/Beth Wareham interviews Gabriel Horn

To order free on amazon prime, click here on the title MOTHERLESS

Q:Rainy is a gifted child, often misunderstood, even by her teachers. Is this a common experience for a young Native American going through the American school system?

A: It has been said that they had no relationship with nature or natural beings. No relationship with the Mother. This had made them hard. It has been said of them, that they learn to think only with the head, not with the heart.

In Motherless, Rainy Peek does not surrender her Indigenous identity to an educational system designed to separate a child’s heart from the child’s mind. How many times have we heard when we have messed up; Use you head! How often have we ever heard someone say to us, Use your heart. So, yes, her resistance to the indoctrinating process is often misunderstood, but her ability to score high on tests is so valued that her presence in class, and in school, is tolerated. Her history teacher, Mr. Kline, and the school principal, Dr. Lawson, both know that, in the long run, Rainy Peek can mean recognition for him, and for the school, and recognition based on student academic achievement in public schools is all about “the bottom line”.

In Motherless, Rainy Peek grows up showing a spiritual connection with her ancestors, which includes an innate wisdom that always keeps her close to, and conscious of, the natural world; however, she also holds the special ability to retain, in her memory, what she hears, what she reads, and what she sees, everything she needs to excel academically in an American public school system which focuses on the memorization and regurgitation of information. And having both abilities is the gift. Though her innocence and her identity often suffer the assaults of a people out of balance, she remains on the path of her destiny…on the Path of Beauty.

Imagine that you live in a country you innately love in the way of the heart, like how it moves you to watch a myriad of water birds wading together in a flooded field after a storm, or the way the wind sweeps across the shore, caressing your face as you are standing alone, or the way the sound of wolves travels through the valleys past your front door, and makes you feel secure; the babbling creek that makes you feel happy; the sudden emergence of a dolphin in the bay, a manta in the curl of a breaking wave, these are the moments that reach into your heart and fill you up. And yet, your head, your mind, is very much aware of what any of these experiences has to teach you, forever reminding you of your relationship with all this life, and the right of all this life to exist. That’s Indigenous. That’s the gift.

If you don’t understand this deep felt connection to the Earth, Herself, you can’t know or understand a child with this gift. This is the way Grandpa and Rainy feel about the country in which they live called America, aware that under each step they take, for thousands of years, before it was called America, has walked generations of those who passed down to them this genetic code of ancient wisdom that has not been lost.

And that’s why children in this society are discouraged from feeling for anything outside themselves. If that code of wisdom still exists in a child, even as a tiny spark, he or she can grow up with feeling, which means that child is capable of empathy, compassion, and even love. But, then, how will such a child become an adult and participate in the desecration and the exploitation and destruction of our country in these moments of bonding in a way that is Indigenous? It’s the kind of love that only the heart can know.

And so, the intent of Western education appears always bent on putting out this spark, which from my experience teaching Indigenous children, remains in many of them still.

How many generations of Indian kids have had to sit in public school English classes and never read a story written by an Indigenous writer? How many Indian kids across the country attending public schools, have to see stereotyped images of their race and heritage burlesqued as athletic team mascots while no serious attention is ever given to their people’s literature, history, or philosophy? How many Indian kids have been forced to sit in social studies classes and never hear the teacher discuss the Indigenous social, peaceful, and governmental influences on this country, the United States of America? How many of them sit in science classrooms day after day, year after year, and never read or hear a teacher discuss the Indian people’s relationship to living things, their many agricultural, medicinal, astronomical, and mathematical achievements? And how many Native kids have suffered through American history and government classes while the teachers and textbooks expound on myths, and half-truths recreated to make Americans feel good about themselves, unable for children to learn from the past because they are not taught the past, as the history text and teacher, in most cases, gloss over, or completely ignore, the greatest acts of genocide and ecocide ever committed?

Talk about feeling alienated in your own land. It is no wonder why, “American Indian and Alaska Native students have a dropout rate twice the national average; the highest dropout rate of any United States ethnic or racial group.”

In Motherless, Rainy Peek embodies the symbiosis of heart and mind. It is the gift that enables her to have the personal power, the heart, to resist, and not absorb, the indoctrinating process of her Western education. She is an example for any girl, or boy, young woman, or young man, who can retain the information needed to achieve academic success, but using it one way or another, to help save our natural environment, and even themselves from participating in the brutality humans are inflicting, not only on the very planet on which we live, but on our Moon, and neighboring worlds.

In the end, Rainy Peek displays the power to alter the perception of the most academic of minds, a magical power emanating from the gift that manifests out of the union of heart and mind.



