Posted tagged ‘larry alexander’

Scary Ghost Stories…of Christmases Long, Long Ago

December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

As some of you may know, the first story I ever wrote set in the U.P. “The Ghost of Stonegate Woods” was set during Christmas Eve and told the story of how a young boy, a fictional me, got lost in a blizzard and had the ghost of Annabella Stonegate lead his parents to where he lay in the snow. I wrote that story in 8th grade in 1985. It was broadcast on Public Radio 90 at NMU that fall and the following spring was made into a video that aired on the Upper Michigan Today show.

You can now listen to me read that story–the original clip from the Public Radio 90 broadcast, at my website, as well as find out more about Annabella Stonegate, who will be featured in my upcoming novel Spirit of the North, coming in Spring 2012, at my website:

http://www.marquettefiction.com/ghost-spirit-of-the-north.html

While you’re at my website, check out its new look. I’ve remodeled, thanks to assistance from Larry Alexander of Storyteller’s Friend www.storytf.com

I’ve also added a new page for the Marquette History Quiz. Take the quiz and find out how much you know about Marquette history – and I have plans for more quizzes to come in 2012, as well as other facts and fun for the website.

Finally, you can now check out on my website the new covers for Spirit of the North and my other upcoming book The Gothic Wanderer: From Transgression to Redemption.

It looks like we may end up having a green Christmas in Marquette this year, but regardless of whether your Christmas is green or white, I wish all my readers and followers a wonderful holiday season!

Tyler R. Tichelaar

Remembering T.A. Alley – NMU’s English Department

August 23, 2011

Eighteen years ago today–August 23, 1993–I attended Teaching Assistant orientation at NMU and was hired to teach freshman composition in the English department while I worked on my Master’s Degree. So I thought it appropriate to post my memories of those years (1993-1995) at NMU from My Marquette:

The English Department
Below the library in the academic mall were the offices for many of the professors, including most of the English Department until early 1995 when the department moved to Gries Hall. In 1993, as I completed my bachelor’s degree in English, I did not know what to do. My plan had been to write novels while earning my bachelor’s degree and end up published and famous by the time I graduated so I could begin my career as an author. While I did write and send my manuscripts out for publication, I was not successful finding a publisher. During these years, I completed writing the first draft of The Only Thing That Lasts which I had begun in high school as well as the original version of Narrow Lives and another long-winded novel that remains in a drawer.

Upon graduation, and still not a famous author, I decided I would get a Master’s Degree, and when I learned that being a teaching assistant paid $4,500, I was thrilled since I had spent most of my undergraduate years working at McDonalds and NMU’s Writing Center for minimum wage which over a year had averaged about the same as the teaching assistant wage. And better yet, the teaching assistants got a gigantic raise that semester, so I felt quite prosperous making $6,000 a year and living at home while I earned a Master’s Degree. After a few weeks of teaching, I found I liked it and decided I would get a Ph.D. and become an English professor—again, until I became a famous author.

As a teaching assistant, I was given my own little office down a hallway off the academic mall along with about a dozen other new teaching assistants (T.A.’s) who were working on their M.A. degrees. We dubbed our new office space T.A. Alley and set about becoming great friends. Some of my best and longest friendships began during those two years.

I have nothing but good things to say about the education I received at Northern Michigan University, and especially in the English Department. And beyond the stellar professors I had, what I most appreciated and failed to find later at other universities was a real camaraderie among the students and professors. I’ve been in other English departments where you walk down the hall and all the doors are closed, but at Northern, the professors’ doors were always open. Most of them spent several hours a day in their offices and were always available to their students. Professors and students passed each other in the halls, we all knew each other, and we always talked to one another. Even if I did not have a class with a professor, I never felt I couldn’t talk to him or her. While I was just a graduate student, nevertheless, I felt accepted as part of the department and encouraged in my teaching and academic goals. I saw none of the snobbery or competitiveness among graduate students or professors I unfortunately witnessed elsewhere in academia. I don’t think I could have had a more fulfilling start to my career than being part of that supportive, learning environment, and while I have long since left academia, those years remain frequent and pleasant memories.

