Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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Love Blooms Anew/Liesel Lizenburger

Glen Young - May 10th, 2007
Writer Liesel Litzenburger is enjoying a success little witnessed in her business.
Litzenburger, a newly-40 blonde who grew up in Harbor Springs and now calls the Grand Rapids area home, can credit some of her good fortune to nine-year-old Annie Child.
Annie, the diminutive heroine of Litzenburger’s new collection of linked stories Now You Love Me, has been rediscovered. First published in 2001 by Carnegie Mellon University Press, Now You Love Me has become not only Litzenburger’s first book but also her second, thanks to its recent re-publication by new publisher Shaye Areheart.
And while the unusual nature of the twice-issued book’s past sets it apart, what distinguishes the stories is Litzenburger’s convincing prose.
Set in fictional Point Harbor, a rough approximation of Harbor Springs, Now You Love Me begins soon after Annie’s father abandons his family. Annie and younger brother Gus cling to the notion that their father “was on a trip and that he would be gone for a while.” Annie, who navigates the space between her mother, Paige’s detachment and her brother’s naivety, decides to go “on pretending to believe about the trip because it was easier.”

OPTIMISM
Annie’s combination of childish optimism and burgeoning awareness is a credit to Litzenburger’s lucid understanding of what often keeps families together; more hope than hard work, more fantasy than fact, as well as how children perceive the world in fits and starts.
Litzenburger believes that “Annie is learning about how the adult works, and how love can be fleeting or conditional, but how there’s always some constant in it.”
In between the dual publications of Now You Love Me, Litzenburger scored another prize with the summer 2006 publication of The Widower. Also set in the fictional precincts of Northern Michigan, The Widower tells the braided tale of hard working characters damaged by a collision of events beyond their control. Among her credible creations is an orchard owner broken by a tragic car accident and a hurting ex-convict struggling to reconstruct his family.
Litzenburger says it is a constant balancing act to produce such convincing fiction. “On one hand you want to appeal to your readers, whoever they are,” she acknowledges. “But on the other hand, you have to block that out,” she says of the need she feels to keep writing what works for her. “Some people will like what you write, some people will dislike what you write, and some will fall in between.” In the end, she believes the most important lesson is not to “second guess yourself.”
Litzenburger, who likes to write in the mornings when she believes her “defenses might be down a bit,” admits the success of both books, including the Pushcart Prize she earned when Now You Love Me was first published, provides her satisfaction, though it has not allowed her to let down her guard. “It gives you confidence, publishing a book,” she says. “But there are also more things to worry about,” she continues. “When you have an imaginary audience its one thing, but when people are reading your work it’s something else,” she says of the need to reconcile both what she wants and what her readers are coming to expect.

YOUTHFUL DAYS
Having spent much of her youth in Harbor Springs, Litzenburger suggest the setting of Now You Love Me is purposeful and reflects the memories of her youth. “I don’t set out to write about a certain place, but it’s so much a part of who I am, and who my characters are,” she says.
Though the setting might spring from the author’s background, she says the storyline is strictly fiction. “Nothing in any of my novels literally happened.” Nonetheless, she hopes “emotionally you can identify with the characters.
Eventually Annie Child understands her father is not coming home. She instead turns to hopes for her mother and Shepherd Nash, the piano playing electrician intent on romancing Paige Child.
And though Paige isn’t sure she can let herself be swayed, Annie is completely ready. Dancing with Shepherd on a frosty night, Annie thinks of “something perfect…the way a piece of a dream comes flying back like a bird.” She has lost her father, but she is rediscovering the necessity of family.
That a precocious nine-year-old can recognize the power of rediscovery is reason enough to discover the prose of
Liesel Litzenburger.


 
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