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~
I just had a wonderful experience at Story Studio Chicago–shameless plug! Really, it was amazing. Being around other writers is so energizing, supportive, and nurturing, I know it goes without saying that being around one’s ‘peeps’ is so important; it’s about community, seeing the potential, finding one’s voice. It’s about uplifting that voice and amplifying strengths. Just being in the space with others who think and jive on the same jam is delightful. It’s about inclusivity, ‘being seen.’
I’m bubbling over with ideas, but they aren’t just gleaned from the workshop, they’ve been rolling about in my noggin for some time, but now, now I feel confident and invigorated enough by them to roll up my sleeves. [Hint: my current obsessions].
Speaking of obsessions, Amy Turner gives us peek into her writing space (her son’s old bedroom), where she was able to hang photographs, poetry, quotes, and more to inspire her project, which became her memoir, ON THE LEDGE (August, 2022). Be sure you check her mini-interview in the ‘Insights’ section (below) of this newsletter.
How are things in your creative pursuits? Tell me all about it! What’s inspiring you? What are you writing and creating?
Respond here in a comment, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
~Leslie : )
There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!
What’s distracting/obsessing me:
- The photography of Julie Blackmon, which is evocative and delightfully unsettling. Plus, she hails from Springfield, Missouri (fun fact: it’s my birthplace). Check out her new book, Midwest Materials, which is so ohlala on a variety of levels.
- The blend of writing + art and how the two sort of go hand-in-hand (see how I did that?) Check out Renee Gladman @prosearchitectures
- This exhibit has now closed, but how cool is this concept of an art exhibit featuring writing-in-progress, aptly titled, WORKING TITLE by Stella Fiore: artifacts, old house, words + art. Yep.
- Space, memory, nostalgia, architecture…
- While, this class has come and gone (maybe it’ll come back?), I am totally drawn to this concept on writing, the subconsious flow of lines, art, and more, The Blurred Line Between Drawing and Writing, offered through Rutger’s University.
- This gorgeous short piece, Broken Home, featured in Ruminate’s The Waking by Alan Schulte. Love the stark image that accompanies this piece, and of course, the writing, too.
- And I love this, too, The Three Erasures, a blend of text and poetry by Lauren Parades, also in Ruminate’s The Waking.
- Finally, this two-day in-person collage class taught by Chelsea Biondolillo through Corporeal Writing really caught my eye.
- This list of 8 books that investigate family history with imagination from Electric Literature.
- Along those lines, this list of 7 experimental books reshaping historical narratives, also in Electric Literature, caught my eye.
Are you following me on IG? That’s where you’ll catch #bookreels of these ‘Book Bundles’
I highlight current, forthcoming, and backlist books. Maybe you’ll (re-) discover a new favorite?
New! 4 Questions mini-interview
ON THE LEDGE: A Memoir
“Remarkable…On the Ledge is a riveting story of courage and redemption. And dare I say that parts of it are very, very funny?”
–HOPE EDELMAN, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Motherless Daughters and The AfterGrief
Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say ON THE LEDGE is about?
Confronting one’s vulnerability and coming to terms with long buried childhood trauma
Finding oneself, even later in life
Undoing patterns of hypervigilance
Love, grace, and acceptance
Where did you write ON THE LEDGE? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?
I wrote the first draft of On the Ledge sitting at our dining room table because the room has the most natural light and the best views of the woods. Once I realized that it would be a long project, I wrote in the bedroom of my younger son who’d gone off to college. I loved being able to hang quotations, family photographs, and poetry on the wall in front of me—inspiration at a glance!
I don’t have any special rituals or routines other than I prefer writing in the morning with a steady flow of coffee at hand. In writing my memoir I often relied on my “felt sense”—bringing my awareness to physical sensations within my body to determine whether I’d reached the authenticity of a scene or the deep truth of a personal reflection.
If you weren’t writing, you would be…
Talking about writing and encouraging others to find their voices.
What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?
Inheritance, which is a beautifully written memoir by Dani Shapiro, which deals with the impact of family secrets and issues of identity. Her detailed, visceral description of what it felt like when she learned in her fifties that her father—who was the main subject of most of her memoirs—was not her biological parent—floored me.
