Coyote Breathing – I Believe

Reason to Believe   Inspired by the WordPress Daily prompt

At the end of every day, sometimes in the middle, I go to the stats of this blog and check it see if anyone is listening. Everyday my reason to believe is that my novel is good, and that others will be purchasing it to see why I believe so much in the story, and it’s goodness, and it’s positive outcome. Some days my belief is rewarded, other days… well not so much. Maybe today will be a good day!

In the novel there is a chapter that opens where the main character has been taken out into the Arizona desert to camp. She’s a city girl relocated, and she doesn’t know what to think of the silence, the dense dark of wilderness, and of her new life in Arizona. Especially when a wild coyote tries to break into the camper.

Here is an excerpt:

Chapter 7:

The Coyote’s Breath was Hot

Utah border, northern Arizona

The dark, silent night seemed to close in on the truck like a black scourge. Holding her hand up before her face, close enough that she could feel the warmth from her palm, Jessica realized she couldn’t even see it, and that really unnerved her.

She was lying on her back, fully dressed and trussed up in a sleeping bag. Next to her, Alex was breathing the slow, easy in-and-out of someone asleep. They were camping out on the Navajo Reservation, and after finishing the dinner dishes from their meager meal, Alex casually turned off the lantern. They climbed into the back of the truck’s camper shell to lie on a soft futon designed for just such an occasion as this, and he promptly fell asleep.

Jessica, on the other hand, laid stiff and holding her breath. From the first moment they’d arrived in this isolated place, Jessica had felt uncomfortable. It was like sensory depravation for her. There was absolutely no sound except the light breeze blowing through the small bushes speckling the ground. No traffic, no people, no engines, no nothing. At one point it was so quiet she could hear the sound of her own blood in her ears, like when you put a seashell up to your ear and hear the ocean. She was a city girl in a place she could not comprehend. All around her was spooky silence, and Jessica felt displaced and nervous. The more she tried to relax, the tenser she became.

She held her breath and tried to listen for sounds outside the truck, but could only hear Alex’s steady breathing. Damn, why couldn’t she sleep like that? She tried to relax her body, but the more she tried to let go, the more she tensed up. Her eyes were adjusting to the dark, and indistinct shapes showed in her peripheral sight. All right. Think it through. What are you afraid of? The only large animals around are coyotes, and they’re actually afraid of man. Alex says they’ll run if they see you.

“Ahh…” another thought rose up in her mind, “…but what if the coyote was rabid?”

She looked to her right at the camper window, half opened, leaving only a screen between her and the outside. She began to get dizzy with holding her breath.

Oh, my, God, Jessica thought, I have to get my fear under control. This is awful.

She began to apply a technique she’d learned in Buddhism. Calming the mind, keeping it focused on one thing – her breathing. The idea was to get her breathing to slow, her mind to relax, and the fear to dissolve.

Suddenly, to her utter astonishment, a real coyote lunged through the screen of the window and was attempting to jump into the camper shell. The coyote wasn’t able to get his whole body through the window on his first leap, but it was obvious that he was determined to reach his prey. He dangled awkwardly over her, riotously yelping and barking, all the time slinging flecks of rabid foam all over her hair and face. She could hear the sound of his back claws frantically scratching the metal of the truck’s body.  She knew he was trying to get a good foothold so he could make it the rest of the way into the camper to attack them. Jessica was frozen with fear. The coyote’s breath was hot and stank of something wild and foul, and his sharp teeth seemed to get closer to her exposed head with each jerk.

Jessica sat straight up, jerking away from the animal. She couldn’t stop the scream that billowed up out of her chest, and it woke Alex with a start.

“What?” he asked, bleary eyed. “What happened? Are you OK?”

Buy the novel and find out why her faith and love wins out in the end.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. To read the novel you can download it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the iBookstore. The third edition is soon to be released. I can finally afford a professional editor! Blue Moon Bench by D L Blanchard

So, I believe my novel is a good book, and at the end of the day, I just know if I stick with it, others will believe that too.

blog on


Midnight & Self Publishing

Stroke of Midnight

The match that lit the candle almost burned out, and then I passed it on to the next person. My candle sat cuddled in my two hands as if I were beseeching it to answer my prayers. “May there be peace on earth, may all beings be well and happy, and may there be an end to war, strife and disasters.” I looked around at the other 70 or so people around me, also engaged with lighting of their own candle. They were also making private prayers. At the stroke of midnight we each get up and offered our candle to the a large and beautiful altar with Buddhist statues, abundant offerings and large, clear crystals.

