Struggling with Now


I’m terrified I’ll get the things I want, and it’ll turn out I didn’t want them. Or that I was ascribing all kinds of magical properties to them that don’t exist. That they won’t act as a salve against the uncertainty of life.

And then where does that leave me? Always hungry for more. Never content with the present. I achieve something, have a brief moment of satisfaction, and then immediately move on to the next goal. Continue reading


Love and Mastery


On my way to work this morning I listened to Jason Schwartzman being interviewed by Marc Maron on WTF. He talked about how scary writing a novel must be, because of the lack of immediate feedback. With a three-minute song, you can play it for someone to see what they think. With a four hundred page novel, you need to have some pretty generous friends in order to get someone to read it. Not only that, but it might take you seven years to write it in the first place, with little to no feedback along the way.

The enormity of this does wash over me sometimes. But I think, like most things in life, you just have to have faith. Faith that your subconscious is not a moron, and will steer you in the right direction. Plus, so what if you spend seven years writing a novel and it ends up being terrible and no one wants to read it? Hopefully you would have learned some things along the way, about writing and about yourself, that would have made the process worth it. (That’s my newly acquired laissez-faire attitude speaking. Pretty convincing, right? Old Lisa would be pretty upset if everyone hated her book.) Continue reading

Life Without a Dream


“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Incorrect definition of insanity aside, I think there’s a greater question. How can you tell if what you’re doing is the same thing as before? What if it’s only different in the most meaningless, superficial way, and underneath is a pattern that’s completely identical? Continue reading

A Procrastinator’s Guide to Novel Writing


Good writers are sensitive people. Sensitive people are often easily derailed by what life throws at them. Good writers are creative people. Creative people often rebel against structure and discipline. Good writers are imaginative people. Imaginative people often come up with a million reasons why something is impossible. So how on earth is a sensitive, creative, imaginative person supposed to be able to churn out an entire novel in a timely manner? With a lot of cajoling and trickery, I’ve found. Here are some of the tools I used to transform from Master Procrastinator to Moderately Disciplined Writer. Continue reading

Death and Marzipan


I unabashedly believe in the power of tarot. Not to predict the future (although it often seems to do that very accurately), but as a tool to help me recognize patterns in my life.

Aside from classic spreads like the Celtic Cross, there are also additional stand-alone cards that are fun to explore. My favorite is the year card, which I like to use to give me clues as to what I should be focusing my energies on in the upcoming year. Continue reading