Thursday, December 16, 2010

who were you then? who are you now? who do you WANT to be?

These are the questions that Joan Steffend found herself asking. Most of us know her as a former anchorwoman on KARE-11 news out of Minneapolis. Or host of Decorating Cents on HGTV. A redhead with a big smile and an easy laugh.

But like everyone, Joan found herself wondering where her sparkle had gone. Where was she headed?

Joan sat down and wrote a very interesting book - a picture book of sorts, but for adults. It's called "...And She Sparkled".

I talk with Joan Steffend this week on Realgoodwords and I found her charming and very real...check out the video here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I hunt therefore I am

So maybe in your family it's fishing or maple syruping or skiing.... but in all families we have certain traditions or rituals that we hope will continue long after we are gone.

Award winning Bemidji writer Will Weaver has just published his memoir called "The Last Hunter: An American Family Album". Will's book is a sojourn through his life - connecting the stories of his youth with his adulthood, all through the lens of hunting. Will grew up near Dorset, MN... he writes of a place he knew well there:
"A railroad cleaved through our family of farms. It separated Gerry's place from mine, but the crossing, with its slivered planks and tire-burnished bolts, was a meeting spot, and the railroad bed a boy's highway. Almost daily we walked it west a mile to our grandfather's place and sometimes beyond, to the edge of town two more miles away. East took us two miles to Dorset, a town of thirty or so with a lumberyard, bait shop and cafe. Beyond Dorset was uncharted territory - the edge of the earth - so we settled for a candy bar or an ice cream cone at the cafe in Dorset, then turned back. " Chapter 6, page 55 of "The Last Hunter"
Will will be signing books on Sunday December 12th at the Village Bookstore in Grand Rapids from 2-4pm. He's also my guest this week on Realgoodwords!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adriana Trigiani is back to talk about her Iron Range grandmother, Lucy Bonicelli

Bestselling author Adriana Trigiani is back on Realgoodwords this week talking about her grandmothers. Really, what could be better? Here's an excerpt of our conversation:

(I asked Adriana about her grandmothers and how they have influenced ALL of her writing)

"They're a big part of the rock that I keep turning over and over again. The themes that I'm interested in -- who we choose to love and partner with in life -- the creation of families ---what we choose to make by the labor of our own hands.... My grandmothers shined in all those areas so they're a source of constant inspiration but more than the inspiration I ABIDE by them. What can I say? They're in heaven now but I still feel their presence around me all the time."

She went on to talk about her Grandmother Lucy from Chisholm, MN.

"Those Minnesota roots are really something. I had the great fortune of spending time in Chisholm quite a bit of the time and I just love the people. It was fun for me to paint the landscape for people who may have never visited the Iron Range. It's a very, very special place and I think one of the reasons it really produced so many great people were those deep family ties."