Interview with Horror Writer Michael Frost

Don’t Go in the Basement!

I “met” Michael Frost on Twitter. He’s noticeable because instead of hawking constantly for customers, he supports other writers through a #ShoutOut, #FollowFriday and #TerrorTuesday which he created. As a horror writer he has some scary pictures to go with his Tweets, but also a sense of humor about it all. You’ll love the last question about children and monsters in the closet.

Pub Date Spring 2016 Courtesy ARO Publishing

Pub Date Spring 2016
Courtesy ARO Publishing

1.   First, the question you likely always get: Why write horror? What motivated you to take this direction in your writing?

For the amount of times I have been asked this, I should have mastered a simple and direct answer, but I find myself retreating back to the overly used factoid of ‘Kangaroo’; to be quite honest I really don’t know.

I didn’t seek it out that’s for sure. It more or less found me.

As a kid ANYTHING horror scared the piss out of me, and just catching a glimpse of the latest Friday the 13th commercial teaser would have me up all night watching the shadows that my small lamp didn’t fill. Yes, I slept with a light on religiously; damn near until I was thirteen.

When I started writing on the level of actually finishing a story I was eleven, and then until I was seventeen it was always fantasy having completed my first 389 paged book just shy of my 17th birthday.  I was a big D&D and J.R.R. Tolkien fan long before any of the movies took to the screens (save the animated ones which were rather good and followed the books pretty well).  Then, one day in March of 1990 while sitting in front of my typewriter and suffering from recently having my tonsils and adenoids removed, the horror in me just woke up.  I know how it sounds, but I cannot be more honest and direct than that; the horror woke up and began to whisper to me, and boy did it had a lot to say.   

Besides venturing across genres here and there depending on whatever story came to mind (of which many forming their own identities and voices in my noggin to suit those genres [and there are a few of those clamoring around in there]), I’ve never looked back.

2. Are you more King or Poe? What writers have influenced you?

Neither one or the other; a bit of each when it pleases me, but I have favorites from both of them.  Older King stories of course; some, but not all of Poe.  There were writers who influenced me, but not much in the guise of horror.  Authors like Pearl S. Buck who wrote The Good Earth, Tolkien naturally for my pursuit at the time of fantasy and Shakespeare in my early years; Philip K. Dick and the works of Margaret Mead came later in my teens, with plenty of Terry Pratchett, Spider Robinson, Isaac Asimov and Douglas Adams thrown in. However, when I consider the real Whom I would have to say my father who was a published author during the Civil Rights 60’s.

I know that’s an ‘Aww’ moment, but my father was both supportive and not all too supportive of my writing at the same time, taking a somewhat backwards approach to it.  Sure he got me my first typewriter for me: a big, black and heavy Royal that strengthened the hell out of my fingers, but often when I asked about publishing I was just handed that years Writer’s Market Guide and a new box of carbon paper.  He was obsessed with duplicates.  I guess he encouraged me the most because I had something to prove, and once I got past trying to prove anything to anyone, then I truly started to write.

I miss the hell out him though.

3. “When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand,” has been attributed to Raymond Chandler. He was talking about crime fiction.

Finish the sentence, as it applies to horror: “When in doubt . . .

When in doubt on whether or not you’ve killed the bogeyman, keep hacking away at the fucker until its head comes off.  Then it’s dead, the nightmare’s over and you can go home.

PublicDomainPictures.Net

PublicDomainPictures.Net

4. How do you translate terror into words so the reader can feel the fear of your character? What is the difference in terror and horror?

Good one…favorite one…most hated question of all, so I will somewhat combine my answer.  I have a usual response to this, one of which is in my blog under About Michael, and it’s one I have said for years now, but for this let me try a different approach.

Terror can be best expressed in a single thought, an idea which can invade every single person’s life and soul without will or want not of the reader.  It can easily relate to the masses, and to the individual experiencing it, they can feel the breath of the beast on their neck.

A quick example of Terror would be: You are taking a shower and you live alone, keeping the bathroom door closed so to trap the heat and then suddenly, there’s a knock on the bathroom door.

