The Author is Always Part of the Story
Authors Diana Barnett and Jan Lawson will share how a person’s unique background shows up in one’s writing.

"We are all influenced by the world around us, creating a lifetime of experiences. It is no surprise that a writer’s personal life, professional background, and opinions are entwined with their writing. These experiences may determine the theme, genre, writing style, or perspective of a written work.

A former educator, Diana Barnett recently retired from CMU, and runs a career coaching business. Her writing career began as a stringer for the Western News in Libby, Montana, where she once interviewed John McIntire and Jeanette Nolan of Wagon Train fame. She has published two other books: Putting it all Together: Teaching the Research Process, and Research It! Write It!


Janice Lawson has lived and taught in Texas and Colorado, but returns home to her native Alaska whenever possible. Her books and poetry reflect the nature and cultures of all the special places she’s called home. She now lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, retired from teaching adolescent readers and college level writers, but she will never retire from writing.

Mom's Believe It or Not Recipe Book and a Bit of Family History.
A few years ago, I felt compelled to write down and preserve recipes about the foods that my Mom fixed for her growing family during my childhood and adolescent days. I had to think back about what it took to put food in our humble table. My parents were poor and they had to be creative in many ways. We lived on a small farm in the San Luis Valley. They grew large gardens in Manassa and orchards in Chama, Colorado, where my grandparents lived. They also raised farm animals and bartered for many other things. As a family, we all had to participate in cooking, canning, butchering, fishing, gardening, hunting, feeding the animals, milking cows, gathering eggs and picking fruit for canning or drying. When I started thinking about all that we did and the work involved, I just had to sit and write about it all. I then decided to turn it all into a book to preserve the history, the memories, and recipes to share with the next generations, and anyone that is willing to learn about me, our culture, and our way of life in the 40s, 50s and 60s. It has been a journey and a wonderful experience to actually put it together in book form".

Connie was born in 1939 in La Isla, Colorado, which is now a ghost town in the San Luis Valley. She grew up in Manassa, but spent many a day in Chama, CO where her grandparents lived. She graduated from Centauri High School and attended Adams College for a few years. Her family moved to Grand Junction in 1976, where Connie started working with the Head Start Program. Realizing that she was born to be a teacher, she attended Mesa State College, received a degree and her career as a teacher began. After retiring in 2005, Connie found herself wondering what to do. She kept herself busy taking as many art classes as she could since art had been a passion and by writing. From the writing came the idea for her Mom’s Cook Book.






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