So you can read my books

Friday, April 30, 2010


Once again it is blogfest time. This time Lilah Pierce's LAST LINES blogfest.
I'm having to leave for the graveyard shift for the blood center for which I work. {No pun intended.} Anyway, I'll be out flying down the dark rural roads until late, late into the evening, so I'm going to enter the LAST LINES blogfest a bit early.

In the manner of Southwest Louisiana, I am even going to give you a bit of Lagniappe {a little extra.}

Most editors want to compare your first image to your last image to see if there is a definite change or a poetic, lyrical symmetry to them.

So I thought I would give you my first lines as lagniappe, then give you my final lines to my short story THE COLOR OF HER THOUGHTS. It concerns the last Lakota Medicine Person {shaman is a white man's term}, Sugmanitu Hota {Wolf Howl} in our present day. Here goes ...

First Lines :

{When she was thunder in the distance, I awoke. When her laughter was lightning above me, I knew fear. When both front tires to the bus blew, I saw her face in the night.

The Turquoise Woman was angry. At the White Man. Again. Lucky thing I was not a White Man. Or not so lucky.

I was on the bus.}

Last Lines :

I fought another sigh. Abby died from the Mossad's last lie : that the Turquoise Woman was a projection of my will. I shook my head sadly. I never killed the young, while they comprised the majority of GrandMother's victims. To say that she and I held different views of life was an understatement.

GrandMother sounded puzzled. "You knew the young girl was one of the Mossad team all along?"

I nodded. "The color of her thoughts was always death. Always."

From the heart of the dark woods, Bu, the Owl, cried in the voice of the recent dead.


And now, a bit of music and wisdom from the voices of Native Americans :


  1. Beautiful Roland, very lyrical and intriguing :)

  2. Roland, seriously shake off the rejections. You have talent. Your stuff is intriguing and the excerpts of your stuf that I've read have drawn me in immediately, including this one. Sooner or later an agent will recognize your quality and ability.

  3. 'When she was thunder in the distance, I awoke. When her laughter was lightning above me, I knew fear'.

    Love that.

  4. I loved " the color of her thoughts was always death." great line.

  5. I also loved "the color of her thoughts was always death." Very nice work!

  6. This was exceptional. I like your take on the blogfest; adding the first lines to compare with the last. Now those are some opening lines that would draw me well past the first page or 10.

    The last ones drew me also, and read with the entire chapter - or at least the scene - I'm sure its a conclusion. Emotive and heartwarming, and I'm looking for the next book.

    Nicely done Roland. You've given me something to think about for my own post.

    I hope your weekend is not too taxing.


  7. Roland, I love everything about this. The opening is touching, lyrical and haunting. Then the jab, "I was on the bus." The closing implies that justice was done, an inevitable ending came to pass. I'd love to read the whole story.

    I agree with Donna and Angie. Though this is the first of your work that I've read, I've no doubt that your time is near. I'm looking forward to coming back and reading more.

  8. I've been reluctant to participate in any of these Blogfests, but I'm not sure why. Hope you get good feedback with your entry! It's a snippet of a big piece.

  9. I like the end, but I LOVE the beginning! The part about being lucky not to be a white man but unlucky about being on the bus is great. That was definitely my favorite part. Good stuff! (And thanks for the reminder. I would have forgotten...again. lol)

  10. I loved the beginning too. The thunder and lightening image is wonderful and we feel the narrators voice right away. I would keep reading from this beginning.

    The ending was harder, simply because I'm missing all the in between stuff. So, I'll concentrate just on what I see for the comment. The only nitpick is "Abby had died from" I think it sounds better "Abby died from", but I could be wrong. ;) There are lots of names and things going on, but that won't be a problem after reading the whole book. I like it!

  11. Roland, I really liked this ending. Starting with "I fought another sigh" set the tone immediately. Ending with the sound from the owl was a good touch.

  12. I love that you gave us a beginning with the end, and like so many people, I *loved* that beginning! It totally would entice me to read more. :)

    The end is also quite good. I love the unique voice you offer in your stories--I'm glad to read what you have! (And thanks for the reminder! I put mine--as well as mine for Charity Bradford's blogfest--up. Last minute again. Ah, well.)

  13. I also really liked the line "the color of her thoughts was always death, always"

    kind of gave me chills and wonder what on earth happened in the middle part. Very nice. Keep up the good work.

  14. There are some nice, lyrical lines in here.

  15. Great entry and I really loved the first and last lines together. The whole entry was very lyrical and lilting. But this line?