To me that would be terrifying to say the very least, and you are in the perfect place if you wish to piss or shit yourself.

When one looks at Horror and Terror, they are relatively the same thing save the delivery.  When writing Horror, I have pages upon pages to set the stage, to keep the reader on edge while dreading the very next line, however I want the reader terrified, so I deliver the blows which are either expected or not, but they last for a very long time.  Sure the pages might be filled with some very horrifying stuff which makes the reader want to slam the book shut and go watch Babe so to clear the mind and spirit, but like a drug they cannot.  When you as the author can feel it, damn near taste the terror’s climatic surge, you give the reader both barrels with extreme prejudice.  This is not the climax of the story, no; you just keep delivering it over and over unexpectedly like a blindfolded roller coaster rider entering a loop.

I think that covers it, or I can revert to my usual response by stating:

To understand Horror is simplistic really. You never open the closet door…you never look under the bed…you never fall asleep in an unfamiliar place and you never get into a strangers car. Out of all of these I must add, you most certainly never—EVER—run into the woods.

To understand Terror, however, is much more far reaching; darker.  That scratching you hear during the night at the window’s glasscould be nothing more than a branch in the breeze just as your mind has convinced you that it was, or, there really is something standing just on the other side of the glass with sharp claws and it’s watching you—only you—and come morning you never discover which one it ever was.

Old and new, new and old; same ice cream, just different flavors; take your pick of the one that suits you.

5. You are a great champion of writers. In a social medium like Twitter where most everyone is shouting “Look at Me!” you bring attention to writers over and over again through Tweets and Lists. What made you want to take this route?

I smile that you have noticed this about me, G.G, but in all truth I do this because I care; I truly care about each and every writer out there who is hunting for their voice, and if already found, to give them honest support if they are willing to take it.

I can honestly say that during my whole career of writing that no one ever stopped to help me; not a single one.  Whether it was family or friends, significant others along the way, not any of them did.  I envied all those around me who had family and friend support in their pursuits of their dreams, always wondering what that felt like…what it tasted like…was it real or Memorex or more like some Cosby Show episode.

I was completely alone in my pursuits to find my voice, and despite all the spite and rage of being ignored and left to fend for myself, I eventually did find it and came to peace in all my endeavors of doing so.  I was used to people only noticing when I failed, when those rejection letters came one right after the other, and of course I would get the sympathetic comments followed by the soft murmurs of ‘I figured as much’or ‘I told you so’s once the back was turned.  Screw that.  That surmounting lack of support gave me all the strength I ever needed to keep on pushing, ignoring the odds of ever publishing a single thing, and I formed my steadfast motto: If you want Sympathy, just look in the dictionary between Shit and Syphilis and you’ll find it.

It was harder in many ways back then to engage in the act of writing and attempting to publish.  There was no internet to speak of at the time; the world of the web was at its infancy with BBS’s (Bulletin Board Services) and basic dial-up through ISP’s like NetCom.  Hell, AOL and CompuServe were still in their developmental programming stages with only the hopes that they would catch on.  No, then it was query letters and submissions via snail-mail, the demand of Times New Roman 12pt font, double-spaced, proper surname with numbering in the upper right corner of each page following the first (you never numbered the your first page), and all your pages were secured by a small piece of paper in the upper left hand corner with a paper or binder clip so not to dent or crease the pages. And of course, there was the wait; that damn, damn, damn long wait.  Six weeks if you were lucky to get a response, eight at max, and if accepted YAY, and if not, you were then able to submit elsewhere for there was no simultaneous submissions allowed (which thankfully is still the norm).

For all those on Twitter many have never experience this and see only the new age of writing and publishing, and to be very understanding of them, only the process has changed for the most part.  It is still a very hard thing to do, writing is; to delve into your own soul and cleave it apart so to distribute it amongst the masses is a very hard thing to do.  I still find it hard to do even to this day regardless of how long I’ve been at it.  For this I commend each and every one of them, and if promoting them in lieu of promoting myself is what I have to do to show them that someone is behind them, then that’s what I will do.  If I can be there for just one who is floating down that turbulent river alone in the dark, then I have redeemed my own demons in parting of such memories.  Perhaps my support might very well be that light in their distance assuring me that despite all my struggling endeavors that I have earned my place to call myself a writer, and that I have truly learned to listen.

