Fall writing classes in the fine state of Montana!

Montana welcome sign

A busy fall for me, and I’m hoping to see some writers out and about at these gatherings…

The Flathead River Writer’s Conference – September 27th & 28th in Kalispell. For more information check out the Authors of the Flathead website  www.authorsoftheflathead.org

The Montana Romance Writer’s Conference - October 4th & 5th in Bozeman, MT. Montana RWA Conference

And I’m also teaching these courses through Flathead Valley Community College:

The Write Business (6 weeks)

Develop the business skills necessary to help your writing career succeed! Whether you aim to be an indie author, find or keep a traditional publisher, freelance, blog, serialize your non-fiction or fiction, or take Hollywood by storm, you are an entrepreneur. In addition to the creative work of writing, you need to track finances, prioritize key resources and activities, identify and utilize avenues to get to your readers, and build the support of an unofficial but highly effective board of directors.

Mondays Oct 6 – Nov 10 3 – 5:30 p.m. $249

BUS 9240A AT Bldg Rm 206

Editing Tips & Tricks(1 session)

No one wants to be responsible for a piece of writing riddled with errors, but we often read and re-read a document not sure what we’re even looking for. Armed with specific editing tools, you can sign off on more polished writing in less time. Leave with a checklist to shift your focus from merely reading to quickly and accurately spotting and fixing writing and grammatical errors.

Oct 7 BC Bldg Rm 118 COMM 9029A

Novel Challenge (5 weeks)

Celebrate National Novel Writing Month with fellow writers and take a big bite out of your novel in 30 days! First class meeting in October will be to strategize our attack. The weekly November classes will be to discuss the craft of writing and the challenges of keeping the words flowing for all thirty days of November. When we have reached our goal, we’ll spend the last evening celebrating and looking ahead to revising.

Mondays Oct 27-Nov 24 6-8:30 p.m. $74

ENGL 1107A AT Bldg Rm 205

For more information and to register, click on FVCC…

 fvcc 8

Happy reading & Happy learning!


Day 18: Things I Know about the Main Character of The Rocker’s Mrs.

1. Trish is a regular woman who fails to see what’s remarkable about what she does every single day.

2. She will get a haircut by a dog groomer (sometime this week :)

3. Her real problem with her ex-husband wasn’t that he was smarter than she was… it was that he was too dumb to see how great she is.

4. She never thought her 25th high school reunion would end with her saying, “I’m with the band.”

5. Someday soon her 12-year-old daughter will stop rolling her eyes at her. But it won’t be today.

6. She thinks she’s stepping into a love triangle, but it’s far more complicated than that.

7. Her best girlfriend will soon be a guy named Marvin.

8. And while I don’t normally use my life in my fiction, I plan to give Trish a dog soon. It will put the hours I’m losing to a new puppy to good use…

Tally on backTally, the Writing Dog.

Happy Monday!


Day 8 – Carrot Shoes

They’re not actually made of carrots, the shoes. But the purchase of them became a carrot that helped me hit my writing goal today.

You know how it is… you want to get something done, and you want a little treat, a small one to make the task that much lighter.

Well, today I took off a couple of hours in the morning to spend some time with my father, which is always a treat. And after breakfast we hit a second hand store. Sperry Top-sider shoes, new, $2.00… carrot, carrot, carrot!


And since I apparently needed more (and who needs more than a cute pair of shoes for Two Dollars?!) I stopped by the grocery store to pick out a Honey Crisp apple for my afternoon at the keyboard. If you haven’t had one yet, it’s cider that crunches.


My wish for you as you go through your day and your to-do list… lots of carrots, apples & shoes!


Day 7 – Worst Kiss Details…

Okay, here are the clues to some of the bad kiss stories I’ve been hearing…

walrus mouthand…


fish breath mintsand…

dog licking


Thanks for the writing help! 2,142 more words today… The Rocker’s Mrs. continues!

Happy Reading, Writing & Romance (’cause if any of these things happened to you, you deserve a break!)


Day 6 – Worst Kiss

I hit my word count today, but tomorrow I’ve got a really bad kiss to write. This isn’t the awkward first kiss, braces locking sort of thing. This is two full-grown people who should be able to manage a lip-lock, but fail in a surprising fizzle.

old time kissing ad

My main character, Trish (name subject to change as is everything in a first draft) gets a shot at the boy she had a crush on growing up. They are at their twenty-fifth high school reunion, and he’s now a famous musician. But what works on paper, will not work on the paper I generate tomorrow.

I’m currently fishing for some less-than-stellar kiss details to add. Send a comment or join me on Facebook or Twitter, and I’ll let you know the spark-less specifics I add.


Happy Writing, Reading and Bussing

(an underused term for kissing because it sounds like transportation.)


Summer Beach Read Cover Contest!

 Okay, maybe it’s a little like choosing your favorite child. You know, something both impossible and deeply wrong. Still, I really love the cover of Hollywood Beginnings! It’s the work of the very talented Anna Mahlen of Monday Morning Designs & it’s now up for a beach read contest on Storyfinds!

