Meet Liza Lugo, J.D. (lawdoctorlee) - An Interview with a Scholar and Author
My happiest time.
Accepting a Challenge
I absolutely love to read; and that means anything I can get my hands on: a book, a pamphlet, statutes, court opinions, or the news (online or in print). And then there is HubPages. I have been writing for HubPages for about three years now; and as much as I enjoy writing about different topics, I enjoy reading the hubs of numerous contributors. Probably the greatest thing about writing for HubPages is the support, encouragement, and inspiration I get from the author community. Here I often get the spark I need to write whenever I've hit a slump. Just when I think I have nothing to write about, I read a hub or two from one of my favorite HP writers and, voilà, something clicks; and I'm typing away again.
My favorite author on HP is Billybuc aka Bill Holland. His hubs are interesting, funny, inspiring, and thought-provoking. I guess you could say that I'm writing this hub for him. He recently accepted a challenge from a fellow hubber, Jen (Availiasvision). According to Bill, Jen "challenged us to answer a series of questions about ourselves. In other words, she asked that we interview ourselves." Bill "loved the idea" and did it. At the end of his hub, Bill extended the challenge to readers and his followers:
"Now how about the rest of you? Are you willing to get a can opener and pry the lid off of yourself? We would all love to see what’s inside your head and heart."
I did answer questions about myself on Goodreads; but I thought, I think I'm willing to accept Bill's challenge.
Me at age 2.
"The Big Picture"
I'm a Valentine's Day baby; and everyone tells me, "aww how sweet." I'm a New York City girl; and though I moved from New York when I became an adult, I've never been able to get that spirit out of my heart: sometimes raw; sometimes sophisticated; always free-spirited, loud, and passionate about a cause. I often march to the sound of my own drummer; and when I do so, I've been known to either hit the pavement pretty hard or soar to places I could only dream about. Deep down, I'm a risk taker. I'm not reckless though as I try to sort out the pros and cons first: calculating and understanding the price I am willing to pay for the trip. Particularly, if I have nothing to lose, I'm all over it, as they say, "like white on rice."
I've been asked, "would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?" My response is a resounding, "big-picture person." I understand the greater concept of situations and scenarios rather than getting "bogged-down" in the details. Perhaps it is because I believe that there is often more than one way to accomplish something. That is not to say that details are unimportant; they are, particularly, if one is trying to determine where things went wrong. Lawyers and laymen alike have often said "the Devil is in the details." Still, let's just say that I don't let the details distract me from the larger issue at hand.
What does your writing process look like?
"Probably, to a non-writer, my writing process looks like a hot mess. My desk, floor, and tables around me are loaded with piles of research organized in a way that only makes sense to me. I write with about ten tabs open on my computer as I bounce back and forth and in between. Sometimes I write for hours at a time; sometimes I can only get a few sentences out. I read and rewrite constantly. Sometimes I don't look at my draft for weeks because I hate it and then come back to it in later weeks to find that "hey, this is pretty damn good." I don't write chapters in the order in which they are published in the book. I reorganize paragraphs with regularity. Most writers will tell you just write...then organize it later so it makes sense."
Do you have any strange writing habits?
"I don't think they are strange but I write in the most raggedy clothes I have - usually a tee shirt, cardigan sweater, yoga pants and socks (no shoes). My long hair is tied in a knot on my head; and when I'm thinking, I pull it out of the knot and comb my fingers through it. I think it stimulates the blood flow to the brain (hahaha). I drink a lot of coffee when I write. I need some random noise going on around me; the TV or jazz music works well. I can't work in dead silence."
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
"Yes, I read my reviews. Right now it is manageable for me to respond to most or all of them. I don't take the reviews as defining of my work. Good reviews are always good but bad reviews are fine too. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm open-minded; so, if someone tells me my work sucks, I look at why that person thinks so. Sometimes I make changes based on their opinion. Bad reviews can be as well-deserved as good ones. I look at bad reviews as an opportunity to do better work. If I feel a bad review is not deserved, it's okay. I still thank that person for taking the time out of their day to read my work. There are other things they could have spent their time on besides me, so I still appreciate it."
