In The Land of Huckleberries and Wokas, a Native American adventure novella, was expanded from a short story that placed 32nd out of 12,000 plus entries in Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. (Wokas are pond lily seeds from the Klamath marshes.)
The stories weren’t just stores, after all. Snow Bird had listened all through her childhood to scary tales of braves raiding camps and taking slaves, but she had never truly feared such a thing happening. When others told her these stories, her father patted her head and smiled, reassuring her that the elders used stories to keep the children close to camp.
Yet now she sat with her hands bound in front of her while her captors drank from the river. They had rushed into camp and attacked those around the dinner fire. With knives tied to their wrists and clubs to swing, they had hit and stunned the adults in a confusing blink of the eye.
Snow Bird is taken far from her home and people, but she refuses to give up hope. She is surprised by someone who wants to help her, and surprised by her own bravery and strength.
I started thinking about this short story and had to the tell the rest of it. It’s similar to my Native American novel The River People, but set in eastern Oregon in the Klamath Basin.
I’ll keep you updated and post a link when it’s available on Kindle.
More Than Memories – can she love him if she can’t remember him?
Trent turned his horse and watched his Molly as he led them through the forest, still blown away that she was back alive and healthy… and happy for the moment. Yet, so many questions and doubts stood between them. Why did she disappear? And why did she come back now? He wanted the truth, and he wanted Molly to get her memory back. If she remembered their time together from childhood, maybe all those moments would mean something. Right now they were just pictures in his head.
He watched her sway with the horse and throw him a smile. Yeah, she was having fun, and they were making a new picture, a memory that both of them knew about. Still, the unknowns haunted him, even in the quiet, misty woods.
He wanted everyone in the town to believe in him again, and Molly could do that for him if she knew what happened. A few people were still suspicious and blamed Trent for the Andersons’ disappearance. Things that big don’t happen in small towns and people needed someone to blame.
She glanced his way and smiled. “I’m so glad we came out here.” She spoke softly, her eyes glowing with pleasure. “Yeah,” he agreed. “It’s real nice riding with you again.” It felt right. It almost felt like they hadn’t lost the last four years. For a minute, he tried to pretend they hadn’t. But maybe he wouldn’t appreciate this so much then. As things stood, he had her back, in a way. A big way, but he needed to get to the bottom of this too.
Get it or sample the first on Kindle here.
“Highly Recommended!” 5 stars from The Fictional Bookshelf
5 stars from Big Al’s Books and Pals – read the review here.