Where Have I Been?


Oh my goodness, I haven’t updated the blogosphere about Fyfe Life in weeks!




In my defense, I’ve been kind of busy.

The dogs and I loaded up and headed east to Bismarck where we spent almost a full week while Alistair had to work some extra days for a colleague.

It was our second trip back without little Loki riding shotgun and I missed her at the rest stops. I didn’t miss the mayhem that ensued with all 3 dogs, none of whom are very well leash trained anymore but I missed looking over at her little sleeping body curled up on its blankie on the front seat next to me.



My travel companions en route to ND!

UB and Cleo adapted to their other home just fine, as always, and I got to reconnect with the horses and various friends. The downtown scene was maybe even more vibrant than our last trips there during the winter. When prairie folk get the feeling that their long, hard, frigid winter is coming to a close the energy is palpable.

We enjoyed a few fun suppers out at great new restaurants like J60 and dined with friends to celebrate their retirement at our old classic, 40 Chophouse.

And we cuddled on the recliners at night watching Netflix and begging Daddy for potato chips (I wasn’t a part of that but I did enjoy the cuddles and Netflix.)



Recliner time with the Bismarck version of our “magic blanket”

And, wonder of wonders (not that it was planned or anything, no sirree), our golf course in ND, Painted Woods opened our last day and we were able to play a breezy, fun round!



Painted Woods golf course in Washburn. Quite a different view from our Montana course!

The course opened on a Sunday and we were happy to see a few carts and golfers losing balls out there with us. (The wind, water hazzards, buttes and valleys here necessitate that you carry at least 30 balls in your bag, at minimum, even if you’re a stellar golfer.)

And ever since Alistair had his final surgery in February he hasn’t felt an ounce of pain when we play, which only adds to the fun and enjoyment when we get out there.



Our back yard in ND

Alistair had also just opened up Fyfe’s Backyard Pitch & Putt before I got back so we made sure to use our membership regularly.

As you can see by his attire, the weather had warmed considerably and even now, back in Montana, the weather hasn’t been as nice as it was that week.

The equine Fyfes all look pretty good except for 26 year-old Susie, one of the grand dams of the herd. She’s looking a lot more weedy and hasn’t shed out her hair coat as much as the others have. Susie was a great broodmare for many years and she’s earned her keep at our ranch. She is still able to boss everyone else around with kicks and tosses of her head so we aren’t going to rush to any sad actions until she needs us to.



Our older Arabian mare, Susie

The adventure to Bismarck was one of the reasons I haven’t had or made the time to blog. The other, main reason is that I’ve finished book 3 in my Missing Lake teen fiction series!

No joke!

Its done!

And then I had to wait for my team of editors to get through their edits and get them back to me.



UB deciding he should “help” Daddy with the editing.

Then I go through each person’s stack of papers with red felt pen, pencil, blue and black ink markings and circles and then I’m ready for my final edit.

Which I’ve been doing today. With my own bright yellow highlighter and pen.

UB and Cleo have been very helpful with this round, as well.



Ben Brick, illustrator (not my photo)

Our friend, Ben Brick, once again eagerly leapt at the chance to do my cover art for this book. His artwork was part of the success of my 2nd book in the series, The Dragons of Missing Lake and it was loads of fun working with him and his concepts.

Ben and I were able to meet over lunch when I was back in Bismarck this most recent trip and the final product is outstanding.

So now its just a matter of time before I share Luke Houser’s tale, from the middle of nowhere in Montana, with everyone once again.



Social media banner by Ben Brick

This story picks up as Luke’s sophomore school year is winding down in the mountainous town of Missing Lake. I explore more of the relationships he has with his friends and develop some of the other characters more. The sled dogs take a bit of a back seat just because of the timing of the book but there are plenty of animal stories and events that shape this third book. Zagros and Tabitha have 2 eggs to hatch as well so there is no end to the fun!

I’m hoping to hit “enter” and then order copies within the next few days, after my final round of editing is done.

Which is great timing because our local golf course has also opened and it has been calling to me.



A sunny round of golf this past week at the Double Arrow golf course in Montana!

I managed a sunny 9 holes on the back yesterday because the weather report predicted rain and cold today. I knew I would dedicate the day to the final editing process.

So I’ll leave it at that and get back to the final few chapters and maybe some supper. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be with Secrets  Abound in Missing Lake officially published!



Norman came out of storage and he’s already back at the course! (Jockey is telling Dad he’s an “excellent driver”…)



Pretty Fumie and Jessi in ND at the beginning of the month



Some of the herd watching me as I watch them from our back deck in ND



Shed-hunting in Montana… the first shed we’ve found in a couple of years!





















So I’ve Written This Book…


My first novel!!!

I’ve been busy this past winter and spring.

I wrote and published a book.

I focused. I researched. I researched some more.

And more.

I drank coffee and tea and corrected and edited and shared with only a handful of people but I sat down and wrote a book.


The dogs during a snowy driveway walk last winter

It helped that the snow never stopped coming down for weeks.

The walls of snow lining the driveway were taller than all of the dogs.

I would plow and shovel in the mornings and write in the afternoons.

It wasn’t like I could play golf.

