Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Marianne Love

Marianne Love loves to preserve meaningful moments or images through the written word or through a camera lens. This Sandpoint author, freelance writer and retired teacher happily enjoys her passion for writing and photography as a blogger. For twelve years, and on a daily basis, she has published “slightdetour.blogspot” with its overall theme “Mutterings of a Country Hick.” Love, a Sandpoint native and lover of rural living, focuses on her slice-of-life observations as a writer and photographer living on a beautiful 20-acre Selle Valley farm, which she calls the “Lovestead.” Almost always accentuating the positive, she introduces readers and viewers to a cast of thousands, including farm pets, beloved family members, neighbors, friends, former students and colleagues. She carries her camera to local events, on walks around the farm, on road trips, and even on overseas visits. This year the Love family traveled to magical Ireland where rural, idyllic beauty is boundless. This exhibit features some samples from that trip. Enjoy. For more information about Love’s creative work, you can visit her Facebook wall under her name (the Marianne Love on an Appaloosa horse) or her blog at

Marianne Love

Who are you?​ I am a 69-year-old retired English and journalism teacher and author from Sandpoint, Idaho. My husband Bill of 42-plus years is a retired forester who never really retires. Our son William E. Love III teaches journalism and advises the high school newspaper in Sandpoint (same one I served on in high school and advised when he was going through high school). He also coaches girls varsity basketball. His wife Debbie is the director of our local food bank. Our daughter Annie travels the world on her own nickel and her company's nickel. The company in Seattle owns and manages the website. We live on a 20-acre farm north of Sandpoint where we have two horses, three dogs and one fat cat named Festus. ​

Where can you be found online? ​You can find me on Facebook under my name, Marianne Love. I'm the one sitting on a pretty Appaloosa horse, or you can find me every day, seven days a week at Let the photos do the talking. If you want to take a virtual trip to drop-dead gorgeous North Idaho, just visit my blog and scroll through the posts. ​​

What inspired you to start blogging? When did it happen?​ My brother Jim is the guilty party. He is a cartoonist (works professionally as an architect). Back in 2004, he brought a booklet of his cartoons. He wanted to know how to market them. I came up with the crazy idea of starting a blog or "blob," as most non-bloggers called them back then. I thought that I could write a few pieces dealing with my "slice-of-life," humorous adventures, and he could feature his cartoons. Then, I figured eventually I would drop off and he could run the "Slight Detour" show from there. Well, it turned out exactly the opposite. I have missed maybe a week's total of days in posting ever since December, 2004. Some of those early entries were experiments which left a lot to be desired. Eventually, however, as a lifelong local with knowledge of a lot of history of our area, I found my voice, and readers found me. So, now, it's hard to quit. My friend Helen (who also edits all the glitches after the post is published and lets me know), checks every morning, and if the blog is not up by 8:05, she's either calling or emailing, "Is something wrong out there?" So, Helen keeps me on task. In addition, as a teacher to about 4,500 students, I have found that many of them come to the blog to get a touch of home. Their enthusiastic appreciation also keeps me going. ​​

Why do you write?​ I like to tell stories and I like to tell the good stories about people and situations that I love or admire. Writing gives me that opportunity. ​​

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you?​ As far as well-known writers, I'd say my favorite author is Laura Hillenbrand, and my favorite columnist is Kathleen Parker. I also enjoy the writings of Garrison Keillor and Ivan Doig. A couple of local writers inspire me too. Finally, my students and my own children inspire me because of how they use their writing skills, either in teaching or in their respective careers. ​​

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? What is your favorite place on earth?​ I would return to New Zealand and/or to Ireland in a flash. Both are charming, quaint and beautiful, as are their people. Both countries also offer a step back in time, and as a lover of the past, I like that a lot. Hard to decide which of the two is my favorite. I love them both. ​​

Anything else you'd like us to know?​ I'd just like you to know that I love learning about people and about different places in the country or on earth. Blogging, journalism and my books have enhanced the opportunity to keep learning, keep meeting and to keep observing. ​

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wedding Wednesday - Engagement Photos

We got our engagement photos and they're more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. I was having such a cranky day that day (we'd had a loooong weekend of traveling, visiting family, and working on the house), but our incredible photographer, Amanda Summerlin, was able to get us laughing and help us look our best.

When I shared these on Facebook, I mentioned that she "made" us look incredible, and she responded, "You should know that I didn't 'make' you look any way. All I do is show up and figure out how to show you how the people who love you see you. And it was easy, because you're amazing and smart and fascinating and beautiful." Honestly, what could I even say? I'm so thrilled she'll be capturing our wedding this October.

You can see the whole set right here on Amanda's website, and if you're looking for a photographer, I can't recommend her more strongly!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Business in Boston

After our trip to the Connecticut shore, I hitched a ride back to Boston with Rob and Dave so I could attend EduWeb 2017.

The conference was fantastic, and I really learned a ton of different things. I even got to practice some sketch noting! The conference had five different tracks and each had really fascinating panels. The highlight, for me, was a keynote on “Saving Social” by Nikki Sunstrum at UMichigan. I’ve admired their social media for a while now, but she’s a total powerhouse and it was so awesome to get to know her work a little more fully. You can follow her at @nikkisunstrum if you don’t already. She spoke a lot about how social media should be more innovative at colleges than anywhere else, because we have such access to brilliant people and ideas, and how we need to really add value—and not just noise—to our followers’ feeds/lives. She showed some examples from UMich, like their active shooter snap story and their IG campaign about sexual assault. It was so thought-provoking and really inspiring to see the real work that is coming out of there, in addition to the more standard social media fare. She talked for about 45 minutes and it felt like maybe 5 had passed.

I didn't take many photos, since I was at the conference for most of the time, but I did manage to fit in a few meals with Lianne, Emily, and Lauren, which was awesome. I also met some great new colleagues, and caught up with a bunch of my NYU folks.

I also got to explore a little bit of Cambridge and the Copley Square area, and it made me want to head back to Boston again soon!