Lisa is in the final stages of working with her editor on her memoir manuscript “Calamity Becomes Me,” a story in part about proving herself capable of taking care of horses on a Wyoming dude ranch. She will be pitching it to literary agents in early spring 2021.
“Calamity Becomes Me”
From the moment she left her mother’s womb and was whisked off to neo-natal intensive care with severe tachycardia, Lisa’s ability to overcome serial calamity – natural, accidental, and consequential – is a tribute to the strength and resilience that can be found in each of us. Shunned by the “cool kids” at “Swellesley” High, she powers through her “heart attacks” to co-captain the championship softball team. Broken in a devastating car crash that cost her her first love – alive but banished by her mother – she recovers, colorfully finishes college and heads into marriage and the workforce with mixed results.
Determined to become a leader in the male-dominated technology workforce, she pursues her MBA at a prestigious business school, only to have it all crash in the perfect storm precipitated by a miserable accounting professor, divorce and job elimination.
Even the diversion of a quick vacation to Europe with a girlfriend goes sour! But Lisa picks right back up and heads to L.A. to launch her non-profit to help disadvantaged women start their own businesses. Love stops her in her tracks. Not romantic love but love at first sight of the Wyoming Rockies. So, what does an adrenaline junky, over-achieving girl do in cowboy country? She challenges the cowboys and shows them that a girl can pitch hay bales and chew tobacco with best of them. And, she gets them excited seeing her jogging in between the rows of alfalfa wearing shorts and a cropped top.
Alas, another auto calamity cuts her tenure short at the Grin-N-Barrett Ranch leaving her to continue her journey driving her standard-shift F150, armed with crutches, a bottle of Night Train and one leg in a full-length cast.
A job interview with a “proposition” in Washington state, born-again Christians in strip clubs and love and felons on-the-run in Tucson, paint a sometimes comical, sometimes shocking series of ups and downs that finally lead Lisa to pack it in and head back to Boston to try to patch the nagging and gnawing hole left by Michael’s banishment over 10 years ago. That sets us up for the sequel: “Saving Tom Wilkins.”
While “Calamity” has a plot-driven narrative, passages of reflection punctuate the story. She questions her motivations, her beliefs in The Almighty, and interrogates the history of her mother, who married her father after a series of deaths in her own family, from which she never recovered.
Recent Editorial Reviews of “Calamity:”
“Relatable, engaging, human.”
I can confidently state that your work thoroughly depicts each monumental event that takes place, revealing an individuals’ strength and resilience. The notion that one’s life can change in an instance will truly keep readers entranced from the very first page as they try to understand how each path taken will affect the future in various ways. As readers follow the journey that takes place, they will become deeply invested in each section through the visual images that are painted within each recollection that ensues.
Beta readers, The Book Gremlins, utilized a 1-5 scale to rate Calamity, whereby a “5” indicates the highest score attainable, translating to “excellent in terms of theme/storyline; material is weaved beautifully and brilliant writing skills.” The “Gremlins” rated her work as a “5” across the following categories: characterization and motivation, plot and conflict, pacing, setting and world building, and craft.
“Calamity’s” Sequel “Saving Tom Wilkins:”
Religion and Porsches: The Perfect Match?
Lisa is an attractive, athletic, and educated thirty-something. Tom Wilkins is a former high-tech sales rock-star. Mix in some religion and Porsches and you get explosions that both frighten and amuse the tourists on Concord Green.
When she returns home to Boston, born again, having survived a string of calamities on her cross-country adventure, God answers Lisa’s prayer for a Porsche-owning Christian. Not one, but three Porsches, a Buell and a boat are okay, but they hardly keep a woman warm at night and Tom turns out to be a lemon. But Lisa sees this as an assignment from God to Save Tom Wilkins. The ensuing five months are filled with sexual frustration, moral conflict and lovers’ quarrels. The latter antics are funny, if they’re not happening to you. In the end, she finds herself, makes peace with God and tears away from Tom in her M30.
Lisa is the author of the forthcoming memoir “Calamity Becomes Her,” a story in part about proving herself capable of taking care of horses on a Wyoming dude ranch, and at work on the sequel. She’s also written essays about the horsewomen who inspire her, lessons she’s gleaned from horses, and her “love of horse, which have been featured in Horse Network.
She lives near Boston, where she writes, bikes, hikes, and rides horses.