    "The color of her thoughts was always death. Always."

    Simply gorgeous.

  16. There are so many lines that I just love here - beautiful, beautiful writing. Thanks for sharing!

  17. so mote it be, bro...

    your word magic continues, anon

    i have some agents and editors listed in my sidebar for anyone's perusal... read their requirements to see where your stuff fits in

    they also have great tips on their sites

  18. Well done. I agree with the above--very lyrical writing. So many beautiful lines.

    Have a lovely Saturday, Roland!

  19. The prose is almost poetic, which I like very much. It sets a tone, coneying the Native American way of story telling.
    I like the last line and want to study the symbolism of the owl again! The voice you use is consistant from this small snippet. Love to read the entire piece at some time!

  20. Nice and dark. Your stuff is always kinda creepy. Cool little niche you're carving out for your stuff.

    - Eric

  21. Mysterious and dark, Roland. There are ways to smooth the writing but I don't think this scene is about smooth. It jagged - rhythmic like a heart beat would be very effective. Keep on keeping on craft can be learned and writing improved on by everyone and anyone, you have ideas. Good luck with the next submission, keep looking for YOUR agent.

  22. Wow, beautiful intro! You have an interesting way of using language and descriptions, and it makes me stop and think.

  23. I really liked your intro lines; very crisp, and a great twist to it.
    I have to say I found it harder to follow the ending, but I think that's simply because I'm not sure of a lot of the context and characters. Still, the imagery is great and I'd be reading more.

    Nicely done!

  24. Wow Roland, great writing. I can't help wonder what happened from the beginning to the end. Very intriguing. =)

  25. You're right Roland, I loved this post! There are some great bits of work here. And this blogfest idea, awesome!

  26. Beautiful writing, intriguing story. I'd definitely like to read what's in-between. =)

  27. I loved this. Such evocative stuff!

    I thought you should end it with that second from last line:
    "The colour of her thoughts was always death. Always." - that's such a great line!


  28. Just have to tune out the rejection and keep submitting and promoting your work. Eventually, someone will say yes. I'm in the same process myself. Have a great weekend.

    Stephen Tremp

  29. Thank you for your comment. It felt good and as you see, I followed your invitation.

    "The colour of her thoughts was always death" - incredibly strong. As is your description of the Turquoise Woman. You have the ability to paint with words. Forget about those who reject your texts. In the end it's their loss. You've got talent!

    I'm actually glad that you left a message on my blog. I never thought about putting any writings on a blog. Didn't even realise how many people do just that. I might join you guys... Thanks.

  30. Funny how I forget so many things living away from "home". Bu.


  31. I agree with the above comments. Thos lines were brilliant. I love how the last lines are almost haunting in their way. I really love stories where the last lines stay with you for a long time after you read it :~D Great stuff!

  32. I think the owl's my favorite character. :)
    I agree first lines and last should be related somehow.
    Nice job!

  33. When she was thunder in the distance, I awoke.

    Roland, this opening sentence ranks up there with the greats. It grabs the reader! Truly brilliant.

    I nodded. "The color of her thoughts was always death. Always." I love this equally but would end it here, for the Owl confused me whereas the other sentence left me breathless.

    Roland, throw off the rejections. You've got real talent. You're consistent and evocative. You know how to tell a story. Write on!

  34. Roland I'm captivated! I SAW the lines rather than reading them. Your writing echoed, in a way, how I think sometimes, if that makes any sense at all.

    I oppose Kittie's suggestion to leave out the part about Bu. I was raised to think of owls and whippoorwills as the bearers of the souls of the dead, so it makes perfect sense to me.

  35. Wow... the final line was haunting... Like A. Grey said, I saw the line as well. It sort of lingered... I'm not sure if that is the right word... Well done.

  36. Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. They mean a lot.

    Crystal : You're very kind.

    Angie : Your praise helps with the welts left by the rejections. From your lips to The Father's ear about that accepting agent!

    Wendy : And I love that you love that sentence. Let me know about that query letter all right?

    Hannah : Really happy you liked that line.

    Jemi : A workman is always happy his handiwork is appreciated.

    Christine : Thanks for the praise.

    Donna : I was concerned about my take on the blogfest, putting in the first lines as an extra. You set my mind to rest. Thanks.

    Rebel With A Blog : I truly hope you're right, and that my time is near. These novel "labor pains" are something I look forward to looking back on!

