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Musings & Meanderings: Does a writer need a room of her own? How about two desks? Plus: where to submit, what I do with the books I review,

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

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

I bought a desk. Another one. Because what writer needs two desks? Apparently, this one.

For months I avoided my messy office in lieu of working at the kitchen table (chaos, distraction), or maybe going to the coffee shop (not a bad alternative if I had the time), but then fall hit and it was like–bam!–I gotta do something about this junky office.

In all reality, it wasn’t that bad. But it was cluttered and there might have been a cobweb or two in the corners–eek! Scraps of paper with scrawled notes and ‘good lines,’ were everywhere. Notecards with scenes were taped to the wall. Cords were strung everywhere to illuminate spaces and power the heater. I know: it’s not winter. That’s how long it’s been.

There was a real, psychological reason I wasn’t in my creating space. I was burned out. It was a fallow season. The ideas were percolating and my mind was conjuring ideas for next steps.

At Hudson Design House

I was out and about at one of my favorite home decor stores and there she was: my new desk. I snapped her up, along with three antique glass window/shutters. I hung those babies up on my wall, cleaned, polished, purged, and it really looks good now.

One desk is decidedly for laptop work: writing on the computer, responding to emails, creating graphics, formatting interviews, editing…all of that stuff.

The other desk is my creative space. No computer. No phone. Just a space. For doodling, journaling, brainstorming, drawing, collaging, reading, and taking notes by hand.

My goal is to toggle between both desks at different times of the day for different tasks. I might start with my creative/blank slate desk and then mosey over to my laptop after I have satisfied my own creativity.

What do you think about this two-desk concept?

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Ask the Booknerd:

“I’ve always been curious: what do you do with all the books you review?”

–Curious about your books

Dear Curious:

(a) I have a booming business on the black market.

(b) I re-gift them.

(c) I turn them into art/crafts

(d) They become kitty litter

(e) I give away/donate/pass on

(f) All of the above

(g) Some of the above

(h) None of the above

ANSWER:

Many of the books I keep. They are lovely and inspiring and I am surrounded by books all the time. On occasion, I will pass one along to a friend. Some virtually brand-new (gently read) copies, I may become a gift to a friend, along with a gift card to a coffee shop. Some books end up in Little Free Libraries. And more than a few are displayed cover-out at home because they are so beautiful and go with my decor. I’ve turned a few into art by folding the pages and doing something fun with them. I don’t have a cat, so no kitty litter. And yeah…no one is getting rich from black market books.

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?

Some Writing Opportunities:

  • Nimrod International is interested in reading your fiction, poetry, and CNF for their themed issue, “Body Language,” which really encompasses a lot…open till October 1 for the spring 2023 issue.
  • 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.”
  • Cobalt Review would like your poetry, CNF, Fiction, and more.
  • 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.
Photo by Budgeron Bach on Pexels.com

Take a peek at all of my 2022 recommendations at Bookshop.org|Always with a Book

Be sure to check out all featured author Further Reading Recommendations|Always with a Book for more inspired selections.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is turnpage-home-banner2-white.jpg

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • 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 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 Monstera on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

  • A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.
  • 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 piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, post-memory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.
  • 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 a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

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.

What I’m reading:

I am between books. Don’t worry; it won’t last long. I’m going to take my own advice and read a ‘book bundle.’ This one will get me prepared for an October Writing Retreat in Oregon.

Photo by Davyd Bortnik on Pexels.com

What I’m listening to:

White noise. It’s been a long week or two. Life is noisy. Maybe not in volume (but that’s true, too), but in ‘stuff,’ ‘bombarding’ us at all times–pings and dog barks, car horns, and traffic. White noise is soothing.

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 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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

Browse the Archives | Donate

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.

Learn more HERE.

Be sure you’re following us on Instagram!

That’s where you’ll catch bookreels, cover reveals, & book mail : )

I support writing organizations, authors, publishers, and more. Occasionally, you’ll get a peak behind-the-scenes, too.

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo-preview.png

Musings & Meanderings: taking Rilke’s advice to ‘ruthlessly compress,’ what to do when Mercury is in retrograde; plus how visual art isn’t all that different from written art, motherhood, acceptance, and what books I recently read and loved

By Leslie Lindsay

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is leslie-lindsayalways-with-a-book-27-1.png

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

Here’s the thing: Mercury is in stupid retrograde again. I know how it sounds: hoodoo voodoo and and magical weirdness. But there’s something to it! As a writer, who is no doubt a ‘communicator’ in every sense (I am the family connector/communicator/organizer), I try to get everyone on ‘the same page,’ I like coordinating and organizing things…to say this can be a trying time is an understatement.

What does it mean when…

‘Mercury is in retrograde?’

It started September 9 and will go through October 2. Mercury is the planet of communication. When it’s in retrograde (appearing to go backward), appliances tend to run haywire, scheduled things run late, miscommunications run rampant.

You might have ‘good’ problems, but mistakes will happen. Things might be more exaggerated than ever, but there might also be goodwill.

Learn more about Mercury retrograde in this Bustle article.

For me…it’s been forgetfulness/scatteredness, lost items, appointments not working out right, computer glitches/freezing, and ‘pending’ arrangements (like the dog sitter will have to get back with me, the travel company needs to ‘approve my request.’ Maybe I’m just more in-tune with these things…or maybe Mercury is to blame?

Yikes! Any break?

Yep. There will be a moment of clarity amid the chaos. That will happen on September 22nd near midnight. It’s also the fall equinox. There will be a slight shift in perspective.

And then…

The air will clear around October 10th. But there might be a little fogginess or unsettledness until October 16th.

Mercury Retrograde DOs:

  • Be extra thoughtful when friction occurs.
  • Do you really need to say it out loud?
  • Be mindful.
  • Focus on long-term solutions.
  • The heat-of-the-moment rarely has your future well-being in mind.
  • Take deep breaths. Pause. Reflect.
  • Expect delays and schedule extra time for everything.
  • Laugh at yourself when you make faux pas.
  • You aren’t above learning lessons.
  • Streamline your life, reassess your ‘systems’ and update if necessary. Organize, review, rethink.

What NOT to do during Mercury Retrograde:

  • Don’t purchase tickets or plan big events during this time.
  • If you can’t avoid that, keep in mind that some tweaks may need to be made.
  • Don’t sign big contracts or make a major purchase.
  • Don’t make major life changes.
  • Don’t worry about, or fear, this phase, just be aware of it.

What do you think? Is this Mercury Retrograde a ‘thing?’ Is it a bunch of superstitions?

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Faik Akmd on Pexels.com

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?

