Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Creativity Facilitator

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Vanquisher of Chaos by Lisa Listwa

by Lisa A Kramer
I am excited to have another Celebrating Our Unique Powers post today, especially since my power over words seems to have utterly failed me this week. I have many things started (posts, short stories, novels, poems) but can't seem to get anywhere with them. As I mentioned in a post last week, perhaps this is my time to lie fallow. But that doesn't mean I can't celebrate the rich words and amazing revelations of fellow writers. Lisa Listwa is a recent addition to my blogging family, brought to me--of course--by the incredible powers of Lizzi Rogers the People Gatherer. But, Lisa is also one I believe I was destined to meet. The tag line for her blog The Meaning of Me...

The Power of Creating Your Own Path

by Lisa A Kramer
The first day I saw this billboard, my mind yelled,"THAT'S IT!" I can't honestly say my voice didn't follow. It is quite possible that I sang out in the car.

I have seen numerous billboards put up by and liked many of them, but for some reason this particular one really speaks to me.

Perhaps it is because Einstein and I share a birthday (March 14th, just around the corner). Perhaps it is because I've always loved his crazy hair or his attitude toward the arts, education, and life. "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." Albert Einstein Or perhaps its simply the fact that there are many pictures of me in the world with my tongue sticking out. ;)

I think...

International Women's Day: A Powerful Message

by Lisa A Kramer
Once in a while I get a review about P.O.W.ER that I find disturbing. I'm not talking about negative reactions to the story or the writing (painful as those may be) but reviews written by young women (it seems) who are responding to what they see as an implausible concept--the idea that there could possibly be a world where women are treated so unjustly. "It's medieval" one said. "It's ridiculous" another said.

These reviews make my heart hurt--not because they didn't love the book. I know I can't please everyone. My heart hurts because they don't see the reality of the world around them. They don't realize these injustices exist all over the world. They see their perception of freedoms in this country...

The Power of Invisible Connections: A Review of ORDER OF SEVEN by Beth Teliho

by Lisa A Kramer
Beth Teliho's debut novel, ORDER OF SEVEN brings together rich description, powerful imagery, sensual language, and fascinating glimpses of true history mixed with fantastical legends that offer explanations about some of the biggest mysteries of human kind. It is a book that I will need to revisit, simply to uncover the hidden gems of wisdom that appear throughout, as we travel on an unexpected journey with Devi Bennett and her fellow adventurers, each who have paranormal abilities defined by the gods (or some energy that connects us all). In addition to telling an intriguing story, Teliho challenges her readers to ask deep questions: What is the purpose of life? Are we controlled by destiny? What is our responsibility to nature...

The Power of Books

by Lisa A Kramer
World Book Day!

I know, I know, it's just another random day chosen to celebrate a random thing. (I mean, do we seriously need to have a national potato chip day--which also happens to be my birthday--and things like that?).

But World Book Day is a day to truly celebrate.

After all . . . I love books.

Why are books so powerful? Why is P.O.W.ER about a world where half the population (the female half) is deprived access to the written word? Why do I want to celebrate the power of books?

Because books have the power to change the world.

Books are friends when you feel alone.

Books provide dreams when life feels hopeless.

Books celebrate universal truths--that we all have a story, desire love and community, hope for...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Uncovering My Own Secret Ability

by Lisa A Kramer
A thirty-something man stands on empty stage, a stack of rehearsal boxes next to him. His hair is pulled back in a ponytail and he wears sandals oh his feet despite the frigid temperatures and piles of snow that surround us.

"Yay America!" He says with enthusiasm, as he begins his performance, and then he takes us through his journey from enthusiastic young soldier to sniper who has pulled the trigger one too many times.

"Yay, humanity," he says at the end, his voice coated in tears.

I cannot hide my own tears, nor can several of the other students.

It is beautiful, it is powerful, it is healing.

You might have noticed that, since I started this series, I haven't really written about my...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: My Super Power by Lizzi Rogers

by Lisa A Kramer
I was so excited when Lizzi agreed to contribute to Celebrating Our Unique Powers. I only met her recently, but our paths crossed on many virtual planes: she became a member of a Facebook group that contains incredible women and writers; she was one of the founders of the #1000Speak movement which spread compassion around the world; she introduced me to the power and possibility of Spoken Word on the internet (and doesn't know that I am working on a piece that I will eventually get the courage to share). She has a magic over words that I envy--the ability to tug at emotions and share with raw honesty even her most painful realities. In a very short time, I...

