Spring and Summer classes!

Tally with violetsIt’s Spring!







And it’s time for my Spring and Summer classes at Flathead Valley Community College…

Writing in the Workplace     (1 session)

  • Grammar Refresher – April 28           12-1:30 p.m.                              $20
  • The Easy Writing System – May 5 12-1:30 p.m.                              $20
  • Editing Tips & Tricks – May 12 12-1:30 p.m.                              $20

Introduction to Screenwriting     (4 weeks)

Learn the fundamentals from ideas to scenes to understanding the basic structure of a screenplay.

Tuesdays               May 5-May 26                           6-8:30 p.m.                      $64

Everyday Creative Writing      (4 weeks)

With guided exercises, it’s easy to capture everyday creative writing.

Mondays                June 8-June 29                          2-4 p.m.                           $54

The Write Plan     (1 session)

Develop the business skills necessary to help your writing career succeed!  Learn to track finances, prioritize key resources and activities, and identify and utilize avenues to get to your readers.

Tuesday                 June 16                                     5:30-8:30 p.m.                 $45

Register online www.fvcc.edu or call the Continuing Education Center (406) 756-3832

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Hope to see you there!


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…

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Happy reading & Happy learning!


Summer & Fall classes in Montana…

Workshops for Summer & Fall 2014!

June – October 2014

Flathead Valley Community College:

Everyday Creative Writing (4 weeks)

Ever want to try writing an article, a poem, a story, or even an entertaining letter but wondered what to write about and how to begin? There’s inspiration everywhere: at the dinner table, in newspaper headlines, even on the back of a shampoo bottle. With guided exercises, it’s easy to capture everyday creative writing.

Wednesdays June 4 – June 25 6-9 p.m. $69 ENGL 1095A AT Building Room 202

To register: http://www.fvcc.edu/continuing-education.html

The Writer’s Club – Grades 3 – 5 (2 one week sessions to choose from)

Develop a love of words. Expand your creative side with a wonderful portfolio of writing to take home at the end of the class. Plot stories, have fun with poetry and create a book cover. On the final day, treat your family to a reading and book signing. Bring a notebook and also a snack if you wish.

Session one: Monday – Friday June 16 – 20th 1 – 4 p.m. AT Bldg. Rm 202 $74

Session two: Monday – Friday June 23 – 27th 9 a.m. – Noon AT Bldg Rm 203 $74

To register: http://www.fvcc.edu/continuing-education.html

WRIT 95 – Developmental Writing (3.0 credits) Tuesdays 5:00 – 9:20 p.m. June 10 – Aug. 12th

To register: http://www.fvcc.edu/


Additional writing classes at FVCC:

Writing the First Novel with Dennis Foley http://www.fvcc.edu/continuing-education.html

Scrivener with Dennis Foley http://www.fvcc.edu/continuing-education.html

Break Into Magazine Writing with Becky Lomax http://www.fvcc.edu/continuing-education.html


Fall conferences:

Flathead River Writers Conference – Kalispell, MT September 27 & 28th www.authorsoftheflathead.org

Montana Romance Writers Conference – Bozeman, MT October 3 – 5th Montana Romance Writers







Day 26: What The Artist’s Way Class has taught me…

In addition to leading a group of writers at Flathead Valley Community College through National Novel Writing Month, I’ve also just finished a 12 week course based on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

the ARtists Way

It was a wonderful group of women interested in all sorts of creative pursuits. These are a few of the many things I took away from the experience:

1. We are all too hard on ourselves, but we need others to point that out to us.

2. When you give yourself permission to do something you want to do, you’ll be glad you did.

3. Don’t underestimate the little joys. Sometimes they end up being the big ones too.

4. We’re more alike than we are different.

5. There’s no shame in wanting some encouragement. We all need an “atta girl” sometimes.

6. We are often our own worst enemy. The good news? We can change that.

7. If you want to meet a dozen interesting, funny, creative women, meet a dozen women.

Happy creating,


Day 25: NaNoWriMo class has taught me…

I’ve been leading a group of writers at Flathead Valley Community College through National Novel Writing Month.

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Tonight’s our last meeting, and we’re having a potluck.

I could write an entire blog post on the joys of potluck. I mean, when you get a chance to eat a dozen different things from a dozen different cooks, it’s awesome, right? Sometimes we even luck out and everyone brings dessert!

It’s been one of the most lively groups of writers I’ve had the pleasure to work with. I hope they’ve taken something away from the class. I know I have.

