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!