It's Been Quiet 

It’s Been a Quiet Year 

Anyone who ever listened to A Prairie Home Companion remembers that Garrison Keillor always began his monologue with the words, “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, my hometown.” What came after was always a story about the every-day doings of small-town folk in America’s heartland. To look at The Big Picture of “the town that time forgot”, not much happened. Ever. 

Kind of like 2020. I have found myself musing, “It’s been a quiet year in Coldwater, my home town” more times than…

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Too Excited to Think 


In 2016 I had the opportunity to travel to United Arab Emirates to teach creative writing workshops at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. I remember when the invitation was made, I was apprehensive. In truth, I looked for a good reason not to go. I thought of all the places in the world that I had wished for years and years to visit and recognized that UAE was not among them.

But I accepted the invitation, with the encouragement of people I trust, and ignoring the voices of people who…

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Beryl's Gardn 

Beryl’s Garden

She made her home of finest silk
threaded intricately between the alliums;
twin batons with dry, brown remnants
of sparkling summer days held aloft
like wisps of the sulfur-scented smoke that hangs
in the humid dusk of a July celebration.
I name the tiny creature Charlotte,
what else;  talk to her as I clear away detritus.
Even with her long legs, she’s but a speck; delicate, dancing
on the gossamer tightrope she's stung for herself
one hundred and eighty times her own height above ground.
My gloved…

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on my morning walk 

On my morning walk

mourning doves, a cardinal, three blue jays
greet the day with songs
an old man with headphones and a lawnmower
bellers a country song out of tune
birds flock on the baseball field by the high school
the grass freshly cut and over-seeded
sparrows stuff themselves into the holes
of the chain-link fence feathers fluffed against the chill
of September scolding as I pass but not moving
farther along in a garage a whistling man
bent over with his head under the hood
of an orange hot rod straightens…

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The Lagging Blogger 

"What have you been up to, AnnMarie?" she asked, plopping her suitcase on the kitchen floor and opening her arms for a hug. It had been a year since I'd seen her, and even though I knew her question was sincere, I simply didn't have the energy at that moment to tell her. So I said, "Not much. The usual."

NOT MUCH? THE USUAL? I am not in the habit of telling whoppers, but as I look back over the year just past, I know that she really didn't have time right then to listen to all that has gone on since last…

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A Nomad At Home 

A Nomad at Home

I am a woman who has not fully unpacked her suitcase in a year. Actually, it’s been longer than that, but the past 12 months, in particular, can only be described as nomadic. For the record, my address is in Southern Michigan. Way southern…nearly Indiana. But you’d never know it, judging from how much time I have, or haven’t, spent here.


Part of that is due to the nature of being a musician. Part is due to being a writer. Part is due to the fact that as a musician and a writer, I…

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Chocolate Cake 

Chocolate Cake © 2016 AnnMarie Rowland

I am home from my Big Adventure to the United Arab Emirates, and feeling overwhelmed. I am still dazed and disoriented by the experience itself, and the prospect of writing about the events of those two weeks seems far too big. But I’ll try. I expect to be writing about it for some time.

When I accepted the invitation to present workshops at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival near Dubai, several of my friends and a family member or two expressed some concern…

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Opportunity Road 

Opportunity Road

I have been having the same conversation with various people for almost a year. I’d say, “I am going to UAE in April.” They’d say, “Where?” The response was either curiosity or incredulity. Depending on who I was talking to, they either didn’t know where it is, or were alarmed; and to be honest, until a year ago, I had paid no attention. I didn’t have a reason to know anything about that country, or so I thought.


Until one day last May, when a friend  who had just returned from a trip…

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Logging The Miles 

What a ride this trip has been so far! Diana and I are tucked in for the night here in Missoula, where the outside temperature is 104.
Getting reliable internet has been a sketchy endeavor for the past few days, and phone coverage not always reliable either. Ah, the mountains!
so... Let's see. Where were we? Ah yes. My sis and I enjoyed a delightful visit and stay with friends; Tina Welling and her husbsand, John, at their charming cabin in Jackson Hole last Wednesday. Thank you again, my friends, for your…

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Time to Go! 

The day has finally arrived after months of planning, hours of phone calls, pages of emails, days of packing  and unpacking and re-packing... It is time to hit the road.

But I am not going alone! A few weeks ago I had a call from my sister, asking if I would like some company for the long road ahead; if, that is, she could get the time off from her job, and if we could find someone to stay with our mom. We agreed that if those two seemingly impossible obstacles could be conquered, she would accompany me. …

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Upcoming Events


Silver Sparrows (with Kelly Shively)

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Modeltown Farmers Market, Gwinn, MI

Kelly Shively (Petoskey, MI) and I have been dear friends for more than 30 years, and though we love to sing together, we rarely get the chance. We're thrilled to be performing together for a few hours. We're just a couple of silver-haired singers, trying to put some joy into the world. Silver Sparrows



Lexington, MI

Thumbfest is an all-day music festival throughout the beautiful town of Lexington, right on the western shore of Lake Huron. Check the schedule for time and stage locations for my sets. Thumbfest is family-friendly and free, but please, do donate generously so that the Blue Water Folk Society can continue to produce this great event as well as other folk music opportunities in the Thumb of Michigan.