NS. I’ve noticed in your writing such acute attention to detail, to the physical world, there is a sensuous quality in your writing. What do you feel pulls you towards this detail, what is evoked for you?
LYSSA: I worked as a park ranger and taught environmental education for ten years before I began to write “seriously.” As a naturalist, I learned to acutely observe and notice the smallest details in the physical world–the shapes and venation patterns of leaves and insect wings, the texture of tree bark, animal tracks in mud and snow. This ability seems to have spilled over into the rest of my life.
NS. Recently, you injured your right wrist and you can’t type with this hand without a lot of pain. What has left handed writing affected for you? Have you noticed a difference in style or content?
LYSSA: Only the words that absolutely must find their way onto the page make it out of my pen. The resulting work is much more concise and possesses an uncluttered, razor’s edge clarity that my previous writing did not. The thoughts are coming from the right side of my brain, so it’s as if I’m channeling a subconscious language. Here’s one of my favorite left-handed lines: “Only in this clean and holy light will we recognize the stranger in ourselves.”
NS. What compels you to write?
LYSSA: The desire to surprise and delight myself, to discover, to play. I believe I’m a little piece of the universe trying to figure itself out through an outpouring of creative expression.
NS. What do you dream of as a writer for your work?
LYSSA: That other little pieces of the universe will be surprised, delighted, and discover something new as they read my work.