I'm pleased to welcome Charity Nebbe for our latest Michigander Monday profile. Let's get to know her!
Debbie: Tell us about your new book, and a little about yourself.
Charity: "Our Walk in the Woods" tells the story of Abby and her dog Kirby. They get up every Saturday morning to go for a walk in the woods. They love to explore the hills above the river, but they don't always see things the same way. Abby likes to smell the flowers, Kirby likes to roll and make himself smell. Abby picks up garbage she finds on the ground to throw it in the trash, Kirby picks it up and tries to eat it. Abby sits in the sun on the riverbank, feeling the wind on her face. Kirby paddles in the water, chasing the ducks and geese. They may not always agree, but they will go again tomorrow. The book is illustrated by the very talented Jeffrey Ebbeler and you can see some of his pictures and hear an audio version of the book at charitynebbe.com.
This is my first book for kids. My day job is as the local All Things Considered host at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. I've been living in Michigan since early 2000. I'm originally from Cedar Falls, Iowa and I went to school and worked in Ames, Iowa for several years. While I was in Iowa I created a nationally syndicated public radio program for kids and kids at heart called "Chinwag Theater." My co-host was children's author Daniel Pinkwater. I came to Michigan to be a senior producer for The Todd Mundt Show, which was distributed by NPR. I missed being on the air and I've been the All Things Considered Host for six years now. I've been working part time since my daughter was born three years ago, so the most important part of my day is spent at home with Audrey (3) and Carter (10 months). I've always lived with dogs, cats and all kinds of other creatures. Even before we had kids my husband and I had a family of three dogs and seven cats, all rescue animals. Since adding children we've lost one dog and added another. I am donating ten percent of all author proceeds from "Our Walk in the Woods" to animal rescue groups.
Debbie: Other books and projects on the horizon?
Charity: I hope this is the first of many children's books, but I don't have anything to announce yet. I will say that I believe my next book will be of a feline nature.
Debbie: And upcoming appearances?
Charity: After a busy summer of appearances I only have one on the calendar right now. My fluffy white dog Sara and I will be at a birthday party for Cascades Humane Society in Jackson on Saturday September 13th from 2-5.
Debbie: Your favorite place in Michigan?
Charity: I have many favorite Michigan places, but it is easy to pick a favorite. Isle Royale in Lake Superior. My husband and I spent a week on the Island backpacking and camping a few years ago. It is the most beautiful place I've ever been. We didn't see or hear any wolves, but we did see moose and a lot of other wildlife.
Debbie: Favorite Michigan event or happening?
Charity: I have never been to the Heikki Lunta Winterfest in Negaunee, but I really want to go someday. Heikki Lunta is the Yooper Snow God. You should google him... there's a lot of entertaining stuff out there.
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Charity: It's part of my job to interview interesting people in Michigan, so I have an endless list of fascinating people I've talked to over the years. One favorite is Keith Taylor. He is a poet and instructor at the University of Michigan. He put out a wonderful poetry collection called "Guilty at the Rapture" a couple of years ago.
Joe Mockbee is a very talented artist who lives in Kalamazoo. He suffers from Schizophrenia and has used his art as a form of therapy and now he's helping other people cope with mental illness through art. His works in ink and watercolor and his work has kind of a comic book look to it. I really love his stuff and recently bought a picture.
If you're looking for travel ideas in Michigan travel writer Jim Dufresne always has great ideas. He is an entertaining writer and endlessly enthusiastic. "Backpacking in Michigan" is his most recent book and he put out a new edition of "Michigan Off the Beaten Path" not long ago.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about our state?
Charity: I constantly find myself telling people who don't live here how beautiful it is here. I would recommend a visit to the UP to anyone who loves the outdoors. Sure Northern Lower Michigan is beautiful too, but the UP is wild, beautiful, and not nearly as crowded.
Debbie: Some residents of Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: Are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?
Charity: I've actually given this a great deal of thought. Michigander was originally an insult hurled on the floor of Congress. Many people have embraced it and its origin is mostly forgotten, but some people find it to be insulting still. I use Michiganian on the air, but personally I think Michigander is fun and clever. So my vote is for Michigander.
Debbie: Thank you, Charity, for being this week's Michigander Monday guest!