Last night, McLean & Eakin Booksellers and Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery hosted a local writers night event that showcased published local authors and invited others to share their writing in an open mike format.
What a great night for writing and writers. We got to hear dynamic and subtle words crafted into stories, fiction and legend supported with well-researched facts, passionate poetry and a children’s story in progress. Humor and grace, fantastic and soulful writing crossed the mike last night. Super short fiction written with such searing precision left you speechless while your brain processed the images the writer unfolded in such efficiency.
Walloon Writers Review also said a few words about this literary magazine, as well. The idea that I had hoped to share was that we have stories to share about Northern Michigan and the UP, poetry inspired by the moments that we all know so well that are inspired by the natural beauty around us: the angry thrash of rushing snowmelt to the lake, the now all too familiar howl of winter wind bringing astonishing cold and beautifully sculpted drifts of our pure snow, summers sunsets and winters stars; the deer that just looked in my window hoping I’m going to fill that bird feeder again before I leave for the day so they can tip it over, like a bizarre Pez candy dispenser; or the still of the great forests; the ride across the ice bridge or the pull of the ferry as it leaves the dock.
Maybe your start is here, with Walloon Writers Review. Maybe you just have a great story to tell – like Larry Parrott shared in Volume Three about Camp Michigania, or J.W. Jordan’s Drilling for Bats or a gentle legend, like Nancy Hirschenberger’s story, Why The Bull Elk Bugles. Maybe your passionate poetry soars like a kite in spring winds and captures that moment, crystallizes the rush of emotions that stirred while you flew across the field in your snow machine or paddled your canoe down the river.
Thank you for letting me share some of my passion about writing, and why I created a place to share your Northern Michigan/UP stories, tales, poems and creative writing, as well as photography. These stories resonate our place on the map, our history, our natural spectacular setting. The story or poem or tale or stunning photograph often grows from the experience we have by being here. Sharing creative writing and photography, letting the world see through your eyes for a moment or read your unique perspective can be exciting and a little scary. Here, between our covers, is the place where your story and poetry, creative writing and photography can be shared by an enthusiastic group of readers who, like you, share a passion for this place.
I also admitted my stubbornness in producing a print publication, one that you can leave on the table, hold in your hand while you rock, lay on your towel at the beach, sit on your favorite chair and dive in. The book is meant to be shared because the contents were so carefully crafted and created to share. Digital works great in most regards, but I personally like the feel of a book, an anthology, the weight of the paper, the cover, the dog-ears of where I last set it down and the joy of picking up where I left off. Books have a place in our lives and supporting the local authors by buying and reading their books helps you as a writer and photographer see the world from another set of eyes.
What I hope those who could not attend will take from this is that Northern Michigan and UP writers have a voice, have talent and this magazine offers one aspect of that well to overflow. I am so excited to read your really great “Northern Michigan and UP” stories and poetry this August when we start accepting submissions for our Fifth edition. I am just as excited to see the stunning photography you would like to share.
Thank you again, McLean & Eakin Booksellers and Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery. That was fun!
– Jennifer Huder, editor