Mighty Michigan Upper Peninsula

Tahquamenon Falls July 23

With some initial trepidation over crowds, we walked the pathways of the upper and lower falls yesterday. Stepping out on the overlook, where this photo was taken, the mist sprinkled us. It’s almost a pilgrimage of summer for a lot of us who grew up in Michigan. The might of the tons of water careening over slick rock is exciting at the moment you stand close enough to feel the mist.

The Mighty Mac stands proudly between our two peninsulas and driving over yesterday, the vista showed off the deep blue of the straits and rooster tail of the ferry on its way to Mackinac Island.

Summer of 2020 is not the same as summers before or holding all of the excitement we planned but, stepping outside, smelling cedars, pine, hemlock and standing in the tannin stained Superior, gingered river of the falls, and in the way back home, the crystal blue of northern edges of Lake Michigan felt amazing.

Lake Superior July 23

Walloon Writers Review will eventually get down to business and announce our Call for Submissions. For now, summer’s calling…check back again, soon!

love these chippies!

Fourth Of July

And, like that, snap! It’s summer….warm sunshine, big waves, screams of laughter and joy. Sunsets that take your breath away.

Walloon Writers Review is making plans for our next edition, reflecting upon the events of the day, working to stay aligned with our mission of offering a publication where you can share your reflections of Northern Michigan and the UP, inspired by the natural beauty, inclusive of all audiences, and know that readers are excited to delve into these original creative writings and nature photography.

Visit our website again for updates and watch our social media outlets for information about this unique lit mag, created especially for the passion this place inspires.

Should you have missed our Fifth Edition, check out the tab on where to find Walloon Writers Review. More locations are adding us in, online and in person. Please…Be sure to support your local independent bookstores in any way you can. They need our support while slowly we make our way back to snapping up titles in the window, staff picks and have all curated thoughtful collections to help us all through challenging and changing times.

Til next month…wishing you all a Happy Fourth of July!

Spring In Northern Michigan

This spring we are all doing our best to stay home, stay safe and let the virus slow in our precious state of Michigan. It’s been a great time for bird watching and the increased numbers of wildlife taking advantage of quieter streets and wooded areas and stepping out has been exciting. We spotted a porcupine up in the tree at the end of the road after heavy rains and the Tom turkeys were dancing around last week, showing off their full feathers. This week we have evidence of critters, peepers and last night, GNATS! Hopefully, the mosquitos got word that we’re under lock and key and they should stay home, too.

In our 5th Edition, Steve Huder’s Torch Lake Fox reminds us of springtime and sunshine. Recently, we reposted photography of a mother Fox and her kits and beautiful birds from around the state. We remind ourselves and our readers of the amazing beauty of Northern Michigan and if you are away, it’s all still here. It’s just taking an awfully long time to warm up, which is okay under these circumstances.

Writers and Writing!

Congratulations to the Crooked Tree Arts Center Young Writer’s Exposition winners! We are also really excited to read a bit about the Boyne City Writes! Project by the Boyne City Public Library, for residents to share their great writing.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out on Twitter and Newpages.com for writing contests, photography contests and virtual galleries to continue sharing your amazing talents.

RIP Bruce, the original work from home cat co-worker in 2005

Thank you!

Thank you very much for participating in our Lunch Money Fundraiser for the Manna Food Project of Northern Michigan! It’s good to pull together even from our favorite chair to help others in need right now. It’s never too late to share lunch money with this organization. Keep our food pantries in mind while we all try to get back to work slowly and safely. ☺️

Lunch Money

Walloon Writers Review is all about Northern Michigan and we want to do our part for our friends, neighbors and service people struggling during the pandemic. Will you join us by donating your “lunch money” to Manna Food Project, who puts food on the table for so many right now?

As writers and artists, we are uniquely qualified to understand difficult economic struggles. We also may not each have a lot to share right now but, if we each donate lunch money, the amount that we would have spent for lunch out on a normal day, our dollars will join together and help to make a difference for families up north.

Walloon Writers Review reached out to Manna Food Project and asked if we could encourage this small fundraiser. They accept Paypal, credit cards or you can send a check when you get a chance. Here’s the direct link to donate:

http://mannafoodproject.org/donate-online.htm.

For our part, Walloon Writers Review is donating the portion of reading fees we set aside each year for a non profit organization that helps preserve the beauty of northern Michigan. Right now, we think it’s the people and their families – the front desk workers, the servers, the bag attendants, housekeeping, paddle board delivery crews, park crew, instructors, ice cream scoopers, the lift attendants who’s season stopped on a dime, bartenders, boat renters, and everyone involved in getting fudge into our bellies every summer – who need our creative community to join together and share what we can. We know that each time we step out to enjoy the beauty of Northern Michigan and the UP, there are a lot of people who make the journey to our destination pleasant and memorable.

Thank you for helping. Our Creative Community is strong and by coming together, we can help our Northern neighbors in need. If now is not possible, please consider donating to Manna or your local food pantry in the future. Hunger knows no season.

Wishing you safe and healthy days ahead.

