Latest Posts

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…

View original post 772 more words

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.

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

By Leslie Lindsay

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

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

I recently went on a writing retreat/workshop. Before I left, a thoughtful grandfatherly-type man in my yoga class, asked, “So do you know what you want to work on while you’re there?”

“Yep,” I nodded.

It seems knowing what you want to write is half the battle. The workshop/retreat had other plans for me and I got completely thrown from my intentions. So, here’s a little cheat sheet I came up with to help YOU:

Strategize what you want to write. 

If you’ve got a work-in-progress (WIP), do you know which chapters you want to work on? I made notecards of topics I wanted to explore and brought those. Also leave my writing sessions a little unfinished so I am still mulling over the last line(s) when I walk away from my writing desk. Maybe you hope to ‘just’ draft or scribble or daydream. If that feels like a good fit, do a little pre-contemplation on what that might consist of.

Commit to what you want to accomplish. 

Can you say to yourself:

“I am going to finish this proposal/essay by the time I leave the workshop?”

Or:

“I am going to write a new poem every day for that amount of time (say, two weeks). Or: I am going to commit to editing the first third of my book.”

How about:

“I’m going to write one snapshot of no more than 750-1200 words/day about [topic] so that by the end of the week/month 7/30(!) snapshots.”

Say it to yourself or a friend. There is a real energy to uttering those words out loud. There’s real power in writing it out, too, and POSTING where you’ll see it everyday (I’m talking your fridge, door, dashboard, pantry; not social media).

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

Carve out time in your day. 

Do you know when you’re going to write? I write in the afternoons. This practice started when my kids were little and “napping,” (which they didn’t, but we pretended), and it’s sort of been ingrained into my creative conscious. Saturday afternoons work for me, too. Can you identify which part of your day, or day of the week works best for you? Perhaps glance at your calendar in advance and make sure you can clear some time for the commitment. Claiming that time for yourself is empowering.

[Tip: You can start small. Maybe go with 20 minutes and see what happens. I have a feeling 20 will turn into 40 and so forth. You might surprise yourself.]

Find your spot. 

If you got some good writing done once in a particular cafe, maybe you need to become its best customer. For me, it’s a circulating family of coffee shops, but also my desk at home. Can you ask your roommate/spouse/partner if you can have a quiet hour in the kitchen to yourself every day? Does the babysitter need to stay an hour longer? Maybe it’s just identifying a desk in the furthest reaches of your local library and making sure you get there early enough to nab it. Knowing where you’ll be every day to write can be a stabilizing force and prepares your mind for the work.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Gather the supplies you need. 

What objects inspire you either intellectually or emotionally? I have several friends who claim to be neat-nicks and cannot do any kind of writing until their desk is tidy. Another likes to purchase a brand-new notebook just for the project. I need a black Pilot G-2 07 pen to do my work and unlined paper. Sometimes I need to read something for inspiration. Do you need a special drink or music? View?

Here’s what I do:

I like paper. I like pens. I must doodle and feel the flow of ink. Writing digitally might be more ‘green,’ (but maybe not…there’s battery and electricity involved; those are resources), or efficient (honestly, the words flow just as fast, maybe faster for me if I go longhand). I truly believe sitting down and collecting one’s thoughts in a handwritten fashion. (Studies have shown your brain operates differently when you handwrite versus when you type.) Isn’t that cool and miraculous? I tend to be more experimental when I handwrite. That’s because, I think, the inner editor isn’t there. No blinking cursor that has you mentally/subconsciously analyzing your choices. Also, there’s that thing that if you have committed it to ‘print’, meaning type–it’s harder to tweak later.

None of this is required, of course, just meant to trigger some helpful thinking in advance. Showing up feeling ready to work/write is the real goal. Entering a project with confidence and enthusiasm is important! What I wish for you most is that you feel nourished and as if you can take chances as a writer. The activity of writing is so much BIGGER than being ‘good’ or ‘publishable’ or whatever, it’s a spiritual endeavor.

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:

  • The power and excitement of small presses.
  • Abandoned homes and lumbering piles of salvage. How it’s sort of a relation to hoarding but not.
  • How books might be a communion with ghosts and God and I wonder if they are alive, but also simultaneously dead.
  • Space. In real life and on the page. How openness invites questions.
  • The color white. Is it a color or devoid of one? Is it clean or blank? Sterile? Other white things: teeth, bones, eye sclera, snow, paper.
  • Hybrid forms of writing. Hermit crab essay. Playing on the page.
Photo by Pixabay 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 RODNAE Productions 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.

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 Hrvoje Abraham Miliu0107eviu0107 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.

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

By Leslie Lindsay

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

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

Folks always wonder how to know if they’re making the right choice creatively when there are so many possibilities. I get it. There are a million ways a project could go, a million first lines, each offer a unique structure, too. We must move past indecision and lean into our work. Choose your project. Choose your ideas. Chose your sentences. Choose your ending. It’s not easy. Did anyone say it would be easy? They were wrong.

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

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Tinthia Clemant on Pexels.com

What I’m Distracted By

  • This really resonated…

“[My wife] was a teaching assistant for kids with disabilities and they had put a butterfly sanctuary in their classroom. … She said that in order for the butterflies to learn how to fly they need to flap and flap for a while. It all looks like wasted time and energy but they actually need that struggle to learn and grow… Every time we put a word on the page, we’re flapping our wings. It may not look like much, but in that challenging and somewhat directionless process, we are figuring out how to fly with our words.”

—Nurse and health writer Gillian May, who we recently profiled in Creators Hub

  • This review of An Encyclopedia of Bending Time by Kristin Keane, this is a  a hermit crab memoir with alphabetized entries—much like that of an actual encyclopedia complete with “See alsos” at the end of each entry. 
  • [See also–like how I did that?!]–check out my interview with Kim Adrian, about her memoir, The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet, written in a very similar style]
  • May is (Maternal) Mental Health Awareness Month and sadly, my mother died by suicide in May 2015. She struggled with severe mental illness for most of her life, but it really peaked when she was about 30. If you are a survivor of suicide loss, you know just how complex this grief is. Dr. Noam Schneck at Columbia University is conducting a study, Survive Together. You must be in the first 15 months of grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide to qualify, but please consider reaching out to him.
  • Looking for audiobooks about mental health? Penguin Random House has got you covered! Plus, join them in a special mini-podcast, This is the Author, in which you can learn some behind-the-scenes insights about the book and their process. Featuring actress Lilly Singh, Terry Crews, and Charles Booker. Learn about the hard personal work through self-doubt, insecurities, and adversity that served as inspiration for Be a TriangleTough, and From the Hood to the Holler

If you’re struggling and your life is in danger, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

1-800-273-TALK

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Leslie Kirk Campbell

THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS: Stories

Winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, this collection of short stories is a study in compassion and in passion, a must-read for our times.

Photo credit: Leslie Lindsay @leslielindsay1 | #booknerd
  1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS is about?

Leslie Kirk Campbell :

*BODIES PHYSICALLY MARKED BY MEMORIES : The way our bodies hold our pasts, visibly – bruises, scars, tattoos – and invisibly over a lifetime, or through generations. How this guides us. How this makes us feel as we sit in a chair or walk down the street.

*RISKING EVERYTHING TO ESCAPE THE CARDS WE’VE BEEN DEALT : Longing for something other than our current circumstances; courting danger in our efforts to escape

2. Where did you write THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS? Do you have any special writing routines or rituals? Do they change with each project, or remain constant over time?

Leslie Kirk Campbell :

I work best when I can work intensely for hours on end. I teach on my own schedule so I can write for days and into the night – at home, now that my sons are grown; at an old convent across the Golden Gate Bridge, and at residencies and self-made retreats. I often start my writing day by reading a writer I esteem, and then I take off, inspired, on my own writing projects.

“History and memory crosscut through The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs in a gorgeous weave. These are marvelous, stirring stories, sometimes sexy, sometimes harrowing, somehow both timeless and timely. Campbell writes with great depth, patience, wisdom, and beauty.”

— Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light You Cannot See

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

Leslie Kirk Campbell :

Time disappears when I am in my backyard garden, muddying my hands planting, trimming and weeding, scarring my hands with rose thorns, then taking a few moments to sit in the sun and delight in my collaboration with nature. I read. I relish teaching the Art of Languaging. I have heart-felt dates with those I love.

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

Leslie Kirk Campbell :

I am particularly interested in books that take me into cultures and places I know little about. A recent favorite is:

Sharks in the Time of Saviors, a novel by Kawai Strong Washburn, with its original and beautiful conveying of poverty and family within the context of old Hawaiian culture, hard realities combined with myth and magic.

Currently reading, Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance, an honest documentation of Appalachian poverty and culture, giving social and historical context to feelings of defeat and neglect experienced by white blue-collar families in the US

BOTH ARE ESSENTIAL READING.

I also highly recommend the following novels recently read, all powerfully written:

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

The Confession of Copeland Cane by Keenan Norris


Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Get a copy of THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS here.

Published by Sarabande Books, available everywhere February 1, 2022

Visit Leslie Kirk Campbell‘s website for more information, and to access a link to a playlist inspired by the stories.

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

Calls for submission:

  • First Person Singular is new and offered as a side-gig to Memoir Monday. They are able to publish one essay/month and seeking 1500-2000 word essays from diverse writers who have experienced difficult things through the lens of absurdity. Finished work only, pitch2sari@gmail.com
  • Vestal Review is open to flash now through May 31.
  • Emerge Literary Journal is open to strictly flash and free form work, in all categories.
  • Narratively is looking for untold, first-person ‘human’ stories that are immersive and cinematic–memoir, love, secret lives, high school sports, photojournalism.
  • Longridge Review will open June 1 for the Barnhill Prize in CNF with Sonja Livingston judging.
  • Boston Review is reading for its poetry and short story contests, with a free entry period until May 31 for writers in certain locations and/or writers facing economic hardship.
Photo by Nur Yilmaz 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 can. Feel free to find my book suggestions on bookshop.org, and also check out the authors I’ve hosted in in-depth interviews HERE.

L.Lindsay archives.

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 FOX 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.

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

By Leslie Lindsay

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

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book

~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~

Hello, Friends!

I am in the process of doing some deep work. Some of which is about reflecting and thinking about next steps, wrapping up an end-of-an-era, being open to new ideas, people, and places in life. It’s sort of been a struggle, but what transformation isn’t?

Photo by le vy on Pexels.com

“Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s a dark and murky, painful pushing. An unraveling of the untruths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own created demons. A complete uprooting, before becoming.”

Victoria Erickson

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

xx,

~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

It’s a bittersweet end: my fabulous longtime publisher, Woodbine House, will be closing their doors in June. This is a pandemic-driven decision. Woodbine House has been churning out top special-needs resources for 37 years, including SPEAKING OF APRAXIA.

The good 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.

What I’m Distracted By

  • Renee Gladman‘s PLANS FOR SENTENCES. In fact, all of her work makes me feel all tingly inside. Something about architecture and words and art colliding…yep, totally my jam. Find her on IG @prosearchitectures.
  • These basset hounds. Did you know we have one? I sort of think heaven is a warm space with a basket of bassets and calorie-free cake. With good icing. Which my bassett would lick. In fact, she’s right at my feet this very minute. Find these dudes and dudettes on IG @ozarksbassets.
  • Remember to find me, too. @leslielindsay1. I post cool stuff you might not get here. Just sayin.’

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

Photo by Cesar Mendez on Pexels.com

NEW! Four Questions: A mini-interview series

Mindy Uhrlaub

UNNATURAL RESOURCES


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

Mindy Uhrlaub:

A young heroine who becomes a symbol of hope in the worst place in the world to be female. Making friends in hostile environments.  The love between a mother and a daughter. Girl power!

Get a copy HERE

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

Mindy Uhrlaub:

I wrote the early drafts at home, when my sons were napping. I rewrote later versions at Ragdale for the Arts and at writers’ getaways to  Sonoma with my writing partners. I’m a neatnick, so have trouble focusing at a cluttered desk. Once my writing surface is clean, I’m good to go.

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

Mindy Uhrlaub:

Miserable!

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

Mindy Uhrlaub:

My book club recently read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. While it wasn’t my favorite book of all time, it really stuck with me.

Get your copy of Unnatural Resources HERE or where books are sold. Check out Mindy’s website for more information.

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

Calls for submission:

  • Longridge Review will open June 1 for the Barnhill Prize in CNF with Sonja Livingston judging.
  • The Emerging Writer’s Contest is open at Ploughshares until May 15. Submissions of poetry and prose are welcomed from writers who not yet published a book.
  • Creative Nonfiction’s True Story is open for submissions until May 15. This is a great place to find a home for longform pieces or standalone sections of a memoir-in-progress (5,000 to 10,000 words).
  • Boston Review is reading for its poetry and short story contests, with a free entry period until May 31 for writers in certain locations and/or writers facing economic hardship.
Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

Coming soon:

A conversation with Kim Adrian, author of TWENTY-SEVENTH LETTER OF THE ALPHABET to appear in The Florida Review. This one is unique from a structure and theme perspective.

Also! An interview with Marie Myung-Ok Lee in The Millions about her novel, THE EVENING HERO, available in May from Simon & Schuster.

Later: In Conversation with Maud Newton, author of the highly-anticipated ANCESTOR TROUBLE, to appear in Hippocampus Magazine, likely in May.

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.

All images credit: @leslielindsay1

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:

People. I’ve had a full social calendar of invites for lunch and coffee. It’s a ‘scrolling world’ these days; sometimes we just need a ‘real’ ear to bend, an old-fashioned cup of coffee, the human touch. Time. Undivided attention. Two humans sharing their hearts. I’ve done a lot of listening lately. It’s about hearing the subtext, the space between.

L.Lindsay archives.

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.