Monday, 14 March 2011

Whispering Spirit

For as long as I can remember, I have always sided with the Native American Indians whenever I've watched a Western film. I loved their names, their life-style, their jewellery, their beauty and the wide open plains where they lived. They appeared to be humble, artistic, sensitive people, whose only wish was to be left alone by the white people.

The cowboys always seemed so clumsy and loud. They fought unfairly with guns, always shone with sweat and spat tobacco. Even Clint Eastwood and Kevin Cotsner didn't cut it for me.

I was delighted when my writing group set a competition with the theme Standing Proud. Some may think of brave soldiers or unlikely people accomplishing something worthy. To me, it conjured up an Native American Indian's name.

And so a little ten year old girl named Standing Proud, became the focus of my competition story. I only had 1500 words to play with, so my short story had to deal with - and overcome a problem, within a limited number of words.

I've attached a link if you'd like to read my story. Just click on the link, then on the title, Whispering Spirits. (It's fairly small pale type) I haven't handed my entry in as yet, but as far as I'm aware, non of my fellow writers' group members, use twitter.


  1. I loved the story, Ange. I walked the jouney with Standing Proud, through your emotive descriptions. The very best of luck in the competition.

  2. That's a beautiful peice of writing and has made me feel all calm and happy at the start of the day. Thank you Ange!

  3. I love this story, thanks for sharing it :-)

  4. Thank you so much Claire, Janice, Adam. It means so much to have fellow writers enjoy reading it. X

  5. I was always on the Indians' side too! I really love your story - the descriptions are beautiful and the little girl is a lovely character. Good luck with it.

  6. Thank you for popping by and taking the time to leave a comment Rosemary. I really appreciate it : )

  7. You are probably going to hate me....
    I liked the story as a whole but a couple of things stuck out. You used the word ebony at one point to describe the little girl's skin. Most NA's have skin that is darker than a white person's but not that dark. Also, until the establishment of white settlers and traders, most teepees were made of skins, not canvas.
    I'd never be as brave as you in writing a story about Injuns because I'd tie myself up in knots over research, as I have a lot of NA friends, from many different tribes and so am very conscious of different beliefs systems about burials, etc. as well as dress, customs and so on.
    That said, it was a moving story and I enjoyed the fact that she made peace with her own fears.
    (there was one tiny typo too, top instead of to)
    Hope it wins,

  8. Hi Viv,
    You're funny! Why would I hate you? Isn't positive criticism what it's all about?
    I had noticed the typo, but as it was a pdf, I couldn't change it very easily. I did do some research, infact a day of reading books I own and hunting on the internet. I take your point about the skins instead of canvass. I shall change that on my original story. Re the burials, you're right, they buried their dead in many different ways. Everything from lying bodies on scaffolding, cremating, burial, placing the bodies in shelters and even leaving out for the animals to eat! I felt that burial was easier for a ten year old to deal with.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and make suggestions.
    Ange xx

  9. I loved reading this sweet, gentle story of an enchanting child. The writing is beautifully poetic in a way I expect Native American Indian languages to be, (or perhaps I am just thinking of Hiawatha!). Very well written!

  10. Ange, I tread carefully in case karma ever comes and bites me on the bum and someone is less than sensitive about something of mine. Though in retrospect someone who had (she thought) cause to hate me could find nothing wrong with one novel beyond the fact that there were a few typos(in 105k words, you expect a few until proofread several times) and there were two characters with names she felt were too similar (and may I say that someone who cannot keep a Paul and a Phil separate in her mind is surely never going to cope with say, War and Peace)
    I am also someone who will only do research into finite subjects, ie, I can find out enough in a few days and seldom tackle anything more serious. I'd never tackle a historical novel unless it was a period I was already well grounded in, (say Roman Britain), and never any techno thriller. I'm too afraid of getting things hopelessly wrong and being jeered at. I have an older brother who was never kind about my writing.
    glad none of my comments were offensive.

  11. To Sueperflous, thank you for your lovely comment. I've read your blog but can't find where to 'follow' you. Also your twitter link didn't take me to your twitter page. So, thank you, but who are you? I'd love to connect! : )

    No offence taken Viv, just valid points taken! X

  12. While since you peaked the cat's interest today
    I thought I'd come by your way
    Just to say hey
    But wow I must say
    I nice little diddy you wrote
    So I give it my vote
    I have no valid points to give though
    Like your other comment foe
    As I'm not all that nitpicky
    After all I rhyme isn't that just icky
    Oh damn I insulted myself
    Maybe I'm part elf
    But your story was well done
    And now I'm done with my fun

  13. Why thank you for your poem, Pat
    I laughed so much I almost spat.
    I'm glad you liked Standing Proud
    But I don't think it'll draw a crowd.
    Just some fun with pen and ink
    Time for a cup of tea, I think!

  14. (goes out of rhyme for a sec)
    Pssst if you want so more readers of Standing Proud I can add it to the Facticles under a new creative section if you'd like at it's free and 40,000+ monthly visitors could see it.

    (goes back to rhyme)

    Just make sure you don't spat in your tea
    That be backwash and nasty
    Of course if you drink it back up
    In your nifty little cup
    Then it wouldn't be so bad
    Aren't my rhymes rad
    Happy they make you glad
    Now I run off happy not mad

  15. Hello, I'm from Brazil and i have a huge spiritual conection with american indians...i would like to know who painted the image of the little girl.