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Native American Writer Gabriel Horn Celebrates the Child Narrator (We’ll Miss You, Scout)


Simply click on MOTHERLESS here.

/Beth Wareham (Q) and Gabriel Horn(A)

Q: You chose a 5 year old female orphan who lived with her Grandfather to tell this tale. Why? How did their relationship make the book deeper?

A: Innocence: The state, quality, or virtue of being innocent, especially freedom from sin, moral wrong, or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil…. Freedom from guile, cunning, or deceit.

That’s why in Motherless, five year old Rainy Peek became the protagonist. She epitomized Innocence, and what happens to such innocence in a world gone Koyaanisqatsi, out of balance. As she grows up, Rainy continues to symbolize the innocence in not just what is left of humanity’s children, but the innocence of all life forms subjected to civilized man’s lack of empathy, and for reasons even Rainy must try to understand, his cruelty.

Rainy embodies innocence until it is almost entirely stolen from her. I feel all the children in the novel emanated out of simply the innocence of being born, but not all children are allowed to retain it for very long. To this end, Motherless does not cower from the causes of senseless self-centered acts, inflicted by humans of all ages that steal the innocence from our world. We know some parents can be the very ones responsible for defiling the innocence of their own children.

I think Terrance Walcott is an example of that. I mean, really, what was Terrance to his parents, especially to a stepfather who made it his responsibility to bully the kid into an image of his own narrow minded and ethnocentric adult world view? What was Terrance to his mother but something she did once to help her feel complete, but never had? What was Terrance to his father that his only act of trying to connect with his son’s admiration for this young Indian girl was to give him a Cleveland Indian’s baseball cap? Each parent destroyed Terrance, and they did it early on without shame, sometimes just out of ignorance, but not without guilt and not without pain. In turn, like history repeating itself, Terrance went on to steal the innocence of others.

Even Mr. Kline, aka the Colonel, assumes the role of innocence destroyer. He is the teacher, the one driven by a haunting past to impose his indoctrinated perspective of history on his students with the most patriotic of intentions, never even attempting to understand the motivation behind the very war that stole what was left of his own innocence. And again, as he in turn ripped away the innocence of others in war, he perpetuates the cycle with his students, and with his own son. It’s a vicious, violent cycle. I wanted Motherless to help reveal its impact on individuals and on our world.

In the scene when the pedophile man attempts to steal an innocent child from the world, who better to protect that child than the powerful wolf who was, himself, an innocent victim of soulless men?

Then there’s the lost innocence of Sadie Willis, Rainy’s best friend whose own mother would, and eventually, could not accept the responsibility of motherhood. And Sadie’s Rasta father, himself clinging to a semblance of innocence that only gets taken from him in the end as well.

Regardless of whatever happens in their youth, and the losses of innocence they must endure, these children never sacrificed their souls to a cultureless way of life hell bent on consumption and dominance. Instead, Rainy and Sadie cling to what they manage to retain of that precious innocence through defiance and resistance, and out of love for the kind souls around them.

When Rainy is eleven years old, with the guidance and encouragement of her grandfather, she steps into her vision on a magical island where she encounters, the mystical Ah-nuh. At one point, the distraught Ah-nuh reveals her anguish as she feels the love of all the non-human life around her, and the idea of what happens to them as a result of soulless human behavior.

Despite the innocence stolen away in Motherless, I wanted to show some of what it’s like, whatever the reason, for older people who raise the children of their own children, and the kinds of situations and responsibilities they assume. Not only does Grandpa find a way to balance his own life’s regrets and losses, with his caring for Rainy, but Sadie’s grandmother, in order to provide a healthy environment for her granddaughter, must learn to draw on her will that at some point in time had been lost. Both of the girls’ grandparents are dealing with health issues, and the two girls become cognizant of this, and for ways to assist them both lovingly and with dignity. With Sadie, she even assumes the role of caregiver. Rainy aware of her grandfather’s limitations, shows in more subtle ways, how children can care for their elders even as their elders care for them.

More than anything, though, I wanted to show that the love between grandparent and grandchild shared by Rainy and Grandpa is tender and precious. That such a bond does, in fact, still exist. But I needed, for those of us who do not know such love, to have the vicarious experience that I could provide in Motherless, and that maybe, knowing that it can exist, we strive to find it ourselves, to honor it, and to treasure it.

