'Duncan Christmas' makes return visit
“…Duncan can't wait to taste the chewiness of the lights, the crunching sound of the ornaments under his feet, and oh, how could he forget his special holiday mission?”
From “Duncan’s Christmas Cat’astrophe,” by Annie Jarrett-Keffeler
by Kent Brick
An enjoyable account of the Christmas escapades of her mischievous cat, Duncan, is among several ways Annie Jarrett-Keffeler is developing her writing career and channeling her passions. “Duncan’s Christmas Cat’astrophe” is a book Jarrett-Keffeler wrote and began circulating last year. She has more copies ready for distribution this Christmas season.
Jarrett-Keffeler is a writer/author, publisher and a therapy-based entrepreneur, residing on a rural acreage near Buchanan, with her husband, Ryan. They are served by Northern Plains Electric Cooperative.
Watching how their house cat, Duncan, relentlessly assaulted lights and ornaments on their Christmas tree inspired Annie to write this fun Christmas story. She first witnessed this wacky behavior as Duncan attacked strands of tree lights her husband stretched out on their living room floor. But, Duncan didn’t stop there.
“Then he started to demolish tree ornaments, and it got to the point where we started losing ornaments, and I haven’t found them yet!” Annie says.
Suitably inspired, Annie worked with her publisher, Connie Gorrell, Inspirations International, and illustrator, Jeanine Henning, completing “Duncan’s Christmas Cat’astrophe” last year. The result was a humorous, touching Christmas season story, with a surprise, or two, meant to be experienced by people of all ages.
Last Christmas season, just 250 copies of the book were printed, and marketed in the Jamestown area. The book was well-received and all copies sold. Annie and her publisher are renewing their marketing and distribution of the book this year.
As a writer, Annie first outlines the elements of her stories, then relies on throwback methods to do her composing. “I like the old-fashioned process of using a pencil and paper to write,” Annie says. “I will head outside and walk around with my ideas, or, about 11:30 at night, while lying in bed, the first page of a book will come to mind. My husband is really good at saying ‘I think you better go write that down.’ ”
“Duncan’s Christmas Cat’astrophe” is a recent addition to Annie’s growing list of stories she has written and published. She grew up on a farm, and attended school at Gackle-Streeter.
A longtime employee at The Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown – a career she recently completed – Annie actually embraced the idea of story writing through an experience with a pet basset hound, Bentley. She and Ryan received the dog as a wedding present.
After Bentley developed cancer and died, friends encouraged Annie to tell the story of the pet. She enrolled in an online course to advance her writing skills. Annie went on to complete a story series, titled, “Bentley the Big Basset,” and is working on a publishing and distribution plan for it.
Book price is $10.99, plus shipping and handling.
Annie will be doing a public greeting and “Duncan” book signing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Lacey’s Health and Wellness, 208 First Ave. S. in Jamestown.
Kent Brick is editor of North Dakota Living. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.