Welcome and Introductions

TalkMidwest Writers/Readers

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Welcome and Introductions

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1MichelleHoover
Edited: Jan 24, 2010, 6:03pm

Hi All,

Looks like we have a good number going in our group now and already a couple of discussions. I'd love for everyone to introduce themselves, either through where they live, what they're writing, what they're reading, or other ties they have to the Midwest. Feel free also to invite anyone you think might be interested in the group.

I currently live in Boston, but I was born and bred in Ames, IA and went to college in Minnesota. My novel, The Quickening, is due out June 29 from Other Press (Random House). The book is based on family history from the early nineteen hundreds and involves two farming matriarchs who depend on each other for survival—until one feels forced to betray the other to save her family. If you're interested, you can learn more about the book by going to my profile. I'll be touring the Midwest quite a bit this summer and fall and would love to run into some of you at readings or other events. I hope your own writing/reading is going well!

Best,
Michelle

2labwriter
Edited: Jan 18, 2010, 1:42pm

Hi Michelle and All,

Congrats on the novel, Michelle. I'm sure we'll all be keeping an eye out for it when it comes out in June and will be looking forward to reading it. "Family history" is right up my alley, since genealogy one of my favorite pastimes.

I live in Missouri, outside of St. Louis, although I was born a 5th-generation Coloradoan--which is quite a trick--there are not many of those. Much of my family still lives there, but I find that after 20 or so years in the midwest this area of the country suits me, maybe because it's more like Denver used to be 30 years ago.

I was an R.N. who went back to school at the age of 35 and gradually transitioned to teaching writing; I taught at the U of Missouri, St. Louis for about 5 years but quit teaching because the work I put into my classes left me little time for my own writing. I've been working on a novel for what seems like forever. People used to ask, "How's the book coming?" but they pretty much don't anymore, which is fine with me. I never really knew how to answer that question anyway.

I'm looking forward to hearing from others in this group.

3fugitive
Jan 18, 2010, 2:03pm

Hi Michelle and labwriter (I'm a librarian at UMSL so you might have even met me, labwriter!).

I call myself an "evolving midwesterner" as I've been here since 1991 via Los Angeles.

One of the things I am interested in is the definition of a "midwesterner."

Anyway, I'm a rabid wikipedian, reference liberrian, and underground publisher (my LA roots). I live in west county St. Louis and continue to be fascinated with those of you who grew up in the heartland.

And I have to plug the St. Louis County Library system which absolutely rocks (I don't work for them, I tell them they're the library that librarians use!).

And I love winter (sledding down Art Hill, fireplaces when it's cold, and checking out the bald eagles on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers).

4tloeffler
Jan 18, 2010, 2:40pm

Hello, all, I'm Terri and I live in St. Charles MO. Definitely a MO Reader; have had fantasies all my life of being a MO Writer, but never could convince myself that I had an original idea. Instead, I'm a computer support analyst for a health care system, and I teach coding/billing in the evenings at a local college.

I've lived in the St. Louis/St. Charles area my entire life. I work, I read, I participate in Trivia Nights with our family "dream team." I used to be an avid dancer & walker (St. Louis County Parks Dept has some fabulous trails), but my knees won't allow it any longer. Maybe when (if) I get some new ones...

Your book sounds interesting, Michelle. I'll be watching for you to visit the area!

5jennieg
Jan 18, 2010, 3:01pm

Thank you for inviting me to this group, Michelle. I'm Jennie. I grew up in the Chicago 'burbs, went to school in Galesburg and Ohio, lived for 12 years in Minneapolis, and now I'm back in the Chicago 'burbs.

I have no desire to write. I'm a quilter and knitter and, if spring ever comes back, a gardener.

I've read a lot of Midwestern literature over the years. I'm not sure if it's a real genre, but I'll be happy to talk about it.

6jnwelch
Jan 18, 2010, 6:09pm

Ditto for me, Michelle. Like jennieg, I'm a Chicagoan. I've been here for many years now (we live about a mile and a half west of Wrigley Field), after growing up in Ann Arbor and living a lot of other places in the U.S.

I've co-authored two books, but you'd have to be a lawyer nerd to want to read them. I also write poetry, but have a son who seems to do that a lot better than I do.

Mainly I read a lot. I look forward to what happens with this new group.

7krolik
Jan 19, 2010, 5:39am

I grew up in rural Iowa and have lived in Europe for the last couple of decades. I've published three novels and other odd bits.

I get back to the U.S. for the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival every year, which is a good time. On Library Thing I hang out mainly on the "Pro & Con" thread.

