Leslie Lindsay is the author of Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (2012), Woodbine House, an award finalist for both Reader’s Choice and ForeWord Review, and 2nd place winner of the Walter Williams Award for Excellence in Non-fiction. She is a member of the Missouri Writer’s Guild as well as an honorary member of the RWA-Windy City. She has participated in several fiction workshops, most recently at The University of Wisconsin—Madison. In addition, she contributes to two critique groups, and works closely with a critique partner. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two young daughters, and a basset puppy.
Leslie maintains a this website as well as an author Facebook page where she shares tips and ideas for writing, the occassional give-a-way, author interviews, and rambling musings/observations.
For years, I was in denial. I was not a writer.
I acquired my first diary at the age of 8. It was a relunctantly accepted gift from my mother who wanted me to become a writer or a vet. Sure, I loved animals and expressing my feelings in a cute little book with a lock was appealing. But my love for the written word also came in the form of stories dad would read from the Disney mail-order books, a ritual I still look back on fondly.
When my mother breached my trust by reading my diaries, that was it; I refused to write in them any longer. But secretly, I did. Instead of jotting my initials and my current crushes entwined in a rudimentary heart, I cataloged my nightly dreams, painstakingly looking up every image and symbol in my “Dreamer’s Dictionary.” Many of those dream images are still with me today as I craft settings and develop charcters.
But no, I was not a writer.
Instead, I became intrigued with science and psychology, my eyes set on a career as a pediatrician or psychologist. Others tried coaxing me into broadcast journalism or teaching. I went to nursing school, neverminding the fact that I fainted at the sight of blood and loved the vernacular of anatomy more than the practice of healing it. Even in my “free time,” I continued the habit of recording my dreams and thought maybe, someday, I’d return to my love of writing; you know as a good old-fashioned hobby.
Four years and several fainting episodes later, I emerged with honors from nursing school and a shiny new degree. I set off to work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN–a cold and far away place from my homestate of Missouri. I wrote there, too. This time, the beginning of a memoir–consequently, a combination of my job as a child/adolescent psych RN and my mother’s mental illness. See, no blood there.
For five years I worked a job that was not my true calling. It fascinated me, sure. I helped dozens of families, but I was missing something. I got married. I had kids. I wrote. Nothing major, just a few articles here and there.
And then my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a speech disorder, a pretty severe and rare one at that: childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). While it’s never a parent’s dream that her child have something that holds her back in some way, it was like a door opening. I said good-bye to nursing, but I had the knowledge to put it all together–the science, the psychology, the desire to help and educate…and so I wrote a book about apraxia released in late March 2012.
In the meantime, after I got the non-fiction bug fleshed out, I began toiling with fiction. An avid reader since I can remember, fictional characters often ‘call’ to me by presenting their name in a quiet whisper I cannot ignore. Sometimes, I get a glimpse of their face, or a brief storyline. Other times, I have a deep fascination with an element that begs to be written about: a home/neighborhood/small town, a childhood story, or some urban legend that needs the dirt and grit rubbed off. Call it a passion, or compulsion, but writing is something that will never go away for me.
Nearly daily, I exclaim, ‘Gosh, I love books!’ From that passion, I’ve cultivated quite a list of bestselling and debut authors who have graciously appeared on my literary blog, offering tips and insight into their work. It might be the journalist in me, or the writer, or the psychologist, but I adore delving into the depths of the writer’s mind. I find it fascinating, but mostly, I learn a little something about the art and craft of writing, and hope you will, too.
You can find Leslie’s work on her companion-to-the-book website, SPEAKING OF APRAXIA at www.speakingofapraxia.com where she hosts SLPs, parents, and writes on a variety of topics related to childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), AD/HD, parenting, and more. Leslie’s oldest daughter (bright and spunky) Kate is currently resolving from apraxia. Please feel free to pop over to the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook Page, too.