Category Archives: About
Meow Wolf Has Bite! Me-ow!
Meow Wolf is part art installation; all fun house!
by G G Collins (Copyright 2018)
After standing in line for more than an hour–you know March is spring break, right?–I entered this magical place in Santa Fe that wasn’t the least bit southwestern. The exterior sports a mammoth spider and people actually eat beneath it. Not me!
Built in a former bowling alley, the outside isn’t impressive; but that all stops the moment you enter this wildly colorful place.
After buying tickets at a bit of a staggering price (but nowhere near Disney World prices), you grab your 3-D glasses and off you go into the wild, blue, purple, pink, orange (oh, I give up) yonder.
The hallway that leads down to the entrance is a bit 1984-ish, but what waits inside is, well, you decide for yourself. Past the door is the House of Eternal Return where you can duck through the fireplace, closet, clothes dryer or even the fridge and you’ll find yourself in another dimension.
Watch where you step because the surface underfoot is constantly changing, even at times into mounds of carpet as if you are walking beneath trees on a moss-covered forest floor.
As you climb that tree via circular staircase, the canopy you are expecting never materializes. Instead it could be a camper. Hmm. Just where am I?
That seems to be the whole point. Each inviting portal leads to another strange and wonderful place. Everyone–and remember I went during spring break–was having a great time. Age is not a factor here. There is literally something for everyone. The kids loved to play the dinosaur bones and frankly, so did I.
For those who are afraid they will be claustrophobic, while it can be quite tight quarters, there are numerous doors leading to the lobby. The people standing around in white lab coats are Meow Wolf staff and they are there to answer questions or give you the fastest route to the restroom. There was one small girl, who wasn’t too sure about a white friendly looking creature. She held on tight to her grandmother’s hand, but even at that, she was wide-eyed in appreciation
There are corridors leading to more portals. Some stairs are wide open while others are circular with tiny steps. Tall people can have trouble negotiating the later. Don’t get stuck!
Meow Wolf is a sensory experience. You can see, touch and hear, but never quite assimilate what you’re experiencing. That’s okay. It’s mysterious and leaves you wanting more. I know I’ll be returning to the House of Eternal Return.
For more information go to: https://meowwolf.com/
Coming soon to Denver and Las Vegas; your very own Meow Wolf.
New Teen Book “Without Notice” by G G Collins
From the author of “Flying Change,” an equestrian novel for teens and up.
Courtney’s life turned upside down when her mother was killed by a drunk driver. Now, they are moving from Minneapolis to her father’s hometown in New Mexico, where he will run an art gallery. Older sister Francine is heartbroken because she has to leave her boyfriend behind. Younger sister Toby just misses Mom.
One thing is particularly disturbing: her dad’s friend Silky. He says they know one another through the gallery, but is that really all? It seems she is always interjecting herself into their lives. Courtney, who is a good cook, took over cooking meals for the family, but lately Silky’s even intruding there. Silky is a terrible cook, but her father eats everything she prepares and compliments it. Being a teen is hard enough, but she doesn’t want a blended family. Courtney’s conflicted emotions cause her to say hurtful things to Silky, and then regret them. She tries to cope with feelings of loss and the need to move on.
Courtney and Francine hatch a plan to sabotage Silky; but soon Francine has found a new boyfriend leaving Courtney alone in the effort. All the while, Silky is trying to make friends with the family. She invites Courtney to tweak her cooking skills with the promise of teaching her how to make pottery. Drawn to Silky’s tales of Native American artists and their search for the best clay, Courtney grudgingly listens even as her interest grows. Silky’s stories are full of intrigue and clandestine journeys to collect clay under cover of darkness. During one of her pottery lessons, Silky shares a painful story with Courtney. Loss does not play favorites.
She meets Audrey, the girl next door, and immediately strikes up a friendship. Audrey is an outspoken know-it-all with a sense of adventure that is infectious. She takes Courtney on new experiences including the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. She and Audrey attend a mass launch which is unlike anything she has ever seen. Courtney is spellbound watching the hot air balloons. Unfortunately, Audrey has a dark side. She makes a mistake that challenges their newfound friendship and threatens Courtney’s delicate relationship with Silky.
