My special guest today is Lily Iona MacKenzie. She’s currently doing
a virtual book tour for her debut novel, Fling!, and is stopping here
today to talk to us a bit about that, as well as “On Blogging.”
When ninety-year-old Bubbles
receives a letter from Mexico City asking her to pick up her mother’s ashes,
lost there seventy years earlier and only now surfacing, she hatches a plan. A
woman with a mission, Bubbles convinces her hippie daughter Feather to accompany
her on the quest. Both women have recently shed husbands and have a
secondary agenda: they’d like a little action. And they get it.
together Feather and Bubbles’ odyssey. The two women travel south from Canada
to Mexico where Bubbles’ long-dead mother, grandmother, and grandfather turn
up, enlivening the narrative with their hilarious antics.
co-exist, Feather gets a new sense of her mother, and Bubbles’ quest
for her mother’s ashes—and a new man—increases her zest for life.
Unlike most women her age, fun-loving Bubbles takes risks, believing she’s
immortal. She doesn’t hold back in any way, eating heartily and
lusting after strangers, exulting in her youthful spirit.
the fountain of youth themselves in this character. At ninety, Bubbles comes
into her own, coming to age, proving it’s never too late to fulfill one’s
BLOGGING, by Lily Iona MacKenzie
so I would have a “writer’s platform” I could show agents and
potential publishers. But it doesn’t come without a cost, and that is one’s
shifted in this century. While some people still keep private
diaries/journals, others are blogging their hearts out for everyone to see.
Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, chat rooms, etc., have conditioned a new generation
to spill it all on the Web, to not hold back. Some even set up webcams in their
houses so strangers can follow their daily routine.
our neighborhoods caused this overreaction on the World-wide Web? When I was a
child, I knew everyone on our block. I walked to school, which allowed me to
see my neighbors, both coming and going. People sat on porches in the summer
time and shared produce from abundant gardens. We formed neighborhoods, not
these individual units that make up most communities today where few people
know their neighbors or interact with them. Even the words neighbor and
neighborhood sound quaint now.
consciousness of such willingness to turn ourselves inside out for anyone to
see? We won’t know the answer to this question immediately, but we can
speculate. Of course, writers learn early that they can’t hold back. They must
be willing to expose their private selves, whether in fiction or non-fiction.
Even the most objective academic or journalistic writing can’t conceal entirely
the person behind the prose.
the effect of blogging on our consciousness, on our relationships with others
and with ourselves? What does it mean not to have a private self any longer?
What are the drawbacks to this kind of exposure?
A Canadian by birth, a high school
dropout, and a mother at 17, in her early years, Lily Iona MacKenzie supported
herself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance
operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary
(Bechtel Corp sponsored her into the States). She also was a cocktail waitress
at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, briefly broke into the male-dominated
world of the docks as a longshoreman (and almost got her legs broken), founded
and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, and eventually earned two master’s
degrees (one in creative writing and one in the humanities).
interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and a memoir in over
140 American and Canadian venues. Fling,
one of her novels, was published in July 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Bone Songs, another novel, will be
published in 2016. Her poetry collection All
was published in 2011. She also teaches writing at the University of San
Francisco, is vice-president of USF’s part-time faculty union, paints, and
travels widely with her husband.