Montana For Real


I’m obviously a fan of blogs written by farmers and ranchers and back in April I stumbled upon this post about badger holes big enough to swallow a young calf. It is safe to say that I was hooked and as I read through the many previous posts I great enjoyed the candid shot at ranch life only a few miles from the Montana-Canadian border.

This week I want to introduce you to Kari Lynn Drell, and aspiring novelist and 3rd generation Montana cattlewoman. Here are few snap shots from her earlier posts to give you a peak at her writing.

“It’s calving season, and we have a bovine birthing center in our front yard. About once a week, we go out to the main herd and try to pick the cows that look most likely to calve in the next few days. This is an art at which my father and husband excel. I suck. They just look fat to me.” My Dog Is Not Lassie”

Most of my blog readers are probably aware by now that I also write novels. For those who have asked, and those who have just wondered, no, I don’t put real people into my books. First, because fake people are more fun. And second, I bruise easily.“Writing for Real”

Now I’ll just let the real author tell you a little about the rancher behind the blog. I hope you enjoy this great Ag blog. I know I look forward to each new post.

My name is Kari Lynn Dell. I am a fourth generation Montana ranch girl and rodeo bum from way up north on the Blackfeet Reservation. I live a mile from the Canadian border, an hour from the nearest town, 4500 feet above sea level, and approximately ten yards from my parents. On any given day, it’s a toss up which of those things presents the biggest challenge.

I graduated from Montana State University many, many moons ago with a degree in Secondary Education and certification as an Athletic Trainer (that’s sports medicine, if you’re unfamiliar with the job title). Due to a complete lack of job opportunities in Montana, I moved first to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, then to eastern South Dakota, where I somehow managed to acquire a husband. Eight years later, the winter of ’97 convinced us there must be a better way. We packed up and moved to northeast Oregon, where we discovered, much to our astonishment, that it is possible to rope outdoors in February. We were so thrilled we stayed for ten years.

In 2007 we moved back to the family ranch to raise our son the way we were raised, with room to roam and a relative around every corner. We raise Angus cattle, hay, malting barley and enough oats to keep all the hungry mouths around the place fed.

As for the blog, well, a couple years after we moved to Oregon I decided, in some random bout of insanity, to attempt to write a book. Had I known then what I know now, I would have just taken up drinking. It would have saved me a few steps. I have completed several novels, have one in progress, but have yet to crack the publishing market. My very loyal, very savvy literary agent suggested I start a blog, so I did. And since I don’t know enough about anything else to fill up more than one blog post, I started writing stories about family and rodeo and ranch life, which eventually evolved into a regular gig writing a column for four area newspapers. Here are some reader favorites, to give you a taste of life in Montana for Real.

Cutting Your LossesYou really never know how things will turn out when you find two cowboys looking to retrieve a rope from the rack of an ill-tempered ole cow.

Christmas TrippingA trip over the Continental Divide turns a little dicey when a fan belt brakes. Lucky for these travelers there is a tow truck only 30 miles away, but someone forgot the fact that this driver left his purple race car back at the garage.

The Will to DieRaising sheep is a constant battle against all odds. They are just looking for a place to die.

Hope you can all stop by, and thanks to Ryan for introducing me to all of you.

4 Comments

  1. Yes, I know they are not that great. Like it says, it’s a work in progress. I don’t exactly have all the time in the world to sit down and fix it all up at one time. I’ve a big list to get put on there. It’s just a matter of finding time after work to get it done. So keep checking back.

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