Welcome to who’s on fourth where one member of the yeah write community will interview another yeah writer, and the interview will publish the fourth Monday of each month. Next in the series features Arden of Arden Ruth Writes interviewing Lisa of cheapbohemian.


yeah write on yeah write: Arden interviews Lisa 

I am very pleased that Lisa has graced us with her presence for this edition of yeah write’s Who’s on Fourth series. Lisa is a dear friend of yeah write and when she shows up to play, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Lisa began writing at a very young age. It all started with something many kids love to do: lie.

In fourth grade, I began telling outrageous lies to my classmates to get their attention. Whenever one lie inevitably unraveled, I had to invent another one to explain the first one. The more lies I told, the less anyone believed me, yet miraculously, they did not condemn me for it. Instead, I gathered an ever-widening circle of listeners for my ridiculous whoppers. I was hooked for life.

Lisa sways back and forth between blogging and her many other projects. She returned to yeah write as a frequent flyer back in late August and we couldn’t be happier to have her.

I love the prompts; they have led me to some interesting places. I am a nonfiction writer now–as a young writer, imbued with a sense of absurd tragedy and few life experiences to draw on, I wrote fiction. Now I have too much life experience to fit in anything but essays.

For the yeah write virgins out there or you lurkers waiting to dive in to one of our challenges, Lisa gave some tremendous advice that I really took to heart, as this is something I particularly struggle with when writing nonfiction:

Focus on the miniature: what makes each experience tellingly unique yet universal is often the very small thing we think has just happened to us alone: that weird thing you remembered when you were slicing an orange, or the smell of your best friend’s house when you were a kid, or the fact that your first kiss was really, really awful. You should always look for the moments that leave you feeling most alone in this life, I think, too–those are the moments that actually bond us all. There is a great line in one of Erica’s short stories (repeated for effect): “Fuck hanging on. Fuck hanging on.” That’s a deep, confessional moment, yet a tiny one. It’s a “I thought I was the only one” line.

Here at yeah write, we are constantly strategizing to find ways to set us apart from other challenges out on the web. That’s why we stress the ‘so what’ each and every week. When that idea finally clicks, you will find yourself at the top of the grid. We guarantee it. Lisa managed to sum that up perfectly:

I think what sets many of the yeah write pieces apart from others is this insistence on telling the story for your readers. How you get from the privacy of your own miniature moment, or the deep confession of your thoughts, to sharing that with us–that’s the elusive “so what”. I think readers love to see the journey of that in your structure. They want to see your discovery of why it should matter to them. The result is an intimate tone, often wildly funny and edgy. Daring. Intimate. Unforgivingly accurate.

When Lisa isn’t writing (both personally and professionally, I might add), you can probably find her nose buried in a book somewhere:

[C]oming to yeah write actually inspired me to make my “Bucket List of Books” and start the project. You can see the list here. My most consistent hobby seems to be abandoning hobbies. At one point I was a great gardener. I have managed to keep a tub full of worms happy in my basement for about four years now. I also surprised myself by learning to cook late in life, although I just ruined a pot of sesame noodles while writing this, so the jury is out on that one.

Thank you Lisa for letting us dive into your life a little further at yeah write. We are so happy to have you in our community!

Follow Lisa on Facebook at CheapBohemian and Twitter at @cheapbohemian!

[hr] Are you ready for the yeah write #198 weekly writing challenges opening this week? We hope so! Your badges await in the sidebar. Grab the code, paste into the text or HTML view of your post, then submit your post to the moderated grid for a little friendly competition. We’re glad you’re here.