I began the Legend of Sparrow in a creative writing class several years ago. There were a dozen of us in the class, but only a small core of five who actually took the class to learn. The others were there to be entertained, get credits.
The first day of class the ones who were there to pass the time began to act up and a few of us shut it down by offering to read what we were writing. That set the tone for the entire semester and they were good and well behaved after that.
What I decided to share in that brief instance of bravery was a short-short story about a man having these odd dreams. He would wake up and find himself in a familiar place, yet no matter how hard he tried to find his way to home from there, although it should have been easy he could not.
That short story came from dreams I had had for years. I would find myself in a factory or train station, bus station, park: The place didn’t matter so much except it was always known to me. I knew that home and safety were a short way away. I could almost see it from where I stood, I could see the path worked out in my head. All I had to do was move my feet in the right direction and I would be set upon the right course. I could never do that though. For some reason I would turn the other way or someone would interrupt me and by the time I turned back everything had changed and I was lost.
I had written the short-short story based on that. Since we had both volunteered we were on the chopping block. Every day after that we would be reading updates to the stories we were writing. The other guy was writing a crime story; very complicated, people double crossed over and over again. One of those stories where you had to ask for clarity. And of course that was his offering while mine was this weird dream book where everything happens out of sequence and nothing made sense at first. Even so the class listened and eventually got into both stories and it seemed like the semester burned up it moved so fast.
About ten years back I found those stories and made them into a novel. I sat down one day with the stories, about 6000 words and a week later I was edging out a 100 k novel. I finished it at 125 thousand words and jumped into a sequel immediately. That sequel is still sitting in a composition notebook, two actually and I hope some day to write it into the word processor.
That is how I wrote back then. I wrote in composition notebooks. Even now I have composition notebooks and some days it is all I can do to stop myself from jumping into a story line and writing it out in one. That is because I wrote something like 30 novels that way.
I guess my point is you take them as they come. I started this novel as a Little dream sequence of my own and it became a book that is centered in the dream worlds of two Native American people…
The Legend of Sparrow: Laura must travel the trail of death to reach the city of the dead and free Sparrow Spirit…
THE LEGEND OF SPARROW
I had come back to spend time with Laura. I could not tell her my real reasons. That I was afraid of leading the Dream Killer to her. Or I was not sure even whether I was coming back in the end, so I had wanted to see her one more time. She asked me…
“Benjamin told me the legends first…….”
“In the beginning the Creator made a way to the peoples that will always be open. First Woman, The Clan Totems, the Star People, were all able to communicate, and they are still able now, up to this day and beyond, until your days cease you will have a pathway to that knowledge. A way to reach all that is possible. You hold the keys to all that is within yourself. We all do…”
“This is how the Creator came to make that way open for us, Benjamin told me.”
Laura nodded, curled her feet under herself and settled in to listen.
“We were in a sweat lodge at the time. One Benjamin had built with the help of my Uncles and Cousins. So many used it though that we had to check first to see if it could be used.”
“The Owl Woman’s Society uses it,” he told me. “That meant nothing to me. At least nothing concrete. I had known my mother belonged to the Owl Woman’s Society. I didn’t know what they did: Where they met. What they decided. How important they were to each other, to us, to the well being of our people.”
“We settled into the sweat lodge and Benjamin began to tell me the legend of the Dreamer’s Way… What came to be known as the legend of the Sparrow…”