8margd
Jan 19, 2010, 8:30am

I grew up an army brat in Canada (mostly Ontario, where we now have a cottage), but I have lived most of my years in Ann Arbor, MI, where I migrated in my 20s for a job. As a fishery biologist for the US-Canadian Great Lakes, I wrote articles, book chapters, testimony, policies, press releases, resolutions, position statements, official letters to governments, reports, terms of reference, requests for proposals, executive summaries, plans, chairman's reports, minutes, legislation--brr! Now retired, I read.

9labwriter
Jan 19, 2010, 10:35am

>3 fugitive:. I can't believe there's an UMSL librarian in this group! Librarians--my favorite people of all time. Plus a fan of Princess Bride. As my son drove back to college after one of his first visits home his freshman year, my husband and I stood in the driveway, waving, and my husband said under his breath: "It would take a miracle." Turns out he was right--heh.

10elbakerone
Jan 19, 2010, 11:07am

Hello everyone!

Like a few others here I'm currently residing in the Chicago suburbs but I have roots in Michigan and Minnesota (dontcha know?). I also share a love of The Princess Bride and constantly get my heart broken by the Chicago Cubs.

For reading tastes, I'm about as eclectic as they come and change genres almost as often as I change clothes. I do have a "Chicago" tag for books that I've read that take place in or around the Windy City.

As far as writing goes, my name's only published on scientific research papers but in recent years I've began writing fiction just for fun and I have three NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) projects that are completed but sorely in need of editing and revision and probably a few good rewrites.

Thanks for the invite to the group, Michelle!

11clintwrede
Jan 19, 2010, 11:50am

I'm a librarian as well, at the University of Northern Iowa. I'm a lifelong Iowan, save for three years in North Carolina.

I've enjoyed a number of novels set in Iowa and elsewhere in the Midwest. Such works by W.P. Kinsella and James C. Schaap are among my favorites.

Writing short stories and essays is one of those things on my long-term to-do list, but for now I don't even qualify as a wannabe.

12SharonGoforth
Jan 19, 2010, 12:14pm

Hi everyone,

I'm a reader (not a writer) who is from (and currently lives in) southwestern Ohio between Dayton and Cincinnati. I love fiction from all around the world, but one of my favorite authors hails from the Midwest - Kurt Vonnegut.

13psybre
Jan 19, 2010, 3:15pm

Hello fine folks,

I was raised for half my youth in northeast Iowa. Although both my writing and information technology careers began in Los Angeles and lasted 12 years, I returned to this region in 1987 and have been rooted ever since. My writing is little to speak of, and has transformed into a technical writing job; I continue to read fiction every day. To list the authors I enjoy would be prohibitive in this message, but for those interested, LibraryThing has made it easy to list them in my profile.

I look forward to getting to chat with all of you. (And thank you for the invitation, Michelle.)

14JSKupperman
Jan 19, 2010, 5:21pm

Hi folks and thanks for the invitation, Michelle;

Like apparently half the people here I'm in the Chicago 'burbs, but originally from Wisconsin, having grown up in Oconomowoc. We Chicago folks should get together some time.

At any rate I'm a community college professor here and working on getting an agent for my first novel, an urban fantasy that takes place, of course, in Chicago. Hopefully I'll have a website up for that soonish, and an agent soon after that.

15JSKupperman
Jan 19, 2010, 6:43pm

Oh, and though I am not a librarian, I am married to one. I'm such a joiner.

16rosalita
Jan 19, 2010, 7:28pm

I was born in NY (Long Island), grew up in western Illinois (Monmouth) and now live in West Branch, Iowa, after a decade or so in the Quad-Cities. I refer to myself as a 'recovering journalist' because I used to be a sportswriter, copy editor, and entertainment editor at various Midwestern papers before deciding print journalism at corporate-owned newspapers was a dead end street.

Now I work at the University of Iowa, and do some writing (mostly nonfiction, with a smattering of poetry and fiction) and editing (academic writing mostly) on the side. And a LOT of reading!

17theeclecticreview
Edited: Feb 15, 2010, 5:36pm

Thanks for the invite, Michelle. I'm an administrative assistant/cataloger/circ supervisor/ILL borrowing assistant at Grinnell College and am an avid reader of just about everything fiction. I love to read books by Midwesterners and would love suggestions. One place I look for Iowa authors is the Iowa Center for the Book at http://www.iowacenterforthebook.org/authors/browse.

18paulacs
Jan 19, 2010, 11:22pm

Hello Michelle and hello all!

I don't know how much reading of Midwestern writers I do, but I am a reader and a Midwesterner through and through.

It's rare that I run into someone else from Monmouth, Rosalita -- I was born and raised there. I went to school in Peoria, and have been in Chicago now for several years -- initially in Wrigleyville also, jnwelch, but eventually couldn't handle the rent -- or the drunks....