Despite her resentment about moving, thirteen-year-old Courtney discovers this strange new city with its brown houses, Pueblo architecture and ancient stories to be as mysterious as it is beautiful. Even as she resists, Santa Fe casts its spell.
There are 5 copies of new cozy mystery Dead Editor File available as an #AmazonGiveaway. Here’s where you can get them, but don’t delay.
New mystery editor Taylor Browning finds herself a suspect in the death of Endicott Publishing’s leader. She’s not the only one; Endicott wasn’t a well-liked man. Learn the ins and outs of book publishing as Taylor tries to solve the locked room mystery. Victor Sanchez, the Santa Fe detective assigned to the case can be annoying, but Taylor’s cat Oscar takes no prisoners at home.
If you enjoy Dead Editor File, please consider writing a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Thank you. Happy reading!
Interview with Character Taylor Browning
“Dead Editor File” First Book in the Taylor Browning Cozy Mystery Series
By G G Collins
Taylor Browning is the new kid on the cozy mystery block. By day she edits mysteries at the publishing house and in her off hours she’s learning to sleuth. That’s the trouble, she has developed an interest in crime solving. Of course, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. She can’t edit her way out of real murder…or can she? Find out in the first book in the new series: “Dead Editor File.”
How did you become the mystery editor of the most prominent publishing house in Santa Fe?
Somehow I managed to impress the publisher and senior editor with my knowledge of mysteries, especially the classics like Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Phyllis A Whitney. We talked the basics of a good cozy mystery: nearly bloodless murder, cast of suspects and of course the need for tea. But we couldn’t survive in the mystery world today without the heroine having a distinctive job, in my case, a mystery editor. I’ve been on the job less than a year and am learning the ins and outs of book publishing. It’s a strange world of manuscripts, fonts, bluelines and advance review copies. Learning what to do with all of them is challenging. But it’s the authors that require finesse. Even the nicest authors usually slam a door or throw a small fit right before their pub date. But I’m learning. Usually I can keep it together long enough to hustle them out of the office.
Why did you move to Santa Fe to start a new life?
My husband and I dreamed of moving to the Land of Enchantment, but something always stopped us. You know; money issues, job issues, family issues. Life. But when he died, I wanted to fulfill our dream. It was difficult at first. I didn’t know anyone, but I seem to be meeting a lot of people. There is the team at work, the authors, the vendors we use and the bookstore owners we work with. And lately, well, there have been the police. A certain Detective Victor Sanchez who came to our office after the publisher and editor-in-chief was murdered in his locked office. Now that was a bad day. Virginia, our senior editor was sad and Jim, the production manager was nearly ecstatic. I was horrified, but didn’t know him well.
How’s the house renovation going?
You know, it would be helpful if I’d finish a room before moving on to the next one. But no, I have ladders, tools and paint in every nook and cranny. But Oscar and I enjoy the deck the most. We watch the sunsets and unwind with a little wine.
Oscar? Who is Oscar?
Oscar is my Abyssinian cat. You know brown agouti fur with lighter clown markings. I’m told they were the cats of Egyptian kings and pharaohs. Just between us, I tend to believe it because Oscar is a bit entitled especially if dinner is late. There have been a few, uh, incidents. Of course, it’s all because I became involved in the criminal investigation—at least after I was cleared of suspicion. There were times when I was being followed or doing a little sleuthing and was late to prepare his evening meal. It was really no big deal.
How do you see your future?
I love my life—most of the time. Santa Fe is everything I thought it would be, my job is terrific fun and two men are interested in me. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready for a relationship yet. For now, Oscar and I are getting along, if only I can stay on schedule. My author, G G Collins, is currently writing the next installment, “The Looking Glass Editor.” It promises to get me into some weird new age experiences thanks to yet another persnickety writer.
Will have to see what happens next, but I feel confident there is murder in my future. Not me, but someone else. I hope.
Dead Editor File Available 10-15-2017
Mystery editor Taylor Browning can’t edit her way out of real murder!
Thank you for your pre-orders!
