A Memoir by Lisa Vaughn

Lisa was conservatively raised in a Catholic family in no-where middle America, where excitement is scarce and dreams are for sleeping. Little did she know, at age thirteen, she would suddenly find herself on a totally different path.

Through an unlikely chance meeting of a fellow classmate, she's surprisingly mesmerized, almost consumed, to befriend a girl who is obviously from the other side of the tracks...the cool side. Lisa does whatever she has to just to be accepted into this small club of coolness. Little did she realize, she was signing up for a lot more than social status. The two best friends find themselves innocently taking their relationship to a foreign level neither had experienced or saw coming.

A rollercoaster ride littered with choices and challenges Lisa never fathomed facing, especially in no-where middle America. She will find out what she is made of as she faces the consequences and struggles that come along with going against the grain.

Throughout their six year relationship, you will witness a touching story of human nature at its best...and at its worst. Showing just how far the human spirit can be challenged and pushed to a point where your “fight or flight” instincts naturally kick in. Struggling just to survive in a world where you are not like everyone else, but at the same time you really are. The daily struggles - both internal and external - are exhausting, yet necessary in their quest for one simple human need....love.

Finally breaking through all constraints that hold them back, reaching levels of one-ness that few actually obtain in a lifetime with their partner...only to find once they've reached that special place, it's not quite the right fit...for one of them, at least.

This contemporary story, told in the voice of the teen that lived it, will lead the reader through highs and lows, giving insight to the everyday challenges of the socially unaccepted, which will no doubt leave them rooting for the underdog. A true story of human resilience and the power of love...plain and simple.

*Please be advised, this memoir is real, honest, and raw. If you're looking for your typical 'sterilized' read, I'm not your girl - but if you're looking for a read that is written from the heart, certain to impact you on a human level, follow me! Have I got a story for you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday's Mindset of a Hippie-Chick-A View Inside My Head As I See It...

Well, I've decided to start a new weekly segment entitled 'Monday's Mindset'. A glimpse inside my mind and whats in it...which sometimes is a happy place, but other times, yes, I have a rant...hey, I'm only human, just like you. So here's this week's debut, you might not agree, but hope you enjoy!

Well we all know it's coming...we all dread it...we all FEAR it - 'Criticism Of Our Work'.
I don't care who you are, or what you put 'out there' for criticism, it's just bound to happen - that one voice that rises above the sea of 'good' - that pulsating *RED* flashing bad review or comment. 
In my case it came as a 'not-so-great' book review of my memoir.
I'm an artist by nature, so critique is certainly nothing new to me, but thats not to say I 'like' it, but I do expect not everyone is going to enjoy my work - that's just a given in the art world, not everyone has the same taste. But this book thing is a new medium for me. 
Now, I'll be the first to stand up and admit, I am by no means an accomplished author or english major, far from it! In fact, I've never taken a writing class, and I certainly do not remember what my ancient english teachers tried to pound into my head so many years ago...to me that was boring and a waste of my time, I'd rather be sitting in art class where I belonged. With that said, I certainly am not an idiot, and pride myself in my ability to tell a story. And that's how I approached my latest 'art project' when I wrote my memoir, The Gifted Ones. I knew I had a great story, but more importantly, a message to convey, which I did...the only way I knew how - by being myself, telling it like it happened -  much like talking to an old friend. That's not to say I didn't 'fret' over punctuation, proper grammar, usage of words, etc, etc..in fact, I found myself SO wrapped up in that part that I almost forgot why I wrote the book in the first place! I knew I risked losing my voice as a result of over-editing, something I truly did not want to happen. So after many read throughs, and re-hashings, I hit the 'publish' button and sat back to hear what the 'public's' reaction would be. What I thought would be the most joyful time of my life (I had just PUBLISHED my life story!) turned out to be the most fearful! (I had just published MY life story! Egads!)
I took to the couch with my favorite blanket and lost ten pounds. 
Side note: I purposely chose to go 'indie' and self-publish for the pure luxury of being in total control. I didn't want anyone telling me how to tell my story. Same way I approach my artwork: solo! To me, my art (or writing) is a very personal place in my soul that can only be understood and executed by me, myself, and I.  
Fast Forward: Slowly the reviews started coming in. Much to my surprise they were good! A lot of them great as a matter of fact. Seems I was touching a nerve with many, and they related to my story, in fact they were REALLY relating to it, on the level I had hoped...they WERE 'getting it'! Yay! Life was good...great in fact. I walked on air. I had done it!
And then...yep...the stinky egg. Like I said, I knew it was coming...it just had to. 
The reviewer I am speaking of, in all fairness, did have some positive things to say, although unfortunately she chose to focus on her pet peeves, especially with indie reads. As she pointed out, she does not really enjoy self-published books, as she claims they are not edited properly (by professionals) and not monitored for overall content or proper punctuation. Hum. Okay, I can dig that. She's obviously one of the 'English major types'...that's cool. But the sad part is, I think she totally missed out on my entire message and purpose for writing my memoir in the first place. To criticize me for using bold type, or all caps in certain areas for purpose of expression, might have been unreasonable to her, and not 'proper' writing practice, but it was very necessary to me, and fit my writing style perfectly. Did I use phrases like 'should of' instead of 'should have'...yeah, I'm sure I did. Like I said, my style is easy breezy, not stiff and text-book like. I find it funny that almost all my reviews have commented positively on my 'unique' writing style. Yeah, she's right, I didn't follow the rules - I'm an artist, in my world there are no rules. Maybe that IS the true face of indie reads, and what sets them apart - we do not follow rules, we follow our voice. Of course I'm not saying a book full of typos and gibberish is a good idea, of course not. But to focus only on 'proper old school' writing techniques is sadly missing the whole point of what an indie author is all about. And to tell you the truth, I have found plenty of typos or misuse of common words within popular works by big name publishing companies. In fact, I'd almost bet in EVERY book I read there are some mistakes here or there...hey, we're human, people! We make mistakes! Did it ruin the whole read for me? Of course not. I prided myself for noticing the mistake, and moved on...enjoying the read. 
Bottom Line:  
Okay, maybe she just didn't dig my story, period. I can deal with that. I'm not for everyone, I know that...my ego isn't THAT big! But to trash a whole book for a few 'modern spins' on old school grammar rules is tragic to me. Where's the fun of being yourself in that? 
Freedom of speech and expression...isn't that what defines 'Indie'? It does to me at least. But what do I know? I'm just a hippie chick expressing herself...once again!  

(And by the way,I KNOW you looked for mistakes in this piece..and I'm certain you found some! Good for you! You're on your toes and alert...I like that. Now go have a great day, and enjoy something indie!)


  1. Hey Lisa - I'm really sorry that happened to you. I had an editor completely change my 1st 5 pgs - so much so that my main character lost his "10 yr old boy speak" I was so annoyed that I went with my gut & threw her suggestions into the trash. So far, I've been getting all good reviews, but I know that "one" & prob more are coming. Like you said - it's okay if someone doesn't like your book or style of writing (different opinions are what makes the world go round.) But to rip one's work because it doesn't comply with stuffy rules is just wrong!! I'm with you!

  2. Everyone's a critic, but only special people will understand that you're speaking with your soul and won't try to change it to fit a certain standard. Basically, listen to what helps, throw away anything that doesn't. And best of luck to you, always!


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