-Walloon Writers Review

FROM NORTHERN MICHIGAN & THE BRIDGE TO THE UP

Just a little Northern Michigan to share with you today….

blue by Jennifer Huder Copyright Walloon Writers Review 2020

Just before we went into Stay Home mode here, I drove up Straits Highway, through Topinabee along Mullett Lake and on up to Mackinaw City in the sunshine. By the time I reached this shore, clouds had rolled in but enough sun and sky was out to sparkle the ice blue. I wondered as I took this series of photos if we were next on lockdown. I wished it wasn’t happening, but then I looked through the viewfinder on my phone and took this picture.

I am compelled to write, to capture this unique part of the world in words and in photography. Nothing makes me feel more comforted, inspired, motivated and free than being outside in Northern Michigan and I’m convinced it’s a feeling that is shared by many many others. I can’t send you a pine cone right now or a waft of pine trees dense with spring rain, but I can remind you of them, of drifts of snow, of summer sunsets and blue waters.

The stars were so brilliant the other night, I was mildly surprised at them for looking so beautiful at such a horrible time, but they gave me hope for another day.

I am grateful to our independent bookstores and hope you’ll visit their websites, order a book, sign up for libro.com subscriptions, buy gift certificates for upcoming graduates, a copy of Walloon Writers Review or a pack of magazines to pass the time. Were it not for independent bookstores, I would not have become a writer. Our small indie stores throughout Michigan preserve the inspiration for young writers, embolden others to begin putting down their stories to share. In these books, and on their covers, interesting photography and art is there to inspire or bring you to a place in time.

I hope you’ll stand outside and catch a ray of sunshine, a flock of birds noisily announcing their arrival, a squirrel running across your path or a handful of stars sparkling at you and find a moment of peace.

-Jennifer Huder, editor

Leap Into March

Yesterday, the elusive 29th of February brought ideas of fantastic adventures in time portals that only reveal themselves on this calendar catch up day.

Last year at Walloon just around the break of Spring

A hint of new beginnings prompts many of us to stretch our creative souls, come out from hibernation of elegant tea, amber ales and deep red wine aside the fire as we delve into books we stacked up all year to read.

Up north, March is everyseason rolled into one. But, the snow looks different, the mud season begins, coffee is to keep up the war against ice patches and yet more snow. Interesting events start popping up on calendars and they seem less treacherous to consider.

As you start your spring preparation, planning for Northern Michigan and UP adventures, remember to share your ideas on paper…plant seeds for the story or poem you hope to share come September.

Check back and stay in touch as we roll out readings from Walloon Writers Review contributors around the state to bring a reminder of the inspiring beauty of Northern Michigan and the UP closer to you.

‘Everyone wants a place where they feel safe,’ says Joy Harjo, the first Native American U.S. poet laureate – The Washington Post

She says our global community is at a dire environmental moment in our collective history.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/everyone-wants-a-place-where-they-feel-safe-says-joy-harjo-the-first-native-american-us-poet-laureate/2020/01/10/6e0f474e-0281-11ea-8501-2a7123a38c58_story.html

“It’s whats inside that counts….”

…yes, but, the cover photography by Melissa Seitz …

Between the covers of Walloon Writers Review Fifth Edition, readers can expect to find a journey of reflections from across the Upper Peninsula, hopscotching the islands that rest between then a burst from the northern lower. Northern Michigan and the UP in words and photography captured creatively by writers and photographers inspired by the natural beauty and the unique experiences of the region.

We are very honored to have incredibly talented contributors to our Fifth Edition. Check out the complete list of contributors in our earlier post. For the next several weeks, check out short highlights about each contributor!

The cricket in the corner chirps as the coffee percolates. Acorns hit the roof like artillery.

Amy zaranek “Guardian of the Northern lakes”
Walloon writers Review fifth edition

Amy Zaranek is an MFA student at Ashland University, where she is also the lead editor of creative nonfiction for The Black Fork Review. Her writing attempts to examine the issues of sustainability and agriculture in contemporary America. She lives and writes in Northern Michigan. Amy contributed the short story quoted above, “Guardian of the Northern Lakes”.

“…the slap of a wave against the boards or the hull of a boat, the dragon flies and the strident song of the cicadas crying out that all of this is passing,…”

ROBERT VIVIAN “eVER a FIREFLY”
wALLOON wRITERS rEVIEW FIFTH eDITION

Robert Vivian is the author of The Tall Grass Trilogy, Water and Abandon and two meditative essay collections, Cold Snap As Yearning and The Least Cricket of Evening. His first poetry book is called Mystery My Country — and he’s co-written a second called Traversings with the poet Richard Jackson. He teaches at Alma College and as a core faculty member at The Vermont College of Fine Arts. His next book, coming out in 2020, is called All I Feel is Rivers. The above quote is taken from “Ever A Firefly” on page 22 of Walloon Writers Review Fifth Edition.

Contributors to Walloon Writers Review retain the rights to their own work. The quotes above are from Walloon Writers Review Fifth Edition and protected by copyright.