The Writing Life, Snowbird Style

The Snowbird Life means June in Michigan and continued work on my next book in The Hunt For Reacher Series, Get Jack Back. I began the book here last year when I finished Don’t Know Jack. Over the next few weeks, it’s final chapters will reveal themselves to me.

During the summer writing season, my schedule settles into a perfect routine of peace and quiet in my office, while all mayhem remains on the page.

Coffee and early journaling is accompanied by a symphony of nature and the gentle lap of lake water against the shore. Later, breeze rustles birch and maple leaves with gentle wind chimes. Have a listen and imagine you can inhale the crispness…

Here’s the view from my laptop morning, afternoon, and evening. This is how we work “in the cloud” around here.

During breaks from the keyboard, I might glance up to see nesting loons in June; later in the season, they’ll be feeding in my front “yard” with their chicks. Still later, they’ll teach the young ones to fish and to fly by strafing runs across the lake. Loons are snowbirds, too. The chicks must fly south for the winter, just like me.

Mid-afternoon, I take a long walk through the neighborhood. Neighbors are white tail deer, raccoons, red and black squirrels, and a few chipmunks who are nothing close to as cute but just as destructive as Simon, Theodore, and Alvin. An Oriole nest in our silver maple out back has been the starter home to several families. Hummingbirds join us, too.

The sun sets ever later each day and near midnight on the summer solstice. My evening keyboard sessions are accompanied by a bottle of Labatt’s Blue, maybe a pastie or a plate of lake perch for dinner, perhaps a campfire with my two-legged neighbors, Kevin and Laurie Lavrack, the fabulous photographers who brought you these photos and more I’ve shared from time to time.


This is my writing life, snowbird style. I wasn’t the first writer to discover creativity in northern solitude. As I’ve mentioned before, Hemingway summered here. Doug Stanton lives in my little village and Jim Harrison is close by. Well known authors such as P.J. Parrish, Steve Hamilton, and more pass through every week in the summer.

A stone’s throw away is Interlochen Arts Academy, summer home of the Detroit Symphony and the alma mater of Grammy winners Jewell, Norah Jones, Bob James and more who entertain us each summer evening. The Traverse City Film Festival enthralls us, too.


No, I didn’t discover Michigan’s northern words. I love it here, though, and every day I feel blessed to work here. Isn’t it marvelous?

Where do you feel your most creative? What are your most inspiring surroundings? What are your most productive habits? What would you add to your best creative setting if you could?

One thought on “The Writing Life, Snowbird Style

  1. I really appreciated your post, and I need to ask…. did you write the Reacher novels? They are my total favorites. If or if not I’d love to here more about the books you have written as posted here.

    I am mid search of how to live a digital nomadic lifestyle and thus came across your site. It whets my appetite for making my traveling dreams come true. Thank you.

    elle-je’ freeheart
    …”for what do dreams know of boundaries?

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