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ELBA -- In the next few years, you'll be able to sit in your recliner, sip a cup of coffee, and enjoy crisp, startling images of bald eagles raising their young, mosquitoes feeding on the blood of a frog and wildflowers in the heart of the Whitewater Valley. Savor them, enjoy the work of Lisa Loucks Christenson of Rochester. But know that she went through more than a year of mud and mosquitoes, cold and fog, snow and heat to get them. You should also know that she loved it, enjoyed the daily trip to the valley in snowstorm and fog, relished slithering through muck to sneak up on a frog, and waiting for hours to get a shot of an eagle. She has fallen in love with the area around the former town of Beaver in the heart of the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area, the largest block of public land in southern Minnesota. To get the images, she has gone to the same two marshes near Beaver for more than a year. It's a form of time-lapse photography, only she shoots the same tree (and on the same trip, the same cornfield and barn) and other details daily, along with anything else that catches her eye. In the past two years, Christenson has also followed two eagles as they raise their young. To do all of it has required several digital cameras and a lot of clothing. Last week, she wore faded camouflage pants and shirt, and her hair was wrapped in a red bandana. It's not fashionable, but when you're slopping through a marsh and plowing through nettles taller than you are, fashion fades, and reality rules. She gladly wears that gear in summer, and dresses for minus-30 ("I literally felt like a walking marshmallow") in winter to get pictures for two books on eagles and a third book on a year in the life of two marshes. The one eagle book is due out in October, while the marsh book is due in April 2007, she said. The second eagle book will come out later. . . . --Post-Bulletin / June 12, 2006 / Credit: John Weiss Post-Bulletin Outdoor Writer
In Search of Spirit Wolf, Episode 1 of Book 3, Wolves of Whitewater Falls
Buy In Episode 1 of Book 3, In Search of Spirit Wolf, Wolves of Whitewater Falls by Lisa Loucks Christenson:
Testimonials & Comments
Here’s what people are saying about Lisa Loucks Christenson’s work:
"Never quit~the eagles need you!"––Megan SaVallee
"Came back again to see all your projects!"––Shirley Brilla
"Fascinating to see bugs up close, and to read about your adventures. Thanks."––Ruth/Minneapolis
"I love UR pictures!!"––Huntley Family/Woodbury, MN
"The minute I walked into this room at the National Eagle Center and noticed the photos, I thought of you, Lisa. Sure enough, there were your notes describing the scenes in the photos! Wonderful exhibit and information! Thank you!"––Marilyn Ormand/Rochester, MN
"Great & very exciting exhibit"––Vicky/Minneapolis, MN
"Praise Jesus for HIS creation of the eagle which shows HIS wonderous handiwork"––Gerald and Laurie Whitmore/Coon Rapids, MN
“Dear Miracle Worker, I love the book cover! Cynthia and I agree, it looks like angels being born from the stars!”––Reginald G. Johnson, Ph.D Author of The Awakening : Conquering the Sleeping Giant Within
"Lisa's project was delivered on time and was of a higher caliber than what I usually expect from writers. I would highly recommend her service"––Sterling Idea Initiative
"Lisa, I LOVE IT!!! You are absolutely on target. You are incredible!!! It’s almost as though your mind blended with mine."––Santosh V. Houston, TX
“We thought the article you wrote was an excellent sales piece! It did exactly what we hoped it would do!”––Valutec Card Solutions | Gerten's On Valutec"
“Lisa, for my business card may I please use what you wrote: ‘Pearls of the highest quality . . . created one grain at a time.’ I love it!”––Dana B.
“Thank you, Lisa, for the opportunity to read and think on HARLEY HIPPO AND THE CRANE GAME. I’d read your beautiful award-winning essay --NARROW PATHS-before I read you picture book ms. You are a fluid, sincere writer. And you have stories-important stories that speak of Love, and Faith, and Hope to tell."––Esther H. Chicago, IL
"Dear Lisa, I loved your story on the GUM MAN. You even made an old war-bird like me cry!"––Rich
"Dear Lisa: What a beautiful story that you wrote! Very moving, very inspiring, and very well crafted. We love it. Thanks for sharing it with us."––Fan Shen/Author of Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard. Order this Title
"Lisa, WOW! What a great story! This story is an amazing teaching tool for EVERYONE...all faiths and backgrounds because spiritual truth is absolutely essential if we are to understand ourselves and take over effectual control of our lives. Much like the Bible, which is unlike any other Book; it is a spiritual vortex through which spiritual power pours from heaven to earth--however, it depends on wonderful angels on earth like yourself to help us benefit from the hidden "keys" in life to fully understand it all."––Reggie | Author of Have You Walked On Water?
