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Old 04-17-2008, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Denver
113 posts, read 576,528 times
Reputation: 69

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Dear MarieWynn...,

That's a benefit of being a writer. You get to paint a word picture. One thing that helped me in college was when I went back and took a class in learing how to write. I forgot what the title of the class was called, it did so much to help me line up the relationship of the words in each sentence, nouns, pronouns, prepositions, verbs, adverbs, english punctuation, etc. Then, when I took two classes in Freshman english composition, it helped me get a higher grade and I feel I benefited in many other ways too. One way was in thought progression, which allows the reader to follow your train of thought. Another way was in the ways one paints each part of the narrative you wish to write about. One of my favorite writers was Zane Grey. He grew up in the Painted Desert of Arizona, somewhere around Winslow. I've been thru Winslow a few times. Its on I-40, east of Flagstaff and west of Gallup New Mexico. I grew to love his extremely colorful writing style. He wrote many books, so if you have time, you just might brouse thru a couple of his books to see if you can also learn something from his writing style. Something you can benefit from.

Years later I read a book one of my aunts wrote. I loved the way she described how my grandfather's horses leaned against their harness where she wrote. "Wearily, the horses leaned against their three horse harness, for it was nearing the end of a nineteen hour work day." My grandfather emmigrated fron Denmark in 1910. His name is engraved on the Wall of Honor in the Danish Historical Society's museum in Elk Horn Iowa along with the names of many other Danish emmigrants. Elk Horn is only a few miles east of Omaha, near I-80. He was a farmer in Denmark, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. By this time, my aunt is quite elderly, having outlived four husbands, she is a retired Methodist minister, a retired school administrator, she has two daughters who are medical doctors, and she has a Ph.D. in education from Harvard University.

In the above example, the comma adds so much to the sentence. Wearily comma, followed by the rest of the sentence, and I love that very much.

Anyway, good writing takes time. Later, I took additional college classes in english composition in the way of: business communications, advanced managerial communications, english composition and research writing. I just wish that whatever it is you choose to write about becomes a personal success for you.

Last edited by in_the_gloaming; 04-17-2008 at 12:11 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:10 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,151,930 times
Reputation: 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
The locals from almost every town support their school sports programs with a vengence. Bigfork also has a very good speech and debate team where a few of their members (drama) beat us at state last year.
I had forgotten about their speech, debate, drama team. Yes, it was very good and competed against me very well while I was at Whitefish.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Mooreton, ND
2 posts, read 5,854 times
Reputation: 10
Big Fork is definitly not what you are looking for if you are looking for a small town attmosphere. Whomever suggested Plentywood was right. I was born and raised in Plentywood. Small town, everyone knew everyone. If you needed help all you did was stop, if it was car trouble, next person who came along usually helped. If you got sick, half the neighborhood was there to see what needed to be done around the house or farm, and cooking up a storm for the rest of the family. I came out here to Wahpeton, ND about 20 years ago to go to school and ended up staying. But I go home every summer and get the Plentywood local newspaper in the mail every week. It's a great area, all of the small towns up in that corner of the state are great. Some people say it's not the end of the world, but you can see it from there. I don't know about that, I always loved it and maybe some day will move back, after I retire, I'm only 56 now. Good Luck on your book.

Donna McCauley
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:08 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,627 times
Reputation: 11
I'm excited that you want to write a novel centered around Bigfork! I'm a senior at Bigfork High School. My family was one of the first in the Flathead Valley. There's a lot of history in this area.
Bigfork definitely has a small town feel to it, although with the increasing popularity of Flathead Lake and the "wildness" of Montana, we're getting a lot more new families in the area. Driving through town and going into shops, I recognize 80% of the people and know more than half by name. Older people I sometimes don't know, although I usually recognize their faces, often stop my sister and I to inquire after our family. I, and my twin sister, both work at the local pizza place and as a result, we know even more people from outlying areas. If you want to write a novel about Bigfork, you'll have to include Ferndale.
Ferndale is just an area south of the Swan River along North and South Ferndale Drives. South of that, along Swan Highway, is what locals simply call "The Swan". Swan Highway (MT highway 83), goes south all the way to Clear Water Junction and got its name from the miles along Swan Lake.
Our school district encompasses a large area. From Creston, a small community in between Bigfork and Kalispell, to the Swan. Some students travel almost 45 minutes every day to get to school.
The town of Bigfork itself is small, but growing. In town residents tend to be newer families. Newer is a relative term though. Less than three generations and a family is "newer" to old timers. The more rural areas have the old families. Farms that may have passed through several hands still retain the name of the original owner. The same with area businesses. A local bar is called the Junction Bar by locals, but that name disappeared from the sign two owners ago.
Bigfork High School currently has around 350 students. Bigfork locals have always supported the school sports programs and students well. Even in the recent years with a two no win seasons for our football team, the stands are packed every Friday night. Basketball gets even more spectators. Little room is left for the visiting team to bring any supporters. Even away games are attended. The school provides a pep bus for students who can't drive themselves to go to tournaments, and they often have to take two buses.
The high school has an awesome music program, both choir and band. We have a general concert choir, which anyone can join, and a smaller select ensemble, which has about 12 members. Band has a freshman and senior band as well as an 18 piece jazz band. Both programs take students to the state music festival every year.
At school, everyone literally knows everyone, at least by their face. Some of our teachers attended Bigfork when they were kids. One graduated in the 1950s and another just as recently in 1994.
I guess it's hard to tell you everything right here. If you have any more specific questions, I would love to answer them.
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:29 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
65 posts, read 187,967 times
Reputation: 22
Leney
Nice post. I always visit Bigfork a couple times in the summer, but in the winter it is definately a small town atmosphere. I remember many many years ago (55 or so) when I was a kid going to the real "Bigfork Mercantile" when it was a real mercantile--- and seeing the wolves. Ask your Dad or maybe your grandad about it.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:16 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,553 times
Reputation: 10
Default Small town life

Hi- I grew up and now live on a large farm outside of Bigfork in Creston. Here are some things that stand out to me. If you have more questions feel free to ask.

