Lily Iona MacKenzie’s Writer’s Blog

At the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, outside of Mexico City.

I love this picture my husband Michael took of me after climbing 248 steps to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun.  Four months earlier, I had gone through a partial knee replacement for one knee, so for me it was an amazing accomplishment.

Writing requires this kind of exertion, the ability to resist giving in when we’ve received yet another rejection.  Some people call this perseverance.  But is that what it takes to keep writing in the face of adversity, rejection, and lack of recognition?  The word sounds so duty bound, so driven.  To me, a better word is discipline. At its root is disciple, though there are many lovely variations on this word that I actually prefer:  student, follower, learner, devotee.

I’m devoted to following the intricacies of language and where it takes me.  I’m ardent about words and what they evoke in our minds and imaginations—the worlds they create.  And I’m constantly learning, a student of the writer’s craft, eager to open myself each day to the endless possibilities this calling presents.  No wonder I love to write!

About me?  A Canadian by birth, I have two Masters degrees, one in Creative Writing and one in the Humanities. I’ve taught expository and creative writing, the humanities, and English, at the University of San Francisco and other Bay Area colleges for over 25 years.  I also was co-creator of a radio show for children on the former KTIM in Marin County for two years.  Some of those audio tapes are available for downloading free under my post “Free Children’s Stories from “The Story Shoppe.”

A former Marin Poetry Center board member and Chair, I’ve served on other Marin non-profit boards.  My poetry, critical and personal essays, articles, travel pieces, and short fiction have appeared in numerous U.S. and Canadian publications.  I’ve also written novels.  Dream journalling, gardening, and dabbling in the visual arts (painting and collage) feed my imagination.

I’m including here samples from my novels and short fiction, as well as the articles/reviews and poetry that are available online.  They do not represent everything I’ve published. Please see my page LIST OF LILY’S PUBLICATIONS for a complete overview.

In October 2011, Little Red Tree Publishing published my poetry collection All This. It’s available at Amazon:

A recent issue of Notes Magazine featured me as the spotlight author, showcasing my poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can purchase it at

Pen-L Press will publish my novel Fling in July 2015.  Click this link to order Fling!

qrcode.29126325 copy

7 thoughts on “Lily Iona MacKenzie’s Writer’s Blog

  1. Thanks for your comments. I love the idea that your great grandfather was born on Iona, an island I’ve wanted to visit (my mother was born in Portree, Isle of Skye, where I still have relatives).


  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog, Lily Iona; I am an Australian grandmother living in my 2 acre garden called Iona ( because my great grandfather emigrated from the isle of Iona to S,Aust 1870). I am also interested because I studied some Mexican anthropology for my degree. I live in the state of Victoria. I think you may need to concentrate on Scottish passengers, since the Scottish are said to be ‘fey’.
    All the best, Susan.


  3. Hi Sharon

    I haven’t a clue as to why I got interested in this particular story. I searched my notes for the article, but I couldn’t find anything. Good luck in your research. Let me know how it turns out.



  4. Hello there! I am a fellow USF alumni wondering about your experiences on the USS Hornet. How did you come about writting the article? It is so very well written.

    I am one of the former founding directors of the Hornet and am searching for sources to validate the sightings of ghosts on the ship.


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