PublicDomainPictures.Net

PublicDomainPictures.Net

6. Many children see monsters in their closet or under their beds. As someone well-acquainted with monsters, do you have any tips for parents trying to reassure their little ones.

For this I have a fun and happy story to tell regarding my own daughter.  When she was just a tot, she swore that there were monsters in our closet and under her bed, and although this story might be a little long-winded, there’s a solution within and a quick summary to follow.

When she was nearly five years old, there was a span of several weeks that she complained about monsters, and unlike her mother’s approach that there were no such things—I having been my daughter at her age in spirit before—I damned well believed her!  So, each night I would do the daddy thing and check for her in all the places she pointed, and although I was brave for her in my searching, it was all a façade because I dreaded the idea of What if she’s right?!

Anyway, one day I got an idea.  I got a box about the size one might get a new microwave oven in and I brought it into her room.  I sat down on the edge of her bed and explained that I know the monsters seem scary and mean, but they are actually scared themselves.

“Why would monsters be scared of me?!” she questioned wholeheartedly with a doubtful undertone which I feared she figured me out before I began, but I continued bravely.

I had expressed that the reasons the monsters were scared is because they wandered too far away from Monster Land and didn’t know how to get back, and what seemed like big mean monsters were actually frightened creatures who just wanted to get back home hence why they hid in the closet and under her bed.

So, I showed her the box and said: “This is a magic box that can send all the lost monsters back to Monster Land.”

“How?” she asked with genuine wide-eyes of wonder and belief to my fatherly lies.

“Easy…magic,” I put on my show, standing while opening the closet which I had previously made sure the floor had space for the box. “See?  We put this inside the closet and call out to the monsters that we have a magic box which will take them all home.  We then leave the room because monsters are shy creatures and when we come back after a while, all the monsters should be inside the box with the lid closed.”

Let me tell you, she was very excited about the possibility of this, so I gave her the honor of sliding the box inside, then—by her good-natured insistence—we placed a pillow inside so that they would be comfortable.  When I told her we were ready, she did the one thing I will always remember and get misty over.  She told me to wait, little paws extended up to me, dashed off to her bed and collected up a little bear and placed it inside.

“This will make them feel safe,” she smiled and I nodded, wanting to pick her up and hug her.

Okay, back to my parental lies and deceit!

We left the room and shut the bedroom door behind us, moving to the living room to play her most favorite movie of all: Aladdin.  After a few minutes and offering her Stix-Sticks (how my 4yr old pronounced fish sticks), I left her to play with her blocks as she sang along with the movie to heat them for her, but not before quietly sneaking into the bedroom.  I quickly removed the little bear from the box and hid it, folded in the flaps and crossing them so they clocked together, quietly closed the closet door then exited away from the scene of deceit.  Then, minutes later returned to the living room with her stick-sticks for her to munch away.

Oh she did inquire about the monsters and I insisted that we give them time which she simply nodded in-chew and back to the singing genie she went.  After a little while, the true magic began.

“Did you hear that?” I quickly said after a little while, sounding excited above a whisper.

“What?!” she beamed just as excited.

“I think I heard the closet door shut!” and before I could breathe after the last word, she was up and dashing to the bedroom with me in pursuit.

“Hold on,” I slowed her as I took hold of the knob. “Now we have to be very quiet so we don’t scare them anymore than they are, okay?”

PublicDomainPictures.Net

PublicDomainPictures.Net

A nod and a ‘thumbs-up’ was my response and I slowly opened the door.  There sat the closed box to her widening eyes as she slowly inhaled with excitement.

“They went inside!” she bounced wanting to scream it, but she mimicked me with a forefinger to pursed lips as I knelt.

“Alright, they’re all inside,” I whispered. “Now, there are some magical words we must say which will send them back to Monster Land, okay?”

“Okay, daddy,” she nodded her understanding.

“Okay, now repeat after me,” I did my best not to giggle as I held my hands over the box like some half-baked magician in a mall’s food court.  “Monsters, monsters, go away; go back home where you can play.”

