Thursday, December 16, 2010 | By: Lynny Prince

Some of the inside scoop...

It is very hard being a white person who has written a story about the Dakota. Yes, there is Indian blood in my family, but I'm not of the Great Sioux Nation. I'm just a girl from Kentucky who is trying to get the word out about a people who I relate to. My ancestors suffered at the hands of the U.S. Government and maybe that's why it is so strong in me, I don't know, but to take a story like the Great Sioux Uprising and try to make a positive out of it is a tall order.

The spirits don't see my color, but others do and that's ok, I am not trying to be anyone or anything that I'm not. I understand the hurt and anger, the resentment and the need to keep things within the tribe, I totally get that. Sometimes when I look down at my skin, I am shocked to see it is white and not red. These feelings in my heart are so strong and the spirits who have helped me have not allowed me to rest, even after the first book was done. I write these stories because the spirits push me, knowing that the past needs to be out there. They have helped me, doctored me, guided me and molded me into the person writing this. It is ONLY with their help and through the ceremonies that I have learned my real identity- who I am- and for this I am very thankful.

There are not many of my own people to teach me the ways of my ancestors. I am not from a reservation of which I can go back to, nor do I have older relatives who can tell me anything. All I have to go on is what is in my blood. That DNA that screams at me as I listen, watch and learn my way through life. That pain that I feel when I see how the youth suffer at the hands of alcohol, drugs and child abuse, as it was in my own family. Not knowing where the next meal was coming from was in my own family. Financial struggles were in my own family. I grew up on commodities just like most of the Indians I know, and I wouldn't change it for all the money in the world. It made me a good person, an honest person, but more importantly, a humble person and I am a BETTER person for it.

I will work til I can't work anymore to bring this story of the Dakota 38 to the big screen, and in a way that will attract thousands of people to the theater to see it. Why? For money and fame? No. I stand to make very little from this movie. It is because the more people who see it, the more people will learn and the more they know, the more healing that can take place. The truth will be presented in a way that people can "get it" and just like other movies where it shows a disaster taking place, people will gasp and cry and be moved to do something, only this story will be TRUE and they'll CHEER in the end because the outcome will be just! It is my wish that the healing that takes place while this movie is made and watched, the outcome of all the hard work that the 7th generation does in the film, will somehow be reflected in the spirit world for those who might still be suffering there. My true desire is for my work to make a difference, to bridge a gap of understanding and to right the wrongs somehow. I am not taking anything I didn't come here with when I die, but I WILL leave a footprint while I'm here. It's the least I can do for the spirits who have shown me that skin color is not important when you are working together for a cause.

I get emails everyday from people who are so excited to see the movie, want to be in the movie, want to write music for the movie, or who just want to somehow be involved and it does my heart good to see this. It means that the story, MY STORY, is moving people and as the spirits have told me, more will follow. Now a pardon for Chaska, the Dakota hung by mistake who my character Ghostkiller was based on, is in the works. To me, that confirms all I know about these spirits who are working within and this that book is no joke. These things must happen and the healing must take place and so it is! I love this way of life!

I hope that somehow, someway, those of you reading this will be touched by this journey. I hope that it gives you hope and that you learn something along the way to pass on to someone else. Keep keeping on, no matter what, and reach for those stars who's only desire is to twinkle for you.

Toksa ake kolas! (til we meet again friends!)
Lynny Prince
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | By: Lynny Prince

With a Lump in my Throat....

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was spent with family and continuing the healing journey that my personal life is taking. It's just magic!

The lump in my throat doesn't come from my personal life however, but through my professional one and my book series in particular.

When I was on my way out of town this morning, my cell phone beeped alerting me to a new message on my Facebook wall. A dear friend posted a link to a New York Times article regarding the hangings of the Dakota 38. As you all know by now, this is the subject of my book, Scattered Leaves: The Legend of Ghostkiller. 

I wasn't driving the car, so was able to click the link and go to the page. As my eyes scanned the small screen of my phone, which is difficult enough to read at my age, I found it even more difficult to see with the tears that welled up in my eyes. It was an article that talked about the 38th Indian who was hanged by mistake. His name was Chaska- the character Ghostkiller in my book is based on this man. Chaska kidnapped a woman and her children during the uprising in order to save them from certain death, which he did. In my book, Ghostkiller came to Moccasin Flats (a fictitious name for Mankato) from South Dakota Territory after he heard the news of his mothers' starving people. Consequently, he was caught at the wrong place at the wrong time during the round up and hanged.