That’s the depth, and the exquisite bond between these two generations that I wanted to explore in Motherless, showing that kids can make choices if they are giving a spiritual and responsible foundation that allows them resilience. I wanted to show that wisdom can come with age, and having someone to pass that wisdom down, provides a precious purpose and sense of being that is undeniably a necessity for a peaceful and healthy society.

In the end, Rainy Peek’s story in Motherless became a lot about lost innocence and trying to understand how this world got to be the way it is, how civilized people got to be the way they are, and about the innocence that’s worth fighting to keep. And maybe seeing that the vicious cycle can be broken. It may or may not have been my intellectual choice to exemplify this innocence in Rainy. It may also not have been solely my choice in showing grandparents as valued beings who need a sense of purpose. It well may have been the choice of the story.

FREE on Kindle Prime MOTHERLESS (Click on the title to go to

Gabriel Horn Native American author, Motherless, University of South Florida, Save the Earth, Native American wisdomgabe-usf-lecture_med

Motherless, Gabriel Horn, Native American Author, Native American author

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Newly Found Short Work (Written in 1950) by Celebrated Author Ruth Sidransky


By Ruth Sidransky

I don’t remember whether I was eight or nine or ten. I might have been twelve, probably ten. I do remember that we lived in Brooklyn somewhere near the waterfront, so near that water rats were not an uncommon part of my childhood. We were poor and I was the youngest of seven, the only son.
My mother supported us all. Poppa was too old. He had given up the New World struggle when he began to gray. My mother died without a gray hair, without time for philosophy, without leisure; she died as she lived, working. She was a square woman, with short pudgy hands, jet curly hair and high Slavic cheekbones.
Every morning she’d rise two hours before the family, poke the stove in the basement, straighten up whatever mess there was from the night before, she was not famous for the order and cleanliness of her household, rush to the market, buy whatever she could with what little she had for the first meal of the day. Upon her return from the market she would rouse Poppa.
Grabbing one of her pudgy hands he always said, “Yes, mien kind, I am up.” In the space of no time we were brushed out of our beds and into our clothes that she had ready for us. Breakfast was quick. Some jam, black bread, a little tea from the huge brass samovar on the old round walnut table. And we were whooshed out of the house.
Somehow I always managed to wait for her under the steps of our ugly old house, wait until she emerged so that I could walk proudly with her to Havemayer Street. Within minutes she was out, carrying a large paper bag on one arm, and a black worn shopping bag on the other arm. Each bag was full, brimming with buttons and thimbles, needles and thread, bits and scraps of elastic for ladies bloomers, men’s armbands and what have you, bright cheap rayon ribbon and more bits and scraps at the bottom of each bag.
Our meeting each morning was a surprise. Momma never expected me to be there. I should have been on my way to school.
“Benny what are you doing here?”
I smiled.
“Hurry, you’ll be late for school.”
She would rush me along the street. I never noticed her woolen gloves with the tips of the thumb and forefinger cut out. I never noticed her heavy non-descript brown woolen stockings, her sweater sticking out of the shabby black cuff of her coat, her thick black babushka wrapped securely around her head. This was her uniform to keep out the blasting cold as she kept her vigil all day long at her Havemayer Street pushcart.
“No Benny!”
“Please Momma.”
“You cannot stand mit me. Go to school Benny, go with your friends.”
I never won. I ended up in school: fall, winter, and spring. I wonder now if I shall ever be as wise as Momma.

