• Home
  • Posts Tagged'walking the story'

Posts Tagged ‘walking the story’

An Unexpected Encounter with Magda Gardener

 

With Blindsided, book 2 in the Medusa’s Consortium series, set to be released September 29th, as you can imagine, my characters and their situations are on my mind a lot. That was never more true than this past ten days while I was in New York City, where Blindsided is set. I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was being watched, shadowed even, by someone who has a lot invested in me getting the story just right.

 

I hear that you occasionally encounter celebrities while walking in New York City, though I never have. I’ve never
encountered anyone I even knew – at least not until this time.

 

I was enjoying one of those lovely solitary city walks. I can combine the total pleasure of exploring with a little research along with the chance to be inspired by the walk, which is always a win-win. One of my favorite things to do is walk the bridges. I love to meander down to Lower Manhattan, slip into China Town’s manic hustle and bustle and then step back out of it onto the gloom and concrete of the Manhattan Bridge. Unlike the bright and airy Brooklyn Bridge that feels almost like it’s suspended above the water on gossamer wings, the pedestrian walk over the Manhattan Bridge is flanked by the noisy clatter and clang of the subway. There are no views off to the left, except for the frequent and noisy trains, sandwiched between traffic crawling over the highway above and steel girders plunging into the East River below.

 

 

To the right the river view is compromised by sinister stretches of high wire fence. I keep coming back not for the glorious views, but for the gated off concrete alcoves and pillars that mantle sections of the walkway in deep shadow and drive an overly active imagination like mind into sheer ecstasy at the story possibilities. While I adore the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s not a place of solitude, always jammed cheek to jowl with tourists. The Manhattan Bridge, however with it’s sparse influx of tourists and its tatty, seen-better-days but totally practical look, inspires me to darker, grittier thoughts.

 

I hadn’t gone very far this time until I had that prickly sense of being followed. Not much of a surprise on the darker, more sinister stretches of the bridge. Even in broad daylight, the place feels a little bit dangerous. Those slightly dodgy sections are the reason I love the bridge, the reason it inspires me. A train rumbled by to my left and the feeling intensified. I stepped aside and let two runners and an elderly Chinese gentleman pass me. I was safe here. No need to worry.

 

 

Photos are hard to take on the Manhattan Bridge because of the heavy cross-hatching of the wire fence, so imagine my delight when I came to a spot near the center of the bridge where someone had torn a hole in the fencing just large enough to get a good photo. I was so caught up in capturing images that I forgot all about that feeling of being followed until I felt a sudden chill crawl over me, and for an instant, I could swear I saw my breath rising in icy puffs. It was eighty degrees already, so I knew of only one thing that would put a chill in the morning, or should I say one person.

 

“Magda.” I didn’t turn around. I’m neither brave nor stupid. The air around me warmed and I felt the heat of her body as she sidled up next to me.

 

“KD.” She returned my terse greeting. I could almost hear the smile in her voice. “Thought I might find you here. I’ve heard you’re quite fond of this bridge. I rather like it myself,” she added. “And Desiree, well that bitch has some chilling tales to tell about experiences of this bridge back when it was being built. A walking history book of the city, that one is. Most of it she was there for.”

 

“I sort of suspected she’d been around awhile.” I risked a peek at Magda’s feet, surprised to find her in soft leather sandals, toenails painted a bright shade of coral.

 

 

She followed my gaze, then chuckled. “I do enjoy a little summer heat now and then. I don’t get enough of it in the Lakes.” Then she huffed out an irritated sigh. “Oh for fuck sake, KD, don’t be such a wuss. After all I’ve allowed you to write, if I was going to make a statue out of you, I’d have done so a long time ago, and I certainly wouldn’t be doing it in the middle of the Manhattan Bridge.”

 

“And the little chill?” I asked, still not looking at her. Frankly it took all the courage I could muster to confront her.

 

I felt more than saw her shrug. “Oh that’s nothing, just a friendly little reminder that you’re playing with the lives and the hearts of my people when you tell their stories.”

