My Kids Make Me Laugh Every Day

Whack! I missed the bug and hit myself on the knee. Another one. “These flies are everywhere! Their stings are bringing tears to my eyes.” I swatted one from my shoulder as another one bit my leg. “Ouch! What are these things? They’re too small to be horse flies.”
Thing 2 said, “Maybe they are pony flies.”
Thing 1 said, “No. Too mean to be pony flies. Jackass flies.”

…now if I could only find some Jackass fly repellent I could avoid any more of these huge itchy welts they leave behind.

It’s all Fodder for Fiction!

Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

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The Roses of Prose Seeks New Group Blog Member

You might know me best for my antics on the blog you’re reading: FODDER FOR FICTION, but I’m also a founding member of a group blog  THE ROSES OF PROSE a resource for Women’s Fiction and Romance. And there’s some exciting happenings coming for 2011 over at The Roses of Prose.

We’re Searching for a New Rose!
We’re seeking another flower for our garden. Here are our guidelines:

~A female writer of non-erotic fiction that is geared toward women
~All reading levels, starting at Young Adult
~At least one contracted or published work – self-published works are acceptable
~A genuine interest in promoting reading and literacy
~A genuine interest in mentoring other writers

If you are interested, we’d love to hear from you! Please send us a blurb of
about 200 words telling us about yourself, what you write, and why you love it.

We will choose 10 blurbs that we feel best fit the Roses of Prose, and we will
post one each day during the weeks of December 13-19 and 20-26.

The week after, we’ll let our readers vote for their favorite rose, and the
winner will be announced January 1.

I hope some of my former FODDER FOR FICTION guests and current friends enter. Good Luck!

Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s Fiction
The Roses of Prose

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I Won Pitchapalooza-D.C. — Like American Idol for Authors!

The Book Doctors, Arielle Eckstut and David Sterry, authors of  The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published toured the country looking for the next big author. Authors had one minute to pitch before a panel of four industry professionals. And… they loved my pitch!

Here’s their latest FACEBOOK status linking to their blog with a video of my shining moment. Check it out!

Washington Pitchapalooza Winner: GREAT book pitch about Love & the Middle East

What did I win, you ask? … a free consultation with Arielle and David. It’s coming up next week. I’ll post with more details after the big day.

Best to you,

Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

Posted in Special Announcements | 1 Comment

I Must Have Heard Wrong…

My Emily Litella Moment

Wanted to share a recent telephone call with my sister who over the years has worked on rape hotlines and with organizations who support victims of domestic violence.

She opened the conversation. “I have a new assignment.”


“Yes. I’ve been working with a lot of prostitutes and one of the biggest problems is literacy. I’m trying to find books for them.  But the problem is, the reading level is about fourth grade.”


“Well, since my kids are older and you have kids who have just entered middle school, I thought you might have some books I could give them.”

“I’m sure I have books at that reading level, but the subject matter might not be that engaging for adults.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the books I have are geared toward young kids. I don’t really think adults will want to read Magic Tree House and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” I scanned the bookshelf. “Maybe some of the nonfiction books like Mistakes That Worked, The Big Book of Bugs, or The Guinness Book of World Records could hold an adult’s interest.”

My sister’s voice went up an octave. “Adult? What are you talking about? Who do you think the books are for?”

I nodded. “The prostitutes.”

“I’m not working with prostitutes!”

“What? Who are your clients?”

“Foster kids. I said, ‘Foster kids!”

“Oh…That’s different… Never mind. My children’s books will be perfect. I’ll pack ‘em up for you and put them in the mail.”

During lunch with some of my girlfriends, I relayed this story, laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. (Yes, I laugh at my own jokes! My delivery may be poor, but at I’m my own good audience.). One of my friends was quick to try to make me feel better by offering the following personal experience.

When working on a volunteer project at school, she struck up a conversation with another mother helping out. The two sat at a table stuffing envelopes or some such.

My friend asked, “How old is your daughter?”

“She’s 16, a junior this year and so busy!”

“Really, what she involved in?”

“Well, she’s a stripper.”

There must be better ways for a high school girl to earn a buck. “Really?”

“The hours are so long and she has to shower when she finishes, so it makes for a really long day for her.”

Now, my friend, a pretty lenient parent and rarely speechless, nibbled her fingernails and widened her eyes. “Uh huh.”

As my pal tells the story this conversation went on for a good five minutes before she realized the fellow volunteer had said, “SWIMMER – her daughter was a swimmer,” not a STRIPPER, after all!

Tell me about a conversation that turned into a game of telephone (remember the one when a whispered phrase is sent around a circle and winds up completely different by the time it reaches the last player!) I’d love to hear about something you heard wrong that made you laugh when the light bulb finally went off above your head with the real meaning of the conversation. Share a story. It’s all fodder for fiction!

