All posts filed under: Write On Wednesday

Musings & Meanderings: Kayla Maiuri has one ritual she must do when actively working on a project; plus: mothers, home decor, vintage stuff, where to submit, disco music, book recs, more

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~ Hello, Friends! My mother was a super-talented self-taught interior decorator. She also struggled with severe mental illness. I’ve never been formally trained in home design or decor, but those skills sort of emerged unbidden. Maybe they are part of my DNA. One may argue that mental illness is entwined in one’s DNA, too. Sure, I can get a little anxious or run-down, or maybe a little depressed from time to time, but who doesn’t? Especially in this day and age with constant posting, re-posting, sharing, scrolling, etc. It’s a constant barrage of…keeping up and comparisons. Kayla Maiuri’s debut novel tackles many of these exact concerns, braiding the past with the present, a mother resistant to change, family secrets, architecture, and more. It’s an emotionally and psychologically astute character study that reads almost as if it could be memoir. Interestingly, all of this stuff: mothers, home, decor, …

Musings & Meanderings: Caitlin Billings on the ‘construction of gender,’ her new mental health memoir, plus deconstructing flash, where to submit this June, being curious & varied

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~ Hello, Friends! Curiosity. That’s what a writer needs. She also needs varied life experiences. A break in routine. I tell you this because…well, it’s true for me, but but because it ought to be true for every writer. Here’s why: stagnancy doesn’t produce dynamic anything. So…are you… Exploring? Observing? Questioning? Doodling? Day-dreaming? Remember when you were a kid, maybe 4 years old or so, and well-meaning adults asked, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I mean, we start early with this. Guess what?! I still don’t know!!! Lately, we’ve been taking our daughter on college visits. They all want to know what ‘school,’ or ‘major’ she’s going to select. She loves (and is good at) lots of things. So, how to narrow it down? Does she need to know? No. That’s the beauty of being inquisitive and multi-interested. Our ideas and …

My Story Went Viral: What I Wish I’d Known First

Originally posted on BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog:
By Diane Forman I never expected my story to go viral. Over two million views on a widely read commercial site. 11.5K likes and emojis on Facebook. Over 2.2K comments. The piece was syndicated and posted on Yahoo, Singapore News and elsewhere. A friend saw it as a top trending news story on her phone. A viral piece and huge readership—just what I’d been striving for as a writer! I was completely unprepared for the aftermath. It had taken me several years to gather the courage to write about my daughter’s estrangement, and this was well after we were reconciled. Reconciling took a great deal of time, space, personal change and effort to break long-established patterns. I wrote the story as a commercial rather than literary piece, citing not only my own experience, but research on estrangement and shame. I ended with hope because fortunately, our story had a happy ending. I pitched the piece for Mother’s Day, a difficult holiday for many, with a personal goal of…

Musings & Meanderings: Lisa Solod on her new book, SHIVAH, about memory, mothers, and Alzheimer’s; how phones are draining our creativity, sensitive humans, where to submit, THE UGLY CRY, handling rejections, apraxia book discount

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~ Hello, Friends! Have you got a sensitive human in your life? I do. At least two and they are both teenagers. One is my daughter, the other is not. Being a teenager is complex enough, a totally fraught time. It feels often like there is no skin on our body, everything exposed. There is a tremendous amount of self-sabotaging going on, external forces, uncertainty, and more. Heck…the more I think about this, the more it dawns on me that this is almost exactly how a writer feels when we put our work into the world, even if it’s not published. Just having a friend or instructor read our work can be a tough thing. What’s one to do? Keep growing, keep being open to feedback and listen. Is this easy? No. Neither is being a teenager or an adult or a writer. How’s it going? Respond …

Musings & Meanderings: How to set aside time for writing, priming your brain, writing by hand, abandoned houses, the color white, hybrid forms, and more

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ a mini-author interview, reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! I recently went on a writing retreat/workshop. Before I left, a thoughtful grandfatherly-type man in my yoga class, asked, “So do you know what you want to work on while you’re there?” “Yep,” I nodded. It seems knowing what you want to write is half the battle. The workshop/retreat had other plans for me and I got completely thrown from my intentions. So, here’s a little cheat sheet I came up with to help YOU: Strategize what you want to write.  If you’ve got a work-in-progress (WIP), do you know which chapters you want to work on? I made notecards of topics I wanted to explore and brought those. Also leave my writing sessions a little unfinished so I am still mulling over the last line(s) when I walk away from my writing desk. Maybe you hope to ‘just’ draft or …

Musings & Meanderings: Leslie Kirk Campbell talks about her debut collection in our ‘4 Questions’ chat; hint: memory, time, bodies. Plus, how to pick your creative project, mental health awareness, where to submit, links to interviews with Maud Newton, Kim Adrian, and new CNF