What’s obsessing me:

  • This course offered by Janice Lee via Corporeal Writing about listening to form, to ourselves, the stories already within. It’s online October 15. Check out the sliding-scale fee and consider investing.
  • More great ‘haunted’ offerings from Corporeal Writing: blending memoir and fiction writing with philosophy, magic, ritual, and other otherworldly practices[…]exploring ancient or historic lines that haunt your story[…]ghosts, ancestors, grief, loss, burials, ceremonies, and an inquiry into the nature of identity and death. Haunted 1 Starts 11/8 and meets on Tuesdays. Haunted 2 starts 11/10 and meets on Thursdays.
  • This helpful interview/video from the editor-n-chief of Bellevue Literary Review on how to submit to them, what they’re seeking, what to avoid, more.

New! 4 Questions mini-interview

Insights|Donna Gordon

What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me: A Novel

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

Leslie Lindsay:

Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say WHAT BEN FRANKLIN WOULD HAVE TOLD ME is about?

Donna Gordon:

Finding common ground where it’s least expected.  Understanding differences, as in Progeria, Lee’s disease.  Caring about human rights, as in the case of my character Tomás, who survived the Dirty War in Argentina. Motherhood.  Acceptance.

Leslie Lindsay:

Where did you write WHAT BEN FRANKLIN WOULD HAVE TOLD ME ? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Donna Gordon:

I worked first from written notes, then transcribed to my laptop.  I  learned  to  write completely using the keyboard for the  bulk of the novel, which at first felt really foreign, as I’m used to feeling  my way with words more slowly, and taking pen to paper.  There were many times when the whole day went by and I was still writing when it got dark outside.  I tried to not stop until I had completed an entire emotional episode, which didn’t always work, but it felt better to see a complete scene and not just a piece of it.  I often start a piece with a line or  image that defies sense, but carries some emotional power.  Then I go back and try to understand where it fits and why it felt so necessary. I started writing poetry before writing fiction, and I’m always scrupulously aware of Rilke’s advice to”

“ruthlessly compress.”   

I’m completing a collection of stories, LESSER SAINTS, and am working out the order.

Leslie Lindsay:

If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Donna Gordon:

A painter/printmaker/photographer/tennis pro!  I’m actually already something of a visual artist and have been making things for a few years.  Making things with paint and ink and pencil is not that different than making things with words.  It’s  another way of constructing things with emotion and color and language, albeit visual language.  Your hands get dirty!  My visual  art is represented  by Galatea  Fine  Art  SoWa,  Boston.

Leslie Lindsay:

What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Donna Gordon:

Klara and the Sun by Ishiguro.  I felt real loss when I finished reading.  Klara is an artificial friend, but she’s more human to me than any of the other characters.  She plays a critical role in a family’s fate, and in the end is abandoned.  But her spirit lives on.  I found myself making a painting a few days  after I closed the book, and my impression of Klara plays center stage.

Get your copy of WHAT BEN FRANKLIN WOULD HAVE TOLD ME HERE or where books are sold. Check out Donna Gordon’s website for more information, including talks and signings.

Take a peek at all of my 2022 recommendations at Bookshop.org|Always with a Book

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is turnpage-home-banner2-white.jpg

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • 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 Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.

A photoessay of a family’s devolve, created in miniature, to appear in On the Seawall.

A conversation with Lauren Acampora about her novel, THE HUNDRED WATERS (Grove/Atlantic, August 23, 2022) in The Millions.

A piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.

Nature photography in Invisible City.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

A conversation with Kristine Langley Mahler about her new hybrid memoir, CURING SEASON: Artifacts (WVP, October 1) in Brevity.

A hybrid art review of YOUR HEARTS, YOUR SCARS (Bellevue Literary Press, January 2023) by Adina Talve-Goodman, published posthumously, in DIAGRAM.

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.

What I’m reading:

I am smack in the middle of Jill Bialosky’s new release, THE DECEPTIONS (September 6, Counterpoint), which is a heady flow-of-consciousness with an artistically savvy slant featuring Greco-Roman art/sculpture. I also just finished ANYTHING BUT MY PHONE, MOM, by clinical psychologist Roni Cohen-Sandler.

What I’m listening to:

In yoga, we’ve been listening to our own heart beat. I know how it sounds…almost impossible. When one is very still and quiet, it can be heard. Our studio shares the same space with a traditional gym and the other day, someone outside of yoga was jumping rope. The thump-thump on the floor made us think of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Telltale Heart beating under the floorboards. [Can you tell I’m in a haunting, mystical mood? ‘Tis the season].

By the way, did you realize the ears are the first to form in utero and the last to go during the death process? When our ears hurt, it often signifies that we are ‘tired of all the noise.’

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 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.

Photo by Melike Benli on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

Browse the Archives | Donate

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.

Learn more HERE.

Be sure you’re following us on Instagram!

That’s where you’ll catch bookreels, cover reveals, & book mail : )

I support writing organizations, authors, publishers, and more. Occasionally, you’ll get a peak behind-the-scenes, too.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo-preview.png

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is leslie-lindsayalways-with-a-book-27-1.png

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, are all part of today’s Musings & Meanderings. Do you tend to think and act in themes? Seems I do! More on that under ‘obsessions.’

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

What’s Obsessing Me:

  • Vintage stuff because IT ALWAYS HAS. Especially so if it’s locally sourced architectural salvage, like the treasures I fall in love with at Hudson Design House.
  • Setting up my ‘new’ office. Nothing about it is new [see above], and that’s part of its charm. I am in the process of rearranging, straightening, culling through stuff…hanging things. Funny how fall has a way of re-setting, right?
  • An online platform for printing travel photos. I am seeking something with a [surprise] retro/vintage vibe requiring very little effort from me. Got any ideas? Tell me!
  • Also! I am totally into this idea of ‘book bundling,’ a.k.a: ‘A flight of Books.’ A trio of books…I don’t know…call it what you want, but the idea is different genres/different authors with some overlapping theme or motif that marries well.

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?

Some Writing Opportunities:

  • Nimrod International is interested in reading your fiction, poetry, and CNF for their themed issue, “Body Language,” which really encompasses a lot…open till October 1 for the spring 2023 issue.
  • 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.”
  • Cobalt Review would like your poetry, CNF, Fiction, and more.
  • 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.

New! Featured Author|Insights

Kayla Maiuri

Mother in the Dark: A Novel

Image designed and photographed by L.Lindsay

A novel about family secrets and a volatile relationship between a mother and her daughters.

Leslie Lindsay:

Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say MOTHER IN THE DARK is about?

Kayla Maiuri:

Escape; inherited grief; loyalties and betrayals amongst family; the ways that daughters blame their mothers and protect their fathers; how mothers and daughters can love, wound, and haunt.

Leslie Lindsay:

Where did you write MOTHER IN THE DARK? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Kayla Maiuri:

I’m not very precious about my writing space. I can write at the kitchen table with people talking, yelling, eating, and I can write on the couch with the television going. My one ritual is that when I’m actively working on a project, I must touch the document every day. Maybe I will only shift a sentence or add a comma, but I have to at least acknowledge the work every day.

Leslie Lindsay:

If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Kayla Maiuri:

Maybe working in psychotherapy. I feel presumptuous saying this—I know it’s a lot of work and takes a lot of emotional strength. I shouldn’t assume I’d be able to do it. But I love trying to understand people; all of their nuances and layers. It seems like the most natural jump.

Leslie Lindsay:

What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Kayla Maiuri:

The Long Answer by Anna Hogeland. It’s a debut about female friendship and sisterhood, and the beauty and power of storytelling—how it fuels and sustains us. It’s a slow burn with a quiet but thought-provoking ending. I’ve been recommending it to everyone.

Be sure to check out all featured author Further Reading Recommendations|Always with a Book for inspired selections.

Get your copy of MOTHER IN THE DARK HERE or where books are sold. Check out Kayla Maiuri’s website for more information, including talks and signings.

Take a peek at all of my 2022 recommendations at Bookshop.org|Always with a Book

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is turnpage-home-banner2-white.jpg

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • 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 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 Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

  • A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.
  • 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 piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, post-memory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.
  • 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 a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

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.

What I’m reading:

I am between books. Don’t worry; it won’t last long. I’m going to take my own advice and read a ‘book bundle.’ This one will get me prepared for an October Writing Retreat in Oregon.

Photo by Teona Swift on Pexels.com

What I’m listening to:

Disco! Oh my–it’s Studio 54 in here. When I was a teenager, I worked at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels at the mall. On Saturday nights, a local radio station played Disco music from 9pm to midnight. I still have good memories of breaking down the kitchen and scrubbing dishes to Donna Summer, The Village People, and The Trammps. Only now, I’m writing. Different kind of work, still energizing.

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 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.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

Browse the Archives | Donate

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.

Learn more HERE.

Be sure you’re following us on Instagram!

That’s where you’ll catch bookreels, cover reveals, & book mail : )

I support writing organizations, authors, publishers, and more. Occasionally, you’ll get a peak behind-the-scenes, too.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 960x0.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo-preview.png

MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS: Lisa Williamson Rosenberg on writing a novel in a minivan during soccer practice, feeling like you’re not doing enough/too much, distractibility, making art when not inspired, more

By Leslie Lindsay

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is leslie-lindsayalways-with-a-book-27-1.png

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

I’m not working well today. I don’t know…the gears feel rusty. My brain feels cramped and distracted. I’m worried about my kids, who aren’t really kids, but young adults. They are amazing and talented and busy and so that makes it even more challenging. I worry, in the best parent-kind-of-way. Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Are they happy? It’s hard to be parent. It’s harder still to be a teenager. The emotions are big. The problems have ramifications. Everything feels new and important. Because it is. Kids this age often are experiencing things for the first time (first car, first date, college applications, sports, perceived failures), so the feelings are bigger.

I’ve got an interview by psychologist-mom, Lisa Williamson Rosenberg today who says she wrote her novel, EMBERS IN THE WIND, in a minivan at soccer practice (I can totally relate!). She also says that she is often not writing. And you know what–I think that is okay! It’s about balance.

What inspires you to write? Do you write when you’re not inspired? Do you ‘force’ it? I have. Sometimes that gets me moving. Other times–like today–I just feel gummy and frustrated. My mind wanders and I think of a million other things I’d rather be doing. The ‘zone’ doesn’t happen.

How do YOU get through it?

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Devon Rockola on Pexels.com

What’s obsessing me:

  • Books. Home decor. Nature. My Kids. Bonus kid(s). Basset hounds.
  • Art
  • Finding time to create it.
  • Finding time to read more.
  • Heck, time. That’s a big obsession. Why it goes away. How some people do more with less. How some people do, like, nothing. And is that boring? Or more fulfilling?
  • What I am going to have for dinner.
  • If I have a turkey neck.
  • See above: dinner.
  • How to fit in more yoga; see above: turkey neck.
  • If I am getting enough protein.
  • Wow–was that a much more personal list that you expected? Same here.

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg

Author of EMBERS ON THE WIND

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say EMBERS ON THE WIND is about?

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg:

An Underground Railroad safe house turned 21st century Airbnb, the spirits of the freedom seekers who perished on the property over 2 centuries earlier call out to modern black women, seeking peace and redemption.

2. Where did you write EMBERS ON THE WIND? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg:

I wrote most of Embers on the Wind sitting in my minivan, parked in the lot of a big, indoor soccer arena where my son was enrolled in a 4-day a week, 3 hours-a-pop intensive soccer program. I volunteered to do more than my share of carpooling once I figured out how I could use my time. I had one of those silly foam laptop rests and I was good to go. It did get cold during those winter months, but the thoughts of Embers (along with my purple ankle-length down coat) kept me going.

An earlier novel, which I’m currently revising and have yet to show my agent, was born in the wee hours during a bout of insomnia while my kids were very small.

In general however, once I have a decent sized manuscript to work with, I’ll plod away any time I have a break between therapy clients and on weekends. I am lucky to have “A Room of My Own,” on the third floor of my house where it is relatively quiet.

3. If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg:

Often I am not writing! I am a psychotherapist, so my writing life has to compete with my clients. And of course my kids. And dog! And sometimes my husband, though he’s pretty self-sufficient most of the time.

4. What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg:

Recently? The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan. Dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale meets 1984. It’s full of heartbreaking moments, but so well done and compelling, I was literally unable to put it down. So inventive and imaginative. No spoilers, but I’ve been talking and thinking about this one since I read it back in April.

Get your copy of EMBERS ON THE WIND HERE or where books are sold. Check out Lisa Williamson Rosenberg’s website for more information, including talks and signings.

Take a peek at all of my historical fiction recommendations at Bookshop.org.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is turnpage-home-banner2-white.jpg

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.

A conversation with Lauren Acampora about her novel, THE HUNDRED WATERS (Grove/Atlantic, August 23, 2022) in The Millions.

A piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

My experience at a retreat/workshop abroad, featuring architecture and design, how writing is always a work-in-progress in The Smart Set.

A conversation with Kristine Langley Mahler about her new hybrid memoir, CURING SEASON: Artifacts (WVP, October 1) in Brevity.

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.

