Lucy Rose Fischer, PhD, is a Minnesota author, artist, and social scientist. Her next book, THE JOURNALIST, will be published by Spark Press in August 2020
This is her story…
- What/who inspires you?
I’ve been lucky to have had a number of people in my life who have served as mentors. My mother-in-law was my art teacher—we didn’t live in the same town, but when we visited, we would do art together and she would teach me her “secret” techniques. My professor, Alice Rossi, was my mentor in sociology—she was a famous feminist sociologist. In the 1960s, she published an article entitled, “Equality Between the Sexes: An Immodest Proposal.”
My first and most important mentor was my big brother, Jerry Rose. He was an artist and writer and became a journalist in Vietnam in the early 1960s. He read poetry to me when I was a little girl and always encouraged me to write and to develop my skills. In 1965, he sent me a very long letter. I was just about to get married, and he wrote that i was important for me to develop my own professional ctareer. This was in 1965—well ahead of the “women’s liberation” movement. My brother died in a plane crash in Vietnam—only about two weeks after I got that letter—he had sent me enough big-brotherly advice to last a lifetime.
I’ve just completed a book in “collaboration” with my brother—THE JOURNALIST: LIFE AND LOSS IN AMERICA’S SECRET WAR by Jerry A. Rose and Lucy Rose Fischer. This will be my sixth book and will be published in August 2020 by Spark Press.
- What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened on your journey to Wisdom?
I had a long career as a PhD-trained sociologist doing research on aging. Then one day, I looked in the mirror and noticed some creases on my forehead. I was becoming old—just like the subjects of my research. What really surprised me was that I was surprised! After all the studies I had done and the articles and books I had written about aging—why was surprised about my own aging???!!!
- What’s your typical day like now? How is it different from your daily routines in the past?
I’ve been working at home for many years now—so being quarantined by the pandemic didn’t require as much adjustment as it might for others. I split my time between writing and art. I’m lucky to have a study-studio in my home, with a desk and computer for my writing and a work bench for my art. My specialty is painting upside-down-inside-out-and-backward on hand blown glass. Most of my art is colorful and whimsical.
I also create collages. My last two books were fanciful picture books for adults—all with collages: I’M NEW AT BEING OLD and GROW OLD WITH ME. Now, I’ve been working on a series of serious-but-whimsical collages about the pandemic.
I also teach paper collage art in senior housing facilities, ranging from independent to assisted living to nursing homes.
A typical day is never typical. Sometimes I have a variety of tasks—sending emails, calling friends and colleagues, writing short or long pieces. Sometimes I spend almost a whole day doing art. I go for walks almost every day. I like to cook and to invent my own dishes.
- What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love the variety and the creativity. With my work as artist and writer, there’s a lot of thinking and planning. So, when I’m taking a shower, trying to sleep, or going for a walk, I’m often thinking through one of my projects.
- What advice would you give a woman over 40?
Follow your dreams—it’s never too late! I began my art career when I was 60. Before that, I had an intensive career as a researcher, with art as my passion on the side. I’m 75 and still going strong. People are living longer now—so if you’ve always wanted to be a psychologist or a doctor or an artist or a writer…do it!
- What, if anything, would you have done differently in your life?
I don’t really have regrets. I’ve been lucky. I met my husband when we were very young—what did we know about life when we chose each other? We’ve been married for 54 years and have a loving and supportive marriage—it’s a kind of miracle that it has worked so well. We have one son, a daughter-in-law and seven grandchildren, and we love them all.
- What things are most important to you now? Why? How have your dreams and goals changed through your life?
When I was younger and involved in my research career, the number of professional publications and research grants seemed to be the focus of life. I’m still productive—but the process of creating is more important than the number of items produced
The most important aspect of life is time and what we do with our days, hours, minutes… My mission—to be ALIVE, truly alive and vital, as long as I’m alive.
- Tell us about any community projects you are involved in and why you support them?
I’ve been on the boards of a number of communal groups. My husband and I started a charity. My most important community project is the Interfaith Artist Circle. I founded this group more than 15 years ago as the Jewish Women Artists’ Circle. About five years ago we invited Christian, Buddhist and Muslim women artists to join us and we became an interfaith group. We select spiritual and communal themes, study with scholars, create individual artworks, and show our art in public exhibits in many venues. I continue to be the group leader.
- If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
I wish that we could look at all people in the world with compassion—to see that we are all mirrors of one another. If all of us would care about all others, we would ensure justice and sustenance for all.
- What advice would you give your younger self?
Life is rich. There are times to grieve and times to celebrate. Both the good times and the bad times pass. Savor the moments!
- What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I love to read good books and watch good tv—PBS, Prime and Netflix. I also love to travel—my husband and I have had some wonderful experiences—most recently, we’ve gone on hiking trips with Road Scholar.
- What’s next for you (or what’s left on your “bucket list”)
I might do another book—based on my series “Life in Pandemic Times”. For now, I’m using these collages in my blog—an e-newsletter.
- What’s your ‘secret’ indulgence?
I love white chocolate – I know it’s too sweet and not healthy like dark chocolate – but it glides over the tongue and makes me smile.
- What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I resonate especially with many Asian or Asian-American women writers. I love the work of Jhumpa Lahiri. Her novel THE NAMESAKE made me think of my own immigrant family. My parents came from Poland around 1930, just ahead of the Holocaust.
Learn ore and follow Lucy on her website https://lucyrosedesigns.com/