Over the past several months, I began reviewing artwork and photographs taken over my lifetime to make them available for sale. A good friend was selling her artwork on RedBubble and sparked my interest and inspiration!
All images are offered as framed wall art, prints, art boards, posters, journals, greeting cards and postcards. I will share new items and collections as I make them available.
Let me know what you think! I thank all of my friends and family who support me!
I know everything feels awful right now. I know you are learning about things you never heard of before, seeing things that are disturbing and wondering if there will ever be an end to it.
Here is the deal—we are experiencing a massive, earthshaking social reckoning that encompasses every wrong and injustice that has occurred to People of Color, with the focus on Black people as they experience the brunt of our unjust system.
This social reckoning encompasses all that has happened since the Atlantic slave trade and the founding of America, every event all along the way through the years leading up to 2020 from the Civil War and the unfinished work of Reconstruction that followed, Jim Crow Segregation, the rise of the KKK and the modern day imprisonment of Black people.
As children, we were never taught the full truth of American history. The absence of critical stories, events and people obscured by gaslighting, the worst atrocities excluded from textbooks, our very language encoded with racist ideas and practices invisible to us growing up and preserved because of our ignorance to it. The book Lies My Teacher Told Me, only scratched the surface.
This is not our fault. We were born into this mess. But, now that we know. We need to reckon with it head on, because it will never go away and only get worse if we do nothing.
It hurts. All of it. You want to look away, not deal with it. But, we must. I am. It hurts me. All of it. But, I must look and listen and engage and grow because ultimately, as a white person, I have the power to change it. That’s what you need to understand. White people must change it and make it right for our children. Hate is a cancer. The future demands that all people cooperate and get along and take care of each other. It is the only way we will survive the challenges ahead and social justice for People of Color is connected to environmental justice and climate change. All roads lead to this. We must fix what is broken within humanity first and everything else will naturally follow.
I know that you are uncomfortable with topics about racism and you would rather get back to your life, but I want to ask that you take this moment—this rare opportunity in a pandemic—to set aside your feelings, your guilt, your arguments for preserving this racist system that only works for you. Place those things all to the side and give them a ‘time out’.
Then, start a conversation, watch a documentary, read a book such as White Fragility and How to Be An Anti-Racist, and then talk to your white friends and family. Get them to do the same.
And, if you disagree and that the system doesn’t work for you, that’s another reason for you to be a part of changing it. We can do this!
Imagine when we get through all of this, how much better a world we can create.
I’ve spent the day posting a timeline of President Barack Obama’s presidency on June 14, the birthday of the current occupant of the White House.
Today has been a wonderful journey back through time when we had a President who was compassionate, funny, inspiring, wise, loving, appropriate, professional, commanding, beloved, respected, honored, passionate, engaging, unassuming, intelligent, focused, reassuring, comforting, driven, moral, tempered, thoughtful, generous, humble.
President Barack Obama—I miss this voice, this cadence, this most affective leader.
Throughout Barack Obama’s Presidency, there was an unusual alignment of key events and anniversaries that corresponded with the American struggle of racism, fascism, terrorism and gun violence—50th anniversaries of Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Bloody Sunday in Selma, the March on Washington; the death of Nelson Mandela; mass shootings in Sandy Hook, South Carolina, Orlando; the 10th anniversary of September 11 and death of Osama bin Laden; the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
President Barack Obama invited, worked with, came together for and reached out to President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush many times for events when the country needed comforting from national tragedy, commemorate important anniversaries and deaths, to check in now and then as previous presidents have done all throughout American history, something that is desperately missing under this one.
The successful completion of two terms of President Barack Obama is the ultimate American success story. Don’t ever forget that. It took over two hundred years for us to get to this point, but it happened and should be celebrated. But, there is so much more work to do and it requires all white people who voted for Barack Obama to step up their game, step up their advocacy, step up their activism. We as white people must take ownership of all of it and pull up our sleeves and get to work.
I promise to put in the hard work to push for change.
I promise to use my voice to educate, advocate and inspire other white people to work toward ending systemic racism.
I promise to write, to call, to meet my leaders in my own community to change racist policies and norms.
I promise to be an advocate for those who cannot speak and help those voices be heard.
I promise to learn and grow and read and educate myself to work toward ending systemic racism while I am alive.
I refuse to quit, give up, fall apart, or give in to despair.
I refuse to believe that we cannot continue the progress we have made just a few years ago, and push to meet the challenges of this world.
We can do this again. We can choose forward not backwards, equality over prejudice, a stable healthy planet, a sustainable economy that works for everyone and work toward the eradication of systemic racism. We must.
We cannot allow the despair, the disillusion, the hate, our painful past to usurp the ‘will of the people’ from forging through this birth canal in this moment. Our survival demands that we stand together, to embrace ALL of humanity, to love and protect ALL of humanity.
I refuse to give up on this American experiment. The skeletal system is there and we can once again, fill it with a vibrant and healthy body.
