlin Club, Courtyard Coffee, and Renee's Beach Boutique at Descanso. At 180 pages, it's perfect for an afternoon on the beach. It's also available on mercyoftheele- ments.com, Amazon.corn, and I would appreciate it very much if folks would comment on Amazon The Recreation Department is now accepting applications for the following positions: 1st Year Recreation Intern, Swim-Instructor Pool Supervisor All Positions are Part Time / Seasonal Pay rate dependant on education and experience Hourly Rate Starts at $9.384 to $11.407 Applicants must be available for Summer Day Camp and the City's Swim Program. Swim Instructor and Pool Supervisor must be 18 years of age, WSI and/or Red Cross Certified preferred, Recreation Intern 16 years of age, WSI and/or Red Cross Certified preferred. - Applications available at the Finance Dept. City Hall, Mon- Fri, 8:00 - 4:30 410 Avalon Canyon Rd. Avalon, CA 90704. Applications must be returned by 3:00 pm, Wednesday, May 25th 2011. and facebook. The book has its own Facebook page, and the book website should have all the links. I understand a book signing has been arranged for 4 p.m. on Fri- day, May 20 at the Landing. Books will be for sale there ($14.95) or I would be more than happy to sign copies obtained elsewhere. I also usually have a few in my back- pack if I bump. into someone on the street. I love this town. Fuel Dock From page 3 said that would only occur if the project proved to be too expensive in its current form. The city of Avalon's objective . was to meet the needs of the 20,000 visiting boaters to Avalon Harbor each year by providing a new fuel pier facility, and by. expanding the transient docks for safe and conVe- nient public access to shore. As the only fueling facilities available on the east end of Santa Catalina Island, this facility pro- vides a vital service for recreational boaters visiting Southern Califor- nia's #1 boating destination while transiting the offshore Waters of Southern California. The transient dock expansion will provide for convenient and safe access for the transien.t boaters to nearby public restrooms, shower facilities, res- taurants, shopping and other tourist attractions. The proposed project was to redevelop the current fuel pier site into a state of the art fueling facil- ity that will be brought up to cur- rent codes and offer high speed fuel pumps. For now, Avalon will send out a request for proposals and see what bidsare subinitied. 4 ! Friday, May 13, 2011 , " . . ' The CATAUNA ISLANDER