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Lisa “LJ” Cohen
Poet, Novelist, potter, Doctor Who fan, denizen of Night Vale
Poet, Novelist, potter, Doctor Who fan, denizen of Night Vale


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Welcome to my home on the plus! If you don't want to wade through my longer profile, here's the speed read edition:

* author of 8 SF&F novels
* poet
* potter
* international spy

My novels are available in eBook and print editions in all the usual and some of the unusual places:

Barnes & Noble
Google Play
*Directly from me through my website*
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A sidebar to my adoption search: remembering the 3 mothers in my life.

Remembering three mothers
Remembering three mothers
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This is a very cool find! Anthropologists studying the remains of an ancient woman from Crete discover with the help of a ceramics artist that she was a master ceramacist!
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I'm revamping my newsletter subscription process, adding an automation sequence in Mailer Lite.

Here's my automation:

Email 1: 15 minutes delay: Thank you, preview of newsletter standard content/expectations, reminder/link to free short story collection

Email 2: 3 days delay: thoughts about genre (Science fiction vs Fantasy), hope you are enjoying the short stories, offer to send book 1 of science fiction or fantasy series

Email 3: 3 days delay: Update on current writing, link to short story that inspired the WIP, reminder where to find me on social media

Email 4: 3 days delay: offer to send post card with collage of covers from all 5 science fiction novels, what it's like communicating with your cover artist (and writing!) when you have aphantasia.

Email 5: 5 days delay: (2 weeks after subscribing): list of all available novels w/brief blurb, broken down by genre

Email 6: 3 day delay: let subscriber know they will be getting newsletters about once/month, invite to ARC list/Beta reader list, ask for reviews.

How doe this sound? My goal is to make it long enough that folks who would likely unsubscribe won't make it through all 6 emails, but for those who do, it's interesting and offer something of value.

Am I missing anything?

I'm assuming that if folks unsubscribe, Mailer Lite won't send them the next email in the sequence, right?

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I very much enjoyed the Father Chessman science fiction books and am eagerly awaiting the next one!
Shameless Self-Promotion

Ok, there's a little shame, but it's my birthday, so I'm giving myself a pass. Anyway, I write books. Some people think they are good. Buy one and find out for yourself.
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30 years ago this weekend, these two kids got married. They had a lot of adventures: moved halfway across the country and back, settled outside of Boston, bought a house, had kids, housed an assortment of pets, traveled, coped with tragedies large and small, celebrated joys large and small.

30 years later, they're still together. Still in love. Still best friends.

Happy Anniversary to us.
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I'm sorry I've been a bit scarce here of late. A lot going on in my life. Mostly good stuff, some thoughtful stuff.

Anyway I came across an old blogpost I wrote in 2013 that struck me as relevant. It's almost like past-Lisa was leaving a message for future-Lisa.

I don't blame the garden because tomatoes don't grow all year round.
Yet, I still blame myself for so much that is outside of my control.

Don't get me wrong - goals are not the problem. It's the way we choose goals that make who we are right now feel like a failure.

How can we see ourselves as we are and apply the same acceptance and gentleness we offer to others?

How can we see our broken places as part of our beauty?

Much for me to think about here.
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Awesome! Love seeing people discover one of my favorite series!
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A new installment: my half-brother, acceptance and rejection.
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A snippet from the work in progress. A new SciFi story, completely unrelated to the universe of Halcyone Space. This takes place about a month or so after the events in my short story DIVERSITY.

(Edited to add: You can read the original short story here:

If you like what you read, you can follow me there on Curious Fictions and/or subscribe to my content there.)


"I can't pretend to understand what you've been through, but I do know that making contact changes a person."

There was a tone in Berwick's voice that she had heard there before. Something complicated had happened in his past. Something that had shaken his deepest beliefs. It was more than her sharpened Tuv senses that gave her the added layers of meaning.

"You're going to Tuv," he said. It wasn't a question.

Varna sighed. "Yes. I'm sorry about leaving you short staffed."

"You aren't."

So they had already hired her replacement. There was a pang of bitterness, but Varna squashed it.

"I've rejected your resignation."

She jerked her head up and stared over the sitting man's head. "What?"

Berwick winced briefly.

Varna had forgotten to inhibit her Tuv vocal cords and the sound of her exclamation created a specific frequency of energetic waves that caused pain in Human ears.

He held up his hands. "Don't you dare apologize. This was my fault for forgetting my filters."

"What do you mean you've rejected my resignation?"

He smiled again - that innocent, wide eyed expression that could be the universe's best poker face or a face of man with a boundless sense of curiosity. Perhaps both. "Well, rejected is a harsh word. Let's say that I've transformed it. Into an automatically renewing leave of absence."

Irritation tightened her throat. Her harsh breath sent low vibrations through the room that only she could hear. Varna struggled to get her anger under control. "Why?"

Berwick leaned forward onto her desk. His aftershave carried both the scent of sandalwood and a hint of exhaustion and fear that never reached his expression. "To preserve your options."

The anger evaporated, replaced by a sense of cold that frosted through her body. "You don't trust the Tuv."

In an instant the steadfast Ambassador had returned. He sat comfortably and his gaze was clear, direct. "Trust is something that develops through a relationship. We haven't had the time or experience to build trust. Yet."

So he was wary. Concerned enough to warn her. Concerned enough to keep her ties to the Embassy official. But was that all? Varna liked the man. She wanted to believe their journey together had created trust. But what did she really know about him other than his shock when the greeting ceremony with the Tuv representatives had gone off script. His rush to support her and claim her as Humanity's own when the Tuv offered her refuge.

Her only contact with him after their voyage back to Earth had been via email. But now, she rated a personal visit. An unguarded one. Just like the first time he had come to her office on his own. When he'd originally offered her the job to be part of the delegation.

It had been odd then and it was odd now.

"You want something from me. Something you can't ask through official channels."

Varna didn't think she'd imagined Berwick's brief wince or the way he initially shied away from meeting her gaze before his professional mask took over.

"I want you to know you can always reach out to me." He drew another breath as if to continue, shook his head fractionally, as if he were arguing with himself. "I hope you find what you're looking for, Varna. But no matter what you discover, and no matter what you might otherwise believe, I am a friend."

Before she could frame a coherent response, Berwick stood and strode out the door without looking back.

She let our her breath with a Tuv curse she didn't have an exact translation for, only a memory of her grandmother's wide eyed reaction and her grandfather's braying laughter when she'd used it in their presence once as a child.

It was far more satisfying than any Standard English invective and she said it again, louder this time, letting it ring as she paced through the empty room.
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