 

“They tell their stories,” I replied, still trying to keep my knees from shaking.

 

“Exactly my point. As long as you let them tell their stories, as long as you don’t try to rewrite them, you’re perfectly safe with me.”

 

“I’m not Susan,” I commented, finally getting up the courage to glance around at her. “I can’t make something reality just because I write it.”

 

 

“Can’t you?” She took me by the shoulder and turning me to face her, and for the briefest moment, I felt as though the bridge was collapsing beneath my feet. Then the world righted itself and I found myself looking into the face of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen, eyes hidden beneath a pair of Ray-Bans. She wore her long locks in the usual careless black ribbon. Honestly, she could have passed for a tourist in a calf-length turquoise sundress exposing porcelain skin that on any other person would have been sunburnt red in no time. Somehow I doubted that was a problem for Magda Gardener. “What do you think storytellers do, KD? They make what’s in their imagination real.” She offered me a quirk of a smile. “At least to everyone who reads their stories. And that’s a lot of power for one person to wield.” She nodded me forward and we continued on across the bridge.

 

Neither of us said anything as a train rattled by to our left, and when it had passed I asked, “is that why you came to me, to warn me about the power I have?”

 

“Maybe I just like your company,” came the reply. “Certainly I’ve been spending a lot of time with you lately. And anyway,” she added, “I can tell by the sound of your voice you don’t believe you have much power. That’s probably more the reason why I’m here, to remind you that you do. Taking it lightly is just as dangerous as wielding it in the way Susan has, in the way she’s been forced to. There are few things more powerful than the written word. The truth in it, the weight of it, even in fiction, can affect change in ways you never anticipated.”

 

I didn’t respond. She was preaching to the choir here. I always believed that the written language is one of the most powerful tools of civilization and that there’s living, breathing magic in it every time we put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) And sometimes that magic is manifest in words we never expected, or intended, to have any power at all.

 

 

Another train rattled by and a jogger with a Rottweiler on a leash bounded past. “The situation is about to get really hairy. It won’t be easy, what you’ll have to write from now on. You know that?” She said without looking at me.

 

“I know.” My pulse raced at the thought of what I’d have to write next. “I hope I’m up to the task.”

 

“So do I,” she responded. That wasn’t exactly the ringing vote of confidence I’d hoped for. Then she added. “I want you to tell the truth. That’s what I want. I’m not sure all of my people want that. Some don’t have truths they’re proud to share.” She huffed out a little laugh and I swear I saw frost around her lips. “I’m not particularly proud of my truth, for that matter, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want it told.” She nodded. “It needs to be told.”

 

“Even with what’s coming?”

 

“Especially with what’s coming.”

 

As we drew near the end of the bridge, there were more people to dodge, more joggers, a few tourists, several dog walkers. We walked on in semi-comfortable silence.

 

“I’ll be checking in,” she said. “You won’t be left to struggle on your own, at least not for too long.” She looked up and I noticed the black limo waiting at the edge Jay Street.

 

“One of Desiree’s?” I asked.

 

“One of my own,” came the reply. “Where I need to go is too far to walk. Good luck K D.” She turned and headed toward the limo without asking if I needed a ride. But then she didn’t have to ask. She knew I was walking the story, and it would be a long time before I was ready to head back to Penn Station.

 

I watched the driver get out and open the door for her, keeping his eyes straight ahead. For the briefest of moments, I thought I saw a snake slide from beneath the black ribbon and curl around her neck almost like a caress. Then she disappeared into the car, and I continued my walk, finding it a little easier to breathe as the limo drove away.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can still get your copy of my M/M Medusa’s Consortium novella, Landscapes for FREE by following the link. Also if you want a taste of the first Consortium novel, In The Flesh, you can follow the link.  Download! Read! Be happy!

