By Leslie Lindsay
Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book
~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~
A writing instructor once encouraged us to ‘make a list of all your obsessions.’ What she didn’t know was I had been doing just that my whole life. What is a writer if not someone obsessed with certain things? ‘Obsession,’ in a way, is a cousin to ‘observer.’ You observe, you obsess. Note how both words share the same several letters?
As a teenager, I used to make lists of things scattered about my room. Ticket stubs (Forrest Gump), who was in the framed photos (Stacey, Tara, Scott), the titles of the books lying on the floor (anatomy textbooks and Canterbury Tales), the floor plan in progress (I drew floorplans all the time)…you get the idea. Here’s the thing: I still make lists. I still take photos. I still read. I’m intrigued with human anatomy and medicine. It’s all still there. So my list, from this class, looks a bit like:
- Home Décor
I will always have a fascination with all of these things…maybe it’s woven into my DNA? The idea here is they will continue to populate your writing/art/work. Yes. A thousand times, yes.
How about you? Do you have a set of obsessions? What will you do with these? (See below for what I’m considering).
Tell me in the comments or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
~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.
What I’m distracted/obsessed by:
- This Review of Zibby Owens’ Bookends: A Memoir of Loss, Love, & Literature by Layla Khoury-Hanold for Hipppocampus Magazine.
- The art work of Thomas Doyle. I’ve loved his work since 2015, when I read his wife’s debut, The Wonder Garden. Later, I learned he created the cover art for this book (both hardcover and paperback, which are different covers). I’ve been itching to do something visually creative and since houses/homes, miniatures, trauma, family, and all of that really intrigues me (always has), I’m working on my own diorama-type visual art. It sort of dovetails with my book photography/flatlays, don’t you think?
- Speaking of, Lauren Acampora has a new novel coming out this August and I really cannot wait to get my hands on it, too. Don’t you just love, love the cover? I mean…swooning!
- Relatedly, I am revisiting this book, a graphic memoir by Margaret Kimball. She and I could practically be ‘sisters in dysfunction,’ many of our experiences of a mentally ill mother, her suicide attempt, love for art/houses overlap. [Relatedly, we could also be ‘sisters’ with Kim Adrian. Check out my interview with Adrian in The Florida Review]
- And finally, I recently interviewed Carla Zaccagnini for her recently-released Cuentos de Cuentas, which is a sort of hybrid short-story, collage, graphic art book about many things, but primarily inflation, houses, money, art, and the construct of ideas. She has a Brooklyn exhibit now, but in the past, her exhibition, “Twin Houses,” depicts how the same model/floorplan can vary widely depending on who inhabits the home, as well as another featuring abandoned homes…excavating the artifacts from houses left to the elements. I can’t recall the title of this exhibit, but if I were to name it, I’d call it “Remains” or “Remnants.” Intriguing, right? Stay tuned for that interview in The Millions.
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.
Speaking of Apraxia is now out-of-print!
Woodbine House closed their doors June 30. This is a pandemic-driven decision. Woodbine House has been churning out top special-needs resources for 37 years, including SPEAKING OF APRAXIA.
This is a bittersweet time for me. Years ago, when my daughter wasn’t speaking at the ‘developmentally appropriate’ time, I was worried. Her pediatrician was concerned. We had her evaluated by a SLP. Sure enough, there was a ‘gross delay.’ By her third birthday, she was diagnosed with ‘severe childhood apraxia of speech,’ riding the big yellow school bus to a special preschool that specialized in speech disorders, and seeing a private therapist several times a week. I didn’t know what apraxia was, I did a ton of research, secured a publisher, and ….well, the rest is history.
My daughter is now a rising high school senior, active in tennis, art/ceramics, Irish dance, looking at colleges, and so many other things. You’d never know she once struggled with her speech. That said, it’s an end-of-an era.
For more than a decade, I have tirelessly promoted and shared tidbits about my daughter’s progression and offered support for families on this journey. It has been a great privilege, but it’s time to close the book.
You can still find Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech, 2nd edition (Woodbine House, 2021) through online retailers, your local library, used bookstores, and the audio edition is downloadable (with additional PDFs, resources) through Penguin Random House.
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 am in the middle of The Birdcage, a novel by Eve Chase, set on the rugged coast of Cornwall in a crumbling family manor, three sisters, art, and a big secret (or a few). The cover is so evocative, right? I’m also feeling a little fragmented in my reading now…so snippets or chapters of books are calling me. Then I feel restless, sit the the down in favor of something else. That’s not my usual style. Literary magazines and poetry are usually best when I feel that way. You?
What I’m listening to:
The sound of rain on the roof, the clink-clink on the windows.
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.
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.