This may be the place Shadow was born. It’s in an area of amazing granite boulders, cliffs, natural shelters, and little visitation by people. Cougars lurk among the intricate formations and I’ve chosen this remarkable spot for the fantastical birth of a cub to a mother dying of a gunshot wound. Meera’s psychic ability to communicate with wild animals brought her here at nightfall when she discovered the newborn cub with its disabled mother. The next day Meera returned with water, food, and medicine. Watch for their stories in Sleeping with Coyotes.
If your summer cabin is tucked far into a mountainous wilderness you need a place for Internet access and phone calls. In 2007, Meera’s father got one of the first iPhones and found such a spot. He and Meera built a trail there shortly before Shannon’s little brother was born prematurely at the cabin.
In the first mini-story posted under the heading “Experiments,” Meera looks back on that summer and writes about it. The lawn chair her mother used is rusted now and deteriorating. Here.
A bobcat greeted us yesterday when we got back from a long weekend away. We were sitting at the edge of our kitchen terrace about six o’clock and loving our view when the big cat appeared right in front of us, a dozen feet away. He was as surprised as we were. I believe he approached us from behind a dense fig tree and didn’t realize we were in his yard. None of us moved, not even our eyeballs. He looked at us. We at him.
After about two minutes the bobcat continued to walk along the stone edge of the gravel path that is part of his circuit. I’ve seen him there several times, although never from so close. He does not like to walk on the gravel, but selects the sandstone edge to either side. If an overhanging shrub is in his path, he moves to the gravel briefly, but returns to the stone. Continue reading
The following is an incident from my youth. Of course, the names have been changed. The final question is played out in Meera’s story.
Clairvoyance or Coincidence
I should have known Branson was dead before my boyfriend told me. The information should have been transmitted invisibly, infallibly, instantly, like radio waves from brain to brain as the trauma of the motorcycle crash was happening. I felt inadequate. Perhaps, if I had been in love with Branson instead of his brother, I would have felt his death at the time of its occurrence. Perhaps, I might even have predicted the circumstances of his death—saved him somehow.
At age thirteen, I was sure clairvoyance and other magical connections of thought processes were possible and I wanted to have those abilities. Maybe my best friend in seventh grade really had spoken with a ghost. Maybe my dog really did warn me of danger when we walked together in the woods. Maybe my dreams were telling me something important. Maybe if someone I loved was about to be killed, I could warn him.
Later, as a scientist, I disavowed such thoughts. Not so fast, I say now. Because the evidence is shaky, the proof missing, the documentation questionable, we cannot say forces that appear magical do not exist. Lightning used to be magic hurled by angry gods. Migrating birds navigated as if by magic. Today we have scientific explanations. After we know how something works, we no longer call it magic.
Similarly, scientific inquiry cannot prove something does not exist. Until there was an effective way to search, we thought our earth was the only planet in a solar orbit compatible with supporting life.
What if I had dreamed about Branson’s accident before it happened and dismissed it as a nightmare?
On top of the world.
People ask about the picture of a young teenager sitting on a mountaintop. It’s me, Sia Staehle (in those days), at age 15 (roughly), signing the logbook somewhere in the San Juan Mountains. I climbed a few peaks in Southwest Colorado with my dad that summer, but I don’t remember which one this was. He must have taken the picture and somehow it fell into my hands several years ago. Was that the beginning of the Meera trilogy?
Okay, I haven’t done any recent blogs, but now I’ve changed the name of my heroine from Shannon Mayflower to Meera Mayflower. I think it suits her better. I have pictures, alternative points of view, trial material, backstory that Meera tells, and other various experimental ideas. The blog will be a testing ground and a way to find interested readers. “Find your tribe,” is the jargon I’ve heard.
I prepared the ABOUT page to summarize each of the three books about Meera without giving away the plots. Soon, I will start to blog sections of Sleeping with Coyotes with an explanation of certain backstory events as if Meera were telling about it now, when she is a few years older.
I am older, too—more than a few years older than the picture, and married.
Suggestions about my adventure as a writer and social media user are entirely welcome.