 

Canal Walk Corrections

Sometimes my characters just aren’t satisfied with the plots I’ve sorted out for them. The worst is when they’re grumping about the endings I’ve given them. This is what has happened with Blind-Sided. No one was happy about the ice cream sundae of an ending I gave them. I certainly thought they would be. Who doesn’t like a happy ending all tied up with a bow and a cherry on top? Well apparently this lot isn’t too keen on neat and tidy endings. “I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t do any of that,” Susan said, as she stole a glance over my shoulder last night just before I down tools for bed. Honestly, I didn’t even know she was looking. “I’m dying of a sugar overdose,” she added, wrinkling her nose.

 

 

And out of the corner of my eye, I could just make out Desiree sticking her finger down her throat in a fake gag while Reese sniggered into his pint. Michael and Alonso just sat on the sofa shaking their heads. Gawd, this lot has no appreciation for what I go through for them. SO, in desperation, this morning I pulled out all the stops and went for a walk along the canal.

 

 

 

It was only supposed to be a shortie, just to get my head on straight, and then back to the shops to pick up some fruit and some greens before I got back to work. But Desiree assured me that with an ending like I had in mind, I’d better just plan on walking all the way to London because no one was giving me any peace until it was sorted. And here’s me thinking I’d be home in time for morning coffee break.

 

 

But then Susan joined me just as I hit the canal path and, you know how it goes when two writers get chatting — one scribe to another. Anyway didn’t she start telling me exactly how it was going to be? Now I would be the last person on the planet to argue with a proper Scribe who can wield the magic of the written word like she can. So I listened very carefully.

 

 

And just when she was sorting me out with a proper upsetting of the apple cart sort of ending, I saw the poppies and stopped to take a few quick piccies. By that time both the Guardian and Cave were whispering in my ear. Well, the Guardian was actually sort of creeping me out with some kind of prickly crawly sensation up my spine. And Cave — he texted me, since morning sunlight doesn’t do him any good. You haven’t met Derick Cave yet, but trust me, you’ll like him when you do. He’s the king of the abandon subway tunnels, and he’s not a man I want to argue with.

 

 

By the time I got side tracked by two mute swans busily feeding on the water plants, Michael, and Alonso and Reese had weighed in along with Desiree Fielding, who was complaining about Magda infringing on her territory. The texts were flying, since sunlight isn’t a big favorite with some of Magda’s peeps.

 

 

It’s a hot day here in Surrey. It was well past coffee break and my stomach was grumbling for lunch. The water in my bottle, what little was left, had gone warm as dish water. I reluctantly turned back toward home, but not before I got this shot of some canal boats. That was about the time the lady herself showed up, right at home in the sunshine, all tucked away safely behind her prescription sunglasses, even if she did make a couple of dogs along the route bristle.

 

 

Magda Gardener didn’t miss her opportunity to let me know what she thought, about my birthday cake ending, taking time out to very sweetly flipped Desiree off when she tried to force the issue with a little conference call. By the time I got to the end of the canal path, there was a limo waiting to whisk Magda away to Heathrow. She’s off to Vegas to wrap up some unfinished business with our siren, Samantha Black. Oh yes, you’ll get to know her very well in Buried Pleasures, book three of Medusa’s Consortium.

 

 

You see, part of this writer’s struggle is that while Susan, Desiree and Reese are battling it out with Cyrus and some baddies from Magda’s past, Magda is busy in Vegas helping none other than Death himself rescue a siren so she can save the day. That means I’ve been writing Buried Pleasures and Blind-Sided at the same time. SO once Bind-Sided is out, you won’t have to wait long for Buried Pleasures. If you’ve not read book one in the Medusa Consortium Series, here’s a link to In The Flesh.

 

 

 

Before she hopped in the limo, though, Magda told me a few things that she reckons the gang may not be too happy about. Seems what happened with Cyrus and the one he works for is a real game changer. But I’ve got the skinny on a few things that Magda doesn’t know. Unbeknownst to her, our little scribe, Susan, has penned an “unauthorized” story involving Magda and a certain detective you’ll meet in Blind-Sided. But I think there’ll have to be a lot more long walks before either of these two tight-lipped women divulges all the details to this writer.

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

Site created and maintained by Writer Marketing Services | Sitemap
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial