Christmas in a Hotel


My family is my daughter Jessica, the only one of my 4 children who wants me in their lives.  She is having a baby soon, the only grandchild I will see–unless things change.  Jessica spent Christmas with me in a nice (but inexpensive) hotel in Ontario, California. We stayed there before–during the Miss California competition and Thanksgiving.  The hotel has a cheerful, red-hued lobby; a pool; and walkways with a gazebo and rose gardens.  It reminds me of hotels I stayed in throughout China.  We gave away some of my books to curious staff members and enjoyed green tea, butter cookies, and a few wrapped gifts.  I am thankful that, though I do not own my own home, this year I was not homeless.  I have a good job and can afford a hotel near to where Jessica lives.

Jessica read the story of the first Christmas as written in the Bible’s Gospel of Luke.  As a Messianic Jew and a Christian, I could be criticized for celebrating Christmas, a holiday not well steeped in valid history.  However, I love Christmas for the songs whose words I memorized when I was a child, the tiny blinking lights, angels, and evergreens.  Jesus came as the “light of the world.”  He died on a tree, our sacrifice to wash away our crimson sins, and rose again to bring new life.  Somehow these ideas do not erase older traditions of Hanukah, but fulfill.

How was your Christmas?


Continue reading

Woman Down


I watched the most life-changing film, “Man Down.”  Not only veterans get PTSD   I have had it since I was not yet 5 years old, when my father shot himself in the head–in front of me–on Christmas Day.  Through abusive men, cancer, and near-fatal car accidents, trauma has returned repeatedly.  Jesus help veterans and all of us who have PTSD.  Woman Down.

You can read all about my journey with PTSD in my 3 nonfiction books which I call my “Survival Series.”  Start with “Crossing the Chemo Room,” then go through “I Saw You in the Moon.”  Realize that I do not tell the whole truth until “Fire and Ice.”

May our 2018 be a year less affected by trauma.  Sadly, I cannot help but feel that everyone on Earth is in danger of PTSD the way things are headed.  Like my Selah fantasy character, may we overcome!

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:



A Maori boy in New Zealand wears a “Lord of the Rings” Gondor helmet and holds a Frodo “Sting” sword and a silver shield.

Silver is a semi-precious metal and a color.  I prefer wearing silver jewelry to gold because silver is softer, like moonlight on a mountain lake, not glaring like the gold-wrought sun over a desert.  I like wearing royal blue clothes with silver highlights.  Silver is a pure metal, and in Medieval times, it was thought to protect against evil (for example, silver could kill werewolves and vampires).  In Medieval times, only royalty could afford silver spoons and cups, and little flakes would break off and be eaten, so rich people were often healthier than poor people (it also helped that they had dry, warm houses, nice clothes, and a good diet).  We say, “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth” to refer to a rich kid.  Today, tiny pieces of silver suspended in water can actually be drunk as a natural antibiotic.  You can buy “colloidal silver” at a health food shop.  I’ve used it; it really works!  Also, in World War II, the U.S.A. used silver-plated airplanes to protect pilots from radiation.

Anyway, I always use silver in my fantasy novels.  In “Selah of the Summit,” a slave girl fights off her evil master and his witchcraft with a silver pendant and (later) a silver sword.  As a Christian, I believe I shouldn’t fight with a real metal sword.  Jesus said, “Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you” and “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  So, if I wear armor like a helmet, breastplate, and shield–with a sword–it is only a symbol of a kind of spiritual warfare, like good fighting against evil.  Selah fought an evil wizard and his soldiers who enslaved people.  After she found freedom and journeyed to the top of the mountain, she returned to the desert to free others.  Life is always a battle.  What evil forces do you have to stand against–or advance toward–for the sake of helping someone?

Read more about Selah and her silver adventures here.

Read about my true battle with cancer (18 years ago) here.

Christmas and Suicide


In the first chapter of my true cancer survival book, “Crossing the Chemo Room,” I tell about the Christmas when I was 4 years old, and my father shot himself in front of me and my mother after he had been drinking.

