A message from Lorraine Ash
I’ve been enchanted with stories since I can remember—legends, news features, memoirs, essays, historical accounts. From the start it was apparent to me they all were a way to explore the world and my place in it.
For thirty years telling stories has set the rhythm of my life as a journalist. We newspaper reporters spend a lot of time discerning truth from spin and exploring stories in depth. It’s always our job to tell how everything ultimately affects individual human beings.
When it comes to writing, inspiration is everywhere. Indeed each of us is born into a family and cultural story. Every time we enter a new endeavor, friendship, job, or neighborhood, we walk into its story.
My passion has taken me farther than I could have imagined. In eighth grade I created The News Nose, produced in mimeographed editions that told of the goings-on in my grammar school. As an adult, my journalistic life has led me into the White House, homeless shelters, disaster zones, psychiatric wards, forests, caves, and castles. I’ve interviewed astronauts, Olympians, economic gurus, politicians, doctors, and artists. My articles, which have won nineteen writing awards over the years, appear in newspapers nationwide, including USA Today.
My love for personal writing has led to two memoirs—Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing (NewSage Press), which has touched stillbirth mothers like me around the world, and the new Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life (Cape House Books).
My penchant for history has led to three historical plays about American presidents—Tyler, Monroe, and Jackson—published by The History Project. I’ve also produced numerous short stories and essays for literary journals and anthologies.
Even today my idea of a great time is to keep learning from greats like John Updike, Norman Mailer, and Robert Bly and to teach weekend workshop participants to open, shape, and share their own memoirs.
I’ve come to believe in storytelling as a way of honestly witnessing every part of the human experience and celebrating its diversity. I believe in stories as a vehicle for personal growth and as a way of understanding the forces that swirl around us.
I believe in stories as survival tools every bit as important as food, shelter, and physical health. Stories are necessities and even preceded writing. In prehistoric times pictographs on caves let others know where the good hunting was. In modern times to tell a story, particularly the story of one’s own life, can heal or save the writer on spiritual and emotional levels. Sometimes the salvation comes from understanding that the parameters of a story are not the parameters of life, and that stories can be redirected.
Join me on this journey of telling, writing, and reading stories. Join me on the pages of one of my books. Come to an evening writing workshop, a book reading, or an inspirational writing weekend at the Jersey Shore. Catch me in a blog or radio appearance. Invite me to your book group or conference. Write to me on this website.
Or perhaps we’ll work together, one-on-one, on your own writing project.
Above all, never stop challenging what’s true or what’s possible in the ever-changing story of your life.
“Lorraine is one of those rare writers who can make any scene come alive. She has understanding and a wisdom born of experience, and she can see into the heart of a story perhaps better than anyone I know. The details she chooses when she describes or narrates are always the right ones for the piece and for the emotions involved. She's a fine journalist, a fine memoirist, and, simply put, a really fine writer.”
—Pat Carr, PhD
author of The Women in the Mirror and One Page at a Time: On a Writing Life
winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the PEN Southwest Book Award