This week we talk to budget-traveller and writer, Lisa Reily about her short story ‘Mum’s Garden’. This story appears in Landmarks, the latest anthology curated by Spineless Wonders. During this interview we discover Lisa’s favourite Australian landscape, who inspires her writing and what inspired her mirco-lit, ‘Mum’s Garden.’


Tell us about a landmark that is significant to you

I will never forget visiting the Greek island of Naxos in spring and seeing the Temple of Apollo amid a hillside of colourful wildflowers. All that remains of the temple is a huge marble doorway, which overlooks the sea on one side and the island of Naxos on the other.

I saw the temple during my first trip to Greece and it is this image that always stays with me. The view of Naxos and its traditional white houses, surrounded by shades of clear blue sea, is breathtaking.

What inspired you to write ‘Mum’s Garden’?

The memory of my mother and her garden inspired my writing. My mother was a handyman, a gardener, a concreter, a landscaper and a dog lover. She would try her hand at anything. She actually did build a dog pond, like the one in Mum’s Garden.

When I contemplated the ‘landmarks’ in my life that held the greatest significance, I was drawn to my childhood home, the home that my mother changed over time and still lived in up until her death five years ago. She created many unforgettable landmarks and some of these appear in my writing.

How do you find the experience of writing to a theme?

Writing to a theme is new for me, but I really enjoyed it. The theme itself got me thinking, so I was keen to follow up on that with some writing. It prompted me to consider a variety of possibilities on a subject I may not have thought about otherwise.

Edited by Cassandra Atherton

Describe your writing space

My partner, Ion, and I do a lot of budget travelling. The rooms we occupy are usually small and I am often left with no choice but to sit on the bed to write, propped up with a pillow. Ion also writes, so he usually monopolizes the desk in any room. This suits me nowadays as I have learned to type almost lying down.

Tell us about a writer or work that has inspired you as a writer

When I first read ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, I was mind blown. Her depth of story analysis, her heart, and the richness of her language changed my life. I have also taken to listening to her audio stories. Her authenticity, her love of life, and her praise of women completely draws me in. There is no one like her. She gives me permission to be myself and to express myself honestly and freely.

Lisa Reily is a former literacy consultant, dance director and teacher from Australia. She began her writing journey after studying screenwriting online a few years ago and has had recent success in international competitions for screenwriting, short stories and flash fiction. Lisa recently set off for an indefinite period of travel and spends most of her time in Greece. You can find out more about Lisa at

Feature image via

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