Best to you,

Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

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Verbal Assault and Video in the Dark!

I had a great time last night reading two of my short stories at the Soundry’s VERBAL ASSAULT. The crowd was great! As you can see, taking video of a reading by flashlight was nearly impossible! (But a special thanks to my friend Carol for trying!)

I hope you have fun LISTENING to my story THE BLACK DOG on youtube.

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Spark Update & The Verbal Assault!

I finished my short story for Spark! Round 10 in record time. I usually work down to the last second. I think I might have had a little influence from the Halloween season in addition to the artwork I received as inspiration. I can’t share the story on-line yet, because the round doesn’t officially end until the 29th of October. Watch for more details next week.

Timing is everything, though! What turned out to be a creepy/humor piece is ready just in time for a pre-Halloween VERBAL ASSAULT at the Soundry in Vienna, VA on Friday night. If you’re local, come on out and hear me read my new tale! Click here for more information about The Soundry.

Take care,


Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

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by Lars Walker

My novels, I think, are essentially about heroism. I write of heroism with a spectator’s fascination—like a football fan watching Brett Favre play, analyzing what he’s doing, knowing all the time he’s criticizing a level of play to which he’ll never attain.

There’s no need to explain just here the sad shortage of heroes in my own life, and why it’s so important to me that there should be heroes around. I remember an older boy who defended me from a bully once in elementary school. I’ve had the benefit of very few such rescues in my life, and that boy’s image stayed in my mind, and eventually grew into Erling Skjalgsson, the hero of West Oversea and its prequel, The Year Of the Warrior. Erling is an actual historical character, a man who appeals to the modern saga reader because we’re told he helped his slaves earn their freedom. I want there to be many more such people in the world. I want to tell stories that will, perhaps, help people to become like that.

I’m not a hero myself, to my shame. When I think of heroism, my mind inevitably goes back to a day when I broke my word to a man, in order to seize what I thought was a better employment opportunity (for the record, it wasn’t). That memory still keeps me up nights.

So my hero, Erling, has to be a man who will pay any price to do what is right. In West Ovesea, he surrenders his political power and much of his property, in order to avoid doing a shameful act. Instead he sets out on a sea voyage to Greenland, which puts him on the road to the adventures of the story.

My personal voice in the book isn’t Erling, but Erling’s Irish priest, Father Aillil, the narrator of the story. Aillil is a man capable of heroism at moments, but he’s been a slave, and so lacks Erling’s high self-esteem. He expects less of himself than Erling does, and accomplishes less, and is ashamed of it.

But spending time with Erling makes him long to be more, and strive to be more. I hope it will have the same effect on my readers.

And, perhaps, on me.


Lars (pronounced Larce) Walker is a native of Kenyon, Minnesota, and  lives in Minneapolis. He has worked as a crabmeat packer in Alaska, a radio announcer, a church secretary and an administrative assistant, and is presently librarian and bookstore manager for the schools of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations in Plymouth, Minnesota.

He is the author of four previously published novels, and is the editor of the journal of the Georg Sverdrup Society. His latest release is West Oversea: A Norse Saga of Mystery, Adventure and Faith.

Visit Lars online at and his blog at .

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I’m Getting SPARKED!

I just sent a short story as an inspiration piece to my SPARK partner and received a work of art from her. I have until the 29th to create something new, inspired by her work and she’ll create something inspired by mine. I can’t wait to see what comes of it! Wish me luck. It’s all Fodder for Fiction!

For more information about this challenge, check out

Best to you,

Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

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Breaking the Ice

by Lisa Lipkind Leibow, Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

My three sons came home from the first day of school, itching to tell me tidbits of new classes, new teachers, friends, and more.

Thing 1 ripped open a bag of chips. “In science, to break the ice, the teacher went around the room and had each of us introduce ourselves by saying our name and one interesting fact about ourselves. I raised my hand to go first. ‘I have something interesting! I’m a twin.’ Turns out, that wasn’t all that interesting. Six other kids in the class were twins and one was a quadruplet! Can you believe that?!”

What are the chances of that? Leave a comment. Share one interesting fact that makes you feel unique (or not…). Ha!

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Family Bucket List Series. Volume 2. Issue 11.

by Lisa Lipkind Leibow, Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

Through this blog, I was able to let my summer vacation linger well into autumn. Thanks for indulging me in my travel log. (Travel blog? Tlog?…who knows?) In any event, I thought it would be fun to share the secret photos I took of my family during the layover in Phoenix between our red-eye from Maui to the mainland and our final leg from Phoenix to D.C. Aren’t they cute?

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