What I’m reading:

I am smack in the middle of Lauren Acampora’s new novel, THE HUNDRED WATERS. I mean…that cover!!! Plus, I just love her work.

Images designed and photographed by L. Lindsay

What I’m listening to:

My own truth. No one else can tell you what is ‘true,’ except…you. A little corny, but heck…yeah.

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 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.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

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.

Learn more HERE.

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Musings & Meanderings: Are you always ready to write? Jeff Seitzer is, plus rest/reset/resort, THE FUN MASTER, where to submit, miniature love, 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!

This time of year can kill me. It’s exciting, yes. It’s draining, too. Here’s why:

After a full summer of being the ‘fun master,’ for kids all summer (more on that in today’s author chat below), I am drained. There is precious little time to regroup or to tend to my own needs over summer–that includes creativity and intellectual stimulation because I am driving, planning, executing, scheduling, and doing all the regular things that need doing–house maintenance, work, etc. I can’t find it now, but I came across a meme that read,

“I didn’t go on vacation…I supervised and bankrolled my kids while they were on theirs.”

Then…school. You’d think that would be great. It’s not. At least not at first. New kid schedules, teachers, coaches, expectations. There’s a full academic and sports schedule to follow. Times two kids. Every teacher sends emails about their classes (thank you, but–that’s like, 18 emails!). Coaches want us to volunteer time and money and goods. School wants us to pay seventy-gazallion bucks for ‘extra fees,’ parking passes, yearbooks, yard signs, spirit wear…

I started thinking:

Rest Reset Resort

Notice how those words all have the same letters?

Re(se)t Res(or)t Res(e)t

Coincidence? I think not.

I mean, you could play around with those letters and come up with a calculus all its own.

Or algebra, maybe.

The R/E/S/T cancel each other out.

That leaves you with O/R

Which means:

THIS or THAT

We have choices. We don’t have to do everything. We cannot be everyone to everything every day. We don’t even have to be.

Am I on to something here?

Do you feel this back-to-school unsettledness too?

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

What’s Obsessing Me:

Some Writing Opportunities:

  • 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.”
  • Cobalt Review would like your poetry, CNF, Fiction, and more.
  • 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.
  • Another Chicago Magazine (ACM) is accepting all kinds of stuff on on the theme of Trans/formation (how you interpret this is up to you) through 8/31. If you missed that, they are open to reviews, interviews, art, and more.

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Jeff Seitzer

THE FUN MASTER: A Father’s Journey of Love, Loss, & Learning to Live One Day at a Time

Image designed and photographed by L.Lindsay

Leslie Lindsay:

Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say THE FUN MASTER is about?

Jeff Seitzer:

Laughter and love amidst pain and suffering; the wisdom of children; personal growth and self-understanding; connection, loss, transcendence; and the transformative power of fun.

Leslie Lindsay:

Where did you write THE FUN MASTER? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Jeff Seitzer :  

All over the place and at the oddest times.

I never have a lot of time to devote to writing. One, maybe two hours a day if I am lucky. So, I take any opportunity I have.

Very early mornings are usually good, because no one needs anything from me then. But I have also done a goodly amount of writing on the fly: waiting to pick up kids somewhere, filling idle time before an appointment or exercise class, on a bus or train.

Fortunately, I am a Cancer, who carries his shell everywhere. Computer, notebook, bottle of water, snack, reading material, pen, pencils, tissues, and even a small plastic bag in case I need to sit on the ground.

I am always ready to write. 

Writing in little snippets is, admittedly, not ideal. I often have to stop just when things are really flowing. The advantage, though, is I rarely suffer from writer’s block. I am often able to pick up right where I left off.

Leslie Lindsay:

If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Jeff Seitzer:

Parenting, teaching, volunteering, grocery shopping, cooking, doing errands, exercising, and, on a good day, a very, very good day, partying.

I never seem to get around to doing much cleaning.

Leslie Lindsay:

What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Jeff Seitzer:

John Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems, where he argues that the neighborhood is the key to improving international understanding, because it fosters face-to-face contact with people quite different from us.

Living for a long time in what is considered the US’s most diverse neighborhood on Chicago’s northside has convinced me of the wisdom of this claim. However, I despair of the many political, economic, social, and cultural factors making neighborhoods more homogenous. Still,

I have been thinking a lot lately about how we might reinvigorate neighborhoods in the way Dewey envisions.

Get your copy of THE FUN MASTER HERE or where books are sold. Check out Jeff Seitzer’s website for more information, including talks and signings.

Take a peek at all of my memoir recommendations at Bookshop.org|Always with a Book

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • 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 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 Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

  • A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.
  • A piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.
  • 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 a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

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.

What I’m reading:

I just finished an early edition of a January 2023 essay collection, YOUR HEARTS, YOUR SCARS (Bellevue Literary Press) is being published posthumously by a very bright literary star, Adina Talve-Goodman (1986-2018), who underwent a heart-transplant at age nineteen, worked as an editor in New York, and was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. What’s more, she’s from St. Louis, my hometown. The collection is incisive and thought-provoking.

Up next: Lauren Acampora’s new novel, THE HUNDRED WATERS. I mean…that cover!!! Plus, I just love her work.

What I’m listening to:

Loads of ambient noise at my local coffee shop. It’s a dreary day and everyone is here….it’s quite lively!

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 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.

Photo by Amber Faust on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

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.

Learn more HERE.

Musings & Meanderings: If she wasn’t writing, Bobi Conn says she’d be playing pool; plus finding the time & bandwidth to immerse oneself into creativity, book recs, more in A WOMAN IN TIME

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!

To be honest, I am struggling to find my post-travel, post-summer, new-school-year writing routine. There’s always that wobbly, indiscriminate time where everything feels in limbo.

Can you relate?

Has your old routine stopped working? Maybe and that’s okay. It’s supposed to!

Wait! What?

Yep. Because time is linear and keeping marching on, so do you. We’re always in the process of evolving and that means our routines should, too.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about (writing) routines:

One: Routines are helpful to our creativity.

By establishing one is saying, “I respect my creativity and will carve out time to satisfy my desire to create.” Our creative self craves predictability, time, and space; it triggers a creative flow. Every Tuesday, for example, is my day to do hands-on art, flatlays, images of book covers. I may get a trickle of books through the week, but I set them all aside for Tuesday. I rely on that. Creative moments breed more creative moments.

Two: It’s about consistency.

Every Saturday, I spend the day at a coffee shop responding to emails, submitting to journals, editing, and working on social media stuff. I have dedicated reading times and other times I focus on creating new writing. It doesn’t always happen at the same (clock) time each week, but by setting aside these days, it primes my brain for certain tasks. One can accomplish an entire manuscript by writing for two hours every day for 6 months. Maybe less, maybe more, it’s the effort and consistency. You cannot, for example, complete an entire manuscript by writing two hours every month or ‘when you feel like it.’