There in the mouth of the closet we repeatedly said the words I pulled out from thin air, her little palms circling over the top of the box as she copied the actions of her silly dad.  I began chanting it louder with her in suit until we were nearly shouting it and then I slapped my hands down on the top followed by her mimicking and we knelt smiling at each other.

“Are they back home?” she whispered.

“I don’t know,” I replied, leaning an ear towards the top. “I don’t hear anything, do you?”

She leaned in and listened with one finger up signalling for me to stand by, and then rose back to her kneeling posting with a shaking head.

“Well let’s open ‘er up and take a peek!”

Letting her do most of the work, the flaps were pried apart and there, in the glow of the overhead light of the closet sat the void of the box and the pillow.  She squealed her joy and clapped, lunging into my chest for a vise-like hug and clapped some more.

“It worked, it worked!” she bounced on her knees repeatedly as I clapped and agreed.

“It sure did, baby,” I smiled and simply watched her pass the little milestone in her young life.

That night she climbed into her bed and got her hugs and kisses from her mother and me, never once asking for me to check under the bed or the closet or any of the darkened corners for any monsters.

We left her then, my then wife and I, leaving the door opened just enough to let some hallway light in and sat on the sofa for a little adult programming on the tube.  A few minutes after we were settled on some show I don’t remember, I heard her little voice call out across the bedroom: “Goodnight monsters in Monster Land!”

I smiled…not feeling guilty in the least.

To summarize my long winded story?   Well, we were them once—little and afraid—and if for one moment, just one itty-bitty moment we adults put ourselves back into their shoes we can see what they see and feel it as well.  Sure it might be annoying because we know (think)nothing is under the bed, but taking a little effort to prove it and resolve it with their assistance can be the difference of a good night’s rest or bed-hogging toddlers in your bed later on because they can’t sleep.

Children are honest little-folk even if that honesty steams from the realms of imagination, and if they believe monsters are real then you better be damned-tooting they are real and you should feel just a little bit scared yourself!  Yes, I know, you don’t want to humor such nonsense, but have you ever asked yourself this: If you tell them they are not real, and If they just so happen to be real, what then?  Think on that the next time you turn off their light and close their door leaving them to fear the darkness without checking the nooks and the crannies. There might be something lurking there and now it knows exactly what you look and smell like.

<Wink!>

OH! What happened to the little bear from the story you ask? Well, she was rather happy that they took her bear with them to Monster Land, but she also missed it that night come bedtime.  That was quickly resolved by morning.

Early before she woke I retrieved the bear from behind some shoes along the base of the closet and placed it back inside the box.  Before closing it up, I collected a sheet of paper and one of her Crayons and using my left hand—I’m a righty so I wanted it to look more ‘kid-speak’—I wrote a simple note and placed it inside with the bear.  I woke her not too long afterwards saying that I heard something coming from the box in the closet that sounded like her bear.  She dashed inside, pulling open the box, exclaimed “MY BEAR!” and I retrieved the note and read it to her.

It read:

Thank you for sharing your teddy!

It made us very happy during our trip!

We’ve sent it back to you so you can cuddle it.

Think of us when you do!

Love,

The Monsters

Seventeen years later, I still have the monster’s note and her bear.

♦          ♦          ♦

Keep up with Michael and his works on Twitter: @MichaelFrostChi and on his Frost Bitten Blog: http://michaelfrost.wordpress.com where you can sample his stories and poetry.

Author Michael Frost

Author Michael Frost

About Michael Frost: Before writing exclusively in late 2012, I was a senior Wide Area Network, Microwave and Satellite Platform Communications engineer who worked his way up from a lowly help desk geek from the 90’s before there were real degrees in Computer Science and mice were optional on computers (it was still a DOS and OS/2 Warp world for the most part then in the business environment with Windows 3.11 spread throughout).

Father of one fantastic multi-talented, multi-lingual senior University daughter who is my Light.

I have been writing for nearly 32 years (over 25 for horror) and currently write under 5 other published names which I will keep to myself their identities.  Sorry for that, but they are rather selfish-folk inner writers are.  I have published numerous stories over the years in regional magazines across the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, including visual flash fiction. I work for an educational publisher Nelson Education for digital supplements to their high school language arts printed books.

