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~
How’s summer going for you? I know we’re barely dipping our toes in, but let me just say–it’s been pretty good so far. Summer might be loaded with lots of ‘shoulds,’ you should be happy, you should be outside, you should be taking time off, playing; you should be flourishing. But sometimes you’re not.
Summer is a time when everything is exemplified, made bolder. There’s a shimmer to the landscape, the colors are brighter, things are in bloom.
What if maybe you’re questioning everything? Maybe you don’t like the stimulation?
As a writer, who also ‘moms,’ I find it really tough to be ‘all in’ for either job. My mind often drifts to the kids when I’m writing (even though–especially though–they are teenagers), and when I’m in writerland, I worry I am not doing enough for them. This isn’t just a teenage thing, it’s an every-stage-of-parenting thing. I am using the summer to get caught up on reading, taking strolls, daydreaming, experimenting on the page, writing when the mood strikes and that’s okay.
~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
- These summer course offerings from the Iowa Summer Writing Festival I’m not participating myself (but considered!)…sometimes, just browsing the course offerings and descriptions get me all tingly inside. It often spurs an idea or two and before long, I’m pulling out my notebook.
- But I AM taking this self-guided course through CNF Magazine: The Curious Writer: Putting the Pieces Together. This is about the hybrid memoir, being a collector, paying attention. They offer plenty more: flash fiction, lyric essays, writing the tough stuff, and more.
- PRH ‘This is the Author Podcast’ featuring three authors speak very briefly about their experience narrating their audiobooks. I’m especially intrigued by Tad Friend’s In the Early Times.
- 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 started June 4. Learn more HERE. I am sort of doing this. By sort of I mean: see above. I’m doodling, thinking. I wrote 1000 words of an interview…
- This author conversation between Maud Newton (Ancestor Trouble) and Ann Leary (The Foundling), hosted by The Center for Fiction, Thursday June 9th–that’s TONIGHT! 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
AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME: A Memoir
- Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME is about?
Kristin Keane: Creating a time machine in the wake of loss
In terms of key words: containing grief, time travel, identity, and the limits of science.
2. Where did you write AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?
I wrote most of AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME at my desk where I usually do most all of my writing. There, I keep ephemera related to the big project I’m working on nearby (in the case of this book, images and some of my mother’s notes and trinkets). I usually always start by reading a favorite passage or poem before opening up to write.
If you weren’t writing, you would be…
reading, running, looking at flowers outdoors or falling into a museum or Internet Archive rabbit hole.
What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?
Two come to mind. A friend just gave me a collection of poetry called Hermit’s Guide to Home Economics which I swallowed in one sitting. I also just read Denise Riley‘s stunning work, Time Lived, Without Its Flow.
AN ENCYCLPEDIA OF TIME published in April 2022 from Barrelhouse.
Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:
- A Conversation with Marie Myung-Ok Lee in The Millions, about her new novel, The Evening Hero, featuring aspects of immigration, Minnesota, color, and medicine.
- “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 has their new prompt up. This is open 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. Be sure to read the guidelines first, but here is the current call/prompt.
- First Person Singular is a Substack off-shoot brainchild of MemoirMonday founder Sari Botton. She accepts person essays up to 2,500 words and publishes approximately one per month.
- The Jellyfish Review is looking for flash with ‘one great line of dialogue.’
- Mudroom Magazine is seeking prose and poetry.
- Exposition Review is looking for flash (under 405 words) on the theme: inheritance thru June.
A piece in the nostalgia dossier of Levitate Magazine, about my childhood interest in a (vintage) kid’s rooms and spaces book.
Another about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.
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 Ada Limon’s The Hurting Kind: Poems and loved every last letter. That’s what poetry does: it distills things and gets my writing brain tuned. I also flew through Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you by Janice Lee.
What I’m listening to:
We Can Do Hard Things podcast with Glennon Doyle as she (and Abby Wambach) chat with Dr. Galit Atlas about her recently-released book, Emotional Inheritance.
I interviewed Dr. Atlas for Hippocampus Magazine. Check that out HERE.
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.