Some may recognize Julie R. Neidlinger as a former reporter for the Cavalier County Republican or as a former art teacher at the school.
Posted on 7/16/16
By Melissa Anderson
But now, Neidlinger, an artist, writer, private pilot, and lifelong resident of North Dakota will be recognized as a published author as she has released her first book, entitled There Are Dinosaurs In The Fields.
Neidlinger has been writing her Lone Prairie Blog since 2002, making it one of the oldest blogs in the state. She has consistently written stories and essays about life in North Dakota for more than a decade.
“I’ve had many readers tell me over the years that they wished I would put out a book,” Neidlinger said. “I didn’t want to create a book that was merely a collection of blog posts, though. I wanted something more cohesive.”
And so, for several years, Neidlinger has been pulling together essays, stories, and poems using blog posts, journals and notes she took while she worked as a newspaper reporter. She is also an artist, and so her own full-color paintings and photographs play an important role in the book.
“There are a lot of books out there by North Dakota authors,” Neidlinger said, “I didn’t want to add another memoir to the stack. This is a book that is for anyone who prefers a more thoughtful life, whether they have an interest in North Dakota or not.”
Neidlinger describes the book as being about the universal themes of life, often depicted in humorous settings, which illustrate a slower pace of life on the Great Plains. As is the weather, UFOs, crop circles, and more. Specific towns in North Dakota that are mentioned include Hampden, Langdon, Edmore, Devils Lake, Bismarck, and Harvey, to name a few.
An example Neidlinger gives is the many Centennials the towns in the northeast region of the state had in the early 2000s, readers will remember and possibly enjoy some of the essays that reference those festivities.
“Essentially, for those readers who like to feel a sense of precise understanding or that the author is directly talking about what they themselves know and have experienced, the book will feel familiar to them. They will identify with the themes,” Neidlinger stated.
While the essays and poems cover a broad range of topics and locations, there are some specific essays that people in Cavalier County might find interesting.
There is an essay that specifically references the county commission meetings that Neidlinger covered as the reporter for the Cavalier County Republican.
“The essay isn’t about any particularly special meeting– in fact, the essay is meant to illustrate the humorous things that were often said in an average meeting,” Neidlinger said, “That essay is based on the notes I took at a meeting, but is meant to illustrate that larger concept (i.e. every day local politics can have a humorous side).”
The essay Neidlinger wrote is told from the point of view of someone sitting through an entire meeting as the commissioners meander through their agenda and some of the rather funny asides they said as the commissioners moved through their agendas.
Another other essay covers a time when Neidlinger wrote a news article about a storm and the aftermath, which was edited in a way in that presented the end result as not being positive.
“I use that specific incident as a vehicle to talk about what it is like being a reporter for a small newspaper,” Neidlinger stated.
Neidlinger also includes photographs and other images throughout the book in several forms. Some are as full-page backgrounds for poems, while others are illustrating a specific thing.
“Much of the book’s philosophy is based on the observations of nature and everyday life,” Neidlinger said.
For more information on where to get a copy of the book There Are Dinosaurs In The Fields, visit Neidlinger’s website at loneprairie.net to purchase directly or to see if a store near you is currently carrying the book.