In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Red Woman Was CryingA Red Woman Was Crying by Don   Mitchell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book totally surprised me!  At first I was unsure if I would enjoy it, but I kept reading. There was something that unsettled me about the voices of the characters I met. And then I realized that what was unsettling me was also bringing me into the world of the novel, a world so different from my own.

My favorite story of the whole collection was "My White Man," partly because it was told by the only woman narrator in the book, partly because that story revealed so much about Eliot, the White Man who was so changed by his time with the Nagovisi. 

This was a good read.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Guest Post on Mother Writer Mentor

My friend Tania Pryputniewicz asked me to write a guest post for Mother Writer Mentor, a website offering practical advice for writing mothers.  I've had the great honor to collaborate with Tania on other writing projects.  As a writer-mother herself, she has pushed me to explore my own role in the lives of children. In 2011 during her stint as poetry editor, three of my poems, Childhood, Daughters, and Uneasy Grace were published for the online journal The Fertile Source as well as an interview, Celebrating the Foregoing of Motherhood: Poetry in the Service of Spiritual Quandary, Lineage, and Teaching Adolescents.  Here is a taste of the latest:

lisa rizzo headshot
“He used to be such a nice little boy!”  That lament voiced by a student’s mother at a Back to School Night presentation has stuck in my mind for years.  I can even remember the student’s name although he must be almost 30 years old by now.  As a middle school teacher with 22 years of teaching experience, I have heard a variation of that parental cry many times.

With no children of my own, I have always hesitated to offer advice to the my students’ parents, but when my own beloved niece turned twelve, my brother and sister-in-law turned to me for help. That is when I realized that as a veteran teacher who has spent over two decades in a classroom with thousands of twelve and thirteen-year-olds, maybe I can offer some advice to mothers facing an adolescent child for the first time.  And as a writer who struggles to balance writing with my very stressful job, I can sympathize with mother-writers who have an even harder balancing act. 

To read the rest of my post, go to Mother Writer Mentor: Practical advice for writing moms

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Power of the Internet or How I Wound Up in an Art Exhibit in Germany

Last year, I wrote a blog post, The Greece I Saw, June, 2012 in which I described my impressions of traveling in Greece during their economic crisis.  Included in that post were photographs I took of protest graffiti in Athens.  Then in June of this year I had a rather unusual comment left on my blog:

Dear Lisa,
Street Art and Protest Culture in the city of Augsburg, Germany and we are interested in showing your photo of the graffiti wall you posted on this site.

If you are interested, please mail me.

Beste regards,

Stunned that someone in Germany had read my blog and quite pleased that they wanted to use my photograph, I didn't hesitate to say yes.  For months I heard nothing more, and when I searched for information about the organization, I couldn't find anything about it.  Finally, I emailed Lisa again, asking her about what had happened with my photograph. She was kind enough to send me photos of the exhibition as well as a link to their Facebook page:  COLORREVOLUTION! Street Art und Protestkultur. It looks like the event was fascinating.  How I wish I could have been there!  I'm just grateful that I have these images of it.

Here are the photographs Lisa took.

If you have better eyesight than me, you might be able to see what it says on the plaque,  Foto:  Lisa Rizzo.

That small photograph in the corner is mine.

Once again I am awed at the power of the internet to get my work out into the world.