Posted in Get Connected

Writer’s Cafe

The general statistic for those who want to write a book someday hovers around 80%–give or take. That’s nearly 200 million Americans who are itching to write a book.

Beginning on September 12, Meinders Library will help you reach your goal. On the second Thursday of each month from 6:30pm-8:00pm, we will host the Writer’s Cafe, a place where aspiring writers can gather, write, discuss, support, and connect.

The Writer’s Cafe will be open to ages 12 and up. Light snacks and beverages may be brought in by participants as long as beverages can be closed and participants clean up after themselves.

At the beginning of each session, we will spend a few minutes talking about projects, progress, and goals. The remaining time will be flexible, with participants able to share excerpts and provide feedback as desired, to discuss writing questions and concerns, or to simply write.

As a writer myself, the hardest thing to do is prioritize and carve out solid writing time. I’ve been off the train more than I’ve been on it since I began working at the library. It’s time I dig deep and get back into the habit of writing.

If time isn’t your only barrier to writing, we have desk top computers for participants to use, as well as two laptops if necessary. In addition, all writing styles, lengths, and genres are welcome. The only limit is your commitment.

Please share this information with anyone you know who has ever exclaimed, “I should write a book!”

get connected to the story in you~ jody

Posted in Get Connected

The Twine that Binds

Once upon a time, our family visited the great ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota. On occasions we have returned to see it. The last time was approximately 17 years ago.

Today, my sibs and I returned to this astounding product of one man’s passion. It’s a unique and quirky part of Minnesota that draws people to this tiny town from all ends of the nation–as evidenced by the locations cited in the guest book. In the ten minutes we were there, two other groups stopped by to do the tourist thing and snap a pic.

Commemorating our own pilgrimage with a decent photo was not an easy thing to do with the noon sun overhead. Yet, despite the difficulties, we got an amazing and eerie image.

Our ghostly reflections below highlight just how easy it is to blur reality and just how frighteningly easy it is to forget.

56505As we left Darwin, we reminisced about that day, remembering the experiences leading up to the moment in front of the celebrated twine and those that followed. We shared laughter and a bit of sorrow.

Seventeen years ago, 16 people gathered in front of the twine ball. Of those, some have moved halfway across the country, others have grown up and moved out. Still others have simply moved on. Great aunt Toody is no longer with us.

This simple snapshot is rather profound. Without retelling stories and keeping them alive, we are in danger of losing a piece of who we are, where we came from, and where we need to go.

Seventeen years is but a microsecond blip on the vast and varied clock of our nation’s history. Yet the four of us remembered and forgot different things. As citizens of a global family, our collective memories are similarly complex. As such, we should strive for actively and accurately remembering.

The library is filled with resources to help you do this. We have a robust nonfiction collection and a genealogy section with local and regional histories. We have books that discuss multiple points of view on a wide array of topics. Further, we can help guide you through the internet and the tangled strands of digital information.

At the core of that giant ball of twine is a decades old story of one man. The end result draws people together in unexpected ways. In a way, this is our global story. We just have to own it.

The past is a part of who we are, and it most definitely continues to shape who we will become.

Get connected~ Jody


Posted in Get Connected

Mass Murder Survivor to Visit Meinders Library

As summer winds down, we wanted to give you plenty of time to mark your calendar for 10:00am Saturday, September 14.

Gitchie Girl Uncovered Cover Concept

Back by patron request, Phil and Sandy Hamman will provide a detailed look into the investigation of the 1973 Gitchie Manitou murders. Lone survivor, Sandra Cheskey, will join them.

This event is free and open to the public, in part with support from the Pipestone Area Friends of the Library.

Posted in Get Connected

Escape from Meinders Theater

Some of my fondest, childhood memories center around movies. Or more specifically, movie theaters in Seattle, Washington, with my relatives. Mind you, this was at a time when you couldn’t DVR, stream, or rent the movie for home viewing at a later date.

Rather, you got to the theater early, got your snacks, and hit the restroom one last time, because, heaven forbid, you needed a refill or a potty break halfway through. Doing so meant you would miss part of the movie, and the only way to see it again was by paying for another ticket and sitting through another viewing–this time without the extra soda.

Lucky for you, our escape rooms only take an hour, and if absolutely necessary, we will let you out for a restroom break. Just come prepared to solve the mystery at Meinders Theater.


Call, email, or fill out the contact info below to reserve your time for our next escape room adventure. Reservations will be complete only after we have confirmed a time with you.


Posted in Get Connected

A Decade of Reading

Yesterday, a small handful of us met over the noon hour to discuss our newest book club. Basically, the purpose is to connect with others crazy enough to actively read through a “100 Books Before You Die” list.