I'm looking forward to hearing about what you all are reading and/or writing --

19punxsygal
Jan 20, 2010, 11:22am

Hi Michelle and everyone. As someone else said, "I'm a reader not a writer" with a preference for fiction--many genres. After wandering all over for the first half of my life I've settled into the Milwaukee, WI area and have been here many years. I know a number of the writers that I enjoy are from Minnesota. Looking forward to the discussions.

20jnwelch
Jan 20, 2010, 11:26am

My sympathy about Wrigleyville, paulacs. The drunks don't have the stamina to make it as far as us. :-) We're in the St. Ben's (North Center) neighborhood, north of Roscoe Village.

21rosalita
Jan 20, 2010, 1:15pm

Paulacs, I'm not sure I've ever run into someone else from Monmouth online! I haven't been back there since my mother died in 1993. Still haven't gotten over the fact that there's a McDonald's now. :)

22TLCrawford
Jan 20, 2010, 4:15pm

My name is Tim, I have lived within a fifty mile radius of Cincinnati all of my life. A friend hung the nickname “Bookworm’ on me in the second grade. In the fifth grade I decided I was going to be a science fiction writer. That did not work out so well, so far all I have published is a letter to the editor on 12 Sept 2001. It turned out that my opinion was wrong.

I have worked in auto and truck repair in one role or another since 1978.

In the 1980s I left an organization I enjoyed being part of because no one confronted a bore on his rude behavior. Since then I have tried not to let my silence be mistaken for agreement. Even though my wife is sure it will happen at any moment I have never been fired for speaking out.

In the summer of 2007 I went back to school, Miami University, to earn a degree in history. I am very close to that now and I am thinking about grad school.

Oh, yeah, Ohio’s 8th district needs to elect a new congressman.

23clik4
Jan 20, 2010, 6:49pm

Thanks for the invite Michelle. I am a librarian, in Wyoming so not exactly an aficionado of the true Midwest. However, I appreciate the company and look forward to discussions.

24yapete
Jan 20, 2010, 9:16pm

Well, I'm actually German, but I spent two years in Southern Illinois and now live in Michigan for over 8 years (with 5 years in Baltimore and 2 in England in between) , so I assume that qualifies. Thanks for the invite!

25beniowa
Jan 21, 2010, 5:09pm

Hello Michelle and everyone. I've lived in Iowa City, Iowa all my life. I went to the U of I and I'm currently an assistant manager in grocery retail.

I've always been a big bookworm, though I slowed down a bit in high school and college and is now back up again. I mostly read science fiction and fantasy, but I often dabble in fiction, mystery, and non-fiction. You could say I'm an aspiring writer having written two short stories, but lately I've been rather lazy about it. We'll see how the writing bit goes.

Nice to meet you all!

26PrairieDogg
Jan 22, 2010, 11:21am

Howdy Michelle and all,

Splendid idea, a Midwestern group. I'm farm-raised, from Iowa. Like you, Michelle, I'm the product of four farm families, two of which own Century farms. It was a blessing, growing up as I did, with little pigs, dogs, and more cats than I can remember.

Trained in archeology at UI, studied Romans in England and suffered godawful homesickness. Came home to Iowa and have a wonderful life.

Library-card holder for 52 years! Wasn't it Borges who said he thought heaven would be a splendid library? I concur.

I'm a reader, not a writer. You writers out there? I am your dream reader...

I'll watch for "The Quickening." Looks like we have enough locals in the group to have a Prairie Lights meet-up when you are in the neighborhood.

Thanks a bunch for the invite.

PrairieDogg

27MerryMary
Edited: Jan 30, 2010, 2:07pm

Hi. Thanks for the invitation. I was born and raised in small towns in Nebraska - except for a few childhood years in Montana. Since 1983, I've lived in the Sandhills area of Nebraska - a bleak and beautiful land of grass, cattle, wildlife, and here and there a few people.

I am the daughter of a school librarian and followed the same profession myself - retired in May of 2008. I am a big fan of most Nebraska writers, and by extension writers of nearby states as well. My much-loved son-in-law is from Minnesota, so I am quite interested in his neck of the woods too.

Like one of my favorite characters Abbie Deal (from Nebraska author Bess Streeter Aldrich's A Lantern in her Hand), I was meant to appreciate and not to do. I am so envious of good writing. Wish I could, but I love the reading end of it.

28jeffp117
Jan 23, 2010, 4:55pm

Hello everyone. I grew up in western New York, but have lived in Chicago for the past 5 years, where I am also a librarian.

I don't really do any writing, but I read a lot of fiction. I guess I've read some midwestern authors, though I've never really thought about it.

