By John Paluta
Lauren Fisher is a recent graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in Art/Photography. In September of 2017, she became an editor for Volume One. Below is a brief interview on her thoughts on Volume One and the journey that brought her here:
How are you settling into the role of associate editor?
The Volume One staff is phenomenal and welcoming, so settling in has been pretty smooth! I just need to reintroduce the Oxford comma and ditch the double-spaces after sentences, and I’ll practically be native. ;) There’s a smidge more to it than that, but I am looking forward to contributing all I can to the publication.
Is Eau Claire to your liking? I understand you come from Alaska. That’s certainly a change!
There’s opportunity to engage with your community wherever you go, but Eau Claire really takes it up a notch. My husband and I have had a really fun time discovering the “city life.” We both grew up miles out of the town or in small communities – fewer than 500 people – so being able to step out of an apartment into the hubbub is a new experience. We’re trying to make the most of the great local entertainment and products, and of course how fresh locally-produced food is!
Is there much of a ‘culture shock’ that came from traveling this far south?
I was expecting to get a bit of culture shock, but I think it’s rougher on you Midwesterners than it is on me! Folks don’t seem to appreciate their region being referred to as “down South,” or having me correct them when they call snowmachines “snowmobiles.” Seriously, though, while the culture is a lot different in the lower-48, it’s more like moving to the real world than entering a foreign land.
What brought you into the realm of writing? Did you know that you wanted to become an editor?
When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to be a journalist. I was curious, unsatisfied and indignant; I think I just liked the idea of being able to ask questions and feel entitled to the answers. The desire to edit came a little later, probably while I was in college. I worked as an English tutor for a year, and got on as an editor at the student paper. I found that editing is a really fulfilling activity. Communicating using writing is the fun kind of challenging, so I get a kick out of communicating about communicating. It’s also really special to collaborate with someone to take their writing to the next level, even if it just takes a comma or a hyphen.
What sort of writing do you like to do during your free time? I read your piece ‘The Making of a Maze’ and loved the intro!
I’m flattered that you liked “The Making of a Maze” intro. I was fond of it, so I’m glad it played. I don’t do as much writing in my free time as I should, but when I do sit down to make words on my own time, they’re generally either rhetoric or fiction. I write a lot of arguments because I think they’re great mental exercise – they require research, reasoning, and consideration for how your words will be interpreted. As for fiction, I’d like to someday learn how to tell stories like Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, Piers Anthony or Ayn Rand. I am fascinated with how fiction can be used to communicate concerns about political and social issues without scaring people off or boiling their blood. That’s a long way off, though. For now I’ll deal in fact.
I understand you have an interest in photography. How did you come to love the art of picture taking? Do you plan to utilize your skills in journalism and photography in tandem at Volume One?
I’m a little less enamored with photography than I once was, but I still appreciate the technical challenges of capturing light and preserving memories. I do have a few ideas for photojournalistic projects with Volume One, but they’re back-burnered until I’m fully integrated into the writing/editing gig.
How excited are you to be the new associate editor of Volume One?
I am still thrilled to be working at Volume One. Sometimes I’m sitting at my desk, writing or corresponding or editing, and it just hits me all over again that I get to do this job. I’m having a difficult time reconciling the fact that I don’t really believe in “luck,” with how incredibly lucky I am.