All posts tagged: musings and meanderings

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: 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: Memoir Monday Sarah Fawn Montgomery chats with me about nostalgia, finding home, feeling creatively moored, disconnection, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! I’ve been a little remiss in updating author interviews here, as they go out, as promised. If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know that I have been in the practice of interviewing bestselling and debut authors right here, on my website, Always with a Book. I’ve done this for a good decade or so. What I learned was many authors were simply ‘too busy’ to contribute to a blog. I shifted my focus to publishing in lit journals. So, if you’ve been wondering where all my interviews went, that’s where. But I want to catch you up! Going forward, I will do my absolute best to re-post those interviews here, incase they slipped past. Also, in my newsletter, ‘Musings & Meanderings,’ I always make mention of them. Just click on the link and it’ll take you directly to the piece. Juggling a website and several …

Musings & Meanderings: In-box zero, clearing the slate, childhood homes, art, architecture, space, memory, where to submit, recently published stuff, moderately creepy reads, gorgeous green photography

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 in-box zero a thing? Is it really attainable? I used to think no. But today, I deleted an ass-load of emails. They’ve been piling up since April or so, that’s near-six months of newsletters, updates, pleas for my money, time, and more. Some of them were from well-meaning friends offering support when I was struggling. A few were from my agent. Others touched on deep themes: ancestry/vital records…the self as character…’this week in writing history’…submission calls…writing craft class…author spotlights/events to attend…I leave all of this stuff in my in-box because I think I’ll go back to it, it might serve as inspiration, it might be ‘important,’ and I’ll miss out. None of it was serving me. It was all clutter. They were all deleted. Years ago, I heard the adage that a messy desk is the sign of a busy mind. That’s true, …

Musings & Meanderings: Narrative + Image, a glimpse into Amy Turner’s writing space, where to submit, singing the praises of Story Studio Chicago, where to submit, new published author interviews

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 just had a wonderful experience at Story Studio Chicago–shameless plug! Really, it was amazing. Being around other writers is so energizing, supportive, and nurturing, I know it goes without saying that being around one’s ‘peeps’ is so important; it’s about community, seeing the potential, finding one’s voice. It’s about uplifting that voice and amplifying strengths. Just being in the space with others who think and jive on the same jam is delightful. It’s about inclusivity, ‘being seen.’ I’m bubbling over with ideas, but they aren’t just gleaned from the workshop, they’ve been rolling about in my noggin for some time, but now, now I feel confident and invigorated enough by them to roll up my sleeves. [Hint: my current obsessions]. Speaking of obsessions, Amy Turner gives us peek into her writing space (her son’s old bedroom), where she was able to hang photographs, …

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

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! When I was a kid, someone–a teacher or maybe a parent–told me writing was an art. I didn’t believe it. To me, Art was something you could see or hold in your hand. It was often beautiful and colorful and most of all, something you created. Writing, in my eyes, was a more cerebral pursuit; it wasn’t Art. Turns out, they were right. Writing IS Art. Let’s break down those elements: How words are merged, which ones are used…there’s a melodious quality there. That makes writing beautiful. You can also ‘see’ writing. My grandparents used to say about the stories I wrote, “You can paint a picture with words.” I had forgotten about their comments. But yes–what is reading but hallucinating images an author has created? And yes–you can absolutely hold writing in your hand. Books are very portable that way. Books are Art. …

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: 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? “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 Instagram, Twitter, 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 …