I did not party a lot in college. Yes, I did occasionally hang out at the Shamrock with my friends, and we had parties at friends’ apartments, and the camaraderie added a great deal to the general happiness of those years, but part of what made me so happy was the learning environment. My classes at Northern fulfilled my intellectual needs without making me feel stressed about competing with others. Sitting in Dr. Maureen Andrews’ Survey of British Literature class, where I was first introduced to the poetry of William Wordsworth, was like having rockets go off in my brain. Dr. Peter Goodrich was the insightful director for my master’s thesis King Arthur’s Children in Fiction and Tradition. I enjoyed working under Dr. Mark Smith at the Writing Center and also being a teaching assistant under Dr. Bill Knox. Although I eventually left teaching in an official way, today as an author and editor, I continue to teach people as well as entertain them, and I feel highly fulfilled as a result; without the education I received at NMU along with a little creative entrepreneurship, I wouldn’t have been able to start my own business Superior Book Promotions (www.SuperiorBookPromotions.com), writing, editing, reviewing books, and basically, doing what I most love to do.

TA. Alley

Photos from my TA years, including the Alexander Family, Becky Shusta and Stephanie Hill at Presque Isle; Jill Nelson, Larry Alexander, and Chris Rencontre in TA Alley; Tyler, Larry, and Jill on graduation day April 29, 1995; Max Alexander

Many of my college friends remain my friends today—Stephanie, Becky, Tom, Chris, Paul, Dana, Greg, Jill, and Larry. Hopefully I have not forgotten any. Larry Alexander ended up sharing an office with me when the English Department moved to Gries Hall. In those days, he and his wife, Ann, had a newborn son, Max, whom Larry would bring to school with him. I ended up volunteering to babysit Max while Larry went to teach his class. The paternal instinct unexpectedly blossomed in me at that time. I changed many diapers, but it was all worth it whenever Max fell asleep with his head propped on my shoulder. Time goes by too fast—Max is sixteen today—but time’s passing shows that friendships last a long time. And little did I know then that someday Larry would design my websites as well as the layout for this book.

I cannot discuss every professor and student I knew at Northern, nor all my friends I had in college. I hope it is sufficient to say that whether I was teaching a class, hanging out in T.A. Alley, having lunch at Bookbinders, attending a play at Forest Roberts Theatre, sitting in a class at Jamrich Hall, studying in the library, or walking across campus, I was happy at NMU, and everyone I knew there contributed to that beneficial experience for me. It’s been said before a million times, but for me, the college years truly were the best years of my life.

When I finished my Master’s Degree, I moved to Kalamazoo where for five years I worked on my Ph.D. at Western Michigan University. While I found a couple of good friends there and I appreciate the excellent education I received, the atmosphere was not as friendly as what it was at NMU. Partly I’m sure the experience was different because doctoral students have more stress than undergraduate and M.A. students, partly because I didn’t know anyone in Kalamazoo when I moved there, and partly I felt displaced from my native environment, but I think the truth is ultimately that Northern Michigan University, like all the U.P., is a superior place.

Come to the 13th Annual U.P. Publishers and Authors Conference!

May 16, 2011

On Saturday I will be the Master of Ceremonies as President, for the 13th Annual UP Publishers and Authors Conference. It’s not too late to sign up. Here are all the details!

Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association

For Immediate Release…

Contact: Tyler Tichelaar

(906) 226-1543 (Phone)

President@UPPAA.org (Email)

http://www.UPPAA.org (Website)

U.P. PUBLISHING GROUP HOLDS 13TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Publishing Industry, Writing, and Book Marketing Explored At 2011 UPPAA Conference

MARQUETTE, Mich. (April 6, 2011) – In its constant commitment to keeping regional authors and publishers up-to-date on changes in the publishing world and providing effective marketing and writing strategies, the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) will hold its 13th Annual Conference on May 21st in Marquette at the Peter White Public Library beginning at 10:00 a.m.