Three: Writing Routines are…malleable.

So much of my routine–or practice–is flexible. It revolves around the kids’ (school and sport) schedules, my other commitments, holidays, vacations, travel, extended family, even the seasons! In summer, for example, I do not have the bandwidth to immerse myself into something new, but I can ‘collect’ moments, experiences, even snippets of writing here and there, but nothing really substantial. In the fall, I feel more introspective, more scholarly, and so that’s often when I get jazzed about something new. The good thing: kids are back in school and it’s easier to invest the time and energy. Winter gets dark earlier and sometimes I flounder. Sometimes, I read more then–that often happens in summer, too.

There will be seasons where your writing flows and others where its more stagnant. That’s okay. The important thing is to recognize when this happens (or anticipate) and have a tentative plan in place. Maybe it means changing your workspace around, trying a new-to-you coffee shop, working in a chair or kitchen table when you used to be committed to an office. Try writing at different times of the day, or taking a walk before a writing session, or just after.

Are you struggling with your creative routine(s)?

I have a writing routine in place, but I hope to add some more hands-on art time. I want space where my laptop (or phone!) is not in my face (otherwise, I scroll, respond to email, or feel compelled do something that resembles ‘work/writing.’ Pro tip: It isn’t.)

Here are some questions I’m pondering:

Where and when do I feel most creative/artistic? In a quiet room? A cafe with ambient noise? Outside? On a walk? In the bustle of city life? What pockets of time are naturally available in mycurrent day? What routines have been successful in the past? How have they shifted? Can I go back to that? If not? What might work? Late nights? Early mornings? (no, on both for me!), on the train? On the patio? [Is this sounding like a Dr. Seuss book?!].

I know whatever I decide, there will be some ‘settling-in,’ tweaks to be made. It might be easy to compare myself to my ‘old routine,’ but I’m going to resist the urge! I’m not the same person I was ‘back then;’ I shouldn’t be.

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Bobi Conn

Author of

A WOMAN IN TIME: A Novel

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say A WOMAN IN TIME is about?

Bobi Conn :

Women’s power in the home and in society. Women’s wisdom. The magic of Eastern Kentucky. My great-grandmother’s possibilities. The maternal lineage. Psychological development. Motherhood.

2. Where did you write A WOMAN IN TIME? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Bobi Conn :

A Woman in Time is my pandemic book – I was mostly holed up in an apartment in northern Kentucky while I wrote this. I don’t have a set routine for writing yet, other than setting a word count goal for myself and determining what my average needs to be each day so I can hit my goal. I found that kept me very motivated while writing my novel. I’m also a night owl, and I like to get started after I feel like my home is in order for the day. The only exception is if I take a day off work to write, because I’ve always had a job while writing. On those days, I just make sure I use all of that precious time to focus and fully immerse myself in the world of my book.

3. If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Bobi Conn :

Playing pool, swimming, reading, putting together an elaborate spread of food for my friends. Also, daydreaming about being in a forest and thinking about so many beautiful and difficult aspects of this human experience.

4. What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Bobi Conn :

I recently re-read Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. When I first read it in college, I was amazed to discover that some people can write prose that feels like poetry and that amazement has stuck with me ever since – his words never grow old. However, this time, I also read the material that follows the letters in this particular translation, which provide context for Rilke’s life when he wrote each letter. That context reminds us that Rilke addresses his recipient (Franz Kappus) with such insight and surety but was experiencing his own pain while writing words of comfort to the aspiring poet. Since re-reading this book, I have thought often about the beautiful words Rilke penned because someone else needed to hear them, and maybe he needed to hear them as well. But he could give those to words to someone else because he understood the need for them, rather than possessing and claiming the answers for himself. I am encouraged to think that in my own times of doubt, pain, and need, I can aspire to give others everything I am seeking for myself.

Get your copy of A WOMAN IN TIME HERE or where books are sold. Check out Bobi Conn’s website for more information, including talks and signings.

Take a peek at all of my historical fiction recommendations at Bookshop.org.

A WOMAN IN TIME will be published August 30 from Little A. Please consider pre-ordering.

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.

A piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

My experience at a retreat/workshop abroad, featuring architecture and design, how writing is always a work-in-progress in The Smart Set.

A conversation with Kristina Langley Mahler about her new hybrid memoir, CURING SEASON: Artifacts (WVP, October 1) in Brevity.

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.

What I’m reading:

I just finished an early edition of a January 2023 essay collection, YOUR HEARTS, YOUR SCARS (Bellevue Literary Press) is being published posthumously by a very bright literary star, Adina Talve-Goodman )11986-2018), who underwent a heart-transplant at age nineteen, worked as an editor in New York, and was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. What’s more, she’s from St. Louis, my hometown. The collection is incisive and thought-provoking.

Up next: Lauren Acampora’s new novel, THE HUNDRED WATERS. I mean…that cover!!! Plus, I just love her work.

What I’m listening to:

These pretty great old-school tunes from the 1980s on Sonos Music/Yacht Rock. Still. I know. I said this last week. Still happening till Labor Day. I am pretending to be on a yacht.

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 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.

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

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.

Learn more HERE.

MUSINGS & MEADERINGS: Why transitions are so hard, and how to ease the pain…plus, a children’s back-to-school book with author interview–hello–Christina Geist!…a fabulous gift idea, 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!

Let’s talk about transitions for a moment. They can be equal parts exciting and terrifying, right? You can want a change, even go so far as to curate that change, and then when it comes, it’s hard, hard, hard. You get me?

What about those changes you didn’t even ask for, but boom–here they are? Yeah, that too. And those other transitions–the ones you know are coming, didn’t really ask for, but you know…the seasons, the school year, a shift in your daily routine. Why the heck are they so hard? And what can we do when we ‘hit a wall?’ How can we embrace them?

Clear the slate.

For me, I like a little lead time. Maybe a day or two to ‘shift gears,’ mentally and maybe physically, too. The problem is, life happens fast. Sometimes we don’t have the space or time to ‘ease in.’ Then what?

Anticipate, anyway.

I do a lot of visualizing. What might such-and-such look like? Feel like? What might I say or do in ___ situation? Sometimes I even have imaginary conversations with myself (quietly, in my head). This really doesn’t require much time. It might be a few minutes before falling asleep, while driving, or exercising. Maybe it’s while walking the dog.

It’s totally normal.

