In the Company of Friends

  Writing can be a solitary life, so it is important for our craft and our sanity that we spend time with other writers. I’ve invited a long-time writer friend, Janet Fisher, to tell us about a trip she and three writer friends took recently when they attended the Women Writing the West conference in Oregon. I also sweet-talked her into showing us the cover of her newest book, The Shifting Winds, which is due out in April, 2016.

Post by: Janet Fisher     

Janet Fisher

Janet Fisher

Three friends from my Eugene writing group trekked east with me the first weekend in October for some western flavor at a Women Writing the West conference at the Eagle Crest Resort near Redmond, Oregon.

The highlight for me was meeting my editor Erin Turner. She’s the Editorial Director of TwoDot Books, the Globe Pequot imprint for A Place of Her Own and for my next book, The Shifting Winds. It was great meeting Erin face to face and having a chance to sit down and talk with her about my upcoming book. She’s a wonderful editor. I feel like a very lucky writer.

The Shifting Winds, to be released April 2016 by Globe Pequot Press/TwoDot imprint.

The Shifting Winds, to be released April 2016 by Globe Pequot Press/TwoDot imprint.

The Shifting Winds, a historical novel this time, takes the reader to 1824 Oregon with plenty of real history wrapped around a fictional tale. Young Jennie Haviland never wanted to go to Oregon, but a British Hudson’s Bay Company clerk and an American mountain man vie for her as the two countries vie for this rich frontier land.

Something I kept hearing at this conference was how so many women felt they had found their tribe with Women Writing the West. I felt that too for my pioneer stories. It’s such a warm and supportive group.

Janet Fisher - A Place of Her Own

A Place of Her Own, published by Globe Pequot Press/TwoDot imprint in 2014.

My friends and I from the west side rented a condo at the resort for the weekend, a lovely place nestled among the tall junipers, a bit apart from the conference center, so quiet only the delightful twitter of birds surrounded us. We each had a room of our own in the two-story building. We decided we could live there if we took a notion.

Writing conferences inevitably inspire me with all the workshops, networking, bookselling, and fun. My fellow travelers agreed wholeheartedly, all of us ready afterward to do great things with our next big writing projects.



Sounds like a fun time, Janet. We look forward to reading The Shifting Winds.

Thanks for stopping by,


Ebook on Sale $0.99

Ebook on Sale $0.99


Excerpts from past Blogs

I decided to go back in our blog postings and pick out a few words of wisdom from a few of our members.  They are varied and fun and oh so wise.

Ann B. Howard.  July, 28, 2013:  Walt Whitman said, “The secret of it all is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood of the moment—without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote—wrote, wrote…by writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught.”

Deborah Epperson. August 24, 2013:  Where does your inspiration come from? Is it the vibrant colors in a treasured painting or the pulsating beat of your favorite rock band that gets your heart to pumping and makes your hands itch to pick up a paintbrush or guitar and produce your own masterpiece? Maybe you’re like me and find yourself surprised by a plethora of sensory delights that stir your imagination and inspires your creativity.

Leslie Budewitz. August 20,13: Storytellers need story-listeners. Story-hearers. Story-receivers. Those aren’t words in our language, but they ought to be. In my household, we say “that may not be in the dictionary, but I said it and you knew what I meant, so it’s a word.”

Christine Schimpff-Carbo.  September 18, 13: I have written before on the type of things that help lure my muse: reading other authors, exercising, looking at artwork, visiting with other writers and so on, but I left out watching musicians perform. I definitely need to add them to the list. As I sat under the white tent under the Big Sky and watched the talented musicians get completely lost in their guitars, basses, keyboards and drums, it made me want to get lost in my computer keyboard, drumming out words instead of notes to tell a tale, to weave a plot, to use my imagination.

Marie F Martin. September 16, 13: In the middle 1930s, my grandfather Yeats wrote the following poem.  He homesteaded a Montana flatland spread just north of Gilford, near a town named Goldstone.  In the evenings after chores, he wrote the rhythms that ran through his mind while doing endless chores in his Red Chief tablet.  The ranch is gone, the town is gone but the poems live on.

Ina Albert. January 26, 14: It’s late on a Wednesday night, and Franklin Crawford, 52, is pushing a shopping cart around a 24-hour grocery store in Ithaca, New York. He’s found the bananas and cat food he needs, but as he roams the aisles he adds ice cream and other nonessentials to his basket. “This is the meeting place, the agora,” he explains. “It’s the abundance, the people, the bright light. It makes me feel good.”

Nan McKenzie. February 23, 14 Our heart is a magical organ, capable of loving, giving, generosity, anger, hurt, evil and goodness.  It is also capable of fining down to love a tiny flower, a teacup puppy, a newborn child, and yet it can expand to encompass a family, friends, co-workers, showering them with love, and expanding even further to love a neighborhood, a country, even all Americans.

