Monthly Archives: September 2012
Make Like a Tourist
Reluctant Medium Rachel Blackstone’s favorite time of year is autumn. Funny, we’re alike in that way. Since blog posts eat photos like mad, I thought I’d make like a tourist and head out with the camera. Taking pictures like a first-time visitor is actually a little embarrassing, but the journalist urges me onward.
The weather is great in Santa Fe right now, although if you enjoy a high desert climate, it’s nearly always terrific weather. I took off down West San Francisco headed toward the plaza. “I was walking with my feet ten feet off” the street. For those of you who don’t recognize this, it’s from a Cher song entitled “Walking in Memphis.” If you don’t know Cher (US singer/actress), she recorded the song in 1995. It was used in an episode of The X-Files, but wasn’t the hit several of her other songs became. Originally sung by singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, it is about a spiritual awakening in Memphis. Here is a YouTube link to hear the song:
There are days like that in the City Different when the senses are keen and the spirit is awakening. This is such a day. As I pass the Lensic Performing Arts, I marvel at how it was transformed from a 1931 theatre where anything from vaudeville to first-run movies was showcased to a swank new PAC. But the 800-seat theatre was in
danger of becoming permanently dark, when it was saved by a group of visionaries. They saw a new beginning for a building on the verge of losing its groove. There was a multi-story addition to the rear of the building and the interior was carefully restored to its stunning ornate decor. It hosts more than 200 events a year.
Also on San Francisco you’ll find The Original Trading Post. Reputed to have been in Santa Fe since 1603, it is protected by the Historic Santa Fe Foundation Preservation Easement program.” I remember the first time I saw it, I wasn’t at all certain I should enter. It looked ready to collapse. But not to worry, it’s stood many years since then. It has virtually everything you could possibly want for New Mexico gifts to take home: post cards, key chains, worry stones, cups, clothing, Native American pottery, on and on. Beware, the floors squeak unmercifully which is part of the charm. It makes no excuses. It’s kitschy and fun.
Burro Alley (you’ll know you’re there when you see the burro sculpture) was a wild patch in the 1800s: gambling parlors, bars and for the indiscriminate “gentleman,” ladies of the night were available for a price, usually the winnings from the card game. But the street was named after the sturdy little burros who pulled wagons of wood to be sold in the alley. Streets and sidewalks along here—and many other areas of downtown—intersect like the people who settled here.
At last, the plaza comes into view; I try to see it like someone who has never been there. It is sun splashed under a perfect azure sky. The trees are mature and tall. Flowers hang from old-fashioned street lamps. Both the present and
the past occupy the plaza. The monument in the center has had the word “savage” scratched out. It represents the past. In the present, people dot the square, some rushing to their next appointment while others sit on the benches and feed the pigeons or snap photos. The Palace of the Governors’ long portal shades Native Indian artists showing their wares on colorful blankets. At least 30 people browse, ask questions, squat for a closer look and buy a beautiful memory from Santa Fe.
I don’t know if it’s the high mountain air (Santa Fe sits at 7,000 feet) or the brilliant sky. Maybe it’s the aroma of roasting chiles or the aspens that are
turning golden on Mt. Baldy. It could be the abundant creativity in the city. It’s a magnet for writers and artists of all walks. But there is an energy that can’t be denied, and why would anyone want to?
Why not go walking in your city?
— G G Collins
Click on “Sample Chapter” Tab Above
Read the Opening Scene from Forthcoming “Lemurian Medium.”
Thanks for your interest. The second in the Reluctant Medium Series will be available early next year–or by the holidays if I can pull it off!
Lemurian Medium to Debut First Chapter This Weekend. Watch the “Sample Chapter” Page.
Sometime this weekend, I’ll post the first chapter of the “Lemurian Medium.” It’s final edit is subject to change as the book progresses, but it will provide a teaser for the forthcoming book.
In the book our Reluctant Medium will visit the astral plane in search of a friend who disappears in an, shall we say, unconventional way. Rachel, Chloe, Rachel’s new cat with psychic abilities and of course, the spirit wolf, will all be back. Several new characters will be adding to the intrigue, each a bit strange in their own way.
Stay tuned. GG
Reluctant Medium Didn’t See This One Coming
My thanks to Jiltaroo http://jiltaroo.wordpress.com/ for nominating the Reluctant Medium at Large in Santa Fe for the One Lovely Blog Award. Being a novice blogger, I didn’t even know it existed, but thank you, thank you.
I understand these are the requests when you are nominated:
1. Include the blog award logo in your post. (Check)
2. Thank the person who nominated you. (Check)
3. Nominate 15 other people.
4. Tell 7 random things about yourself. (Hmmm)
I’ll be back later to work on these. Thanks Jiltaroo! G G Collins
15 people and their blogs: In no particular order.