Anyways, thanks for the invite.

29recipe_addict
Jan 30, 2010, 10:36am

Hi =)
I'm another Michelle. I live in Illinois, but I'm originally from Indianapolis, IN. Lately I've been reading books on the Tudors (Philippa Gregory, etc.). I also enjoy a lot of the paranormal (vampires, werewolves, etc) books that are out now (guilty pleasures I guess). I'm currently working on my bachelors degree in English and then will be working on my masters in library science in hopes to be a full-fledged-card-carrying-librarian. I am an associate librarian right now, but I can't move up any higher and do what I really want (be a children's librarian and plan programs etc) until I have my masters.

I am not a writer. Most days I feel like I have several books inside of me, but I don't have the discipline (or courage) to write them down! :)

30Callahan98
Feb 7, 2010, 3:59pm

Hi all,
As a lark I searched Wisconsin and found this group. Retired about 1 1/2 years ago from teaching in northwest suburbs of Chicago. The day after school got out that June, we moved up to northern Wisconsin to enjoy a home on a lake. Being up here gives me lots of time for reading and since I enjoy mysteries, have found a few authors that set their mysteries in WI or MN. Fun to read about places I know especially during the long cold WI winter. My husband gets to fish and hunt and I get to read, relax, crochet, and Skype the grandchildren.

31indianajane
Feb 8, 2010, 11:40pm

Hi all. I'm mostly from Indiana, having lived in all over the state. As a kid my family also lived in Topeka, Kansas for a few years. My husband and I lived in the Milwaukee area for a few years and I graduated from UW-Milwaukee. After that we spent 10 years in the Chicago 'burbs before we finally moved back home. So I'm most certainly a midwestern girl.

I read a mixture of books, and definitely have some favorite midwestern books/authors. I'm also a semi-pro genealogist, working on certification and sometimes getting paid for research. I'm a homeschool mom, and most of my writing over the past ten years has been dedicated to helping other moms. If I ever publish a book it will be non-fiction. (There are a few chapters floating around my house, and even more in my head.)

Thanks, Michelle, for the invitation.

32emvic
Feb 10, 2010, 11:16am

Hi --
I'm a Midwesterner through and through. Grew up in Michigan, went to college in Ohio and graduate school at University of Michigan, and have lived in the Chicago area for over 25 years. I am a recovering librarian, and now a small press publisher. We just published our first two books, which may be of interest to some in this group. Death at the Fair and Death at Hull House by Frances McNamara, are historical mysteries set in 1890s Chicago. Go to our website (www.alliumpress.com) for more info, or you can see the first chapters on Amazon.
We're planning to publish books with a Chicago connection, so let me know if someone has a great manuscript that fits the bill!

Looking forward to seeing everyone's posts. And thanks to Michelle for organizing this.

33rbhardy3rd
Feb 10, 2010, 5:17pm

Hello everybody, and thanks for the invitation, Michelle.

I grew up in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State, but went to college in Ohio (Oberlin), and have lived in Minnesota for twenty years. I have a Ph.D. in classics, and I occasionally teach (I'm finishing up an appointment as a visiting assistant professor at Carleton College).

I suppose I officially became a Midwestern writer in 2000, when a selection of my poetry was included in the anthology 33 Minnesota Poets. I've also published a poetry chapbook, The Collecting Jar, which won the 2004 Grayson Books Poetry Chapbook Competition.

I'm also a bit of an Anglophile. I lived in the English Midlands for a year (2006-2007), and mostly read English novels. Most of my time on LibraryThing is spent hanging out with the Virago Modern Classics Group.

For those interested in what it means to be a Midwestern writer, I recommend the title essay in Scott Russell Sanders' Writing from the Center.

34MargaretCmelik
Feb 11, 2010, 1:49pm

I don't have much time and haven't read all of your posts but thanks for the invite. I'm from Ames, Iowa and have lived here for most of my life. I don't consider myself a real reader or a real writer. I'm one of those people who dabble. But I have enjoyed seeing people who have read books I have and readers are always very interesting to talk to. I put my little book "projects" up for giveaways and I'm enjoying the site. When I get a chance I will try to get to know all of you. Thanks again for the invite.

