Thursday, July 1, 2010

RIVERS: Ancient Highways

I have taken longer than I meant for a variety of reasons I'm not going to get into but the sequel for HEROES OF THE FALLEN, BLOOD OF OUR FATHERS is very nearly finished. It was already written but I had to add in some new scenes and adjust a few things on behalf of the new material added to HEROES.

Looking back, I am surprised at how much happens on the water but should I be? The ancients used rivers as highways, they weren't obstacles they were opportunities, it was a great road you could sit on (going downstream). So in my attempt at writing adventuresome, yet realistic ancient peoples of course I ended up with a lot of things happening on the rivers/sea's.

Good thing I have a little bit of experience with this-rafting the Bitteroot/Clark Fork river, it's where I grew up in Montana - of "A River Runs Through It" fame. Rafting white water rapids on the Snake and Selway and innumerable creeks, even a little bit of laziness on the Mississippi. I have swam in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, with Hawaii being the most fun--even if that is a far cry from what I'm presenting in the novel.

Quite a few times on these wilder western rivers we have been dumped and almost drowned. I recall on the Bitteroot tipping the raft over when we hit a submerged fallen tree and "Liz" (who had a life vest on) got caught on a branch. It held her fast underwater and she gripped me around the neck in a calm collective way of asking for help. It was a inspiring struggle to be strangled while fighting the current-her vest strap looped on a branch and had to be pulled up against the force of the rushing water to free her.
In her panic I don't think she ever realized how much she strangled me.
Once I got her loose, we had to drift downriver aways to retrieve the raft, and I (who did not have a vest on), got hit with some undertow-that was worse than Liz. Good thing the other guys were able to catch the raft.

So expect some water with your "Blood of our Fathers"

What places have you taken for your own in your writings?


Th. said...


Well, my current book takes place entirely in NYC and Texas. Two places I have never been.


David J. West said...

I would have thought you had been back east.

But I am absolutely not a write what you know guy either-but I do like taking things I have done and rearranging them.

Charles Gramlich said...

Water and Blood. Sounds very ancient,very much of the time.

David J. West said...

Thanks Charles.
Don't know that they will do it but part of vision for the cover would have blood droplets in otherwise clear water.