Why I Write.

It’s the title of an essay written by George Orwell in 1946. It’s a title, too, I’d love to steal, because it so clearly states the question I’ve asked myself for so long. Why do I write? Joan Dideon wrote an essay titled the same in 1976. She said she stole it simply because she “liked how it sounded,” in particular the alliteration of the multiple I.

I wouldn’t have known to say it quite so poetically. But I will try to answer that question here. I do know I write because paper listens, and sometimes I just need to say some things that I would find hard to articulate otherwise. Paper doesn’t ask questions, either, or judge. And it never, ever offers advice. Paper, thus, gives me permission to say whatever is on my mind. If I want to scream, I can; if I want to weep, it lets me do that too. And, sometimes, what it lets me say is something I’d never, ever thought of before I wrote it.

Sometimes, I discover another version of a truth I had not known before. Check out my story, “when all has gone. white.” There is no way I could have known the inner workings of this man, my husband, who went mad while he was dying. But, imagining his reasoning helped me understand better the many questions I had no answers for. So, I invite you to read on.

Letters From Berlin

Winner of the 2013 Colorado Book Awards, Letters From Berlin is the stunning memoir of a girl coming of age in Hitler’s Germany, her subsequent imprisonment in the Russian Gulag, and her posthumously discovered love letters to a mysterious soldier on the front—written during the final siege of Berlin. Available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Boulder Book Store.


What can happen when a teenage girl in 1968 finds herself in trouble, the kind of trouble she must keep secret and must act on fast. Time is running out. Read how she takes matters into her own hands and faces them head-on. A brave story with terrifying twists.

A Boy Named Klaus

A new story from Kerstin Lieff, A Boy Named Klaus is a vivid and engrossing account of a boy who finds himself wandering the streets of his bombed-out city, needing to make decisions that no four-year-old should ever have to face. A Boy Named Klaus became a finalist in the Southeast Review’s Creative Nonfiction writing contest in 2014.


When All Has Gone. White.

A tender love story told in many voices. when all has gone. white. is a beautifully-written epitaph to a lover whose brain tumors plagued him unto his death. This haunting story takes the risk of asking impossible questions about love and how one person might fight to hang onto it. Keep your hanky in hand, because you will be touched, deeply.

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