Lonna’s Lines: Strange News from around the World (Issue 3, “Homeless in America”)

All of us face challenges.  In America, our challenges are usually not as difficult as people who face civil war in South Sudan, where children walk miles each day just to find a safe place to sleep.  Yet many people think life is easy for Americans. I say, not true. Which do you think was more difficult for this American (Lonna Lisa Williams) to do:

1. Leave my California home in October, 2010 for Russia to teach English because I could not find a job in my own country even though my grandfather graduated from Yale University, was a professor at UNC, and handed the torch of education to my teacher mother and to me. Endure a long winter where I wore chains on my boots to run across the ice that coated every surface.  Teach English to 13-year-olds only to end up speaking and reading in Russian because no one really wanted to speak English and hated America. Even though my grandmother was Russian, I learned their alphabet and simple words as a child, and I look Russia, most people avoided me because I was the “Amerikanka.” Discover that Vodka is easier to get than good tea, Russian food is bland and full of potatoes, and everyone shares alcohol and violence in the 3rd-class wagons of the Russian train from Samara to Moscow. Endure the 17-hour journey with 50 bunks to a wagon, accidentally stepping on a sleeping Russian woman who screamed when I descended from my top bunk. Cry on the trash bin in the back of the wagon. Kiss a Russian stranger between the wagons, in that blessed cold, dark connector, as snow fields slipped past and a full moon shone on frozen rivers. We, Russian and American, kissed without words, like lovers from a war movie who will never meet again, showing how tragedy is really, really Russian and American.

2. Escape Russia in April, 2011 (when snow still brushed the train tracks and no leaves adorned black trees) to fly to Istanbul (abounding with flowers and spicy food); learn a new language; adapt to another culture; teach English again; marry a Turk; cover the 2013 Freedom Protests; get attacked by pepper-spraying police; lose a job for being a Christian (but walk around the corner to get a better one at another private language school); get threatened with death for being a Christian; teach at a Turkish university; and leave for China just before Turkish police showed up to arrest me for a photo I’d published.  Later I wrote 2 journalistic-style Kindle books about Turkey which have not had much recognition. Continue reading

Lonna’s Lines, Strange News from Around the World (Issue 2, “Leaving Korea, Coming Home?”)


A Korean groom and bride on display at Incheon Airport’s Native Korean Crafts store

After 3 weeks of being Stuck in Seoul, I finally got the luggage I had to leave behind in China–and air tickets home. My last images of Korea melt into airport shots:  Incheon Airport, outside of Seoul, is the biggest in the world, like a city on an island. Tokyo Airport is the most high-tech and beautiful I have seen. LAX caused delays in customs for my husband, and I do not know how life will be back in California with no house or job. My daughter did not meet me for her birthday, nor did my son. Maybe I will go back to Asia to teach. Maybe I will push past the “Do Not Enter” sign I saw in the Los Angeles International Airport–and see what happens.

My newest surreal video of my trip from Seoul to Tokyo to Los Angeles


A tiny, foldable paper cup, half full of water, from a Korean hospital; the worker consults a doctor

If you like my Blog and free videos and photos, please check out my books.

Lonna’s Lines: Strange News from Around the World (Issue 1, “Stuck in Seoul”)


I’ve decided to snub the establishment and start my own newspaper.  I worked for 3.5 years as a journalist for the “Mountain News” of Lake Arrowhead, California.  I labored for several years, inside Turkey, writing news and photo essays for the Canadian online news magazine “Digital Journal.”  I even taught Journalism for an American university inside China.

Now I’m just going to bring you strange news from around the world because I seem to get places.  With little money and often just my smart phone camera and my own 2 feet, I bring you photos, videos, and headlines from far-off places.  Some things I report first-hand.  Some may be Breaking News.  Others I may adapt from reputable online news sources.  I may not give you links to those sources.  Look them up for yourselves.  We all should do that, anyway, and not trust today’s Media.

Enjoy my first issue.  It features 2 musical sideshow videos I uploaded to my YouTube Channel.  Photos of Seoul, South Korea:  its people, places, objects, fashion, pets, and plants.  You see, I literally got stuck there on my way to teach English again in China.  China wouldn’t renew my tourist visa.  Now I’m looking for another teaching job and keeping busy with what I do best:

  • assimilate world news
  • write
  • take photos

I hope you enjoy the videos.  If you want to know more about how I got here and what I hope to do next, send me an email:  selahtrilogy@yahoo.com.  Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or just check my YouTube Channel from time to time.

All the best,

Lonna Lisa Williams

P.S.  Most of all, don’t forget to check out my books (paperback and Kindle) on amazon.com.

