All posts tagged: fiction

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 …

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

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Have you got a sensitive human in your life? I do. At least two and they are both teenagers. One is my daughter, the other is not. Being a teenager is complex enough, a totally fraught time. It feels often like there is no skin on our body, everything exposed. There is a tremendous amount of self-sabotaging going on, external forces, uncertainty, and more. Heck…the more I think about this, the more it dawns on me that this is almost exactly how a writer feels when we put our work into the world, even if it’s not published. Just having a friend or instructor read our work can be a tough thing. What’s one to do? Keep growing, keep being open to feedback and listen. Is this easy? No. Neither is being a teenager or an adult or a writer. How’s it going? Respond …

Musings & Meanderings: 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 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is art generative? What about the persistence we must put in to make it all come together? I speak with Siri Hustvedt about this, plus other happenings: new work, interviews, bookstore visits, more

By Leslie Lindsay I was so impressed and in awe this wise and moving book, MOTHERS, FATHERS, & OTHERS (Simon & Schuster, December 2021), that I reached out to the brilliant and generous Siri Hustvedt about an interview. To my delight, she agreed and we chatted about all things art and writing, and cover art, persistence, and so much more. It was a really lovely conversation. Come on over, and join us. This interview originally appeared in The Rumpus February 21, 2022. It was even featured on Publisher’s Lunch February 23 and 24! After nearly a decade of bringing great authors and their books right here, every Wednesday, I am shifting my focus a bit. You can find all of my bookish suggestions, reviews, and more on Instagram in 2022, where I’ll be sharing reels and blurbs about books, what I’m reading, and even writing. Here’s a glimpse of what you might have missed on Instagram: Psst! You can share this on Twitter, too.Tweet Keep scrolling to learn more: Memoir-on-Submission: MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness & Memory is ‘making the …

Fiction Friday: NICKELS ON EYES by Leslie Lindsay

By Leslie Lindsay I’m honored to share this piece with you, which was inspired by my (late) grandmother’s memory of seeing her baby brother laid out on the dining room table with nickels on his eyes. It’s a harrowing memory, but one that made a searing impression on my then-five-year-old grandmother. This piece was featured on Flash Frog Literary February 7th, 2022. Read Nickels on Eyes HERE. Oscar sleeps on the porch, on an old sofa. He will eat the stuffing, if he gets hungry enough, he says. You can find all of my bookish suggestions, reviews, and more on Instagram in 2022, where I’ll be sharing reels and blurbs about books, what I’m reading, and even writing. Psst! You can share this on Twitter, too.Tweet Keep scrolling to learn more: Memoir-on-Submission: MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness & Memory is ‘making the rounds’ with publishing houses. This book has been in my heart for years. It’s about my mother’s devolve into psychosis when I was 10; the body, mind, houses and homes (she was an interior decorator), our …

Diane Chamberlain had me gasping aloud in THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET, plus her obsessions, civil rights, letting characters lead and the magic of writing

By Leslie Lindsay Two seemingly unconnected stories merge into one very thought-provoking, highly emotional read. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book Leslie Lindsay in Conversation with Diane Chamberlain Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 27 novels published in more than twenty languages. Influenced by her former career as a social worker and psychotherapist, she writes suspenseful stories that touch both heart and mind. One of Marie Claire’s Most Eagerly Anticipated of 2022 January Indie Next Pick I have long been a fan of Diane Chamberlain’s work, but this one really knocks it out of the park. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET (Jan 11 2022, St. Martin’s Press), is completely ‘affecting and spellbinding,’ (Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW), and is a PEOPLE magazine ‘pick of the week,’ and is sure to pack a powerful punch for readers and book clubs. I loved it. What Diane does best is mine historical plot points with an emotional heart, and generally it’s something that once touched her own life. In fact, THE LAST …