Tag Archives: Ann Arbor Michigan

Jill Jack’s Birthday Bash

If you have ever seen Jill Jack perform, you are calling me a . . .

Lucky Duck

Lucky Duck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sold Out

Sold Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jill Jack B-day Bash

Jill Jack’s B-day Bash

 

 

 

 

 

Jill Jack’s birthday bash last night at the Ark in Ann Arbor was absolutely the epitome of entertainment. The star-studded show included many of her gifted friends and her daughters. A young teen power house (Allison Albrecht-15) opened the show with three songs. She is amazing!

Bobby Streng a friend, sax player/composer joined Jill Jack on stage. His music, playing, is divine . . . I believe Jill’s exact words, after a quick apology to her husband in the front row, were, “It’s like having sex on stage.” Bobby is undeniably phenomenal.

She shared the spotlight with her awesome band, which includes a drummer, electric guitar, an accordion, tambourine, keyboards, and a bass player. Jill strummed her acoustic guitar for several songs, many written by her own hand.  Her band members are far from stagnate on stage. They sang, danced, swayed, and their facial expressions at moments were priceless. The entire evening was a pure merry-making good time for all, and at the unbelievable price of twenty bucks.

The Ark  that presents over 300 shows a year was filled to capacity with an all aged diverse crowd of around 400.  Everyone enjoyed  free birthday cake. The concert began at 8 p.m. We left after 11:30 when she was about to do her first encore. Jill Jack never disappoints, always leaving everything she has on that stage.

We’ve been to many shows at this venue, but we both agree this was one of the best.

Jill’s sense of humor, open honesty, caring, contributions to community that go beyond, and stage presence takes a person on a turbulent ride of emotions. She has you laughing, smiling, teary eyed, and it always ends with her taking you on this journey deep into her heart, soul and her music. I’m not sure how one can give so much of their self and not keel over on stage. Amazing!

Dining

Deciding where to eat before a show in Ann Arbor is always a challenge. There are numerous “good eats” restaurants and pubs covering many ethnic types of cuisine.

This night, our evening began with a taste of Ireland at the pub below, great Irish beers, tasty food, and ended with a fabulous concert.

And to the couple making out in the parking garage elevator-please at least wait until you get to your car. REALLY!

Ark

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Our first date night of 2016. Definitely the beginning of a very good year. Thank you Jill Jack and company.

For the names of every fabulous person that performed January 9th at the Ark and more about Jill Jack and her band – click here

If you enjoyed this post, please share.

Wishing you all a fun-filled 2016

Mel

 

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Date Night – Laith Al-Saadi

Date Night – Laith Al-Saadi.

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Authors, Books, Conferences, Oh My!

Authors, Books, Conferences, Oh My!.

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Filed under Writing Conference

Authors, Books, Conferences, Oh My!

Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor Michigan

Last weekend, Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) held a writing conference in Ann Arbor, MI. I attended and it was a fabulous two days. My brain is on overload.

Friday introductions began at a unique restaurant, The Quarter’s Bistro. It’s known for serving a European Bistro menu with a Cajun/Creole twist.  We were treated like royalty with a lovely array of colorful, delicious foods to nibble while mingling in a private room.

Following the reception was a short walk across the parking the lot to Nicola’s Books. The moment I breathed in the pure literature air, the kind of air that can only come from a genuine book store, I became light-headed. My eyes feasted on the many sections and polished wooden shelves. This store reminded me of the one in the movie “You’ve Got Mail.” Charming, loved by its owner and employees, cared for with an unsurpassable dedication! We were seated for the readings and I didn’t get the chance to explore. I will revisit this store soon so I can lazily browse through the nooks and crannies of this magical place.

Many of the authors in our group were alumni from VCFA, along with its present students. These authors read with intense passion from their manuscripts or already published books. Listening to their words and stories while watching their expressions as they read certainly left a memorable impression on my mind and in my heart. I left knowing I had made the right decision about attending this event.

