Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the Lakeshore Arts festival. Along with a variety of artisans, there were twenty Michigan authors under two large tents. So I gathered up extra copies of my books, promo items, a few bottles of distinctive wines and all that jazz and headed for the Lake Michigan shore. Events such as this have the potential to be a great time. Authors get the chance to meet with the public, talk about our characters and stories and if we’re lucky, we might sell a book or two.
Just about every genre imaginable was represented. There were books for children, young adults, romance, mystery, historical, non-fiction, sci-fi, and more.
At least three times I was approached by people who were interested in writing and wanted to pick my brain about the creative process and the challenges faced. I’m always willing to discuss the subject. It’s one of my passions. If I can encourage someone to pursue their own endeavors, that’s part of the fun.
During the occasional lull in traffic, many authors would share stories about the writing experience, their own works or projects. While connecting with my old friend Donald Levin, I also had the chance to chat with Jean Davis, Melanie Hooyenga and Clay Boura. Check out their books on the links below.
A beautiful summer weekend brings the latest Jamie Richmond adventure to mind. Here's an excerpt from "Stealing Haven" part of the short story collection "Once Upon A Summer". In this scene, Jamie and Linda are just starting their vacation with a dip in the lake.
With our spot secured and sunscreen on, we didn’t wait a moment longer. The sun beat down on us with nary a cloud in sight. My toes hit the water and a chill raced through me.
“It’s ice water!”
“It’s Lake Michigan, Jamie.” Smart ass. I knew exactly where we were.
“Feels more like Lake Superior.” The northernmost lake rarely warmed above freezing.
Linda gave me a disgusted look and stepped further into the water. Together we walked out until it was waist deep. In the distance, a number of people rushed across the water on kiteboards, letting the wind fill their odd shaped sails. I watched one execute several flips and turns, expertly working the breeze. Linda scraped a fingernail on my shoulder.
“Race you to that buoy.”
“What boy?” I smiled.
She pushed me. As I fell, I saw her dive and swim toward a marker that bobbed about thirty feet ahead. Laughing, I took off after her. There was a gradual drop off from the beach so I could have waded out to it, but it was more fun to swim. She stood there, hands on her hips like Wonder Woman.
“I’ve been waiting.”
She shook her head, water spraying from her curls. “For this vacation. We’re two beautiful women, unencumbered by the demands of the world. Nobody is looking for us. There are no papers to grade, no deadlines to meet, no expectations.”
“At least, for this week.”
She hugged me. “What more could we ask for?”
“Well, a couple of gorgeous guys would be a nice change-up. Preferably those with jobs and some money to spend on us.”
“I suppose you want them to be single as well. Never married. No ex-wives or children to clutter the picture.” She flashed me a wicked smile. “Perhaps a virile young monk in training going over the wall.”
“A girl can dream, can’t she?”
Sometimes a song gets stuck in my head and just won't go away. Since I mentioned it above, here's a version of "All That Jazz". Enjoy!