For horror books I dragged my feet to publish for reasons unknown, and although I have written 8 of them in the genre, the very first will be available in print early 2016 (announcement date will be available in October of this year): Eleanor’s Creek. 

Did I mention the selfishness of those other inner-writers?

Michael Frost releases scheduled for 2016: Sowing Seeds, Murder Black, Staad and three novellas Bane of the Black Witch, When Madness Calls and The Fall of Illeana Dubois. And a collaboration with Canadian artist Carrion Trilevel; a “wicked vicious book of dark literary horror and stunning graphic art.” You can expect a “teaser” in the coming weeks.
 

Omnimystery News Guest Blog by G G Collins

Paranormal Mystery Writer G G Collins Blogs

Omnimystery News Icon

Explosive Tale Pits Psychic Against Nazi Terrorists

Available at Amazon

Available at Amazon

Omnimystery New Guest Post Icon

Check out my guest blog and learn how Atomic Medium came to be. It’s a little bit supernatural, a little bit history and all fun. Join reporter Rachel Blackstone and friend Chloe for their latest adventure in the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series. No lines at TSA for this trip, but no map or directions either. Travel back to 1945 when the most feared weapon of mass destruction was developed in Los Alamos. Will Rachel stop two evil men intent on changing history? It’s no small task for the two friends; just save the world!

  Amazon 5-Star Review: “I loved that the suspense lasted right up to the last page.”  — Mojo

Atomic Bomb Trinity Test 70th Anniversary July 16, 2015

Atomic Bomb Test Successful 70 Years Ago

 

Trinity Test July 16, 1945 Courtesy Dept of Energy

Trinity Test July 16, 1945
Courtesy Dept of Energy

The Trinity Test had to be pushed back to 5:30 a.m. due to rain at the Alamogordo Bombing Range at White Sands in New Mexico. The area was known as the Jornada del Muerto or Journey of Death. As early risers went about their ranch chores, sorted mail for delivery and stocked grocery selves, none knew their world would change drastically in minutes.

Those who would be watching this scientific achievement huddled in bunkers made for that purpose. Earth and sand covered the concrete bunkers on three sides and on top. There were viewing holes in the wall facing the test site.Welding goggles were handed out to protect eyes.

The atomic age began with a pinprick of light so bright it lit up the desert with the power of several midday suns. It could be seen for 180 miles. If you closed your eyes, you could still see the light. The energy sucked up tons of desert sand, the dust muddied the light as it rose and churned into a fireball.

Bunker at Trinity Site Courtesy Dept of Energy

Bunker at Trinity Site
Courtesy Dept of Energy

Heat came next to those huddled in the bunkers. It was as if someone had opened an oven door. People dropped to the ground the heat was so intense. Then came the sound wave, as the earth beneath them shuddered with the force of 21,000 tons of TNT. This was followed by the now familiar mushroom cloud. The cloud created by fission rose and undulated to the substratosphere and spread across the heavens.

Some people were temporarily blinded by the light. Others who rode out the blast outside the bunkers had been knocked flat as the super wind rushed across the desert basin. Those who witnessed this first splitting of an atom had various reactions. Some slapped their knees and cheered; others laughed or cried. Still others showed the horror on their faces at what had been unleashed. Although no humans were harmed directly, livestock and wildlife did not fair as well.

Scarred Earth After Test Courtesy Dept of Energy

Scarred Earth After Test
Courtesy Dept of Energy

The atomic bomb that The Manhattan Project developed was both an incredible human feat and the monster that would hide in children’s closets for generations to come. Although the bomb would end WWII, nothing would ever be the same. The era of fear had begun.