They’ve taught me:

* Enthusiasm is everything. It’s challenging to keep going when you’re slogging through a novel. If you can keep your inspiration up, you can do anything.

* Ask questions. Lots of questions. It makes us all better writers, and it makes a teacher a better teacher too!

* It takes guts to write. Maybe you’re not from a family of literary giants (who is?!). Maybe you aren’t even sure where you’re from, where you are, or where you’re going (anybody besides me?) but with a little courage, you can do it anyway.

* Laughter is what makes everything work better… your writing, your interactions with others, your life.

* Writers, whether we are beginning or mid-stride, are among the most interesting people I know.

Thank you and happy rest of the month,


Day 19: The Artist’s Way

I spent the first half of my day having a potluck breakfast with a wonderful group of women who are all doing The Artist’s Way through Flathead Valley Community College.

If you’re not familiar with the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, I’d urge you to check it out.

the ARtists Way

It’s a book about creativity and unblocking and enjoying yours, however you want to express it: art, music, writing, cooking, photography,  etc.. and just doing whatever you do with more zest.

We’ve talked a lot about creativity in our home environment, purging, rearranging, & claiming new ways to live. We’re 11 weeks into the class, and I think all of us have tossed things from our closets and added things we really love to our homes.

Gathering with them was a great way to start my day, and now it’s time to put that energy to work in my own creative life.

Happy creating,



Day 4 – and the writing is like…

pulling teeth 3 stooges

 I did get my word count in today, and I’m looking forward to meeting tonight with the 15 area writers who are also suffering, uh, I mean doing NaNoWriMo.

I’m going to talk about carrots and sticks.

The teeth pulling thing definitely falls under the stick category. Tomorrow I’ll give you the best carrots we can come up with!

Happy Writing, Reading & dental work!


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…


E-Publishing 101

This is for the Montana writers…  Resolve to Publish Your Book in 2012 Workshop!

Roxanne McHenry, who helped me launch The Do-Over, will present the technical aspects of e-publishing and the specific tools for online marketing.

Roxanne's website banner www.eroxanne.com

I’m going to cover the author’s job in the process. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, but the steps are clear once you begin and very do-able. My mentor Dennis Foley says about novel writing, “If Dennis can do it, anybody can do it.” Let me say about e-publishing, “If Kathy can do it, anybody can do it!”

 Prior to May I didn’t have so much as a Facebook account. I am now the owner of Blue House Publishing, the author of an e-book (the second one’s coming out this month!), a blogger, and occasionally I’m a twit. Okay, I mean I tweet on Twitter!

It’s been a great experience, and we hope you’ll join us…

Saturday January 21, 2012  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. For more information and to register contact Roxanne at rox@roxanne.com

e-pub 101 001

Babies, Books, and Finding My People

The first time I attended the Flathead River Writers Conference, I was partially trying to get away from a toddler.
When I look back now at the photos of that dear toddler, Ava, I almost can’t stand how sweet that time was. But when you’re home nearly 24/7 with an active child, and the northern fall is bringing clouds and darkness, and you have almost given up hope of ever seeing the light of day again, escape is not unreasonable.
So I went to the local writer’s conference to spend two days drinking coffee with grown-ups and enjoying the privilege of closing the door all the way when I went to the restroom.

The Plan

I met a literary agent there who liked the concept of my novel that I was only about 30 pages into. That novel, The Plan, about a biology professor who makes a science experiment out of looking for a man to father her child, will be available this fall, but at that moment in time, it was a long way from grown, just like Ava.
I attended the next year. The combination of an interested agent and, more importantly, privacy in the bathroom, was well worth the admission price. I had another great weekend, complicated only by having another great baby. Yes, that fall, I had a toddler and her two-month-old sister, Grace. My mother brought the baby to me during my breaks, and I was exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure.

Flathead River Writers Conference

I continued to attended the conference year after year, and as my children grew, so did my stack of manuscripts. I suffered near misses with agents, and a success or two. I certainly won the lottery when it came to amazing daughters, and I won and placed in several writing contests. But over time, the conference came to mean something to me beyond the break from domestic life, and even beyond the amazing instruction and opportunity the professionals there give so freely. I came to find my people.
I am a writer and so are the 125 people who gather there every year.
We take two days from our lives to talk about our shared love of words, the desire to write that drives us to stay up late or get up early or try to scribble down a bit of dialogue with a baby on one hip and another asking for a juice box.


And this year, my teenage daughters will tell me to have fun as they run out the door to see their friends, and I will run out the door to see mine.


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