So you can read my books

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Tessa and Laura have gotten together to do this fascinating blogfest, THE NATURE OF MAGIC :

Erin Kane Spock yesterday lauched her PAINT IT PURPLE (prose) blogfest :

I have melded my entry to fit both their intriguing blogfests.

{Hibbs, the bear with two shadows, has brought the fatally wounded Sidhe, Leandra Dagda,

to his endless cabin built for him by Estanatlehi. But normal magics will not keep death at bay.

Ancient magics are called for -- but to be done in a completely new way.} :

Hibbs' great head fell, his chin resting for a long moment on his chest. Suddenly, he smiled.

“I have a thought.”

Little Brother snorted, “Bound to happen sooner or later.”

Hibbs ignored the hawk, turning to Surt. “You are the master of all the fires around you, are you not?”

The living head of flame studied Hibbs for a long heartbeat of crackling fires. “Yes, I am. Do you wish me to give her a Valkyrie’s funeral?”

Hibbs smiled wide. “No, friend. I want you to summon all the heat from this water as I squeeze it from this cloth.”

In the fireplace, the head of fire seemed to stand still. “You would be caught in the wake of such a thing.”

“I have been cold before.”

“Not like this.”

“Because I must, I will endure.”

Little Brother cawed, “Please do not.”

Knowing what it took for the hawk to say please, Hibbs turned a sad smile his way. “The hard path and the right path are usually the same, Little Brother.”

He soaked the cloth to the full and held it above the still bleeding Sidhe. “What you must do, Surt, do it now.”

A cold, so utter that it was a fire, pierced the young bear to the bone. He stiffened, stifled a groan, and then squeezed the water from the cloth.

At that instant, he realized Surt’s power would not be enough. He ground his great teeth. Thinking back upon his first sight of winter snow, Hibbs drew upon his own Orenda.

And then, it happened.

Magic breathed her whisper of hope into the darkness.

Snow, light as the wind’s kiss, began to flutter from the cloth. Hibbs, despite his great pain, started to laugh. Laugh like a young cub seeing winter’s first snow caressing the slopes.

Quickly he soaked the cloth again and began another, heavier flurry of sparkling snow. It settled like a healing mist upon the wounded Sidhe. She gasped, moaned, then her stiff body began to slowly relax. And Hibbs soaked the cloth yet again.

More snow swirled from his great paw in long, wide arcs. Hibbs laughed deep, turning to Surt, who caught up in the bear’s joy, began laughing himself. To think that he, Surt, Destroyer of Worlds, Father of All Fires, was creating crystal, cold snow.


He felt as he had long, long ages ago when the Nine Worlds were steaming and birth-new. No, more than that, he himself felt birth-new, filled with a sense of wonder and endless possibilities, a feeling he had thought Wotan had strangled long eons before.

Surt looked upon the laughing Hibbs. This strange creature had proven Wotan a liar. No, he had done much more than that. Surt felt renewed.

And with the feeling, the laughter boomed out of him over and over again. He looked on Hibbs, and for the first time that he could remember, Surt smiled.

And in that instant, he loved the young bear as one would love a brother. Gone were the plots to gain total freedom by the death of his furred savior. What had he been thinking? The bear had been right. He had let his hate blind him.

Surt laughed even deeper as Hibbs poured down another snow flurry upon the healing Sidhe. Total freedom? Look at what the young bear had just done.

He had shown Surt a power that had laid hidden in him for all his existence. What other wonders might he not show him?

And not to leave his first friend out, Hibbs called out, “Little Brother, would you beat those mighty wings of yours to make a true snow storm?”

The rough-legged hawk had been feeling left out and smiled as much as his beak would let him. “A snow storm it shall be!”

And so it was.

The First Hawk of Creation flew beside Hibbs, impossibly hovering like a Humming Bird. The beats of his huge wings filled the library with a leathery rustling and a tremendous howling of strange winds much like the moans of a thousand Apache spirit flutes.

It was a sight that no Two-Legged had seen since The Great Mystery breathed light into the darkness.

Winter visited the inside of Estanatlehi’s endless cabin. And its gales were the mingled laughter of three spirits who had become one. But there was something odd to the laughter of Hibbs, his face-fur edged in ice.

Its sound had become as thin as butter too spread out on bread. The hawk saw his brother start to shiver uncontrollably and grew worried.

“Surt! Stop -- please. More o-our brother cannot take.”

Surt grunted. Our? Then the Source of All Fires saw the hawk was right. He swore low.

A thousand Sidhe still would not be worth the life of the brother he had just found. He stopped drawing the heat from where Hibbs was weaving on snow-covered legs.

The great bear sank heavily to his ice-crusted knees. But still he was young and filled with the silly pride of youth.

“T-Thank you, Surt, Little Brother. I was tiring -- all that laughter you know.”