For more information: 109 East Palace by Jennet Conant, The Manhattan Project edited by Cynthia C. Kelly, The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, http://www.losalamoshistory.org, www.atomicheritage.org/bios, www.lanl.govhttps://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Resources/photo_gallery/photo_gallery.htm

 

Copyscape Do Not Copy

 

Note on photos: From the U.S. Department of Energy. “To the best of our knowledge, all text and images on this web site are in the public domain. Almost all of the photographs were generated by government agencies, or by contractors working for the government, and as such are not subject to copyright. Most of these photographs were acquired from government web sites or government publications. In a handful of cases, photographs were used whose copyright had expired; these were acquired from the Library of Congress’s web site.”

New Release: Atomic Medium by G G Collins. Historical Fiction with a Twist.

Atomic Medium

 

Click on the book cover to read more about the new Kindle book. Takes the reader to 1945 Santa Fe, location of The Manhattan Project  office, the Atomic City of Los Alamos and to White Sands, New Mexico to experience the Trinity Test. Third book in the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series.

 

Authors Wanted: Mystery/Thriller Anthology in Works

Call for Excerpts: Murder, USA and Murder, International

How to Sell Your Books Online Without Book Bub

Hello, Murder Lab Community! This is a special invitation/call to action for authors.

I’m putting together an anthology of sorts. In contrast to a true anthology, which implies a collection of short stories, this is actually going to be a collection of excerpts from published, full-length novels–sort of like a compilation of Amazon “Look Inside” features from similarly-themed novels, all in one nifty little, e-mailable, downloadable, linkable, social media promotable package. . .

For more information on this great idea check out: http://www.murderlab.com/2015/07/call-for-excerpts-murder-usamurder.html

America the Beautiful

G G Collins, Author & Journalist:

Couldn’t have said it better. Thanks Everywhere Once. And Happy Independence Day!

Originally posted on Everywhere Once:

America the Beautiful GIF

Before embarking in 2010 on what turned out to be a four-year-long, coast-to-coast U.S. road trip, we couldn’t possibly appreciate–or even comprehend–the stunning beauty of our home country. The diversity of its natural wonders is perhaps unique in the world. So on this, the 239th anniversary of a revolutionary experiment in democracy, we celebrate our nation’s founding by reminiscing over just a few of the remarkable scenes we had the pleasure of seeing during our journey from sea to shining sea.

Happy Birthday, America. You truly are beautiful.

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Interview with G G Collins and her Atomic Medium characters…

G G Collins, Author & Journalist:

Get the Lowdown on Atomic Medium Characters

Check out Chris the Story Reading Ape

Check out Chris the Story Reading Ape

My thanks to Chris of TheStoryReadingApeBlog.com for allowing, encouraging, me and other writers to try new things. This was so much fun! Enjoy an interview with the Atomic Medium characters. GG

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:

For those of you who read the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series, you’re familiar with the adobe style magazine office of High Desert Country where she works. It’s located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Recently, Julian Brazos, the magazine’s founder and publisher added a second story. It’s the rooftop meeting place where we find Collins and her characters. The sunset is washing the Sangre de Cristos red. The margaritas are made. The bowls of salsa and tortilla chips are placed around the table. We should start before the sipping commences.

Watermark Rainbow Man Rainbow Man, former home to The Manhattan Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Publisher of High Desert Country, Julian Brazos will conduct the interview.

Julian: For readers who haven’t yet met the irreverent reporter Rachel Blackstone, this will get you up to speed. Rachel used a Native American ceremony to return the dead. She was hoping to have…

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Travel: Santa Fe, New Mexico in One Day

Santa Fe in Only One Day

by G G Collins          (Copyright 2015)

The Shed Restaurant Copyright G G Collins

The Shed Restaurant
Copyright G G Collins

THE SHED: Eat at The Shed! It’s on Palace Avenue a couple of blocks from the Plaza.The Shed is known for their New Mexican cuisine: such as Carne Adovado. Inside or out, it’s colorful and fun. The chocolate fudge sundae for dessert goes beyond decadent. For more on the restaurant’s history and how it came to be called The Shed:

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/on-location-with-the-reluctant-medium-week-two/

Rainbow Man shop Former office of The Manhattan Project

Rainbow Man shop
Former office of The Manhattan Project

SHOPPING: If you enjoy shopping until you drop, you can do that in Santa Fe. A good place to start is Rainbow Man. It’s on Palace too. Be sure to look for The Manhattan Project plaque dedication. It’s at the back of the courtyard under the portal (porch in Spanish). Despite being a historical site, there is no sign to indicate that. If you can’t find the plaque, ask someone at the store. They’re happy to point it out.

