Monthly Archives: October 2022

Ojibwa wisdom

“It may be that one little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it, then when it blooms, fill it with singing birds.” – From the Ojibwa Tribes


As I research and learn about the history of the Indigenous People of North America, I am filled with respect for their love of the land and the reverence they hold for their ancestors. There is so much to learn.

I realize I have never fully understood or, at least, been fully educated about the history of Native American’s struggle to remain on their lands, and true story of the many treaties with governments which were made and broken. These people had faith and hope that the government meant to keep their promises. The true stories of their struggle to preserve their heritage is inspiring. The incredible lack of understanding by the European settlers who simply wanted the wealth that land acquisition could provide—at any cost—saddens me.

I do realize those were different times. We understand more as we look back at our history. We can easily say, “Well, that wasn’t right.” But the thing that eludes us even today, is how do we now begin to work together and better understand to make a right new beginning?

The Ojibwa in Northern Minnesota have been my focus for the new novel I’m writing. I hope I am respecting them as I tell the tale of fourteen-year-old Grace Memengwaa Weber. Her middle name means butterfly in Ojibwa.

Grace has the beauty of a butterfly. She also has courage, wisdom, and strength. As a fourteen-year-old she amazes me as she leads me on this journey to meet the old world while forging courageously ahead, respecting her father and forefathers, and bringing them into her world and her life today.

I’m anxious to let her tell her story and that of her family.

The Witch Tree nourishes the tale of years past and years to come.


I saw this on Twitter this morning from Anne Lamott:

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.” — Anne Lamott

So, please excuse the language from Ms. Lamott, but she’s right! I’ve had time to really sit down and write this week since I’m at my son’s house dog sitting. It’s pretty hard to procrastinate when there’s nothing standing between you and the computer screen in front of you on the table! Gotta do it. And I’ve been a busy bee, working away at the research and the story line.

For awhile now, nothing seemed to be coming together. I’ve written six chapters and struggled with the right line, the right word, the best character description. I’ve read and re-read. I’ve crossed out, added, deleted, and saved for a later page/chapter.

There’s another aspect. As an author/reader I tend to analyze the work of other authors. For me, the craft is not pure. It is never perfect. But it seems theirs often are near perfect. I admire the description, the word choice, the perfect line, perfect thought. I highlight them in my Kindle eBooks. I am amazed at how prolific other writers are. How are they able to put together plots, characters, and thoughts in such perfect succession? I’m sure I can never meet those standards.

My thoughts seem to be random. I’ll think of a phrase I’d like to use. Perhaps a change in the character’s appearance, even name! Should the location be different? Perhaps a different setting would help tell the story?

And then, I have the picture in my mind of exactly where it needs to be. What he or she needs to look like, act like. Frightened? Secure? Devious? Assured?

There’s never perfection, but then I tell myself, life isn’t perfect. Maybe other authors harbor these same insecurities. So a good story can have those imperfections, just like people’s lives.  Cant’ it?Gail