The hawk eyed Surt. The head of flickering fires snorted. Hibbs was silent a moment, then his great maw spread into a sheepish grin. He flung flakes of ice from his face as he shook his head and laughed at himself.

“All right, I was becoming aware of a slight chill.”

The hawk cawed, “Slight?”

Little Brother flew to the right shoulder of Hibbs and beat on his head with a flurry of huge wings. Surt chuckled at the sight. And the sound of mingled laughter from three friends filled the enchanted cabin of The Turquoise Woman.

But outside, high in the endless depths of the night sky, the face in the moon shed silent tears.
Hibbs' portrait above comes from the genius of Susan Sheldon Boulet. Here are more of her evocative, mystic works of art. Please don't deny yourself the wonder and the awe that will come from viewing her paintings :


  1. Hi Roland, you've put Hibbs to good use for this blogfest. As always, beautiful, 'the face in the oon shed silent tears.' Hmm.


  2. Hibbs is getting tired -- what with all the work I'm putting him through.

    Yes, The Turquoise Woman is crying silent tears because in saving Leandra's life, Hibbs may well have guaranteed his own death.

    Have a great weekend, Roland

  3. This is one of my favorite passages from Bear With Two Shadows.

    And not just because it shows Hibbs using his magic. Its the committment of all three. The focus of this healing was on the abilities of the participants, and adjustments had to be made to take into account the nature of the Sidhe. While reading this passage, my contemporary world was suspended. I was completely drawn into the world as reported by Hibbs.

    A true accounting of magic, wonderment, and the total suspension of a reader's beliefs. This scene works because every person involved believes in their abilities, and the worth of the task.

    Loved the video. There was one, about 3 pics in, that looked like a snow angel. Yes, I watched the entire video, and a lot of the pictures were beautiful; but that one spoke to me. It was somehow more ethereal than the rest.

    And I'm sticking my foot in my mouth. Nice blending of the two blogfests Roland.


  4. This is my first time reading about your characters. Hibbs sounds delightful. Good job portraying his youthful wonderment.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beautiful passage. I felt as though I were sitting by a fire listening to a story being told. Hibbs and crew are marvelous, unforgettable characters.

  6. This is also my first time reading a passage from The Bear With Two Shadows. I really enjoyed it. While I don't read enough of your writing, I've been able to read beautiful writing. I hope you can find a traditional publisher some day to assist you.

  7. Thanks for sharing. This was a wonderful introduction to Hibbs for me. You painted the scene very well.

  8. Pure beauty, Roland. I was there with them, feeling the chill, the laughter. Your writing and storytelling draw the reader magnificently.

  9. Wonderful excerpt for both categories, Roland. I love seeing Hibbs and as always, your ending line is beautiful and sad.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  10. Wonderful magic. Making snow fall...absolutely beautiful!

    Thank you so much for sharing the magic with us for this blogfest of ours!

    Don't forget to tune in on March 30th for the list of finalists ; )


  11. Thanks so much, Donna. Your words made my morning. This, too, is one of my favorite scenes in the novel. It is so clear and crisp in my mind is more like memory than imagination.

    And wasn't that video and Ms. Boulet's art amazing. No foot in the mouth to me. I'll have to watch the video again to spot your favorite picture.

    Natasha : I'm glad you liked my sculpting of his young wonder and pride. Good to see you back.

    Melissa : The fireside style was just the feeling I was going for. Your words made me smile wide.

    Justin : I'm happy you enjoyed what you read. And I, too, hope that I can somehow find a traditional publisher to give Hibbs and company a physical home.

    Mary : I'm glad I could do Hibbs' magic justice. Come again.

    Margo : When you're writing, you know what you feel on the inside, but you never know if you transfer the mood until someone tells you how the passage affected them. Thanks, Margo, for making me feel as if I got at least one passage right.

    Raquel : Somehow beauty and laughter seen in the shadow of sorrow seems to stand out more -- like a campfire against the sable background of the night. Have a great weekend, Roland

  12. Excellent post, I loved this scene. I love those pictures too. Good news, my daughter bought a kindle. My book was first and she just downloaded yours. As soon as I can, I will snatch it away with my Hibbs' claws and read.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  13. Tessa : Making it snow at my command was always a childhood's fantasy. Hibbs and his "brothers" made it happen for me.

    I will visit March 30th. But I did your marvelous blogfest to capture again the childhood sense of wonder and magic that still echoes in the distant corners of my mind and imagination. Thanks for giving me an excuse to go in search of them. Roland

  14. Nancy : Thanks for liking this, one of my favorite scenes. Your daughter will love her Kindle. I know she will love your book, and I hope she is happy with mine. May you find Hibbs' company as pleasant as Hibbs and I found yours when you interviewed us! Roland

  15. This is an intriguing piece. Wouldn't it be handy if we can get snow that way in real life? :D
    My most favorite part though is the last line. Great job!

    my entry

  16. Beautifully told, as usual. I didn't get the purpleness of it at all because it seemed so appropriate to the story. As I'm sure it's meant to, it's very Native-American-Legend.