My calculator tells me that it will take 8.3 years to get through 100 books. My gut says it will take longer, as some of the books found on these ambitious compilations are enormous and will likely take longer than a month to finish.

I’m cool with that. I can handle reading for the next decade. What I have a problem with are some of the books on the list.

Moby Dick. Has anyone in this town actually read Moby Dick from cover to cover? Because dabbling doesn’t count. Reading the first 60 pages only to discover we still haven’t checked into the inn doesn’t count. So what does count?

“Does a book count if I’ve read it when I was too inexperienced about life to fully understand it all?” I mused aloud in the library one day.

“Nope,” my friend and fellow reader responded.

Well, shoot. Looks like I have to try Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being once again…among others. Moby Dick.

No worries, though, I have ten years to get it done!

“What about watching a movie?” Em asked. Em is all about mixed media and adaptations where books are concerned. In my opinion, a story’s a story. And any time it’s told from a different perspective great things can happen. Apparently I’m not as stodgy as my aforementioned friend when it comes to counting books.

Besides, we’re starting the classics with Of Mice and Men. A book I’ve read before, and will happily read again. Plus, there’s a movie, a play, and a radio adaptation. As well as a metalcore rock band who took their name from the novel’s title and the theme that the best laid plans sometimes go awry.

If you join our 100 Books book club, you, too, can experience a decade of reading with other like-minded bibliophiles.

We hope to see you at our next meeting on August 15 @ noon. Pick up a copy of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, stop by the library and we can order one for you, or find a copy online.

Posted in Get Connected

When History Meets Mystery

I love mysteries, adore history, and am downright fanatical about crime. Put them together, and I’m in literary heaven. Lucky for me, the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime will present all sorts of chaos, crime, and mystery in their presentation, “When History Meets Mystery”.

Check out their bios and join us at 3:00pm on Sunday, July 21, for refreshments and a bit of writerly shenanigans. We have copies of their books at the library. Pick one up before the event or wait until after you hear from the panel before deciding which author you want to read first.

TCSIC panel 2019

Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in St Paul. He has reviewed mystery fiction for the St Paul Pioneer Press and Mystery Scene Magazine. Carl is an avid recreational sailor and has sailed in many locations across the world. He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney, the Sean Sean private investigator detective series, and the Jack Marston academic series.  He lives with his wife Jean of many years, in Roseville, Minnesota. Website:


Growing up in a family of avid readers and story tellers, Barbara Deese developed a keen appreciation for fine writing and sharp wit. From devouring Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, to her first career as one of only thirty-three female air marshals in the U.S, to writing murder mysteries, she’s always been interested in crime and justice. The protagonists in her No Ordinary Women mystery series, are five middle-aged book club ladies, all mystery lovers, who fall into solving real-life crimes. Website:

Joke: What part of a city would a writer never visit?

Pat Dennis is the award-winning author of Hotdish to Die For, a collection of mystery short stories where hotdish is the weapon of choice. Her Betty Chance Mysteries include Murder by Chance, Killed by Chance, Dead by Chance and Vegas by Chance. Her memoir Fat Old Woman in Las Vegas: Gambling, Dieting and Wicked Fun ranked #1 on Amazon Travel Memoirs. Pat created the coloring book series for reluctant adults including Kill Me! My Husband’s Retired! Her fiction has appeared in numerous publications including: Once Upon a Crime Anthology, Anne Frasier’s Deadly Treats, Who Died in Here?, Hotdish Haiku, Silence of the Loons, Resort to Murder, Minnesota Monthly, Woman’s World, and The Pioneer Press. Pat is a veteran of 1,000 plus performances in comedy clubs, Fortune 500 special events, woman’s organizations, and church basements across the country. She has worked with such notables as Phyllis Diller, Lewis Black, and Tommy Chong.


After kicking around the corporate nonprofit world for over 20 years, Timya Owen escaped to the exciting life of sports production and cat herding. A rabid fan of mysteries since she picked up her first Mary Stewart novel (The Moonspinners), she reached her breaking point after reading one too many bad mysteries; she decided to give it her best shot and write one herself. Countless writing workshops paid off! Her short story “The Last Game” is her first published work under her pen name T.S. Owen. She is the current president of the Twin Cities Chapter of Sisters in Crime, one of the editors and a contributing author of the TCSinC anthology, Dark Side of the Loon. Timya lives in a quiet suburb of Saint Paul with her husband and a multitude of fat and sassy squirrels.


Barbara Schlichting has always been dreamer, so she writes books. She likes to wander through bookstores and fall in love with fictional characters. She also loves to travel and has had an English penpal for about fifty-five years. Barbara is the author of the First Ladies Dollhouse mystery series, historical fiction, as well as, picture books and poetry. She has several short stories published. Originally from Minneapolis, she and her family moved further north to Bemidji, MN.


Answer: a Writer’s Block