Catherine Lanser is a writer from Madison, Wis. who grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She ate so much salmon as a child, if you cut into her you would find flaky flesh that you could easily lift away with a salad fork.

She has lived in the Midwest her whole life and writes blogs, essays and narrative nonfiction about her life and growing up as the baby of a family of nine children. Catherine is looking for a home for her first full-length memoir about how she found her place in her family, told through the lens of her brain tumor and her father’s stroke.

She reads a lot of memoirs and writes about the brain, migraines, being sick, and other things. If you want to learn more about why she writes about illness this link will take you to an article Catherine wrote on that topic.

Catherine is a board member of Wisconsin Writers Association. Are you a Wisconsin writer? Join her as a member of this premier Wisconsin writer’s group.  

Life keeps repeating until we learn. I was the kid who used illness to stand out. I hid seizures and breezed through a brain tumor. So life gave me one more chance to learn. This time it wasn't personal. I had to heal while my dad's brain tried to rebuild. #A #MEM #IWSGPit

I didn’t know a benign tumor would leave scar tissue inside my brain. But years later, I find out I am the only one who understands what my dad is going through when he loses his mind to a stroke. As his brain attempts to heal, I learn from past mistakes. #IWSGPit #A #ME

The youngest of nine children, I use illness to get attention. So, why do I keep seizures that feel like an electrical storm of dread to myself? Sometimes when we get what we want we find out it isn't what we want at all. BRAIN ON FIRE X H IS FOR HAWK


The youngest in a crowded family of nine I used real and inflated illnesses and injuries, from broken bones to migraine headaches, to stand out. My siblings even called me the “Brain Cancer Kid” years before I developed my brain tumor at 22. #IWSGPit #A #ME

Real and imagined, from anemia to a hernia (maybe cancer?) I was the sick kid. The youngest of 9 needs a schtick. But when it leads to a brain tumor and then a father’s stroke, I started to wonder if I was being punished for using illness in the wrong way. #IWSGPit #A #ME

A brain tumor and a stroke are nothing alike. Except when they happen to a father and a daughter. Then the daughter, the youngest of 9-who used illness to stand out-wonders if she caused them. A daughter examines her own brain while her father's brain rebuilds. #IWSGPit #A #ME