Chances are, you’re not the only one feeling this way. This time of year always sends the message that it’s time to ‘go back to school,’ even if you’ve been in the workforce for years. I get the hankering to learn something new, get new shoes, or even acquire a new notebook or something. It’s a fine time to ‘take stock’ of the year as we move into fall.

Talk it over with a friend.

No shame in sharing your anxieties with a trusted friend. Even if it’s abundance and excitement about a change, it’s still a transition, and that can generate some big feelings and uncertainty. You might both receive some clarity and comfort.

I’ve got a great kids’ book you might love (and author interview; see below). It’s all about making new friends, feeling displaced. Kids books are great teaching and coping skills–for adults, too! They offer a script, a place to explore, and often have a satisfying resolution.

Tell me what you think!

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Enric Cruz Lu00f3pez on Pexels.com

You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, author of award-winning Speaking of Apraxia (Woodbine House, 2020 and PRH audio 2021) and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews.

What I’m Distracted By:

  • Everything! It’s a weird day. I left the house not once, but twice because I was sure I forgot my phone (I didn’t) and then I was without my IPass and was going to be on the tollway, so went back. At the doctor’s office, the nurse thought I was a different patient and was concerned about my blood pressure medication (which I don’t take)! My daughter texted because she was worried about which bus to take home. I thought maybe Mercury was in retrograde, but that doesn’t happen until September 9.
  • This in-person retreat at Corporeal Writing hosted by Lidia Yuknavitch this October. It’s called The Anatomy of Waves and I love both those ideas.
  • A pile of books. More amazing ones popping onto the scene early 2023. My reading list is growing, growing, growing. You can check out what I’m reading, have read, and want to read on my Bookshop.org ‘shop,’ Always with a Book.

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Christina Sharkey Geist

BUDDY’S NEW BUDDY

Image designed and photographed by L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1, Hey, that’s my childhood ruler in the photo!
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say BUDDY’S NEW BUDDY is about?

Christina Geist:

Making new friends by finding one thing in common, with one person, one day at a time.

2. Where did you write BUDDY’S NEW BUDDY? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Christina Geist:

This is my third book in the Growing with Buddy series. Whether it’s bedtime, the first day of school or – in the case of Buddy’s New Buddy – making a new friend, I try to drop my readers directly into a moment in Buddy’s life that every family can relate to. Then, I twist the narrative just so, and take a slightly unexpected path with the story.

3. If you weren’t writing you would be…

Christina Geist:

I’m working as the Founder & CEO of Boombox Gifts, helping people create memory boxes for their friends and family, filled with their life stories and photos. 

4. What book did you read recently that you cannot stop thinking or talking about?

Christina Geist:

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

For more information, or to connect with Christina Sharkey Geist via her website, click HERE, To order a copy of BUDDYS NEW BUDDY, please visit my Bookshop.org shop|Always with a Book

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • 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.
  • A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

A piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

My experience at a retreat/workshop abroad, featuring architecture and design, how writing is always a work-in-progress in The Smart Set.

A conversation with Kristina Langley Mahler about her new hybrid memoir, CURING SEASON: Artifacts (WVP, October 1) in Brevity.

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.

What I’m reading:

Emails. Texts. Getting caught up. Right now, I’m between books. But there are plenty that have caught my eye.

Photo by MockupEditor.com on Pexels.com

What I’m listening to:

These pretty great old-school tunes from the 1980s on Sonos Music/Yacht Rock.

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 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.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

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.

Learn more HERE.

Musings & Meanderings: This or Something Better? Elisa Stancil Levine on her new memoir, notes from a studio, squeaky barn doors, feeling fragmented, and new books I’m obsessing over

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!

Here’s the thing: I wish I had something really thoughtful and sublime to share. The fact is, it’s been one heck of a busy summer. That’s not exactly a ‘bad thing’, it just is. A writer ought to constantly be experiencing and curating curiosities…and ideally, writing about them, or at least, spending some time in quite reflection.

But summer is a bold, vibrant time. Everything expands. The days grow longer, the air is thick. Maybe it’s a time of bounty.

Given all of that, shouldn’t bandwidth also expand? But it doesn’t.

Summer can feel fragmented.

For now, I am keeping notes. Maybe they are just mental, maybe on scraps of paper, or in notebook…the plan is to go back to these things once…school’s in session? But then again, fall is busy, too.

Are you feeling that? Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, author of award-winning Speaking of Apraxia (Woodbine House, 2020 and PRH audio 2021) and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews.

Photo by FOX on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By:

  • This chapbook, by Sarah Fawn Montgomery, which I just ordered because…oh my! Cover crush! And also: topic crush. And here’s the description:

“Juxtaposing poems about historical and literary madwomen and their physicians with poems about unhappy young girls, unsettled new wives, and dissatisfied mothers, this collection explores how the social and domestic spaces women inhabit lead to legacies of insanity, as well as the fierce ways women react, resist, and regenerate.”

  • If you’re interested, Sarah Fawn has a new book coming out from Split/Lip Press, a collection of essays called, Halfway From Home, you can preorder that HERE. You know I am!
  • Finally, on the Sarah Fawn Montgomery topic, here’s an interview I did with her about her memoir, QUITE MAD: A Pharma Memoir
  • Sensory Overload. Can social media create an attention deficit? I kind of think so. In today’s attention economy, our senses are at capacity. (see above). Flooded with new content across screens big and small, we’re addicted to newness, finding it harder to make decisions, and grappling with the toxicity of what’s real, how much to contribute (and what/when). I’m totally guilty. You?!
  • Return to/on Education (ROI). Everyone is back to school–the pandemic stunted that for awhile, but now we’re sort of back on track. My daughter is looking at colleges. But is the college degree so valuable? This is an on-going conversation at our house. One college we visited offered customizable lesson plans, a create-your-own-major. I kind of dig that, just not the price-tag!

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Elisa Stancil Levine

THIS OR SOMETHING BETTER: A Memoir of Resilience

  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say THIS OR SOMETHING BETTER: A Memoir of Resilience is about?

Elisa Stancil Levine: 

YES. oops, that is a complete sentence, lol. Hope, creativity and grit.

Learning how to be human, inch by inch.

2. Where did you write THIS OR SOMETHING BETTER? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Elisa Stancil Levine:

I LOVE writing and editing with coffee, and a view of nature. My editing house has barn doors that slide open on both sides,  with views of old oaks and broad meadows and the sound of a creek nearby.

Next project, tentative title: Notes from a Studio, reveals experiences  as a decorative artist. Wry, revealing, memoir of working with powerful designers and architects, and their fascinating clients.

3. If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Elisa Stancil Levine:

Hiking, running, or musing in the wild, alone or with my husband.

