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
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

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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

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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!


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:

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:



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.



Phyllis Quatman


Betty Kuffel and Patti Dean


Nan Garrett


Dina Woods


Marie Martin and Becky Palmquist


Ina Albert

VAQUEROS (formerly Los Caporales)

Open- Need another author


Karen Wills


First Drafts


Here I go again—struggling with the unruly first draft of a new novel. When it comes to writing a new novel, I frankly HATE beginnings. I implore my brain to supply the perfect first line that will immediately grab the reader’s attention and hold it for 100,000 words (I write long). Like a crazed gold prospector, I mine the thesaurus for action verbs and spend too much time researching, while discounting the voices in my head shouting, “Just write the damn first draft!” So, I decided to “research” quotes on writing the first draft by famous authors. Here are my favorites.

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.”―William Faulkner

“Getting a first draft done is like pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor.” ─ Joyce Carol Oates

“You can always fix crap. You can’t fix a blank page.” ─ Christina Dodd

Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.” ─ Michael Crichton

The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.” ─ Robert Cormier

 “The first draft of anything is shit.”—Ernest Hemingway (indelicate, but that’s Papa)

Great advice, but my favorite quote comes from a fictional writer.  

“No thinking – that comes later. You write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!”  William Forrester, played by Sean Connery, in Finding Forrester.

Thanks for stopping by   ~~~ Deborah               

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The Perks of Turning 65

This month I’m celebrating two milestones. First, our family has lived in the beautiful Flathead Valley full-time for 24 years, and I’m turning 65 in a couple of days. With that in mind, I decided to focus on the positive and make a list of 8 reasons to celebrate reaching this peak. Some of y’all will understand these reasons now. Younger folks, trust me, you will in time.

1. I’m now eligible for senior discounts and they are everywhere—at eateries, movies,  retail stores, national parks, and more.
2. Eligible for Medicare: The great, the good, and the blasted donut hole
3. If I have an argument with my husband, it’s not a big deal because twenty minutes later neither of us will remember the argument, much less what we argued about.
4. I feel free to say, “No” and not give an excuse.
5. When someone tells me I look like I’m in my fifties, I take it as a compliment.
6. I no longer feel guilty about taking a nap when I feel the need.
7. Gray is my new favorite color.
8. I’m quicker to forgive and ask for forgiveness from others (including forgiving myself)

At 65, I don’t know if I feel young at heart, but I definitely feel young in my mind (not so much in my bones). I’m happy when I recall my life experiences, even the bad ones. I have more confidence, as there can be no substitute for decades of experience. Like my old cast iron skillet, I feel seasoned by the bounty, the lessons, and the challenges 65 years of living have given me. And like that skillet, I’m worn, but still strong and ready for whatever life serves up next.

Thanks for stopping by ~~ Deborah


Deborah Epperson

Theme Along With Me

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I’ve finally finished Shadows of Home, my romantic-suspense novel set in Louisiana and am now attempting to start the sequel to Breaking TWIG. Problem is, when I wrote Breaking TWIG, I never figured on writing a sequel until so many readers asked me to continue Becky’s story. How did life in Paris work out for her? Did she have a child? And the number one question readers asked: Did Becky and Johnny end up together? Now, as possible sequel scenes swirl in my brain, I once again face the adversary of all writers—the blank white page.

When I wrote Breaking TWIG, I had a question niggling my mind. When raised in an abusive home, why do some children grow up and repeat the abusive pattern with their children, while others manage to break free and become loving, supportive parents? Finding an answer to this question lodged in my subconscious, and it wasn’t until I’d written two-thirds of the book that I realized this was the book’s theme. Frankly, I didn’t give a thought to theme in the beginning. I just wanted to tell the story of Becky’s quest to survive her childhood as it unfolded in my mind.

I’ve read books on the craft of writing a novel that state emphatically that a writer should never consciously insert or apply a “theme.” Somehow, the theme of your book (if it has one) will reveal itself through your characters’ action and dialogue. Trying to force a theme onto your characters can come off as “preachy.” Yet other writing experts insist the writer must provide via the narrative a theme or several themes to give the characters depth and show the deeper meanings embedded in the book.

Thus the question arises–to theme or not to theme? Should you have a theme(s) in mind from the get-go? Or do you wait for the theme to effervesce through your narrative like bubbles through champagne? What works for you?

In Breaking TWIG, I wrote about the lives of three people who’d suffered mental, emotional, or physical abused by their parent. Two overcame their obstacles and became strong, loving adults. One could not break out of the pattern of abuse she’d known as a child. What made the difference in their lives? This became the major theme of the book. Perhaps Becky said it best, “Having one person who loves and believes in you is all a girl needs to keep hope alive.”

250,000 smallThanks for stopping by ~~Deborah