This is an annual ritual in the Tibetan Buddhist community I belong to. It’s a very different way to spend New Years, and does involve some alcohol, lots of food, but mostly it involves thinking of others. I like that.

So what does that have to do with aspirational prayers for the year? Plain and simple – I’ve written this novel I’ve self published and am trying to do a final edit so I can take it to print. A lot of work. Long ago I promised to offer all proceeds to the temples badly needed renovation (central air and heat, upgraded electrical, new kitchen and plumbing for those living there and for events like this). This year I added a prayer for this novel to be a success so it can benefit that effort. Would you like to help?

Please join me in that prayer so it may help this pure intention inspired by the communities commitment to compassion for so many others throughout the year.

Wanna buy the book? Search for Blue Moon Bench on any major book source such as iBook, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s not been through a last edit, but if you find errors or have any suggestions, just let me know. It’s a great adventure book about interesting and diverse people, including the main couples involvement with Tibetan Buddhism and kindness towards others. Their just American born people like myself, trying to make our way through a life that has difficulty and great blessings bundled together. A murder mystery in the southwest with intrigue, romance and mystery.

Hope your new year is perfect, and that you will be free of suffering.

D L Blanchard

UnPlugged – Letting Go!

Bloggers, Unplugged

What is it like having spent years, literally years, writing a novel you believe in and then having to convince others of it being worthy of their time? Writing and rewriting: copywriting it, creating a cover, getting it ready to ebook publish it, with formatting and hard work; then getting it ready for print. Re-reading it and re-writing it again. And then you have to sweat and labor at trying to get people to read it! Imagine that. I believe in my storyline, my characters, the premise, the motivation. I worked hard. I’m a published author, I’m a good story teller, it has all the elements. And yet… I have to find ways to market it myself. It’s exhausting!

And now… I’m going unplugged!

I lived in northern Arizona for almost 17 years. It was like being on vacation every day. I remember having a window in my shower, and one summer day I came home from a hike, took a shower with the window open. The smell of the Ponderosa pine tree outside the window drifted in along with the warm summer breeze. It reminded me of summers spent with my family on vacation in California. That feeling of expectation is in the novel.

I’d get home from work in Flagstaff and ride my mountain bike before dinner, whizzing up a canyon single track trail to a water tank that all the wildlife used every day. Deer, moose, wild pigs, and small animals like raccoons and rabbits. Sometimes the wildflowers grew so high I could reach out my hand from my bike and swirl their tops as I passed. A friend of mine told a story of how one day as he rode that same single track, a herd of moose came from out the woods and for a few moments he rode with the moose as if he was part of the herd! What a beautiful place. That experience of beauty is in the novel.

It’s all in the novel. The Native American culture, the suspense of the southwest, the beauty of the land and it’s mystery. It’s all in the book. I opened my heart, my imagination, my love for that part of the world to share with others — unplugged.

I’m letting go.

The novel’s sales are intended to benefit the Tibetan Buddhist center which is in horrible need of renovation. The electrical wiring is out of date, the heating system groans, the air conditioning consists of window units in each of the nuns rooms even in 100 degree heat. The kitchen air conditioner just isn’t sufficient enough and it’ always sweating hot there. I wanted to help.

I’m letting go.

Buy the book, don’t buy the book. But I’ll sleep good tonight knowing that I tried every day for years to send people to the website, encourage friends to read it, invite perfect strangers to give it a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iBookstore so others might be encouraged to read it.

I believe in the novel. I’m letting go of the worry. I believe it will win the interest and gain in popularity. Especially if I pray. I have asked others to pray.

I’m letting go. But I’m not giving up. Read Blue Moon Bench. You won’t be sorry.

Amazon; Blue Moon Bench

Barnes and Noble

On any mobile device just search for Blue Moon Bench Blanchard
And thank you for letting me become a little unplugged. It felt good.