Quote of the Day: from Elisa Korenne’s book and song by the same title Hundred Miles to Nowhere
It’s a hundred miles to nowhere
I feel the fatigue of the road
Sleep’s always a few miles further
I can never lighten my load
My Goodreads review: Elisa Korenne weaves an intimate tale of Big City Girl meets Rural Outdoorsy Boy. When Elisa gets accepted to an artist residency in New York Mills, MN, she welcomes the chance to leave her New York City apartment and experience the country atmosphere, hoping for inspiration. Wanting to have an authentic Minnesota experience, she books a canoe camping trip with Chris. What’s fun about reading about their romance is how well Elisa describes the contrasts of their two worlds, how their relationship developed, and what it means to live in a community. Elisa is also a talented singer-songwriter and her skills as a lyricist/poet float off the page.
This is an excellent memoir and book club pick. But, don’t just take my word for it. Millie and Willie were also quite taken with this tale of romance, wandering, and natural disasters.
Millie: At first Willie was resistant to reading Elisa’s book.
Willie: I wouldn’t say that, Millie. I like reading together, you know that. Orphan Train was my favorite.
Millie: Willie likes anything with a railroad connection. (Willie starts humming I’ve been working on the railroad in the background. Millie rolls her eyes.) Oh, for Heaven’s sake, Willie. Give it a rest. We’re talking about Elisa’s journey, now.
Willie: (coughs and winks) Even though she didn’t travel by train, I still enjoyed her story.
Millie: It’s her memoir about pursuing her singer-songwriting career, accepting an artist’s residency in Minnesota, falling in love with an outdoorsy guy named Chris, leaving all that she knew and loved in New York City, and finding community in New York Mills.
Willie: I thought it was about latkes and lefse.
Millie: That could be an alternate title. (Willie grins and starts looking for Millie’s lefse recipe.)
Willie: I’ll have to confess. The title did grab me, Millie. My life of working on the railroad was like that, 100 miles to nowhere, just about every day, and the best ones were when they led me back home to you.
Millie: Thanks, Willie. Relationships have their ups and downs. The everyday stuff can bog you down, make you lose sight of your dreams, and the initial excitement of a long-distance romance wears out.
Willie: You know. Sometimes I’m like that Chris fellow. I like helping you out, but other times, I just want to sleep in or eat Special K bars on the couch.
Millie: And, sometimes, I just need some space to myself.
Willie: But, when the cold winds blow,
Millie: Or, a tornado strikes,
Willie: We have each other,
Millie: And this wonderful community. That scene with the bon fire, after the tornado, when everyone showed up with chainsaws and hot dish to help Elisa and Chris was wonderful.
Willie: I’ll confess that I got a little choked up when Elisa brought her guitar over to Jerome and Lina’s house when he was…
Millie: Willie, just stop there.
Willie: What? Spoiler alert.
Millie: That was a beautiful scene of someone using her gifts to lift others up. (Millie’s eyes tear up.)
Willie: Let’s leave the rest for the readers to discover. And, Millie (hands her his handkerchief) I’m glad I found my Somewhere with you.
The Brainerd Northside Book Club hosted Elisa Korenne and enjoyed some Q & A about her book, and writing process, along with delicious New York cheesecake topped with Minnesota rhubarb sauce.
Learn more about the author, her book Hundred Miles to Nowhere, and her music at Elisa Korenne’s website. She has a music CD that goes with the book, which I enjoyed listening to on my way home from our book club meeting. I especially like Color Me In.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: In the Midwest we call dessert made in a 9×11 pan BARS. What is your favorite kind of bars? Or desserts? Which ones remind you most of home?