Hello! Thanks for your interest in my writing!

I created this combination blog and website to make my life easier so I can focus on adventuring, writing, and wellness. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

What I'm Reading

I mentioned in a previous post that I'd decided to re-read Tony Hillerman's (and Anne's) Leaphorn and Chee mystery series set here in the southwest. I've made it through the first 14 of the 25 books and hope to finish around August. Then I think I'll start another series from the beginning.

Enjoying getting fully immersed in the setting. Even some of the smaller details. Like: The characters drink vats of coffee! Day and night! And Chee eats a lot of bologna sandwiches and mutton stew. And they drive a lot - no surprise given the landscape and how spread out everyone lives.

Makes me want a bologna sandwich and I haven't had one of those for decades.

And it's fun to see ho Hillerman developed as a mystery writer and the way he developed his characters.

YAY local libraries! 

Books 1-18 (by Tony Hillerman)

Books 19-27 (by daughter Anne Hillerman)

Flowers Make Us Happy

 It's that time of year when the flowers are so lovely and lush. Here are a few pics from my garden. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Online Dating Success from 25 Years Ago

Bill and I celebrated out 25th wedding anniversary yesterday. Here's a wee story about how we met.

On October 16, 1998, at 7:10 in the morning, I logged onto Match.com for the first time and responded to a profile posted by a guy named Bill. He used the word “electrons” in the first sentence of his dating pitch, so I knew he was not a highly tuned pick-up machine.

Hahaha. That’s true…and was a plus because my recent dating experiences had felt shallow and uninteresting. I wondered if Electron Man might be different and hoped he'd find my message to him intriguing.
Thankfully, Bill responded – what you’d today call swiped right – at 10:34 that same evening. We then corresponded by email every day for two weeks while we got to know each other and traded Cincinnati Chile recipes and Beethoven jokes.
On October 27, 1998, we met in person for martinis at a joint on Central Avenue. We then walked around the University of New Mexico and had a bite to eat at the iconic Frontier Restaurant.
I was living in a 600sf adobe cabin off the beaten path east of Albuquerque with my three dogs and two cats. Bill was living with his two dogs south of Albuquerque on the west side of the Manzano mountains. He was a geologist working for New Mexico Tech and I had recently left my safe gig at Intel to pursue a much-less-safe life as a writer.
We introduced our animals and considered it a positive sign when they didn’t eat each other. We also passed the can-they-travel-together test during our first trip to San Francisco.
Introverts – adventurers – dog lovers – keen on New Mexico, check, check, and check. He loved cooking and I hated cooking. The chances seemed good we'd be compatible long term. We got married on May 7, 1999, by a judge named Buddy who had planted a field of chile earlier in the day.
We went on a bike trip through Tuscany for our honeymoon. Since then, we’ve traveled together to Bhutan, Mexico, Alaska, New Zealand, Thailand, Scotland, Britain, Canada, and many places in the lower 48.
We’ve lived in the Albuquerque area, Seattle, Cincinnati, Houston, Lexington, and are now in Albuquerque again. We’ve raised eight dogs and three cats to ripe old ages.
We’ve done a lot of hiking, biking, kayaking, exploring, walking, and some fishing. Through the good and bad, we’ve been lucky and lived well. Now that we’re back in New Mexico, we’re ready to live adventurous, active lives while managing what the aging process throws our way. We've much to be thankful for.


And yes, I know these details because I printed out and have kept our early messages.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Apparently I'm an Empath?

Just got back from a week in Sedona and the Grand Canyon. While in Sedona, I had my aura picture taken. I also had a psychic reading. And then, because I'm a curious brat, I had my aura photo taken again somewhere different. 

Here's the bottom line. 

The three psychics/interpreters I saw offered solid advice that could apply to most people. Great general reminders like to meditate, spend more time in nature, have more fun, and to try journalling. I might've dodged a bullet because if they could have told my future or read my mind it would've been scary.

The two aura photos look nothing alike. One is all fiery and the other is like cool water! Not sure what to think about the aura photos...

