First Days of Fall

Misty morning in Northern Michigan

You are in good company here, with brilliant leaves starting to flutter to the ground and seemingly all seasons temperatures ticking by throughout the day.

There is one week to go in our annual Call For Submissions and we are excited to see our in box active. If you sent something in and DID NOT receive an acknowledgement email, please resend your submission to editor@walloonwriters.com. Like everyone else, we made adjustments to our normal actions for 2020.

A little bird told me that normally quiet outdoor places are still seeing visitors and for many, it is outside where we feel most at home. If a drive is out of reach for you and your family, please visit your yard or a city park. The fresh air, endless natural phenomena and change of season will wrap joy around your soul.

Grateful for your ongoing enthusiasm for our collection of talented writing and photography. Please expect to hear from us again soon!

We post photos on Instagram, post and re-post amazing photos of the region on our FB page and call this a politics free zone. Here, you can breathe, tap into good feelings and know that we are all part of a creative comminity. Insights, art, stories, reflections and moments in nature captured in words woven like silk flow through our contributors. It can all be delightful in the face of the drudgery.

As always, Walloon Writers Review attempts to capture and share original creative writing and nature photography inspired by and about northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. No experience required.

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