She would stand all day, from eight-thirty in the morning until dusk. She knew to the penny how much her supply of buttons and thimbles cost her. And each hour she could calculate her profit. At the end of the day, if it was a good day, she might have made three dollars. It was never much more than two dollars, and if the weather was especially foul seventy-five cents was all she could expect. At dusk she would rush to the market to buy food for our evening meal, hoarding just a little money for the next morning’s bread.
As much as I loved her, I had other problems, other considerations. I wanted something very much. I have never wanted anything so much since that time. Not too far from Momma’s pushcart an Arcade opened. It should have been a penny arcade, especially in those days. It wasn’t. It was a nickel arcade. Each day on my way home from school I’d pass the arcade with my nose pressed to the glass. There was no glass. I could walk in with the other boys in the class, the boys whose fathers had stores, butcher shops, egg shops, milk stores and watch their faces tickle with glee as they pressed their noses to the mock glass. My pockets were important then. I’d push my hands in as far as they would go, look down at the floor in the Arcade, shuffle my worn shoes in the sawdust and mumble some important phrases.
“Where’s your nickel Benny?”
“I got a nickel but it’s home, yeah, it’s home.”
“Gaway, I don’t believe ya.”
That was Meyer Levin, the rabbi’s son. I hated him. But I remembered what Momma always said when I complained about him.
“Be nice to him. That’s the rabbi’s child. Benny behave! Don’t say no more against him.”
Momma’s words flashed through my mind. So I didn’t punch Meyer Levin. I kicked my feet together. I didn’t say a word. I turned around and went for the exit.
“Hey Benny, don’t get sore, I was only foolin’.”
“I gotta help my mother. I’ll see you tomorrow in school.”
“Okay, but bring some nickels and we’ll come here at three o’clock.”
I kicked up the sawdust to the door and then walked out into the lightly falling snow. It was almost four, and by four thirty it would be almost dark. Momma was waiting. I couldn’t face her. My greedy conscience couldn’t either. If I did go I wouldn’t know what to say to her. I had to think up a story, a good one and not a lie. The problem was pressing. I couldn’t think. And then I heard Momma’s voice.
“Benny!” I heard the cry of anxiety in her voice.
How could I walk so fast? I had nothing to say to Momma.
“Benny, where were you? It’s almost dark. The market closes soon.”
“I’m sorry. We were playing and I forgot the time.”
“All right Benny, all right. Help me close up.”
I held up the open bag and Momma swept all her unsold merchandise into it. The other bag would remain empty. It had been a good day. I wanted to ask for a nickel, perhaps two nickels.
Momma grabbed the tattered awning she used to cover her pushcart. “It was a good day today, two dollars and seventy-nine cents. We can have meat, the first time this week. Poppa will like that. I have some kasha in the house. Onions I have to buy. We have enough bread. A little tea. Some shmaltz. Maybe even a cucumber salad. Benny, my little Benny, what would you like to eat tonight? We can buy something special for you too.”
I was only a small boy. I felt the heat of shame as it crept over my face. I never asked for the nickel.
“Nothing Momma”, I said.
“You sure my little one, I want you should have something extra.”
“Another time Momma, when you make three dollars ask me again.”
She patted my head.
I don’t remember dinner that night. I don’t remember if Poppa was pleased. I don’t remember what my sisters said. I only remember that I had a chance to get my nickel and I didn’t take it.
The days passed. I didn’t see Meyer Levin after school. I had stories ready for him. Good ones too. I never passed the Arcade. I walked two blocks out of my way to avoid it. The weekend came. Saturday Momma stayed home with all of us. On Sunday morning one of the older girls opened the pushcart for business.
Momma and Poppa dressed in their best.
“Benny come with us for a walk.”
I could never refuse Poppa: “Yes Poppa, I will get dressed fast.”
Was this a holiday? I don’t remember that either. Poppa and Momma wanted me, their only son, to walk with them. So I did. We walked through the streets of Williamsburg and Momma and Poppa nodded to all their Brooklyn neighbors. Where were we going? I wanted to move on when they stopped in front of an empty store, not too far from the brownstone where we lived on South Eighth Street.
Poppa spoke. “Well Momma, no more pushcarts for you. I rented this store, now you can sit and rest when there are no customers.”
Momma stood still. “Poppa, you are teasing.”
“You begin on December First. No more standing in the snow. The rent includes heat and electric.”
“Where did you get the money? You stole it?”
“It is money I have saved for many years. I still have more for my funeral, and some left over for yours too.”
Momma reached for Poppa’s hand and held it without another word.
Poppa said, “Benny, here’s money for you.” And he gave me two nickels.
Monday and school the next day. I had a nickel for the Arcade. The other nickel I would save, like Poppa who saved and said, “Money grows when you save it.”
Now I was ready for Meyer Levin and the Arcade. I had the nickel to spend as I wanted. I held the nickel in my hand. I turned the nickel over and over, a new shiny 1914 nickel with an Indian head on one side, and a buffalo on the other side. I walked to school with a new step, quickly.
“Hey Meyer, let’s go to the Arcade after school.”
“Sure thing. Do you have a nickel?”
“Yes, I’ll show it to you later.”
We met, three boys and me and walked to the Arcade.
“Let’s see your nickel.” I slipped it out of my pocket when we reached the curb. It fell out of my hand and down the grating, down to the sewer.


To order the work of Ruth Sidranksy, click on the titles below: REPARATIONS, a beautiful sweeping novel of post-war Europe and the two young American Jews that help the people of the sewers and forests return to the world after the Holocaust.


A Woman's Primer Cover 2-4

Click on the title A WOMAN’S PRIMER, a charming throwback to the books for young ladies that now carries advice on money, freedom, courage, and passion from this amazing 86-year-old author.

