Deborah Riley-Magnus, Writeaholic

July 21, 2009

What’s Really in that Warehouse?

Filed under: Cold in California — Deborah Riley-Magnus @ 1:24 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, don’t mean to be creeping you out or anything, but my house is haunted. Yes. Really. So was the house before it and the one before that. I see things and often hear voices. Items mysteriously move from place to place and I swear at times the ghosts are playing with me. And THAT’S not the creepy part. 

See, this kind of thing doesn’t bother me. All my life these spirits/angels/ghosts/apparitions, what ever you want to call them, have been hanging around. You might say I’m never really lonely, huh? This doesn’t bother me at all and as a writer, I’d be negligent if I didn’t give my ‘friends’ some credit for the ideas that grow and form from spook-induced experiences. Strange, magnificent plot and character development solutions have come to me through dreams or visions or just plain mysterious words whispered into my ear. Honest, I’m not that weird. Not crazy. Not certifiable. It’s just how life is. The life of a writer. It’s a unique place, being a writer. The world always looks a little different to us than it does to anyone else. I’m betting that whether you’re willing to admit it or not, you travel with a few high energy creative spirits too. 

Take the creation of Cold in California (http://deborahriley-magnus.com/CIC/ColdinCAMain.html). This idea came to me like a bolt of lightening and the entire bizarre universe formed before my very eyes. Dead supernaturals; werewolves, trolls, pixies, fairies and shape-shifters joined together with twice-baked vampires to live out purgatory in a West Hollywood warehouse. Cool huh? And oh so much fun to write. The goal of every character is to find salvation of some kind; in the hero, dead vampire Gabriel’s case … to earn heaven. 

Now comes the creepy part. Of course, I drove around Los Angeles, checking out neighborhoods and warehouses to cast one of the most interesting characters in the book, the Holding Tank itself. The warehouse I chose as my inspiration was perfect. Empty. Spooky. Filled with possibilities. I could just hear Crudo (the troll in charge), his booming voice directing the dead inmates to build private rooms, separate off his office, put in a kitchen and keep it clean. I could almost see the supernatural creatures who seldom leave, (Mumbu the South African voodoo-loving dead fairy; Stick Man, the native American twelve-foot tall legend; and the pack of grinning gnomes that remind Gabriel of the Seven Dwarves minus Grumpy) roaming around the cavernous space, watching Soaps and discussing old times. 

It was fun and served well, but since the West Hollywood warehouse met its demise at the end of Cold in California, I was off again to search a replacement Holding Tank for the second book, Monkey Jump.  This is where the practical process went way past imaginative entertainment and crossed into something a little bit … extraordinary. I started to see strange and wondrous things and now I can’t shake a curiosity. 

Rather than tell you, I’m going to challenge you. Do me a favor, all you writers out there. Take a drive around your town, slow down when you see that warehouse at the end of the street, the one you pass everyday on your way to work, or the deserted one up on the hill. Close your eyes and feel it. 

Am I really nuts, or do you suspect there’s a dead supernatural Holding Tank in your neighborhood too? Doesn’t that guy you see on the train look a little like a troll? Could that tall woman be an elf? Maybe those kids aren’t really kids playing in the park, maybe they’re gnomes getting a little fresh air and exercise. And … wasn’t that big white dog a man last time you looked? 

Do you suspect there’s a Holding Tank in your neighborhood? Let me know because I swear there’s one in Rancho Dominguez, just off the 405 northbound exit.

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8 Comments »

  1. For what it’s worth, I think people who die in unexpected (to them) ways, leave a precipitate of disturbed charge in the energy field around their place of death. Certain mortals are able to tune into the correct wavelengths of this charge and this is what I take to be a ghostly ‘haunting’. I think you are particularly attuned.

    Me, I wouldn’t detect a ghost if it came up with a bullhorn and announced itself to me right behind my ear … I am a sceptic in most paranormal and religious areas, but I do believe in ghosts according to my definition.

    Comment by sulci — July 21, 2009 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  2. Sulci, we are so opposite! I believe in it all! Always have, always will. But then again, you’ve read my work, LOL. I think people who don’t acknowledge spirits and/or ghosts are blessed with the quiet ones, the angels that watched over them and their kids.

    Or … *grin*

    Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — July 21, 2009 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  3. Hey Debs, I said I’m a believer in ghosts at least! Like I believe the Pirates were once a good team, but that’s now just a ghost memory.

    How do I get my icon by my name?

    Comment by sulci — July 22, 2009 @ 3:32 am | Reply

  4. Sulci!

    The Pittsburgh Pirates WERE a great team and they will be again! Maybe … I hope … oh spirits of the past hero buccos of the ‘burg, please, please, please.

    Not sure about the icon, I’ll ask Natalie.

    Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — July 22, 2009 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

  5. OK, now you’re seriously giving me the creeps. I’ll never look at a warehouse the same way again. *shudders*

    And the next time I see that man standing on the corner, the one that looks a bit like a serial killer, I’ll think to myself, “Maybe he IS a serial killer. The type of serial killer that sucks blood for a living!”

    Comment by mohappy — July 24, 2009 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  6. See, all I wanted to make you do was think, LOL! I mean, really … who’s to say this stuff isn’t possible? I swear, my nudist nextdoor neighbor is probably a shape-shifter of some kind. I just wish he’d shift into a bigger towel when he comes out to walk his dog. Ew.

    Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — July 24, 2009 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  7. I know this is more fanfic related, but NanoCorp was inspired by large office complex that USED to be out in the middle of nowhere here in Sugar Land, Tx…it is four stories high, and out of greenish glass…I had been informed that in engineering circles here in Houston, that building was known as “Emerald City” – and for the longest time I wanted to work for the company that used the building because I wanted to work in that building.

    Now Viridian Control is inspired by the oldest skyscraper in downtown Houston. IT has one or two ghosts in it that I plan to use :D

    Comment by Sharon Ferguson — July 29, 2009 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

  8. Hi Sharon!

    See. what’s in that warehouse can be anything! And whatever it is, we can sure write about it, LOL.

    Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — July 29, 2009 @ 4:32 pm | Reply


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