Musings & Meanderings
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Musings & Meanderings: Beverly Armento’s memoir SEEING EYE GIRL about her blind, mentally ill mother, summer doldrums, reading recs, poetry to inspire writing, and last chance to nab a copy of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA


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~

Hello, Friends!

Is this a season of withdrawal, regrouping, reassessing…from your art?

Even though it is summer and full of bounty, I am feeling…taxed.

I have a dear friend who is much like a mother and a mentor and always so wise. She gives me what I need the most when I need it. Here’s her advice:

So many things unfold when we give ourselves adequate space. And don’t doubt yourself so much.

Doesn’t that sound lovely? Do you relate?

I’m often jam-packing my days (and brain) with facts, tasks, trivia, ideas…so many ideas…that I forget to just BE.

I met with other friends for coffee recently and so much of our conversation revolved around our vision–and this can be interpreted broadly:

how we see ourselves, how we see others?

What is your vision for the rest of the summer? The conversation was about recognition, being aware, looking deep. Underneath it all brewed context of loss: of time, self, minds, health, more. That all relates to our featured author/interview: Seeing Eye Girl: A Memoir of Madness, Resilience & Hope by Beverly Armento.

How’s it going? Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

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.

Photo by W Beloved on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By

  • I’m 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.
  • 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, about being a collector, an observer. I’m doodling, thinking. I wrote 1000 words of an interview…
  • Leslie Camhi’s translation of The Book of Mother (Scribner, fall 2021) by Violaine Huisman echoed many of my experiences with my own mentally ill mother. Annnddd…it was recognized as a finalist for 35th annual prize for exceptional translations from French. Read my interview with Violaine HERE.
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Beverly J. Armento

SEEING EYE GIRL: A Memoir

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say SEEING EYE GIRL is about?

Beverly Armento :

Learning to be resilient in difficult situations; the role of teachers/mentors in inspiring and empowering vulnerable children ; and searching for hope in the darkest of times.

2. Where did you write SEEING EYE GIRL? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Beverly Armento : 

Seeing Eye Girl was written over the last decade, working at my home office or in a quiet library. Much of the thinking about a scene or chapter happened in my head before committing thoughts to paper. First drafts were always hand-written on yellow or white composition pads, then taken to the computer, where refinements and complete sentences emerged.

Those drafts always went to my critique group, where we discussed each other’s work and gave helpful comments before revisions were made.

3. If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Beverly Armento :

Playing in the dirt, planting bulbs or pulling weeds—or taking long walks while listening to my favorite music or podcast. Of course, I read a lot, often while sitting quietly with my cat, Sassafras, or Sassy for short.

4. What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Beverly Armento : 

Natasha Trethewey’s Memorial Drive : A Daughter’s Memoir, the powerful and courageous story of her mother’s murder at the hands of an ex-husband. This is an unforgettable telling of a beautiful mother-daughter relationship, written with Trethewey’s poetic and elegant language and style.

Browse all my memoir recommendations at Bookshop.org.

Get your copy of SEEING EYE GIRL: A Memoir of Madness, Resilience, and Hope  HERE or where books are sold. Check out Beverly’s website for more information.

Take a peek at all of my memoir recommendations at Bookshop.org.

SEEING EYE GIRL will be published July 5 2022 from SWP. Please consider pre-ordering.

L.Lindsay archives @leslielindsay1

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.

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%,  thru the END OF JUNE!!!

If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time is now.

Coming soon:

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.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her forthcoming book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.

A conversation with Carla Zaccagnini about her book, Cuentos de Cuentas (Amant/Verlag, spring 2000) in The Millions.

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.

There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.

What I’m reading:

I’ve just devoured some really great poetry. Here’s a little confession: I used to not like poetry. It seemed like an awful lot of work and I often wanted to a book I just just be entertained by. When I am a contemplative state and want to be pushed a little, in form and thought, I find it always helps with rhythm, adjectives, verbs, etc. bolstering my own writing. Reading poetry is a writer’s tool. Give it a try by reading some of my recent favorites:

Separation Anxiety by Janice Lee (CLASH Books, forthcoming August 9), Still Life with Mother & Knife by Chelsea Rathburn (LSU, 2022) and Ada Limon’s The Hurting Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2022)

Browse all of my poetry selections on Bookshop.org

What I’m listening to:

People older and wiser.

L.Lindsay archives.

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 canFeel 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.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

Connect with me on Instagram, and Twitter. See what I’m reading on Bookshop.org. Find my reviews on GoodReads. I’m also a Zibby Books Ambassador.

Learn more HERE.

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