Tag Archives: Native American culture

New Book Release – Sharing Stories on Our Autism Journey


June is a great month. It official marks summer break from school, as well as the first day of Summer. It is also my birth month, which is why I decided to publish The Road I’ve Traveled on my birthday.

The Road I’ve Traveled is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Its official release date will be on the 19th of June.

I absolutely love the cover. The anchor represents my time in the Navy. The color blue represents my love of the ocean, as well as autism awareness.

The Road Ive Traveled

The Road I’ve Traveled is a compilation of poems and short stories Jennifer wrote during moments of her life where she felt the need to get it all out. She writes about being in the Navy during the tragedies of 9/11, having to deploy to New York where she and her shipmates stayed in New York’s harbor for three weeks, guarding the coastline in hopes of preventing any further attacks.

She writes about loss, love, heartbreak, family. You can see the fondness she had for her grandfather as she includes a heartfelt eulogy she had written moments after his passing.

She also writes about being a single mom, as well as a mom to a child who is on the autism spectrum. The journey they have endured together has been bumpy, but they continue to plow through life, learning about autism and sensory processing disorder as they go.

You can find all of my books, recently published and upcoming, under my name and my pen name, posted on my website: www.twistedcrowpress.com/books
Or, you can find them on Amazon:
For all books published under my name, Jennifer N. Adams on Amazon, click here.
For all books published under my pen name, J. Raven Wilde on Amazon, click here.
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One Word Photo Challenge: Black


I thought this one was going to be hard as we have so many colorful things here at home and I usually snap pictures of things with color, but I did find some pictures with black items in them. For more information on this photo challenge, please check out Jennifer Nichole Wells blog.

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Flightless bald eagle, Little Rock zoo.

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Chimpanzee at the Little Rock zoo.

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A black leopard…yes, it’s a leopard and not a panther (which everyone confuses the two. You just can’t see his spots really well). Little Rock zoo.

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Leopards at the Little Rock zoo.

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His name is actually Black Cat and he’s the sweetest kitty.

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One of my favorite shows Supernatural has this very awesome car, 1967 Chevy Impala.

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Antique sewing machine from 1917-1920

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My daughter in a canoe at the Memphis zoo

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Taken at the Memphis zoo

Native American Sun Dance


The Sun Dance has been one of the most sacred ceremonies for thousands of years and is still practiced today by the Lakota, Shoshone, Arapaho, Crow, and Cheyenne tribes. To witness a Sun Dance ceremony as an outsider, you must have an invitation. I have had the opportunity to not only watch a Sun Dance, but learn about the sacred ceremony in its entirety.

A Sun Dance actually lasts 28 days, but preparation is a yearlong process. The Sun Dance is performed in the summer, starting on a full moon; usually the hottest week of the year. The performer begins his preparation meditating, praying, and spends time in the sweat lodge. A particular group of people begin setting up the Sun Dance grounds during this time. A scout will go out to look for the best Cottonwood tree, when one is found, a ceremony will take place to bless and thank that tree before it is taken down and used as the center pole for the Sun Dance. The center of tree represents the tree of life and sage and tobacco is tied on to the top of the tree before placing it in the ground. A circle is then formed around the pole of other trees.

Once the circle is finished, the performers will go into the sweat lodge to pray, then enter the circle. Once they enter the circle, all eating and drinking stops for four days. The performers will then sing and dance around the center pole, clockwise, for the first two days. On the third day those that choose to pierce their skin will be pierced and sing and dance for the final two days.

In old times the Sun Dance required the warrior to dance around a pole they were attached to by a rope. On the end of the rope were wooden skewers that pierced under their chest muscles. They would dance while pulling the rope, causing the wooden skewers to cut and pull on their pierced skin and muscle. Today, not all tribes pierce their skin.

On the fourth and final day the dancers must dance until their skin has been ripped, this completes the sacrifice and the performers become reborn. The performers will then finish the ceremony by sitting in the sweat lodge in prayer.