1-IMG_0804-001“Voyager upon life’s sea, To yourself be true, And whate’er your lot may be, Paddle your own canoe.” Sarah T. Bolton, Harper’s Magazine, May 1854

Take the journey of a lifetime! The common themes of my stories and novels may be familiar to you. They are tales of adventure, of awakenings and discovery. All are about people with strong spirits finding ways to become self-reliant. They are tales of life-changing choices. They are stories about relationships.

The choices we make in relationships are at the heart of my stories. Sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, friends and lovers all have their parts to play. Some are problem-makers, others are gentle and loving, some are fearful and abusive. As the characters reveal themselves in the stories, our protagonists discover ways to tap into unacknowledged strength and courage, and to seek the lives they are meant to live.

To begin is to leave the familiar.  As the noted Swiss psychologist Carl Jung said, we will continue to do things as we have always done them (although they have not been successful) until we examine ourselves and decide to do them differently. My stories begin with characters in difficulty, or dissatisfaction, or not being fulfilled. Some circumstance compels them to leave what is familiar, and that can no longer hold them.

The stories I write, (my tales) arise from a passion to discover how my characters can lead me – and perhaps you, too – to empowerment with vulnerability, to a spirited independence, and to that place we each can call our own. I love accounts of people who haven’t discovered their own strength, and when confronted with challenging circumstances find their voice and power.

I call them Hero Stories and believe a hero lies within each of us. Countless numbers of books and movies are available that relate to this theme. And yet the stories continue to be written and produced, for each is a new tale. Although the theme is the same, the stories are unique to the individual and to specific events.

1-Lydia Ottenbacher 1925 Herried SD 1Among the heroes I am particularly intrigued by our American mothers. Many of us are descendants of great grandmothers, grandmothers, or mothers – who were immigrants, pioneers, and homesteaders. My mother was born in the early 20th century on a homestead in the Dakotas, without electricity or running water. She lost her own mother when she was only fifteen and became caregiver to several younger siblings.

1-MZ Better 1I was raised in Montana and although the Homestead Acts came to a halt before I was born, I grew up among the “ancients” who had a part in the fascinating era of settling the West. Still today, on my morning walks on a farm road I occasionally meet up with a homesteading descendant who has a story or two about growing up on the ‘”old place.” hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as I loved creating them. I wish you luck on your own journey. I would live to hear your comments and questions.               Mae Schick, Bigfork Montana    


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