As I read the article, my eyes widened when I got to the part where they were talking about a public pardon. It is important not only for the government to acknowledge what happened to Chaska, but also to educate the public about what happened during that time to cause the Uprising in the first place. This was my mission when I wrote the book. I knew I needed to write it in a format that could be easily understood, but also be widely accepted by the masses. What better way to do that than through the love of reading? Now it has gone to the next step and into the Hollywood realm of movie making and I am thrilled with the aspects of reaching millions of people with this important story! If people understood the catalyst behind the uprising, perhaps a better understanding all these years later could heal some old wounds.

I have always said, "I am just the vehicle by which their story traveled to the paper," so while reading this article, I allowed the lump in my throat to grow and didn't try to swallow it; I released the tears and let them flow down my cheeks, and as I did I heard the pain and sorrow of 148 years worth of past atrocities cry out through the veil of time and space in which our past survives today. I pray that these things will come to light in every possible medium and that one day these spirits will indeed rest in peace.

Mitakuye Oyasin,
Lynny Prince
Wednesday, December 08, 2010 | By: Lynny Prince

The Magic of Healing!

What an exciting time for the Ghostkillers!! As we all eagerly anticipate the beginning of filming the movie, things are working behind the scenes to move it all along even quicker than I'd hoped! BUT, it's the things we can't see that are working the hardest, and always have been.

The main message in the book Scattered Leaves: The Legend of Ghostkiller is that faith can move mountains. "With the faith of a mustard seed," James Ghostkiller quoted from the bible. No matter what happened to our hero Kyle, or his band of merry side kicks, they never lost faith. Even Nina, in all her timid misgivings and insecurities, she knew faith was the key. For those who have read the book, you know that the only character in the story who lacked enough faith was Father O'Rourke, the priest at St. Paul's Catholic Church. How ironic! But the point is that faith is the healer. Faith will bring you through. Does Father O'Rourke ever come to terms with this? Well, to me, he HAS to. In the second book, he is forced to deal with things he has no control over and must turn it over to God and it's the Indians who teach him that. The Indians have always had an impenetrable relationship with God, even when the Black Robes came and tried to break that connection. The ceremonies were still performed in hiding, way off in the strongholds of the plains, in shacks and caves, anywhere they could, and because of this most of the ceremonies were able to be passed onto the future generations.

Whenever I am asked who my heroes are I say, "Those who fought and died to keep the treaties intact!" or some closely related variation. My heroes didn't always kill cowboys, but they stood up for what was right and the basic human condition we all fight for- LIFE. My own people in my family tree have always done that, and yours have, too. Anyone who has ever stood up for their rights in whatever capacity, did so with the knowledge that it is our GOD GIVEN right to be who we are. Because we are born into this skin, whatever color it is, along with that color comes responsibility to teach our young about their heritage. As human beings, however, we owe it to ourselves to be true to who we are and to protect our families in the process. And we do. This is what the Ghostkillers did in the first book and in the second and third, they will help other families do the same. But it is only through FAITH that they are successful. If they lose that, they will lose everything and history will remain as it is.  

The Trail of Tears is the subject of my research these days, and as I did with The Great Sioux Uprising, I will rely on the ones who were there to tell me their stories. How I do that is another matter all together, but suffice is to say that I will tell it to the best of my ability while giving them the dignity and respect they all deserve as human beings and I'll accomplish it with a healthy dose of FAITH, I can assure you.

Now, I must sign off as I await the arrival of my daughter and 3 granddaughters for the Christmas holiday! It'll be three weeks of "fun" with us all crammed in this little house, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Have a great day everyone!
Love, peace and frybread grease,
Thursday, December 02, 2010 | By: Lynny Prince

December News!!

Hi again! I am happy to report that Scattered Leaves The Movie is almost ready for funding!! It is so exciting to see this develop! It hasn't even been a year, and things are progressing nicely! Not many outside the industry know that when you offer rights to your story, it can take much longer to get to film. Avatar took 10 years to make! Now, I don't believe SL will take that long, but will be sure to keep you all posted. Don't think I could commit to 10 years worth of blogs LOL

The movie was mentioned on a Hollywood site yesterday, taking billing over Harry Potter and Cher's new movie, along with two others. Check it out!

That's all for uber busy with my sister, running around and doing Christmas stuff!

Have a great Thursday!

Love, peace and frybread grease!