Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Creativity Facilitator

A Mourning Surprise

by Lisa A Kramer
Last night I went to see the Okoboji Summer Theatre production of MY WAY. I missed the opening night on Tuesday because I was doing a round trip drive to pick a director up in Minneapolis (3+ hours one way). I'd been looking forward to the production for a number of reasons: who doesn't like Frank Sinatra the cast was fabulous Nathan (my husband) designed the set (which was gorgeous) One of my favorite lighting designers was doing the lights. Rob Doyen and Musical Director Tom Andes rehearse for the production. (Image from the Okoboji Summer Theatre)

As I expected the production was delightful. Music, charm, fabulous singing, beautiful costumes, men in tuxes, a little schmaltz, a little cheese. A delightful evening,...

Getting to Know You . . .

by Lisa A Kramer
Hello everyone! Welcome new subscribers!

I'm sitting here in one of my favorite summer coffee shop escapes, thinking about the life of my blog/website. My move over from the original Woman Wielding Words led to a HUGE drop in followers. Understandable, I suppose. I try not to take it personally. I have also noticed a general drop in posts from blogs I follow, and an overall drop in comments. So perhaps it's simply that blogging has its ebb and flow. That's okay too.

After all, it is summer and perhaps people are out living lives, enjoying nature and family, and avoiding technology. I'm all for that.

As much as I wish I could claim hundreds if not thousands of readers, I also realized something...

This is Me

by Lisa A Kramer
"Did you ever look in the mirror so long that your face didn't make sense anymore? It just becomes all these shapes. Just shapes. Not good or bad." (Noelle, TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS)

It happens more and more often lately. I look at a picture of myself and I say, that can't possibly be me. I see the graying hair, the added laugh lines, the marks of gravity, the sagging eyes which look more and more like my dad who always had hang dog eyes, the discolorations, the weight . . . I see it all and wonder when I became this person.

I know that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes. I was reminded about this today when I stumbled...

I Dance With Light

by Lisa A Kramer
I was once a human child, but that was not my destiny.

I was born to share the secrets that can only be heard and felt in the between times--in the time when darkness and light meet to allow entry between worlds.

I am one of the guardians of the gate, one of the dancers of the light. I send messages hidden in the air, depending on the audience and the importance. Sometimes my messages shoot through the sky--as inspiration, as warning. I am the spark, the firefly, the flame.

Sometimes the deeper messages lie hidden in the mists. The gleam of the never-ending dance between darkness and light--for neither can survive without the other.

How did this happen? How did I become something...

I Hear Them . . .

by Lisa A Kramer
I hear them, calling out to me, in voices that whisper just beyond understanding.

"Tell my story," they say.

"Let my voice be heard."

"Pick me, pick me!"   Unknown voices from the past whose stories have yet to be told. Souls wandering the earth, yearning to be heard, to connect, to be remembered. Spirits of nature, lost in the vagaries of time, longing to reconnect with human voices. Imaginary voices gathering dreams as they hope to be given life.

They are all there, whispering, touching, feeling, being.

And yet . . .

I cannot find the way in. I cannot write the stories down. I cannot hear the voices clearly enough to give the stories the life they deserve.

I am lost in the wilderness of voices.

Can you...

The Moon Made Me Do It

by Lisa A Kramer
I was browsing through some random writing from the past few months in search of inspiration and found this so I thought I'd share. Enjoy! ;)

I couldn't help myself. The moon shone silver and spectacular, opulent in its pregnant fullness. It called out my name in a voice I hear with my body, not my ears. It said, "come out and play."

So I did.

I walked out the door in my nightshirt and bare feet. I suppose it was chilly out, but I didn't feel it. I didn't think about checking on the kids or locking the door. They're old enough to be left alone for a while anyway. They are both teenagers and both drive. They don't need me anymore.


Life at One Inch

by Lisa A Kramer
Hello! Hello down there. Can you see me?

Look up. Way up. I'm visiting with my friends the osprey family and I noticed you walking by.


