How do you choose a book?

How do you choose a book?

“How do you choose a book?” Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda asked and answered recently, which naturally led me and other Mystic Writers, all avid readers, to have our say. Dirda’s advice to consult book lists by famous writers works only occasionally for...

Gallows Road: the Hidden History

Gallows Road: the Hidden History

My first novel, Gallows Road, is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the publisher Elm Grove Press; soon it will be in a few local bookstores. Friends have often asked me, “Is this a true story you’re writing, Lisa?” Although certain plot elements and...

Seeking the Unexpected

Seeking the Unexpected

This past October, clutching my mug of tea, I surveyed the unpainted pottery bowls and leaves laid out on the table and selected a leaf with curling edges just larger than my hand. The six of us in the workshop painted our pieces. The workshop leader, Trish, planned...

Setting: Chasing Irish Rainbows

Setting: Chasing Irish Rainbows

In my mid-30s, mourning the unexpected death of a sister and wanting a change, I traveled to Ireland for the first time. I visited the farm in County Mayo that had been in my family since the 1600s. It was a lesson in the power of setting. I had always taken my Irish...

What About the Baby?

What About the Baby?

As a writer, I’m also a reader – both pursuits are intrinsically linked, in competition for the betterment of each other. Since I write fiction, I read mostly fiction, often selecting books that explore the complexities of relationships and the undercurrent of essence...

Drift Away with Summer Reading

Drift Away with Summer Reading

“Summer reading” usually suggests the kind of books you’d take along for a lazy day on a beach, boat, or backyard hammock. Drifting away with an easy read is one of summer’s pleasures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dive into deeper literary waters or a controversial...

Three questions to ask yourself before writing opinion

Three questions to ask yourself before writing opinion

At the beginning of the pandemic, in March of last year, I received any number of calls from people who wanted my help in writing commentaries for publication. I shouldn’t have been surprised. We were at the beginning of a global cataclysmic event, one that was about...

Weeding Out

Weeding Out

A few days ago, I dared to go into my garden after spending weeks fearing that nothing lived under the layer of oak leaves. Everything must have died a natural death or been eaten from underneath by chipmunks. But a green iris spear poking through made me take a...