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Author Gabriel Horn Talks about His Obsession with Motherless



/Beth Wareham

I sent Native American author Gabriel Horn a Q&A about his new book MOTHERLESS. When I got back just one answer – the first – with promises to finish the questionnaire, I knew this was an interesting stand alone piece for writers writing. It is also a true picture of what drives the writer’s art: OBSESSION. We write and we rewrite. Nothing is ever over and nothing is ever finished, just like life.

Q: Why did you write and rewrite Motherless? What drove you?

A: Maybe I am crazy. That being said…

A master teacher and writer told me early on, nearly 50 years ago, There is no such thing as writing; only rewriting. And, I remember reading how Hemingway once said, he never considered himself a great writer, but a damn good rewriter. I remember reading that he rewrote the last page of For Whom the Bell Tolls forty-nine times. That’s one page! I understand how that can happen. I might’ve broken his record. I had taught this idea of rewriting to my own writing students over the years, and now I was once again, more than ever, having to walk the talk. The writing had to be my best because I knew the content of Motherless would not be one corporate publishers might want to handle from an Indigenous perspective. If I could find the words that could reach into one of their hearts…. If I could write something so moving it would have to be published….

Stories evolve like people evolve. Or they should. This story grew inside of me. I saw it in my daughter’s eyes. I felt it in my wife’s tears. It lived in my mind. It lived in my spirit. It dreamed inside of me. And I kept writing it and rewriting it to make it perfect as it is flawed.

I would wake up every day, week after week, month after month, year after year, driven to keep at it because I love the Earth. I respected my agent, Lisa Hagan, and she deserved the best I had because she believed in me; she believed in this story. I was driven because I knew there was a diversity of young and older people in the world who also loved the Earth, or had strong feelings about saving our planet from the consequences of human arrogance and greed. I had something they might want to hold. A perspective they may have forgotten and wanted to know again. Something they might need. I had this story being born of me. This story that needed to be told. I was driven because this is what I do, this is who I am. This is why I’m here.

And I would dream…. It has been said, Wisdom comes in dreams. And I would write and rewrite.

Motherless had to be good writing because of what it says, the theme itself so disturbing, and yet so profoundly wonderful. I have never talked down to young people. I have never written down to young people. I just had to find the right words. Just like in the story, Grandpa is always struggling to find the right words, and at one point when he questions himself, he hears the memory of his wife telling him that it was alright … give Rainy the words, in time she would understand them. Writing about a history that is not a good history, like genocide, and writing about this environmental holocaust in which we are presently living, created so many drafts I can’t count, all created around the loving souls of the characters, though, and for the loving souls of its future readers. This kind of writing, and rewriting, is not for the faint of heart.

I shared drafts of Motherless with friends I’ve had for many years who I could trust to give honest feedback. Some were teachers and teachers of teachers, and a few writers themselves, and most of them had grandkids and they would read with them Motherless. And I would revise, or write, sometimes just based on one little word they would say. A daughter of a friend who read a draft of Motherless sent me a clay turtle she had made in school and a drawing she had done about the book to help me along the way. I kept those by my computer as I revised and wrote. Revised and wrote. Wrote and revised. I listened to what she said when she told her dad about the story, especially about other kids, and Mr. Kline, and about school. He’s got that right, she said. Another grandchild said to her grandmother, I like the writing. Man, I needed those affirmations.

Don’t they always say that publishing is about timing? Timing. Motherless will be published when it’s ready…. Be patient. I would hear these whispers out of the Mystery. When the timing is right…. And so, I used the time to revise and write, and write and revise.

And after years of revising Motherless, you, Beth Wareham, got my best. And then you, with your extraordinary sense of things, feel for story, gave me the suggestions I needed and the reasons why I needed to make some cuts. Tighten it up. Keep it moving! Get this baby turtle ready to hatch! I understood you. You were awesome.

I had completed the final revision. Lisa half jokingly said before I let go of the final draft, I think you might have revised a thousand times.

Now Motherless is in the world and there will be no more revising.



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WHOA: amazon wants to be your editor too


/Beth Wareham

We have a tech team – the Crazy 8s – who make this a publishing company. Without them in the 21st century, there is no us. However, I draw the line – as do they – at the human/machine border when it comes to writing. We see the mind of autocorrect. We know how companies cower behind templates, never bothering to come on for the “live chat” or answer the damn question in an email. We sit on hold for hours, waiting for a clerk to send an email to a department that won’t talk to clients. Now a simple problem of their making requires us to plop down 29.99 to fix it. Every year.