  

Irene Watson - UPPAA's Keynote Speaker

          This year’s keynote speaker will be Irene Watson of Reader Views in Austin, TX. Watson is the managing editor of Reader Views, an online book review and publicity service. Watson is also the co-host of the Authors Access radio show and co-author of the book “Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers.” Watson also is author of the award-winning book “The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference.” Watson’s keynote speech will be about how authors can find and identify their audience. Watson will also present afternoon sessions on creating a marketing platform and blogging.

This year’s conference offers several additional sessions on a wide range of topics in the publishing industry. Workshop topics and speakers this year include Larry Alexander, owner of Storyteller’s Friend, who will present “Authors Online: Why You Need A Website And How To Get One,” Kristy Basolo and Carrie Usher of “Marquette Monthly” will present “How to Work with the Media for Publicity,” Cheryl Corey of McNaughton-Gunn Printers and Stacey Willey of Globe Printing will present “The Basics of Self-Publishing,” and John French, local artist and illustrator, will lead a discussion on writing and publishing children’s books.

            A business meeting and the election of a new board will also be held. And a giveaway drawing will result in several book publicity packages, books, and other items possible to be won.

            The general public may attend the meeting for a $10 registration fee, while UPPAA members can attend free of charge. As space is limited, advanced registration is recommended. Annual membership dues are $25 for individual membership and $35 for family membership (all memberships include the quarterly print newsletter, online discussion group, semiannual meetings, and discounts on dues to two national publishing organizations). A catered deli lunch is available for $8 per person with advance reservations required.

            Those interested in registering for the meeting and/or joining UPPAA can get more information online at http://www.UPPAA.org/ or by contacting membership secretary Cheryl Corey at 9001 N. Pheasant Ridge Dr., Saline, MI 48176 (734) 429-8757. Registrations online or by mail must be received no later than May 18.

            Established to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with over 60 members. Over 100 member books are posted on the UPPAA website. UPPAA encourages everyone with an interest in writing and publishing books to join and participate.

-END-

 

No Book is Written Alone – Thank You to Everyone Who Helped with My Marquette

December 6, 2010

I am so very pleased and a bit overwhelmed by the positive responses My Marquette has been receiving, most recently through fabulous sales at the TV 6 Christmas Show and my appearance on the Doug Garrison show which you can view on YouTube. So it seems appropriate that I again thank the many people who helped to make the book possible. Following is the Acknowledgments from My Marquette, but with links to websites included.

Writing a book like this one is far from a solitary experience and more difficult in its own way than a novel that does not require all the additional layout, photographs,and even research. I have many people to thank for their words of encouragement and support who said, “I’d like to read that book” when I discussed my ideas with them. They are too numerous to thank individually, but I appreciate all their ideas.

The many past writers and historians of Marquette, most notably, Fred Rydholm, whose Superior Heartland kept me up late at night reading with fascination as I researched my novels, and Sonny Longtine, not only the co-author of the marvelous Marquette Then & Now but also my neighbor who generously shared his photographs, many of which are included in this book and on the cover, as well as his suggestions with me.

  Larry Alexander, the designer and layout person for this book. We have been friends since graduate school at Northern Michigan University. Not only has he put up with me all this time, but he has designed my websites and come to my aid in computer crises. I appreciate his patience as I continually asked to change where a picture was located or the way a page looked. If you need a book laid out or a website designed, he’s the one to talk to. Visit him at www.StorytellersFriend.com 

Jack Deo of Superior View also provided me with numerous photographs of Marquette, past and present, as well as the cover photos for most of my previous novels. 