You might think it's dangerous for a small person like myself to hang out with osprey, but that's just foolish big people thinking. Tiny people know how to get along with our friends in nature. Osprey love fish, and I have a deal with this family to help them find the juiciest locations for fishing, in exchange for occasional rides for business or pleasure. Today I helped Mr. Osprey find some fish to feed the little ones and then decided to come up and visit them in their nest. Some strange and fascinating big people have...

Words Should Be More Powerful Than Money

Words Should Be More Powerful Than Money
by Lisa A Kramer
Soap Box Time! I don't know about you, but I've been inundated today with e-mails requesting donations to support causes I believe in, and programs I admire. Many of them are, of course, political. I don't have money to give--but there's more to my reluctance to donate than that simple fact. I believe that money is the PROBLEM! If the challenges we face can only be solved by throwing more money at it, then our system is broken beyond repair. We shouldn't have to buy advertisements to put people in office who work for the people rather than for their own personal agendas. We shouldn't have to throw money into negative campaigns to fight for justice and equality and the other things that...

Confused Thoughts on a Changing World

by Lisa A Kramer
My thoughts fly through the air like silken ribbons of color escaping on a whirlwind. I try to gather them together in search of meaning, of hope. They elude me. I look for signs of possibility in the creative life around me . . . by reading the words of others, by watching a choreographer create, by soaking in the powerful energy of imagination.

Once in a while I am reminded of how much the world has changed, but the change doesn't always seem to be for the best.. My joy over the SCOTUS decision about DOMA is tempered by its decision that opens the way to voter rights restrictions which will only emphasize the racism and prejudice that still dominates...

The Moon Calls

The Moon Calls
by Lisa A Kramer
In honor of the super moon, I thought I would repost this little piece of fiction originally posted on March 21, 2011 at Women Wielding Words (the former incarnation of this blog) The Woman moves silently through the sleeping household, pulling on a silken bathrobe as she cautiously makes her way toward the sliding back door. The tide surges in her blood and she cannot sleep. She hears a mysterious call that echoes from inside her head, if only she could understand what the voice was saying.

She slides open the door and steps out into the night air. A cool breeze whispers more secrets as it ruffles her hair gently. The sounds of night hesitate for only a moment, sensing the intruder...

Reading Recommendations

by Lisa A Kramer
For a short time as I ventured deeper into the world of writing, I thought I would write book reviews as a way of building a larger audience.

That didn't last long for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most important reason, in my opinion, is that reviews tend to either crush the breath out of someone or make their heads swell so much they stop trying to improve. Reviews don't help, except when it comes to book sales.

Another reason, closely related to the "crush or swell" possibility, is the fact that I am actually starting to form relationships (virtual and in person) with many writers--all of whom have ventured into a scary and emotional journey. Many of them have decided...

Pirate Captain Sarah Lee* Reporting for Blogging Duty

by Lisa A Kramer
Yesterday I mentioned I was going to a Pirate Picnic at Sarah's school, which really entailed her fourth grade classmates sharing a booklet of writing about pirates with their guests while sitting on a towel in the gym and nibbling on snacks.  They all prepared little booklets that contained narrative writing, descriptive writing, opinion writing, and expository writing. For those of you newish to my blog, I occasionally share my daughter's writing, to encourage her to keep at it. So today's post is an excerpt from the booklet, her descriptive writing piece: The Evil Caribbean Pirate Ahoy there matey. AHOY THERE MATEY, ugh . . . avast you shall go no farther. I have something for you! I have met a pirate,...

Morning Moments

by Lisa A Kramer
I wake, early as usual, torn between relishing the moments of silence and yearning to return to sleep.  I glance over to my daughter sleeping beside me, after a middle of the night journey into my room.

"I can't sleep," she said.

"Climb in," I said, too tired to fight.

I didn't notice until this morning that she brought my old teddy bear blanket with her, remnant of my college days that has now become her safety zone, her comfort.

Warm, Cozy, Safe

I know sleep will not return, so I take a chance and turn on the light. Nothing wakes her. I open a book, inspirational, beautiful, awe-inspiring. Written by my former professor, the prose makes me aspire to become...