Stuck in Seoul:

Surreal Seoul:


Your author poses in a ladies’ restroom 3D mirror on top of the Lotte Department Store in Seoul

Lonna Sells Her Books

Watch Lonna Lisa Williams sell her books in the California mountains, at Big Bear Lake’s Copper Q Cafe, 2 summers in a row (2014 and 2015).  She should be there again this August, so come meet her and get your signed copy!  In the meantime, please buy her Kindle eBooks for just $2.99.  You can download a free Kindle reader to any smartphone, tablet, or computer.  If you like traditional style, Lonna’s paperbacks are about $10.  Enjoy!

You can buy Lonna’s books here:  http://www.amazon.com/Lonna-Lisa-Williams/e/B006ZISIFU

Shanghai Christian Fellowship Sings Together


Shanghai Christian Fellowship sings

Wonder where lively Christians are? Check out Shanghai, China. I visited Shanghai Christian Fellowship (also called Shanghai Community Fellowship).  I saw people from many countries, races, and cultures singing together with love and peace. To get there, I traveled 4.5 hours on a speed train, 40 minutes on a subway, and on foot. I also had to rent a hotel room and eat out. So next time you complain about going to your church down the street on a Sunday where people don’t seem to really care about Jesus or each other, watch my video. Christ rose from the dead, and Christians are happy about that!  The People’s Republic of China allow Christians to meet in this historic church, and for certain services only foreign passport holders can attend.  Next time, you’re in Shanghai, check it out!  Watch the video.  If you like travel adventure, also check out my books.


Shanghai Christian Fellowship is a church packed with people from all backgrounds and cultures


Lonna’s Survival Guide for China


West Lake at Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province (near Wenzhou)

After living and teaching English in China for 2 years (and teaching in Russia for 6 months and Turkey for 2.5 years), I have learned a few things that may help anyone who comes to Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) or any other place in China. My background as a journalist helped me compile facts from a variety of sources and summarize them here. Enjoy!

  1. Get RMB (Chinese currency) cash at the airport in China before you leave the airport or as soon as you can find a bank. Nobody accepts dollars or other foreign cash, and the only places I’ve discovered that accept American credit/debit cards like Visa are the nicer hotels (especially in touristy areas), Pizza Hut, and Starbucks.
  1. If possible, bring a working laptop computer. You will need it! Many American or other foreign smart phones may be difficult or impossible to fit with a Chinese SIMM card, especially at China Mobile. Unicom is the best company to find SIMM cards to fit non-Chinese phones. You can buy a cheap, basic Nokia mobile phone that can display English and Chinese texts (SMS) and send and receive calls (with other features like a calculator, calendar, and flashlight) for only about 170 RMB (less than $30) online, but you need a Chinese person to order it for you from taobao.com, the really cheap and great Chinese internet-ordering sight where everything is much cheaper than in the stores.

Continue reading

Spring at West Lake, Hangzhou, China


Children and adults play in a park by West Lake

I went to West Lake in Hangzhou, China in May and saw so many colorful flowers and people.  Walk with me by the lake, on paths across stone bridges, through parks, temples, pavilions, and historic buildings with statues.  West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province.  For 2000 years it has been the source of inspiration for poets, artists, photographers, and even filmmakers.  My students told me the romantic story of the immortal White Snake who became a woman and fell in love with a mortal man.  The turtle god of the lake was jealous, so he imprisoned her under a pagoda.  However, the man still loved the White Snake Woman, and they were eventually reunited and had a son.  This story has been made into television series and films.  Emperors from many Chinese Dynasties visited West Lake and inscribed its famous “Ten Scenes” with poetic names like “Two Peaks Piercing the Clouds,” “Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon, and “Orioles Singing in the Willows.”  As far back as the 14th Century, Europeans visited West Lake, including Italian explorer Marco Polo, who wrote that Hangzhou “is the most splendid heavenly city in the world.”  Spring and romance are here in China!


Continue reading


Easter in China

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES People of many countries, colors, and cultures celebrated Easter together at Hangzhou International Christian Fellowship in eastern China on April 5, 2015.  The church was packed, and many people stood or sat at the sides and sang joyfully together to celebrate that God loved the whole world so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for sins of everyone and then rise again with a promise of eternal life.  The Nigerian pastor spoke about Christ’s resurrection and message of love, hope, and unity.   Continue reading

Christmas Lights in China


My daughter Jessica was born in September, so by her first Christmas she was old enough for me to carry around and look at Christmas lights.  Her small blue eyes widened at the amazing colors and brightness.  Now she is 22 and lives in California.  I am teaching English in China.  This is my 5th Christmas away from home.  I went out last night to a colorful, cobblestoned street by the river in my Chinese city near Shanghai and was amazed at how the lights lit up like a fairly-land.  I thought, “Jessica could see this.” Continue reading