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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

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Speaking of the Drum Solo

Ann Minnett MWW photo

By Ann Minnett

My own writing has affected the way I read novels. I now notice how other authors craft sentences, use dialogue to move the story along or flaunt literary norms. (No punctuation? No problem!) Admittedly, the sparse prose of Cormac McCarthy or Kent 51-m2i8kiil-_sx322_bo1204203200_Haruf appeals to me. A friend once said, “Each simple sentence in All the Pretty Horses is like a sunset.” I agree.

Don’t give me the seven-minute drum solo when a riff will do.

I just read a new novel by a bestselling author. Her first novel sold a million copies, and critics predict this second book will fare as well. The novel’s story gripped my heart. The complex characters came alive for me on the page. I cared about them and eagerly read through to the end.

I did not read every word.

Within the first few pages I began skipping chunks of backstory, fussy details, and rabbit trail asides. Page-long paragraphs revealed the author’s skill to the point of, dare I say it, showing off. As a reader, I don’t appreciate the author’s shout, “Look at me.”

I read those long paragraphs using a shallow, not too sophisticated strategy:
~ read the first sentence in the paragraph
~ skimmed the middle
~ slowed to catch a thought or the gist at the end of the paragraph

I don’t think I missed much with this approach. If anything, the strategy saved me from frustration and allowed me to finish the book to see what happened.

Can you relate, or do you think I’ve succumbed to the Twitter-ization of literature? When do you notice your attention drifting or bogging down while reading a novel? When do you skip to the next good part? When do you stop reading at all? I’m curious to hear what readers think.

Fifteen Years of Lies FINAL EBOOK COVER Check out my latest novel, Fifteen Years of Lies, guaranteed not to bore you with long, rambling paragraphs.

Happy Holidays, Everyone. And Happy Reading!

Life Reflections

Even as I navigate the hustle and bustle of the holiday season,  I can’t ignore the niggling prick in the back of my mind that insists on reviewing the memories of things done and left undone this past year. Recollections of new friends found, old friends rediscovered, and loved ones gone, but never forgotten. It is a time for merriment, reflection, and laughter. In that spirit, I want to share a few observations of life that a friend sent me. The author is anonymous. Hope they bring a smile.

1. I live in my own little world, but it’s OK. Everyone knows me here.
2. I don’t do drugs. I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
3. The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.
4. If  life deals you lemons, make lemonade. If life deals  tomatoes, make Bloody
Marys.
5. Every day I beat my previous record of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.
6. Marriage changes passion; suddenly you’re in bed with a relative.
7. I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn’t need the class!
8. Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
9. Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.
10. Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.
 
Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed holiday season.  ~~ Deborah
Shadows of Home will be FREE on Dec. 22-26, 2017    Breaking TWIG will be $.99    SOH ad teaser banner #1BT Banner Author Shout#1

December Book News

dec holidays

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  ‘Tis the season for sharing books we love with people we love, right? I’ll be sharing mine at the annual Kalispell Art Walk Holiday Stroll, signing books at Montana Marie, a delightful shop on Main Street carrying work by dozens of local artists. (You may remember it as Think Local.) The Stroll is Friday, December 1, from 5-8 p.m. Come by and try a sip and bite of something delicious, and browse everything from candles to terrariums (terraria?), all locally made. And take home signed copies of my Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and Seattle Spice Shop books, all made for you in a little house in the big woods outside Bigfork!

Happy Holidays!

DEBORAH EPPERSON: The home of a Texas friend flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Debby lost almost everything, including her beloved books. After months of hard work work and many tears, Debby recently was able to move back home. But I think the Montana Women Writers would agree that a home without books is unthinkable. So several MWW authors stepped up and Debby will be getting two boxes of new books for Christmas. Thank you Betty, Marie, and Leslie!

In this time of giving, I am giving away Kindle eBook copies of  Shadows of Home from Dec. 22-26. Also, Breaking TWIG will be on sale for $0.99 Dec. 22-26, 2017.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season.     ~ Deborah

SOH ad teaser banner #1BT Banner Author Shout#1

 

December Book news from Betty Kuffel 

I am excited to report Amazon Scout accepted my medical thriller Deadly Pyre submission to the contest for publication. Their acceptance came in yesterday!

<Approved!

Hello Betty Kuffel,

Your Kindle Scout submission has been approved for launch! Your campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and last for 30 days.

This will be the URL for my Kindle Scout campaign once it launches:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/UP3KDBM7PVVU

The Kindle Scout campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and end on January 7, 2018 12:00 AM EST!>

Please click on the link when it goes live, read the excerpt from my book and vote! This is sort of a Dancing with the Stars for authors. Votes for the book count in the final determination of a winner.

If you’re interested in the Scout contest, here’s a link to a blog post written by Debbie Burke, long time member of Authors of the Flathead whose thriller won a Scout publishing contract and is now available on Amazon.  Deb’s website: http://wp.me/p7O7QO-6A

JOIN MONTANA WOMEN WRITERS

& INVITE YOUR FRIENDS

to the

Holiday Tea and Book Sale

Downtown Columbia Falls at Business Locations

Saturday December 9th 1-3 P.M.

