Editors’ Blog

January’s Member of the Month: Laureatte Loy, aka “L2L3″

Monday, January 7th, 2013

By Larry Smith

Regulars to SMITH Magazine have surely noticed, and often heard from, Laureatte Loy, that spirited community member who goes by L2L3. Since she joined the community in 2010 she’s been a force of nature—spurring discussions, writing memorable memoirs and penning the much-anticipated Christmas poem each year (not to mention sending over holiday fudge for the SMITH Mag elves). On a personal note, there’s no one quicker to point out an especially poignant memoir or backstory, or cheerlead the cause of someone who could use a little love from our community.

Laureatte first came to SMITH after reading about the site “in a much older person’s copy of AARP Magazine.” At the time, she was working the night shift at a hospital, where she had a lot of down time. “While my co-workers played online Mahjong,” she recalls, “I wrote memoirs and chatted with a companionable group of insomniacs and intercontinental types on SMITH.”

From the tiny, mountainous town in Tennessee which serves as her perch for an active travel, craft and writing life, the incomparable L2L3 answered six questions from SMITH Magazine.

Name: Laureatte Loy
Place: Northeast Tennessee
SMITH member since: February, 2010

When did you start writing, and what have been turning points in your creative life?
I’ve been an avid creative writer since grade school; it was a convenient, solitary activity and one that appealed to me as a young only child in rural Michigan. During high school I edited the school paper and co-edited our yearbook. Then came college and afterward, a job as a psychiatric nurse that required volumes of handwritten observational documentation. Except for occasional commercial ad/brochure writing for friends who owned businesses, writing was shelved for years. I did win an NBC writing contest that secured a free trip to Disney World and a spot on our team to represent western Michigan in the annual Goofy Games. I should add that after being selected as a finalist in the writing portion of the contest I also had to run through tires while carrying glasses of Kool-Aid and then face off in an orange juice squeezing contest. Years later, on SMITH, I thought, “Hmmm… Six words seems like a navigable number of words.”

Can you share a favorite Six-Word Memoir of yours and tell us why it’s meaningful to you?
“My masterpiece hangs on monkey bars” will forever be my favorite. After a series of miscarriages I gave birth to my son, on lucky St. Patrick’s Day, when I was 39. I’d always believed that life would be less purposeful, meaningful, etc. without having a child. This isn’t true for everyone but it was, and is, for me. My son is my gravitational center and the majority of my decisions reflect an effort to do the best I can to assure that he becomes an open, thoughtful and productive human being. It ain’t always easy.

You’ve formed many friendships, virtually and in person, with other SMITH members. Can you share a story about these bonds?
I’ve met ten SMITH members in person, eleven if you count the benevolent dictator himself. I guess the stand-out shared Sixer experience happened early on and was made memorable due to both the warm camaraderie and sheer terror involved. Skyrocketjones went for a leisurely drive to the top of Pike’s Peak with my son and I in the summer of 2011. Let me repeat. Summer. Lots of altitude. Far less in the way of guard rails. After reaching the top, my trembling stopped and we spent exactly fifteen minutes in the visitor’s center before the blizzard hit. Really, I’m a Michigan girl. It was a full-blown blizzard. We ran to the car, hoping to beat the icy fate that I imagined looming on every twist and turn on the downhill. Remember, no guard rails? Skyrocketjones is a trooper and she took great care of us during our adventures there. I must say that every Sixer I’ve met has been warm, welcoming and generous with their time and hospitality. I look forward to meeting more of you in the months ahead.

What’s a passion outside of writing?
Saying it out loud sounds so ordinary, but I love to travel and to cook. Often the twain do meet as I like to explore the local grocery stores during my travels and pick up fifteen bottles of hot sauce and 40 pounds of coffee from Costa Rica, 4 pounds of dried morels from Switzerland, or maybe imported French mustard from Canada. Yes, I do get a suspicious eye from the Canadian Border Patrol guys when they ask for the purpose of my visit to Canada and I reply that I need to buy mustard.

I also love to sell things that I believe in. That could be convincing someone to read a book or selling bowls to L.L. Bean—I’ve done both. My nurse alter-ego has a small business that wholesales handmade wooden ware to businesses large and small. No one who knows me would have said that I was meant to be a nurse. It is predictable that of the nursing specialties I could have chosen, psych was the best fit.

What authors inspire you or do you admire?
Although the great, classic writers of the world certainly evoke thought and emotion, they speak to me in whispers. On the other hand, Rick Bragg, Ruth Reichl, James Lee Burke, and Jane and Michael Stern come through like the sound system in the Kennedy Center. They make me belly-laugh, spew drinks and swear, often after too little sleep, that they’ve spied on my life and used it in their own first person. I’ve corresponded with some of them and even talked a couple into contributing to a SMITH book. James Lee Burke is the most stunningly descriptive author that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read and if I were given an opportunity to inherit one author’s ability to write, I would choose his, hands down.

