The Flying M-Inklings – Our group’s name is a nod to the Inklings writing group in Oxford which included, among others, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. We didn’t want to steal the name entirely (only a little bit) so we modified our moniker to include our beloved local coffee shop, The Flying M where we commandeer the same table every Saturday and we pray, as Dr. Gary Schmidt wrote in ‘Okay for Now’, that the god of Creativity, who comes only when he pleases (and it isn’t very often) will sit at our table and fold his wings. We offer him whatever he wants and, in exchange, he lets us type all sorts of things…
We’re based in Nampa, Idaho, and are made up of seven individuals; find short bios below or longer bios by clicking on our names.
We began publishing here in January 2015, but have been together as a group since September 2013. Our content targets two audiences: Writers and The Reader. Our Writer content teaches you how to become a better writer, citing lessons we’ve learned throughout our time together.
Our Reader content spans all genres, from nonfiction to fiction and memoir to fantasy.
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Brandon McGarrah – Brandon reads all of the submissions three to four times before we even show up on Saturdays. He looks at each piece with the precision of a surgeon. We hang on his every word and do exactly what the man says to do because he’s brilliant. We’re pretty sure he’ll be the next of us to be published. He has written his “38th year”, a search for intention and purpose.
For a Living: Processor of the Biggest Debt You’ll Ever Have & Student of Medicine
About Writing: “I have hated words and I have loved them.” ~Markus Zusak
Believes: There is worth in every day. Even the crummiest days have value if you look for it.
Fun Fact: Graduated with a Bachelor’s and is still going!
Saying: Sometimes I wrestle with my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle.
Shannon Chastaine – Shannon is our “big picture” girl. She’s a macro-thinker and critiques pieces on their overall impact. On our annual retreats, we always make her bring the party favors because she’s the best of us at celebrating others. We celebrate her talent and her heart and the impact she is making on the world. She is working on a personal-power curriculum for young girls.
For a Living: Blogger Goddess
About Writing: Writes to Empower Young Women
Believes: In All of Us
Fun Fact: Jumped out of a plane and LIKED IT!
Requests martinis without the olives to get more vodka
Colby Stream – Colby is a “structure and layout” guy, which has been particularly helpful for the other writers in our group who are bloggers. Structurally, he can reorganize a text to make it flow the way it should. He is also pretty handy with our websites, and we are so grateful for his knowledge and creativity.
For a Living: Coach, Manager, Thinker
About Writing: “I have always had more dread of a pen, a bottle of ink, and a sheet of paper than a sword or pistol.” ~ Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
Believes: Life is Not a Support System for Art
Fun Fact: Translated the Record of Caesar’s Conquests from Latin to English
Saying: Silence is golden. Too bad nobody is buying.
Cody Stauffer – Cody reaches deeply into a piece and knows exactly what questions to ask the author that will take the writing to the next level. He’s a thinker, and he always challenges us to think about any number of subjects in brand new ways. He is writing three books simultaneously of the same story: a children’s book for his daughters to enjoy now, a young adult novel for when they get a little older, and finally, a more beautifully intricate telling of his story for when they are grown.
For a Living: Life Coach, Bridge-Builder, Pastor
About Writing: Writes Books in Three Different Genres Simultaneously
Believes: We are All in the Process of Becoming
Fun Fact: Did a 65-Day Juice Fast and Lost 90 Pounds
Saying: I Don’t Always Have Time to Write, But When I Do… I Don’t
Katie Wiese – Katie finds the most beautiful metaphors in our writing, pointing out universal connections that will relate to the masses – and it’s ironic because half the time, whoever wrote the piece doesn’t see the level of depth she has pointed out. She strikes the perfect balance between gentleness and sass and keeps our group laughing. She is working on a memoir that she hopes will help people who have ever struggled with eating disorders.
For a Living: Keeper of Books for Children
About Writing: Writer of Memoir
Believes: That Reading is Power
Fun Fact: Cranks Out Humans Two at a Time
Saying: Minnesota Girl – Do I Look Like I Grew Up on Little House on the Prairie?
Nic Darlinton – Nic is the newest member to our group, and already we know we can’t live without him. He’s the “syntax” guy. He said one Saturday, “I noticed that you only used linking verbs in this entire paragraph, and I’m wondering whether that was deliberate and, if so, what your purpose was in doing that?” We all about fell out of our chairs (someone might have spewed coffee out of his nose) and we knew instantly that he was precisely what our group had been missing. He’s teaching us that syntax is sexy. He’s also teaching advanced writing and literature to his students and, in an effort to discover what it’s like to be in his own class, he is doing every writing activity he assigns and compiling it for his own curriculum.
For a Living: Teacher of Writing and Literature
About Writing: Reads a Book a Week – Every Week
Believes: Community is Most Important
Fun Fact: Climbed Mt. Borah
Saying: House of Gryffindor
Daisy Rain Martin – When Daisy critiques our work, she wants to know who a writer is writing for, what he or she is trying to say, if that individual is saying it effectively, and how she can get that person in front of the right target market. She simply wants to see everyone’s dreams come true. She is editor in chief for RAIN Magazine and working on her third book, Hope Givers — Hope is Here. Her magazine and her organization of Hope Givers, the Rainy Dais Community, raises money for three charities throughout the year, which also gives her the opportunity to pour out hope and speak to organizations about child sexual abuse.
For a Living: Writer, Speaker, Educator, Advocate
About Writing: Tries to Get in “The Zone” When Writing
Believes: That Love Wins in the End
Fun Fact: Built a Family called “Rainy Dais”
Saying: I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way. ~ Carl Sandburg