Sometimes Dreams Require a Helping Hand

by Lisa A Kramer

Walking toward a dream. Photo by Steve Kramer

We all have dreams. We all have goals in life that keep us moving in some kind of direction, even if the destination lies in the mist ahead.

So many of us who write blogs dream of becoming published authors, but that's not the only dream that exists in this blogging world. Some dream of making a difference in the world; some dream of making connections. Some dream of finding a way to travel and share experiences. Some dream of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail to prove to themselves and the world that they are not limited by disabilities or anything else. Some dream of becoming journalists or public speakers....

It's Not About Me! A Morning Epiphany

by Lisa A Kramer
"All of them, the novelists, the story writers, the poets, desperately long to win. If there is a prize, then there is someone somewhere on earth who desires it. Grown men pace their homes and scheme about ways to win things, and small children hyperventilate over the prospect of gold-plated trophies for penmanship, for swimming, for just being cheerful."  (Meg Wolitzer, THE WIFE: A NOVEL) It seems inevitable. I wrote my post celebrating the magic that happens when you dip in the creative pool, and then I get sucked into a whirlpool of worry and doubt a few hours later.

Why do I do this to myself?

It started, I think, when I got an e-mail. You know that excited thrill you get...

I Love it When . . .

by Lisa A Kramer
I love it when . . .

. . . my words and ideas flow from me with a life of their own.

. . . I can revisit ideas that never quite came to fruition, and give them new life.

. . . I don't let my fears and doubts stop me. I dive in, and say, "to hell with my inner critic, I'm doing this anyway."

. . . I wake up in the morning feeling like anything is possible.

. . . I feel the connection with the creative pool that surround us, and with the energy that connects us.

. . . time passes and I don't notice it, as I am caught in the creative flow.

I love it when that happens,...

The Dark Side of Magic

by Lisa A Kramer
Don't listen to the fairy tales, my children.

Listen, instead, to me. I can teach you about magic, for I learned the lesson the hard way. Of course, I know you won't heed my warnings. You won't listen to my evidence. You won't hear.

You will choose to believe what you want to believe. You will search for magic that can make dreams come true. Just as I did.

I don't blame you. I fell for the fantasy as well. The fairy tales teach us that there is good magic, and bad. We've come to believe that fairies represent the light, with their pixie dust and glowing giggles. A flick of the wrist, a snap of the fingers and everything we wish for...

Juggling Time

by Lisa A Kramer
I like writing in the morning Ding dong, the words are gonna fly Character's speaking Adventures peaking It quickly makes the time go by! [Sung to the tune of "I'm Getting Married in the Morning] I have recently realized that I am a morning person. I prefer to do everything in the morning: exercise, run errands, teach classes, pay bills, and write, write, write. If I don't get things started in the morning, very little gets done. Ah, but there's a few problems with this system.

I'm a director of theatre . . . well, I still want to direct theatre productions. The theatre world is diametrically opposed to those who function better in the morning. So if and when I direct, I need to somehow become a morning person,...

Endings and New Beginnings

by Lisa A Kramer
"Today's show, "Hit the Road," stories of heading out into the unknown during the time in your life when it means the most, specifically when you are still figuring out who you are." (Ira Glass)  

The above quote from Ira Glass can be heard when he introduces Act II of "Hit the Road" on This American Life. I listened to a downloaded podcast of the program as I returned from driving my brother back to my mother's house after his most recent stint playing "Uncle Dad"--helping me out with Sarah so I could work after school programs while Nathan is away at a summer theatre job.

The statement struck me, because I wonder if anyone ever stops trying to figure out who we really...

Living a Life of Passion

by Lisa A Kramer
Once in a while I'm reminded that there are people out there who have mastered the art of living life with joy and passion--they represent the goal and the dream.

Sarah bought me a butterfly today. A symbol of my need to change, find my beauty, and fly.

Artists, writers, non-profit advocates--people who don't think about the paycheck or the title, but live to create, to learn, to share, to love, and to enjoy life.

I admit that, when that reminder comes, I feel a twinge of envy, and a dollop of regret. I find myself wandering into the realm of "what if . . . " What if I became brave enough to let all the "have to's" go...