For more on The Manhattan Project:

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/the-manhattan-project-70th-anniversary-santa-fe-new-mexico/

At Wind River, you can enter on Palace, walk through the store (this may take a while with all the jewelry, Native American art and chickens, yes, chickens), and exit on San Francisco across from La Fonda. From top-of-the-line clothing to kitchen items to kitsch, it’s all on the Plaza. The Marcy Card Shop on Marcy Street (a couple of blocks from the Plaza and close to the convention center) has a lot more than cards!

La Fonda, the Inn at the End of the Santa Fe Trail

La Fonda, the Inn at the End of the Santa Fe Trail

LA FONDA: Now, cross the street and walk through the lobby of La Fonda. This hotel has a loooong history in Santa Fe. Both the famous and the infamous have walked these Saltillo tiles. Look in the restaurant. See the fountain in the center? That used to be a well in an outdoor courtyard. A business man down on his luck threw himself in it and was killed. His ghost is said to still walk the halls. Oppenheimer and fellow scientists relaxed in the bar–under the close watch of federal agents. There is also a rooftop deck and bar for watching sunsets. Here’s more on La Fonda: 

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/on-location-with-the-reluctant-medium/

St. Francis Cathedral Copyright G G Collins

St. Francis Cathedral

ST. FRANCIS CATHEDRAL: The St. Francis Cathedral is worth a look. It’s beautiful inside and out. There are usually members there to answer questions and give tours. And if you are a candle lighter, there are candle alcoves just inside the entry. A labyrinth is in front of the church for contemplation. More on the cathedral:

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/reluctant-medium-virtual-treasure-hunt-week-one/

THE PLAZA: And don’t just walk through the Plaza. Take a few minutes and soak up the sun, be dazzled by the azure skies. The light, and the vibe, is the reason writers and artists have flocked to The City Different for years.

The Santa Fe Plaza.

The Santa Fe Plaza.

 

If you have time and are museum people, the Palace of the Governors is fascinating. There are holes in the floor and no one knows why (carefully covered in thick clear glass for a look-see). Wallace finished “Ben-Hur” at the Palace while governor. The Palace was on high alert and he covered his lamp to conceal the light as attack was imminent.

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/palace-of-the-governors-in-santa-fe-new-mexico/

All of this is within a few blocks. 

IF YOU HAVE A SECOND DAY:

Jackalope. Say hello to the prairie dogs!

Jackalope. Say hello to the prairie dogs!

JACKALOPE: Jackalope on Cerrillos Road is shopping, animals, oh heck, it’s a party. The owner’s story is a fascinating journey. The prairie dogs are a favorite with kids and adults alike. Check out Jackalope at: 

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/reluctant-medium-virtual-treasure-hunt-tour-july-8-2012/

Museum Hill Mountain Spirit Dancer

Museum Hill Mountain Spirit Dancer

MUSEUM HILL: Is so worth a good look. If you’re not up to the museum crawl, just go out and look at the outdoor art, eat at the restaurant and listen to the music drift on a breeze.The new Santa Fe Botanical Garden is just across the street. Great views of the Sangre de Cristos. Here’s more on both attractions:

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/santa-fes-museum-hill-botanical-garden/

Tent Rocks, Public Domain

Tent Rocks, Public Domain

TENT ROCKS: If you’d like a far-out hiking experience, go to Tent Rocks. Made of ash from a long ago volcano, the tent-shaped rocks are eerie and magical. It’s south of Santa Fe near the Cochiti Dam. You drive right by the dam and it’s a bit scary thinking about all that water behind the dam; so don’t. The car you’re in feels very small and insignificant. Now you can’t stop thinking about it.

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/reluctant-medium-virtual-treasure-hunt-tour-july-15-2012/

10,000 Waves Hot Tub

10,000 Waves Hot Tub

NEED DOWN TIME: If you can’t take anymore and need to relax, it’s 10,000 Waves time. Massage, hot tubs, facials and a gorgeous Japanese style mountain retreat. It’s on the way up to the Ski Basin, only a few miles. It’s heavenly.

http://www.tenthousandwaves.com/

Whatever you do in Santa Fe, remember, it’s mañana time. 

