By Leslie Lindsay
A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more
Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book
~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~
Have you got a sensitive human in your life? I do. At least two and they are both teenagers. One is my daughter, the other is not. Being a teenager is complex enough, a totally fraught time. It feels often like there is no skin on our body, everything exposed. There is a tremendous amount of self-sabotaging going on, external forces, uncertainty, and more. Heck…the more I think about this, the more it dawns on me that this is almost exactly how a writer feels when we put our work into the world, even if it’s not published. Just having a friend or instructor read our work can be a tough thing. What’s one to do? Keep growing, keep being open to feedback and listen. Is this easy? No. Neither is being a teenager or an adult or a writer.
~Leslie : )
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You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, author of award-winning Speaking of Apraxia (Woodbine House, 2020 and PRH audio 2021) and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews.
What I’m Distracted By
- This interview in The Normal School by Nicholas Howard about S.J. Sindu’s Blue Skinned Gods and how her work cannot be easily identified as one particular genre (I relate!)–but a blur of poetry, fiction, and CNF.
- This piece, De Domum, by Natalie Conroy- Goldman, also published recently in The Normal School, because: houses.
- How to take your own book photos at home, this quick tutorial from Penguin Random House. Leverage this for your own title, or other #bookstagram–type accounts. HERE‘s mine.
- Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsofSummer is starting June 4. I’m intrigued and inspired by this idea. Learn more HERE. And connect with others now thru June 4 on Slack.
- Also? Jami Attenberg talks about her, ahem…phone addiction in her Craft Talk Newsletter and I TOTALLY relate. Yep. It’s the equivalent to the back-of-the-cereal box for me. I scroll while I’m eating my English muffin. Sometimes I get absorbed for–oh my god–two hours!! I justify it and call it ‘working,’ because maybe I’m responding to emails, DMs, or posting something about a thing a wrote, connecting with an author or publicist, or something along those lines. But really!? I should be reading a book or drafting something of my own–whether it’s written or visual. Put that effer down!
- This author conversation between Maud Newton (Ancestor Trouble) and Ann Leary (The Foundling), hosted by The Center for Fiction, Thursday June 9th. I’m attending via live stream. You can go in-person for $10, which includes a voucher for the Center for Fiction’s bookstore, or you can attend via livestream with an option donation. Click HERE for more information or to register.
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NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series
SHIVAH: A Novel in Memory
- Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say SHIVAH is about?
Love, loss, memory, forgiveness.
2. Where did you write SHIVAH? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?
I wrote SHIVAH everywhere, mostly at my desk in two different homes and cities. I do not really have any routines or rituals, although a few years ago, I edited/re-wrote the novel in a weekend, while in my pajamas and not leaving the house for three days. I treated it sort of like a writing retreat and let nothing else distract me from m y task. It’s a hard thing to do. I wasn’t married at the time and my future husband and I lived several hundred miles apart, my children were gone and grown, and I warned my friends I was not available. It was a good weekend.
3. If you weren’t writing, you would be…
Reading or gardening. But even when I do things like that my mind is always working [on writing].
4. What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?
SUBMERGENCE, which I read several years ago. More recently, it was THE GLASS HOTEL. Emily St. John Mandel is my current favorite author. I think she is getting deserved readership due to this stunning adaptation.
SHIVAH publishes in mid-June from Jaded Ibis Press. Consider pre-ordering.
Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:
- “Breaking Ground,” by Leslie Lindsay, flash fiction in The Tiny Journal
- “Making Space: Cicadas & My Mother,” by Leslie Lindsay, CNF in ANMLY
- The Midwessay: Fragmented Thoughts on Being a Missouri Girl in ‘the north,’ Essay Daily, May 9, 2022.
- In Conversation with Maud Newton, author of ANCESTOR TROUBLE: A Reckoning and Reconciliation (Random House, March 29, 2022), Hippocampus Magazine, May 2022.
- In Conversation with Kim Adrian, author of The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet, The Florida Review, spring 2022.
Last Chance! Speaking of Apraxia Going out-of-print!
Woodbine House, will be closing their doors in June. This is a pandemic-driven decision. Woodbine House has been churning out top special-needs resources for 37 years, including SPEAKING OF APRAXIA.
The good news? All of their books are 50%, while supplies last.
If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time is now.
Calls for submission:
- Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art & Words will have their new prompt June 1-15. The idea: generate a piece of writing from whatever image they select. One hour, 5-200 words. They only publish 100 per month.
- Emerge Literary Journal is open to strictly flash and free form work, in all categories.
- Overcup Press is open for manuscript-length memoir.
- Longridge Review opened today (June 1) for the Barnhill Prize in CNF with Sonja Livingston judging.
Rejections hurt, right?
But the alternative: crickets, is worse. I’d much rather get some acknowledgement that my work was read/considered than…nothing. Also? You can’t get accepted (or rejected) if you’re not sending stuff out. Getting passes means you’ve got some skin in the game. Check out this piece on rejections by Bennett Durkan, a guest post on Becky Tuch’s Lit News Round-Up
A piece in the nostalgia dossier of Levitate Magazine, about my childhood interest in a (vintage) kid’s rooms and spaces book.
I’ll be sharing my published interviews here, on Wednesdays, after they’ve ‘gone live’ with their various publications. On Fridays, I’ll share any recent published fiction in this space as well.
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What I’m reading:
I just read and loved Danielle Henderson’s THE UGLY CRY, which is hilarious and tragic and empowering, all steeped in 1980s growing-up stuff, which I loved and related to immensely, although our stories are very different. Then! I started THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by Jennifer McMahon, because: 1978 and houses and psychiatry and ghosts/monsters, and how all of that is so my heart.
What I’m listening to:
Are you familiar with the Unpublished Podcast? It’s a husband-wife team (Amie and James) and they are both creatives/writers and I love them. They banter and use the f-word in sympathetic and honest and funny ways. Their insights on the writing life will have you nodding and smiling in recognition. Follow them on IG, too.
You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews. I’m also on twitter and instagram. I try to answer comments as best I can. Feel free to find my book suggestions on bookshop.org, and also check out the authors I’ve hosted in in-depth interviews HERE.
In the meantime, catch me on:
Reviewing books and talking about them with others on-line and in-person is one small way to engage with & support the literary community.
Thank you for letting me guide you on your bookish journey.
Let’s walk this bookish path together.
Some of you have been reading my reviews, interviews, and meanderings for more than a decade now. That’s huge and I am so humbled. Thanks for being here.
Learn more HERE.