Guest Blogger: Vonna Harper
Vonna's winner is: Jeanette8042! Congratulations! Send me your contact information and I'll pass it along to Vonna. Thanks to everyone who participated.
They stayed there throughout a long, cruel winter, but the estimated sixty warriors were no match for several thousand soldiers. In the end, Modoc men, women, and children were shipped to Oklahoma. On Oct. 3, 1873, Kientpoos and two others were executed.
With me on this day are three dear friends, all writers. Because we each have our own reasons for exploring the monument, we go our own ways. I head up the trail the Modocs took from their stronghold to nearby Tule Lake. Surrounded by wind and birds and watched by lizards, I try to walk in the Modocs' moccasins. What was it like for a man desperate to feed his family? How did mothers keep their children quiet and warm in those dark places beneath the ground? What were their prayers, their hopes and fears?
Suddenly I know I'm no longer alone. Looking up further along the trail to the outcropping where Modoc scouts watched for signs of attack, I see a man. He wears his black hair in a bowl cut under a small-brimed hat with an eagle feather in it. A ragged wool blanket is over his shoulders, and he carries a rifle.
This can't be! I've seen drawings and photographs of Modocs during the war. My imagination has the best of me. With my heart pounding, I continue up the steep, rocky slope. The Modoc waits for me, looking tired and wary. Then the sun escapes from the cloud that had been over it, and I see tears in the warrior's eyes.
Seconds later he's gone.
Both as Vonna Harper and under my real name, I've been writing about Native Americans for many years. My experience at the Lava Beds isn't unique. I've seen Seminole warriors in the Florida Everglades and an old Chumash woman kneeling in the Indian graveyard at a California mission.
How can I not write about Native Americans and their spiritual beliefs? What choice do I have but to explore the depths of a people's oneness with all things nature?
While Jola, my heroine in Falcon's Captive isn't Native American, she is a shape-shifter. The roots of who she is comes from Native American roots.
I believe the opening is an example: "The wind screamed, prompting the female Falcon Jola to pull her wings more tightly against her compact body and increase her speed. Alive as only a newly mature predator can be, she dove for the ground at over two hundred miles per hour. Tiny, bony tubercles in her nostrils slowed the rush of air into her lungs while her protective third eyelids lubricated her eyes and kept her vision keen."
And because I write erotica, as a Just Erotic Romance Review reported, "The sex is fabulous, inventive, and orgasmic."