We have seen the vulgar, cheesy way that the world abuses words and cry BULLSHIT. But our cries go unheard.

Amazon is now offering the unsuspecting writer an “editorial” package. In their words, they will work with you on:

Plot flow
The editor will also review for consistency in:

for $210 per each 10,000 words. You can do the math with your manuscript now. And even though they will review your consistency, the ESSENTIAL line edit will cost $160 per 10,000 words and, in amazon’s words, you will receive this:

The editor will review your manuscript using the Microsoft Word Track Changes feature and provide a line edit that corrects typos and ensures consistency in:
In addition, an editor will also provide an Editorial Letter explaining the suggested changes made in the manuscript.

Good grief. So that another $160 per 10,000 words on top of your $210 per 10,000 words and by the way, do you know how to load the thing and make changes?

And my biggest question is, if amazon is the editor, will they charge the $79 change fee for anything missed in their editing? They didn’t have a guarantee of services, just prices. And prices.

So let’s look at what amazon is going to do to YOUR novel. It’s 60,000 words so that means you’ll pay your amazon editor $1,260. Your line edit of 60,000 words at $160 will come in at $960.00.

You are now in for over $2000.00 and my only question is why would you pay machine-based editors relying on templates from the minds of engineers that kind of money when a talented editorial mind will work with you, your individuality and your art and give it the damn respect it deserves?

Whoa. I don’t want amazon to edit me. I want a grumpy person with a red pencil behind their ear, giving me hell and making me a better writer. I want a human brain to read a book for humans.

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Meet Gabriel Horn, Author of Motherless

National Native American Indian Heritage Month, Gabriel Horn, Motherless

Native American Author Professor Gabriel Horn-White Deer of Autumn

November National American Indian Heritage Month, Native American Author Gabriel Horn, Motherless

/Beth Wareham

Few books and few authors have moved me as Gabriel Horn has. His book Motherless is, as his first review that reads in part, “magnificent storytelling!” and its impact on the heart is huge. With the wisdom of our first and best caretakers of the natural world, Horn uses Native wisdom in a quest to heal the battered and bruised Earth. Read about him here. Click on the title to buy the book: MOTHERLESS

“I remember the horn necklace placed around my neck by a woman visiting with me at the time. She said, … never forget. That’s what I remember. I was a very small child then, but all through my life, I never did forget. My name bears that conviction.

“I would learn early in life that being Indian was never an intellectual choice. No matter where I found myself, or where I lived, I was Indian. No one could have taken that away. It was my heart. The men and women in black robes couldn’t take it away from me; neither could the public school systems of America. It couldn’t be ridiculed or humiliated out of me by those I felt ashamed of and those ashamed of me. It couldn’t be beaten out of me. Even now, it can’t be blood quantumed out of me. I am Indigenous to my death. As La Donna Harris once said, Blood runs the heart; the heart knows what it is.

“Years after the gift of the horn necklace, I would find my traditional uncles, Metacomet and Nippawanock. They would present me another necklace. This one consisted of Persian turquoise, beads of Indian wampum and beads of glass from Europe, deer antlers and bone from America, and a steel wire that strung everything together. As they placed the necklace they had made for me over my head so that it draped across my chest, they said, ‘Like you, dissimilar things had been fitted together to create something beautiful and whole.’”

His legal name is Gabriel Horn. His Native American name in English is White Deer of Autumn. He has authored books for children and adults using both names.

Gabriel Horn, White Deer of Autumn, is a member of the family of Princess Red Wing, Metacomet, and Nippawanock of the Narragansett Tribe/Wampanoag Nation. He is an award-winning writer and teacher. He is also a nationally recognized lecturer on writing and on Native American philosophy and its intricate connection to the rights of traditional indigenous peoples, animals, and the welfare of the natural environment.

TO visit the MOTHERLESS page on, click on the title.

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Visit Gabriel Horn @


An oil covered pelican sits stuck in thick beached oil at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay, just off the Gulf of Mexico in Plaquemines Parish, La., Saturday, June 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

An oil covered pelican sits stuck in thick beached oil at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay, just off the Gulf of Mexico in Plaquemines Parish, La., Saturday, June 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


/Beth Wareham

For 87 days, crude oil bled into the Gulf of Mexico, each drop feeling like the poisoned blood of a huge beast come to destroy one of the most beautiful – and useful – ecosystems in America. The results – dead wildlife, destroyed breeding grounds, petroleum packed sediment on the ocean floor – the true depth and breath of the horror will not be known for decades.