Ann Minnett.  September 12, 14: If I held onto that manuscript another week, I’d revise chapter numbers, change tense on Serita’s POV, or something equally compulsive, so I self-published Serita’s Shelf Life in late August. Then two more agents requested my manuscript. What?! After a walk in the woods I realized it didn’t matter. Self-publishing is my path, and an agent’s validation or rejection can’t change that.  Oh, I love maturing as a person and writer.

Where is the past?

by Karen Wills

“The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. Put a map in the front of the book. It sets the scene of a story,” said author/map builder Mark Beaulieu at the 2015 Historical Novel Society Conference last June.

Writers of historical novels must do research, and one helpful item in our toolbox should be maps. Two writer/presenters at the Denver explained and showed us how they used maps. Delaney Green who wrote Jem, a Girl of London, which is set in the 18th century, showed us period maps of London and how she used them to give the ring of truth to her fiction…depicting crowded dockside streets and centers of activity in the old city.

Mark Beaulieu presented rare images of land and ocean maps used by Eleanor of Aquitaine, the queen who tried to prevail in the Crusade of 1147. Mark is an expert on her 12th century world, having written a six part series called The Eleanor Code. Eleanor wrote the first maritime laws, hence the use of the word code. She was also a successful trader in wine and silks and spices and the mother of ten. The maps she and her husband, Louis VII used were in part wrong, but they succeeded in getting 50,000 pilgrims to the Holy Lands in the 2nd Crusade, and brought those who survived (only one in twenty) back. They went out on land, crossing Turkey in the winter, and returned by sea.

Mark showed us a facsimile of a Roman marching map 6 feet long, and.referred us to helpful internet sites for those wanting to use maps. One is the David Ramsey Collection. http://www.libutexas.edn/maps/map.sites/hist_sites.html

How many of you like to see a map of the setting for any novel?

Radical Aging Seminar facilitated by Ina Albert, Certified Seminar Leader

Hi Everyone,

I’m presenting a seminar that poses the questions:

What is our vision for the second half of your life?

What do we do with our new found freedom at 50+?

Is your writing your legacy? If not, what is?

How can you map your direction, purpose and passion?

I am presenting a seminar for women 50+ to discover the answers to these questions.  I hope that you can join us at Bohemian Grange Hall in Whitefish on Friday, Oct. 23 from 7 to 9 pm and Sat. Oct. 24 from 10 am to 3 pm. The fee is $75 if you reserve your space by Oct. 18 – $100 after that.  Here’s the skinny:

Radical Aging!

Refire…Find Direction, Purpose and Passion

A Seminar for Women 50+/-

Facilitated by Ina Albert, CSL, Life Coach & Author

 The OMG moment for 50-year-olds happens when they recognize that, MY LIFE IS HALF OVER and ask:

  • What haven’t I done that I want to do in this lifetime?
  • What have I accomplished so far?
  • What do I consider a life well lived?

Let’s explore the answers together.

Friday, October 23, 7 pm to 9 pm

Saturday, October 24, 10 am to 3 pm

Grange Hall, Hwy. 93 S & Blanchard Lake Rd., Whitefish

For information and reservations:

Call: 406 249-4642



 Registration: $100     Early Registration by Oct. 16: $75

Check payable to: Ina Albert Associates

955 Northwoods Drive, Whitefish, MT 59937

October Book News


Ah, fall. The light is changing. The trees are changing colors, and the leaves are beginning to carpet the woods and paths. It’s a good time to dive deeply into our projects, a contemplative time. But there’s plenty of action going on, too!

Last weekend was the 25th annual Flathead River Writers Conference, sponsored by the Authors of the Flathead, where many of us met. Betty Kuffel again co-chaired the event. Watch for details of the 26th conference soon!

Our mystery writer members, Leslie Budewitz and Christine Carbo, will be attending Bouchercon, the annual international mystery convention, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Oct 8-11. It’s a gathering of 1500 readers, writers, and folks involved in the bookselling and publishing businesses, and a lot of fun! Leslie will be on a panel discussing ways to nurture talent, in ourselves and others. Christine will appear with other writers discussing the importance of location.

On Wednesday, Oct 7, before the convention gets rolling, Leslie will be part of a mystery and thriller conversation at the North Raleigh Library, and on Friday, she’ll become the new president of Sisters in Crime!

And on Oct 23, Leslie will be the guest speaker at the Glacier County Library in Cut Bank, as part of the library’s cookbook sale and celebration!

Wherever we go, we hope to see you — and we hope you have a good book to read on the journey!

Marie F Martin was in Battle Ground, WA last week signing books for friends, fans and family.  Marie says she received such encouragement from their kind words.  Fans are such special people.  She is also closing in on the first draft of her next novel, 101 Harbor Place.  It’s a mystery of sorts.

Becky has a book

Becky has a book