So you can read my books

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


{Starting 2/9/12 : BLOOD WILL TELL will be FREE for 5 days!}

My blood center is down a man, so I was called to deliver blood to the only hospital servicing Cameron Parish.

Once again I set out on the Creole Nature Trail, one of the last surviving wildernesses in America.

I call it "the Last Exit to Eden."

Before I left the outskirts of Man's domain, I got gas at a station appropriately named FOUR CORNERS.

My half-Lakota mother would have smiled at the name. In Lakota myth there is a spiritual power in the crossroads spinning off to the four directions.

She often told me that the four directions have to be in balance for all to be well with the world.

From today's headlines, I would have to say they are a bit out of kilter.

Often in Lakota myth, the directions are represented by animals. And on this trip, I met my share. I felt much like my own character, Hibbs the cub with no clue.

A lone dog stood sentinal in the front yard of a nearby home as I pulled away. He stood so still that for a second I thought him a bronze sculpture.

But he turned his happy, tongue-lolling muzzle towards me as if to say, "I wish I were going with you." I waved a happy hello and good-bye in one gesture and went on my way.

I passed a majestic ranch, bordered by long, white rails. A small lake was just a few feet away. A bass jumped up in search of an elusive fly.

A peace grew within me. The four directions of my spirit were in balance at least.

For a brief moment, I found myself at the end of a long convoy of parish vechicles off to some construction site.
And I felt a wave of resentment much like the mountain men of old must have felt upon seeing pioneer families moving into "their" wilderness.

I laughed at myself. How could the mountain men or I own the wilderness which existed long before we were born and would go on long after Man was only a radioactive memory?

Just before the long, winding S curve I love to drive, I spotted a single horse grazing in a blaze of marigolds. He looked up as I passed as if to snort,

"Do you mind? I'm trying to have lunch here." Then, he went back to grazing.

As I pulled under the canopy of Cypress trees onto the straightaway, my old friends were waiting for me :

the small herd of horses who love to pace my van in a friendly race through the clover and marigolds. They happily took up the game once again.

This time they had company : a lone great Egret who soared above them on silent, mighty currents of wind. It swooped down and around in long, slow, graceful motions of its huge wings.

I put down my window and drank in the sound of the gusting wind, the pounding of the hooves, and the haunting cry of far-off hawks.

I sadly parted from my equine friends as I started up the high, lonely bridge that arched and twisted up into the clouds like the feathered serpent of Aztec myth.

At its peak, I looked out across a landscape that seemed devoid of Man.

It didn't seemed to mind.

As I hit the bottom of the bridge, I looked for my alligator acquaintance from the last trip. But he was off in search of more accessible meals than a human in a speeding van.

But I did spot a distant cousin :

a huge tortoise slowly making its way across the road far ahead of me.

I looked in my rearview mirror. Another car would be here before my shelled friend would make it across.

I pulled over to the shoulder of the road, and I got out and lifted him all the way to the other side. As I walked away from him, he twisted his head my way as if to say,

"You're a decent sort ... for a two-legged."

As I continued on my lonely way, the quiet was broken by a huge flock of great Egrets playing tag with one another. They spread across the vast blue sky from horizon to horizon.

And without warning, the flock enveloped me in its midst as the graceful, white birds darted down, welcoming me to their game. But, alas, I was rooted to the ground, and so they left me to waddle along the road in solitude.

And it seemed as if I heard the ghostly voice of The Turquoise Woman from Lakota myth and my mother's bedside tales :

"You Two-Leggeds are so foolish. Solitude? Here? I am ablaze with life all around you. You are never alone, never unwatched."

A scary gust of wind shuddered my van just as I was traveling down the most narrow section of the trail, rippling waters from both edges of the road lapping up just inches from the side of my vehicle.

I tugged on my wheel, and I felt a pressure on my van, steering me away from the grasp of the waters back to the center of the road.

I seemed to hear ghostly laughter, "Not your time just yet, little Lakota. You still make me laugh.

And you save my turtles."

I nodded to the endless depths of the blue sky and whispered, "Thank you."

Just then, a red-winged hawk swooped across the road far ahead of me. I took it to be The Turquoise Woman saying, "You're welcome."


I've wanted to see a movie of JOHN CARTER OF MARS since I was a little boy, curled up on my bed, reading his adventures in thumb-worn paperbacks.


  1. Number 75! Phew! I did it Roland. I visited all the blogs on the "I'm Hearing Voices" list.

    Sorry I haven't been over here very often, Roland. But I promise I'll make a greater effort.

    Have a great day. Oh, and I liked your character!

  2. ...written with the kind of vividness that causes one to question where reality released its hold, as the spirit world secured a firm grip on the story.

    Well done ;)


  3. I'm not familiar with John Carter of Mars, but this is an excellent piece. It gives a great feeling of serenity. Nice!

  4. Masterful writing! I'm looking forward to the 5-day freebie for BLOOD WILL TELL! Excellent!

  5. Nice descriptions and so well thought out. I really love anything that has some Native American myth woven in.

  6. Very cool! I was so excited I clicked over not realizing today is only the 7th.

  7. The four corners have made their way into paranormal stories too--the place you meet and make a deal with the devil. I love the element, and I like that your animal encounters covered earth, water and air--seems fitting (all that is missing is fire, and how many animals breathe fire?)

  8. I may feel a little nervous now driving through desolate areas. And I see the crossroads theme appears often.

  9. Thanks, T.D. :
    I've missed you. Sam tips his Stetson to you at the compliment. :-)

    Elliot :
    As always your comment is as eloquent as your own novels. Thanks.

    Nick :
    John Carter was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose TARZAN over-shadowed the tragic space-stranded hero, John Carter. I'm glad you enjoyed my ride vicariously! Roland

    Jack :
    Thanks for the kind words. BLOOD WILL TELL explains a bit the functions of the blood courier, saving the world one life at a time. I hope you enjoy it. If it were made into a movie, its theme would be WHEN I'M GONE by THREE DOORS DOWN.

    Julie :
    You would like THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS then I would think : based on the stories told me by my half-Lakota/half-Irish mother when I was ill during an ice storm ... it combines the legends of both sides of her heritage.

    Southpaw :
    I am pleased you came a day early. With your avatar being what it is, I think you, too, would enjoy the adventures of Hibbs, the bear with 2 shadows.

    Hart Johnson :
    The only animal I know that breathes fire is my supervisor! LOL. I used the crossroads theme in my supernatural Native American thriller, CALL ME TOMBS. Thanks so much for visiting when I know your time is so limited, Roland

    Alex :
    Talking about limitied time, yours must be fleeting!! As my half-Lakota mother often told me, "You must take care to respect The Turquoise Woman's world, for it has none for you."

    Thanks for visiting and caring enough to talk awhile. Roland

  10. Sounds like a beautiful escape from the norm. I love it when life leads us down paths like that.

  11. Heather :
    Yes, I do not get to drive that beautiful trip very often. My schedule doesn't often allow me to drive there. May some unexpected beauty come your way today, Roland

  12. I really didn't want that to end. I was drawn into that van with you, witnessing the elegance, grace, the amazing manifestation of nature as so much more than material for a National Geographic program.

    Alive, that's what it was.

    Very beautiful. I loved it.

  13. Angela :
    I do believe that is one of the nicest things ever said about my writing ... that it was alive. It is what I strive for. The ghost of Ernest Hemingway smiled at me ... and winked at you! He always was a ladies' man! :-) Roland