This began as an author newsletter; no particular purpose, just essays and thoughts on rural, secluded life and living. But over time, I’ve realized that I’m trying to create a place here rather than a topic. A place in rural America filled with possibilities, alternate options, and a can-do attitude.
Most of us are weary of the same old story, wondering how we can do more than survive, take charge to build our communities, be more gentle with ourselves and others,learn to raise ourselves and our communities to a brighter, happier future. None of the political promises or economic success models have worked in our small towns. All the old answers only reflect old and outdated concepts. Nobody knows the answers anymore—too much is changing. We need to figure this out together and this is a space where we can think outside the box.
That’s why I chose the name: ‘Two-Lane Renaissance’. I love the image it conjures, a renewal, a rebirth, a re-emergence of classic community values, including cooperation, duty, service, and a connection to nature and to each other.
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In the spirit of this newsletter, this community, I want to say a word here about personal sustainability. So many of us are expected to be on our game year-round. But I know I never am. I will be bringing my whole humanity to this place, and I hope that will be understood. Every now and then, I might even pause subscriptions for a while. But however I manage it, I will be honouring my own need to rest. I think it’s important to voice that. I invite you to do the same.
The Renaissance is a place to dream, hope and awaken, to revel in the luminous mundane, to remember who we are, where we come from, and make decisions on where we’re going to go. A a place that invites connections with other like-minded souls. I hope you’ll join me.
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Lisa Hayes-Minney is an Appalachian writer, artist, and homesteader. She lives with her husband on Memory Lane in rural West Virginia. Lisa enjoys working with words, paints, plants, paper, printing, and vintage typewriters. She maintains significantly-sized vegetable, flower, and herb gardens, and tends hens, bees, and a homestead. She also processes, freezes, and cans the vegetables and produce from their gardens.
Lisa earned her MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College and holds degrees in English, Journalism, and Liberal Arts. A board member of West Virginia Writers, Inc., Lisa volunteers to help promote and encourage literary endeavors in West Virginia. She writes online at Two-Lane Renaissance, (reprinted in The Trader’s Guide), and her written work has also appeared in GreenPrints Magazine, Memoir Magazine, DoveTales Magazine, and in two book collections: “Mountains Upon Mountains: New Appalachian Nature Writing,” and “Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility.”