I am Liz and write as L J Bergquist. Fantasy was a favorite escape in my childhood. I've written poems, songs, and stories since 1st grade. It wasn't until my college years that I began to use fantasy to explore ideas about humanity, relationships, and fears of difference. To learn more about these topics, I took as many classes as possible in psychology and communication.
I also learned about myself and what mattered most to me. I made goals. And I began to apply those goals in the dojo, the elementary classrooms, and on the page.
What I want most is to educate and entertain. To challenge and affirm.
After graduation, I realized writing fantasy was another way to achieve my goals. I began an unofficial, self-directed course of study. But I was trying to learn alone.
Then a month-long series of writing workshops appeared in my county library. And I was introduced to a local-ish chapter of RWA. Even though I did not write romance, they welcomed me into their monthly meetings and became magnificent teachers in professionalism, fellowship, and craft.
Although I am no longer part of that chapter, they are an important part of my journey. More recently, I joined a local writing group that meets weekly and also offers support, inspiration, and instruction with a long-term focus.
By not standing alone, by opening myself to others, I grow.
About This Site
One lesson I learned from RWA is that a writer can give back regardless of where she is in her writing career. I already knew that giving back was fun but I had convinced myself that because I lacked a publishing contract I also lacked the right to give back.
To prove myself wrong, I started a blog and later started small writing contests on that blog. It was very fun. I even dared to share a few recent releases and to interview an author.
That blog was the seed for the site you now visit. Through the blog, I share what I learn and hope you can make fewer wrong turns. There, I will also interview authors with recent releases and promote their works. With the contests, I create chances for you to have enjoy and practice several areas of writing. This site was designed so I could give to you.
About My Writing
For me, writing is more than doing: it is a way of being. A lifestyle, but more than that. When I don't write, my emotions stagnate, my thoughts tangle, I become irritable and erratic. Writing is as necessary for my wellness as walks in the woods, meditation, and sleep. Without any of these, I do not thrive.
So I write.
As for what I write...
There is magic in every good piece of writing. It is just more obvious in fantasy. In fantasy, it is clear that people can use magic to create miracles. People fight and befriend and bargain with dragons, demons, and spirits.
But what I find most enchanting is the way setting aside the real world can help people set aside prejudices and preconceptions. Speculative fiction allows readers to explore ideas in ways that might be difficult or impossible in a real world setting.
So I write fantasy.
To properly appreciate a sandbox, you must look at it in several ways at once.
From the outside, a sandbox appears to be a wonderful place for learning and play. A person can create without major consequences. There, it is easy to build, destroy, and change your work
On the inside, a sandbox is filled with sands. Not sand. Sands. Many individual particles that can be combined or divided in many different ways. Place a grain of sand under a microscope to see an entire world. Suddenly, the sandbox is full of worlds that have been there all along, waiting to be discovered.
A sandbox writer is someone who plays with ideas as though they were sands. She -- or he -- can build castles and angels. At the same time, a sandbox writer is able to examine a single idea and discover a world within.
I want my site to become your writing sandbox.
A place to experiment, play, and learn.
Sometimes, I hope to challenge your assumptions. One day, I hope to applaud your achievements. At all times, I believe that you and your work have worth.
If you let me, I’d would enjoy promoting your work as you publish and walking with you as we stumble and stride towards the possible.