Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lyrical Research

"It’s slightly reminiscent of Clan of the Cave Bear, but more lyrical and with all the boring parts removed to showcase the love story."
That is part of a review written by Bethany at Cloudy with a Chance of Books about the first book, Spirit of the Mountain, of what I call the spirit trilogy. (
She understood the lyricalness(is that a word?) I strived to show in the first book, which was set before the Whiteman entered their lives. The following two book had the same feel when in the Native American’s Point of view, but was as lyrical all the way through like the first. My spirit trilogy is set among the Nez Perce Indians of NE Oregon. My editor at The Wild Rose Press understood the lyrical writing and worried the reviewers might not. So far they have all understood and like the Native American cadence I gave the trilogy.
How I worked toward getting the cadence of the Native American speech and thoughts in my books came from two mediums. One, I listened to Native American music as I wrote. Some had lyrics and some were instrumental—drums and flutes. Two, I read books like Tales of the Nez Perce by Donald M. Hines not only using the tales to add flavor to my stories but to also get a feel for Native American word usage.
The books I relied heaviest on were Yellow Wolf: His Own Story by L.V McWhorter. In this book Yellow Wolf a member of Chief Joseph's band and who was on the flight to Canada told L.V. McWhorter the details up to and during the chase. His wording and thoughts were put down by an interpreter and still show the cadence of how they talked before being influenced by English.
The other book was That All People May Be One People, Send Rain to Wash the Face of the Earth by Chief Joseph.  Just the title shows you the cadence and thought process of this eloquent Native American. The stories in this book are from interviews Chief Joseph gave reporters in 1879 in Washington DC while there trying to persuade the leaders to let his followers return to their beloved homeland.
Do you enjoy reading books that capture the flavor and essence of characters?
Here is the blurb and an excerpt from Spirit of the Mountain:
Wren, the daughter of a Nimiipuu chief, has been fated to save her people ever since her vision quest. When a warrior from the enemy Blackleg tribe asks for her hand in marriage to bring peace between the tribes, her world is torn apart.

Himiin is the spirit of the mountain, custodian to all creatures including the Nimiipuu. As a white wolf he listens to Wren’s secret fears and loses his heart to the mortal maiden. Respecting her people’s beliefs, he cannot prevent her leaving the mountain with the Blackleg warrior.

When an evil spirit threatens Wren’s life, Himiin must leave the mountain to save her. But to leave the mountain means he’ll turn to smoke…

Wren’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. “My gift is to save The People. The weyekin who came to me in my vision quest said this.” She wrapped her arms around herself as if staving off a cold breeze.
Himiin hated that they argued when they should relish their time together. He moved to her, drawing her against his chest, embracing her. The shape of her body molded to his. Her curves pressed against him. Holding her this way flamed the need he’d tried to suppress.
He placed a hand under her chin, raising her face to his. The sorrow in her eyes tugged at his conscience. To make her leaving any harder was wrong. But having experienced her in his arms, he was grieved to let her go. Even for the sake of their people.
Her eyelids fluttered closed. Her pulse quickened under his fingers. Shrugging off the consequences, he lowered his lips to hers. They were softer than he imagined. Her breath hitched as he touched her intimately. Parting his lips, he touched her with his tongue, wanting to see if she tasted as sweet as she smelled.
She tasted of sweet honey straight from the bosom of a bee tree.
One taste was not enough. He pulled her closer, moving his lips across hers, tasting and savoring the feel of them.
Her mouth opened and she sighed.
 His body came to life. The sensations transcended anything he’d experienced before. How could one woman make him feel powerful and vulnerable at the same time? Why did he wish to crush her to him and never let go and yet feel compelled to treat her with the tenderness
one would give the tiniest of creatures? He couldn’t continue this way.
To hold her, to touch her soft skin. He would never be able to let her go.
He must.
He released Wren and stepped back, avoiding her eyes. How could he show her the sensations she brought to him then turn around and tell her they couldn’t see one another any more?
“Himiin? Did I do something wrong?” The pain in her voice drew his gaze to her face.
The anguish and fear in her eyes cut through him like a knife.
“You did nothing wrong. It is I. I should not touch you so. It is wrong.” He took one step forward, before remembering he could not touch her and remain sane. “You are spoken for. We should not be together.”
She moved quickly, grasping his hand before he could pull away. “I could not bear to not have you to speak with these last days.” She stroked his hand. “Or to touch.” She placed his hand on her cheek. “I may never feel this touch from the Blackleg.” She kissed his palm. “I wish to have this to remember.”
He growled and pulled her into his arms. “I wish I were the one to touch you so, but I cannot. It is wrong.”
“Why?” She leaned back, studying his face. “I should be the one to say if it is wrong or not. It is my heart, my body. My life.”
“You belong to another. He has spoken.” Himiin released her and took a step back. He should not have shown himself to her as a man. Wewukiye was right.
It complicated things.
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Meg said...

Interesting conflict, Paty! Love the photos.

Meg said...

I meant the cover! LOL - not enough coffee today.

Paty Jager said...

LOL- Thanks Meg!

Lyn Horner said...

Paty, what a delicious excerpt! Makes me want to re-read the book. Your writing truly is lyrical.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Lyn, Thank you! That's nice of you to say.