Permanent in Ink
My breath hitches when the sleeve of his hoodie sags and gives me a clear look at his inked hand and wrist. Or what seems left of them. A snake’s black and blue, forked tongue licks his middle finger and wraps around it to his black painted nail. The head of the viper is tattooed over and around his hand, the mouth wide open, fangs curved over the knuckles of his index and ring finger. A rush of adrenaline tingles through my body. I lower my voice to a hushed, awed whisper. “What the hell is that?”
He blinks and gives me a slight and confused shake of his head. Then his eyes light up. He unzips the hoodie. “The ink?” He sheds the sweatshirt and reveals his arm. “A family thing.”
A deep inhale quiets my racing heartbeat, but only a little. I gape at what doesn’t even look like an arm anymore, at what looks like a fucking rattle snake growing out of his shoulder. A rattler that ate his arm.
He flexes his biceps, the viper slithering along with the movement of his muscles.
© 2013 Mina Witteman
De wraak van Deedee on iTunes
De wraak van Deedee, the Dutch e-version of Deedee’s Revenge is now available in the iTunes store.
Happy to announce the Dutch e-version of my debut ‘De wraak van Deedee’.
Now available at Smashwords
Soon available at iTunes – Kobo – Amazon and more, too!
Tobadzischini and Nayenezgani, the Twin Warriors
Without this rock there would be no first book in the Warriors of the Sun series.
We so often base our knowledge on the journeys of Odysseus, we pull strength from the adventures of Thor and wisdom from the musings of Vishnu, but we rarely quench our thirst with the wealth of stories that spring from the first peoples of North America. When I searched Dutch libraries, I couldn’t find a single book that showed Dutch children the true cultures of the United States and Canada. It urged me to write the Warrior Of the Sun series.
Research for the series brought me to the lands and tribes of North America. I wandered the desert and the mountains in search of Thunderbird and Coyote. My Diné guide in the Navajo Nation took me to sacred places like Tséyi, the Canyon De Chelly. We were hiking down into the canyon when out of nowhere the darkest shadow fell over us, as if Thunderbird blackened the skies with his gigantic wings. With each wingbeat a thunderclap roared through the canyon, ricocheting off the cliff walls. A heavy rain flash flooded the canyon and chased us to higher grounds. Seeking shelter in a narrow cave, my guide told me the story of the Twin Warriors and their quest for their father, the Sun Spirit.
Only days later, I found myself sitting on a dusty red rock near Bluff in Utah, staring at the Twin Warriors. I knew then the first book had to be about their quest.
The Warrior of the Sun series is only loosely based on original myths and legends. I have not tried to accurately retell them, just like sand paintings that are sold to the public do not depict the entire sand painting to protect the sacredness of the original. I leave that precious task to the tribes storytellers.
I started the first book with the quest of the Twin Warriors, because coming-of-age stories speak to all children and occur in all cultures. To make the myths more accessible, I have chosen to pour them into adventure survival stories; a form that also emphasizes the essential role nature plays in the original myths and legends. The Warriors Of the Sun series is written to entice non-Native American children to further explore the ways of the ancient and the rich history of the first peoples North America. I hope that one day they too will feel the presence of Thunderbird.
Daily Prompt: I Am a Rock
The Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea. I love the water and the wind. For me the sea offers endless options, like the endlessness of that vast mass of water that spreads out at your feet. Anything is possible.
My dad was an avid yachtsman and spent as much time at sea as he could. He taught us to sail before we could even ride a bike (that’s a big thing in the Netherlands!). He retired early, sold his home and his business, bought a bigger boat and took my mother on a 12-year trip, roaming the world’s seas. Every now and again, we would hop over wherever they were and sail with them for a couple of weeks.
I am currently working on an adventure novel for kids, an adventure inspired by the sea, inspired by the years of sailing, and inspired by the RTW trip my son just returned from. My protagonist is a 12-years-old boy and he sails the seven seas with his parents. Imagine what can happen. Imagine he meets the Sun Spirit. Oh no, that was another book of mine, set in another sea, a sea of sand…
Yes, the sea offers endless possibilities.
Bali Sea – Gili Islands – The Sun Spirit
Time to announce a writing workshop, my friends!
Writing for Young Adults, an advanced writing course with Mina Witteman
You have that YA novel brewing in the back of your mind and you want it out on paper? You are working on a — your first? — YA novel and need inspiration and guidance? You would like to hone your YA writing skills?
This is your chance!
From September on, I offer a course Writing for Young Adults, where we will go into the most important traits of the YA novel. We will explore structure, voice and character building. We will dive into famous and less famous YA novels to find out what it takes to entice young adults into reading your novel.
And we will write. A lot! On your project. In English or Dutch.
When: 8 Sundays 2pm – 4pm
Dates: September 22, October 13, November 10 and 24, December 8 and 22, January 12 and 26
Where: The English Bookshop in Amsterdam (Jordaan)
Costs: € 325 for SCBWI members / € 375 for non-members
Registrations: registration opens August 1 and closes September 7.
More information and registration: nlscbwi [at] gmail.com or with me, of course!