    Theresa : Your presence here is always welcome. Join in the blogfests when you feel ready. I'll have your back.

    Katie : It makes me feel useful that I was able to remind you to join in all the fun.

    Charity : If you go back and read my post, you'll notice I took "had" out. I'm happy you enjoyed my beginning. Endings are hard to understand if you've missed what has led up to them.

    Catherine : I am so happy you liked the ending with the owl. If the others had read the first of the story, I'm sure they would have, too. Please come back again. And everyone else, too!

    Sarah : Your last line in your entry truly packs an emotional punch. Thanks for all the kind words about my entry.

    Rebecca : That my words gave you chills means I must be doing something right. Thanks for sharing that.

    Stu : Your entry was great. So Graves was once a mighty human hunter, huh? Now, he's a feline one. Great style you have there.

    Sarah Jayne : That you think my writing is gorgeous makes up for my best friend asking me, "You were trying to be humorous, right?"

    Susan : That you believe my entry had beautiful lines means a lot. Thanks for saying so.

    Laughing Wolf : I'll be looking at your sidebar for those agents. I deeply appreciate that you like my word magic.

    I'm splitting my thanks in two, hopefully to appease the cyber-daemons out there. Roland

  37. Guys, my little finger zigged when it should have zagged, and my whole list of comments to the rest of you was gobbled up by the cyber-daemons. A.Gray, I wanted not so much to play in the dirt but to out and punch a Redwood!

    Hanna : Have a lovely Saturday yourself. Your kind words made mine much better.

    Lynn : I'm glad you believe I succeeded in my aim at trying for the mind-set of the last of the Lakota "Jedi," so to speak.

    Eric : You're right. I'm drawn to dark tales of the supernatural - with a twist of humor.

    Elaine : I love your analogy of my narrative having a verbal heartbeat. I aimed at sounding like a real person's thoughts in the narrative.

    jessjordan : That I had you stop and think is high praise. Thanks.

    Bryan : I'm happy you liked the intro and its twist. That my words would have had you reading more is awesome.

    Carolyn V. : Because of Lynn's, Kristie's, andyour curiosity of what happened in between my first and last lines, I'll be posting the whole story tomorrow -- in case anybody else is interested in what happened to Wolf Howl.

    Jai : Evocative, huh? That means a lot coming from you.

    Stephen : Thanks for the encouragement. And both of us soon be accepted by the right agent.

    Assja : Thanks for dropping by and liking what you saw. And please do enter the upcoming blogfests. May 5th is the next : Primal Scream. Link :
    {Samuel McCord's defining moment (at age 15) is my entry.}

    Anne : I thought you would appreciate Bu. Our childhood tales still cling to us in the darkness of our memories.

    Mia : That you believe my last line brilliant and haunting truly means a lot. Thanks.

    Andrew : Let's hope we don't hear Bu, the owl, calling our names for a very, very long time! Love your sense of humor.

    Kittie : That you think my line ranks with the greats moves me at a time when someone else's harsh words earlier today burned. Thanks. With friends like you, I'll be able to toss off the rejections a lot easier.

    A. Grey : That you saw the lines instead of simply reading them is truly high, high praise. And it means you have a great way of turning phrases yourself. I'm glad you saw the last line with Bu, the owl, as I did.

    F. : That my last line lingered in a haunting way is deeply appreciated. And that, like A. Grey, you saw it as well. Hey, that makes my day.

    Thanks, everyone! Your words were healing at a time I needed a breeze at my back. Roland

  38. I love your imagery, especially with color and weather. Great post

  39. Great haunting ending! Thanks for participating!

  40. that's not usually a genre i read, but it was very powerful, esp. the last line. thanks for stopping by.

    btw, love your profile description and blog header. pictures like that always inspire me.

  41. The last lines were outstanding, but it's the poetry of the opening that drew me in. Wonderful work, Roland.

  42. Wow, Roland. Wow. I'm seriously speechless. Your writing is so beautiful - full of images and emotion and power. I loved this!

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog and reminding me. I would have missed all the fun today, if it hadn't been for you. :-)

  43. This is a good example of why I love writers blogs. These little bits of stories are so intriguing.

  44. Your writing is very captivating Roland. It's alomost like poetry and prose all rolled into one. Beautiful. Very interested to know about these characters of yours :)

  45. Roland, you have serious talent! Great imagery. Your prose is almost lyrical. I love this!

    (if you are not blogfested out, I am hosting one: )