Dream Team

Computer on small desk with gym ball instead of a chair.
Lisa’s writing space. ‘Not particularly inspiring, but I get distracted easily,’ she writes.

I wrote to Lisa to ask her for photos because I was intrigued by her story, Dream Team, which was a runner up in last year’s competition and published in the 2017 anthology, The Gecko Renewal

Lisa’s story was about her roller derby days and I had no idea what that was. In fact, I had to google the term ‘roller girl  decal’ . Lisa has graciously shared these photos with us. For me, this is the joy of reading : to learn about and to enter worlds that I had no idea existed.

This is the point Lisa makes in the last paragraph of her backstory, when she explains what being published in the anthology has done for her and for the people in her life.


Lisa skating, a few weeks into derby training.


“I heard about Stories of Life through Tabor, where I am doing the Master of Creative Writing. I love life writing, and I had been thinking about my roller derby days a little bit in the lead up to writing the story. I suffered a knee injury the week before Fresh Meat testing, and on the day of the retest I was quite ill because I was having a baby! It took an instructor asking in an aerobics class for me to work this out though. It was only through retelling the story to friends that I realised that God does have perfect timing – unlike me who struggles to jump over pool noodles due to poor timing.

I entered the competition because I wanted to share my story and any promotion of roller derby being a fun and easily accessible sport is good. I was also challenged by many of the Facebook posts from last year – Sue had posted about writing her story under a very short deadline, and I ended up doing the same with this one. While my other story about my poor little broken down car took many drafts to get right, this one just seemed to flow really easily. Looking at the finished product, I am happy with the quality of both.

One interesting thing about being published in Stories of Life has meant that people in my life who don’t usually read have been really happy to read The Gecko Renewal – and not just my story either. The incidental collaboration with people from all walks of life is refreshing – there really is something for everyone in this anthology. It has also helped me frame my life experiences in a different way. I tend to be a bit accident prone – if there is a small risk of something happening – a broken down car, missing luggage on a flight, picking up an item without a barcode – I’m the one it happens to! There is always joy in the little things, even if those things can seem like a set back at the time. And that joy creates great stories.”‘

Lisa Birch

Lisa with her baby girl
Lisa and Natalie

When I read that last paragraph, I thought: what a great reason for us to write our stories. Our stories are the means through which others can enter into a world where a loving God is active and at work.

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