Square Up: 50,000 miles in search of a way home

Have you ever wished you could run away and leave your life behind? Born on the “Day of the Wanderer,” Lisa Dailey has always been filled with wanderlust. Although she and her husband had planned to take their family on a ’round-the-world adventure, she didn’t expect their plans to come together on the heels of grief, after losing seven family members in five years. Square Up shows us that travel not only helps us understand and appreciate other cultures, but invites us to find compassion and wisdom, heal from our losses, and discover our capacity for forgiveness, as well as joy.

Essays & Photos

LightSpaceTime 14th “Seascapes” Art Exhibition, May 2024
Special Recognition for Excellence in Art. View photograph.

NYC Midnight 250-word Microfiction Challenge (2022/2023)
Lisa’s contribution “Awash in Bourbon” took 4th place in Round 1.

Mocking Owl Roost, Volume 2, Issue 6: Yugen (2022)
Lisa’s contribution “Cloud Seeding” is an adaptation from a chapter of her memoir. View the issue.

Interconnectedness: A Whatcom Writes Anthology (2022)
Lisa’s contribution “Requiem” continues her exploration into fiction and storytelling on the prompt of interconnectedness.

True Stories, The Narrative Project Volume IV (2021)
Lisa’s essay, “Let in the Light,” is her first piece of published fiction and explores the dark and light in some of our most meaningful relationships.

True Stories, The Narrative Project Volume III (2020)
Lisa’s essay, “Losing Control,” is an excerpt from her memoir Square Up.

This Uncommon Solitude, Pandemic Poetry from the Pacific Northwest (2020)

Take a Stand, Art Against Hate, A Raven Chronicles Anthologies (2020)
Lisa has a photograph included in this collection. View photograph. 

Discovery: A Whatcom Write Anthology (2020)
Lisa’s essay, “#OffTheBeatenTrack,” explores the idea of hiding the natural world away from future generations.

True Stories, The Narrative Project Volume I (2018)
The essay, “Blessed in Singapore,” (an excerpt from her memoir, Square Up) details Lisa’s experiences in Singapore with her family. Struggling with grief and the rocky relationship with her mother, Lisa is blessed by a Buddhist monk and embraces the message of purifying negative energies and finds that her heart is lighter. She understands that she must actively work on her thoughts and emotions in order to see change. The time in Singapore sets the stage for the rest of the family’s journey around the world. 

So Much Depends Upon… (2018) 
The essay, “One Word, Two Little Letters,” tells the story of her relationship with her childhood best friend and how that bond was broken. So much can depend upon so little… a handful of words can lift your spirits or gravely wound a friendship and the smallest of words—just two little letters—can destroy it forever.


Soup Stories (working title)

The word soup comes from French soupe (“soup,” “broth”), which comes through Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”), from which also comes the word “sop,” a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew. Though today the varieties are endless, through much of human history, this meal was much simpler, requiring nothing more than a hunk of meat or vegetable in warm water. Humans were concocting soup at least 25,000 years ago. That’s some staying power! Soup is so popular, it even has its own day—February 4—a day when you will either be celebrating the end of winter or lamenting 6 more weeks of snow and cold based on the appearance of a rodent named Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, just two days earlier. Either way, it’s a perfect day for a steamy bowl of veggie or meat medley.

Soup is easily one of my favorite meals. I was hooked when I made my first batch of homemade cream of mushroom soup that rivaled any I’d ever tasted. Delicious, nutritious, inexpensive, easy, fresh, homemade. I would never buy canned soup again. I search out delicious recipes and prepare soup at least once per week, twice in the winter. I constantly tweak, adding and subtracting ingredients, until I get the perfect layer of flavors. One friend commented I should open a food truck and serve only soup and I’ve often contemplated pursuing this venture.

Soup Stories is not just another recipe book. I want the story behind the soup: Was it a family recipe handed down through generations or modified from your favorite food blogger? Does the soup have magical medicinal powers that you swear will cure anything from asthma to zits? The recipes will stimulate their own level of curiosity. Where the hell do I buy pigs’ feet? Do I even want to taste soup made with pigs’ feet? What makes New Mom Soup so special?

Soup Stories will comprise approximately 40 different soups and the stories behind the recipes. Got a great recipe and a story to go with it? Submit your recipe along with 1,500-word essay. The recipes should be easy enough for anyone who picks up the book. The ingredients, likewise, should be simple and available at most grocery stores or even sourced from your own garden. 

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