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Please note: MWW is a diverse community of authors. We strive to maintain a professional and quality blog of interest both to readers and fellow writers. The authors are varied, write books on many topics, and come from many backgrounds. While we support and respect each others’ work and opinions, the statements expressed by individual bloggers on this site do not necessarily represent the group as a whole.

With that in mind, read on!

Montana Women Writers 009

Back row, L to R: Christine Carbo, Patti Dean, Marie Martin, Ann Minnett, Jeannie Tallman, Anne B. Howard, and Constance See

Front row: Gail Ranstrom, Kathy Dunnehoff, P.A. Moore, Marlette Bess, Leslie Budewitz, Nan McKenzie, and Betty Kuffel

Camera shy: Deborah Epperson, Angela Miller, Ina Albert, Karen Wills, and Lise McClendon

An Author Not On Face Book

By Ann Minnett

This Author Deactivated Facebook

I recently deactivated my Facebook accounts, both private and professional. Regurgitated news stories, ad scams for too-good-to-be-true products, and political ‘falsehoods’ from friends and strangers did not add to my quality of life.

Why did I linger on Facebook for over a decade? First, I stayed to communicate with readers on my writer page, although very few engaged me there. The real reason was FOMO–Fear of Missing Out. I wanted to know what my kids and a few writer friends were up to. That part was nice. Lately, I realized 5-7 people have dominated my timeline with food pics, sensational summer hikes, or why/why not wear a mask. Of course, a few just posted selfies every day. I’ll admit to posting my fair share.

Facebook invited me to compare my insides to others’ outsides—an unhealthy trap that left me wanting. Mostly, I wondered how in the world these people kept so busy and had all those friends. Didn’t they ever just read a book? I guess not because few if any posted a selfie holding an open book on the deck overlooking the lake.

Yes, I’m a tad cranky these days.

Anyway, not only do I feel less consumed by social media, but the absence of Facebook has given me back 30 minutes in the morning and untold minutes throughout each day. Win!

If you’d still like to contact me, let’s connect through:

Twitter @ann_minnett

Instagram @annminnett

https://annminnett.com

11-15-20

Postscript:

I’ve learned a few things about myself since I gave up on Facebook.

  1. I missed photos of my grandkids that don’t seem to make it to my email account.
  2. There are a handful of people I like to check in on. Some might call this stalking.
  3. Most posts don’t require my endorsement, displeasure, or opinion. Refreshing!
  4. FOMO is real in the time of COVID-19.

You guessed it. I can once again be reached at https://www.facebook.com/annminnettwriter

Humbly,

Ann

Excerpt from “Beyond the World”

By M. F. Erler

“Image 2”

It felt so good to stretch his muscles after all the ages of confinement.  A laugh rumbled deep inside him, and a sudden puff of smoke came from his nostrils.  This made him laugh again with delight, and the smoke became a red-orange flame.

            Ah, yes, this was his favorite form.  All too often he had to disguise his true identity—posing perhaps as a handsome human male with sleek dark hair—sometimes as a threatening animal, such as a wolf.  The form he most detested, though, was when he had to imitate the golden glowing body of an angel, one of the Enemy’s trusted servants.

            This memory sent waves of rage through him, and bright blue flames shot from his mouth and nostrils.  He’d been one of them once—many eons ago—but now was cast out.  No matter how he tried to reassume his original form, it never quite fit anymore.  In fact, the very thought of it made him itch with an irritation that only got worse the more he scratched it with his long, curving claws.

            In anger he spread his huge leathery wings, admiring the dark shadows they cast across the landscape below, as he sat, perched on the edge of a craggy cliff.  At least now he was free of the chains that had bound him for so long. 

‘The Enemy thinks he has only released me for a time,’ he hissed to himself.  ‘But he underestimates me.  I still have powers he hasn’t seen, and when I unleash them…’

            The deep chuckling in his throat emerged as a roar.  This ominous sound echoed off the mountains all around, as he launched his huge serpentine form into space and took flight.  

First Snow Haiku

By Ann Minnett

Barbara Schiffman recently hosted a webinar about Haiku poetry. The term has expanded to include a variety of interpretations, but she and the attendees favored the more traditional 5-7-5 syllable version of Haiku. I made a brief attempt to keep a Haiku diary and vow today to resume the practice.

Our first substantial snowfall inspired me to write this.

First Snowfall

Pristine silence thuds

Pinpricks speckle lifted smiles

No work only peace.

Winter has arrived in NW Montana. Have a lovely week no matter where you call home.

~ Ann Minnett

10-18-2020

November Book News

No Goat Farm: Christine Norris hits emotional bottom after two young cousins are removed from her care due to her ‘lesbian lifestyle.’ She descends into self-destruction, but a wise older neighbor and the neighbor’s adult son Seth inspire Chris to become a teacher and later, guardian to the developmentally delayed Seth. Chris falls in love with Delilah and finds her voice as a wife, a teacher, and advocate for children in need of a loving home. Set in rural East Texas, Chris and firebrand Delilah overcome violence, racism, and homophobia to create their own diverse, loving family. Release Date: November 9, 2020

 

*****

 

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I’m delighted to report that The Solace of Bay Leaves, the 5th Spice Shop mystery, is now out in all formats — paperback, ebook, and audio. Pepper Reece never expected to find her life’s passion in running the Seattle Spice Shop. But when evidence links a friend’s shooting to an unsolved murder, her own regrets surface. Can she uncover the truth and protect those she loves, before the deadly danger boils over?

Library Journal, in a starred review, calls Pepper “a mature and introspective sleuth” and Solace a “complex, well-developed mystery.”

