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Lisa Lucca

Ashes to Ink: Writing A Memoir of Acceptance

December 2, 2021 
4 PM PST | 5 PM MST | 6 PM CST | 7 PM EST

Acceptance struggles to emerge from a cocoon of family secrets . . .

After her parents’ divorce in 1974, Lisa Lucca’s idyllic Midwestern childhood is shattered when she learns her father is gay. Sworn to secrecy, she begins carrying the emotions of her family like a cracked bucket, making a mess as she embarks on a life of rebellious choices.

Decades later, faced with the aftermath of her father’s death, Lisa revisits the complicated relationship she had with him, delving deeper into the stories she’s held about love, sexuality, and the family she comes from with a shimmering clarity that arises from her grief.

A story of trial by heartache, Ashes to Ink shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are by weaving the past and present into a vividly written story with many layers: family secrets, fathers and daughters, love and sexuality, and at the core, forgiveness.

As a teenager, I already knew I would one day write a story about finding out my father was gay on the heels of my parents’ divorce in 1973. It wasn’t until my father passed away in 2013 that I found the courage to put words on paper when I wrote an essay while at a writing retreat at Esalen the following summer. That essay became the prologue to my memoir.

Finding the courage was one thing, finding the fortitude to complete the manuscript took a village of teachers, coaches, editors, and trusted readers. Early on, through NAMW, I found the work of Linda Joy and Brooke Warner, two of my finest teachers on the craft of writing memoir while navigating the emotional waters that come with telling your truth. A truth that can be difficult to share when family trauma is involved. After several years of tension with my family over sharing my story, the book has become an incredible vehicle for healing acceptance for us.

I have watched LGBTQ+ families struggle for acceptance throughout my life, often hiding in shame. I wanted my story to show how far we have come, and to also highlight the need for greater understanding of parents as individuals, especially when single parents navigate love and sexuality. As a single mother, much of my story centers on my own self growth and understanding as I searched for love with a wounded heart.

Threaded throughout my story are relationships that will be examined more deeply in my next memoir. I have just begun to get it underway and am thrilled to go back to writing new pages.

Attendees will gain/learn:

  • Acceptance can offer the foundation for forgiveness and living true to ourselves
  • Writing can be a healing vehicle for a family . . . after the scary part of sharing your truth
  • It takes a village to write, finish, publish, and promote a book
  • Forgiveness actually frees us – and does not let another off the hook
  • Emotion is the driving force in powerful memoir writing
Lisa Lucca is the author of Ashes to Ink: A Memoir, released in October 2021, a story of forgiveness that shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are. She is a #Blogher Voice of the Year Honoree and her work has been published in several anthologies, most recently in Crone Rising. She is the co-author of the epistolary memoir, You Are Loved, with her partner, Mark Mathias.

She shares a home with Mark in the high desert of southern New Mexico where she continues her work as a life coach, and hosts a weekly public radio show, Live True, bringing insightful and engaging interviews to her listeners. Visit her website at lisalucca.com.

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