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Lisa Kusel

Book Excerpts, Guest Posts

Book Excerpt: Rash by Lisa Kusel

October 25, 2017
rash

We love our readers and we love our writers, and when one of our writers publishes a book, we can’t help but share. Enjoy! -Angela

By Lisa Kusel

One night my husband, Victor, turned to me in bed and said, “Sweetie, I think I need to do something different.”

I was so engrossed in reading The Line of Beauty that I only half-heard him and thought perhaps he was referring to sex. But then I saw he had his finger stuck inside Three Cups of Tea.

“Okay. Like what?” I asked right away, not wanting to lose the moment. A potential deliverance from the mundane floated, like steam from a cup of chai tea, under my nose. I gestured at the book. “You want to go to Afghanistan and teach in one of those schools?” Victor had been teaching middle school for over fifteen years, first in private schools then public. He was the most passionate and principled teacher I knew.

“No. I’m not going to drag us to Afghanistan—not with a six-year-old—and by the way, the story takes place in Pakistan.”

“Okay, not Pakistan, but somewhere else, maybe? You could teach anywhere,” I said, clutching at what I thought could be a turning point, a crossroads, a pivotal moment. I pushed the covers off and sat up. “When we first met, you said that someday you wanted to go teach in another country, remember? Why not do it now?”

Now, because I had just spent two years writing what I thought was my best novel yet, only to have it rejected by ten publishers. My agent suggested I let it sit in a drawer for awhile and go start a new novel. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if I wrote my new better book in some exotic locale, perhaps somewhere with an ocean view? Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, parenting

Akasha: When Your Kid Asks For More Space

May 17, 2016
parenting

By Lisa Kusel

“Do you mind? I’m trying to get ready for school,” Loy, my 13-year-old daughter, says as I walk into the bathroom.

Ignoring her, I flip open the medicine cabinet. “I just want to grab some coconut oil. My skin is so dry.”

As I stand next to her in our tiny bathroom, smearing my face into dewy shininess I can’t help but notice the scorn in her eyes in the mirror’s reflection. “What?” I ask.

“I can’t believe you just walked in like that. You’re totally invading my space.”

I put the jar back in the cabinet, mutter “sorry,” and slip out.

Instead of going back to my desk, I stand in the hallway, staring silently at the white bathroom door, picturing her carefully applying mascara to her fresh eyes. Dotting her laughingly few pimples with the expensive tube of concealer she insisted I buy.

Her space? Since when did my baby need her space? Continue Reading…

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