Friday, June 4, 2010

Fresh Voice: Lydia Ondrusek!

"we do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit." - E.E. Cummings

Welcome to the latest edition of Fresh Voices. We are delighted to share with you the voice of Lydia Ondrusek.

What is your ultimate writing goal?

Today I saw people freaking out that a particular classic book appeared to be out of print. My ultimate writing goal is that someday after a similar discovery people rush to confirm, with sighs of relief, that MY books are still available. And order new copies, of course.

Why do you write?

I write because it helps me understand what I think and how I feel – it’s me talking to me. Do I want people to listen while I talk to myself? You bet. Writing is a paradox, a private performance art.

Your writing style is reflective and whimsical. Have you worked to achieve that voice or is it just a natural style for you?

A combination of natural and worked. To read me is to hear me – but a version of me edited for clarity, rhythm, and color. Writing is my makeup.

Who are your favorite authors and why do you like them?

My favorite author, overall, is the late Dick Francis. If someday I can write as well as he did on his very worst days, I will count myself fortunate. He’s got it all, characterization, plot, and takeaway. I like Evanovich, Koontz, and King also, for their humor and their ability to draw characters.

As far as influence goes, I think James Thurber’s my biggest one. There are a lot of others, but Thurber’s writing *and* his drawings have the feeling I go for in my writing – that something unseen, unimagined, completely unplanned-for, is happening all the time, just around the corner – and that if you go around that corner fast enough, you’ll be part of it, for better or for worse.

What most attracts you to the life of a writer?

The astounding camaraderie possible in this so-called solitary life. That, and wearing pajamas to work.

If you couldn't be a writer but knew you were guaranteed success at a different career, what would you choose?

A musician or an artist. Something that would let me communicate.

If you had to describe your writing in one word, what would that word be?


What's the best writing advice you've ever gotten?

Actually, it wasn’t advice, per se – it was King’s definition of writing from “On Writing.” If writing is telepathy, as he says, then my job is to make my “send” as clear as it needs to be, without compromising the story I mean to tell.

Lydia Ondrusek is a long-married SAHM of two who describes herself as writing her way out of a paper bag. She writes fiction (mostly flash) and poetry, and like everyone else in the known universe, is working on a novel. Okay, two. She is not writing what she meant to write, but feels that she is writing what she’s meant to write. If you’d like to read one of her stories online, “Shift” represents the light side of the coin, and “Gruff” -- the other. You don’t have to tell which one you pick. Oh, and if you like poetry (and New Orleans) you might enjoy “Nola, When She Sings.” More can be found on her fan page at and

Thank you for reading this edition of Fresh Voices. Feel free to follow the Fresh Voices list on Twitter or nominate yourself or another author as a Fresh Voice. 


  1. Great post! Lydia, I love that you describe your writing as "barefoot" -that seems like the perfect word to capture the work you have sent in to Leaves & Flowers. :)

  2. "To read me is to hear me – but a version of me edited for clarity, rhythm, and color. Writing is my makeup." FABulous, Lydia! This should be every writer's goal. I have only one complaint about your writing ~ there's not enough available to your adoring public!
    Thank you for sharing your insights. *biggest squishiest hugs* Dani ddh77

  3. This is awesome! I love love love that you describe your writing as "barefoot".
    Love this! Love you!

  4. Wonderful, many sincere congratulations!!!