About Lisa

Author, Poet & Grandmother

Strands of my Life

We’re all on a journey of awakening to who we’ve come here to be. As we travel through a world teetering on the brink of extinction, how do we keep our balance and stay on track? I’m offering a light-hearted wake-up call, some much needed inspiration and a revealing glance at my own struggles.

Writing, connection, curiousity, activism, evidence-based truth, a passion for justice, and a drive towards authenticity are the common themes in the apparently unrelated strands of my life.  I weave these strands together in Bristol where I live with my two grandchildren, my partner since 1990 and my guru – Maggie, the cat. I straddle the Atlantic with roots in the United States where I was born in 1952 and branches in England where I came in 1975.

Strands of my Life

We’re all on a journey of awakening to who we’ve come here to be. As we travel through a world teetering on the brink of extinction, how do we keep our balance and stay on track? I’m offering a light-hearted wake-up call, some much needed inspiration and a revealing glance at my own struggles.

Writing, connection, curiousity, activism, evidence-based truth, a passion for justice, and a drive towards authenticity are the common themes in the apparently unrelated strands of my life.  I weave these strands together in Bristol where I live with my two grandchildren, my partner since 1990 and my guru – Maggie, the cat. I straddle the Atlantic with roots in the United States where I was born in 1952 and branches in England where I came in 1975.

The Poetry Strand

As a child, I filled notebooks with rhyming verse. When I was ten, I discovered a poem hidden in my current notebook written by my younger brother. He complained in free verse about the unfairness of our mother. I replied in rhyme. It was an early example of the power of poetry to connect. Since then, I’ve continued to express myself poetically on any theme that takes my interest – my love for my feet, why the dinosaurs died, the five languages of love, a backpack left on a beach in Lesvos and many more.

The Poetry Strand

As a child, I filled notebooks with rhyming verse. When I was ten, I discovered a poem hidden in my current notebook written by my younger brother. He complained in free verse about the unfairness of our mother. I replied in rhyme. It was an early example of the power of poetry to connect. Since then, I’ve continued to express myself poetically on any theme that takes my interest – my love for my feet, why the dinosaurs died, the five languages of love, a backpack left on a beach in Lesvos and many more.

The Jewish Strand

My Jewish journey started in Baltimore as an ardent teenage Zionist until a summer in Israel in 1968 took me in the opposite direction. In 2005, I travelled to Israel and the Occupied Territories with a Compassionate Listening delegation, a trip which inspired my novel, Checkpoint. Back home in Bristol, I led workshops on compassionate listening and joined a liberal synagogue where I became a lay service leader. Years later, finding liberal Judaism a bit dry for my spiritual tastes, I studied sacred Hebrew chanting with Rabbi Shefa Gold.

The Jewish Strand

My Jewish journey started in Baltimore as an ardent teenage Zionist until a summer in Israel in 1968 took me in the opposite direction. In 2005, I travelled to Israel and the Occupied Territories with a Compassionate Listening delegation, a trip which inspired my novel, Checkpoint. Back home in Bristol, I led workshops on compassionate listening and joined a liberal synagogue where I became a lay service leader. Years later, finding liberal Judaism a bit dry for my spiritual tastes, I studied sacred Hebrew chanting with Rabbi Shefa Gold.

The Scientist Strand

An interest in public health and a respect for the scientific method inspired by my biostatistician dad propelled me to do a first degree in microbiology and an MSc in environmental technology. This set me up for a fascinating and varied career in environmental health research and journalism. A few of the topics I wrote about: toothpaste claims and indoor air pollution for the Consumers’ Association; fibroids and genital warts for Women’s Health; the risk factors for severe ME  (chronic fatigue syndrome) [Biology and Medicine, 1 (4): 50-74, 2009] and the human health impact of waste management practices at the University of the West of England. My favourite topic is the health benefits of organic food. Read about the rat and the white loaf, the dialogue between a sceptic and a believer, a summary of the scientific arguments and an article on the link between organic food and cancer risk.

The Scientist Strand

An interest in public health and a respect for the scientific method inspired by my biostatistician dad propelled me to do a first degree in microbiology and an MSc in environmental technology. This set me up for a fascinating and varied career in environmental health research and journalism. A few of the topics I wrote about: toothpaste claims and indoor air pollution for the Consumers’ Association; fibroids and genital warts for Women’s Health; the risk factors for severe ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) and the human health impact of waste management practices at the University of the West of England. My favourite topic is the health benefits of organic food. Read about the rat and the white loaf, the dialogue between a sceptic and a believer, a summary of the scientific arguments and an article on the link between organic food and cancer risk.

The Lesbian Parenting Strand

1980s

Moved to London and met the pioneers of self insemination. Got pregnant and gave birth to my daughter. The lesbian baby boom took off. Wrote first guidebook to getting pregnant.

1990s

Changed status from single to couple. Wrote Challenging Conceptions – Planning a Family by Self Insemination in 1994 and What About the Children? Sons and Daughters of Lesbians and Gay Men Speak About their Lives in 1996. Led workshops in cities across Britain for lesbians thinking about getting pregnant.  Sunday Mercury headline: ‘Uproar over ‘sick’ DIY pregnancy workshop.’

‘Congratulations! The panel has considered your application and we are pleased to inform you that they recommend your approval as foster carers.’

“Lesbian can make better parents” –  shock horror headline on front page of Sunday Express. 

Did a few rounds on TV talk shows – made a small dent in the ranks of ignorance and homophobia.

The Lesbian Parenting Strand

1980s

Moved to London and met the pioneers of self insemination. Got pregnant and gave birth to my daughter. The lesbian baby boom took off. Wrote first guidebook to getting pregnant.

1990s

Changed status from single to couple. Wrote Challenging Conceptions – Planning a Family by Self Insemination in 1994 and What About the Children? Sons and Daughters of Lesbians and Gay Men Speak About their Lives in 1996. Led workshops in cities across Britain for lesbians thinking about getting pregnant.  Sunday Mercury headline: ‘Uproar over ‘sick’ DIY pregnancy workshop.’

‘Congratulations! The panel has considered your application and we are pleased to inform you that they recommend your approval as foster carers.’

“Lesbian can make better parents” –  shock horror headline on front page of Sunday Express. 

Did a few rounds on TV talk shows – made a small dent in the ranks of ignorance and homophobia.

2000s

Set up PinkParents  – a UK-wide organisation by and for lesbian and gay parents. Wrote another guide to lesbian parenting – It’s a Family Affair – the complete lesbian parenting guide published by Diva Books. Respite foster care for two sisters, followed by full time foster care for the youngest for 5 years. My daughter became a teenager. Campaigned against discrimination in fertility services. Spoke to MPs at the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Led training for social workers on gay and lesbian issues in adoption and fostering. Had a civil partnership ceremony. 

2010s

Became a grandmother. Upgraded to marriage when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into effect.

2000s

Set up PinkParents  – a UK-wide organisation by and for lesbian and gay parents. Wrote another guide to lesbian parenting, It’s a Family Affair – the complete lesbian parenting guide published by Diva Books. Respite foster care for two sisters, followed by full time foster care for the youngest for 5 years. My daughter became a teenager. Campaigned against discrimination in fertility services. Spoke to MPs at the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Led training for social workers on gay and lesbian issues in adoption and fostering. Had a civil partnership ceremony. 

2010s

Became a grandmother. Upgraded to marriage when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into effect.

Sign up to my newsletter

for a light-hearted wake-up call, some much needed inspiration and a revealing glance at my own struggles.

FREE Short Story for Newsletter Subscribers

A short story with a tall challenge: can you remain friends when you have totally incompatible world views and both of you are right?