Lisa's memorial service

Lisa Wolfson's (AKA LK Madigan's) memorial service was on Saturday in Portland. The place was jam-packed with friends and family, co-workers and fellow writers. Two women played piano pieces that Lisa had played (and that her husband had also arranged for them to play for her at her hospice in a private concert). We got up and told stories about Lisa.

My two favorite parts were:



Excuse the blurry photo, but her husband made a display with some of her writing from when she was a kid (Mermaid's Fun - the 78-page book she wrote when she was eight), covers from her books, and in the middle, the Morris Award. The background was the genius part - just a small selection of the rejection letters she had received, filled with the catch-phrases that any writer will recognize ("not a good fit for our list," "of course, opinions are subjective," "didn't hold my interest," "not right for us," etc.)

My other favorite part was an anecdote her neighbor told. Every year, his wife has a cookie-exchange party at Christmas. Each participant brings 12 dozen cookies to swap, and other dozen to eat. I was nodding along, thinking he was going to talk about how she became a happy part of this circle, but he said that Lisa's response when asked was, "There is no way in hell I'm baking 13 dozen cookies." Which got a big laugh but goes to show that she knew herself and her priorities.


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I am with Lisa on the cookie exchanges.. NO WAY IN HELL!!
God, we miss her here, and I can't imagine how much they miss her there!

Thirteen dozens cookies would basically take all day and then you would just give them away.

I'm getting better on the missing part if I just don't think about her too much.
There was a lot of smiling on Saturday. She leaves a big hole in our lives, but better to have had her for a while.
I love the display board that her husband made in her honor (the mermaid book is cute, and it was neat to see it after reading about it on her blog), and her response to the cookie-baking club. Thank you for this. Hugs to you.
We were all snapping photos with our phones and asking if we could blog about it. So don't be surprised if you see it in more places (and less blurry).
I felt that all those rejection letters were a sweet and funny homage to all of Lisa's work. I don't know a single writer who throws them away -- Ursula LeGuin says she has an entire file cabinet full of them.

Neil did a wonderful job of bringing people together in her honor. I didn't see him on my way out, I need to send him an email to let him know.

One piece I wish I could remember was that short poem her neighbor wrote and read off of his cell phone. It was lovely.
Oops - didn't unscreen it


The Poem
there is no knowledge of the future
just high hopes for the past
a view with a room
a cup half willing
a dog-eared life

By Johnny Servin

Love always,
Neil
The Poem
(Anonymous)
there is no knowledge of the future
just high hopes for the past
a view with a room
a cup half willing
a dog-eared life

By Johnny Servin

Love always,
Neil