Friday, June 21, 2019

The Pow Wow

Has an event in your life, or one of someone you know, or one covered in
the news, ever worked its way into one of your stories?

I work my vacations (Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Florida, Burning Man) into my writing, in fact they have inspired most of my books.  But they are the setting, and the heroine and characters in my novels are not me nor even like me, although when  am writing the book, in my head I become each chacter,

My current WIP (Work in Process) is set in a South Central Kansas Mennonite community in 1953 and present time.  My mother's family came from the time and one side of the family were Mennonites. I spent a summer there as a young teen, along with many other visits, so the summer I spent iinforms the book, and I am close to the characters, but this is a murder mystery, and there was no murder.  So not really an event in my life. The place is real, a few of the characters are derived from real people, but most of the novel comes out of my head,

An  event in my life is depicted in a long short story, unfinished and. unpublished,called, "The Pow Wow. " It is autobiographical. Said Pow Wow was in Flagstaff, Arizona.

I was a young teen traveling on a summer business trip with my Dad.  While we were there, two planes collided over the Grand Canyon, a terrible, riveting event that  still remember vividly.  The helicopters flew over the town 24/7, and for the first time, I heard the words "body bags.
"Mid-Air Collision. over Grand Canyon

And the Pow Wow, with so many Native American tribes coming together in a huge encampment, was a place of wonder.  Meat hanging in the trees, more silver and turquoise jewelry for sale that one could ever imagine, a rodeo, dancing, chanting, a parade through town overwhelmed a young girl's senses.  Some crazy stuff happened, and that is where I stopped writing, because for the sake of the story it was necessary to exaggerate some events, and other events were. still troubling.  I began to wonder if the story was somehow even racist.  So long ago. So much water over the dam. One day I will finish it.  When I am feeling braver.  And I won't write about real events ever again.
Because they are too . . . real.

Here are some other bloggers who are sure to have a good take on today's topic:

Victoria Chatham
Skye Taylor
J Dr. Bob Rich
Beverley Bateman
Margaret Fieland
Anne Stenhouse
A.J. Maguire
Diane Bator
Fiona McGier
Rhobin L Courtright


  1. I cannot imagine seeing what you saw at the Grand Canyon! But I envy your experiences at the pow wow. Settings based on experience offer not only a realistic place, but also let the reader visit there. Interesting post!

  2. The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list so I am envious. I've only ever seen it from 32000 feet and even from that high it is am amazing sight. You've had some neat experiences to use.

  3. Hi Judy, That all seems really exotic to me. I found your comment that you wouldn't do mre autobiography really interesting. sometimes remembering the facts can be truly disturbing. Anne

  4. Interesting post, especially the Pow Wow. Great description.


Your comments are always welcome!