Meet the Summer guest editor

Meet Lisa Ford our Summer issue guest editor. She has previously written articles for the hillscene so I was very pleased when she decided to be our guest editor. She’s decided to donate her earnings from doing the hillscene to the bushfire fundraising efforts. What a legend.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?

It all started when I was just a slip of a girl at school: I used to write my older sister’s English essays and was encouraged by the As ‘we’ used to get!. I majored in English Literature at university and worked as a journalist before the 1990s recession took my career down a different path. Two decades and three children later, my withering creative urge prompted me to study creative writing for a couple of years at Coonara Community House, where I wrote for the Foothills mag before jumping to hillscene.

Why did you want to become an editor/writer?

I love words and working with them in any capacity. After my toe-dip into writing, being an editor was always on the bucket list to satisfy my passions for grammar and spelling (nerd alert!) and for a sense of finally being the conductor of the orchestra.

What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?

Ah, the era of fake news and alternative facts is a logical outcome of the seemingly benign Age of Relativism, in which the truth is now just one of many casualties of humankind’s mad march to idiocracy, along with the planet’s environment, most species except our own, democracy, science, reason etc. (don’t get me started!) In short, it should be the editor’s role to ensure the truth is told. 

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

 I have always enjoyed reading hillscene at local cafes and am a huge fan of the arts, the performing arts and Burrinja. It seemed like a great fit for me. 

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

Our kids went to school locally for 12 years, played various sports, joined voluntary organisations such as scouts and CFA Juniors. I have also joined writing groups, tai chi and yoga classes and am an avid fan of plays, performances and art shows at Burrinja, the 1812 and Cloudehill.  Every experience deepens my connection with the community. But even more than that, I love the human scale of the hills, where I can exchange ‘Good mornings’ with a stranger in the street to fleetingly recognise our shared humanity.

What do you wish you knew about being a writer/editor before you got started?

I wish I had the hillscene style guide, because I missed a few things – sorry! 

Who are your creative heroes?

It has to be Shakespeare for literature and Puccini for opera. Both make me swoon.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

Nature, wildlife, the earthy arty people and our fabulous townships 

What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?

I want to do a 10 day Vipassana silent retreat this year.   It’s time. 

Something else you want us to know? Here is your chance!

My hero is Greta Thunberg. We need young people like her to save the world. 

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