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Old Dog Turned on her Bitch

by Sheila L. Chingwa 2 months ago in literature
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Or, was it a Diva moment?

Old Dog Turned on her Bitch
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

I feel his pain as he looks at the computer screen. One year ago, I sat down and began to write a book that was buzzing in my brain. As I have written a time or two before, I obsessively work on a task until it is done and I completed the book in May. My point is, I must have looked like him many days this past year.

Writing the book alone was a task in itself. I had decided to write a book that wove together the Native American culture with the Wizarding world. I enjoyed weaving in the lore and legends to avenge the cause of the plight of Native American students and their magic. In the book, I even took a stance against the boarding schools in m writing. Yet, I sit here and wait for an agent to accept it to lead me into publication.

I am a nerd. I love to learn. However, I was forced to learn on the grounds of abandonment. {Muffling growl and narrowed eyes focused on my loving techie guys in the family.} They left me hanging with the nerd portion of the book. I mean they left me high and dry with a half finish project. It was clear, the old dog had to learn a new trick. I too can be a nerd!

I think this is where the Diva kicked in. I was blessed by a friend with the gift of language in the book. Carrie, who use to teach Anishinaabemowin, partnered with me add language in the book. I have seen it done many times but I had a rad idea to take the language to the next level. The boys wouldn't help, well then I too will show them nothing stands in my way. Hours of YouTube and I found how to record the zoom meeting as well as PowerPoint. Phil was the only one who helped me and he taught me how to use zoom to make an awesome step in completing my project.

Carrie Leaureaux and I recorded the language used in the book via zoom. I took the recorded messages and turned them into videos clips. This, dear reader is were I am most proud of myself. Even though I lofted three hundred dollars in front of their nose, none of them would edit those videos. So, I chose one with my son's advice and turned to YouTube and began to learn. At one point, I was out on the deck yelling at the Universe, "Show me how to do this. I have to get this done!" Amazingly, that adult temper tantrum helped because I picked it right up after that.

Each Anishinaabemowin word is assigned a number in the text of the book. Each number is assigned a QR code. The QR codes are attached to the clips on YouTube. The QR code can be scanned by the reader during reading. The reader can hear the word. See the word. They can practice and replay the word as much as they desire until they learn it. The QR codes are then found in the book in the chapters where they were first seen.

Language preservation has always been an interest of mine. Isabel Osawamick, an Anishinaabemowin teacher and friend, has tried to teach me the language for years but I seem to be a squib. The words don't come out of my mouth. So Isabel named the book and Carrie and I made a good attempt in language preservation. Below is an example of the video clips this old dog had to learn to make.

Scan it and celebrate my success with me!

One year ago, I had a vision. I worked hard to achieve that goal. Now, I am working my way through traditional publishing to complete this task. I am proud of what I have created and I hope others do too. Who knows when it will go to print but when it does, I will be so proud. When I hold the first book? I can't imagine more happiness than I feel right now but I am willing to experience it. Go ahead and scan the code above and see what this old dog had learned to do!


About the author

Sheila L. Chingwa

Welcome to my world.

Welcome to my thoughts.

I am proud to be a Native American Elder born and raised in Northern Michigan. Thanks to my hard work I have a B.A. in Education and a Masters in Administration and Supervision in Education.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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Comments (1)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    I have never heard of Anishinaabemowin before. And to insert QR codes to learn those words was such a brilliant idea. I'm so happy you finally made it! 💖

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