Finally, Laureatte Loy, what’s your Six-Word Memoir for today?
My guardian angel demands PTSD leave.

46 responses

  1. bevvie says:

    Well, well, well! Hello there! So I got to meet you finally! Pleased. Looking forward to seeing you. Bring more fudge!

  2. L2l3 says:

    Any guesses as to the owner of the blue toenails? The owner of said blue toenails should not give this away;-}

  3. Autumn22 says:

    Lovely to meet you, Ms. Loy! I like your name. It feels like back in school when we discover the teachers have first names! Always enjoy your memoirs. You are a force of nature!

  4. bevvie says:

    catmeow, skyrocketjones, justagirl, JayLo?

  5. canadafreeze says:

    Congratulations, R2D2’s wiser, slightly younger, and much smarter sister. As you were one of the first to comment on my memoirs and made me feel so welcome, you will always hold a special place in my heart. Oh, and grit. You’ve got just enough …

  6. canadafreeze says:

    My guess is ba_miracle on the blue toenails …

  7. JAD says:

    Congrats! L2L3. Much deserved member of the month and long time coming.

  8. lillybrook says:

    L2L3 - is was so fun to read about you. If you make it up Hell’s Kitchen way, I will be waiting for a phone call.

  9. Autumn22 says:

    Since you like to travel, I think the blue toes are catsmeow.

  10. Wench says:

    I’ve got a couple of those cooking utensils…. =) I love them.

    Congratulations on your well-deserved feature!

  11. lillybrook says:

    And the toes? Catsmeow. Definitely.

  12. ctgoods says:

    Well hey there! Nice to read about you and your interests. Glad you’re featured.

  13. Mzejay says:

    Congratulations on being featured. I guess we both carpool with Dave.

  14. KharisJo says:

    would love to have seen the face that goes with the feet, but good to learn a little more about your life L. Congratulations on feature.

  15. Skyrocket says:

    O Yeah! Congratulations. Enjoyed reading this. You are an interesting, busy gal. I’m excitedly waiting for your Best Seller.
    The toenails….Davio??

  16. ba_Miracle says:

    I was going to guess Loon on the toenails (not mine;-)
    L2L3 had colored socks on the day we met, which through the Crocs looked like cheerful polka-dots.

  17. catsmeow says:

    Not my toenails! I can only wish to meet L2L3 someday. I guess they belong to Amapola, who is also a lover of blue toenails.

  18. oopsalittle says:

    Congrats L - well deserved member of the month!
    You even make crocs look good :0)

  19. L2l3 says:

    Thanks everyone!

  20. Believe says:

    Congratulations on the lovely feature! You are such a great person to know…online and “for real”. May there be much more Pp to come.

  21. L2l3 says:

    Does that mean we have to hang out at drawbridges?

  22. Loon says:

    ’tis an honor well overdue…..congrats!

  23. Redx3 says:

    Very nice to meet you! Knew your views on being a parent were special, now I know they are poignant. You are so sharp, which I adore, and now your all your edges make perfect sense! If you ever feel like shirking off the mountains for the beach, well, I’m just a 14 hour drive. Love reading your work, love getting to know you! Congrats!

  24. Lovely Lizard says:

    Wow, congrats on this fantastic honor. I enjoy the wit, humor, passion and honesty in your writing. I was blown away by your Christmas poem this year (my first). Glad to get to know you better.

  25. marymc says:

    Nice profile!. Well deserved. Congratulations and happy travels in the future.

  26. Mourningdove says:

    Congratulations! So glad to know more about you.
    I think the blue toenails belong to Marymc.

  27. marymc says:

    We have a winner!

  28. L2l3 says:

    So much for not giving it away:-}

  29. Notjustagirl says:

    A well deserved honor and a thing or two I didn’t know. Thank you for making smith so homey and making my home so smithy:D

  30. marymc says:

    I didn’t! Mourningdove got it right!

  31. mourningdove says:

    The flip flops gave it away ; )

  32. mourningdove says:

    Do you have a website for your wooden ware?

  33. DynamicDbytheC says:

    Nice to know more about you and hope to meet you some day. San Diego is always comfortable.

  34. Believe says:

    We are often there checking on the trolls anyway. We might as well multitask.

  35. Level1 says:

    Hey Laureatte! Nice to virtually meet you :-)

  36. Hannahmo says:

    Congrats! Lovely. :)

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