4. What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Elisa Stancil Levine:

Euphoria by Lily King  Vivid, memorable and brainy.

For more information, to purchase THIS OR SOMETHING BETTER via your favorite independent bookstore, or to connect with Elisa Stancil Levine on social media, please visit her website. Find her on Instagram, too. And also, me. ; )

Coming soon:

A piece in the nostalgia dossier of Levitate Magazine, about my childhood interest in a (vintage) kid’s rooms and spaces book.

Another about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her forthcoming book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.

A conversation with Carla Zaccagnini about her book, Cuentos de Cuentas (Amant/Verlag, spring 2022) in The Millions.

An interview with Kristin Keane, author of An Encyclopedia of Bending Time (Barrelhouse Books, April 2022) in The Florida Review/Aquifer.

I’ll be sharing my published interviews here, on Wednesdays, after they’ve ‘gone live’ with their various publications. On Fridays, I’ll share any recent published fiction in this space as well.

There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.

What I’m reading:

I’m crazy-in-love with Kristine Langley Mahler’s forthcoming hybrid memoir, Curing Season: Artifacts and also I am into the Scotland travel guidebook because…well, the travel bug is calling.

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

What I’m listening to:

White noise. My fingers on a keyboard.

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 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.

Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

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.

Learn more HERE.

Musings & Meanderings: Tips to tackle your TBR during a busy season, prepping for the school year, how to make your writing more interesting, plus Megan Goldin chimes in on her new thriller, STAY AWAKE, books I’m recommending, and more

By Leslie Lindsay

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

Summer going too fast for you? I just spent an evening with some very good friends. While eating peanut butter cup ice cream and chatting about the busyness of the season (BBQs, weddings, travel, bike riding, etc.), the concept of ‘banking up the summer’ came up.

Sometimes we yearn for things to slow down, but when they do…we want the vibrancy of summer to return.

Most of you know I read like mad. But I also like to experience the world. We travel a good deal. That means I have to work harder to find time for my towering TBR. Here are some of my tried-and-true tricks for reading on the go:

I carry a book with me everywhere.

Whatever format you choose, make sure to stuff a book or two (or ten!) in your bag before leaving the house. You never know when you can carve out a little chunk of reading time, and you can’t read a book if you don’t have one on hand, right? (This is SO hard to do with the convenience and allure of cell phone scrolling, but put that thing away and read a book instead!).

I read before bed.

This has been a ‘thing’ for me since college, when I allowed myself a ‘fun book’ before falling asleep. It sure beat falling asleep with a clunky microbiology book. My husband is the opposite; he’s snoring before he can make it through five pages. Still, reading is reading, and reading in bed is the perfect way to wind down. I can’t fall asleep without a few minutes (or hours) in a good book.

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

I don’t read just for myself.

I read to see what else is out there. Which books are doing well, where the market is going, how other authors hook their readers in new and exciting ways. So yes, I read with an eye to writing, but I also read to help my fellow authors. To give them a nice review on GR or Amazon, for example, or to shout out about the stories I’ve read and loved— and sometimes I am on self-imposed deadlines: read it before the movie, read it before interviewing the author, read it before the library wants it back.

Reading is a priority.

I don’t always read a lot every day. Sometimes I can only squeeze in a few chapters here and there–maybe not even that. But really, for me, it’s about commitment to reading. Some months I get through more books, but I am always, always immersed in a book—with plenty more that have ‘caught my eye.’

Audiobooks.

There’s a bit of a controversy or contradiction here. Do you consider audiobooks as listening or reading? Some people (my husband!) swear by them and claim they help reach their reading goals. You can listen in the car, the plane, in the yard, around the house, at the gym…I get you are absorbing ‘story,’ but is it reading? Some say yes, some say no. What do you think?

What about you? What season do you tend to get most of your reading in? Do you read consistently throughout the year or do you really surge during certain times? Do you have other tips/tricks for tackling your TBR?

Tell me in the comments or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, author of award-winning Speaking of Apraxia (Woodbine House, 2020 and PRH audio 2021) and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

WHAT I AM DISTRACTED/OBSESSED BY:

  • I’m considering re-reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, especially after seeing the movie adaptation. I always feel the book is better, but this one is a tough call. At times I felt the book moved a little slow (but was beautifully written)…the movie was very close to to the book in terms of plot/twists/character. I started obsessing over logistics in the movie, where it was set versus filmed, and other details.
  • How to make my writing more interesting…ha! ; ) What I am getting at here is how to make it more formally or structurally interesting. For me, it’s not enough to ‘just’ write. I think this is something I’ve wrestled with for a long time, I’m just now able to identify and articulate that. I like creating in multiple media: visual art, inventive storytelling/writing techniques, and so looking at the hermit crab essay (see also:) flash fiction, poetry, epistolary work.
  • Prepping for the school year. Nope, I’m not a teacher and I am not in school, but being the mother of a HS senior (?!) and sophomore who are both very active in sports and clubs and friends…college applications, pestering/nagging kids, attending all the games, senior portraits, Homecoming…it’s a crazy season, wish me luck!

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Megan Goldin

STAY AWAKE: A NOVEL

Image designed and photographed by L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say STAY AWAKE is about?

Megan Goldin: Its a neo-noir thriller about a magazine writer called Liv who wakes up and discovers her life has changed almost beyond recognition for reasons that she doesnt understand. The only thing she knows is that something terrible has happened and that there is a sense of ever present danger.

2.     Where did you write STAY AWAKE ? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Megan Goldin:

I wrote STAY AWAKE during the Covid lockdowns in Melbourne, Australia which were among the longest lockdowns in the world.

There is nothing about Covid in the book! However, Liv’s sense of dislocation and disconnection with her old life, and the chaos around her, I think mirrors what we all felt during that awful first two years of the pandemic.

As for my rituals : Well, due to the lockdowns, my house was full of kids being home schooled so large parts of STAY AWAKE were written in my car in my driveway with construction worker headphones over my ears because my neighbors would conduct their work calls from their adjacent garden. It was tough to get the space and quiet to write. Most people who were working from home during that time can probably relate to the challenges!

3.     If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Megan Goldin:

Working in journalism. I used to be a reporter with various news outlets and I loved covering breaking news as well as writing features in which I interviewed people with fascinating stories. One of my favorite feature topics was on archaeology. 

4.     What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Megan Goldin:

I just finished John le Carré’s final novel Silverview. It was published after he died. When I finished Silverview I felt incredibly humbled by his brilliance as a writer and storyteller.  I also felt sad that this will be the last of his books now that he has sadly passed away.