35Semaj666
Feb 13, 2010, 10:23pm

Thank you for the invitation Michelle. I originally came from Seattle to Minnesota chasing a job with the intention of only staying a couple of years. I guess after 25 years in the Rochester, MN area I'm officially a Midwestern person. I've enjoyed a number of local books including Eric Sevareid's book Canoeing with the Cree or The Last River Rat or Jailhouse Stories. I appreciate message 33 and will look up the anthology 33 Minnesota Poets.
Jim Ivy

36KathiJ
Feb 16, 2010, 11:17am

Thanks for the invite Michelle. I'm from Illinois but unlike most of the Illinoians that have posted here I'm not from Chicago area. I grew up in Kankakee and have lived the last 27 years in the Springfield area. We recently moved from out in the country into Springfield and I really miss the open fields and watching the hawks.
I'm a reader who likes the idea of being a writer but doesn't have the discipline (terrible speller too). I read mostly history and historical fiction, biography, and anything else that catches my eye. I also like to do counted cross-stitch. Used to be active in community theater but now leave all that up to my daughteres. Also after over 15 years of not having an oven I am back to baking. I am loving making cookies and bread several times a week.
This looks like a good group and I look forward to reading the comments.

37sloreck
Feb 23, 2010, 11:24am

Thanks for the invite. Looking over everyone's intros, it looks like a lot of librarians (what a surprise). I too come from a long line of librarians. My father was the chief acquisitions librarian for UW-Milwaukee, my mother was a cataloger for Milwaukee Public and my aunt was a branch head for MPL. I got my MA(LS) from UW-M, but never actually used the degree. Now that I am retired and volunteering at the Milw County Historical Society, many of those vestigal memories of what to do come back.

38jmeisen
Feb 23, 2010, 11:44am

Hi Michelle and all!

My name is Janice, and though I'm originally from the East Coast, I've been here in the Midwest for about 13 years. I live just west of Milwaukee, in Brookfield, Wis. I am a freelance writer/editor, though I'm finding work scarce these days. Currently I am a Community Columnist (local interest op-eds) for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and I'm researching a historical novel. I have two sons, one 13, one in college, and I've always been a voracious reader.

39wendykwebb
Feb 23, 2010, 4:04pm

Hi Group,

I'm Wendy Webb, author of The Tale of Halcyon Crane, which is being released March 30 by Henry Holt and Co. It's a creepy, gothic mystery wrapped up in family secrets, with some ghosts and witchcraft thrown in for good measure. I'm thrilled to report it was just selected as a Midwest Connection Pick for April by the Midwest Bookseller's Association. I guess I qualify for the selection on two fronts — I'm a Minnesotan (I grew up in Minneapolis and now live in Duluth) and my novel is set on a fictionalized version of Mackinac Island.

40erilarlo
Feb 24, 2010, 6:01pm

I'm not from Chicago, but my daughter lives near there, so when I travel to Europe(most often to Germany), I visit her and fly out of OHare 8-) I live in a pretty rural part of Wisconsin. I've been reading voraciously for almost 70 years now(I didn't learn how to read until I was 6--wasted time!) and have so many books of my own that I'll have to die in this house; I could never move again!

41doggroomer
Feb 24, 2010, 9:40pm

Hi everyone, and thanks for inviting me, Michelle! I love to read (what a great way to escape from these hideous midwestern winters, yes?) but have never written anything but a report.

I worked as a Systems Analyst for many years, but now I just groom dogs & work at the local mall at a clothing store & a shoe store -- needless to say, my closet is jammed :)

I enjoy sewing and do a bit of sketching, as well.

I grew up on the North side of Chicago, about a block from the lake - did I mention I also love to swim? Now, I live in Wisconsin, a few minutes from the Illinois border.

I'm looking forward to getting involved with this group - it sounds like fun!

42lizx
Feb 26, 2010, 11:03am

Hello fellow readers. It's good to see we have at least one other Kurt Vonnegut fan in the group.

Like fugitive, I'm also an "evolving Midwesterner." With only 10 years under my belt, I may not have been successful in imitating the accent of my neighbors, but the Midwest has mutated me into someone who thinks that it isn't that cold when it's below 32 outside, and that's not something to take lightly considering I come from a place in which the only proper way to experience snow and vicarious chills is by reading about it in books.

If any of you have book recommendations for me, feel free to contact me. I'm always up to exploring fictional weathers and I look forward to discussing everything there is to know frozen car doors with you all.

Congratulations to everyone who has or will be publishing books, and thanks for the invite, Michelle.

43misshollyhock
Feb 26, 2010, 1:59pm

Hi all,
Thanks for inviting me into the group Michelle! I'm from East Troy Wisconsin and now live in Milwaukee. I love my winters very cold and snowy and I love my summers hot (even though we haven't had a hot summer in a while). The cold winters are a good excuse to sit inside and read! I haven't read many books about the midwest but am currently reading my first, Lives and Legends of the Christmas Tree Ships.
I love reading about history and I also love reading about the fantasy side of history through historical romance novels. Right now I am learning French and German and preparing to apply to masters programs for 20th century European history...WWI and WWII. I try writing but my thoughts are usually better in my head than on paper.
Looking forward to discussing with you all!