If you haven’t yet discovered Storyfinds…. it’s all about bringing together readers and authors, and as both a reader and an author, I’ve loved their site for finding new reads and new readers.

So, pop over to Storyfinds and vote!

May the best beach cover win (and since only one is my child, I can tell you Anna’s cover is AWESOME!)

Click on the Vote button to cast yours on Storyfinds!

Happy e-Reading


Best Stairs Ever!

Best stairs ever!

No, I don’t mean the kind at the gym. You know, the stairs that you become oxygen deprived on while the woman next to you (younger, always younger) zooms up like she’s on an escalator?

I mean the kind of stairs that make you feel good about life…

spring break 2013 portland

Well, last weekend in Portland, I found these stairs at Powell’s Bookstore, and they made me really happy. Maybe it was finding them at such a great bookstore, healthy and thriving since 1971. Or maybe it was standing among all those print books and knowing that one way or another I can make that happen too.

Sure, I’m currently an e-book author, but sometimes all the categorizing that goes on… self-published/traditionally published; e-book/print book; small presses/large presses; commercial fiction/literary fiction;  well, it makes me tired.

I’m a writer because I write. I’m an author because you have been my reader. And that makes me happy too.

And while I find myself at the end of the best spring break ever with my family! (See photo below of my backyard  to see how OVER spring break is.)

spring break 2013 home

I still feel a little spring in my heart. I wrote this morning (not a lot… we all have colds as a last souvenier of the trip) but enough to get me going again, to take me another rung up my own staircase.

I’m not sure what I’m doing right now, what’s ahead with novels, screenplays, e-books, print, but I do know whatever the next step, I’ll be in good company.

Happy Reading!


Happy Thanksgiving!

I‘m thankful this holiday for all the readers/friends/family/neighbors/students/teachers/and fellow writers who have made my dream to be an author possible!

I will forever be grateful for the chance to write stories in my PJ’s that you can read in yours!

From midnight tonight until midnight on Thanksgiving… a free read!

Hollywood Beginnings on Amazon

Click on the cover to download FREE and instantly on Amazon!

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy e-Reading



Back to U (Okay, it’s my fantasy!)

I attended the University of Montana in the 1980′s when hair was big and Yugos were small. I wanted to put a photo of my college days in this post, but my mall bangs wouldn’t fit. Let’s just say that at a distance and in a pair of leather pants I might have passed for one of the guys in Poison.

Poison hair metal band

But I loved that perm, I loved UM, and I love remembering that time in my life.

That’s where the recurring fantasy began… what if I had the chance to go back? Not go back in a time traveling way. I had fun, but please, who wants to be twenty again? I mean twenty on the inside. Not twenty on the outside which would cost a fortune and not really work at all. I’d just have small hair and really large lips which wouldn’t fool anybody. No, my fantasy would be to step foot on campus now with all I know and want to know and just enjoy it. Instead I wrote Back To U.

To be an interesting novel, though, my main character couldn’t drag her husband and daughters with her like I would. She’d be single with an empty nest. And the empty nest I gave her? It’s a running joke at my house that when parents would say how brilliant their children were, I’d say that my girls would probably run off with the first all female Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band. (So far they haven’t, but there is now a real all female band, Lynette Skynyrd!)

And this Sunday September 30th & Monday October 1st, you can download Back To U for FREE. Because it’s also my fantasy that I’m not the only woman who likes to imagine the “what ifs” of life and still enjoys, at the end of the decades, the “what is.”

BacktoU 8_Bestselling                                            UM oval recreating BTU


Happy e-Reading!





A Writers Conference on the cutting e-Dge

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with the e-Dge (You know, e-Books, iPads…) But there really is a writers conference coming up October 6th & 7th that’s all about the new marketplace for authors. As an Indie author myself who managed to get on the Amazon Bestsellers list from Nowhere, Montana, I can tell you these are EXCITING TIMES!

The Flathead River Writers Conference has been focused on e-publishing for several years now, and this year the key note speaker is Mark Coker. Yeah, that Mark Coker!

Smashwords logo   He’s the founder of Smashwords, an ebook publishing and distribution platform that serves over 40,000 independent authors and publishers around the world & has distributed over 100,000 titles.

How does a small conference in Montana get somebody like that, in addition to Jeff Herman, Regina Brooks, John Dekakis, and Leslie Budewitz!? Maybe because the two day event is held here…

Kalispell in the fall

And the food’s really good too!

Frank feeds the writers well!

Well, I’ll be there with my friend & marketing guru Roxanne McHenry. We’re presenting our story of how two moms who chat over coffee made their way to the Amazon Bestseller list, and on Sunday we’ll hit the 10 things writers can do to better market their work. I’m looking forward to the weekend & the fun of gathering with a bunch of writers who understand the joys and pitfalls of working in our pyjamas!

me in PJ's in office

If you can join us…


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