I'm an Empath? All three women - who did not share notes and were not in the same location - told me I was a "double empath." And they each said I was a "higher level" of empath than most. One said that only 15% have the same double empath tendency. Another said that she knew many psychics who'd wish they had readings like mine. Another called me a unicorn. 

Unicorn! Curious! Interesting! 

But...It made me wonder...if I'm that strong an empath, wouldn't I know this about myself? Or feel it or sense it or know it in whatever way empaths come to understand something? Seems like only a crappy empath would be oblivious to it. I must be a crappy empath.

I need to do more research. Clearly.

Aura Photo #2

Aura Photo #1

Friday, March 15, 2024

Countdown to Sixty

It's March 15th, exactly one month until I turn 60 years old. Here's what I've been thinking about as I barrel toward this significant milestone.

On the one hand, I've outlived my oncologist's prognosis that I had 10 years to live 13 years ago.

On the other hand, does this mean I'm living on borrowed time and will soon implode or spontaneously explode?


On the one hand, I'm physically strong and capable.

On the other hand, everything hurts and is stiff in ways that defy medical intervention. 


On the one hand, I'm at an age that I don't stress over what people think if me.

On the other hand, it doesn't appear anyone's thinking of me.


On the one hand, I'm back to living in my beloved New Mexico.

On the other hand, it might be one of the worst places to get specialty health care, like the cancer care I now need to get in Texas.


On the one hand, I have such a complicated medical history that I qualified under four different categories to get my medical marijuana card.

On the other hand, there doesn't appear to be a THC for Older Dummies guide available from Amazon. How many gummies can I eat with my prune danish without overdosing?


On the one hand, I have everything I need and my time maturing has cured me of chasing trends and designer labels.

On the other hand, my time maturing has reminded me of the millions of dollars and hours I wasted chasing and purchasing trends - with this bulbous pear shape no less - in the first place. I could be relaxing in my Italian villa had I not bought all those high-wasted jeans, leg warmers, and shoulder padded jackets. Which, if I still had them would be worth enough to buy that villa again! Waa!!!


On the one hand, I can write whatever I want without feeling pressure to sell X copies or earn X dollars.

On the other hand, no one wants to read what this old bitty has to say.


On the one hand I'm grateful for all of life's ups and downs.

On the other hand, I selfishly feel as if I've earned a few more ups. 


On the one hand, Depeche Mode and Jethro Tull are still touring and making music.

On the other hand, headliners don't usually come on stage until past my bed time.


On the one hand I still have my sense of humor.

On the other hand, fewer people get my jokes. What do you mean, who is Tony Bennett?


On the one hand, being 60 beats the alternative.

On the other hand, am I too old for radical liposuction?


I'm not freaking out that I'm turning 60 and yet I'm freaking out a little. It seems like a number solidly in the old category whereas being 50-something tracked with being vivacious and worldly. Now I'm withered and forgetful. 

I kid! Of course, I'm kidding. You knew I was kidding, right? There are plenty of super cool people in their 60s and I endeavor to be one of them. But I have questions for the psychic I've booked as part of my birthday celebration (I can hear my pals now, "do you really want to know?")

Should I change my preferred wardrobe to include a boa? The Steve Jobs black turtlenecks with a collection of boa wraps? Or do you suggest I lean into one-size-fits-all flowered caftans?

Is it time to give up on the eat-less-exercise-more formula for weight loss that hasn't worked for decades? Perhaps eat-more-care-less? 

Can I get a seniors' discount on rose-colored glasses?

Are there special grants, fellowships, awards, or gigs that recognize invisible older women? Seems like being a 60-year old woman ought to qualify one for something.

Is my brain too calcified to experiment with psychedelics? Would they throw my big butt in prison for doing so? I have a medical marijuana card if that helps smooth things over.

Will I ever find a bicycle seat that does not hurt?

What are my options if my application to donate my body to science has been rejected? I think my right lung, spinal fluid, teeth, blood, heart, liver, spleen might be worth something to someone.