Summer- Bigfork is DEFINATELY a tourist town in the summer. For example, the church that I attend has approximately 200 to 300 attending services on any given Sunday from September through mid-June. Then bam, our numbers hit in the mid 700's to the low 800's. Our little building can barely hold them all. Our church members joke about how come summer we never see each other because we are all lost in the crowd. Heaven forbid anyone move into our church community during the summer, because we would probably just assume they were a vacationer until we saw them in September.

The summers are filled with boating. I grew up on the lake. (My parents actually first met at a rollerskating rink that was the place to be on one of the smaller lakes) My kids are growing up on the lake, too. We all love the outdoors and camping and hiking are a mainstay.

Someone visiting here from Florida once told me "The people seem so happy here. In Florida we have sunshine year around. Its like we take it for granted. The minute the sun shines here you can see it on everyone's faces...its like they awaken like a spring day."

Winters- It gets cold, and they can be long. This summer we had snow fall on June 10th...I remember the day because I was due with my 3rd child. Although most the people here like snow...(our family skis..some snowmobile, but most have some "snow" activity) everyone seems genuinely glad when summer comes.

School- I didn't go to Bigfork High School but for two weeks (long story) I did go to Hamilton high school -another small town about the same size. We played each other in sports etc. Our entire school had 300 people. There were still clicks, but you knew everybody...and pretty much the life history of them and their family. That's something that I think really carrys a lot of impact in a small town...family history. Who your family was, what they did, and their choices etc follow you. Often you are referred to as so and so's daughter/son or the LAST NAME's girl...not your own name.

Occupation/Work

Farm life was my life. Fields, equipment, long days. My husband is in construction...a lot of people here are...again, long days, hard work, equipment. My kids love the dirt, I loved the dirt, seems like none of us mind it. The thing I remember about Bigfork High School, though was that there was a definable split in the students along income lines...or maybe more like occupation lines.

Things that stand out

Land of Lakes, Summers filled with visitors, Canadians, small town winters, from quiet and cold, to warm and active, class differences, and nestled.

Hope that helps. Good luck. I love my home.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
Reputation: 2952
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_the_gloaming View Post
Deer Lodge. There is or was the Montana State Pennitentiary and the State Insane Aslyum.
That was a fun read -- I remember brown-bagging it on the train when we went from Fargo to Great Falls back around 1963. We couldn't afford train food! what a boring trip for a kid, but it would be fun to do again, with a middle-aged perspective and memories of the old places.

Anyway, the asylum is (or was, I dunno) at Warm Springs. If someone says they have a prior commitment, we'd always ask if that was to Bellevue, Camarillo, or Warm Springs

I carry a plastic bedsheet in my truck, to use when camping, that came from the Warm Springs facility back in the 1970s. That way I always have my own private asylum
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Old 08-23-2008, 11:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,423 times
Reputation: 10
froid,mt, near plentywood maybe 15 mi w of no.dakota line and maybe 20 mi south of canadian border. when the former reservation land was opened to white settlers around 1912 the local land attracted norwegians,swedes,danes, etc. who endured very hard times at first, living in mud houses etc. it eventually became wheat country, now cattle. in 1950 pop. was 400, now 200. there was a state senator from there, Wallender. son Greg still there. very generous people. I was taken in by a family as an 18 yr old, 1950.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:01 PM
 
145 posts, read 398,012 times
Reputation: 103
Smile I like anecdotes like this

Quote:
Originally Posted by richard e. hurd View Post
froid,mt, near plentywood maybe 15 mi w of no.dakota line and maybe 20 mi south of canadian border. when the former reservation land was opened to white settlers around 1912 the local land attracted norwegians,swedes,danes, etc. who endured very hard times at first, living in mud houses etc. it eventually became wheat country, now cattle. in 1950 pop. was 400, now 200. there was a state senator from there, Wallender. son Greg still there. very generous people. I was taken in by a family as an 18 yr old, 1950.

This is why I am considering moving west to Montana or Idaho or possible the southeast to Charlotte, North Carolina. However, I think Montana seems more like the atmosphere I'm looking for. If people are really this friendly, then it's a no-brainer---Montana is the place to live.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:32 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
22,952 posts, read 22,455,928 times
Reputation: 15488
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGerardo View Post
This is why I am considering moving west to Montana or Idaho or possible the southeast to Charlotte, North Carolina. However, I think Montana seems more like the atmosphere I'm looking for. If people are really this friendly, then it's a no-brainer---Montana is the place to live.
After living in both (we moved back here from south of Charlotte) I'd say it all boils down to weather, in other words "whether" or not you like heat or cold or "whether" or not you like 9 months of winter.
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