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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

JANO 2013

Sleuths’ Ink Presents

JANO 2013


Join us January 1st  for the 4th Annual JANO

 Modeled after the popular NaNoWri in November, JANO participants write a 50,000 word novel in January.

Three reasons January is the perfect time to write a novel:

1.    You get one extra day in January, making your daily writing goal 1613 words.


3.    We celebrate with a PARTY in February where we give away PRIZES!!!
For more details, check out our JANO 2013 page at the right.
SIGN UP AT janowriters-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Speaker/Shirley McCann

Shirley McCann’s fiction has appeared in Woman’s World, Alfred Hitchcock, The Forensic Examiner, and many confession magazines. But her FIRST break into published writing was in a small obscure magazine.

Shirley will share her knowledge of the short story markets, as well as her experience with e-publishing collections of her short stories.

Also, be prepared for a quick tutorial on Goodreads, and why it can be a great marketing tool for writers

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October Speaker Beth Carter Talks About Marketing

Beth Carter is the author of two picture books, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? and THE MISSING KEY. Her short stories and poems are published in three ECHOES OF THE OZARKS anthologies, as well as A Bad Hair Day anthology. Carter’s six-word memoirs were published in IT ALL CHANGED IN AN INSTANT, alongside famous authors and celebrities and SIX WORDS AT WORK, another six-word memoir collection.

In marketing for over 20 years in the fields of healthcare, banking and green heat, Carter has received awards for her writing and was previously a bank vice president. After 16 years of being a single mom and working in corporate America, Carter happily shed her bank suits, heels, and 8 a.m. meetings and now writes from home in her pj’s. She fully admits to a slight obsession with T.J. Maxx, skinny vanilla lattes and guacamole (though, not at the same time).

Carter lives in the Midwest and is a member of Ozarks Romance Authors, Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers, and Ozarks Writers League. She founded the one-month writing challenge, JANO, for Sleuths’ Ink in 2009 and served as vice president of Sleuths. Follow her at http://banterwithbeth.blogspot.com, on Facebook at Beth Carter or Author Beth Carter and on Twitter at bethsbanter.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

August Speaker

Miranda (Pippy) Hall has been a paralegal for seven years. She gradu ated from college with an Associates Degree in Business Administration. She’s handled everything from family law, criminal, civil and probate. She enjoys helping others get through what is often a traumatic and stressful time. She  now works at Wyatt Law and Associates.

Miranda is the mother of twin girls, and is also interested in writing.
Join Sleuths' Ink on Saturday, August 11th at The Library Station on N. Kansas.
Business meeting at 10 AM
Speaker at 11 AM
Lunch at noon at Panera next door to the library.
See you there.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

From Music Teacher to Author - T.A Sigafus

Music is more than a fleeting melody for music instructor T. A. Sigafus, author of The Case of Beethoven’s Bandit. Sigafus is the owner of a music store in Missouri, where she teaches guitar lessons out of her small back room. "Sometimes I feel like the nutty professor," she laughs, shuffling through a toppling tower of music books in search of her appointment calendar, as she attempts to squeeze another new student into an already packed schedule. "I’ll never turn down a child who wants to learn to play music," she vows.
Sigafus grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she started writing poems and stories at the age of seven. Unable to afford lessons, Sigafus taught herself to play the guitar so she could put her poems and stories to music. She describes herself as an unusual child. "While the other kids were playing ‘kick the can’," admits Sigafus, "I was held up in my bedroom putting the ink to the paper, scribbling feverishly to capture the words that were swirling around in my head, before they drifted out the window into the soft, summer day. My dream was to someday write a book."
After high school, Sigafus put her creative ambitions on hold in order to study to become a respiratory therapist. After graduating, she landed a job at the University of Minnesota Hospital, working in the neonatal unit. Much to her dismay, she soon discovered that her desire to play music was growing too strong to ignore. She decided to abandon her hard-earned occupation to join a traveling folk-rock band. It was there that she met and married her husband. The couple continued to travel and perform until their first child was born. It was becoming obvious to the Sigafuses that being on the road was taking its toll on their growing family. In 1990, they decided to settle onto a small farm in Missouri, where Ms. Sigafus returned to her writing while home schooling her four children.
In 2002, the Sigafuses moved to a larger town, where Mr. Sigafus could be closer to his work. Ms. Sigafus decided to enroll her children in the local Christian Academy—a move that would change her life forever. After an introductory visit with the principal, Sigafus was invited to teach music at the academy. Although she had never given much thought to teaching, she enthusiastically accepted the position.
The next week, she blew the dust off her old, black Yamaha guitar and headed off for her first day of school like an anxious child. It didn’t take long for Sigafus to fit right in. "The kids really took to my guitar," Sigafus explains. "In fact, they all wanted to learn to play! Then, I brought a violin to class . . . and then a cello, and started teaching them about string instruments and classical composers. They were so excited, and so was I."
Sigafus found herself swamped with requests for private music lessons. That’s when she opened Main Street Music, a private lesson studio and small music supply store, where she currently rotates a roster of 54 students per week.
The idea for The Little Maestro Mysteries came to Sigafus as she was conducting a string ensemble rehearsal at the academy. "There were these four students who were always fooling around," she recalls. "And instead of getting mad at them, I was cracking up laughing. They were hilarious! That’s when I decided to base my four main characters on those students, and I just started writing. The rest is in the book."
The Case of Beethoven’s Bandit is the first book in what will be a series of Little Maestro Mysteries, published by Clairborne Publishing Group. The story takes place in the town of Shady Tree, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Sigafus' home town. The Maestros, a group of four young music students under the direction of their eccentric music teacher, Madam Macaroni, set out to solve a mystery involving a stolen Beethoven symphony. "The premise behind the series is to teach music through mysteries," says Sigafus. "Each book will introduce various rudiments of music and music history in a fun, whimsical fashion." 

