The Spirit of MichiganI'm a midwest girl, born and bred, although I never understood how a state bordering Canada could be considered the "midwest." Personally, I think Michigan deserves its own category. What other state allows you to simply hold up your hand and point when someone asks what part of the state you live in?
I've lived in Michigan all my life and don't know that I will ever move. While I've found myself slowly migrating from the suburbs of Detroit over the course of my life, further and further north, (and consequently, moving into a more rural lifestyle) I find this state one of the most special and beautiful I've ever seen.
Just last week I spent a week near Petoskey (they have the coolest stones you'll ever see) and couldn't get enough of the sun, the water, and the beauty that is Michigan. It's breathtaking - beyond breathtaking, it's magical.
And before I sound even more like a commercial trying to bring in tourists... I want to explore that "magical" part of Michigan a little further. This isn't New Orleans - we aren't known for our ghosts (or our vampires)... but there is something extraordinary about this state. Something remarkable, a little offbeat. You can feel it when you walk through the woods up north, pine needles underfoot, sighting an occasional deer. It's almost like another presence, a spirit, walking with and beside you.
Strange things happen here. And while we aren't famous for our ghosts (although some could argue poor Detroit is turning into a ghost town) they do appear. The Great Lakes surround us, and are full of ghost ships. Who could forget The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, sung about so eloquently by Gordon Lightfoot? And there are rumors of several haunted lighthouses throughout the state - considering we have more lighthouses than any other state in the U.S., I suppose that's not a surprise!
Michigan is awash with spirits, and I think we writers feel them more keenly than most. Capturing them on paper is the trick. I have an old-fashioned ghost story in my erotic horror anthology, Shivers, called The Laundry Chute. It takes place in an old Michigan house, where the laundry chutes were known to be very large - and very dangerous to small children. There's also another ghost story in that anthology, called The Velvet Choker, that I adapted from the version I heard around campfires up north while we made s'mores and huddled shivering under blankets - not knowing whether the goosebumps were from the chill in the air, or the supernatural nature of the story...
Michigan writers have a plethora of material to draw from - the spirit of Michigan, her ghosts, phantoms, and apparitions, are all around us. We just have to wander through her woods, or sail her waters, to find them.
Today I'm offering a free pdf of Shivers to one lucky winner.
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