And there it was, everyday, the oil bleeding into the ocean. We watched on CNN powerlessly. We watched on CNN with horror. For 87 days. In no world is a tank of gasoline worth what was done to the life of the Gulf. America was traumatized. And what did it do to the children?

Now, for the Young Adult in your life, MOTHERLESS by Native American novelist Gabriel Horn, has created a beautiful tale of loss and the hope now available on amazon for teens, ‘tweens, and really smart kids in your life. (Click on the title to go to the amazon page.)

In Motherless, young Native American Rainy Peak grows up on the pristine shores of Florida with her Grandfather, her parents having died in a car crash years ago. As she struggles with making her way through school with both bullies and friends, she learns what it means to be Indigenous and feels the bleeding of the Gulf as if it is part of her own flesh. Magic realism takes her into the ocean where the creatures speak of their trauma in the crude oil apocalypse in a scene that will haunt both young and older reader for years.

In this cauldron of lost parents and the bleeding Earth, the Mother of each of us, Rainy’s heart and mind are forged into that of protector. She understands how everything fits together and when a creature falls, we all fall. She will go to college and become a marine biologist. She will dedicate all that she is to saving the Mother. And in the process, we will all learn about grace, love, honor and the need to be whole.

FREE ON KINDLE PRIME, DOWNLOAD IT FOR YOUR FAVORITE TEEN. MOTHERLESS If you don’t have Kindle Prime, it’s the best few bucks you’ve spent on your child in your life.

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/Beth Wareham

Of course I’m prejudiced: I have a digital publishing/tech company with a very old-fashioned business model: For one agreed-upon fee, a client receives every service he or she needs to make an ebook and paperback. We build the electronic presence around the book it needs to succeed. We are also responsible for every word in the books. In perpetuity. We’ve done the editing and proofing and have the tech experts to go in and make every change. In perpetuity.

Now, let’s paddle on over to amazon and see how they are handling the explosion in independent publishing. Looks kind of like ducks nibbling for bugs in the grass. For $199, you can pick from one of any ten interior designs for your book. You plunk your beloved manuscript in the template you choose and BAM!, any change you make will cost $79 per change.

If you want something a big jazzier, there is a template level of ten designs for $349 with 10 interior images. More photos – up to 30 on this template – will cost $25.00 per photo for each addition picture. The math on that one is easy.

There are charges for formatting author-supplied indexes, an adjustment to a template, conversion from Createspace to Kindle, a cover design package with one choice and and one change, and a higher package that supplies the writer with two concepts and two changes for not cost. Any more changes to the cover revert the the $79.00 a change charge, I assume.

My goodness. Was the internet merely a way to hasten the death I always felt awaited me when I worked in corporations – that of being bitten to death by ducks? This time, the nibbles are small costs that end up in one big pile of duck poo on your dock and a book that looks like hundreds of thousands of others.

The most shocking part of all this is that I’ve worked in publishing for 25 years and HAVE NEVER seen a manuscript completely error-free, no matter how many eyes ogled it. (Even The Great Gatsby suffered a typo in that first printing: Find one and you win the lotto.)

So I wonder, if I have 18 changes in a book I’ve worked on for years, in amazon’s world, I have to pay over $1,400 to have my book corrected?

More duck poo. I say that you can’t parse this kind of an artistic endeavor down in that fashion, and, as much as I love amazon, these “change fees” might have writers choosing between putting dinner on the table and making their work finer.

That is one crappy choice. Do yourself a favor: find a team to help you publish and you stay on your keyboard, making more art. It’s cheaper in the long run and you won’t have that icky “bitten to death by ducks” feeling.

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BLEEDING BLACK: A Lakota Novelist Confronts the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Artwork by Carises Horn

Bleeding Black
by Amy Krout-Horn

The first time my feet touched the sugary sand of Passagrille Beach, Florida and I felt the tide, warm as bath water, rushing in as if to hold me, I wept. Her beauty, power, and magic, opened, and then filled me, and though I arrived, born from a people whose Lakota ancestral lands ride upon the center of the Great Turtle’s back, I felt welcomed home. She greeted me as if we had always known one another, and as the sun touched the horizon, I laid my hands upon the water and said, “Mother.”

Since that sunset, a decade ago, I have rarely traveled from my home near the Gulf of Mexico. Only a few days each year, I return north to visit family. The Land of Flowers holds me under its sultry spell and when away from the ocean, I long for her. I go to her in ceremony, celebration, and sorrow. Lying on the sand, listening, my soul always finds what it is searching for, in her song of wind, waves, and rustling sea grass.