I welcome your thoughts, too! Mail your advice to me at:

    Lisa Haneberg

    1234 Old Fart's Boulevard

    Apt. No One Cares

    Ghost Town, NM 00000  

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Adventure or Misadventure? Feeling/getting lost in thought about big things.

Here's the situation. Spent all day in the world's largest cancer ward, blood tests and three CT exams, late lunch and dinner to go, now tired but wired in my hotel room. I'm not sad or writing this to elicit hug emojis. I get the results tomorrow and am confident there won't be surprises. The chemo pills are keeping my assassin cells at bay. But with imaging chemicals flowing through my body, I'm not in a productive way. I watched the movie American Fiction (loved it) followed by the Seinfeld "Spongeworthy" episode (loved it again) and then John Oliver's show about Chuck E Cheese (loved it).

Suffice it to say my mind is a bit scrambled. But also stimulated. And my take-aways from all this?

Play full out with Gumby flexibility

Create what moves you and don't waste a second second-guessing what the market wants from you. 

Time brooding about the not-knowing is wasted. Delve to learn not impress.

I like being weird. I'm almost 60. Invisibility=freedom. It's time to play.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

How to Say NO...to YOURSELF!

I bet many of you suffer from the same weakness I do, which is continually starting and getting into TOO MANY PROJECTS. Here I am, retired due to 18 million health issues, and I'm way too busy, not slowing down, and focusing on some of the wrong things. Or maybe the more correct way to say it is: focusing on too many correct things if time were unlimited. It's not, of course, so it's too many wrong things.

Here, Lisa - are you listening? - are your priorities:

Health: Be as strong and active as you can be and eat as well as possible. Optimizing health is your job #1 because it enables everything else. This is also about sport - biking, hiking, walking, exploring. Bill and I want to spend more time having fun outdoors.

Gardening: This is a priority because I'm interested and we have nearly 175 plants. Because I love plants.

Creative work: Writing, mostly, but also some house craft projects.

Volunteering: As time permits. This area is outsized right now. I feel like I have four part-time volunteer gigs and that they are pushing the other stuff off the "done" list. Especially health and creative endeavors.

I'm nearly 60. Am I too old to learn new tricks? I hope not.

Ways to say NO to Myself:

Identify I have an issue that needs to be solved. Not just casually over a cocktail with a pal like complaining about too many streaming services. THIS is a problem like a boil oozing puss on my foot. I can't walk until this boil is treated. It's keeping me from living my best life.

Do some scenario planning. Visualize what life looks and feels like when I'm living in alignment with my priorities. Notice I'm not focusing on an end point because life IS the process. Reflect on if/then scenarios that help me get clear about where a new "no" is warranted. No, not right now, not in this way, not as much, or I can't but have a solution are all NOs.

Explore if there are win-win solutions that might free myself up. This is harder to do. I get stuck because I don't want to impose on others. And I value follow through. But I can't value diddly from inside an ash urn or when Bill turns my ashes into stones (see previous post).

Fall on my sword. Sometimes the best thing to say is "I screwed up. I thought I could do this but I can't and I'm breaking the promise I made to myself to focus on my health. Doing this well requires more time than I'm giving it."

Those are a few ideas I will reflect upon and put into action - fingers crossed - very soon. Do you suffer from YES, YES, YES, syndrome too? Let me know what works for you. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Writing Humor - One Layer at a Time (a.k.a. eat your broccoli)

The process of writing something funny happens differently for every creator. Here's how it goes for me:

I get an idea. There are funny bits or at least one weird slant or detail that propels me. I decide to write a story/book/post.

The idea flutters about in my mind. Perhaps a few more funny bits emerge. I should've started writing some of this down but I don't.

I resist the drafting stage. Why? 

The rough drafts that flow from my head through my fingers and onto the screen are not funny. 

They form the foundation of the humorous thing to come, but do not look or read like the idea in my mind. I liken it to having to eat my broccoli before I can have dessert.  Rough drafts are like steamed broccoli.