Reader’s comments from Lisa’s award-winning story CAROUSEL RIDERS: “Lisa, your story unfolded nicely and the Alzheimer’s aspect was sensitively handled. The metaphor was really well done in the carousel scene-a real gem for the reader!”––Editor
“Well, I just read your Carousel Riders story. Ouch. Thanks for making me cry. I liked and hated the ending, if that makes sense. I only hated it due to the truth factor. If it wasn't about Grandma, I would have loved it."––Heather (authors' sister)/Rochester, MN
Letter from Writer’s Digest: “Dear Lisa, one of my most enjoyable tasks as editor of Writer’s Digest is passing along good news to writers. It is my pleasure to tell you that your manuscript, Narrow Paths, has been awarded Honorable Mention in the Inspirational category of the 71st Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.... This years contest attracted over 19,000 entries. Your success in the face of such formidable competition speaks highly of your writing talent, and should be a source of great pride as you continue in your writing career.”––Melanie Rigney/Editor Writer’s Digest
Reader’s comments on Lisa’s story YEAR OF THE BALD EAGLE: “Oh, what a wonderful inspiration you are! I’m so glad our paths were brought together! Thanks for sharing your story with me!”––Heather C./ Minneapolis, MN
“I’ll put in a good word for you with the man upstairs. You are truly a soul friend. Thanks for the VEGETABLE JUSTICE and YEAR OF THE BALD EAGLE stories. Your creativity is awesome. Keep up the good work and as far as wings are concerned-- with such an inspirational friend such as yourself who ever is privileged to cross your path you take the time to show them how to fly.”––H.M./ New Jersey
Reader’s comments on Lisa’s story JUST IN TIME: “This is a very nice piece of writing -- appropriately slow moving to match the harbor and river. Nothing jars or clashes.”––Scribendi Editor
Here's what people are saying about Lisa’s award-winning story, THE MODEL MAKER: “I thought The Model Maker was reminiscent of a shortened, "Twilight Zone" episode or a Ray Bradbury story--and that ain't bad! The only thing wrong with this story is that it was too short! I wanted more!”––S.B. / Columbus, OH
"Dear Lisa, Congratulations on your award for your short story The Model Maker. I enjoyed it both as a writer and as a miniaturist. I shared the story with several friends who are doll house enthusiasts and they loved it also. One thinks it would make a lovely illustrated book for adults another said she would like to see a room box based on your story. One friend, a published author and miniaturist, just lost her husband two weeks ago. She was especially moved and promises to reread it many times. Good luck with your future writing.”––M.H.C.
"What a wonderful story. I loved it and wish Lisa had expanded it to a book. I read it with tears. Loved her portrayal and know she has the ability to make it a full story. Her talent should be encouraged and rewarded. Thanks for sharing.”––Mary
"Dear Lisa, I subscribe to a daily digest called "Small Stuff". The members are all people interested in anything miniature. There are artisans, crafters, and beginning doll house makers like me. One of our members read your winning story "The Model Maker" and posted the website in our latest digest, suggesting we read your story. I loved the story! You are a very talented storyteller! I hope you continue to write. I'm sure others also enjoy your story.”––S.Z.S. Bakersfield, CA
Opening lines from Lisa’s award-winning story THE MODEL MAKER:
At seventy-seven, Cora Stephans, a model maker, was nearing completion of her grand masterpiece. The city of Cresco, Iowa, commissioned her to create a room-size mechanical townscape based on her life study of the area, and they were darn lucky to get her for the job, too.
A self-taught engineer whose creations had brought historical figures back to life at the World Fairs from decades past, Cora was a robotics imaginer before the terms were even invented. During her studies over the years more than one man had studied her. In fact, if you asked Cora what made those old men blush, she'd confess, 'Beauty is only skin deep, but mine's still a dollar short of pin money.' Whatever that meant.
She ignored the leers of the widowers, and bypassed the steady gaze from men who never did settle long enough to marry. Cora avoided divorced men, because they couldn't forget their old baggage. After losing Jonathon, her only love, she ignored her yearnings. Living for her art was a hollow substitution for love, and Cora knew this in her heart, but it kept one's mind and hands occupied. The townscape of Cresco took years to create and each character had to be individually designed.
From handmade curtains to authentic flooring, everything within the walls of Cora's townscapes contained the stories, the hopes, and the dreams of real people. Who could resist the country general store? When you opened the door, a saggy bloodhound lifted its head from its paws and howled.
Every store was animated with characters and props that moved lights and fans that worked. The player piano cranked out a tune and the mechanical bartender poured a mug of beer. Cora struggled for a week trying to figure out how to keep the beer mugs frosted. She credited her mechanical skills to her father.
Everyone respected Harlan Stephans, he was witty and gifted. He could make anything tick and come alive. In moment of great weakness, Cora wanted to believe that if he had been alive when Jonathon had died, that her father would have found a way to save him, too. Cora tapped into her father's gift and expanded upon it . . . .