Ballantyne Magazine


Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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C R E A T I V E S P A R K Written Legacy Simple Notes, Letters Enrich the Human Spirit By Matt Olin and Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photo by Ray Sepesy What was it like growing up as the "dreamer" in your family? I think being the dreamer was a direct result of being the middle child. Thinking outside the box was a necessity early in life. Find- ing creative ways to stand out and express one's self is essential for everyone. The middle child learns to do it a little earlier than most. What's been most challeng- ing about creating your book, "A Life through Letters"? Making sure that I captured the spirit in which my father wrote his original letters. That was ever present in my work. It was such an honor to posthu- mously co-write with my father, and I wanted to get it right. How did you keep yourself motivated and accountable to see this project through? I had worked on the project starting in early 2013. Then in January 2015 I simply decided that was the year I was publish- ing the book. I picked a date and would not let myself stop until it was completed. I would often think of the struggles my father had in his life due to his physical limitations. That always kept me motivated. How do you want your book to make others feel? I hope this book inspires people to connect. We all have people in our lives with whom we should be in touch. A simple note or letter has such a tre- mendous impact on the human spirit. Emails can be deleted in a fraction of a second. As I say in the book, letters can last a lifetime — and sometimes beyond. Where are favorite spots in Ballantyne to get inspired? Rush espresso, hands down. I spent a tremendous amount of time there while working on the book. It is where I go to write, connect and create. Paul and Jenny have done an amazing job of creating a space that feels like a community. Anything else to share? I see letter writing as a way to preserve one's legacy. One of the very fortunate by-products of this project is that I now have a living, breathing tribute to my father and our entire family from which my two little boys can learn. I would encourage everyone to take the time to capture that same legacy and put their own stamp on it. FOR MORE INFORMATION Ballantyne author Ashley Davis found inspiration in his father's handwritten letters and published them in a curated collection. In our first Creative Spark — a collaboration with Matt Olin and the CreativeMornings/CLT team — Davis shares with us the joys and challenges of his creative process. BALLANTYNE SPRING 2017 96 Creative Spark

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