The idea swirls through my head at 4 a.m. in the morning. More funny bits emerge although I've forgotten some of the funny bits I'd previously thought of. Nothing is written at this point. 

I add an appointment in my calendar to begin writing the first broccoli because relying on my "love of writing" is not working. 

It's the day and time to write the broccoli draft. I make a pot of milk oolong tea and settle into my ergonomic desk chair.

I review my Todoist to-do list and see that I haven't written a blog post for a while. I open Blogger and begin writing about writing. I assure myself this is a warm up exercise for the drafting work to be done.

I post on my blog and then share the post on Facebook. I look around for another thing to do.


OK, I say to myself, I'll start drafting this story. 

Once I get the boring broccoli out of my head, I begin layering funny bits and weird details. Some are the same as those I've envisioned for days/weeks, but most are different because I failed to write the initial funny bits down.

Note to self: figure out how to write more funny bits down when they occur to me.

And that's how I write humor. One layer at a time and after dozens of self-imposed delay tactics designed to avoid the broccoli.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

I love saving sad plants!

Bill and I went to our favorite nursery (Jericho) today and got a few cool tolerant veggie plants. They also had some flowers and I was looking at them when a staff person pointed at some that were marked down to $2 for a six pack. She said their next stop was the compost pile. So why not?

I've planted these hopefuls in a raised bed with lots of mulch. Six bucks worth of flowers and a big win if even one or two thrive. 

And if they don't, or some don't, that's ok. They will continue to do good by becoming nutritious compost and will feed the next generation of flowers. 

Cycle of life keeps turning.

I don't have strong maternal instincts - I never had children - but somehow sad plants with a wee bit of potential tug on my life-giving strings. 

I love plants and gardening! Fingers crossed my new plants will be happy and prosperous. 

Look at those cute purple flowers. 

The nursery staff person told me the pansies were hardy. Hehehe.

AND! Right after I snapped these pictures, a bee came and checked out the flowers. Now I'm doubly pleased with my six dollar experiment. February is a tough month to be a hungry bee.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

New Book Launch! Far From Ordinary

I’m delighted to announce that Far From Ordinary: Predicaments, Misadventures, and Illuminations is now available from Amazon in print and e-book formats. Find it at Amazon here. I hope you'll pick up a copy and that you enjoy it. 

Here’s a brief description:


Far From Ordinary: Predicaments, Misadventures, and Illuminations is my quirky collection of essays, poems, and short stories about unpredictable adventures and misadventures. Readers of my work will recognize my passion for juxtaposing well-researched, fascinating facts and eccentric tales about awkward experiences that went seriously sideways. 


Adventures provide the fuel for a fulfilling life while misadventures are life's tax for playing full out. To embrace one, we must wrestle the other. Like relishing breathtaking landscapes while on a 9,400-mile solo motorcycle trip around the country and then driving at 70 mph into a screaming, horny, miles-long swarm of fat cicadas on a Chicago highway. 


That really happened! Imagine cicada DNA on every surface and in all orifices. 


Far From Ordinary is a unique book and I’m super proud of it. If you walk into a bookshop, you’ll find essay collections, poetry chapbooks, and short story collections in separate sections of the store. I know this and have blissfully ignored conventions to offer what I believe is a refreshing and entertaining reading experience. 

I know what you're thinking, dear readers. Ignoring dumb rules is par for my bratty course. Thanks for supporting my work! I hope you enjoy Far From Ordinary. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

How to Write Humor: Learning from Funny Novelists Hiaasen, Evanovich, Moore, Leonard

I will be teaching a two hour workshop on writing humor in May. It will be delivered in person in ABQ and also online - more details coming in case you'd like to register. During the workshop, I'll lead a discussion about the comedic "secret sauces" that four of my favorite writers use to write clever and unique humorous novels. As you might imagine, their approaches and results are different. And ingenious! That's four secret sauces, and I can't wait to delve into them further.

To prepare, I'll need to re-read books by each author and then select the emblematic and secret-sauce-worthy passages I will share during the workshop. 

Poor, poor, me. :-)