Musings & Meanderings
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Musings & Meanderings: In-box zero, clearing the slate, childhood homes, art, architecture, space, memory, where to submit, recently published stuff, moderately creepy reads, gorgeous green photography

By Leslie Lindsay

A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more

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Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book


Hello, Friends!

Is in-box zero a thing? Is it really attainable? I used to think no. But today, I deleted an ass-load of emails. They’ve been piling up since April or so, that’s near-six months of newsletters, updates, pleas for my money, time, and more. Some of them were from well-meaning friends offering support when I was struggling. A few were from my agent.

Others touched on deep themes: ancestry/vital records…the self as character…’this week in writing history’…submission calls…writing craft class…author spotlights/events to attend…I leave all of this stuff in my in-box because I think I’ll go back to it, it might serve as inspiration, it might be ‘important,’ and I’ll miss out.

Photo by Leslie Lindsay

None of it was serving me.

It was all clutter.

They were all deleted.

Years ago, I heard the adage that a messy desk is the sign of a busy mind. That’s true, yes, but if that desk (and mind) are too busy, one cannot fully commit to a singular task. While it’s good to have a variety of interests, it can be overwhelming.

I’m in the process of clearing-the-slate. After a challenging spring, a very full summer, and a devasting blow professionally, there’s a new project brewing. Actually, a new-old project I am revisioning. It’s fun but…tedious. I wonder if it’s worth it? Do I have the gumption to start fresh? What is life if not a series of births and deaths? Of revisioning and reworking? Aren’t we all works-in-progress?

Photo credit: Leslie Lindsay

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 InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.


~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Image designed and photographed by L.Lindsay

What’s distracting/obsessing me:

  • This interview with B. Ingrid Jones by Jared Quinton in BOMB Magazine, combining architecture and photography, two of my passions.
  • Space, memory, nostalgia, architecture…
  • My childhood home. In a recent writing class, the prompt was to ‘Google-Image your childhood address.’ I did and lo and behold, it had recently been on the market. While the exterior was instantly recognizable, the interior had changed drastically. Maybe for the better. But what is so striking about this is how a place of deep emotional residue can leave such a lasting impression. Looking at the images was almost a visceral experience.
  • This one-day virtual class, Writing What We Don’t Know through Corporeal Writing with Leni Zumas. Because it’s not that we don’t know it, we yearn to know more, to explore the bit that keeps haunting us.
  • This two-day in-person collage class taught by Chelsea Biondolillo through Corporeal Writing really caught my eye.
  • House Porn. Yep. It’s the name of a flash piece (not that kind of flash!) in a journal. But also, take a look at that collage image that goes along with the narrative. Pretty great, right?
  • Oatmilk. I mean, how do you milk an oat?

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?

Take a peek at my Memoir Recommendations on

Browse all of my 2022 recommendations at|Always with a Book

Get bookish and writerly news delivered to your inbox.

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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
  • Fictive Dream is looking for flash CNF, fiction, etc. to be featured in February, a piece a day. Subs open now through Decemeber 31
  • 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.
Photo by moldy vintages on

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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.
Photo by Feyza Dau015ftan on

Coming soon:

  • 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.
  • A conversation and review with Erin Keane about her debut memoir, RUNAWAY: Note on the Myths that Made Me (Belt, September 2022) to appear in Autofocus.
  • Kathryn Gahl in conversation about her poetic memoir, THE YELLOW TOOTHBRUSH (Two Shrews Press, September 2022), about her incarcerated daughter, perinatal mood disorder, more

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.

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Happy Reading:

I have a few spooky reads up my sleeves: The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton is speaking to me and also this little chapbook by Kristy Bowen, Alternative Facts because reading poetry makes me a better writer, thinker, all around human. I also have a teetering pile of new literary fiction–amazing stuff that is either just-released or forthcoming and I am so very grateful to the publishers, publicists, and authors who have so generously sent them along. Thank you!

What I’m listening to:

David Naimon and Ada Limon in conversation on the Between the Covers podcast chatting about THE HURTING KIND, animals, nature, naming of things, being present in the work, poetry as place to process trauma, but also to feel joy.

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, 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.

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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.

More than 2,800 folks read Musings & Meanderings.

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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 Find my reviews on GoodReads. I’m also a Zibby Books Ambassador.

Learn more HERE.

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