A Writer’s Gratitude


Ann Minnett MWW photoBy Ann Minnett

After a year of fear and false starts, my ability to write has returned, and for that I am deeply grateful. I now understand what what the process of writing means to me. Here are four reasons for my gratitude:

Writing is my escape into a world of my own making.

Reading used to be my escape, but lately I’m unable or unwilling to start a novel. Reading has no appeal. I feel wrung out by the election from hell. Do you? I am emotionally spent and much more willing to work Sudoku puzzles or play Freecell than read. A good book has tension, people I feel strongly about, twists and turns and surprises. I don’t want to be whipsawed by literature after enduring an insufferable campaign in which every morning brought the same question… What’s happened now? I’ve had enough suspense for a while, and so I write.


Writing is my creative outlet.

I love writing fiction because I can make it up. My earlier career as a Developmental Psychologist required me to be meticulous with facts and interpretations of the data from studies about child and family development. Clinicians, teachers, policy makers make important decisions about children’s lives based on research findings. Professional ethics and oversight ensure researchers stick to facts.

I recently saw a list of fake news sites that flourished on social media during our recent election. I wasn’t surprised to find the blatantly fake ones. (Aha! I knew it!) Then again, I trusted a couple of the fake sites and even shared their articles on Facebook. I believed the hyperbole because those stories paralleled my beliefs.

Therefore, I will fictionalize on purpose and perhaps refrain from dispensing or consuming fiction on social media.

Writing provides me a community of interesting writer friends and colleagues.

I don’t know what I’d do without my eclectic writer friends. During the past months when I considered not writing again, the only reason I didn’t quit was the sad thought of no longer sharing in the writing community.

Besides, writers are thinkers, observers of human nature, and storytellers. My friends amaze, tickle, and often shock me in a good way with what they create.

Writing provides me a heart connection with people I will never meet.

My first two novels deal with deeply personal and frightening events in a girl’s life. There are readers to whom these difficult subjects have meaning, and I’m so grateful when they mention their own lives in heartfelt reviews of my work.

I once sat in on a discussion of Burden of Breath held by readers who work with abused and neglected children. I was fascinated by their insights and opinions. It struck me how the tentacles of relationships exist between Ann the Author and the Unseen Reader. I’d like to write a story about that bond in the future.


Full of gratitude, this writer now finishes final edits for my third novel and is actively engaged in writing a fourth. More to come about their contents in a future post.

Until then, Peace and Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.


September Book News


Killing Thyme (final)LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Writing a little every day — that’s the writer’s motto. KILLING THYME, the third book in my Spice Shop Mysteries set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, will be out October 4, so I’m busy with book launch fun, and of course, working on the next book. I’ll be in New Orleans for Bouchercon, the annual mystery convention, Sept 15-18, and that’s when I turn over the presidency of Sisters in Crime, the international writers’ organization, to another wonderful writer, though I’ll remain on the board for another year. Back home, the Montana Book Festival runs Sept 20-25 in downtown Missoula; on Friday, Sept 23, at 2:00, I’ll be part of a panel discussion called “Delicious Words: Writing About Food,” with several other fiction writers, poets, and essayists, and a cookbook author! And October 1-2 is the annual Flathead River Writers Conference in Kalispell; I’ll be speaking and teaching both days.

P.S.: The ebook of ASSAULT & PEPPER, the first Spice Shop book, is on sale online for 1.99, and the paperback of GUILTY AS CINNAMON, the second entry, is on sale for 7.19! Here’s the Amazon link, but you can get the sale prices at B&N and Kobo, too!

I hope to see you some thyme — er, time — soon!


     BIGFOOT RETURNS!!          By Nan McKenzie


He’s back!  Bigfoot is back in the Montana mountains in all his stinky, huge, scary glory!  He returns to connect with his champion, Zoe Zahn, along with Sam Hill, Darcy and George, Valli and Rauol, and Montana Governor Judy Harris!

The second and last of the Bigfoot stories has Zoe back at the beautiful round cabin, where Bigfoot finds her.  She does her best to keep him safe from all the crazies who want to kill and “study” him.

Bigfoot has a girlfriend, Helga, and she pops out a baby, Helgette, with Zoe’s help.  Another beast, Ssshhhrrrmmm is lonely, and wants Helga for his own, which causes huge fights between him and Bigfoot.

Zoe makes her way back into the mountains several times, is attacked by wolves, and Bigfoot carries her high to a big cave.

She sets up protests, argues with the angry sheriff, publishes her first Bigfoot book (which becomes a huge success), and makes a lot of cabin improvements.

Impressive tiny Zoe makes her way through all the pitfalls and problems with panache, humor, and a fierce protection of the strange, frightening monsters in the woods.

Now available on Amazon and Kindle, soon to be in print.


I love libraries!

Capture            By Janice McCaffrey

What is the #1 support writers need?  Readers…critique groups, beta readers and book buyers. What came first a desire to write or the love of reading?

Silly questions? Maybe. But lately I’ve been thinking how important reading is to us writers. I bet reading has taken each of us to magical places we’d never imagine for ourselves. We’ve gotten to know characters we won’t meet in our daily lives. Heroes and villains, historic figures and fictional characteristics blended in a way we hadn’t thought of before.

Reading we learn about our planet and our place in it. Where would we be without books in our lives?

I’m afraid we take our reading skills and availability to meaningful books for granted. It’s difficult to imagine kids in this great country who don’t have an adult to support their education or read to them. Kids who don’t have books in their lives.

Without thinking much about it we buy books, use our Kindles, and borrow from public libraries and our friends. What if we didn’t have those resources at our finger tips? We’d suffer. I know I would. Our children and community would suffer. Take a minute and put yourself in that situation. Imagine yourself and your family without books.

Andrew Carnegie knew how important reading is for everyone. He funded grants to 3,000 communities around the world (including 17 in Montana). The Hockaday Museum, Kalispell, is housed in an original Carnegie Library.




Then to honor his mother Todd Bol put up a little free library. Soon Rice Brooks joined him and in 2009 they formed a non-profit organization.

And Little Free Libraries are popping up around the world.

2014 enters Kim Kozlowski, a reporter for the Detroit News. Working with Detroit non-profit organizations, city parks and public schools her goal is to have 313 Little Free Libraries in Detroit (313 is their area code). Her latest project is to erect and maintain Little Free Libraries in front of each of Detroit’s 97 public schools.

Detroit’s main library is a product of Carnegie’s grants. There are ten branch libraries throughout the city. None of the branches are opened weekends and most have only one or two weekdays that remain open until 8p. When can hard working families take their kids to the library?

I was born in Detroit and raised just north of its city limit. I spent fun teen years during the birth of Motown and the era of the original muscle cars. I’m very proud and happy to report that the book club I belong to has sponsored a  Little Free Library at a Detroit school. I think all book clubs and writers’ organizations should join the cause of the Little Free Libraries—a fun way to encourage reading while building community interaction.

We don’t have to be as wealthy as Carnegie to help . . . any contribution adds to the movement. Check out these websites and facebook pages.

Website:                                                                     Facebook:

Littlefreelibraries.org                                                 little free libraries

Detroitlittlefreelibraries.org                                    Detroit: the little library capitol