44ariadne02
Feb 27, 2010, 5:54pm

Hi Michelle and everyone,

Thanks for the invitation to the group! I grew up in central Connecticut but have spent the past eight years living in Charleston, Illinois, three hours south of Chicago, while working as an electronic resources librarian at Eastern Illinois University. I enjoy reading regional literature about the Midwest though my primary interest is historical fiction of all types. My latest reference tome is Historical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre. No plans to leave the area anytime soon... with the size of my rapidly growing personal library, it'd take an enormous amount of effort to move!

45Dandylioness79
Feb 28, 2010, 6:50pm

Hi everyone.

I've been in the Midwest for about 10 years now, but I'm originally from the East Coast. I now live in the Twin Cities area, and I love it here. I'm a reader, not a writer (although I'm a sometimes dilettante). My current read is Passion of the Western Mind. Sorry, I don't have any MIDwest-themed books going currently :)

46sacredstacks
Edited: Mar 2, 2010, 3:29pm

Hello, everyone. I'm really glad to have found this group. After having read a handful of fiction with New Orleans settings, I began to wonder how lucky I'd be in finding Midwestern fiction/literature.

I'm a transplanted Texan hailing from Gary, Indiana. I was born and raised there (35 years). And my mom was from Southern Illinois; so the Midwest is ingrained in my bones. I remember the "Injun Summer" article with the colorful drawing that would run in the Post Tribune at the beginning of autumn. (Yes, I say, "fall" now; but I grew up saying "autumn.")

As far as books, I forgot that Kurt Vonnegut was a Midwesterner. I'll have to revisit him. And while I'm thinking about it, if anyone is interested in biographies of midwesterners, there's also Karl Malden. He was from Indiana. Earlier this year, I finished Flippin' the Script, a Christian Fiction novel set in Missouri. The author, Aisha Ford is from there as well. If anyone reads my review, please be nice. It's my first; and after some much-needed advice, I'm planning a rewrite.

ETA: I forgot to say that Chicago was so close it was literally an annex to Garyites. Making great use of the South Shore, the Penn Central, the Dan Ryan, and I-94, I worked (and played) there for several years. My Mom worked there as well.

47OlbrichGardens
Mar 2, 2010, 3:54pm

Hi All, I , too am a librarian at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Thanks, Michelle, for inviting me into the group. Lived in the Madison, Wis. area nearly all my life. Have a daughter in Chicago, tho. (Do you guys know about Open Books? Please support their cause!) I'm looking for Midwestern garden writers who might be interested in speaking to us this fall? Is it spring yet?

48peacox
Mar 5, 2010, 6:04pm

Hi Everybody,

I got a nice 'six degrees of separation' feeling reading many of the posts. I've lived in Iowa - Iowa City area - for about 15 years now, and work at the University of Iowa, where Kurt Vonnegut taught once upon a time. I'm a reader, but do some writing as well. I grew up in Missouri not too far from the Arkansas border (just about as much Southern as Midwestern), and also lived in Germany while pursuing undergrad studies.

I’m currently reading David Crystal’s Txtng, but I’m sure I’ll swing back round to something about the Midwest sooner or later.

49tedcgo
Mar 7, 2010, 12:51pm

Hi Michele and others,
Thank you for the invite. I am not a writer, although I did write administrative manuals in my corporate life using such participant names as Jack Daniels. I grew up in south-central Illinois and finished my schooling in St. Louis, graduating from Washington University. I do not read much fiction but am interested in rocks, minerals, politics, religion, and finance.
My wife and I are retired and live in Duluth (It's not that cold!) and travel when we can in our Roadtrek. She is the major fiction reader and I will have to tell her about your book, Michelle, as she grew up on a Wisconsin farm. Curiosity will probably make me a reader of it also.
I read mid-western authors such as Scott Wolter (agates and Kensington runestone and "The Hooked X"), Richard Ojakangas ("Roadside Geology of MN"), an interesting book on Michigan, "The Wall of Silver", and new authors, Bob and Dan Lynch, "Rocks and Minerals, A Field Guide to the Lake Superior Area" who will have a series on rocks and minerals. It will be interesting to see what else there is on the midwest.
Ted

50MarianV
Mar 7, 2010, 1:42pm

Yes, Ted, there is more to the Midwest than rocks & minerals. (There is a good book about Ohio geology A Place on the Glacial till by Thomas Fairchild Sherman)

51tedcgo
Mar 7, 2010, 5:27pm

Well, MarianV, you made my brain work. Now I remember enjoying "Speakeasy, Prohibition in the Illinois Valley" and "Capone's Cornfields, The Mob in the Illinois Valley". Some criminals were hilarious due to their ineptitude. I remember a couple dozen state troopers raiding the bars in my home town one night for slot machines when I was a kid. They sent our neighbor, who was a trooper, way south that night. Of course, they didn't bother any of the "girls".