Or do much of anything outside, really.

Then it got super cold and the big tractor gelled up and the batteries died in the trucks and Loki wouldn’t go outside to piddle and my eyes hurt in the wind and it was painful to breathe and I wasn’t loving the snow as much for a few days but it eventually passed.


Hey, Winter, you’re number one!

I actually loved having the time to write.

To create characters and their families and places in time.

To allow these individuals to learn and react and create a world reacting along with them.

I have always loved writing.

I have kept a journal since I was 8 years old.

I don’t write in it every day and there are gaps over the years where maybe I didn’t have a blank journal to write in or I forgot to bring one along on a trip but for the most part, the last 34 years of my life are pretty well recorded.


The Collection

Complete with the odd plane ticket or concert ticket stub or something special to remember.

My journal has been my best friend many times over the years.

I tell it anything. And everything.

It doesn’t judge me and it doesn’t ask questions.

It doesn’t offer any advice or tell me my thoughts are inappropriate or wrong.

It also doesn’t tell me I’m correct about things or that I’m doing something the right way.


my current journal…love the aloha theme

It just offers me space to share what is going on in my head and in my mind whenever I need to.

Alistair has instructions to burn or publish the collection if I die before him.


What is left of my Dana, Paula and May series

I started writing books when I was 8 years old, as well.

My “Dana, Paula and May” series followed 3 young women around as they solved crimes and wore fancy dresses.

I illustrated these books and my third grade teacher allowed me to put them alongside the real books in the library area of our classroom.

I was lucky to have a teacher who nurtured me and my creativity like that.

The same teacher encouraged me to get the whole class involved in a play I wrote. Something about a prince being granted three wishes.

I cast the play and we practiced it and then we performed it on stage for the rest of the school.

My mom even came in and taught us all how to do The Hustle for the dance-party section of the play.

Man, I wish we had digital cameras back then.

I kept writing.

Not just the journal but some poems and monologues.

My high school drama teacher was also our librarian and she would suggest literature for me to read and we would discuss stories together.

She let me put a monologue on stage for people to watch.

I was lucky to have another teacher believe in me and my zany ideas and fantasies and dreams.

I know my imagination and creation of characters has driven some people nuts.

Like the whole Rhonda thing…


Rhonda Alyssa Koftinoff Fyfe… in my purse

(Rest assured, I will tell Rhonda’s story here but that’s for another time…)

And the singing ferrets and dancing cats and know-it-all Spaniels and the mixed breed, UB who has to comment about every Subaru on the road.

My imagination knows no bounds but I do know when to reign it in.

Or, I mostly have that figured out.

Its just that there is so much going on in my mind that I have to write it down or create it or video it.

This is probably why I don’t sleep much.

I always slept walked and talked as a kid but the insomnia didn’t start until I was 8 years old.

That was a huge year for me.

Our family moved from Vancouver where I was in love with school and ballet.

I was ready for toe shoes and the fast track to being a professional dancer. I still miss it.

For some reason when we moved to the small town of Grand Forks my brain tweaked and I stopped sleeping and my parents worried and my creativity took off.

I embrace it now and know how to sort of manage the sleep thing. Sort of. When I started sleep walking again last year and woke up outside of our cabin in the middle of a campground I realized stress from the clinic was taking over and my creative side was MIA.

So I closed the clinic.

And I wrote a book.


The first one…

I’m so freaking excited its not even funny.

Lost and Found in Missing Lake is a teen/young adult fictional story about a 15 year-old and his dad and stepmom and their small town in Montana.

Luke and his dad want to get serious about running their sled dogs.

Jackie, the stepmom, is a disillusioned veterinarian (a bit on the nose, I’ll admit); Luke helps her out a lot and together they meet some amazing individuals. This is where a bit of fun fantasy kicks in but I won’t spoil it for you.

Luke deals with a new school, having to make new friends, acne, driving and all of the emotional issues of adolescence and he shares it with the reader.

I miss him and his friends and I honestly can’t wait to write more about them. And Tabitha.


I self published because I got bored waiting for agents to respond to my queries.

Every book on writing suggests  you should submit to no less than 50 and more likely 250 agents before one will accept your work.

I submitted to 10.

I waited week after week to hear back and finally spent some serious time researching and editing and re-editing and editing some more and getting my friends and hubby to edit and found a great website to help me publish my book.

I’m pumped!

I’m setting up book signings.

I’m getting copies to good friends and people who I want to read my story.

Its a bit scary at times because this is from my imagination… its very personal.

And now its very real and in print and available through all Amazon outlets.

So now its all about the marketing, which is also why I’m writing about it here.

If you read it and you like it, please say so.

Or, get on Amazon and comment on it there. That’s how the book will get more promotion and more people will get to read about Luke and his cool dogs and his hippie English teacher and their sharing sessions and learn a bit of veterinary medicine and discover some amazing creatures as well.

Alistair, Dona, Gary, Whitney, Julie, Joshua, Lindsay and Andrea were my test audiences and sources of encouragement and laughter. Thanks, Gang.

And thanks, Mr.Tournemille and Ms.Cooke for letting me be me… as crazy as ‘me’ is.