All posts tagged: CAS

Musings & Meanderings: Only your writing friends understand, finding your peeps, DISPATCHES FROM PUERTO NOWHERE, keeping track of your writing/creative time part 2, retreats & workshops

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 March! Only Your Writer Friends Understand Occasionally I get asked, “Are you still writing?” or, “How’s the writing going?” Sometimes there’s variation: “Have you anything published recently?” Maybe you’re not a ‘real’ writer if you have nothing to show for it. But here’s the thing: writing requires long hours – a long process – to create.   Few people understand what it takes specifically for writers to create. For example, I’ll bet there are several among your group who don’t get it. (I call them “non-writers,” original right?) They don’t understand that when you’re staring out a window for half an hour, you’re at work. Maybe you’re at work as you’re driving, unloading the dishwasher, even reading something else non-related to what you’re writing (you’re deconstructing how that author did her work). You might very well be staring out that window for half-an-hour or running the vacuum, or walking …

Musings & Meanderings: Max Seeck speaks about ghosts of one’s past; writing as a calling, sharing your traumatic life stories, bending time, SINKHOLE, ‘Clinics of the Past,’ exciting books of 2023

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 2023, Friends! Sometimes it’s daunting to write. If it’s your life story, or something of equal weight and power, it might be really hard. What if there’s trauma? I guarantee there’s trauma. I recently heard this phrase, ‘nested in trauma,’ and I found that so evocative. The idea is that all story–and all life–is somehow bookended and infused with trauma. Also? The degree of trauma is subjective. Back to writing. It’s hard to back away from a story you’re compelled to share. I know, I’ve been there. I’m there right now. It’s feels like a calling, but I also wonder: is it stupid? Will anyone else care? It’s terrifying and joyful and challenging. It’s creative and vulnerable. What if you hurt someone you care about? What if you open too many cans of worms? What if it’s too traumatic to relive the past? You certainly …

Musings & Meanderings: A Curious month, January. Derek T. Freeman on BUILDING UNSTOPPABLE SELF-CONFIDENCE IN TEENS, purging, writer self-care, hybrid writing contests, workshops, retreats, 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 2023, Friends! January is a curious month. Is it a coming or a going? New and fresh or letting go of the old? I struggle with this every year. In the Midwest, it’s cold. I don’t feel like opening doors and windows to ‘let in the new year,’ likewise for ‘spring cleaning.’ It’s not really spring, either–anywhere. Maybe we ought to rename it ‘New Year Cleaning?’ This year is off to a rough start. When I put it in perspective, it’s not so bad…but let’s just say it’s not flowing like usual, mostly in a personal sense, but a few professional hiccups, too. I’ll get through it! Here’s a little secret: raising kind humans is hard work. Being a kind human is hard work. We’ve got lots of ‘firsts’ happening–all in one week! Sweet Sixteen, college acceptances (and indecision), first jobs, a trip to the …

Musings & Meanderings

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 getting excited for the winter solstice, this gentle turning-in, these cozy darker days. What is it about the darkness that conjures creativity? Maybe it’s the way it encourages a hibernation, a slower pace, a time to go fallow? For me it’s a bit like crawling into the cave of creativity, having nothing else vying for my attention–at least outside–no garden to water or plants that require nurturing. Reading, contemplating, playing on the page, listening, looking out the window, observing patterns. Just this past weekend, I took a workshop with Esme Weijun Wang, most recently the author of The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays (Graywolf Press, 2019), and it was so warm, generous, validating, with really great tips for setting intentions and looking back on the last year. Here are just a few things that we discussed, which I wanted to pass along to you: …

Musings & Meanderings: What writers need, where to submit, an archive of author interviews, book lists to tempt, building teen confidence, 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 recently had dinner with my extended family. They don’t really ‘get’ the writing life. Maybe they think writers are all heads-in-the-clouds dreamy type people, or maybe they just don’t understand it, respect it/value it, but it got me thinking about what we–readers and writers–need, as a way to sustain our art. Let this be a wish list for you…now and in the New Year. We all need support. This doesn’t have to be financial, but that’s good, too! What I’m getting at is someone who says, “yep–I support this.” We all need time to think, because half (more?) of all writing is thinking. So clear the clutter in your mind. Meditate. Walk. Exercise. Journal. It’s never ‘wasted time.’ We all need the time to write. This could be a few minutes a day, a weekend, or however you determine it. Carving out a …

Musings & Meanderings: Taking risk with your art, going hybrid, planning your 2023 writing year, classes and workshops, where to submit, author interviews, reading recommendations

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 shall now tell you an embarrassing story about myself. You may know this, but I am a Type A Personality. I am also very stubborn. I usually have my reasons. [If that doesn’t sound stubborn!]. Listening to others is important because I like to consider lots of alternatives, because, also: I am an overthinker. Most of the time I ignore these thoughtful folks and do what I want anyway. I am a grown woman and responsible for my own life, right? Often I lead with my gut–my heart–my intuition, and it turns out swimmingly. Sometimes not. I’m totally okay with that, I would regret not trying or doing or saying something. You might be wondering what the thing was that I did…and while it doesn’t really matter, it made me pause. Did I do something wrong? No. This person and I are just …

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

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Let’s talk about transitions for a moment. They can be equal parts exciting and terrifying, right? You can want a change, even go so far as to curate that change, and then when it comes, it’s hard, hard, hard. You get me? What about those changes you didn’t even ask for, but boom–here they are? Yeah, that too. And those other transitions–the ones you know are coming, didn’t really ask for, but you know…the seasons, the school year, a shift in your daily routine. Why the heck are they so hard? And what can we do when we ‘hit a wall?’ How can we embrace them? Clear the slate. For me, I like a little lead time. Maybe a day or two to ‘shift gears,’ mentally and maybe physically, too. The problem is, life happens fast. Sometimes we don’t have the space or time …

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 …

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 …

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 …