Lisa Michelle Hess has lived in every state on the Pacific Coast and loved the people in all of them. Over the years, she’s been a journalist, non-profit consultant, bookseller, and literature teacher, which were all her favorite jobs while she had them. Her current favorite career is Bookpusher at the Boise Public Library in Boise, Idaho, where she lives with one husband, one dog, and two turtles. You can find some of Lisa’s other stories in Passageways: A Short Story Collection. The Ghost of Gold Creek is her first full-length novel.

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    From The Heart

    “…and Mary treasured up all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Most mothers love to tell about the day their children were born. These are some of our best stories, overflowing with life-threatening suspense, transformation, the miraculous and in the end, joy. As with all our stories, we make choices about what to include and what to leave out, depending on the audience, depending on the purpose in the telling. But none of our stories can match Mary’s. How happy she must have been to sit down with Luke and have a chance to tell her account of Jesus’ miraculous conception and dramatic birth, which she had been…

  • Fiction Friday

    Best Christmas Ever!

    Creative non-fiction from Lisa Hess... "Outside, shapes started to emerge from the dark and the fog—a frosty white Christmas is a gift in itself—and as I listened to the sound of my family starting to stir, I thought about how happy Jake’s joy made me that Christmas morning. There are few gifts more precious to a parent than seeing your children overtaken by joy. Nothing compares."

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Wrestling With the Craft, Together

    My friend and fellow ICW member Angela and I had a brief FB discussion today about how we visualize our writing. This season of her journey, she compares finding the right words to Jacob wrestling the angel for the blessing. It’s a great analogy. Whereas, I’m at a phase of novel revision in which crafting, molding, refiring and refining again—wordsmithing—is how I picture my work. This made me think of all the different writing phases where we ICW writers find ourselves this holiday season, as we walk this journey together. There are proven techniques for crafting a good book or novel, and also for successfully becoming a published author. But…

  • Fiction Friday

    White Noise

    “…for Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men’s faces.” ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins Sometimes, when I can’t sleep for nightmares of our past, I’ll tune in to listen to the AIs argue among themselves. Their interaction produces an interesting kind of white noise. The sound is a strange, musical cacophony, a mélange of squeaks, hoots, bangs and crashes reminiscent of distant city sounds, in the time before this time. I wouldn’t say I find the sounds soothing, exactly. But reassuring? Yes. They haven’t even noticed we’re gone, and hopefully never will. But both the…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The End

    “The opposite of the happy ending is not actually the sad ending. The sad ending is sometimes the happy ending. The opposite of the happy ending is actually the unsatisfying ending.” ~ Orson Scott Card “Just look at the language we use to talk about endings. Nobody ever accuses the beginning of a story of being a “cop-out,” or a “cheat,” or of “falling flat.” Beginnings don’t have to pay off anything, or explain everything. The beginning of the story hooks us, and makes a bunch of promises — and then the ending has to deliver on all those promises. So perhaps it’s not surprising that it’s slightly easier to…

  • Fiction Friday


    I can’t understand why she cares so much about the admittedly inappropriate nature of the name we’ve chosen. I rack my brain, trying to make sense of this attitude I’m getting from her. Why these waves of criticism crashing toward me from across the desk?

  • Monday Meditations

    One Note

    There are two versions of the same song on this album I own. The first version is slow and soulful, the other one has a techno beat. I like the techno version, it’s different, interesting. But the soulful one has something the other doesn’t—one note. I was listening to this album the other day while I was driving around, my phone was on shuffle and the two versions just happened to play in succession. At one point, I turned to the person riding with me and said, “That note, right there. That is why this version is my favorite.” My passenger raised an eyebrow, the artist I was listening to…