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ a mini-author interview, reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Folks always wonder how to know if they’re making the right choice creatively when there are so many possibilities. I get it. There are a million ways a project could go, a million first lines, each offer a unique structure, too. We must move past indecision and lean into our work. Choose your project. Choose your ideas. Chose your sentences. Choose your ending. It’s not easy. Did anyone say it would be easy? They were wrong. How’s it going? Respond here in a comment, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. xx, ~Leslie : ) There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling! What I’m Distracted By This really resonated… “[My wife] was a teaching assistant for kids with disabilities and they had put a butterfly sanctuary in their classroom. … She said that in order for the butterflies to learn how to fly they …

Musings & Meanderings: Mindy Uhrlaub on hope, friendship & being a neatnick; a give-a-way for SPEAKING OF APRXIA, reading recommendations, calls for submissions, obsessions, more

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~ Hello, Friends! I am in the process of doing some deep work. Some of which is about reflecting and thinking about next steps, wrapping up an end-of-an-era, being open to new ideas, people, and places in life. It’s sort of been a struggle, but what transformation isn’t? “Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s a dark and murky, painful pushing. An unraveling of the untruths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own created demons. A complete uprooting, before becoming.” Victoria Erickson How’s it going? Respond here in a comment, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. xx, ~Leslie : ) There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling! It’s a bittersweet end: my fabulous longtime publisher, Woodbine House, will be closing their doors in June. This is a pandemic-driven decision. Woodbine House has been churning out top special-needs resources for 37 years, including SPEAKING OF APRAXIA. The good …

Creative-health check-in, Erika Krouse on TELL ME EVERYTHING, apraxia news, diversions, recently-published work, what I’m reading and listening to, calls for submissions, more

By Leslie Lindsay Remember last week’s Musings & Meanderings? You can’t be everything to everyone everyday. Are you remembering to: Rest. Read. Nap. Write. Spend Time in Nature. Surround Yourself with Nurturing Souls? Let me know how it’s going. Respond here in a comment, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. xoxoxo ~Leslie : ) There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling! It’s a bittersweet end: my fabulous longtime publisher, Woodbine House, will be closing their doors in June. This is a pandemic-driven decision. Woodbine House has been churning out top special-needs resources for 37 years, including SPEAKING OF APRAXIA. The good news? All of their books are 50%, while supplies last. The bittersweet news? SPEAKING OF APRAXIA is sold-out, at least from the publisher’s website. But! You can still get it, while supplies last on Amazon, maybe Barnes & Noble. Bookshop.org is a possibility, too. We are looking at other options, too, for it to remain in-print, but that might be awhile to come to fruition. If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time …

Creative-Care is Self-Care: Insights Gleaned from my Time in Guatemala, plus what I’m working on, upcoming interviews, recently published fiction, more

~WHAT I LEARNED IN GUATEMALA~ I recently returned from a writing workshop/retreat in Guatemala. Let me just say this: the scenery was stunning. The location and people were warm, colorful, and in most cases: inspiring. Reflecting on my time there has generated this list of things I wanted to be sure to share. The idea of a retreat is to: Renew, recharge, reconnect. We’ve been running ninety-to-nothing for a long time now. We’re pandemic-weary, covid-fatigued, and anxious to connect. A retreat should afford us the opportunity to do that. Self-care might be a big buzz word these days, but… What about creative care? We must take care of our creative person, the vessel who does all of this inventing. My Reiki therapist recently noted my sacral area (the seat of creativity) was ‘ping-pinging’ with activity, but was eclipsed by something dark–a sheathe. That’s a problem. That darkness…well, it needs to be lightened. Her suggestion? Meditation. It doesn’t have to be long or involved. 5-10 minutes is all. A deep breath. A few moments alone. Releasing …

Generative Writing Practice: Old photographs, retreats, books, listening to one’s intuition, an interview with Mary Laura Philpott, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay After reading Mary Laura Philpott’s forthcoming, highly-anticipated memoir-in-essays, BOMB SHELTER (April 12, Atria Books), I knew I had to talk with her. Seriously, this woman is funny. She ‘gets’ it. She’s a writer and mother of teenagers/college-aged kids and we share some similar Southern-isms, like ‘oh my word,’ and ‘bless your heart,’ and ‘what in Sam Hill is this?’ But she’s thoughtful and deep and there’s a great conversation about structure, turtles, doing hard things. Come eavesdrop on our conversation HERE. Some exciting news: I’ll be on writing retreat/workshop mode next week…in Guatemala! This is exciting because it combines several of my favorite things: writing, travel, gorgeous places, and a gathering of like-minded individuals. I’ll miss my family (and routine) terribly, but I this will be the creative re-set I crave. I just took a fabulous online flash workshop with the lovely and talented Kathy Fish. The Art of Flash catapulted many ideas and pieces. If this is a genre that interests, I encourage you to check it out. After nearly a …