Adriana did such an amazing job introducing herself, I thought I should make an attempt. There is a short and sweet intro followed by a longer slightly explanatory one.
Short and Sweet
I have lived in Arizona, Texas, Washington, Oregon, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. I’m back in Oregon where I live with my amazing book-loving third grader who is a huge supporter of my writing. I enjoy working with fish and children. Being a patient and empathetic friend and sister is something I work on. Immersing myself in all kinds of creativity is a necessity. Reading enjoyable books is life. Daily exercise is essential to my mental health. Trying new things is a must, even if they are scary.
More about Lena
Hi I’m Lena LaCrosse. (Or that’s my pen name.) I come across people with my real name often. Yesterday, I was thinking about this and how I would explain my reasons for a pen name during a spin ride with my favorite Peloton instructor (disclaimer: I do not own a Peloton, just a used spin bike from craigslist that once lived in a gym). There were less than three minutes left and she encouraged someone with my first and last name. I checked the closed captioning to ensure that I wasn’t in a delirious state after sweating so much and yep, it was my name. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name is LaCrosse and my paternal great-grandmother was Lena, both feisty women that made big moves in their lives. One of the first stories I remember writing in middle school was a historical fiction account of Lena’s journey as a nanny from Germany to Mexico to the United States in the late 1800s.
I grew up in the very hot desert of Phoenix, Arizona, and always dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. I worked for 13 years in fisheries where I worked in the field with sea turtles and bottlenose dolphins but spent most of my time in fisheries research and management. When my child was two, we left Hawaii. In Oregon, became a stay at home mom and taught English online to children in China. After my divorce, I tried a high paying office manager position which was a terrible fit. It confirmed what I always knew, I need a position where I feel like I’m making a difference. So now I’m a library media assistant at an elementary school where I do my best to foster a love for books and reading in 380 students each week.
For over two decades I’ve tried various jobs and ways of making a living but writing was always in the back of my mind, something I’d talk about doing some day. English teachers encouraged me to enter contests, but when I never placed, the rejection made me feel that they were just biased. I thought that they liked me as a person, but my writing wasn’t great.
It’s funny that over two decades later I dipped my toe back into writing through contests. I really enjoy the contests and even though I rarely place, they have been a great motivator. A deadline has really pushed me to write. Winning NaMoWriMo by reaching my goal of over 50,000 words one day before the deadline felt awesome and gave me a shot of confidence. Editing has been a challenge and I am having trouble finding motivation. I finally started editing in January but then found out that after I placed in the first round of a NYC Midnight contest, I did not place in the second round. The confidence I felt from placing and from meeting my NaMoWriMo goals vanished. After making this realization and taking a month to lick my wounds, I’m back to editing my novella. It feels so good to actually write instead of dreaming about it. I don’t know where this writing chapter will take me, but I’m glad I’m on it. Thank you for joining us on our writing journey, hopefully, we can support each other.