Seven random things about me:
I believe animals communicate with us
My spirit animal is a wolf
I’m a chile head (that’s a person who likes chiles)
I like The Shed’s margaritas best (see below for story on The Shed)
My favorite place to shop in Santa Fe is Jackalope (see below for story)
I’m a Francophile
I enjoy Canadian and British TV programs
Cutest Cat in the Cosmos
The little tortoiseshell cat came with the house Rachel Blackstone, the Reluctant Medium, bought after her divorce. No one knew she was there. Her first companion died in an accident. When his family came to clean out the house, they didn’t see the cat.
Thanks to actor Logan Masters who was filming in New Mexico and became a friend of Rachel’s, the cat was saved. Rachel wasn’t a cat person at first, but Logan was. He scooped up the cat in his arms as Rachel watched in surprise. A few minutes later, with cat hair all over his expensive jacket, she knew the cat was staying on after she bought the house.
A couple days later, Rachel stopped by to feed the small creature, even before she closed on the house. On one such occasion, the evil spirit appeared and the cat’s psychic intuition was revealed. Chile Pod bristled and headed for the comfort of a tree the moment she noticed the spirit’s presence. Rachel was trying to figure out what was wrong when it became evident.
By the end of the story in the Reluctant Medium, she had decided on a name: Chile Pod. She chose it because of the cat’s mottled fur colors. It reminded her of how chiles change from green to red. The pepper’s skin becomes spotted with different colors as it matures.
Chile Pod realizes her first human won’t be returning, but this new one is growing on her—although this person is a bit strange. Currently, Rachel’s learning about astral projection, and it’s a crash course, because a friend has literally disappeared into a painting at a gallery showing. She needs to become skilled at projection quickly to save her friend from a strange vegetative prison in the forthcoming Lemurian Medium.
One thing’s for certain, Chile Pod will be around helping any way she can. She knows when spirits and other creepy visitors are about to appear at Rachel’s little house in the South Capital area of Santa Fe. But mostly, she enjoys curling up on the warm computer printer and chowing down on spicy burritos her Auntie Chloe brings her.
— G G Collins
Thanks for Making the Free Promotion a Spectacular Success!
Praise for the “Reluctant Medium”
* “Ms. Collins satisfies the thirst for the unusual in this book.satisfies the urges with shamans, ceremonies, and howling wolves. Along the way, i learned a little about journalism, real estate, and of course, Santa’ Fe.
What other places will we travel with our girl Rachel?.. looking forward to finding out!!!” — 3jaysmom
* “Couldn’t stop reading, had to get to the end.” — Mojo
* “This is a clever story idea. Collins tells it well with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek Her descriptions of the desert southwest are vivid, and the dialogue is spot on. It is also a buddy story. Rachel’s relationship with her best friend and very wealthy real estate agent Chloe is rich, amusing and touching.” — have book will read
Chloe Valdez does real estate—she does it very well, a multi-million-dollar agent! She and her business partner own the hottest realty company in Santa Fe. Chloe has been married at least a of couple times (we’re not sure), but she kept the last name of Valdez because it helped with sales in New Mexico.
Her heritage is mostly French and she can swear in that language, and a couple of others. Unlike Rachel, Chloe is open to all things New Age and metaphysical. She thinks nothing of consulting soul navigators or psychics. A vegetarian, Chloe tries to introduce Rachel—who could exist only on green chile cheese burritos—to soy-based meals and herbal teas.
“But then I catch her pouring out the tea!” Chloe says in disgust. “Well, at least I persuaded her to practice yoga.”
Now Chloe will be the first to admit that Rachel’s job is more fun than hers—but far less profitable. Whenever Rachel sets up a journalistic stakeout, Chloe has it catered. That’s right, catered! She chooses just the right wine for the occasion.
“You have to have the best wine for each surveillance,” she says. “For instance, if we’re keeping an eye on an Spanish subject, I think we can channel him better if we have a nice Cava, that’s a sparkling wine from the Penedés area. Now Rachel doesn’t care. She once said: ‘I don’t care if it’s Santa Clausan wine from the North Pole area!’ She’s impatient and doesn’t always appreciate the finer things.”
Rachel is sometimes—make that always—annoyed when Chloe is picking out clothing for the stakeout.
“She’s a high-heeled boot girl,” Rachel says, “I always wear shoes I can run in. You never know when you might need to make a quick exit. Who buys clothes for a stakeout? I mean really, who does that?”
But Chloe’s always there for Rachel when she has a quandary, which is much of the time. Chloe keeps three sizes of marijuana joints on hand. The size of the dilemma determines the dimensions of the smoke.
“Most issues are small,” Chloe says, “but you never know when you might need to light up the big guy.”
Despite Rachel’s endless journalistic fact-checking, Chloe’s totally open to any spirits and metaphysical occurrences.
“So why didn’t Chloe get the medium gig?” Rachel asks.
“Because I didn’t try to return the dead!” Chloe says. “But it sure opened a whole new set of adventures. I can’t wait for the next one.”
We hear it has to do with the disappearance of a friend, astral travel and a mysterious Spaniard. It’s entitled Lemurian Medium.
“I’m up for it,” Chloe says. “How about you, Rachel?” Groans.
— G G Collins