52Mzkitty570
Mar 9, 2010, 12:13am

Howdy y'all!! Thanks for the invitation Michelle. My name is Mary and I was born and raised not far from where I'm living now, in fact, my house is 2 blocks east of where I live!! I'm 24 miles southwest of Chicago and am an AVID Bookworm!! Can't get enough of the written word!! I have worked as a secretary for one department in a hospital for 26 years and counting.

I love reading most types of books: Romance, Christian, Amish, Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Humor some Sci-Fi, etc. I have found another Chicago based author, if I may mention him. He writes detective, mystery, thriller novels and his name is
J.A. Konrath. He also goes under a "pen" name also. I highly recommend you check out his website.

Michelle, I look forward to reading your novel that's coming out in June "The Quickening" and many others.

53wi_jessamine
Mar 10, 2010, 7:57pm

Hello everyone (and thanks for the invitation, Michelle). I had decided not to join the group, but then came here, and you all seemed like such interesting people that I couldn't resist!

I am not a writer, and only read as much as I can fit into my busy schedule. I was born in the south and have lived in Madison, Wisconsin, since the late 1980s. I love it here, even with the cold winters. The only thing I DON'T like is the length of the winters - there will be dogwoods and azaleas blooming in the Carolinas soon!

I studied anthropology and am now working for a historical society. I don't know how much midwestern reading I've done - I have two Wisconsin books on my TBR list - Driftless by David Rhodes and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I have been into the classics lately after a Murakami binge.

And a message to Olbrich - I live a few blocks from Olbrich Botanical Gardens - I didn't know they had a library!

I look forward to being a part of the group - I hope I can keep up.

54cjacklen
Mar 12, 2010, 6:53pm

Hello all,

I live in Wichita and I have lived all my life in Kansas, Arkansas, or Oklahoma. I have been an avid reader for 20 years, and I have yet to find a library that can keep me entertained for more than 6 months, so I have my own library in my living room. I'd love to write, but the few attempts I have made never made it past chapter 1, because I am too much of a perfectionist and spent more time editing than writing.

I don't know how often I'll check this, though... I don't spend much time online.

55rbhardy3rd
Mar 12, 2010, 10:12pm

>47 OlbrichGardens: Olbrich: My sister's wedding was at Olbrich Botanical Gardens back in 1997. Beautiful place.

If you're looking for a good Midwestern garden writer, I recommend my friend Mary, who has a blog (My Northern Garden), and who is the editor of Northern Gardener magazine, the magazine of the Minnesota Horticultural Society.

56meleada
Mar 16, 2010, 7:37pm

Thanks for the invite, Michelle.

I'm a Michele as well -- with the one L -- born in Green Bay WI, grew up in the Madison WI suburbs, went to the Univ of Michigan for an archaeology degree, came back to Wisconsin, and started writing instead of digging.

Ironically, I just finished reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which is set almost entirely in Illinois and Wisconsin. :)

57jimmyj
Mar 17, 2010, 4:15pm

Michelle, thank you for starting up this group and the invite.

I'm from northern Minnesota originally, and after spending time in Minneapolis (University of Minnesota), and Joliet Illinois, I've made my way back to the area where I grew up (5 miles from my first home).

I read a variety of book types, including novels. short stories, poetry, historical non-fiction, and more. Currently I'm reading Alice Munro's, "Too Much Happiness".

I write short stories and essays, and look forward to being part of this group.


58slatta
Mar 19, 2010, 3:59pm

Thanks for the invitation, Michelle, and congratulations on your forthcoming book. What an interesting group of people here!

I live in Champaign, Illinois, but I grew up in a small town in south-central Kansas, so I'm pretty much a Midwesterner through and through. I am a science writer--mostly books for young people these days--but I'm also working on a young adult novel. Set in the Midwest, of course.

Oh, and I write a book recommendation (note I didn't say review--I only write about books I really like) column on young adult books for our local newspaper, the News-Gazette. So if any of you writers for young adults out there have ARCs to send my way, I'd be happy to take a look.

I just finished reading a lovely young adult novel in verse by an Indiana writer, Helen Frost. The book, Crossing Stones, is simply amazing.

59bookblotter
Mar 22, 2010, 4:14am

Hello All,

As the newest member, I’ll chip in my two cents. I’m a native Chicagoan, living 30 miles west of town now. By the time I’m 293 years old, I’ll be in Iowa at that rate. What are the odds?

