Smoky Zeidel authored eight books before leaving her previous publisher. Never one to let adversity slow her down, she took 22 months off from writing before roaring back onto the scene with a new release of her third novel, The Storyteller’s Bracelet (Thomas-Jacob Publishing, 2015). She is writing a series of short stories, collectively called Sun Song Stories, based on the characters from that novel. Her first poetry collection, Sometimes I Think I Am Like Water, was released in June 2015.
Smoky has written many short stories, two of which have earned her nominations for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. She taught writing and creativity workshops at community colleges and other venues throughout the Midwest for many years. In lieu of having a midlife crisis when she turned 50, Smoky succumbed to her bohemian instincts and packed her car, her daughter, and sundry pets into a 20-foot truck and migrated to California. A year later, she met and married her husband Scott.
When she isn’t writing, she spends her time hiking in the mountains and deserts with Scott, splashing in tidepools, and resisting the urge to speak in haiku.
It is the late 1800s, and a shameful time in American history. The U.S. Government has mandated native tribes send their young people to Indian schools where they are stripped of their native heritage by people they think of as The Others.
Otter and Sun Song are members of The Tribe, and betrothed to be married when they turn eighteen. But when they are sent East to school, Otter, renamed Gideon, tries to adapt, while Sun Song does not, resulting in brutal attacks from the school headmaster. Gideon, thinking Sun Song has spurned him, turns for comfort to Wendy Thatcher, the daughter of a wealthy school patron, beginning a forbidden affair of the heart.
But the Spirits have different plans for Gideon and Sun Song. “You are both child and mother of The Original People,” Sun Song is told. “When it is right, you will be safe once more.” What follows is a harrowing journey through time and the Five Worlds of the Desert Southwest tribes.
Smoky Zeidel captures the syntax, symbolism, and simple beauty of the Native American expression of human experience with an artistry that makes for almost hypnotic reading.
—Joey Madia, Literary Aficionado
SUN SONG STORIES
Sun Song Stories began as a series of stories meant to introduce readers to Sun Song and Otter. They are growing to become a collection of mythologies of The Tribe, as told by Sun Song, the tribal storyteller.
In The Boy Who Survived the River, readers first meet Otter. As a young boy, Otter is compelled by an unknown force to go to the river, where he nearly drowns in the rushing force of the rapids. When he becomes one with nature, he finds not only his footing, but his destiny.
In How Armadillo Got His Armor, Armadillo learns that in order to receive a gift, he must give something up.
Why Hummingbird Is So Small is the enchanting story of Sun Song and the little hummingbird she saved from death, Fuss, on the day before she is to leave for Indian School in the East.
Sun Song Stories are available for Kindle only.
In this moving book of poetry, Smoky Zeidel celebrates her walk with nature while exploring all the peaks and valleys of life through her kinship with the natural world. In Crescent Meadow, she shares her deep and abiding love for the flora and fauna of this planet we call home. Through On the Anniversary of My Father’s Death, she reflects on the cycle of life while remembering her father, who has sent her a gift every year since his passing. In I’ve Always Thought I Am Like Water, Zeidel takes us on her personal journey of growth and discovery. And in Hush, she invites us to stop, listen, and connect. Read the complete poems and more, plus a bonus chapter from Zeidel’s novel, The Storyteller’s Bracelet.
How fortunate we are that there are poets like Smoky Zeidel who can still plunge fearlessly into nature—in both its wild form and the gardens of childhood—and come up with poems silvery as a trout she writes of. Hers is a bright, aware consciousness that has learned life’s lessons from the Earth, our original teacher.
—Leah Shelleda, Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Philosophy, College of Marin
In addition to Amazon and Kindle, Smoky’s books (except Sun Song Stories) are available on Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other online retailers.
WHERE TO FIND SMOKY: