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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!

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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!

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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.

Musings & Meanderings: A list of obsessions, houses and homes, art, Speaking of Apraxia out-of-print, what I’m reading, more.

By Leslie Lindsay

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

A writing instructor once encouraged us to ‘make a list of all your obsessions.’ What she didn’t know was I had been doing just that my whole life. What is a writer if not someone obsessed with certain things? ‘Obsession,’ in a way, is a cousin to ‘observer.’ You observe, you obsess. Note how both words share the same several letters?

As a teenager, I used to make lists of things scattered about my room. Ticket stubs (Forrest Gump), who was in the framed photos (Stacey, Tara, Scott), the titles of the books lying on the floor (anatomy textbooks and Canterbury Tales), the floor plan in progress (I drew floorplans all the time)…you get the idea. Here’s the thing: I still make lists. I still take photos. I still read. I’m intrigued with human anatomy and medicine. It’s all still there. So my list, from this class, looks a bit like:

  • Architecture/Design/Houses/Homes
  • Psychology
  • Nature
  • Travel
  • Home Décor
  • Books
  • Art
  • Mothers
  • Place
  • Dreams

I will always have a fascination with all of these things…maybe it’s woven into my DNA? The idea here is they will continue to populate your writing/art/work. Yes. A thousand times, yes.

How about you? Do you have a set of obsessions? What will you do with these? (See below for what I’m considering).

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 Scott Webb on Pexels.com

What I’m distracted/obsessed by:

  • The art work of Thomas Doyle. I’ve loved his work since 2015, when I read his wife’s debut, The Wonder Garden. Later, I learned he created the cover art for this book (both hardcover and paperback, which are different covers). I’ve been itching to do something visually creative and since houses/homes, miniatures, trauma, family, and all of that really intrigues me (always has), I’m working on my own diorama-type visual art. It sort of dovetails with my book photography/flatlays, don’t you think?
  • Speaking of, Lauren Acampora has a new novel coming out this August and I really cannot wait to get my hands on it, too. Don’t you just love, love the cover? I mean…swooning!
  • Relatedly, I am revisiting this book, a graphic memoir by Margaret Kimball. She and I could practically be ‘sisters in dysfunction,’ many of our experiences of a mentally ill mother, her suicide attempt, love for art/houses overlap. [Relatedly, we could also be ‘sisters’ with Kim Adrian. Check out my interview with Adrian in The Florida Review]
  • And finally, I recently interviewed Carla Zaccagnini for her recently-released Cuentos de Cuentas, which is a sort of hybrid short-story, collage, graphic art book about many things, but primarily inflation, houses, money, art, and the construct of ideas. She has a Brooklyn exhibit now, but in the past, her exhibition, “Twin Houses,” depicts how the same model/floorplan can vary widely depending on who inhabits the home, as well as another featuring abandoned homes…excavating the artifacts from houses left to the elements. I can’t recall the title of this exhibit, but if I were to name it, I’d call it “Remains” or “Remnants.” Intriguing, right? Stay tuned for that interview in The Millions.

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.

Speaking of Apraxia is now out-of-print!

Woodbine House closed their doors June 30. This is a pandemic-driven decision. Woodbine House has been churning out top special-needs resources for 37 years, including SPEAKING OF APRAXIA.

This is a bittersweet time for me. Years ago, when my daughter wasn’t speaking at the ‘developmentally appropriate’ time, I was worried. Her pediatrician was concerned. We had her evaluated by a SLP. Sure enough, there was a ‘gross delay.’ By her third birthday, she was diagnosed with ‘severe childhood apraxia of speech,’ riding the big yellow school bus to a special preschool that specialized in speech disorders, and seeing a private therapist several times a week. I didn’t know what apraxia was, I did a ton of research, secured a publisher, and ….well, the rest is history.

My daughter is now a rising high school senior, active in tennis, art/ceramics, Irish dance, looking at colleges, and so many other things. You’d never know she once struggled with her speech. That said, it’s an end-of-an era.

For more than a decade, I have tirelessly promoted and shared tidbits about my daughter’s progression and offered support for families on this journey. It has been a great privilege, but it’s time to close the book.

You can still find Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech, 2nd edition (Woodbine House, 2021) through online retailers, your local library, used bookstores, and the audio edition is downloadable (with additional PDFs, resources) through Penguin Random House.

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 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.

Image designed and photographed by L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.

What I’m reading:

I am in the middle of The Birdcage, a novel by Eve Chase, set on the rugged coast of Cornwall in a crumbling family manor, three sisters, art, and a big secret (or a few). The cover is so evocative, right? I’m also feeling a little fragmented in my reading now…so snippets or chapters of books are calling me. Then I feel restless, sit the the down in favor of something else. That’s not my usual style. Literary magazines and poetry are usually best when I feel that way. You?

Image designed and photographed by L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

What I’m listening to:

The sound of rain on the roof, the clink-clink on the windows.

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: Beverly Armento’s memoir SEEING EYE GIRL about her blind, mentally ill mother, summer doldrums, reading recs, poetry to inspire writing, and last chance to nab a copy of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA

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!

Is this a season of withdrawal, regrouping, reassessing…from your art?

Even though it is summer and full of bounty, I am feeling…taxed.

I have a dear friend who is much like a mother and a mentor and always so wise. She gives me what I need the most when I need it. Here’s her advice:

So many things unfold when we give ourselves adequate space. And don’t doubt yourself so much.

Doesn’t that sound lovely? Do you relate?

I’m often jam-packing my days (and brain) with facts, tasks, trivia, ideas…so many ideas…that I forget to just BE.

I met with other friends for coffee recently and so much of our conversation revolved around our vision–and this can be interpreted broadly:

how we see ourselves, how we see others?

What is your vision for the rest of the summer? The conversation was about recognition, being aware, looking deep. Underneath it all brewed context of loss: of time, self, minds, health, more. That all relates to our featured author/interview: Seeing Eye Girl: A Memoir of Madness, Resilience & Hope by Beverly Armento.

How’s it going? 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 W Beloved on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By

  • I’m taking this self-guided course through CNF Magazine: The Curious Writer: Putting the Pieces Together. This is about the hybrid memoir, being a collector, paying attention. They offer plenty more: flash fiction, lyric essays, writing the tough stuff, and more.
  • How to take your own book photos at home, this quick tutorial from Penguin Random House. Leverage this for your own title, or other #bookstagram–type accounts. HERE‘s mine.
  • Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsofSummer is started June 4. Learn more HERE. I am sort of doing this. By sort of I mean: see above, about being a collector, an observer. I’m doodling, thinking. I wrote 1000 words of an interview…
  • Leslie Camhi’s translation of The Book of Mother (Scribner, fall 2021) by Violaine Huisman echoed many of my experiences with my own mentally ill mother. Annnddd…it was recognized as a finalist for 35th annual prize for exceptional translations from French. Read my interview with Violaine HERE.
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Beverly J. Armento

SEEING EYE GIRL: A Memoir

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say SEEING EYE GIRL is about?

Beverly Armento :

Learning to be resilient in difficult situations; the role of teachers/mentors in inspiring and empowering vulnerable children ; and searching for hope in the darkest of times.

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

Beverly Armento : 

Seeing Eye Girl was written over the last decade, working at my home office or in a quiet library. Much of the thinking about a scene or chapter happened in my head before committing thoughts to paper. First drafts were always hand-written on yellow or white composition pads, then taken to the computer, where refinements and complete sentences emerged.

Those drafts always went to my critique group, where we discussed each other’s work and gave helpful comments before revisions were made.

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

Beverly Armento :

Playing in the dirt, planting bulbs or pulling weeds—or taking long walks while listening to my favorite music or podcast. Of course, I read a lot, often while sitting quietly with my cat, Sassafras, or Sassy for short.

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

Beverly Armento : 

Natasha Trethewey’s Memorial Drive : A Daughter’s Memoir, the powerful and courageous story of her mother’s murder at the hands of an ex-husband. This is an unforgettable telling of a beautiful mother-daughter relationship, written with Trethewey’s poetic and elegant language and style.

Browse all my memoir recommendations at Bookshop.org.

Get your copy of SEEING EYE GIRL: A Memoir of Madness, Resilience, and Hope  HERE or where books are sold. Check out Beverly’s website for more information.

Take a peek at all of my memoir recommendations at Bookshop.org.

SEEING EYE GIRL will be published July 5 2022 from SWP. Please consider pre-ordering.

L.Lindsay archives @leslielindsay1

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.

Last Chance! Speaking of Apraxia Going out-of-print!

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%,  thru the END OF JUNE!!!

If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time is now.

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 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’ve just devoured some really great poetry. Here’s a little confession: I used to not like poetry. It seemed like an awful lot of work and I often wanted to a book I just just be entertained by. When I am a contemplative state and want to be pushed a little, in form and thought, I find it always helps with rhythm, adjectives, verbs, etc. bolstering my own writing. Reading poetry is a writer’s tool. Give it a try by reading some of my recent favorites:

Separation Anxiety by Janice Lee (CLASH Books, forthcoming August 9), Still Life with Mother & Knife by Chelsea Rathburn (LSU, 2022) and Ada Limon’s The Hurting Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2022)

Browse all of my poetry selections on Bookshop.org

What I’m listening to:

People older and wiser.

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: 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 constructs should change and evolve over time.

So back to that stagnancy thing. We have to stretch and reach as writers (and readers). If our interests never change, our art won’t.

Photo by L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

How’s it going? 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 Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By

  • This review of Slow Fuse of the Impossible, a memoir by Kate Daniels, featured in Hippocampus Magazine combining psychoanalysis and poetry.
  • I’m taking this self-guided course through CNF Magazine: The Curious Writer: Putting the Pieces Together. This is about the hybrid memoir, being a collector, paying attention. They offer plenty more: flash fiction, lyric essays, writing the tough stuff, and more.
  • This piece about using the hermit crab essay to infuse humor into rather dark pieces, particularly memoir.
  • More on unique forms–these flash pieces deconstructed via Becky Tuch’s Lit Mag News with guest Mandira Puttnaik.
  • How to take your own book photos at home, this quick tutorial from Penguin Random House. Leverage this for your own title, or other #bookstagram–type accounts. HERE‘s mine.
  • Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsofSummer is started June 4. Learn more HERE. I am sort of doing this. By sort of I mean: see above, about being a collector, an observer. I’m doodling, thinking. I wrote 1000 words of an interview…
  • Leslie Camhi’s translation of The Book of Mother (Scribner, fall 2021) by Violaine Huisman echoed many of my experiences with my own mentally ill mother. Annnddd…it was recognized as a finalist for 35th annual prize for exceptional translations from French. Read my interview with Violaine HERE.
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Caitlin Billings

IN OUR BLOOD: A Memoir

  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say IN OUR BLOOD is about?

Caitlin Billings:

Coming of age

Parenting teens

Mental illness/mental health

Teen LGBTQ+

Family

Sexual trauma

Vulnerability

Self-acceptance

Radical Acceptance

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

Caitlin Billings:

I began writing short vignettes about my experiences as a therapist and mental health patients at my kitchen dining table. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and at the time owned a small house in the heart of the east bay. Many nights I sipped wine and typed with consistent interruption from my school-age children who needed my attention. I got very used to writing with noise and chaos as the ambience. I can picture it in my mind: our magenta countertops circa 1950, cluttered with dirty dishes, stacks of mail, and random assortments of Legos, paperclips, and hair ties. Pasta marinara in the air, taste of merlot on my tongue. The brush of a warm, small hand on my bare shoulder and the sunset out the large kitchen window. The whine and whir of the BART train moving on its tracks two blocks away. Chaos then, nostalgia now.

My writing rituals have changed with time. I now try to find time to write every morning because it’s when my mind is at its most clear and agile. I’m also devoting one day a week to larger writing projects. It’s a work in progress.

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

Caitlin Billings:

Reading or listening to an audio book or podcast. Watching documentaries about true crime, cults, or people of the UK creating baked goods. Drinking coffee and chatting with my husband. Doing yoga. Cooking vegan meals. Walking and talking with friends in other parts of the world. Facetiming my eldest and talking about the construction of gender. Supervising new mental health clinicians. And, of course, meeting with my therapy clients and improving my trauma psychotherapy skills.

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

Caitlin Billings:

There are two: Matrix by Lauren Groff and The Institute by Stephen King.

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

Get your copy of IN OUR BLOOD: A Memoir HERE or where books are sold. Check out Kristin’s website for more information.

IN OUR BLOOD will be published July 12 2022 from SWP. Please consider pre-ordering.

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.

Last Chance! Speaking of Apraxia Going out-of-print!

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.

If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time is now.

Calls for submission:

  • Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art & Words has their new prompt up. This is open June 1-15. The idea: generate a piece of writing from whatever image they select. One hour, 5-200 words. They only publish 100 per month. Be sure to read the guidelines first, but here is the current call/prompt.
  • First Person Singular is a Substack off-shoot brainchild of MemoirMonday founder Sari Botton. She accepts person essays up to 2,500 words and publishes approximately one per month.
  • The Jellyfish Review is looking for flash with ‘one great line of dialogue.’
  • Mudroom Magazine is seeking prose and poetry.
  • Exposition Review is looking for flash (under 405 words) on the theme: inheritance thru June.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

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.

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 deep into Ann Leary’s new historical fiction, The Foundling, about a lesser-known piece of American history: eugenics. It takes a look at the innovative Kirkbride Cottage system, but also it’s about the terrible and horrific concept of confining feebleminded women of childbearing age to intuitions so they don’t procreate.

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

What I’m listening to:

On our most recent summer college-visit road trip, top down in the convertible, my girls and I blasted ABBA and Taylor Swift.

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: Kristin Keane chats about her unconventional memoir, AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME, plus the season of summer, calls for submissions, writing with kids, what I’m reading, Maud Newton in conversation with Ann Leary TONIGHT via the Center For Fiction, 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!

How’s summer going for you? I know we’re barely dipping our toes in, but let me just say–it’s been pretty good so far. Summer might be loaded with lots of ‘shoulds,’ you should be happy, you should be outside, you should be taking time off, playing; you should be flourishing. But sometimes you’re not.

Summer is a time when everything is exemplified, made bolder. There’s a shimmer to the landscape, the colors are brighter, things are in bloom.

What if maybe you’re questioning everything? Maybe you don’t like the stimulation?

As a writer, who also ‘moms,’ I find it really tough to be ‘all in’ for either job. My mind often drifts to the kids when I’m writing (even though–especially though–they are teenagers), and when I’m in writerland, I worry I am not doing enough for them. This isn’t just a teenage thing, it’s an every-stage-of-parenting thing. I am using the summer to get caught up on reading, taking strolls, daydreaming, experimenting on the page, writing when the mood strikes and that’s okay.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

How’s it going? 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 Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By

  • These summer course offerings from the Iowa Summer Writing Festival I’m not participating myself (but considered!)…sometimes, just browsing the course offerings and descriptions get me all tingly inside. It often spurs an idea or two and before long, I’m pulling out my notebook.
  • But I AM taking this self-guided course through CNF Magazine: The Curious Writer: Putting the Pieces Together. This is about the hybrid memoir, being a collector, paying attention. They offer plenty more: flash fiction, lyric essays, writing the tough stuff, and more.
  • PRH ‘This is the Author Podcast’ featuring three authors speak very briefly about their experience narrating their audiobooks. I’m especially intrigued by Tad Friend’s In the Early Times.
  • How to take your own book photos at home, this quick tutorial from Penguin Random House. Leverage this for your own title, or other #bookstagram–type accounts. HERE‘s mine.
  • Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsofSummer is started June 4. Learn more HERE. I am sort of doing this. By sort of I mean: see above. I’m doodling, thinking. I wrote 1000 words of an interview…
  • This author conversation between Maud Newton (Ancestor Trouble) and Ann Leary (The Foundling), hosted by The Center for Fiction, Thursday June 9th–that’s TONIGHT! I’m attending via live stream. You can go in-person for $10, which includes a voucher for the Center for Fiction’s bookstore, or you can attend via livestream with an option donation. Click HERE for more information or to register.
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Kristin Keane

AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME: A Memoir

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME is about?

Kristin Keane: Creating a time machine in the wake of loss

In terms of key words: containing grief, time travel, identity, and the limits of science.

2. Where did you write AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Kristin Keane:

I wrote most of AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME at my desk where I usually do most all of my writing. There, I keep ephemera related to the big project I’m working on nearby (in the case of this book, images and some of my mother’s notes and trinkets). I usually always start by reading a favorite passage or poem before opening up to write.

If you weren’t writing, you would be…

Kristin Keane:

reading, running, looking at flowers outdoors or falling into a museum or Internet Archive rabbit hole.

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

Kristin Keane:  

Two come to mind. A friend just gave me a collection of poetry called Hermit’s Guide to Home Economics which I swallowed in one sitting. I also just read Denise Riley‘s stunning work, Time Lived, Without Its Flow.

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

Get your copy of AN ENCYLOPEDIA OF BENDING TIME HERE or where books are sold. Check out Kristin’s website for more information.

AN ENCYCLPEDIA OF TIME published in April 2022 from Barrelhouse.

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.

Last Chance! Speaking of Apraxia Going out-of-print!

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.

If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time is now.

Calls for submission:

  • Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art & Words has their new prompt up. This is open June 1-15. The idea: generate a piece of writing from whatever image they select. One hour, 5-200 words. They only publish 100 per month. Be sure to read the guidelines first, but here is the current call/prompt.
  • First Person Singular is a Substack off-shoot brainchild of MemoirMonday founder Sari Botton. She accepts person essays up to 2,500 words and publishes approximately one per month.
  • The Jellyfish Review is looking for flash with ‘one great line of dialogue.’
  • Mudroom Magazine is seeking prose and poetry.
  • Exposition Review is looking for flash (under 405 words) on the theme: inheritance thru June.
Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

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.

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 read and loved Ada Limon’s The Hurting Kind: Poems and loved every last letter. That’s what poetry does: it distills things and gets my writing brain tuned. I also flew through Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you by Janice Lee.

What I’m listening to:

We Can Do Hard Things podcast with Glennon Doyle as she (and Abby Wambach) chat with Dr. Galit Atlas about her recently-released book, Emotional Inheritance.

I interviewed Dr. Atlas for Hippocampus Magazine. Check that out HERE.

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.

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

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…

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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 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 Credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay

What I’m Distracted By

  • This interview in The Normal School by Nicholas Howard about S.J. Sindu’s Blue Skinned Gods and how her work cannot be easily identified as one particular genre (I relate!)–but a blur of poetry, fiction, and CNF.
  • This piece, De Domum, by Natalie Conroy- Goldman, also published recently in The Normal School, because: houses.
  • How to take your own book photos at home, this quick tutorial from Penguin Random House. Leverage this for your own title, or other #bookstagramtype accounts. HERE‘s mine.
  • Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsofSummer is starting June 4. I’m intrigued and inspired by this idea. Learn more HERE. And connect with others now thru June 4 on Slack.
  • Also? Jami Attenberg talks about her, ahem…phone addiction in her Craft Talk Newsletter and I TOTALLY relate. Yep. It’s the equivalent to the back-of-the-cereal box for me. I scroll while I’m eating my English muffin. Sometimes I get absorbed for–oh my god–two hours!! I justify it and call it ‘working,’ because maybe I’m responding to emails, DMs, or posting something about a thing a wrote, connecting with an author or publicist, or something along those lines. But really!? I should be reading a book or drafting something of my own–whether it’s written or visual. Put that effer down!
  • This author conversation between Maud Newton (Ancestor Trouble) and Ann Leary (The Foundling), hosted by The Center for Fiction, Thursday June 9th. I’m attending via live stream. You can go in-person for $10, which includes a voucher for the Center for Fiction’s bookstore, or you can attend via livestream with an option donation. Click HERE for more information or to register.
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Lisa Solod

SHIVAH: A Novel in Memory

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

Lisa Solod:

Love, loss, memory, forgiveness.

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

Lisa Solod:

I wrote SHIVAH everywhere, mostly at my desk in two different homes and cities. I do not really have any routines or rituals, although a few years ago, I edited/re-wrote the novel in a weekend, while in my pajamas and not leaving the house for three days. I treated it sort of like a writing retreat and let nothing else distract me from m y task. It’s a hard thing to do. I wasn’t married at the time and my future husband and I lived several hundred miles apart, my children were gone and grown, and I warned my friends I was not available. It was a good weekend.

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

Lisa Solod:

Reading or gardening. But even when I do things like that my mind is always working [on writing].

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

Lisa Solod:

SUBMERGENCE, which I read several years ago. More recently, it was THE GLASS HOTEL. Emily St. John Mandel is my current favorite author. I think she is getting deserved readership due to this stunning adaptation.

Photo credit: L.Lindsay @leslielindsay1

Get your copy of SHIVAH: A Novel in Memory HERE or where books are sold. Check out Lisa’s website for more information.

SHIVAH publishes in mid-June from Jaded Ibis Press. Consider pre-ordering.

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • “Breaking Ground,” by Leslie Lindsay, flash fiction in The Tiny Journal
  • “Making Space: Cicadas & My Mother,” by Leslie Lindsay, CNF in ANMLY

Last Chance! Speaking of Apraxia Going out-of-print!

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.

If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time is now.

Calls for submission:

Rejections hurt, right?

But the alternative: crickets, is worse. I’d much rather get some acknowledgement that my work was read/considered than…nothing. Also? You can’t get accepted (or rejected) if you’re not sending stuff out. Getting passes means you’ve got some skin in the game. Check out this piece on rejections by Bennett Durkan, a guest post on Becky Tuch’s Lit News Round-Up

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

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

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 read and loved Danielle Henderson’s THE UGLY CRY, which is hilarious and tragic and empowering, all steeped in 1980s growing-up stuff, which I loved and related to immensely, although our stories are very different. Then! I started THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by Jennifer McMahon, because: 1978 and houses and psychiatry and ghosts/monsters, and how all of that is so my heart.

What I’m listening to:

Are you familiar with the Unpublished Podcast? It’s a husband-wife team (Amie and James) and they are both creatives/writers and I love them. They banter and use the f-word in sympathetic and honest and funny ways. Their insights on the writing life will have you nodding and smiling in recognition. Follow them on IG, too.

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 Mike 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: Best places to read this summer–outside, plus being a Missouri girl in the North, my mother and cicadas, author interviews, how we can help the folks in Texas, 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!

It’s my favorite time of the year. Wait–no, that’s kind of a lie. My real favorite time of the year is fall, but reading-outside-season is also high on my list. It started years ago…summers growing up in St. Louis. Sure it was hot, but I logged lots of reading hours on the deck, at the pool, in the lawn chair. It got me thinking about places I love to read, now that we can…you know, be outside with a book.

Hammock on the back porch.

I mean, is there anything better than a gentle breeze, the hammock swaying slightly and a book? I think not. Maybe: a nap and ice cream. Don’t have a back porch? How about a hammock strung between two trees? I recently saw some folks doing this at a local park. You might even consider purchasing a hammock on a frame if you don’t have (mature-enough) trees.

A Screened-in Porch During a Summer Storm.

We were recently walking the neighborhood and noticed a lovely screened-in porch decorated with wicker furniture, comfy pillows, foot stools, and a dog. I mean, it was pretty ideal. We had to walk quickly, because in the distance: dark, rolling clouds. I thought: wouldn’t it be delightful to sit on that screened-in porch with a good book? Yes, it would.

Photo by Lachlan Ross on Pexels.com

The library.

You know the dog days of summer? Those crazy hot and humid times where you wish for three feet of snow? So maybe this outside thing isn’t working for you. It’s buggy and sticky. Libraries are a fabulous place to while away the hours. And? They’re usually air conditioned. Libraries nowadays have tons of programs for the littles, too, so there’s sure to keep everyone entertained. And it’s not just about books, either. Audiobooks, videos, music, and more.

Airplane/Airport.

Maybe you’ve got a trip planned. We do and I always look forward to the time where I have ‘nothing to do but sit.’ We’re already captive to the seat, so might as well enjoy a good book. There are no real distractions other than maybe the in-flight entertainment system, but really–you can watch movies and TV anytime. Even sitting in terminal with a book is a great place to put up your feet and read. If you don’t get too absorbed people-watching.

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Cabin-the-Woods, Beach House, or Wherever You Feel Happy.

You don’t necessarily have to fly somewhere to get in some uninterrupted reading time. I read several books at a cabin in Door County. I polished several more on a beach one year, in the mountains on another trip. These were driving trips. You can get a ton of reading done in the car. As long as you don’t get motion-sick or aren’t the one behind-the-wheel! But–audiobooks count, too–although, they tend to make me drowsy when I’m in the car.

Near-empty Bar in the Afternoon.

I once wrote a short story in which a bar was a library or a library was a bar. They had green desk lamps, whiskey, and leather chairs, a fireplace. Sounds cozy, right? You might not be able to find a place just like this, but maybe you’re local watering hole is a bit quiet in the middle of the day? Maybe it’s empty because everyone has left town? Sit there and read while you sip a beer. Maybe they have delicious soft pretzels.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

College Campus, Town Square.

We used to live in a small college town. When classes were out for summer, I loved to walk to the campus and sit in the giant Adirondacks, or throw a blanket on the grass and read. It’s also fun to take a book to the town square and grab a bite to eat, a coffee, and enjoy the morning this way.

Breakfast on the Patio.

I always have this idea that I will have my breakfast outside, even for a few moments, with a book. Somehow it doesn’t work out that way, but maybe if I plan to do it just once a week, it will.

Arboretum.

You don’t have to go far–sometimes there’s a public garden or arboretum right in your own town. When I was in college, there was landscaped garden on the grounds of a local business. It was open to the public. Gazebos, walking paths, small ponds. It was tranquil.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Front Porch.

There used to be a little old lady down the street from us who sat on her front porch, no matter the weather. She loved to watch passersby, would lift her hand in a wave, but she almost always had a book in her lap. I envy that. Not a time I walked by did I not think, “That’s gonna be me someday.” Well? Why not today?

How’s it going? Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Nur Yilmaz on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By:

  • Not understanding the answers, but better understanding the questions. Why? Let’s talk about that.
  • The senselessness in related to the Texas school shooting. I’m not sure there’s a lot one person can do. I could be wrong. One person can donate blood or time. One person can write their congressman and ask for changes on gun policy. One person can be a support to another. One voice becomes many and many brings change.
  • Ferns and hydrangeas.
  • Hybrid forms of writing. Hermit crab essay. Playing on the page.
Photo by Asya Vlasova on Pexels.com

Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

CNF/Hybrid Work:

CNF/Memoir:

  • “Making Space: Cicadas & My Mother,” by Leslie Lindsay, CNF in ANMLY

Fiction:

Author Interviews:

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

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.

L.Lindsay archives.

What I’m Reading:

I’ve got PILES! And it makes me so HAPPY!

Stay Awake is the next thriller (August 8, St. Martin’s Press) from Megan Goldin and I am reading an early edition. And then: Existential Physics by Sabine Hossenfelder (also August, Viking), and I just finished The Unwritten Book (April 2022) by Samantha Hunt (FSG).

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 Teona Swift on Pexels.com

Let’s walk this bookish path together.

Find 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.