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
"Formal citations...uggh! Writing a reference page, works cited page, or bibliography for a book is the most boring thing in the world. Well, except for developing an index for a book. What a snore!"
I love to travel!
Law School Graduation Day!
List five words that describe your character:
"Honest, straight-forward, hopeful, open-minded, and impatient. Well, I wouldn't be honest if I only listed positive traits to describe my character. No one is perfect, least of all me. Patience is something that has always been a challenge for me."
What is your greatest fear?
"Don't you hate this question? So many things scare me; certain bugs, horror movies, speaking in front of a large group, losing love, and failure are a couple of my fears. But my greatest fear is that I would let fear control my life. I've done many things in my life while being scared to death but I push through the fear and then collapse into a mental breakdown when it's all over (hahahha)."
Who has impacted you most in your career and how?
"Honestly, I've been blessed to have some great mentors, leaders, and bosses in my lifetime. But I have to say that Professor James Beckman has impacted me the most in my career. Once my professor at the University of Tampa (now he is at the University of Central Florida), Professor Beckman was the first to get me to really understand the concept of institutionalized racism with his course on Constitutional Law and Race Theory. From there, I volunteered to assist him with the research for a book he was working on about affirmative action programs in higher education since I had prior experience in college admissions. He knew I wanted to be a lawyer and encouraged me to apply to law school. He made me believe I could do it, that it was possible, and that I was not dreaming too big. Professor Beckman wrote my letter of recommendation for law school admission, reviewed my personal statement for the application, and gave me great advice during the process and throughout law school and beyond. He even followed my work on HubPages and asked me to write a chapter for his then-upcoming anthology on affirmative action. His interest in my writing and invitation gave me the esteem boost I needed to propose my own work to the same publisher. I was blessed when it became the book How Do Hurricane Katrina's Winds Blow. Professor Beckman even wrote an endorsement for the book on my behalf. It's an honor to know him."
What is your biggest regret and why?
"When I was in my 20s and 30s, I used to say, "I have no regrets. Every mistake has been an opportunity to learn." Well, go figure, I hadn't lived long enough to do stupid things I would regret later. We all say, "I shoulda, coulda, woulda..." maybe go straight to college after high school, maybe had my kids later in life, picked better friends but it's true, "youth is wasted on the young." My biggest regret is that, sometimes along the way, I hurt the people I loved the most. I didn't have the intent to hurt them but that didn't make their pain any less dull. So now I am more conscious of the effects that I have on others and strive to be encouraging, helpful, and supportive."
Jennifer's Challenge to Hubbers
- Interview Yourself: A Writer's Challenge
Share with the Hubpages Community who you are, as a writer and a person, by interviewing yourself. You might just learn a thing or two.
Passing on the Challenge
I get it. It's not easy to write about oneself. It's vulnerable and it's thought-provoking. But I found that this can be a great exercise. It provides an opportunity for introspection. It's a good way to dust off the cobwebs of the brain. So, I'll pass the challenge on to all of you. Take some time to write about yourself. Share your lessons with others. Spark inspiration. Think about how far you've come, where you would like to go, and what this wonderful new year will bring.
Special thanks to Bill Holland and Jennifer Arnett for inspiring this hub.
One of my favorite hubbers
Arnett, Jennifer. "Interview Yourself: A Writer's Challenge." HubPages.com. http://availiasvision.hubpages.com/hub/Interview-Yourself-A-writers-Challenge. Access date: 1/1/2015.
Holland, Bill. "Meet Bill Holland aka Billybuc: The Interview." HubPages.com. Nov. 26, 2014. http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Meet-Bill-Holland-aka-Billybuc-The-Interview. Access date: 1/1/2015.
By Liza Lugo, J.D.
© 2015. All Rights Reserved.
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Originally written and published on January 1, 2015. Latest corrections and edits made on February 23, 2015.
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