Ten Things of Thankful #5: Life Unexpected

by Lisa A Kramer
1 I sit in a coffee shop facing my nerves. A man sits beside me holding a book--the story of Faust written in German. We talk about learning, about teaching, about language. I tell him I must go to my first book signing. He joins me there and shares the story of his name as I sign his book. "My name is Candelabro," he says and I learn of secrets hidden in his family's past. His life, his story, invoke the possibility of a world unfolding in a book as yet unwritten.

I am thankful for the gift of unexpected characters I meet along the way.

  2 I face the struggles of motherhood, as my daughter stretches her wings. It often seems as if we have lost the ability to communicate--our words shoot...

Lessons of An Independent Author: The Power of a Group Event

by Lisa A Kramer

I already told you I was scared, nervous  . . . terrified. I already admitted the ridiculousness of that emotion. I mean, seriously, what a "first world problem"--terrified about signing books and the possibility that nobody would be interested. I'm rolling my own eyes, trust me.

But you can't always control your emotions. The gnawing nerve monsters creep into your system before an event and whisper words of failure and distress.

My nerves took over early. The event didn't start until 7 pm, but I convinced myself that I should leave the house by 4:00. Seriously, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry, because the last time I headed in that direction to drop off books and then adjudicate...

Lessons of An Independent Author: The Power of Facing Your Fears

by Lisa A Kramer
I sit at a table in the middle of a bookstore, surrounded by magnificent shelves of books of every shape and size. It might be described as the place of my dreams . . . except . . . 

In between the stacks of books sit other authors, at their own tables, with quickly dwindling piles of their own wares. The lines of avid readers anxiously awaiting their autographs snake around the stacks, up and down staircases,  over tables and chairs, out the doors, around the building. This dream bookstore is huge and beautiful, with secret nooks to curl up and read, and books soaring to the arched ceilings. The energy of excited readers is everywhere . . . except at my...

The Power of Making Memories, Part II

by Lisa A Kramer
Andra Watkins, Author. Bond . . . James Bond. They have a similar ring, don't they?

Seriously, you have heard me mention Andra before. She is the author of two wonderful books To Live Forever and Not Without My Father. (click here purchase). I borrowed her name for the character of Andra BetScrivener. My "Celebrating Our Unique Powers" series is inspired by her "Make a Memory" series--because I love how she celebrates and inspires other writers while she pursues her own dreams. She also inspired one of my funniest posts ever, co-written with the fabulous Tori Nelson: "An Open Letter to Andra's Feet".

When Andra asked if I would contribute to her "Make a Memory" series, of course I said yes. But,...

Ten Things of Thankful #3: Thankful In Spite of Myself

by Lisa A Kramer
This has been one of those weeks when I struggle to see my own reality. Whatever I touch seems to shift onto a precarious ledge, quivering in balance whether to fall into crashing defeat or settle down into place. My blog seems to be a black hole of meaningless words, floating into the ether  where they disappear without interacting with another human being. My heart hums with loneliness, in a world that (at least today) focuses on love. The lens of my internal eye is muddied with doubt and fear, rather than open to possibilities, and I call myself names: "you are such an idiot," "dumb ass", "failure", "friendless loser."

[caption id="attachment_8753" align="aligncenter" width="447"] Something else is out there, better than...

Author Events: The POWER of a Group, Part II

by Lisa A Kramer
Hi again! Just sharing a little more information about the books/authors that will be featured at an event at Wellesley Books, on Feb. 26th. For the first post in the series, click here.

I'm really excited to meet Suzy Duffy and pick up a copy of her book, Lincoln Ladies. Somehow I feel like she and I might have a lot in common--even though she's written many more books than I have. One reader said "“I had wondered who would be filling Maeve Binchy’s shoes ….. EXCELLENT ….. Highly Recommended" that thrills me to know end, because I was an admirer of Maeve Binchy.

Night of the Furies, by J.M. Taylor looks like a a fascinating combination of history and crime and...

