So you can read my books

Sunday, October 10, 2010


This is my entry for Justin W. Parente's HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER blogfest :

(I twisted the phrase : Hook, Line, and Sinker to mean

the beginning, middle, and end of a novel or story.

It's the rebellious Texican in me.

I didn't want to punish my readers with a 1000 words. That's the Boy Scout in me.

The teacher in me wanted to paint a lesson in brushstrokes of prose :

The beginning must entice.

The middle must sustain interest, while foreshadowing the end.

And the ending must strike an evocative chord in the heart and mind of the reader.

The following excerpts are from a short story detailing the adventures of the last Lakota shaman, Wolf Howl, in the very near future.} :



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.


Luckily, I was not a White Man. Or not so lucky.

I was on the bus.


I led the little girl, Abby, past the moaning passengers yet alive. Her mother was nowhere to be seen. Some begged me to help. I ignored them.

Abby whispered, "Aren't you gonna help them?"

"I am not a priest or a psychiatrist."

"That's supposed to tell me something, right?"

"The color of their thoughts is death."

She paled. "You can read thoughts?"

"I am not a Peeping Tom. I limit myself to observing the colors of thoughts not their substance."

She looked at me. "What colors are your GrandMother's thoughts?"

"The colors of her thoughts are the Northern Lights."

"Well, whoop-de-doo for her. What about mine?"

I mussed her hair sadly. "They could use some scrubbing."

"Says you."

We passed the soldier on leave. I sighed. He had survived Iraq, only to die on a "safe" bus ride. There was a life lesson there if I cared to look deep enough.

I didn't.

I reached out and tenderly stroked the dead girl's still warm cheek. From the cliff of our birth we keep falling, falling.

Abby had hit bottom sooner than most. It was a world of sorrows because we made it so.

I tried to see some echo of the innocence that had once been hers. I couldn't find it, only a hard hollowness to the eyes I slowly closed.

Perhaps that innocence had died with her grandfather.

Perhaps it had been choked bit by bit by her Mossad trainers, her handlers. Had they fed her on lies until her heart had starved to death?

I fought another sigh. She had died from their 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, The Turquoise Woman, sounded puzzled. "You knew that she 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.


  1. Congratulations on the selection! And you sure had me, hook, line, and sinker. This was a great example of how to engage and keep readers. I would love to know more about Wolf Howl....

  2. I am intrigued! I would love to read it in its entirety! Loved it.

  3. Yes, the entire beginning is a hook. The character engaged me with his first sentence.

    This is a writing skill I wish I could master. My hooks are always a couple pages in. If they are there at all.

    I can't seem to write the one line that a reader can say "yes, that was what hooked me."

    In the middle, I like how neatly Wolf Howl distracted her worry about her own mortality with "They could use some scrubbing."

    and the end; tragic, not at all happy, but I've the feeling it is the perfect ending. Satisfying to the short story reader. B/c the story was never about the girl, it was always about Wolf Howl. Or so I'm assuming.

    Excellent entry.

    A lot of people are posting Gladiator excerpts and trailers the last few days. And this is your second time. Quit it, or I may have to spend valuable reading time watching one of my favorite movies :)

    Good night Roland. Sleep safe, wake refreshed.


  4. Beautifully written from line one. I loved that line so much I read it like three times. Thanks for sharing the beginning, middle, and end. Such as sad piece -- she walks by knowing that the people are dying by their thoughts. Loved the banter when the girl asks about her own thoughts especially this line "I mussed her hair sadly. "They could use some scrubbing."

    Brilliant writing, as usual. Loved it! :D

  5. I did not enter, but had to peek at a few. Beautifuly done, Roland. A pleasure.

  6. "From the cliff of our birth we keep falling..."

    Roland, I get so jealous of the way the inner musings of your characters haunt me after I read them! Dang it! I wish I could write like this.

    Great entry! Grrr!

    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  7. Hi,

    I'm no longer amazed and in awe of your prose I wallow in it, letting it wash over me, letting it tempt me until a backwash of doubt catches me unawares and I feel as though drowning, unable to draw breath, and then reality dawns and I know what is and what is not! Mossad eh?


  8. Wonderful post and great display of writing talent I might add. The hook takes some time, but hopefully, one day, I'll master it. All the best Roland.