Saturday the presentations were held at Kerrytown Concert House. It’s historic interior decorated with vivid mosaic art pieces bringing an extra creative vibe to the space. It was the perfect venue for this size group. I loved that no microphone was needed, keeping it personal and comfortable.

It was an honor to listen to, and spend time in conversation with Marion Dane Bauer. I’m going to call her, The Wonder Woman of Wisdom and Generosity. This teacher of writing, winner of many awards, and author of over 90 books is still going strong. She has produced decades of creative, profound work for both teachers and children of all ages. She is amazing. I can’t wait to read her next book.

Marion shared her insights about style, voice, and formats, tenses and character point of views. She has embraced the changes that are occurring in the world of publishing and knows her personal limitations. Her soft voice captured and enthralled the entire time she spoke.

Author, psychologist, and teacher Coe Booth hit a home-run with her presentation and workshop. She is from the Bronx and is an author of four popular books. Her exuberant personality and voice spoke great volumes about fictional characters and how to deepen your relationship with each one. She shared her secrets on how to get into your characters minds reminding us that our characters didn’t come to our pages at twelve or fourteen, they had a life before, habits, quirks, guilt-trips, etc… and readers need to see a bit of that to understand and love the characters the way… we the writers do.  I absolutely tingle when things click and make sense.

I have enjoyed and learned at least something from every writing conference  I’ve attended in the past ten years. I’ve met amazing authors, editors, and agents. I’ve made loyal, helpful, and compassionate friends. They are all part of this writing journey and I am grateful.

In closing, I’m excited to say that I brought home much more than books, imprinted lanyard, and souvenir prize cup.

The writing exercises Coe taught were just what I needed to make the four young teens in, “Holler’s Pond” stand out, and be the memorable characters I want them to be.

From Marion I received a suggestion for a style and format to try out on my newest writing project. Plus much to study in my notes.

VCFA, well done and an ENORMOUS thank you to all those involved in the planning. It was a pleasure meeting all of you.

 

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April 17, 2014 · 8:53 pm

November Challenges!

November Challenge 2013

PiBoIdMo = Picture Book Idea Month = Thirty ideas in thirty days!

Thank you, to Tara Lazar for pulling this challenge and hundreds of children’s writers together. You are super fabulous as is your blog and all the support you have provided us with through the month.  I enjoyed the daily inspirational posts from all your talented, amazing writing friends.

I came up with fifty-five  headings. After that, each day I would highlight one and try to come up with characters, plot, and settings. I love writing daily and will continue to work through my list and hopefully something, like maybe, a picture book will evolve and get published.

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Writing For Kids (while raising them)  blog by Tara Lazar

My Continuing Challenge of Juicing (Lunches) 64 days!

Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor has been the highlight of my juicing experience, thus far. I love the city, and the store. I have per-ma grin all the way through until check-out. There is so much to experience, but mostly it is their line of organics that jump-start my adrenalin. I feel like I’m getting the best ingredients for the money. If I’m going to continue juicing on a daily basis, I want to put top quality raw foods in my body.

For a snack we sampled roasted root vegetables, white fish, and grass-fed beef pepper steak, along with assorted Greek olives, from the all natural buffet bar.  The array of flavors were absolutely scrumptious. To wrap up our day, we ended with a stop at several of the many surrounding shops and two more Christmas presents purchased. A totally fun, productive, healthy day.

The Last and Most Difficult Challenge of November

This was my first Thanksgiving without either of my parents. The month came, even though I didn’t want it to. I didn’t want to cook, I didn’t want to eat out at a restaurant and I certainly didn’t want to go anywhere-except to Mom and Dad’s house like we have the past thirty-two years. Nothing was the same or would it  ever be again for the holidays. The first couple of weeks of November I struggled with what to do about dinner. My thoughts kept going to my mom. This was her favorite holiday. It’s so hard to believe she has missed this meal for three years now. She loved turkey and everything that goes with it, the preparations, parades, and most of all, the time spent with family. I made up my mind to dedicate this holiday to her and I would cook as she taught me to. And I did! The meal came out close to perfect, the only thing missing . . . Mom and Dad.

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