Our Writing Group
In 2014, I was privileged to join a writing critique group in Centralia. I can't express how important this group is to me. Beyond teachers and mentors, they're friends I look forward to seeing each week. They've taught me so much, and continue to do so.
Back row: Kristie Kandoll, Barbara Blakey, Joyce Scott, Debby Lee, Kyle Pratt
Front Row: Carolyn Bickel, Bob Hansen
These past two years, I've been attending the OCW (Oregon Christian Writers) Conference (August, four days, and later in the fall, a one-day conference) in Portland, Oregon, and the Southwest Washington Writers Conference (September, one day) in Centralia, Washington. Both have been so educational and encouraging for me. I am looking forward to this year's events again.
Months after these conferences, I am still thinking of the advice and encouragement given by authors attending, and the classes. The instructors who've had a special impact on me include: Susan May Warren, Leslie Gould, Jane Kirkpatrick, Wendy Lawton, Mary Keeley, Nick Harrison, Jeff Gerke, Dan Walsh, and Melanie Dobson.
My biggest inspiration is my mother, Dorothy LaBrant Kannianen. I've been blessed with a history-loving Mom who has saved old letters, pictures, and diaries. Her respect for the past, and her desire to preserve its memories, have both rubbed off on me. She's pictured below with some of her great-grandchildren.
The most helpful book for my research has been the Tales of Mighty Mountrail compiled by Leslie Dibble, Marie Dibble, Ruth Meiers, Gertrude Reep, and W. Ray Stewart. This has been an awesome source for me, recording an important segment of North Dakota's history.
A fun catalog to look through is the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog of 1902. (My copy is a newer reprinted version.) Although amazing to see a sewing machine in a wooden cabinet for twenty-three dollars, the wages of the day made them even more expensive to them than our prices today are for us.
Our library has access to the old "Stanley Sun" newspapers. They tell the story of a quickly changing world during the homesteading era near Stanley. And their exaggerated editorials are humorous. ("Stanley never stands still--the assertions of wiseacres and kickers to the contrary, nonwithstanding. This is an undeniable fact--as sure as death or taxes--and as true as the Holy Writ. Busy Stanley in imperial North Dakota is the most aggressive town in the Kingdom of Ward." From the September 22, 1905 issue of the "Stanley Sun."