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A Writer's Jottings

The Power of the Third Age

What's called the Third Age, the last years of a woman's life, can last for three or more decades. It can be a time of "freedom and power," said writer Francine du Plessix Gray in The New Yorker, if a woman is up to its "tough, demanding work...[of] relentless alertness."


      I got a good look at the Third Age when writing about artists Georgia O'Keeffe and Louise Nevelson, who both had what du Plessix described as "presence, authority, voice" in old age.


      The elderly O'Keeffe painted the largest painting in her life in her late seventies and then insisted on hanging an exhibition at the Whitney Museum. Nevelson, who sculpted into her eighties, wore extravagant costumes and enormous false eyelashes, to command attention for her work in her later years.

Older women writers can also empower themselves with their long mastery of words. Writing Word for Word was my way of making a strong statement in a written voice, a voice I tried to make as clear and loud as a bell.


With Warm Regards,


                      louise_nevelson_a_passionate_life.jpg   Portrait_of_an_Artist_3.jpg


 News About Word For Word:


Latest Reviews

"In immaculate prose, Lisle shares her sometimes lonely and exhausting rebellion against the dictates of her Wasp background...I mightily admire her achievements, and highly recommend this book as a really good read, a penetrating insight into the struggles faced by the women of our generation to live and love and work fully, and an inspiring and thoughtful reflection for young women considering a writing life."


~ Sharon Charde, poet and author of I Am Not a Juvenile Delinquent


"This is a brave and beautifully written memoir, instructive and inspiring...a fascinating, unsparing account of the challenging process of becoming a successful writer. In crystal clear, elegant prose...she captures the deep longing to find purpose in her work and her earnest search for what will bring her joy..."


~ Holly Peppe, Ph.D., author and Edna St. Vincent Millay scholar and editor


"This book is an adventure I never knew I needed as a writer. Dripping with empathy and real-life wonderment about the highs and lows that cleave to writers...Lisle is a timeless artist...Unexpected, essential surprises touched me deeply...Freedom flitted off these pages...I wholeheartedly recommend this work"


~ Kidron Tirey, Texas journalist

A Note to Readers

Now that Word for Word has left my hands and is on its own, your stars and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads help keep it aloft. Thanks!



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