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Thanks For Trying Atomic Medium!

Thank you for the overwhelming response to Atomic Medium on its free promo last Saturday. If you enjoy it, please take a few minutes to write a blurb or short review. I would appreciate it very much. Thanks to all who took a chance on Book 3!

— G G Collins

New Book Release: Free June 20, 2015

Atomic Medium Free One Day Only

“We’re three women from two different centuries, trying to save the world from oblivion. I don’t know about you, but that’s way above my pay grade.”

New release, Atomic Medium, will be a free Kindle download Saturday June 20, 2015. One day only! It is Book 3 in the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery series. You don’t need to read them in order. The stories are all separate adventures for new psychic, reporter Rachel Blackstone. But reading them in order does show Rachel’s growth as a Reluctant Medium and how she became one.

Book Cover Atomic Medium 6-2015http://amzn.to/1SWkjde

Rachel and friend Chloe are drawn into a paranormal mystery that leads them straight into a historic year, 1945, WWII and the Trinity Test.  It is a world of subterfuge, secrets and danger. If they can’t stop the men intent on sabotage, history will be changed. For Rachel and Chloe, it’s no small task: just save the world.

In Atomic Medium we learn how Kiyiya became Rachel’s spirit animal and there is a surprise about Chloe–one I didn’t see coming either. Mari-Lynn is back as the pot dispensing crystal expert, a boy helps out much to Rachel’s chagrin and the two friends may move on from misdemeanors to higher crimes.

It’s all adventure with a few laughs along the way. Thank you for trying Atomic Medium.

— G G Collins

 

The Manhattan Project: 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bomb

The Building That Changed the World

By G G Collins          Copyright 2015

Rainbow Man shop Former office of The Manhattan Project

Rainbow Man shop
Former office of The Manhattan Project

On Palace Avenue just steps from the famous Santa Fe Plaza is a small building that changed the world. It was the headquarters for The Manhattan Project, the top secret mission to build the first atomic bomb and end WWII. Everyone, scientist and secretary alike, passed through this building. They came in the front door and left by the back door where they were secreted off to the Atomic City. No one left by the back door unless Dorothy McKibbin gave them a pass to “The Hill.”

McKibbin was looking for a job in March of 1943. She was offered employment at the First National Bank for $120 per month. Working at a bank wasn’t really what she wanted to do, but income was income. Then she met Joe Stevenson in an awkward conversation in the middle of the Plaza. He told her there was a secretarial position open that would pay $150 per month. But Stevenson was mysterious about what the job would entail.

She did accept the job and became the gatekeeper to one of the biggest discoveries of the last century. McKibbin kept that job until 1963 when she retired. She would remain a loyal friend to Robert Oppenheimer until his death in 1967.

Courtyard at Rainbow Man

Courtyard at Rainbow Man

The historic site, originally constructed in the 1600s as a Spanish hacienda, is now home to Rainbow Man. The shop is filled with Native American hand-made items, blankets, photos and folk art in vivid colors. The courtyard is beautiful rain or shine. Flowers brighten the entrance in vibrant hues. The old wagon only becomes more silvered with each passing year.

At the back of the courtyard, under the portal and behind the chile ristras is a plaque dedicated to those who split the first atom. Shoppers visit the store to take home a little bit of Santa Fe. Historians stop by for the history and wonder what it must have been like in the 1940s when The Manhattan Project was in full swing.

Commemorative Plaque to those who worked on The Manhattan Project

Commemorative Plaque to those who worked on The Manhattan Project

July 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the Trinity Test at White Sands, New Mexico.

Book Cover Atomic Medium 6-2015New book, Atomic Medium, takes place in Santa Fe during 2015 and 1945. It is the third installment in the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series. Get it at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1SWkjde

For more information, try these books:109 East Palace by Jennet Conant, The Manhattan Project edited by Cynthia C. Kelly, The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes.

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