One vote. One world. One humanity. One planet. One cause.
Vote in 2020. Vote in all future elections. Vote always. Vote no matter what.
I have switched gears over the last several months from working on my novel to dropping everything to focus on the climate crisis. I began writing articles on zero waste and sustainable ways businesses and individuals can decrease their carbon footprint and be part of the solution. I also made a commitment to transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle. Now in my 12th week, you can check out my progress at https://www.facebook.com/ZeroWasteSantaClarita/
I hope this article inspires you to do everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint. I would love to hear from you on this important topic!
LOS ANGELES, (April 24) — This spring, Lisa M. McDougald has released her first book, a poetry collection—The Driver, The Journey, The Fall, now available through online global retail distribution. She established a publishing company to produce her own work after four years of submitting to traditional book publishers. Observing the constant changes in marketing tools and ease of self-publishing, she made the decision to follow in the self-publishing footsteps of her favorite authors, Mark Twain and Virginia Woolf—setting up Raven Shadow Press in 2018.
Having studied graphic design at Oregon State University, Lisa has an advantage as she can design her own marketing materials and book covers, saving on the costs of producing a book.
“I had a fellow writer and successful self-published author suggest that I self-publish something small to get my name out there and see what happens. It was a bit intimidating at first, but I gave myself a full year for my first book and planned everything out. Along the way, I took advantage of the advice of my fellow writers, my editor, and studied everything on the subject of self-publishing,” says Lisa.
Many of the poems from Lisa’s collection were revisions from her personal blog on Generation X she started in 2014 – SoloGenXwarriors.com. The blog looks at various aspects of pop culture, philosophies, and history of the Gen-X zeitgeist weaving her personal experiences throughout.
Lisa further explains, “I’ve often thought that my generation, small in number and often in the background, is unique in its pathos. I wanted to explore that. I researched some of my own experiences as a reporter does, citing events that actually happened to me.”
This pathos is a characteristic of Lisa’s poetry, but, not to be overwhelming, as there is an arresting sense of hanging onto a hopeful place in a world accelerating toward an unknown climate reality. Navigating autobiography and confession, Lisa draws from intimate moments, bleak at times, but always grounded in the natural world.
Writing has always been therapeutic for me. When I have a complicated personal situation, I need to unpack the emotions and separate them out so that I can understand the best way to respond. Often, my thoughts come out on the page in poetic phrasings through imagery—water, geology, and space.
In her new book, Lisa explores uneasy feelings of her grandfather at his funeral, an abandoned broken bicycle on the street, the loneliness of being a teenager, parting ways with a dear friend, and searching for meaning in the stars.
“Ultimately, releasing this work has been a healing process. Many of these poems cover my formative years and up through 2017. It touches on observation, hope, and determined resilience—that thing that keeps us going despite the dizzying demands of life in the 21st century.”
The Driver, The Journey, The Fall is available now on Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and IndieBound. Reviews are available on Goodreads.
This is the author’s first book of poems. The collection is divided into three natural moods or seasons—we follow our speaker’s shifts through grief and despair, awareness and observation, hope and inspiration. Each poem was selected and revised from pieces written between 1991 and 2017.
In THE DRIVER, THE JOURNEY, THE FALL, Lisa M. McDougald navigates confession and autobiography, writing about a range of trials: the death of her grandfather, love lost and longed for, a co-worker’s suicide, and existential anxieties. The author meditates on her heritage by contemplating DNA; she looks upward, celestial, probing there for answers. Here is an ardent soul fighting to sustain herself in a shifting and often isolating modern world through the decay of the 20th century and the dawning of the 21st. She offers us a swing in the park—sharing moments that threaten to plunge us off a cliff, but imploring us to hang on. And we will.
“…light on exuberance and strong on exacting observation, a bit like Emily Dickinson…”
— NEIL HOWE, author and historian of American generations
“I truly appreciated reading this book…. I was surprised to feel sorrow. I was pleased to be back in touch with regret. I felt my own angst over the world’s peril. And the longer I read, the more deeply I felt my humanity….”
Countdown to my official launch date of The Driver, The Journey, The Fall—
March 26, 2019!
With National Poetry Month just around the corner, I will be focusing on marketing and connecting with readers. It has been quite the adventure from start to finish! I’ve learned a lot and super excited to see a book I have contemplated for many years, be realized. I will be sharing stories behind the poems and inviting you to ask questions about the work in future posts so stay tuned… Check out the latest reviews on Goodreads!
Promising debut from McDougald here. Had a very modern feel, covering a range of themes, some random and surprisingly poignant given the subject matter. There was a fair few poems in this collection like Lost My Heart and Valley of Memory that completely clicked with me, and others that missed the mark a little but liked regardless. Would happily pick up future works by the poet on the back of this.
Two months remaining on NetGalley! If you have an e-reader and would like to read an advanced copy of the poetry collection, The Driver, The Journey, The Fall – you can sign up and download the book. Your comments, feedback, and reviews are welcome!