Jan Stafford Kellis
Bookworms Anonymous

Bookworms Anonymous

It’s here! You can find your copy on Amazon.com.   The women are gathered again! Bookworms Anonymous is a non-traditional reading group established in 2000, comprised of seven women in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They meet monthly to share a gourmet vegetarian meal and discuss and swap books. Part memoir, part…

Bookworms Anonymous Volume II

Bookworms Anonymous Volume II

Coming Soon:  Bookworms Anonymous Volume Two! If you enjoyed the first volume, you’ll love this one!   Part memoir, part cook book, part love letter to reading, Bookworms Anonymous Volume Two allows the reader to attend meetings of everyone’s favorite book club.  Enjoy more book reviews, more recipes and an…

Testing the Current

Testing the Current

Testing the Current by William McPhersonMy rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the story of a year in Tommy McAllister’s life, beginning when he’s 8, then going back to his 7th year and ending just past where it begins.  It takes place in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, which is…

The Long-Shining Waters

The Long-Shining Waters is a celebration of Lake Superior.  Three story lines, in three different centuries, are tied together by setting.  Lake Superior has been here for eons, and will remain long after we’re all gone.  The stories in this book relate Superior’s beauty, her strength and her fierce moods.…

FREE Kindle book!

FREE Kindle book!

Bookworms Anonymous is available FREE through Christmas Eve!  Click here to get your copy now. Part memoir, part cookbook, and part informational guide, Bookworms Anonymous is a laudatory examination of reading as a hobby, diversion, obsession, even sport. The book features a Bookworm’s eye view of eight meetings as well…

De Tour Village: A Village Christmas

Join us on December 1, 2012 for A Village Christmas!
 
It’s a Village-wide event, featuring various artisans and crafters from the Eastern Upper Peninsula.  The Village merchants join in the fun too, offering sales and great deals during this festive day.
 
See the official Facebook Event page for more information, and plan a trip to De Tour Village!  If you haven’t been here yet, it’s time you came to see what all the excitement is about.

Extreme Writing

As mentioned in Bookworms Anonymous, extreme reading is a little recognized sport performed by reading outside.  I doubt we’ll ever see it in the Olympics, or witness a district extreme reading tournament. It’s not really a spectator sport; the reader/performer is the team, the audience and the coach.  Extreme reading…

Country Mice in the City

Tomorrow I embark on a journey to the city. Chicago! Named for a wild onion, it’s the city of big shoulders and wind and it’s my favorite major US city (I’ve been to NYC, LA, St Louis and Orlando, so those are the comps). My sister, daughter and I will stay just outside the city itself and take the train in every day as if we’re commuting. We’ll stroll the Mag Mile and State Street, take in a show at the Briar Street Theatre and eat lunch at Ed Debevic’s. It’s October so we will enjoy a color tour all the way there and back and we can leave our outer layers at home.

We’ll stop at a Borders Books. This alone is worth the 8-hour drive, each way, so we can sit on the second floor drinking coffee in the window and watching people scurry by on the pavement below. We’ll shop at Macy’s. Macy’s! And the fabulous Columbus Day Sale! Oh, to live in a place with stores. I’m also bringing three of my books to leave in various strategic locations for someone to pick up and read.

This, the eve of a trip to the city, makes me wonder what it would be like to live in an urban place. It seems glamorous from here, tucked into the woods where the only culture is the free karaoke performance at the bar. I’m sure I’d take in a play at least once a month and rarely eat dinner at the same place, cook less often than I do now (it’s become my  least favorite chore) and buy fresh flowers from the corner stand regularly. I’d probably dress better–a Life Is Good T-shirt would not be considered dressy casual in a city–and I’d know all of the train schedules, which taxis are the fastest, and the shortest routes on the safest streets. I would be just one more anonymous soul trying to get through the day with no one asking me how I like my new job or if I’ve seen the new hairstyle of the girl at the gas station.

I’d miss the trees. And my routine: a five-minute, five-mile commute to work on a two-lane road canopied by maple trees much of the way, mine frequently the only vehicle on the entire route. I run out the door most mornings, my boots untied and coat half-on, turn up the radio to hear 5% of the news events occurring in the world, none of which impact our lives here, and which  my commute was longer so I could hear the rest of the story. I always see Mrs. Goetz in her window, watching me turn toward work, so she can later report to me what time I arrived every day last week. She’s pretty accurate–if any local employers are considering time clocks, they should just hire her. She’d also be a reliable alibi corroborator if one had driven by her house at the time of the murder. She’d remember, down to the minute, what time she spied the vehicle and which direction it was headed.

But I digress. We are traveling to the city, it will be fabulous, then we will travel home and it will be even more fabulous for the brief interlude of urban sophistication. 

UP Living

UP Living

Some days it’s easier to remember why we live here, and today was one of those days. Autumn is just peeking through, painting random leaves and gracing us with bright sunshine and cool, crisp days. The tourists are gone now so there’s no traffic, no need to lock anything, and…

Superfluous Apostrophes

My  new job entails driving to a lot of remote camps and summer homes on roads with no posted names too narrow to pass another truck unless one backs up to the nearest wide spot or driveway to allow the other one by. I’ve always had a pet peeve for…