I’ll be joining mystery and cookbook club members at the Bozeman Public Library for a chat about the Spice Shop series on Mon, Nov 16 at 7 pm. And my newsletter subscribers will get the first peek at the cover for my suspense debut, coming in April 2021, on November 15. Sign up on my website. (Subscribers also get a free download for a Food Lovers’ Village short story.)

Wishing you all the solace of a good book.

*****

 

A HAPPY THANKSGIVING GREETING FROM A COUPLE WILD TURKEYS AND AUTHORS OF THE FLATHEAD

JOIN NOVEMBER ZOOM MEETINGS FOR AUTHORS

Thursdays at 7 pm – Zoom invitations at www.authorsoftheflathead.org

Come and bring your friends

Nov. 5  Character Arcs: Character Evolution=Reader engagement – Kathy Dunnehoff

November 12 Interviewing for Authors Join true crime author Betty Kuffel, MD, and experienced podcaster Barbara Schiffman. They will discuss being interviewed, interviewing others, podcasting, and Dr. Kuffel’s experiences interviewing investigators, victims, and an imprisoned pedophile suspected of cannibalism.

November 19Open Reading – Fran Tabor – Share your writing samples and get feedback from other authors. Check schedule for manuscript guidelines.

November 26 and December 24Holiday break from Meet Up Montana Screenwriting but there is a Holiday Movie Challenge with a prize for winner, deadline 1/21/21

Get Movie Challenge details to participate during November and December  and for the 2021 schedule at: https://www.meetup.com/MTScreenwriting/

Montana Women Writers and A of F members are encouraged to join in viewing movies and practicing writing log lines and brief synopses for each. Plan to write one for a film you enjoy. It will help you pay attention to the film’s story with a writer’s eye and ear. This is great practice for novelists and non-fiction writers.

Dec. 3TBA check schedule on website – Kathy Dunnehoff

Dec. 10The Charms and Challenges of Audiobooks Eve Passeltiner, NY actress and audiobook narrator will join Susan Purvis, world explorer, author and narrator of her best-selling book Go Find.

Dec. 17Open Reading – Fran Tabor – Share your writing samples. Online Critique. This is a great way to get feedback from other authors. Check schedule for manuscript guidelines.

Dec. 24 – Merry Christmas – Holiday break from Montana Screenwriting

****

A Deal to Die For debut novel released in October by Suzie Sarkozy, (AKA Sue Toppen). Sue is a member of our group who moved from Polson to AZ, but returns often.

Review of A Deal to Die For: Former librarian, Alberta (Birdie) Alton returns to Arizona from Nebraska in search of finding some stability in her miserable life. She takes a job as the only female car salesperson in the AutoMall, an establishment overflowing with colorful, and, it turns out, a few dangerous characters. Armed with a sharp wit, a wise guy attitude, and a determination to outlast her male counterparts in the cut throat car business, Birdie finds herself embroiled in a high-stakes treacherous endgame after a major adversary at the dealership is found murdered with a weapon having her fingerprints all over it.

In her debut novel, Suzie Sarkozy expertly captures the inner workings of an automobile dealership through the eyes of a delightful heroine, Birdie Alton, the only female car salesperson in the Automall. The well-drawn, colorful characters entertain the reader through the author’s keen sense of humor as Birdie finds herself caught up in the drama of the cut-throat automobile business. The murder of a male adversary at the dealership tests her fortitude and ingenuity and quickly moves the book from a fascinating and humorous study of a female trying to survive in a man’s world to a page turner you won’t be able to put down. Highly recommended! – DUKE SOUTHARD, award-winning author of The Fallacy of Closure and the Detective Parker Havenot series

Available on Amazon

To all Montana Women Writers: I have prepared a detailed list author members of Authors of the Flathead who have published books. The list will be a static place on our website where your book might be noticed and broaden your readership. Montana Women Writers has no dues, but if you wish to become a member of Authors of the Flathead and have your work posted, dues remains at $25 per year and runs January to January.

If you would like to join and have your books included you can pay the fee online in January. If you have a book and do not appear on the list, please let me know. The author’s name, genre and books/series are noted. If your book is not available on Amazon, let me know.

Submitted by Betty Kuffel, Pres. Authors of the Flathead

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAIKU

By Diane E. Boker

Lucky for me that (5)

I think in pentameter. (7)

It can be a game. (5)

In September of 2020, several members of Montana Women Writers met via Zoom for a word-lover play date (a.k.a. the monthly meeting).  The activities were led by member, Barbara Schiffman, a recent haiku enthusiast.  

You probably already know that a haiku is a poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.  Traditional Japanese haiku focuses on the seasons and observations of nature and is in present tense. According to Barbara, “modern haiku has no limits to subject and doesn’t need to be somber. You can be humorous, satiric, ironic or even silly.” For silly, see my example above. She pointed out that working on haiku is great training to tighten prose, to be concise, to find the exact word to evoke the feeling a prose writer is trying to express.

We created some haiku on the fly with prompts from Barbara and really surprised ourselves.  We even wrote some collaboratively, with one member throwing out the first line and others adding line two and three.  It was exhilarating.

You can try it too.  Here are some suggestions to write about:

  • Something you ate today
  • The pandemic
  • The weather
  • Your pets
  • A summary of your book

Speaking of the pandemic, there is a Face Book page dedicated to haikus about the pandemic.  Check it out: 

Haiku for a Global Pandemic group – https://www.facebook.com/

groups/616741405570934

I am going to contribute the one below, based on a random comment heard from the mom of a fifteen-year-old:

Dawning on the boy, (5)

All snow days are lost to Zoom. (7)

 Unforeseen results. (5)

And here are two more that I came up with after the MWW play date:

Karma is a bitch, (5)

They say. And here we are caught (7)

Choking, cloaked in smoke. (5)

Try to be normal, (5)

All the while knowing that you (7)

Are simply the light. (5)

Now, go have some fun yourself.