Novelist · Writing

Finding my voice, again

I’ve been a writer all my life. It’s true! The first gift I ever gave my husband, when we were nothing more than fourteen year old children celebrating the first Christmas of our young high school lives, was a short story. About grown up us, coming home for the holidays. I still remember collecting my pages, still warm from the word processor I used to print them out – remember, this was 1994, long before computers were a thing -placed them in a book report approved plastic binder, and finally, wrapped in curled ribbons of silver and gold, presented this monstrosity to the boy without a hint of embarrassment. Yikes.

I’m a nerd, and a romantic. Don’t judge!

nerd liz lemon
Thank you, Tina Fey, for being both my doppelgänger and inspiration ❤

Aaaaanyway. . .






So here’s the thing about all of that: when we stumbled upon some pretty terrible times later on in life,  I stopped writing entirely. No poetry, songs, short or long stories. All of those artistic ways I used to define myself as more than just a mom, or a wife, I’d suddenly deemed off limits. Punishment for my sins,  although I don’t think I ever acknowledged it in such a way in the moment.  More than a decade went by before I even noticed what I’d done to myself.  Suddenly, out of the blue, I found myself a person without substance. Looking in the mirror, I saw absolutely nothing in my reflection. Family room organizer. Prized laundry folder.  Excellent cooker of italian dinners. But beyond those utilitarian talents, there was nothing inherently “me” about me. Years of neglecting my soul had left me soul-less, and it was a terrifying wake up call.

Promptly, I re-entered therapy and set out on a mission to fall back in love with who I am. That was when I realized I had absolutely no idea who that was. Not only had I lost myself, it happened so swiftly and at so young an age, I had never really become anything that could be lost in the first place. I figured, the best place to begin would be music. Writing is the sharing of the soul. My soul needed a little coddling before it was primed to be shared, so I dusted off the old guitar and plucked out some Letters to Cleo tunes. My singing voice was shameful – but at least I was playing music again.


After a few months of sore fingertips and broken strings, my heart broke wide open, and I finally felt free and familiar. Comfortable in my own skin, at long last.

One night, I sat alone in my home office, in the dark. I’ve always had a story to tell, and I finally felt ready to tell it. Now, here we are. 40,000 words in and outlined to finish close to the 80,000 word goal I set for myself more than a year ago. I know what foods I love, what foods I hate, what I’m passionately for and against, and that I absolutely detest wearing tight, short, or remotely revealing dresses even if the other women in my office all choose to dress in such a manner. Basically, for the first time in all my thirty-six years, I am wildly, authentically myself. And boy, does it feel good ❤



Uncategorized · Writers Block · Writing

Censorship, or “How to honor your story and stay married!”

My writing is incredibly secretive. Most likely the same is true for the bulk of unpublished novelists, living with the constant and possibly well-founded fear of talentlessness. For me though, it is the actual story line that keeps me in perpetual lockdown. I write when my husband is working late, at two in the morning… Continue reading Censorship, or “How to honor your story and stay married!”

Children's Literature · Montessori · Writing

When Pac-Man meets Power Rangers, or Mommies who like to Write!

It’s a beautiful morning in Southwest Florida, with a chill in the air and a hot mug of coffee steaming by my side. Between the sound of the dog aggressively cleaning her lady parts and the sound of my incredibly hyper five year old urging me to become the Penny to his Bolt, and then consume a Sensu bean so I can come back to life and battle the Great Sayaman before the Red Ranger comes to defeat us, through the lava (Obviously) . . . I am having somewhat of a hard time with my editing.

How surprising.

Tell me, please, how other aspiring writers manage to work on their manuscripts while offspring play – loudly – and the real world spins right alongside the angst and drama of whatever imaginary world we are trying to create, because I think I’m missing something!

Dress Up
My youngest son Noah, pictured here as Red Ranger-channels-Morpheus, with his favorite cousin Lily. Mario/dog trainer extraordinaire. This is my life, 98% of the time.

Suddenly, in the midst of my morning play – it hit me – clearly I’m approaching this all wrong! Instead of throwing myself into the adultiness of the current story I’m working on, perhaps I should collaborate with my littlest boy and take a page from his crazy-imaginative five year old book. Why not create a children’s book as well?!

Little known fact: on top of being a stay at home mommy, a licensed Realtor, and an occassional wordstress, I am also a Montessori teacher 🙂  Montessori is an absolutely beautiful and holistic approach to learning, honoring the child’s natural curiosity and nurturing their independent nature. One of the most fulfilling aspects of working in this realm is the respect and understanding of the way a child’s mind develops scientifically, and the stages of psychological development and what each stage requires emotionally as well as intellectually.

With any luck, this will serve me well in my quest! Teachers often become authors, so why not me?

Now, lets see. Which direction should we take? A Pac-Man reboot? Power rangers fan-fiction? The sky’s the limit, as long as I play by Noah Benjamin’s rules. . .

Noah Benjamin
King Noah, with a beleaguered Princess Lorelai!