Jennifer Lammi is a freelance writer living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Her personal essays and poetry focus on northern life, simple living, and connections with the natural world. She has written numerous articles for local newspapers and is a contributor and editor of the Marquette Regional History Center’s quarterly journal, Harlow’s Wooden Man. She is a member of the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association, and founder of MI Two Hands, whose mission is to inspire Michigan residents to clean up litter in places they frequent and love.
Jennifer lives with her husband, two cats, and three naughty, but very adorable dachshunds. She loves reading, traveling, hiking, and hanging out with friends under the stars in her backyard. She is enjoying a mid-life renaissance.
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From the Author:
Hello! And thank you for stopping by! This is where you can find out a little more about me and my writing…
I started writing in elementary school, with short stories about my dog and long, iambic, rhyming poems about wolves. I read every book I could get my hands on and then wrote more, feeling inspired, filling notebook after notebook of ideas, poetry and stories. It’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to do.
Then there came a point in my life where I lost that inspiration, that innocence, and the fears and anxieties took over. I stopped writing, and something inside of me faded. But, I never quit reading, thankfully! There was a tremendous sense of freedom when I turned forty, as if everything I thought I needed to be, or do, according to other people or society, no longer mattered. I realized I wasn’t living my life authentically, and didn’t even know where to begin when it came to doing so.
So I began to craft my life, relearning how to have fun and be be more passionate and dedicated to the things I love. I’m happy to be here on this amazing journey of life, evolving, becoming, forging ahead, with grace and gratitude, while staying connected to what’s important.
I’m from a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so much of my writing is inspired by my life in the north: nature, winter, seasons, simplicity, friends, family, community . . . you know, the good stuff. I am an avid observer of life (and other strange phenomena) and a bit of a philosopher. I believe it’s important to record, understand and connect with the world around us. My other writings include travel and historical articles, and I’m working on a few novels (isn’t everyone?)
And at times, I still write about my dogs.
So much has changed in the small town where I live in the last twenty years. (So much has changed in the world as well … but I’ll get back to that.) My town is still beautiful after all those changes, and a great place to live or visit. I worked in tourism for ten years, meeting people from all over the world, and heard time and again, ‘What a beautiful town,’ and ‘Such nice people live here.’ They were right.
I met all of those tourists while I worked at a history museum, and through that job I realized the importance of recording our history. Though it may not seem like a big deal now, the details of life at this time will be important someday. I’ve met people who were utterly elated to see something as simple as their great-grandfather’s signature. That was all they had; it was their only connection to the past.
As a child, I always thought people who lived before me were lucky to have experienced so much change in their lifetimes; things that altered the course of history–the invention of radio, television, automobiles, airplanes, photography, air conditioning, plastic, crayons, and even zippers! The list goes on and on. How could events in my lifetime even compare? I would never experience anything that life-changing. I thought I was destined to live in a boring time.
Then the world shifted. Enter the proliferation of computers, ipods, tablets, kindles, cell phones, all combined with the internet, and suddenly we have become a global community. The future truly feels here, and I don’t have a clue what will come next. One thing I do know, though–I am no longer envious of the people who lived before me. This is definitely not a boring time to be alive!
That makes it even more important to record what the world is like here and now, to explore the progress and transition to…whatever comes next. With technology so present in our lives, we have the potential to lose touch with our community, to forget the lessons of nature and how they can relate to our own lives, and no longer take the time to see the simple beauty in life. We must find that balance now, because while we are crafting the direction of the rest of our lives, we are also changing the course of civilization.
So that is where my writing is directed–towards finding that balance between the past and future, towards keeping that connection with nature, and recording this beautiful present in my community and the Lake Superior region. I come from many generations of “Yoopers” and often joke that the water in my blood is 70% Lake Superior and 30% snow. It is a rugged place, somewhat isolated, immensely beautiful and incredibly unique.
I love the Lake Superior area and hope I can represent it purely and honestly. For if we are, as some believe, a single wave in a great body of water, rising into ourselves for this lifetime, separate only in our minds, yet always connected to the whole, then I have chosen to be a wave upon the shores of Lake Superior.
“In The Infinite Hush”
This gothic ghost story is set on the shores of Lake Superior. It is a traditional ghost tale with a northern slant and unusual twist.
“Swift River Falls”
A mystery set in a quirky, northern town, where the residents all have secrets, some of which spirited 11-year old Beatrice St. Amour hopes to discover.
Poetry is something I have done since I penned my first poem in fifth grade. It was an overly-rhymed poem about a fight between wolves. I still have it. And I still remember the elation I felt when I found the right words to finish the last line of that poem. I was hooked.
I live in a world of poetry. I see snippets of the sublime everywhere–quiet, subtle moments that should be cherished, revered, honored. Beauty is inherent in everything in nature. The difficult part is capturing those moments in a way that can be shared. How do I put into words the zig-zag, criss-cross pattern of bunny tracks in my backyard after a night of snowfall? How do I express the feeling of seeing the sun streaming through my windows after two weeks of overcast skies, and how we–my dogs, cats and I–all curl up on a blanket on the floor where the rays fall and soak it up, enjoying moments of contentment together?
To write poetry is to live a life of being present. Observant. Every moment has potential. Every moment is appreciated for its preciousness, for its joy and many times, its sorrows. It is a photograph made of words.