Old Mission Authors and Artists | Old Mission Gazette Collage
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Our local community has an abundance of writers, artists and other creative souls. Here’s a little roundup of recent news (and if I’ve missed yours, feel free to comment in the comments section at the bottom of the story).

Lynn Stephenson

Artist Lynn Stephenson is currently one of the featured artists at the City Opera House in Traverse City. Her artwork, along with Cheboygan artist Kati Rosenbaugh, will be displayed there throughout February.

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Lynn tells me that Kati, who works in oil painting, has a bold, loose and colorful style. “The contrast between her artwork and my own very highly detailed and realistic colored pencil artwork makes for a wonderful pairing,” she says.

They each have more othan 20 original pieces of artwork in the show, mixed together on the first and second floors of the City Opera House. A majority of the artwork is offered for sale, with a portion of sales donated to the City Opera House, which is open most days for viewing.

Artist Lynn Stephenson of Pencilmarkstudio on the Old Mission Peninsula | Stephenson Images
Artist Lynn Stephenson of pencilmarkstudio on the Old Mission Peninsula | Stephenson Images

On a personal note, I have one of Lynn’s pieces here in my house, called “Mystery Sprout,” and I absolutely love it. I’m sure I’ve seen these plants on my hikes at the north end of the Peninsula.

There’s nothing like having a piece of beautiful original artwork by someone you know. Visit her website at pencilmarkstudio.com.

Artist Lynn Stephenson of pencilmarkstudio; piece owned by Jane Boursaw titled "Mystery Sprout" | Jane Boursaw Photo
Artist Lynn Stephenson of pencilmarkstudio; piece titled “Mystery Sprout,” owned by Jane Boursaw | Jane Boursaw Photo

Kristen Hains

My dear and brave friend Kris Hains has a new book out titled Walking a Thin Lie: Diary of An Eating Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified.

In the book, she dives deep into her struggle with disordered eating, one that began as a desperate grasp for control in a disordered young life, and wound up in the halls of an inpatient facility in the desert. With real vulnerability, wry wit, and the kind of authenticity that makes you feel like you’re experiencing this with a friend, Kris explores both the impacts that eating disorders can have on their hosts, and the pieces of a childhood that created it.

Eating disorders in the modern era are both dangerously prevalent and often wholly misunderstood. Walking a Thin Lie shines a much-needed light on a topic that polite company would rather be kept in the dark — but Kris isn’t interested in polite company. Instead, she offers a frank and lifechanging look at girlhood, identity, and what it looks like to build self-worth without the cold aid of numbers on a scale.

“The book invites you to step into the intimate pages of my personal journey,” says Kris. “This raw and honest diary captures the unfiltered emotions, thoughts, and battles I faced while grappling with an eating disorder. With poignant vulnerability, you’ll witness the depths of struggle and the courage it took to seek treatment.”

So.Much.Courage. Buy the book on her website here. She also offers a companion journal, which you can buy here, and a collection of Body Positivity stickers, which you can buy here.

She also offers wholesale options, as well as a variety of stickers, journals, her new Valentine’s coloring book, and more on her website.

I hope you’ll help spread the word about this important book, which offers so much hope and is so needed in our current age of social media and rampant comparisons to everyone else’s “perfect” life.

Walking a Thin Lie: Diary of An Eating Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, by Kristen Hains | Hains Photo
Walking a Thin Lie: Diary of An Eating Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, by Kristen Hains | Hains Photo

Stephen Lewis

I mentioned in the fall that my brother-in-law, Stephen Lewis, had given a talk at Peninsula Community Library about his new book set in Puritan New England, From Infamy to Hope. While the book is set in Puritan New England, Steve notes that it deals with issues of women’s rights and conflicts with the indigenous population that still resonate today. Buy it on Amazon here.

Told in the compelling voice of Rachel Moore, a housemaid in 17th century Puritan Boston, and featuring the colony’s two most powerful figures, Governor John Winthrop and his courageous opponent Anne Hutchinson, the book tells the story of the religious persecution of a servant girl made pregnant by rape, but convicted of fornication according to the belief that conception requires consent. Her alcoholic father trades her baby to Pequots to settle an old debt.

Her story merges with the New England colonies’ march toward war against the Pequots. She masquerades as a boy soldier and is with the colonial troops as the war ends with a massacre of a fortified Pequot village on the south shore of Connecticut where her baby might be.

There’s a new review of From Infamy to Hope by Daniel Rhodes for The Book Commentary, which you can read here.

Writes Rhodes, “Lewis weaves historical facts into the story with skill and expertise, examining questions of faith, morality, and the resilient human spirit. The book not only explores the personal journey of Rachel but also looks into the larger social issues, including Hutchinson’s opposition and subsequent excommunication. The legacy of Anne Hutchinson, who was once banished and excommunicated, is poignantly reflected in a statue before the State House in Boston and a parkway in New York bearing her name.

“The narrative comes full circle as it draws connections between Hutchinson’s descendants. From Infamy to Hope offers a captivating exploration of a rowdy period in American history, reminding readers of the enduring power of hope, resilience, and the pursuit of justice. It is meticulously researched and excellently executed, a story that is spellbinding and imaginative.”

OMP Author Stephen Lewis gave a talk at Peninsula Community Library on his new book, From Infamy to Hope | Jane Boursaw Photo
OMP Author Stephen Lewis gave a talk at Peninsula Community Library on his new book, From Infamy to Hope | Jane Boursaw Photo

Also, Steve’s book Dementia: A Love Story, which tells the love story between my sister Carol and him, was recently reviewed by Geri Lipschultz for Kaleidoscope Magazine, which you can read here (read the full magazine here). Buy the book on Amazon here.

Writes Geri, “That Lewis is able to sustain this space of hope against hope, even when hospice enters the picture, and how he navigates this devastating and dark road with all of its cliffs, as meticulous with the details of his story as he is with the details of his caregiving, is a testament both to his wife and to his own humanity. Therein lies our hope.”

Dementia: A Love Story was also featured by publisher Mission Point Press in “Best Books to Read on Valentine’s Day.”

Books by Stephen Lewis, Old Mission Peninsula: From Infamy to Hope, Dementia: A Love Story | Old Mission Gazette Collage
Books by Stephen Lewis, Old Mission Peninsula: From Infamy to Hope, Dementia: A Love Story | Old Mission Gazette Collage

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan

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