I’m originally from southern Connecticut, along the Gold Coast bordering Long Island Sound. Tired of the New England climate, I relocated to San Francisco over seventeen years ago.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
All the hype about San Francisco is true! All the song lyrics. All the photographs. You will leave your heart here. There is something for everyone. It is such a beautiful and navigable city. Everything is steeped in nostalgia, from the cable cars, to the steep hills and crooked streets, to the vintage streetcars, urban oases, green spaces, world class dining, climate, landmarks, culture, sports, and views! Of course there are things I will always miss about New England, but I don’t miss the climate. New York Yankee coverage is slim to none out here, but the San Francisco Giants with their three world series championships and ticker tape parades aren’t too shabby either! Living in San Francisco is almost like being in Disney’s Epcot. Every neighborhood is unique. We have Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon, Little Italy, South of Market District, Financial District, Union Square, Nob Hill, Haight Ashbury, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Embarcadero, just to name a few! And within 1-2 hours in every direction, I can go from the city, to the Pacific Ocean, to Wine Country, to Silicon Valley, to the trails of Yosemite and the slopes of Lake Tahoe. You can beach and ski in the same day. So whatever mood you’re in, you can just get in the car and escape.
What turns you on creatively?
I don’t plot or outline. I have no plan nor compass. This may not be recommended, but the words just spill out onto the page randomly. I watch as the words unfold, just like the reader does. Sometimes I even surprise myself. All of my poems are ripped directly from my personal life, the good, bad, and ugly. I seem to write mostly about relationships, both sad and happy, erotica, haiku, and short poems. I try to keep challenging myself and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Two years ago I was afraid to publish my work, now I have written four books and am on nine different online sites, some of them subscription-only. To be paid for something that I actually enjoy is a dream come true. My social media presence is growing steadily. When readers send me personal messages telling me what my poems mean to them, really that is what it’s all about for me. I’m not in it for the money, notoriety, or to be a best seller. I write because I have to. It’s a calling, a cathartic release, and incredibly therapeutic. And if I can help someone who is struggling with the same things, then it makes me feel that much better about myself.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
“Zoinks!” a word made famous by Shaggy on the Scooby Doo cartoon. I don’t know the actual meaning of it, as it was used as an exclamation whenever there was something scary or surprising. I use it as a replacement for a swear word, and it is just as effective, such as “Zoinks, I forgot my cell phone!”
What is your pet peeve?
Ignorance. I avoid people who are opinionated without sufficient knowledge about the topic or the particular situation, and people who are judgmental. Over the years, I have learned to be less combative. I pick and choose my battles and won’t waste precious time trying to change someone’s mind or show them the error of their thinking. Life’s short, time is precious, and it isn’t worth my time. Also people who feel the need to always prove they are right, even when they aren’t. I also prefer not to surround myself with people who forget that work isn’t everything. I learned the hard way that you have to enjoy life and let the office go, and it is so important to maintain life balance. The last thing I want to talk about on a weekend is work or people at the office. For this reason, I rarely socialize with anyone I work with or even in my field. I draw a very thick line in the sand between my work life and personal life. Many admire my ability to do this, but it took many years to perfect and requires an immense amount of energy to protect.
What defines L.M. Giannone?
I’m unpredictable! I have a short attention span and need variety. I’m a chameleon who thrives on adapting to change. It keeps me on my toes, otherwise I bore easily. I have to keep recreating, otherwise I would be characterized or defined, and I avoid that at all costs. As soon as I feel trapped, I look for the nearest escape. It takes a patient person to understand and accept this about me. I am fiercely independent, and tend to keep an emotional distance from people, unless they’re in the innermost circle of trust. Having turned to writing during very difficult emotional times, I learned that it’s a calling. It is extremely gratifying and cathartic. I have been through a lot of ups and downs, and I have always come back as a survivor.
L. M. Giannone is a writer and poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from Southern Connecticut, Lisa transplanted herself in California to escape the harsh winters and summers of New England. She is the author of No Vacancy, a collection of humorous personal essays, and A Touch of Noir, a collection of short stories written in noir style. She has two books in the works for 2017 publication.