  17. You write so beautifully, and with so much emotion. Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Another home run Roland!

    There is seriously nothing you cannot do with words. It's like a mound of clay you shape at your slightest fancy.

    I would love it if you wrote a post on your methods. That would be very informative indeed.

    Thanks for posting this.

  19. Snow to heal, that is a creative method and having part of it from one labelled fire made it even more interesting. I don't know much about purple prose but it definitely was a good entry for the nature of magic.

  20. Akoss : I always to wish snow up on command when I was a child. Thanks for liking the last line.

    Mara : I shaped the prose of this novel as if a Lakota storyteller were weaving this tale in front of a campfire to a crowd of children and adults, giving both groups something to please them. Thanks for your kind words.

    Gina : This novel was close to my heart, and I guess it shows. Thanks for the praise. It means a lot.

    T.D. : Thanks for the kind words. I wish it were true that is nothing I cannot do with words. Getting an agent's approval is certainly not one of the things I can do! LOL.

    I'm still at work, on the go as always it seems. I will see what I can do about that post for you.

    Donna Weaver : You're very kind to say so.

    Dawn : As a child, just looking at snow made me feel better. And I always try to turn expectations on their ears with my novels. I'm very happy that you enjoyed my healing snow created, in part, by the Father of All Fires.

  21. The imagery of the laughter and the snow was beautiful. And, of course, there's Hibbs.
    Honestly, given your penchant for description and lyricism, I thought if you put your mind to it to go truly over the top in purple prose, I would get lost in the words and not notice the story, but I was wrong.
    Thanks for participating. :)

  22. The art is gorgeous!

    But I must say your descriptions are stunning. Two in particular got to me.

    "Snow, light as the winds kiss, began to flutter ...."

    "The beats of his huge wings ... howling of strange of winds much like the moans of a thousand Apache spirit flutes." Fantastic comparison!

    You never cease to amaze me.

  23. Erin : I believe if the story flows from your heart, then your prose will always stay on course no matter your lyricism. Thanks for thinking me right. I was happy to participate.

    Michael : Isn't the art of Ms. Boulet amazing and intricate? You could get lost unraveling some of her images. When she died of cancer in 1999, it was a great loss to those of us who loved her art.

    Thanks for thinking my descriptions are not bad. I wanted to bring magic and my childhood friends to life for my blogger friends.

    Have a pleasant evening, everyone, I am first call, so I will take a power nap while I can, Roland

  24. Snow magic! That's a wonderful concept, and excellently executed. I've been reading some of your older posts (sorry didn't comment, hope you'll forgive me) and you've really got a uniquely poetic way of writing. I will have to see if I can get my hands (digitally speaking) on that book of yours.


  25. Thanks, Blake. I'm honored that you wanted to go back and read some of my older posts. And thanks even more for the kind words about my writing. I hope you enjoy THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS. I think you will enjoy Hibbs' adventures in the land of Eire and Avalon. Roland

  26. I'm enjoying Hibb's adventures! He does get around, doesn't he?

  27. Hibbs is the eternal wanderer, that's for sure. I enjoyed your interview with Serenity. I posted a later comment, actually a quote from Victoria Strauss, about Samhain's request for primary rights for the lifetime of an author plus 70 years. Ouch! That's a big request from an ePublisher.

  28. Beautiful Roland. Your writing always makes me feel better:) I can relate to Hibbs, I feel like an eternal wanderer too at times. Thanks for posting this.

  29. Thanks, Poetic Justice. You and I can both relate to Hibbs' eternal wanderings. Do any of us really find a port to call our own truly? Thank you for letting me feel heard. Roland

  30. Hi Roland,

    Thanks for that quote from Victoria Strauss. It'll help all the aspiring writers out there who struggle with decisions, re: epublishing and self publishing.

    And Serenity's epubbing journey comes at a good time, right on the heels of your self-pubbing.

  31. I love that the three of them worked together to save the Sidhe and that Surt found love replacing more negative emotions. Roland, your writing always touches my heart. I saved yours for last tonight.

    I look forward to having you and Hibbs on my blog. :)

    ~ that rebel, Olivia

  32. Thanks, Olivia. I am a romantic in that I believe that if given a chance, love will eventually win out over hate. I look forward to our interview on Wednesday! Roland

  33. Lovely entry! I really like your characters.

    This sentence really caught my eye: Magic breathed her whisper of hope into the darkness.

    Thanks for participating!

  34. I like those little touches in a piece--like "birth-new." It really adds to the voice. Thanks for sharing this!

  35. Lovely selection for the nature of magic AND purple prose! I really enjoyed reading it, and the vision of the snowstorm and laughter was wonderful. Thank you for brightening my morning :)