This year I converted my living room into a bigger study with three bay windows on one wall and a large window on the other wall. I can look out at the sky and the trees and have plenty of light. The stars sparkle in the evening.
Return of the Bones is about 2,067 skeletons stolen from the ghost Pueblo of Pecos and transported to Harvard in 1915. In 1998, an old shaman and his granddaughter travel in a rickety camper to pick up their family bones and rebury them at the ruins of their ancestral pueblo. On the top of my wall-length, six-shelf bookcase is a small, porcelain skeleton dressed like a lady from the 1800’s. A fancy porcelain dress from the same era is next to her on a headless dummy, just in case the skeleton wishes to dress for the evening. There is, also, a statue of Montezuma, a figure from Return of the Bones and my Land of Enchantment Trilogy.
On the top shelf is the End of the Trail Indian standing in front of a dream catcher. In one corner of my study hangs the dream catcher that is on the cover of my book and described in Return of the Bones. If I decide to nap on my white, clicker sofa, the dream catcher might spin and transport me to the Pecos Pueblo, circa 1626 when the Spanish Inquisition set up shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now that’s a scary thought. The Inquisition might accuse me of being witch. After all, there are two crystals on a table next to my desk. One crystal is turquoise blue in color and magical because the rock just appeared on a street in Santa Fe one day, winking at me to take it home.
Posters of two of my books hang on my walls, along with my Best Historical Fiction Award for Return of the Bones and my Books Into Movies Award for my Land of Enchantment Trilogy.
The is a jar marked magic on my table containing miraculous dirt from a holy-pilgrimage church in Chimayo, New Mexico. Beside the magic jar is holy water from Jerusalem. Two statues of wizards are on the top shelf of my bookcase, along with a small dragon and white, winged horse. There is a tall candle that is the trunk of a tree. The candle has a beard with eyes. When the candle is lit, wax runs from the eyes, making it appear as if the candle is crying.
On my wall hangs a picture of a white, winged horse and the words: Imagination sets us free, to be just what we want to be.
On my wall, also, hangs a ceramic with the words: Dream. Imagine. Believe.
There are four golden rocks on my table, each with a word: Imagine. Believe. Dream. Laugh.
My NASA mouse pad reads: Failure Is Not An Option.
On my table are two piedra imáns, or shape-shifting rocks that play a role in my Land of Enchantment Trilogy. One rock is small and lives in a Nashville, Tennessee shot glass with the words: Haunted Tavern Tours. His diet of iron filings covers the rock. His face shifts to a wolf when there’s a full moon. My other rock is big and concrete-gray in color with a wrinkly stone face and big lips and cheeks.
As everyone knows, writing is a solitary exercise; unless one writes with a partner. The one thing I miss from my old study is the mirrored, sliding-door closet. I used to sit across from the mirror and did not feel so lonesome with a clone of me in the mirror.
Oh well, you can’t have everything. My new study has no wall space for a mirror. Guess I’ll just have to write alone, except for when my cat Shakespeare sits on my lap, making my writing soar. Marks of kitty paws are scattered across my keyboard. Shakespeare is my secret to a great novel!
RETURN OF THE BONES has won BEST HISTORICAL FICTION for the 2013 NEW MEXICO / ARIZONA BOOK AWARDS!
A dazzling, family epic of love and forgiveness. Return of the Bones is a very special book inspired by a true story – In 1915, 2,067 skeletons were stolen from the ghost pueblo of Pecos and transported to Harvard University for medical research…In present day and across the miles, the wind carries their cries to Grandfather who hears the bones longing for home.
Hollow-Woman and Grandfather are the last of the Pecos people, but Hollow-Woman is not interested in ancient skeletons. She works at an Indian casino and is of the modern ways, while Grandfather is a shaman and values tradition. She hopes the road trip will heal their broken hearts.
Grandfather fashions a magical dream catcher to help her “see” her ancestors’ lives, and come to love the missing bones, as he does. While driving a ratty old pickup-camper, the cantankerous Grandfather and stubborn Hollow-Woman bicker from New Mexico to the Peabody Museum.
A glowing literary work, with religious undertones of the persecution of Native Americans by the Catholic Church’s Spanish Inquisition. Return of the Bones pulses with emotion. The pages are filled with the comical way Grandfather looks at the world while embracing the heartbreak and spirituality of the Native American peoples.
You may know these famous bones on which landmark studies proved that exercise prevents osteoporosis!
Did you know that President George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, dug up Geronimo’s grave and stole his skull to be used as initiation into the Skull and Bones Society at Yale?
Genre – Historical fiction
Rating – PG