Montana Women Writers will be participating in a community event in Columbia Falls on Saturday December 9th. Authors will be at numerous businesses greeting shoppers. They will be selling books and serving tea with cookies.

҉

STATION 8

Phyllis Quatman

WALLFLOWER

Betty Kuffel and Patti Dean

TEA KETTLE CAFÉ

Nan Garrett

NORTH FORK PIZZA

Dina Woods

COLUMBIA FALLS LIBRARY

Marie Martin and Becky Palmquist

ODD FELLOWS COFFEE SHOP

Ina Albert

VAQUEROS (formerly Los Caporales)

Open- Need another author

BAD ROCK BOOKS

Karen Wills

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL NAN MCKENZIE 406-892-0055

Precise Vocabulary and Passion

By  Karen Wills

I just finished Helen Macdonald’s edgy, tender, and thought-provoking book, H is for Hawk. It’s about her love for her father, her grief over his death, and her lifelong passion for falconry and training hawks. One goshawk named Mabel helped the writer through her worst pain.

As I grew up, I developed passions for certain activities. My passions had their own vocabularies, far too precise to be jargon. As I remember, I think the vocabulary became a part of my love for both language and ballet. For example, in ballet there are five positions. In each, the arms and feet are placed in only one way. A pas de deux is always a dance for two, and so on. pas de deux  In class, we were taught the vocabulary of ballet and expected to remember the words and put them into precise movement. Otherwise the beauty we aspired to would just turn uncertain and clumsy. The language of ballet was all language and movement. Most people only recognized the dance.

Macdonald had a passion for falconry even as a child. Here is part of the reason for her passion.

“Young birds are eyasses, older birds passagers, adult-trapped birds haggards. Half-trained hawks fly on a long line called a creance. Hawks don’t wipe their beaks, they freak. When they defecate they mute. When they shake themselves they rouse.”  She adds, “I wanted to master this world that no one knew, to be an expert in its perfect, secret language.”

There’s a dark side to working with raptors that means it could never be my passion, but I fully understand the attraction of words so perfect in sound and meaning that they become irresistible.

I’m grateful this Thanksgiving for many things, especially for words and that putting them down on paper is the longest lasting passion of my life.

Writing has allowed me to feel like a passage, but never a haggard. goshawk flightI hope your passions come with words that feel like magic.

 

Confessions of a Historical Fiction Fanatic

By Janice McCaffrey

Lately I’ve been thinking about the ramifications of reading historical fiction. Does it smother history under make believe? Or does it inspire readers to reach outside of their comfort zones.

For me historical fiction often whet’s my appetite for facts. That curiosity leads me to research and of course to Google. Over the years I’ve collected eclectic facts from around the world.

But last year a seemingly innocent choice took over my life.

I watched an international historical fiction TV series, Magnificent Century(Netflix.com). And now my family and friends roll their eyes if I so much as mention the word “Turkey.” Even during this holiday season.

I can’t help it!

I fell in love with Sultan Süleyman I   suleyman

. . . of course the actor who portrayed him, Halit Ergenç didn’t hurt.

Süleyman was the Ottoman Empire’s longest reigning Sultan (1520-1566). He set fair taxes and protected ethnic and religious minorities. He updated the Empire’s code of law and instituted free education for boys. He’s responsible for the Empire’s unique artistic legacy. He wrote poetry, was an accomplished goldsmith, and led the world in architecture building mosques and public buildings. In Jerusalem he restored the Dome of the Rock and the city walls (still the Old City of Jerusalem’s walls) and renovated the Kaaba in Mecca.

And what a romantic! During the same era Henry VIII was arguing with the Pope about a divorce, Süleyman changed the law so he could not only marry his favorite concubine, Hurrem, but also live with her. He even bent the mores of the day inviting her to council meetings and taking her advice on matters of state. She was an important diplomat especially between the Ottoman Empire and her native Poland.

Fascinated with the Ottoman Empire and Halit I’ve gone on to an array of historical and contemporary movies, TV shows and books, both fiction and non-fiction. I highly recommend The Butterfly’s Dream (Netflix) a touching story based on two lesser-known Turkish poets, Rüştü Onur and Muzaffer Tayyip Uslu.

Over the past several months I’ve experimented with traditional Turkish recipes and learned lyrics to a few of their popular songs. And, yes, I’m working on the language (thanks Free Turkish Lessons Online or I should say soğul (pronounced sowl).

I guess the answers to my original questions can be both yes and no. It depends on the person doing the reading.

This personal admission of my fanaticism is just one example of historical fiction’s ability to promote a readers’ expansion of knowledge. I’m thankful for authors who give us the facts blended with imagination.

And I wish all of you a very Şükran Günü kutlu olsun (Happy Thanksgiving)