I just viewed a film this weekend that I watch every 4 or 5 years. It’s Anatomy of a Murder, set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and taken from a book of the same name written by Robert Traver. The film which dates to 1959 is a classic courtroom drama with really interesting characters; one of my five favorite films. I didn’t discover the book until many, many years after seeing the film and liked it very much as well.

If I could be permitted another Midwest based book… Recently finished a newer book by Beryl Satter called Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America which revolves around discrimination in a portion of Chicago; the title pretty much says it all. The author’s father, a Chicago attorney plays a part in the story. Call it a mini-bio and story of racial discrimination and sleazy dealings combination. It's a quite interesting book and story.

Both are excellent books.

Hope to see you on the “streets" of LT.

Bill a/k/a bookblotter

60themagiciansgirl
Mar 24, 2010, 10:11am

Greetings! I grew up in Cedarburg, WI and now live in Shorewood, WI, a few blocks from Lake Michigan. I like nonfiction books about art, nature, geology and Native Americans. One of my favorites is Rural Artists of Wisconsin by John Rector Barton. I borrow heavily from the library or buy second hand rather than new. I also write poetry and paint.

~Amy (themagiciansgirl)

61jtlauderdale
Edited: Mar 25, 2010, 7:55pm

Here comes yet another library worker to join the group. I am a library technician in a medical library in the Mpls-St. Paul area. A lifelong Minnesota resident, I was born along the Mississippi in Winona and now reside in a tiny suburb of the Twin Cities. I have no interest in being a writer because I'm too busy reading as many as I can of the diversity of books available. One of my favorite Minnesota authors is Faith Sullivan whose novels are set in small town Minnesota in the 30s and 40s.

In addition to being a power user of several local public systems, I have acquired a substantial personal library. Since I particularly enjoy fiction and memoirs published by regional presses or on local topics, I seem to have quite a few books that only a few other Library Thing members own. I look forward to hearing your recommendations and joining in the discussions. Jeanne T.

62MerryMary
Mar 25, 2010, 8:32pm

Welcome Jeanne. My son-in-law's brother (whom I regard as another son) is a senior at Winona College and is on the Ultimate Frisbee team.

63Page352
Mar 26, 2010, 7:44pm

Hi everyone, I'm originally from a very small town in southeastern Ohio but have been in Kansas long enough to consider myself a permanent transplant. I also have ties in Nebraska as my younger son and his fiancee live in Lincoln and I've come to enjoy spending time there. I'm a reader who would love to be a writer but recognize my limitations.

64zephyrtwh
Mar 29, 2010, 11:04am

Hi, I just joined Librarything & this group. My local librarian urged me to do both because I'm the best kept secret from New Rockford, North Dakota. My name is Paula F. Winskye & I have 8 published novels. Mystery, romance, & family saga. I have 2 from a traditional publisher & 6 self-published.
My most recent mystery, The Reverend Goes Home is set in northern Wisconsin. Maybe some of you from Wisconsin can make some suggestions for stops on my book tour this summer.
You can read excerpts from my books on my website.
I try to treat writing as a profession, though I have yet to make a profit. My husband supports me, but I work 2 days a week driving a public transportation bus in a town of 1500. I even have time to write between pickups.
I'm getting long-winded. When I read, I like mysteries & writer's reference books.
Can I give away a couple of books within this group & how do I accomplish that? Paula

65susiesharp
Mar 29, 2010, 11:32am

Paula you'll want to do your giveaway in Hobnob with authors.
Glad you took my advice!Welcome to Librarything!

66Callahan98
Apr 9, 2010, 8:41pm

Paula, could not find your website, but was able to find your books on a site and read synopsis. The Reverend Goes Home sounds good but sounds like I should read the first one in the series. There is a small Book World store in Hayward, WI, where I live, which never seems to have any author events, but they always have copies of just about any books that take place in Wisconsin or Minnesota. Hayward is in the northwest part of the state not too far from Duluth and Lake Superior. It would be nice to see your books in the bookstore. I don't know how an author goes about getting books into a store, but good luck. Welcome.

67zette
Apr 11, 2010, 5:26pm

Hello everyone!

It's great to see a midwest group. I live in the northeast corner of Nebraska, near the Iowa and South Dakota borders. I'm am primarily a science fiction and fantasy author though I do also write some YA contemporary mystery tales. I've had several small press and electronic publications over the years.

I also own and run Foward Motion for Writers here on the Internet, plus for the last ten years I've published the by-monthly ezine Vision: A Resource for Writers. I've also worked as the head of the fantasy imprint for a small press/ebook publisher.

So my life pretty much revolves around writing in one form or another. Writing, however, has always been my first love.

Good to meet all of you!