Carl Sagan & Benjamin Franklin Attend a Cosmic Party
by G G Collins (Copyright 2017)
Recently I watched “The Farthest: Voyager in Space.” Actually I’ll admit to seeing it three times. (Read my review here on Parallel Universe https://paralleluniverseatlarge.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/review-the-farthest/ . The late Carl Sagan played an important role in the Voyager project. If you haven’t seen it, it is playing on PBS.
While writing “Lemurian Medium” I went to the NASA website and looked at photos taken by Voyager to describe the planets as Reluctant Medium Rachel Blackstone took an astral journey to save a kidnapped friend.
Doing the research for this novel was quite fun. I ran across some notable people, namely Carl Sagan and Benjamin Franklin who both apparently believed in the possible existence of extraterrestrial life.
I wanted something lighthearted to occur during Rachel’s escape as it was quite tense at times. When she burst onto the astral plane she discovered it wasn’t the same plane she arrived on. But this level had a twist. There was a celestial cocktail party going on!
As she observed the varied types of aliens in all shapes and sizes, drinking colorful cocktails in odd vessels, and then she spied some humans like herself. There was Sagan and Franklin talking with beings from other worlds.
I wanted to honor them in some small way. Sagan was of hero of mine. Through him I became interested in the cosmos because he made it accessible. Cheers!
Plucking of My Heartstrings
Cheryl Wright is featuring A Blog a Day for the month of July 2017. Reluctant Medium at Large in Santa Fe is scheduled for July 29th. Check out the variety and scope of the blogs she has chosen. Click on the photo above for a direct link to her blog, Plucking of My Heartstrings.
And don’t miss her Musical Mondays! Cheryl chooses a word or theme and adds songs that have these traits. And then, you can vote on your favorite, add additional songs or just chat about music. Join the fun!
Follow Cheryl on Twitter: @PluknHrtStrings
The Hazards of Writing a Cozy
by G G Collins (Copyright 2017)
Mystery cozies were originally just called mysteries. Even before Agatha Christie, there was Mary Roberts Rinehart. She introduced the “had I but known” device. I devoured Rinehart’s books but soon attacked Christie’s as well. But I owe it all to a book by Shirley Jackson entitled We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The ending blew me away and it was my introduction to mysteries.
Cozies, a term introduced during the 1980s, have a few things in common. The murder happens “off screen” and is usually poison, a simple wallop to the head with say a candlestick or a clean shot without a lot of blood. Please no hollow R.I.P bullets, a .22 will do nicely.
These murders happened to people and in places where, well, these things just don’t happen: a mansion, bookstore or in my case a book publisher who specializes in mysteries. Did you see that coming? Often the sleuth is an amateur, although they can be a promising amateur.
In the early days, the emphasis was on the puzzle and the suspects. And everyone was and is suspect. The cats, recipes and delving into characters backgrounds and careers is a more modern concept. And if there is romance, it’s discreet. Like those kisses from the early movies that only allowed a 3-second kiss. And please, no bedroom scene unless you only see the lights go off from outside.
But here’s where I got into trouble; swearing! I admit it. I curse. And frankly, I don’t see how a someone who kills people would not use profanity. “Excuse me,” the killer said. “I’m going to cut your blankety-blank throat now.” Really?
Okay, I get it. Cozies are about having fun with murder. Someone gets the axe and we spend the rest of the book drinking tea, petting cats and maybe do a little baking until the perp is identified and all’s well with the world again.
My first cozy is due out in October 2017. I’m having a ball writing the Dead Editor File. But I’ve had a really difficult time, er, not cussing. I’ve even got my protagonist trying not to, you know; swear.
However, there is nothing I can do about her Abyssinian cat, Oscar. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with an Aby, and believe me he could let loose with the four letter words; in Cat of course. He lives on in Oscar. Oscar is known to leave “surprises” for Taylor when he isn’t fed on time or in the way he’s grown accustom to dining.
So I’ll be washing my mouth out with soap and tossing quarters in the “swear jar” before the book is complete as I try to think of clever ways to not write well, you know.
And when I use the term “dang it,” well I think you’ll know what I was thinking. It’s the cozy way.
I hope you enjoy mystery editor Taylor Browning in her first outing in the Dead Editor File. Available on Amazon October 15, 2017.