Meet Lisa of Satsumabug Blog

A little about yourself 
I'm Lisa Hsia, often known online as Satsumabug. I was born and raised in California and lived there my whole life until 2012, when my husband Erik and I put our belongings into storage and set out to travel the world. It's been more than a year now and though we've stopped back in California a few times, we're still pretty nomadic. I'm writing this now from Boston, where we'll be for most of the rest of 2013. 

What is your blog’s story?

It's a chronicle of my journey as an individual, a writer, an artist, and a traveler. It's also a community, with real conversations in the comments. I've always called my blog "my home on the web" but that's even more true now that we've left our physical home behind. I don't think I could have traveled so comfortably without this virtual home as my touchstone. 

What inspires you

I love new things and unexpected juxtapositions. One of my favorite visual artists (possibly my very favorite) is the Swedish painter Lars Lerin, who does incredible watercolors that look like digitally altered photos of landscapes or street scenes. Watercolor can be very soft, but his paintings have elements of collage, or of journalistic photography. I saw some of his work in Reykjavík, Iceland, and it is just breathtaking. 

Likewise, when I was in New York in July (where I met you!), Erik and I went to "Sleep No More," an insanely detailed, immersive theater performance. It was macabre and speakeasy-glamour and contact improv and Shakespeare and a whole lot of other things all at once, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

I think I'm drawn to mixtures of things because (a) as an Asian American, I live in the in-between spaces of not quite one and not quite the other, and (b) I'm more drawn to breadth than depth, so I have many many interests and talents, and have a hard time choosing one over the others. So when I see someone putting together diverse influences into something coherent, I get really excited. 
What is the aspiration of your blog?

I like to create connection. I would always journal for myself even if I had no readers, but with the blog, I can meet people, share insights, learn from others, and even create a public platform for others, as I used to do on my blog's regular Open Mic, until I stopped having time to maintain that. 

What makes your blog different from all the ones out there

It's very much what I want to create and what I want to read. I don't pay attention to all those "rules" that say your posts have to be under some number of words, have to end with a question to your readers, have to have this many images per paragraph of text. It is not a blog you can read in a few minutes on your phone while waiting for the bus! As a result I think it will always be a niche blog at best, but anyone who reads it can really get to know me, and if they comment, I will write back and we can have an actual relationship. 

What do you know now about blogging that you wish you knew earlier?
I started blogging on LiveJournal in 2001 and have never really stopped, so my way of doing it evolved very organically over a long period of time. I think images are important, since the internet is so visual. Also useful are well-maintained archives and About pages, because the online attention span is short and spastic, and people want information immediately. But mostly it's like any other kind of writing. You strive for an original voice and for your personal truth, and whether that resonates with other people is up to them. 
Where can we stalk you?
I'm on flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, though the Twitter is mostly just blog links. (There are buttons on the right side of my blog with the links to these:
Thank you so much for sharing here, Lisa.
And thank you all for reading.
Happy Tuesday!

* All art work, pictures, and captions are also provided by Lisa.


  1. Thank you so very much for interviewing me, Jane! The post looks lovely :)


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