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Tag: Writing retreat

Help Me Write Fiction

The copse of Oak trees formed a canopy over that section of the dense woods, almost completely blocking the light pouring from the full August moon and holding the humid air tight against what would soon become a buzzing crime scene.

Beneath the trees, his small, naked body had grown cold despite the warmth of the summer night, but his dead eyes held secrets — secrets that formed the foundation of a living prison for one woman and that blazed a trail toward freedom for another.

Excerpt from my novel “Half Measures” (working title)

* * *

“My world is spinning out of control. A six-year-old boy is dead and I’m supposed to find his killer. Me — the fraud, the fake, the imposter. I can’t even find the empty bottle of vodka I hid last night. I feel as dead inside as that little boy looked, lying beneath the trees, unseeing, unmoving, unconnected as life pulsed around him and left him behind.”

— From the journal of Detective Laura Rogers Zarrick, from my novel “Half Measures” (working title)

* * *

Laura knew she had a problem. If she had any doubts, they dissipated the morning she found a note to herself tucked inside her blush compact. It was a messy, drunken scrawl that read:

“Bottles in the Christmas tree box.”

She didn’t remember writing the note until the moment she read it, and then it came rushing back.

Excerpt from my novel “Half Measures” (working title)

I’ve wanted to be a writer since a high school journalism teacher entered me into a news writing contest and I won. I pursued that path and am proud to say that I’ve worked as a journalist and writer my entire adult life.

But I have a longing for something else — a desire to write fiction. And I’ve been quietly, almost secretly, working toward that goal for a few years.

I have a story inside me that I’ve thought about for decades, first sparked back when I worked as a reporter covering cops and courts. It’s a story that involves crime, cops, alcoholism and recovery — all things I’ve written about as a journalist, or lived, or both.

Now I’m 50 and it’s time. I have a manuscript that is growing and taking shape, but I need help bringing it forth. I actually applied and was accepted into an MFA program, thinking that might be the path. Until I realized that working toward an advanced degree was simply my way of putting off “doing” in the name of more learning. A way to hide for a couple more years while I sought creative legitimacy.

Then I was introduced to Laura Munson and Haven Writing Retreat. I knew from my first conversation with Laura that Haven is what I need — that amid the mountains of Montana, I will pick up the final pieces of the puzzle to finalize my manuscript and deliver it into the publishing industry to see what happens next.

And so I am asking for your help. Laura has established the Haven Foundation, a 501(c)(3) to help writers attend her retreats. Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Haven Foundation in my name? Your donation will help me (and possibly other writers like me) continue on a creative journey. I would be exceptionally grateful and when the time comes, I’ll sign a copy of “Half Measures” for you.

Can I count on your contribution? If so,  here are two options for sending your tax deductible donation:

1) Mail a check (with the name Michelle Cox in the memo section) to:

Haven Foundation
155 Livermore Flats
Whitefish, MT 59937

**Include your email address on the check so Haven can email you a receipt for your tax purposes


2) Email David Rasmussen at and request that he send you a PayPal invoice so that you can make a donation in my name.

Thanks for considering a donation. Your support is truly appreciated.