Twenty years later, my mother died just after Christmas, from an accidental, lethal combination of Valium and wine.  My only brother disappeared into the wilderness the next year, never to be found.  Suicide can run in families like ripples from a rock thrown into a lake, and it is not easily forgotten.

Although the suicide rate is not highest during the winter holidays, it happens because people can drink too much or take drugs to feel less depressed over lack of family or gifts.  If you see someone who is hurting, talk to him.  Learn about suicide.  Offer help.  This Christmas, light a candle against the darkness of suicide.

“Crossing the Chemo Room”

Chapter One


“When my father and my mother forsake me,

Then the LORD will take care of me.”

Psalm 27:10

I always wanted a normal life.  You know, the kind with two parents and lots of siblings in a wooden house.  You could even add a white picket fence.  I would grow up in that same house, near cousins and aunts and uncles, in my secure, familiar American town.  I would go to school and church down the street.  I would marry the boy next door, have kids, and live near my parents and the rest of our large, happy family.

I always wanted to live in the mountains.  Most of my life I have lived in lowlands, deserts, or valleys.  But for a short time, when I was nine years old, I lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

My brother Kerry and I would explore upward paths bordered by blackberries and overshadowed by pines.  We would find high meadows and streams flowing between gray boulders.  Tadpoles swam in still pools carved into the granite.  Kerry and I would catch the slippery creatures, admire their small legs, then let them go.  We would climb as high as we could, sit on the edge of a cliff, and watch the sunset change distant peaks from misty blue to gold so bright we could hardly look at it.

I wondered how a person could cross the chasm between the clifftop and those peaks.  Continue reading

Writing my Way Home for Christmas


Jessica as an angel and Jonathan as a gold-crowned king in a California play 2004 

Help me write my way home to see my children in California.  I haven’t seen Jessica (21) and Jonathan (18) in the 3 years I’ve been teaching English overseas.  After I got divorced from their father (who got everything, including them), I couldn’t find a teaching job in America, so I went to Russia in October, 2010.  After 6 frozen months, I flew to Turkey where I lived and taught for 2.5 years.   I met my Turkish husband there.  After nearly getting arrested for writing about the Turkish freedom protests and posting a photo, I went (with my Turkish husband) to teach English in China just 2 months ago.

In all these ups and downs, I’ve been able to support myself.  But I haven’t bought a much-needed new computer (my old Apple laptop is 9 years old and very slow).  I haven’t taken a real vacation.  And I haven’t been able to afford a trip back to Los Angeles to see my children.

From Sunday, November 3 to Sunday, November 10, all 5 of my books are only $.99 (less than a dollar) for Kindle format.  You can pick from my true cancer survival story, travel adventures, science fiction, and fantasy.  Or you could splurge and pay $9.99 for a paperback.  My books encourage people to survive anything, and they make great Christmas presents.  Light can shine in the darkest places.

Please buy one of my books for a friend, think of me, and share my story.

Thank you.  See my books here.


Jessica, me, and Jonathan in California in 2010 before I left to teach overseas

Surviving Breast Cancer


Lonna Lisa Williams sits inside the cave behind Duden Waterfall in Antalya, Turkey, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I thought I’d share my own cancer story:

I was nursing my baby when I found a lump in my breast. I told my doctor that I felt achy and tired all the time, and he said it was because I just had a baby and chased after a toddler all day. He thought my breast lump was a clogged milk duct and gave me a mammogram. Nothing strange showed up in the mammogram. But the lump didn’t go away, and I felt like I had the flu all of the time, with low-grade fevers and night sweats.

“Something is wrong,” I told my doctor when I returned, my two children with me. I knew that I was in charge of my body’s health, and I had done research on breast lumps and ways to test them.

“Give me a needle biopsy,” I requested. Jonathan started crying in my arms, and Jessica was running around the examining room.

“Just come back in 6 months,” the impatient doctor responded. “You are young, and it’s probably nothing.”

“No, do it now,” I demanded.

That action saved my life. Two days later my doctor told me I had cancer. Thus began my battle with a rare tumor that sometimes appears in women’s breasts: non-hodgkins lymphoma.

