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~
There may be times when we feel we are spinning our wheels, doing lots of stuff, but getting nowhere. I assure you, we are not. Here’s the deal: all of this static momentum is building, accumulating. It may seem as if you’ve reached a plateau, that your art is just moving at a lateral pace.
Could it be that what you need right now is just to…be?! To read, observe, absorb? Maybe it means you are in a season of submitting your work and waiting for responses. That’s still work. That’s still something. Maybe you are in the process of reading/researching or world-building. That might look like collaging or watching period movies or culling through racks at a vintage clothing store. Maybe it looks like mindful mediation or walking with a notebook in hand. Perhaps it’s listening to a podcast on writing/reading and collecting all of that great information.
Whatever form this more slow/contemplative stage is, I assure you, it’s not ‘spinning your wheels.’
Tell me what you think: do you have slow periods? How do you fill them? Is there often a burst of creativity or productivity afterward?
Respond here in a comment, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
In the spirit of quiet spaces, honing your craft, moving into winter, I have a round-up of some really great writing organizations (below) to help you along your journey. Now is the perfect time to peruse these offerings and start gearing up for your 2023 writing goals. You may even consider requesting enrollment in a class (or creative lab as Corporeal Writing cleverly calls them) as a gift this holiday season.
~Leslie : )
There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!
This adorable Main Street-style indie bookstore, Con tent in the heart of Northfield, Minnesota is offering these super-fun, super-inspired finals study care packages. They will certainly be delivered to local colleges St. Olaf and Carleton, but you can ship anywhere. Prices range from $30 to $200. Just make sure to order your Survival Kit 72 hours before your desired ship or delivery date.
image source: content website
I just returned from a fabulous Corporeal Writing retreat experience at the Salishan Lodge on the coast of Oregon where we all worked with the lovely Lidia Yuknavitch, Domi Shoemaker, Janice Lee, and Katie Collins-Guinn, whose fabulous new logo you are looking at above. They offer a ton of craft classes, called creative labs (how cool is that?!) in-person (in Portland) and on-line. Their focus: the body, grief, memoir, more. Also? Check out their merch. I just ordered these writing portal cards #witchy/notwitchy and also a heart hoodie. Finally…they have a lit mag, Khora, I totally dig the aestheics of. Check out their 500 words submission.
image source: Corporeal website.
Story Studio Chicago offers a plethora of classes, webinars, in-person stuff, festivals, and more. Try a novel-in-year class, or sharpen your poetry. Plus: write-ins, book clubs, podcasts. They really got you covered.
image source: StoryStudio Chicago website
Hedgebrook is located in the Pacific Northwest and gah–get a load of that logo.! It’s a dreamy woodland writerly escape I’d love to attend in person some day, but for now, here’s a selection of their online offerings. Be sure to check out the early 2023 schedule.
image source: hedgebrook website
Located at a former architect’s country home in Lake Forest, IL, Ragdale is a delightful place for artists of all walks: architects, writers, photographers, musicians. I so want to go! It appears as though all 2023 residencies are filled, but it’s my understanding some of these fall through…which means, you might get to attend on super-short notice. Check it out all HERE. I promise you’ll be swooning!
image source: ragdale website
Tin House is such a go-to for many serious writers in terms of sharpening one’s craft. Their new craft series is up and it starts in December. Check it out and see if anything tickles your fancy.
They also offer writing residencies in all kinds of categories: first book, next book, parents, and more. Check that out–and apply HERE. Applications close November 20
image soure: Tin House website
Located in the cozy college town on Gambier, Ohio, Kenyon College hosts a residency-workshop for writers each summer, in two different sessions. Each session consists of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry cohorts paired with an instructor. The concept is you work together as a group for 3-hours each morning followed by personal time to hone your craft, relax, read.
image source: Kenyon Writer’s Workshop.
Some Writing Opportunties:
Narratively is looking for pitches for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Wilson Quarterly about navigating geopolitical strategic competition. I’m not even sure I know what that means, but if you do, power on! They pay $2,000 per published article. Pitches due November 17!
If that doesn’t work for you, Narratively is always looking for personal stories: reported, hidden histories, first-person, more. Submit those HERE.
image source: Narratively website
Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:
- A conversation-in-review with the EIC of Salon, Erin Keane, about her memoir, RUNAWAY: Notes on the Myths that Made Me (Belt Publishing, September, 2022), in Autofocus Literary, November 12, 2022.
- A conversation with Sheila O’Connor about elegantly exploring the nonlinear, (a total obsession of mine), in her EVIDENCE OF V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, Fictions (Rose Metal Press, 2019), in Fractured Literary, October 25, 2022
- A review-in-dialogue with Su Cho about her debut book of poetry, THE SYMMETRY OF FISH (Penguin Poets, October 2022) in The Cincinnati Review, November 1 2022.
- Prose in SEPIA Journal Oct/Nov 2022 issue. Interiors is about an Appalachian family, black bottom pie, trains, and ear aches. It was inspired by my own family lore, and also: this journal is STUNNING!
- 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. We unpack home, displacement, found forms, more.
- 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.
- “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 conversation-in-review with the EIC of Slate, Erin Keane, about her memoir, RUNAWAY: Notes on the Myths that Made Me (Belt Publishing, September, 2022), to appear in Autofocus Literary.
- 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 8) to appear in November.
- Kathryn Gahl in conversation about her poetic memoir, THE YELLOW TOOTHBRUSH (Two Shrews Press, September 2022), about her incarcerated daughter, perinatal mood disorder, more
- A conversation-in-review with Nicole McCarthy on her genre-defying A SUMMONING (Heavy Feather Review, September 2022) to appear in CRAFT Literary in 2023.
- Tanya Frank’s ZIG-ZAG BOY: A Memoir of Motherhood & Madness (W.W. Norton, Feb 28 2023), a review and conversation to appear in Hippocampus Magazine, spring 2023.
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’m halfway through Julie Phillips’s The Baby on the Fire Escape: Motherhood & Creativity, and Mind-Baby Problem (Norton, Spring 2022), and loving it. Can women have an intellectual and creative life and also be good mothers? Does something have to give? It’s not all about writing or motherhood, but autonomy. A great companion book to this is The Artist’s House by Kirsty Bell, which is also amazing, full of amazing photos, insights, and delicious writing.
Have you heard of the Tylenol Murders? In 1982, people were mysteriously dropping dead in the Chicago area. No one really understood why–it all seemed sort of random. Until it wasn’t. It’s been forty years and theTribune has reopened this case. You might appreciate this podcast about it.
image source: Apple Podcasts
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.
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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.
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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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