There, I have met many relatives: a gull I call “Tokaa” because he always arrives first, asking if I’ve brought bread crusts, the pair of crows that land soon after, conchs crawling along the sand bars, sting rays flying graceful as butterflies, myriad fish, the small ones schooling around me as pelicans glide above the sun-shafted shallow water. And, at the base of the dunes, a sea turtle’s nest symbolizes the continuation of her nation. They all bring their lessons; even the forceful bump I once received from a shark continues to remind me that respect must accompany love. Nowhere else have I found such a strong feeling of mitaku oyasin, the sacrosanct connection existent between all living things. Nowhere else have I been more certain of my place within the sacred hoop. Nowhere else have I experienced a more comforting embrace with our mother, the Earth.

But now, she bleeds.

The Earth, mother to all, bleeds from a wound thaty her human children have inflicted. Those of us, who feel her suffering, struggle against the blackness spilling into our souls, the blackness that threatens all light, all life. As the death toll rises for the birds, the dolphins, the turtles, and the countless uncounted casualties, my heart aches, and I wonder if something in me is dying, too. Our killer, a civilization founded upon greed and gluttony deceptively deemed “prosperity.”

The systematic plunder callously called “progress,” has taken our planetary parent to her brink. Will the toxic tar balls and oily filth wake America up from its dream? Will our collective eyes snap open; to the realization that the nationalistic dream we are all supposed to strive for, is just a cleverly marketed nightmare? But these questions find their answers in the indignant politicians who yell “foul” at the mere suggestion of a moratorium on deep water drilling, and the US courts agree. Wouldn’t want to stop bleeding her dry, even for a moment, would we? America wouldn’t want to take steps towards signing into a clean energy methadone clinic and off the black tar fossil fuels, would it? Of course not.

In this “green frog skin world,” as Lame Deer called it, economics always trump ecosystems, blue chips trump blue waters, sleep walking trumps clear thinking, and only those who still know Earth as mother, foresee the fate that this kind of greed-based denial tempts. For those of us whose hearts still beat with the pulse of the universe, whose memories have not forgotten our Original Instruction, and who watch the prophecies unfolding, there exists a great need to link the power of our spirits and send our strongest medicine prayers to Wakan Tanka, the Great Holy Mystery. The white buffalo calves emerge from the womb. Unktehila, the water monster, rises from her long slumber. Our ancient fathers, the star relatives watch closely. Little time remains for those who have forgotten how to live within the circle, to relearn the lost wisdom.

On the eighty-fifth day, the scientists and engineers finally stumble upon the bandage that halts the bleeding, and the media analyze the situation using all the ugly lingo indicative of the oil drilling business: top kill, bottom kill, junk shot, blow out, and crude. Even as hope and thankfulness illuminate my mind, another thought shadows the cautious optimism, a thought that history predicts as painfully plausible. Big oil will snatch this shaky-at-best, leak stoppage method, and run with it, proclaiming it justifiable evidence to prolong the rape of our mother. The oxygen- robbed dead zone, produced by BP’s chemical dispersants, will merge with the long existent one formed from agricultural fertilizer run-off that flows from the Mississippi River each year, and the macabre dance will continue.

For now, the bone white sand of Passagrille remains white, the water turquoise, and the sea oats, golden. I go there often for the indigenous kind of Holy Communion. Yesterday, as I walked into the surf and felt all the life forces surging around, through, and within me, a shark appeared. Unlike his before-mentioned, larger cousin, the smaller creature (the length of a man’s arm) didn’t bump me, but swam quite near, and for a moment, stared knowingly. Again, the idea of love and respect, its crucial complement, came to mind, along with a recent news image. The journalist’s voice announcing that Louisiana had reopened coastal waters for sport fishing hadn’t drowned out the laughter, as the camera captured the men smiling, pulling fish from the water and tossing the struggling creatures onto the deck. Do those men love the Gulf of Mexico? Do they respect it? Would their “love” wane, if they were no longer allowed to take whatever they want from it? What CAN participants of an all-you-can-eat, bigger is better, super-sized society say about their behavior? What NEEDS to be said? Earth screams the answer, humanity MUST echo, “Enough.”

Amy Krout-Horn, Lakota, worked as the first blind teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota’s American Indian Studies program. Krout-Horn is a regular contributor to Slate and Style magazine and, in 2008, was awarded their top fiction prize for War Pony. She, with the contributions of her life partner, Gabriel Horn, co-authored the novella, Transcendence (All Things That Matter Press, 2009). She resides in Florida. For more information, visit her web site at
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