[Leslie’s note: Read my interview with Dani Shapiro about Inheritance HERE. Her new novel, Signal Fires, is forthcoming October 18, 2022 from Knopf]
Get your copy of ON THE LEDGE HERE or where books are sold. Check out Amy Turner’s website for more information, including talks and signings.
Take a peek at my Memoir Recommendations on Bookshop.org
Browse all of my 2022 recommendations at Bookshop.org|Always with a Book
Some Writing Opportunities:
- Rooted Two: Best New Arboreal-related Nonfiction/Outpost19 is open for tree-related images, text, essays, and more through January 2023. Check out the submission guidelines here.
- Literary Mama is open year-round for work by both established and emerging writers about the complexities of motherhood. “We believe in a wide-ranging understanding of motherhood as experienced through multiple lenses and bodies.”
- Longleaf Review is open for completed interviews via Submittable
- Tahoma Review is reading for their Spring 2023 edition. There’s a fee to submit, but they are seeking flash, CNF, poetry, critique, more, through October 16.
- Craft Literary is looking for prose poetry, micofiction/flash under 2,000 words (for two pieces) to be judged by Amelia Gray. There’s a $20 reading fee, but winners get $1,000 award and a bundle of the Rose Metal Press Field Guides, Publication in CRAFT, with an introduction by Amelia Gray, and an author’s note (short craft essay) to accompany the piece. Now through October 31.
- The Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship is seeking applicants for the One Story fiction program
- Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR) is now open and ‘seeking, cultivating, and amplifying a wide range of artistic expressions that interrogate the world and expand the imagination,’ now through November 1.
Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:
- An interview with Lauren Acampora about the pursuit of art, the suburbs, growth and stagnation, more as related to her highly anticipated novel, THE HUNDRED WATERS, in The Millions
- A review-in-dialogue with Kristine Langley Mahler about her debut, CURING SEASON: Artifacts, in Brevity.
- An essay about an experience at a workshop/retreat, featuring design/architecture, and how we are all works-in-progress, in The Smart Set.
- A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.
- A piece in the nostalgia dossier of Levitate Magazine, about my childhood interest in a (vintage) kid’s rooms and spaces book.
- A conversation with Carla Zaccagnini about her book, Cuentos de Cuentas (Amant/Verlag, spring 2000) in The Millions.
- 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
- Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech, 2nd edition (Woodbine House, 2021) through some online retailers, your local library, used bookstores (it’s now officially out-of-print), and the audio edition is downloadable (with additional PDFs, resources) through Penguin Random House.
- A book review of YOUR HEARTS, YOUR SCARS (Bellevue Literary Press, January 2023) by Adina Talve-Goodman in DIAGRAM.
- A photo essay in On the Seawall featuring miniatures, houses, and a family besieged by mental illness.
- A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.
- Other interviews forthcoming in HippocampusMagazine…Juliet Patterson’s SINKHOLE: A Natural History of a Suicide (Milkweed, September 2022) to appear in October. Sarah Fawn Montgomery’s HALFWAY FROM HOME (Split/Lip Press, Nov 1) to appear in November.
- An interview with Sheila O’Connor about EVIDENCE OF V: A Novel in Facts, Fictions, & Fragments (Rose Metal Press, 2019) in Fractured Lit
- A review-in-dialogue with Su Cho about her forthcoming book of poetry, THE SYMMETRY OF FISH (Penguin Poets, October 2022) in The Cincinnati Review.
I’ll be sharing my published interviews here, after they’ve ‘gone live’ with their various publications.
There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.
I am in the middle of Samanta Schweblin’s dark, spooky, and somewhat fragmented reality of SEVEN EMPTY HOUSES, where everything is just a little off-kilter. I’m also looking forward to reading A SUMMONING by Nicole McCarthy, which is a glorious blend of art, narrative, memory, and more.
What I’m listening to:
Chatter at my favorite cafe/writing spot with a glorious medley of acoustic fall favorites.
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.
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Created by Leslie Lindsay. I’m a proud book nerd. 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.
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