Lisa Mahon and I work collaboratively within One Woman's Retreat and I am really excited that she has agreed to come and work within the walls of Soul Food. Lisa's credentials speak for themselves. She works for an international real estate investment firm by day, and is a writer by night. Given that most of us have to support our habit her determination is a shining example for all of us here at Soul Food.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Lisa has had several poems published in poetry anthologies and has recently begun writing online reviews of newly released books, and movies

But it her writing lounge which I have come to enjoy. So make sure you pop in and see her insightful writing for yourself

Heather Blakey

The Spirit of Trees
Dancing With A Muse

Introducing Lisa Mahon

First of all, hello to all of you out there who are reading this, and thanks so much for taking the time to do so. In this hectic helter-skelter world we live in these days, it's hard to find time to stop and actually read something - especially something like the bio of constantly striving writer. I myself am guilty of the horrible act of skimming, something I think the Internet has brought on to some extent. There's so much to do, see and read! However, every once in awhile you come across a site like Heather's and find that not only do you want to take the time to read through each and every page, but do it.

Since Heather has been nice enough to ask me to tell you something about myself, I'll do so, trying to keep the boring facts to a minimum. As I said before, I'm a constantly striving writer. (My only other obsession is horses and wolves - strange combination, I know.) I'm not one of those writers who can sit at their computers every day for several hours and make themselves write. I've tried that and find, more often than not, that after a few minutes I'm daydreaming, contemplating my bellybutton, or staring unseeing at the scene outside my window. One thing I've found about myself is that I have to write when inspiration strikes. I can't put it off as it usually only lasts a few days at a time before deserting me again for greener pastures or at least a more fertile mind. But when it comes, it's the most incredible feeling; as if you've jumped off a mountain and found you could fly.

That said, I would be hard pressed to find a mountain off which to jump (much less fly) as I live in Texas. We do have mountains down near Big Bend State Park, but that's a good ten-hour drive (or longer) from where I live in Dallas. Then again, if you've ever been to Texas, you know it's a good drive from any one point to another. We have several large cities in our massive state, but for the most part, we're still open spaces and frontier minded - even if we keep that part to ourselves. I've lived here all my life, as have my parents. My grandparents are from these parts as well and are buried - along with their parents - here. This place is in my blood. The trees, the wind, the land, it all flows through me in a way I feel most when I come home from someplace else. One day I would truly love to write a story that takes place here, but I haven't been quiet enough to listen for it yet. To hear the words. I hope that changes someday.

So for now, I am a contributing columnist, along with Heather, to One Woman's Writing Retreat . A fabulous site for woman writer's of any level, it's hosted by my good friend Cathy Atherton, who is also featured here within Heather's site. I've been lucky enough to interview some great authors there like Laura Vecchiola (First Degree Magyk) and Elizabeth Strout (Amy and Isabelle - which Oprah made into a TV movie) and my now friend, Claudia Marinelli. Along with OWWR, I am an editor and columnist for Sharpwriter writing a column titled Lisa's Lounge in which I interview up and coming authors and put anything that has to do with writing out there like notification of writing contests, what new books to look for, and what the best writing sites are as well as what they offer.

That, in the smallest of nutshells, is me - with a few boring things thrown in despite my earlier assertion I would do otherwise. The words I would leave you with as a writer to a writer of whatever level you are, is this: write the way you need to write. The way that works for you. And when inspiration strikes, jump off the mountain and fly.

Lisa Mahon 2002