For more information, or to connect with Megan Goldin via her website, click HERE, To order a copy of STAY AWAKE, please visit my Bookshop.org shop|Always with a Book

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • 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 Marie Myung-Ok Lee in The Millions, about her new novel, The Evening Hero, featuring aspects of immigration, Minnesota, color, and medicine.

Coming soon:

A piece about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her forthcoming book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.

A conversation with Carla Zaccagnini about her book, Cuentos de Cuentas (Amant/Verlag, spring 2000) in The Millions.

I’ll be sharing my published interviews here, on Wednesdays, after they’ve ‘gone live’ with their various publications. On Fridays, I’ll share any recent published fiction in this space as well.

There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.

What I’m reading:

I just finished an ARC of Kristine Langley Mahler’s hybrid memoir, CURING SEASON: Artifacts (WVP, October 1), which I highly recommend pre-ordering now. It’s about place, displacement, family, mean girls, grief, the idea of carrying and ‘being haunted’ by a place, and so much more. Up next: SINKHOLES: A Legacy of Suicide by Juliet Patterson (Milkweed Editions, September 22). Kind of fun how these covers sort of mimic one another, right?

What I’m listening to:

These pretty great old-school tunes from the 1980s on Sonos Music/Yacht Rock.

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 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.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

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.

Learn more HERE.

Musings & Meanderings: Is writing art? Plus Katie Hafner on THE BOYS about isolation, connections, and more…mindfulness and space and much 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!

When I was a kid, someone–a teacher or maybe a parent–told me writing was an art. I didn’t believe it. To me, Art was something you could see or hold in your hand. It was often beautiful and colorful and most of all, something you created.

Writing, in my eyes, was a more cerebral pursuit; it wasn’t Art.

Turns out, they were right. Writing IS Art.

Let’s break down those elements:

How words are merged, which ones are used…there’s a melodious quality there. That makes writing beautiful.

You can also ‘see’ writing.

My grandparents used to say about the stories I wrote, “You can paint a picture with words.” I had forgotten about their comments. But yes–what is reading but hallucinating images an author has created?

And yes–you can absolutely hold writing in your hand. Books are very portable that way.

Books are Art. Writing is Art. You are a Creator.

What about fiction, then? Some claim fiction is ‘a waste;’ there’s no value. I happen to disagree, for a multitude of reasons, which I won’t go into, but I did pull up this definition from Goodreads:

“Fiction is the telling of stories which are not real. More specifically, fiction is an imaginative form of narrative, one of the four basic rhetorical modes. Although the word fiction is derived from the Latin fingo, fingere, finxi, fictum, “to form, create”, works of fiction need not be entirely imaginary and may include real people, places, and events. Fiction may be either written or oral. Although not all fiction is necessarily artistic, fiction is largely perceived as a form of art or entertainment. The ability to create fiction and other artistic works is considered to be a fundamental aspect of human culture, one of the defining characteristics of humanity.”

What do you think? Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, author of award-winning Speaking of Apraxia (Woodbine House, 2020 and PRH audio 2021) and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews.

Photo by K Zoltan on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By

  • This book, which just released in early July. The title alone stirs me. But this endorsement circles back to the idea of ‘fiction,’ discussed earlier:

“A knockout short story collection…Each one of these 10 dizzyingly immersive stories offers up a heady and visceral portrait of what ails us, from isolation and self-doubt, to unrequited love and regret over what might have been, to what it means to be (and to be considered) an American.”

— San Francisco Chronicle

  • Where to go for a December vacation. I’m feeling the tropics…and of course, I’ll pack a book. Or four.

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

  • This course from DailyOM, about clearing the emotional clutter. I’m not taking it myself (I should!), but the ideas here really peak my interest. August will soon give way to September, a natural time to shift routines. Inertia can hold us back (‘this is the way I’ve always done it,’) but being mindful can create flow and space.
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Katie Hafner

Photo credit: Leslie Lindsay @leslielindsay1 | #booknerd
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say THE BOYS is about?

Katie Hafner:

Loneliness, the yearning for connection, and connections lost and found.

2. Where did you write THE BOYS? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Katie Hafner:

I do my best focused writing when I remove myself physically from my house and pile everything into the car, drive somewhere, and stay there for at least a week. For the writing itself, I’ve got many routines, most taken from my life as a reporter. I make myself write in stretches of 30-45 minutes, uninterrupted, as if on a daily newspaper deadline. I set a timer. If I’m stuck, and find myself lapsing into cliches, I don’t beat myself up about that; I just put [[FSB*]] next to the cliché and plow ahead.  

*Find Something Better

“There’s a lot to love in this book—every corner of it is filled with clever invention and loopy charm of the Kevin Wilson variety, and suspense is created by a growing pile of unanswered questions that will keep you flying through it to the end.” —Kirkus

3. If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Katie Hafner:

Outside. Doing anything outside.

4. What book did you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about?

Katie Hafner:

The Dutch House. I adore Ann Patchett and I listened to Tom Hanks read it. Truly wonderful.

For more information, to purchase THE BOYS via your favorite independent bookstore, or to connect with Katie Hafner on social media, please visit her website.

Coming soon:

A piece in the nostalgia dossier of Levitate Magazine, about my childhood interest in a (vintage) kid’s rooms and spaces book.

Another about being a book ambassador, reading about family, inheritance, postmemory, and landscape in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.

A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.

A conversation with Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder about her forthcoming book, Existential Physics (Viking, August 9, 2022) in Hippocampus Magazine.

A conversation with Carla Zaccagnini about her book, Cuentos de Cuentas (Amant/Verlag, spring 2022) in The Millions.

An interview with Kristin Keane, author of An Encyclopedia of Bending Time (Barrelhouse Books, April 2022) in The Florida Review/Aquifer.

I’ll be sharing my published interviews here, on Wednesdays, after they’ve ‘gone live’ with their various publications. On Fridays, I’ll share any recent published fiction in this space as well.

There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.

What I’m reading:

T. Greenwood’s forthcoming novel, Such a Pretty Girl (Kensington, October 25 2022), set alternatively in 1976-77 and 2019 about a child model, privacy, and mother-daughter relationships. I’m loving the 70s vibe here–so strong you can smell the LipSmackers and Aquanet.

Before that, I devoured Ruth Ozeki’s The Book of Form & Emptiness (Viking, September 2021), which is about all kinds of things, but primarily a mother-son duo wrecked with grief from the loss of husband/father, the importance of books, Zen Buddhism, and more. A beautiful, thought-provoking read I’m recommending to everyone.

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

Browse all of my books with a mental health/illness element on Bookshop.org

What I’m listening to:

The sound of water. Streams, waterfalls…faucets…

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 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.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

THANK YOU!!

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.

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.

Learn more HERE.