WELCOME to my living room. Thank you for stopping by.
My name is Myrtle Brooks. I am the New York City-born gal who, watching The Wizard of Oz on television as a child, always called the Emerald City home.
Yet, it is possible to hold a second home in one's heart; perhaps more than one.
Thus, Stories of the Mother Bear was conceived and brought forth with hard labor: four years to write it; four more to edit.
In Jackson, Wyoming, 1977, a cache is discovered in the attic of a deceased man’s home containing letters and diaries spanning two centuries. The newspaper report of the unusual contents reaches a journalist and confirms a vision he experienced 23 years earlier as a 9-year-old boy on a camping trip in Grand Teton National Park.
Learning his memories of a mother grizzly bear who transforms the lives of the humans who cross her path were not imaginary after all, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Bill Larkin sets out in search of why he is among the chosen. Wrestling with his dread of the force driving him, Bill hears that same compelling voice caution him against turning back and losing his spiritual calling. As he pieces each story, letter and entry together, the common thread eludes him: until a Native-American elder counsels him to seek the rest of the answers within himself.
Stories of the Mother Bear is a literary fiction/fantasy memoir woven around historical events. It begins in Omaha, where Bill Larkin’s near-idyllic 1950s childhood is shattered by the Vietnam War era. As a college student journalist, his prized objectivity turns into a solid stance against the war, after the loss of twin sons belonging to a family in the long-ago Teton camping party.
Years later, married with four children, Bill returns to Jackson Hole. He learns the deceased, Rufus Headrick, and his family were black cowboys who ranched in the area after the Civil War. Rufus’ grandfather, Elias, a freed slave, kept a journal from his days as a Texas cattle hand through the family’s ever-westward travels to Teton before it became a national park.
Portrayed in Elias’ journal is a large, engraved brass key his son received from a Kiowa youth he met along the Chisholm Trail in exchange for his pocket watch. The key is yet to be found. Who is the estate’s rightful heir? And what connection does the Headrick Family have with the Mother Bear?
This is my third work published by Black Rose Writing; my first being The Geyser Girl of Yellowstone Park, a novel on man's edification through nature's examples. For further information, please see the page entitled: "The Geyser Girl of Yellowstone Park."
My second is Songs to New York, a collection of literary fantasy shorts on miraculous events which occur to everyday people in the five boroughs: my love affair with the Big Apple served in ten slices.
Manhattan born, spending my first two in Jackson Heights, Queens, before moving upstate, I returned to my roots in 1991. November 15, 2017 marked the twentieth anniversary in our current Brooklyn railroad apartment beneath the J train.
Before this, when I was 15, in 1967, I spent an overnight under the stars in Grand Teton National Park, it was one stop along a cross-country camping road trip.Forty-three years later, I packed up our 1999 Dodge Caravan and made the drive myself. Upon entering Teton for the second time, it was as though it were yesterday. I experienced the land's hearty embrace: "Like a big, old mother bear," I remarked when we were back in Brooklyn. Thus, the Stories began...
The page marked "Excerpts" contains samples from my works. Do help yourselves. Just down the hall are a homespun photo gallery and some press releases as well.
Love and peace.
"A beautifully written account of life, friendships, loves and tragedies against a vision of comfort and wisdom." - Gerry Sammon, Author, Wolf Boy.
"Heartfelt, enchanting and more... The timelessness of Wyoming's Tetons is superbly woven into this epic family drama." -Connie Chappell, Author, Lily White Lie.