Lessons of An Independent Author: The POWER of Good News

by Lisa A Kramer
I would be lying if I said that everything is a breeze once the book has actually been published. It's more like a roller coaster, with very steep peaks that take forever to climb and fast-paced drops into lows so long you feel trapped forever.

Perhaps, I suppose, if you are with a top 5 publisher who pours publicity power into your book, it might feel more like the journey of a rocket. But, if you are published through a small house, have to do most of your own publicity work, don't have a huge budget and are also juggling things like jobs, family, life . . . it can feel a little bit more like climbing Mount Everest with words.


Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Women in Veils by Marcia Cebulska

by Lisa A Kramer
I met playwright  and fiction writer, Marcia Cebulska during my one year living in Kansas and working with the Inge Theatre Festival, and she is one of the high points of that year. Along with several other women and some wonderful creative opportunities, I learned the power of collaboration, community, and compassion. (Click on the above links to learn about one of those wonderful experiences). I reached out to see if she would contribute to this series, because I knew she would have a wonderful story to share, and would understand that unique abilities come in all shapes and surprises. I am delighted with her celebration of the Nuns who helped Marcia become the amazing inspiration that she is. To...

The Power of Community

by Lisa A Kramer
Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if I could answer the question "what do you do" with one simple answer.

"What do you do?"

"I am a ________."

I can't do that though, because there are so many different versions of me. Each one of them takes priority in different situations, and there isn't really one that I can say I value the most. I value them all as facets of what makes my life rich, complicated, and very, very confusing.

Recently, the talented and hilarious writer/Mom/social media expert extraordinaire Sarah Cottrell (Housewife Plus) connected me with (in her words) : "A spirited group of clever ladies who sometimes drink and swear, always laugh, and - most importantly - need a place...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Towards a More Loving, Connected, Joyous Me by Mandy Traut

by Lisa A Kramer
I only met Mandy when she contacted me about contributing to this series, but as soon as I read her post I knew she had to be part of this. The more I work with people who have disabilities of any sort, the more I see them as truly powerful and courageous people. As I wandered over to her blog Aphrodite Blossoming, I discovered a woman who is truly living life on her own terms--a phrase that has become my own personal motto in life. While her choices may not work for everyone, I admire her strength of conviction and wonderful attitude. I only hope I can learn to embrace that motto as bravely and confidently as Mandy--and discover my...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Stop Soul Stealers by Beth Teliho

by Lisa A Kramer
I only really got to know Beth Teliho recently, through a Facebook group, but I have been following her blog for a while now. I have discovered in her another "kindred spirit"--a woman who loves words, writes beautifully, and yet has many of the same doubts and fears that I face on a daily basis. I look forward to reading her upcoming book, but also getting to know her more as our friendship grows. I can't tell you how much this post made me smile, because she "kicks ass" in more ways than one. (Please not that this post has a little language). "Beth is a day-dreaming introvert, writer, artist and recovering crazy cat lady who probably doesn’t day drink at...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: My Long Game by Cameron D. Garriepy

by Lisa A Kramer
"Self-described shenaniganist and unabashed romantic Cameron D. Garriepy wrote her first romance novel on an antique typewriter, using a stack of pink paper. Detours between that draft and her publishing goals have included a BA in Music, a professional culinary education, and twelve years in the child-wrangling industry.

Cameron writes from the Metro Boston area, where she lives with her husband, son, and a poorly behaved pug. Her latest novel, Damselfly Inn, will be released April 13, 2015 by Bannerwing Books."

I met Cameron when the fabulous and talented Andra Watkins came to do a book tour for To Live Forever. Cameron and I wandered around the book store where Andra was doing a presentation and signing, blatantly clutching copies of the book...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: "Discovering My Hidden Power" by Mark Pakaluk

by Lisa A Kramer
I am not sure which of his posts brought me into the world of Mark Pakaluk (aka The Idiot) on his now defunct blog "The Idiot Speaketh" but however I got there, it introduced me to a wonderful person. You might credit Mark with my continued presence in the blogosphere. When I first started out, I didn't understand that blogging is about building community: reading, commenting, reacting, responding. Mark showed me how as he interacted with humor and kindness to every comment made on his blog. He and I became friends, often having conversations on Facebook. With Mark I  met, battled, and ultimately ignored my first internet troll. I wrote my first guest post for him. He became friends with...