Debbie Glade, author of The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly, for reading drafts of different sections of this book and offering encouraging words.
My second cousin, Nanette Rushton, who provided her memories of life on RidgeS treet and of the Rankin family and read early drafts of the residential section.

Lynn and Lon Emerick, fellow writers who have become like family over the years. I so appreciate their sharing their memories of Dorothy Maywood Bird with me, and all their advice over the years on publishing books.

Fred Stonehouse, the expert on all things maritime, who helped me sort out the Frink family’s roles as lighthouse keepers along Lake Superior.

 

Holly Barra and Jim Mansfield, descendants of Marquette architect Hampson Gregory, for sharing information about their ancestor.
Emily Bettinis, for sharing information about the Reverend Bates Burt family.

Many thanks to everyone over the years who has made me more aware of my family’s history, including my late cousins, Jerry McCombie, Jean Martel, and Robert Bishop. Thank you to my great-aunt, Sadie White Johnson Merchant, who was always willing to share family stories, and saved the day by having a photo of the Bavarian Inn when no others could be found. A special thanks to my late grandfather, Lester White, whose stories of his childhood first made me interested in Marquette’s past. Thank you to my cousin, Lynn Hiti, who has sent me numerous files and documents and shared genealogy discoveries with me for many, many years, especially about the Bishop family, and to my cousins, Shirley Herbert and her son Paul who provided me with our Civil War ancestors’ military records. Thank you to cousins Ben and Pat Hassenger for their information on our Zryd ancestors. Also to my distant cousin Kori Carothers, who sent me information about her ancestor Francis Marion Bishop. And thank you, especially, to my mother who allowed me to raid the family photograph albums for memorable moments captured on film. I have been in touch with so many relatives over the years who have given me information that if I forget any of their names here, know that your contributions have been greatly appreciated.Finally, thank you to all of my readers who have been integral to my fulfilling my dream since childhood to write books people would love to read and which would help make their lives happier.

Anne Outhwaite Maurer and James Pickands Cass for their information about their Outhwaite and Pickands ancestors.

John Frederickson, great-grandson of Carroll Watson Rankin, for his memories of the family.

Pat Ryan O’Day, publisher of Marquette Monthly, for her many stories of Marquette’s past and for putting me in touch with people who would have information I needed.

Babette Welch and her husband Gregg Seiple, who own the Swineford Home at 424 Cedar Street, for allowing me to see the inside of that Marquette landmark.

Dennis McCowen, owner of the Merritt Home, for giving me a tour inside, including allowing me to go up in its tower on a blizzardy spring day.

Lorana Jinkerson for sharing information on her underground home.

Rachel Goldsmith for information and a photo of her father, David Goldsmith.

Ann Gonyea for the cover photography and getting the right angle for a picture.

Joyce L. Mayer, director of the Moss Mansion in Montana, for sharing the history of that Lake Superior Sandstone home.

John and Nancy Grossman at Back Channel Press have managed the printing and layout of all my previous books, and they were more than understanding and willing to answer my many questions as I embarked on writing a new kind of book.

Victor Volkman (owner of Loving Healing Press) did a superb job in designing the cover for me and offering additional advice on layout to make the pages more easily readable.

Rosemary Michelin, librarian of the John M. Longyear Research Library at the Marquette County History Museum, not only tirelessly pulled files for me but led me to some new directions I would not otherwise have considered. Thanks also to assistance from Meridith Ruppert and Jennifer Lammi at the Museum. Thank you to Jim Koski for information about South Marquette during an informative walking tour. The Marquette County History Museum is also thanked for its permission to use many of the photographs in this book.In addition, thank you to everyone now who has purchased a copy of My Marquette and for all your compliments upon it.

Thank you especially to TV6 News, Christopher Diem of The Mining Journal, and The Doug Garrison Show for the interviews and helping to spread the word about My Marquette.

This book truly is about Our Marquette!

I equally thank all the readers of my previous novels whose constant questions about the true stories behind my novels made me think such a book would be enjoyable.