Monday, November 28, 2016

Delbert's Weir

Nebraska Notion is taking a trip to Northwest Washington to join fellow Women Writing the West author Carmen Peone and learn about her young adult novel Delbert's Weir!

Carmen will give away an e-book copy of Delbert's Weir for Kindle to a lucky person who leaves a comment at the end of this blog post. So read on and leave a comment!

Let's find out what Delbert's Weir is about!

In a time when the west was still untamed, sixteen-year-old Delbert Gardner leads two friends into the backcountry for a three day adventure. Little did they know three days of hunting and fishing would turn into eight days of near starvation, injury and illness. When hope of returning home seems out of reach, Delbert recalls watching his Native American friends construct a fishing weir and sets out to build one himself. To him, it is the only way out.
Let's read an excerpt from the book!
He watched the leaves of the quaking aspen ripple in the breeze as if to encourage him. “Get up. Keep going,” is what they seemed to say. His mind flashed images of him watching Pekam. He and some other men walked up a stream and pushed fish toward traps. The same traps he’d made.
Delbert jumped to his feet and sprinted to camp. He shook each tent, even his own in the wake of excitement and yelled, “Get up!”
Jed popped his head out first, a grumpy frown on his face.
Ross attempted to open his blinking eyes.
“Come on. Get dressed. Daylights a burnin’. We’ve got work to do.”
Ross rolled over on his back and groaned. “What’re you babbling about?”
“The traps are empty, but I have a plan.” Delbert shook the tents until the boys crawled out. “Pekam spoke to me. No, God did, through Pekam.”
Jed’s sleepy eyes strained to focus. “What?”
“This better be worth it,” Ross sneered.
“I was sure there would be fish in at least one of them. But listen, when I was young, I saw Pekam and his pals walk up a creek toward different types of fish traps filling ‘em pretty fast. I think we should try it. It’s like herding cattle, but with fish. In water.”
“Now?” Jed complained. “Can’t we at least give the horses a drink first?”
Delbert turned his attention to Jed. “When did you start caring about the horses’ well-being?” Delbert felt hair on the back of his neck spike outward, so he spoke in a calm, slow tone, “Did you hear me?”
“Yes, I heard you. Did you hear me? It’s early. I wanna finish sleepin’.”
“Sure ya do.” Ross walked off.
“Hey, we can water the horses. Then how ‘bout trying to catch some breakfast.  How’d ya like worms for breakfast?  If you’re really fast, maybe you can snatch a grasshopper or two with a flick of your tongue.  I’ll start callin’ ya frog, or does toad suit ya?  Or would ya like to go on a Sunday afternoon stroll?” Delbert felt his patience leave his body as quickly as his last meal disappeared from his fish-oiled fingers.
Ross glared at him.
Delbert held out his hands. “You got a better idea? We’re outta of food. You think it’s gonna magically drop on our plates, cooked and all?” His tone sounded as impatient as a hungry wolf.
“Well, no…” Ross slouched and rubbed his eyes.
“Well, let’s get goin’.” Delbert marched toward the beach. He sat on the cool, damp sand, tore off his boots, and rolled up his pants. He slid the tip of his toe in and shivered.
Jed grunted and followed. He sat beside Delbert and peeled off his socks.
Ross straggled behind. He sat a spell before he yanked off his boots and rolled up his pants, grumbling about the injustice. “Maybe we need to cut off the legs of our britches. I have a feeling we may be in there–a lot.” He tilted his head toward the creek.
Delbert stared at his bare feet. No need to stir those two up any more than they already are. “Okay. Let’s walk downstream a ways, check things out, and meander back up.”
“Yep.” Ross’s eyebrow twitched. “Whatever you say, boss.”
Ross’ll be eatin’ his words soon enough.

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About Carmen Peone:

Carmen Peone has lived in Northeast Washington, on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988 gleaning knowledge from family and friends.  She had worked with tribal elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes-Sinyekst- Language and various cultural traditions and legends. She has owned and trained her horses for thirteen years and competed in local Extreme Challenge Competitions for three years.  She lives with her husband and tribal member Joe.  They have four grown sons who are also tribal members and seven grandchildren.  With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. She came to love the people and their heritage and wanted to create a legacy for her sons.