Research & Fun – Part One: The Monastery of the Risen Christ


My friend Shawn and I recently met in Paso Robles in the Central Coast area to do research–Shawn for some articles he writes as a freelance journalist and I for my novel series The Wine Lover’s Daughter. I’m working on book three of the series, called Fire in the Vineyard. I came up with the title long before the devastating fires in Napa Valley and I certainly don’t think I’m psychic, but now, the title sounds almost ominous.

Anyway, we decided to pool our resources, do some “work” and have some fun at the same time. The first day of the trip, I was on my own. I drove up from the Los Angeles area to Paso Robles and made a stop in San Luis Obispo. One of the characters in my novels is associated with a Benedictine monastery in the Piedmont in Italy as well as in the San Luis Obispo area. To get a feeling for the place and the environment, I visited the Benedictine Monastery of the Risen Christ. It’s a lovely place, simple and unassuming, high up on a hill with a gorgeous view of the valley and the surrounding hills and mountains in the background. Here are a few pictures.

 The main building open to the public with a chapel and small library

The inside of the chapel

So peaceful and quiet up here. Makes you want to just hang out.

Gorgeous view of the back country of San Luis Obispo

At the bottom of the hill, there is a meditation labyrinth made of stones where you can walk through the 14 Stations of the Cross or just sit on the bench and enjoy the fresh air and peaceful atmosphere.

There are different events at the monastery for the public to attend. You can also stay there overnight and get a feeling for the life in a monastery or just take a few days off from your busy life. Very tempting!

Here is the link to the monastery: http://monasteryrisenchrist.com/

After visiting the monastery, I drove the rest of the way to Paso Robles, the wine country, for another kind of “spirit.” After all it does say somewhere: In Vino Veritas!

To be continued.

5 Responses to “Research & Fun – Part One: The Monastery of the Risen Christ”

  1. Darlene Says:

    Doing research for writing projects can be so much fun. This place looks like a perfect setting. Best of luck on the new book. How exciting.

  2. author Christa Polkinhorn Says:

    Thank you, Darlene. I love doing research above all, of course, when there is traveling involved!

  3. Monster A Go-Go Says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Monster A Go-Go Says:

    Oops! I somehow deleted this. Here it is again: After your current novel, how about another about a single gal alone in a monastery full of lonely monks…and a zombie outbreak? Wow! Wow!wow! Sounds like a bestseller to me. Can’t wait to find out what happens in part 2. Oh wait, I was there! Ha! Anxious to see what happens anyway. Cheers

  5. author Christa Polkinhorn Says:

    Hey, Monster A Go-Go, I'll think about your book suggestion, but that's sounds more like a book you could write!

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