Join Sleuths' Ink March 10th at The Library Station on N. Kansas. See map on this site for directions.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


The JANO party last night had 18 people in attendance with great food, fun, and amazing writing talents.

First three to 50,000 winners were, C. Patrick Neagle, Nicole Zoltack, Sharon Smith. Each will receive a special goody bag with the JANO logo on it filled with wonderful writing paraphernalia.

Nine folks total won JANO by writing 50,000 in one month. The six other winners were: Joe Pollock, Lynn Frederickson, Stephanie Jarkins, Becky Cline, B.K. Stevens and Jan Gallagher.

We had an extra raffle drawing with the names of the other six JANO 50,000 word winners. Jan Gallagher won the draw and chose the ORA conference registration certificate .

The seven other category winners as determined by anonymous ballot vote of the JANO party attendees were:

Best Title: "Fooling Around with Cinderella" by Stacy Juba - B&N gift card.
Best Character Name: tie for first "Mr. Prickles (a hedgehog)" - Beverly Crandell and "Nigel Rasputin Farsworth Banks" by Cecily Cornelius-White - prize baskets
Best Occupation: "Intergalactic Babysitter" by Avery Cornelius-White - prize basket
Best First Line: "Beads have personalities." by Stephanie Jarkins - Cait London critique.
Best First Page: From "After Ever After" by Karen Nelson - prize basket.
Best Plot: from "Facing Shadows" by Beverly Crandell - prize basket.
Best Blurb: from "After Ever After" by Karen Nelson - prize basket.

Thanks to all the donors: Cait London, ORA, Panera Bread, McAlisters Deli, Springfield Brewing Company, Renaissance Books, Shirley McCann, Beth Carter, Kelly Henkins, Cecily Cornelius-White, Sandra Cox, B.K. Stevens, Wanda Fittro, and Terry McDermid.

Congratulations everyone! Thanks to all the hard work and generous donors everyone at the party was able to receive a door prize!

We also have terrific news, Kelly Henkins has volunteered to chair JANO 2013. Thanks Kelly! You'll do a bang up job for sure!

by Stephanie Jarkins

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


  1. At the fourth week, pink dragons are just fine in my text as long as they are described well.
  2. Have an outline, otherwise the pink dragons start killing off characters for no reason.
  3. Writing is work! Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t written enough!
  4. Writers’ block” is an indulgence of the indolent.
  5. When scenes are flowing a thousand words flies by; when it is all mucked up, a hundred words is a victory.
  6. The highlighter tool is the most valuable one in my toolbar.
  7. Different font colors for the different POVs has saved my hide more than once.
  8. JANO isn’t the end of the world, I need my family and friends to keep my tenuous grip on so-called ‘reality.’
  9. Perfectionism is the murderer of JANO. Just type it – d*mn it!
  10. Have fun, it ain’t worth doin’ if I ain’t havin’ fun!