I had to stop nursing abruptly and have surgery. Luckily, I only had a lumpectomy (a lump removed from my breast). I faced four months of chemotherapy, shots, and blood work. I endured strange medical tests like CAT-scans and bone marrow biopsies. My hair fell out. I looked pale, not even eyebrows on my face to soften my vivid blue eyes. My family, friends, and church helped me by watching my children, bringing meals, and babysitting me after my chemotherapy treatments left me nauseated and weak.

I wanted to live for my children and believed that God could help me. I laughed when two boys tossed my blonde wig to each other or people stared when I forgot my wig. I joined a breast cancer support group and wrote two books about my ordeal.

Since those books were published, I have fought other battles like divorce, dependence on prescription medication, and a near-fatal car accident. I had to go overseas to teach English, leaving my children with my ex-husband. After Russia, I lived in Turkey , married a Turkish man, and took a new teaching post in China.  Now I’m trying to write my way back to California to see my children.

Last June, Jonathan graduated from high school. Jessica turned 21. I discovered that cancer was only one battle in my life, 17 years ago, and I’m grateful that the battles–and triumphs–continue.


Read about my story in my book Crossing the Chemo Room.


Lonna and her Turkish husband Omer at Duden Waterfall in Turkey


Lonna with her children Jessica and Jonathan in California, 2010

“Crossing the Chemo Room,” My True Cancer Survival Story

My "Crossing the Chemo Room" Book

My “Crossing the Chemo Room” Book

I survived non-hodgkins lymphoma when my son was just a baby 16 years ago.  The doctors gave me a 50/50 chance to live or die.  Now Jonathan is 17 and a senior in high school.  Read my amazing story (Book One of my Survival Stories).

Summary:  “Crossing the Chemo Room,” Book One of the nonfiction trilogy “Survival Stories,” tells the true tale of Lonna Lisa Williams’ battle with cancer. After enduring a tragic childhood, early motherhood, and divorce to a Navy pilot, Lonna met her second husband at the university where she got her Master’s degree in English. They married and had a daughter. When she was pregnant with their second child, Lonna noticed that something was wrong, and soon after Jonathan was born, she discovered she had cancer. Walk with Lonna as she takes you through the physical and emotional challenges of surgery, chemotherapy, and recovery. Meet the other patients, health workers, and friends who helped Lonna along this path. Discover how Christ’s resurrection power strengthened Lonna to write about miscarriages and wildfires in “I Saw You in the Moon.” Journey across the landscapes of New Zealand, Russia, and Turkey in Lonna’s third book, “Fire and Ice,” as she survives the loss of her California life and family but rises like a phoenix to teach English overseas.


These two chapters tell how I found out, as a young mother, that I had cancer:


Between Two Worlds

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your Presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there Your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me.”

Psalm 139:7-10

January 26, 1996 (Friday)

Tonight I stare at our answering machine which announced two messages from my gynecologist’s office–one from the doctor who sounded worried, and one from the nurse who repeated the need to call the office as soon as possible.  We hadn’t checked our answering machine until after the doctor’s office closed, so now we must wait until Monday morning.

I want to replay those messages.  But I can’t.  I accidentally erased them (darn machine).  The machine sits there, black and silent, a red “O” indicating no further news.

They found something, both Edd and I think, though we say nothing now.  We have the entire weekend to worry. Continue reading

“The Beating Wings” (poem)

“The Beating Wings”

(for Kristen

who died of leukemia

at age 12)

She sat, a scarecrow in a slit-back gown:

Trans lucent skin, her fingers stretched like nails.

She reached to me beside the silver rails.

And when she turned, her head bobbed up and down;

The blood shone on her teeth, like web spun ’round.

The thread, that pain, it wrapped her eyes–once pale–

And pupils swallowed blue in one dark veil.

I watched–she seemed to speak–there was no sound.

Kristen, I remember when we saw the birds

In cases, stuffed, their eyes unblinking glass;

An egret, its wings like crystal, seemed to rise.

You spoke its name, I leaned to catch the word;

It was yourself you called–Oh, you flew past–

I saw the beating wings behind your eyes.


From my Master’s thesis and my true cancer survival book, “Crossing the Chemo Room.”