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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Creativity All Around Me

St. Johnswort on St. John's Eve
Today, June 23, is St. John’s Eve. In medieval times, bonfires would have burned tonight from every hill in Europe, many of them visible from hills miles away where other fires burned. Along the roadsides and edges of woods and orchards here in northern Michigan, the St. Johnswort blooms, and my heart is both here in Michigan and across the ocean in France.

Only Saturday morning, and I feel I have already had a very full weekend, beginning with Thursday evening at the Opera House in Traverse City, for the season finale of the National Writers Series. (New series starts next month.) My friend Marilyn, her friend Jill, and I went to Traverse City for an evening with novelists Elizabeth Kostova and Natalie Bakopoulos, moderated by NWS founder and national best-selling nonfiction author Doug Stanton. 

On Front Street, Traverse City

Traverse City was hoppin’! And the trio onstage did not disappoint. I have to say it was the most engaging, informative, lively NWS evening I’ve enjoyed this year. Great stuff! Marilyn and I were so inspired that we continued to talk about writing until after sunset.

Color NOT enhanced!
Friday morning I got an early start with errands, including flowers from the farm market (augmented by local volunteer spiderwort, electric blue not touched up in Photoshop) for my own guest author. Poet and essayist Fleda Brown drew an audience from Interlochen, Traverse City, Central Lake, Reed City, and nearby Omena. She delighted us all with her sparing, incisive language and topics as surprising as outhouses and Elvis sightings. People who are afraid of poetry should hear Fleda speak and read: their fears would quickly subside.

Fleda Brown at Dog Ears Books
Thursday was a rush home to leave for Traverse City, and Friday was a rush home to drive to Leland for the opening reception of Glenn Wolff’s art exhibit. Glenn is this year’s artist-in-residence at the Old Art School in Leland. I took a few photos but none really does justice either to the work or to the evening. I think I was too tired by then. But don't forget that I have beautiful Glenn Wolff notecards at my bookstore, along with equally lovely notecards from Glen Arbor artist Kristen Hurlin. 

A photographer much more gifted than I has provided something new (available at Dog Ears Books) for summer vacationers and anyone else who can find a leisure hour somewhere. I’ve been getting my most beautiful Leelanau postcards from Aubrieta V. Hope for several years now. Next came refrigerator magnets based on the same lovely photos. Her Lake Michigan playing cards (still available) were a great hit, and now we have the Northern Michigan playing cards—each card with a different photo on its face. You will love them! Your family, friends, and--for those of you who rent houses by the week--paying guests will love them!

Finally, I am happy to announce that David Grath will soon be showing paintings in a small gallery off the side from Dog Ears Books. I say “soon” because he is still putting the finishing touches on the space, so expect a gallery update in a few days.

You see what I mean about being surrounded by creativity? The other side of a “hectic” life is that it is stimulating. Novelists, poets, painters—bless their hearts! They excite and soothe the savage in us all. 

Sarah and I had a good walk this morning. Heavy dew. We came home tired, soaked, calm, and happy, ready for another day in Northport.

Between woods and orchard


Kathy said...

Delightful creativity, Pamela! Your entire post highlights the creative opportunities which abound everywhere. Congrats on David's showing next to the book store. I would have loved to join you and your friends in Traverse City for the evening.

P. J. Grath said...

You would have loved the writers, Kathy. They were terrific!