Here’s the thing: I am interested in a lot of stuff. I do a lot of stuff. So what, exactly, would I say about me that would be useful to you? Heck if I know. Here’s stuff about me in no particular order, except for the first thing, which is professional me in a nutshell. Okay, not exactly a nutshell, but a brief writing bio that a literary agent or publisher might find useful.
Lif Strand Author Bio
- Currently I’m writing in two fiction genres: fantasy (magic realism, paranormal, and/or dragons — no elves, fairies, or swords); also contemporary southwestern mystery.
- I’ve completed a novel in each of the above genres and am seeking a literary agent for them. I’ve had two fantasy stories published (Sallya On Fire, The Arcanist, November 28, 2018, and Being Me, DreamForge, May 2019. I have self-published two dragon-based chapbooks that are not on the market at this time (see nifty photo at bottom of this page). And more…
- In 2003 I received the E. H. Shaffer Award (second place, news writing) from New Mexico Press Association in the Weekly Newspapers, Class 1 category.
- Work experience, education, and other credentials (resume)
- I’m currently creating covers for two authors’ books.
- I’m a roadie & beta reader for author Steven F Havill.
Okay, here’s the long, rambling version.
First thing you should know about me is that I’m a hermit. I like my privacy. I live way out back in New Mexico, off the grid. I like the challenges of my primitive (relatively speaking… after all, I’ve got internet access) lifestyle.
I’ve hiked all my life. I love hiking. I don’t need a trail. I’m one of those people who can’t get lost. I might not know exactly where I am at a given moment but I can always find my way to where I need to go. Hiking is a form of meditation for me.
I’ve always been into all kinds of art. I didn’t just want to fool around with art — I wanted to be an artist. So I went to art school. That didn’t work out. So then I decided to become a philosophy major. That morphed into graduate school in linguistics. But I didn’t want to study language, I wanted to use language. So dropped out and went into the horse business (because that’s such a logical progression).
My husband and I were Arabian horse breeders and marketers, and endurance riders. At one point we had something like 35 horses. I trained them, spending half my life in the saddle, it seemed. I completed the hardest hundred mile endurance race in the world twice. I thought I’d ride forever, but then not long after we moved to New Mexico my two soulmates died — first my husband and then my stallion — and somehow riding, much less racing, lost its appeal. I still have horses, if not so many, and I’ve kept one of my old stallion’s sons (photo above) but it’s just not the same. I might get back on a horse again someday because I loved riding and I love my horses. You never know.
I taught myself how to program back in the early days of computers. I developed a bunch of websites for people, but ugh, I do not like maintaining them. So I don’t do that anymore. I still do social media volunteer work for a few organizations, though. Gotta keep the halo polished somehow.
When I was in my 20s my dad gave me his old Leica to replace my Brownie camera, and I learned how to process black & white photos in a friend’s darkroom. I was already fascinated with photography, and later when I got my Canon SLR I built my own darkroom for printing color slides. I knew I could be a professional photographer given half a chance (or with a whole lot of effort), but I got diverted by financial realities.
Music. I love music. I started out with classical music. I learned how to play the violin, taught myself guitar, and now mess with a tenor uke and my kalimba – 10 key thumb piano). But classical music gave way in my teen year to Motown and blues, and then I discovered rock music and that’s all she wrote. I still love classical music but Jimmy Page. End of that story.
And oh yeah, I write
I scribbled silly stories as a kid. Wrote for my high school literary journal. Wrote articles for horse publications. All for free. Finally, when I was tired of struggling as a substitute teacher — bound to fail there because I don’t like kids — I started writing for money. I was a news reporter for a regional weekly for a while, then was snatched up by a research center at Western New Mexico University, which eventually led to becoming a freelance nonfiction writer-for-hire for local governments and businesses.
I started writing about music and magic, because the creative act is a kind of magic. I also blog about my homesteading/thrivalist lifestyle here on the blog part of my website, with older stuff on my old blogger account). Daily nattering happens most often on Facebook, not so much on other social media. But while I enjoy blogging, what I’ve always wanted to do was write fiction. I’m writing (and have published) short stories, have self-published a couple chapbooks (not for sale), and I’ve finished a couple novels. So far no publisher takers on the novels but I keep working at it.
I do creative acts. It’s all magic.
If you’d like to support an artist/writer (me), that would be cool. I have a Patreon account and hope you’d consider the fact that at even at just $1 per month you’d really boost my ego and keep me enthused and I’d be ever so grateful!
Also, you can sign up for my newsletter and (in theory) I’ll keep you updated via email about what’s going on with my art and my writing. If there’s anything I’ll be offering (artwork or books or whatever) for sure I’ll let my subscribers and patrons know first. Sometimes I might just send you a little thing with my thoughts just because I appreciate what you’re doing for me. Thank you!
You can, of course, just send money for no reason at all. Just use the donate button below. But honestly — I’d prefer you did it because you want to support my approach to the creative act.