Welcome to Keta’s Keep! I’m so happy you dropped by.Today we’re talking about photographs and how they can help your writing.

Some authors make extensive outlines when they begin writing a novel; some use sticky notes and tack them up around their writing space. I use photos as inspiration, images from scenes and/or characters in my book. Photos remind me to look visually at all aspects of my book and help cement those images in my mind.

“If you can visualize it, you can write it!”
Keta Diablo
 
I collected numerous photos when Where The Rain Is Made was nothing more than a seed sprouting roots in my brain. One image led to another (similar to how one scene leads to another) and before long a full-length novel played out in my mind. Below is a sampling of photos I used to inspire me for Where the Rain Is Made. I hope you enjoy them.
 
Where the Rain Is Made is first and foremost a romance but soon crossed over into several sub-genres: time travel, shapeshifting, mysticism and historical fiction. 
 
Recent review snippet that relates to the crossover:
 
“A love that transcends time — a compelling, time-traveling
romance poised between modern day and the gut-wrenching conflict between the
Cheyenne and the Blue Coats. Where The Rain is Made was a surprising blend of
genres. While solidly building on a foundation of romance, it is so much more.” 
 
 
Of course there’s a hero (Ethan Gray/Meko) and a heroine (Francesca) but the heart of the book relates to the customs, beliefs and tragic history of the Cheyenne Dog Soldier
 
The dog soldiers were the elite military organizations in the Cheyenne tribe. They were the last line of defense for the people. … In time of battle, the dog soldier would impale his shoulder sash to the ground and stand his ground to the death.  The most elite Dog Soldiers wore “Dog Ropes,” sashes made from buffalo skin and decorated with porcupine quills, feathers and beads.
 
There’s #ghosts in my story:  The Sacred Council of Arrows
 
Seo’ộtse, Cheyenne word for dead spirits who ruled the Cheyenne in prior centuries. Not a time traveler among them but they are empowered to send wanderers through time to help the People in times of great trouble.
 
 
Members of the Sacred Counci: Vo’kaa’e, known in the white man’s tongue as White Lances, Kâhamaxe, Cheyenne name means The Stick, Wolf That Speaks, a dignified, mystical guide, Stands-In-Light, High Priestess and the only woman on the Council, The Pacer, a soothsayer known for his wisdom and ability to see into the future, Man-Who-Paints-His-Shirt-Black, A Dog Soldier, a fierce opponent, Whirlwind, the father of all ghostly souls. 
 
Ethan Gray is a curator at The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC in his present life. When he travels through time to help the People, he’s knows as MEKO, leader of the most fierce military band on the plains, the Cheyenne Dog Soldier. The National Museum houses one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of its kind. The museum’s sweeping architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, are all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities from across the hemisphere. It is designed to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.
 
Typical Cheyenne village (recalled by member of an architectural dig).
This Cheyenne settlement was large. It stands on a flat, now bisected by a railroad embankment, slightly sloping toward the river, and the houses stood close together. Many of them were large, one at least being 60 feet in diameter. Besides the large houses there were a great number of smaller ones, probably occupied by small families, by old people living alone, or used as menstrual lodges. Including the area east and west of the embankment we counted more than 70 large house sites, taking no account of the small ones. The houses extended several hundred yards back from the river, toward the west, and 150 or 200 yards north and south. It is probable that when they were numerous, they may have extended a long way down to the river.
 
Meko’s chant as he shapeshifts into a Raven
 
“I walk alone on the edge of time, traveling far and near. 
Born of the sun, kissed by the wind, the call of the raven screams in my ear.” 

Scene of shift from the book: 
His vision blurred and pain tore through his head. The muscles of his back constricted, his tendons and ligaments stretched tighter than sinew on a tanning rack. His arms twisted into gnarled limbs and shiny, black wings took their place. He soared skyward, above the clouds, to where the rain is made. Through a great abyss he tumbled and then emerged on the other side. The raven dipped in the heavens and arched his massive extensions for descent. 
 
Nightwalker, Meko’s horse.
Meko selected Nightwalker from a large herd of horses. When he travels back in time, the black stallion is waiting for him. What did Meko look for when choosing Nightwalker? Bravery, soundness, rideablity, trainability, a good work ethic, a forgiving nature, and a natural uphill balance make for a good horse. Most of all Nightwalker had a calm demeanor in battle, a willingness to please and the heart of a champion. 

I hope you liked the pictures and want to know more about WHERE THE RAIN IS MADE (still tops my favorite of all the books I’ve written).