All posts tagged: writing life

Musings & Meanderings: If she wasn’t writing, Bobi Conn says she’d be playing pool; plus finding the time & bandwidth to immerse oneself into creativity, book recs, more in A WOMAN IN TIME

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! To be honest, I am struggling to find my post-travel, post-summer, new-school-year writing routine. There’s always that wobbly, indiscriminate time where everything feels in limbo. Can you relate? Has your old routine stopped working? Maybe and that’s okay. It’s supposed to! Wait! What? Yep. Because time is linear and keeping marching on, so do you. We’re always in the process of evolving and that means our routines should, too. Here are a few things I’ve learned about (writing) routines: One: Routines are helpful to our creativity. By establishing one is saying, “I respect my creativity and will carve out time to satisfy my desire to create.” Our creative self craves predictability, time, and space; it triggers a creative flow. Every Tuesday, for example, is my day to do hands-on art, flatlays, images of book covers. I may get a trickle of books through the …

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: This or Something Better? Elisa Stancil Levine on her new memoir, notes from a studio, squeaky barn doors, feeling fragmented, and new books I’m obsessing over

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Here’s the thing: I wish I had something really thoughtful and sublime to share. The fact is, it’s been one heck of a busy summer. That’s not exactly a ‘bad thing’, it just is. A writer ought to constantly be experiencing and curating curiosities…and ideally, writing about them, or at least, spending some time in quite reflection. But summer is a bold, vibrant time. Everything expands. The days grow longer, the air is thick. Maybe it’s a time of bounty. Given all of that, shouldn’t bandwidth also expand? But it doesn’t. Summer can feel fragmented. For now, I am keeping notes. Maybe they are just mental, maybe on scraps of paper, or in notebook…the plan is to go back to these things once…school’s in session? But then again, fall is busy, too. Are you feeling that? Respond here in a comment, or find me …

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: 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: 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 …

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: 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 …

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 …