Lisa H. Owens
My history: I was born in 1961, the tail-end of the generation known as the Baby Boomers. Growing up, my family moved around—a lot. I attended a total of nine schools-in six cities-in four states before my first year of college in 1980.
Following a gap year, I moved to Oklahoma to attend college, graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Not able to land a job in my chosen profession in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, I began a 25-year career as a flight attendant with Delta Airlines, retiring in 2009.
Even before fully retiring, I started a new career working for an environmental corporation in Tarrant County Texas, founded by my husband, shortly after we married in 1987. It has been a welcome change of pace and affords me the flexibility necessary to write and pursue other interests and hobbies.
“By day,” I am an environmental compliance manager, writing as well as editing technical reports. The creation of job-specific Excel spreadsheets and GAEA Winlog Soil Borings, something I approach with gusto, has earned me the coveted title of nerd among my office peers.
"By night," (and weekends) I can be found tweaking (Are they ever really finished?) my recently completed book, "Dear Melinda, How I Met Your Brother," as well as writing short stories inspired by numerous moves when I was a child—from north to south and east to west—with my oddball family. A number of these stories (24) were published, beginning in April 2018 in the form of monthly humorist columns for two local area newspapers. Currently, on a freelance basis, I am contributing a variety of fiction and nonfiction pieces to a popular news blog, “Beneath the Surface News,” created by Sara Vanden Berge in March 2020.
My writing: My interest in the written word began at a young age. I guess I have always had a love affair with books and began to read many of the classics (Little Women, Mark Twain, Oliver Twist, The Call of the Wild, Don Quixote, Treasure Island, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Gulliver's Travels to name a few) as early as third grade (1969) when my Daddy would drop me at my hometown public library in Graham, North Carolina almost every Saturday. I would occupy myself for hours reading, curled on the floor with a stack of books by my side. I always considered books to be my educational babysitter.
My love of reading inspired me to try my hand at writing, beginning in fifth grade when I won a school-wide essay contest at Graham Elementary School with my submission titled, "Why I Love My School." Continuing in high school, I won a class-wide songwriting contest, creating an original Christmas Carol, "Christmas Time is Here Again," and following the creation of a musical score (also created by my classmates), the song was performed at our annual Christmas Chorale Performance.
Moving forward to keep things fresh; I love to challenge myself by entering online nonfiction and flash fiction contests or taking inspiration from writing prompt or image prompt challenges. My writing was validated when I won second place (a monetary award!) for my timely nonfiction piece, "What You Can Do in 8 Minutes and 46 Seconds," on a WOW! (Women on Writing) quarterly 2020 nonfiction essay contest. This earned me an "author interview" which was published on their blog, "The Muffin."
Most recently; I have completed my first book (mentioned above), "Dear Melinda, How I Met Your Brother," a humorous epistolary memoir describing my first year as a new-hire flight attendant with Delta Airlines. It is currently in the "looking for a publisher or literary agent" phase, something that I have been informed includes lots of queries/submissions (at least 100) followed by lots of rejection. I plan to plow forward and keep my chin up.
My home life: I have two children; my daughter born in 1987 is an award-winning journalist for a North Texas newspaper as well as a weekend volleyball enthusiast and avid planner of weekend-with-friends activities; and my son born in 1989 is working in an executive position for a Fortune 500 company in Boston, Massachusetts. He loves to travel, having already created a bucket list of places to see, and is an outdoor-sport enthusiast, participating in a variety of weekend activities and adventures.
I can often be found at home, in the North Texas county in which I have resided since 1995, writing, swimming, gardening, reading, painting, binge-watching one of many binge-worthy television series, or walking through a nearby park with my three rescue dogs.
Awards and Recognition
- Nonfiction Essay finalist for "Little Notes Everywhere," a micro-essay dealing with the reality of Alzheimer's Disease. Q1-2021 Nonfiction Essay WOW! (Women on Writing)
- Awarded second place for the nonfiction essay "What You Can Do in 8 Minutes and 46 Seconds," a bullet point micro-essay contemplating the murder of George Floyd. Q4-2020 Nonfiction Essay WOW! (Women on Writing)
- Nonfiction Essay finalist for "Invisible Wounds," a micro-essay describing an element of narcissistic abuse. Q4-2019 Nonfiction Essay WOW! (Women on Writing)