All posts tagged: writing

Musings & Meanderings: Childhood homes, how designed spaces affect our behavior, retreats vs workshops vs residencies, where to submit your work, recent interviews, 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 have recently been on TWO writing retreats. They were both pretty fabulous. Being able to travel for these events is a true privilege and I am so very grateful to my supportive partner, who says, “Go! Have fun, learn some stuff.” In doing this, I have returned re-energized, my writing soul fed, some good ol’ fashioned nature-immersion, gained clarity (or validation) on my writing projects, but also–sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Maybe I’m in over-my-head (like others are way better writers than me, or more experienced). I don’t always get as much writing done as hoped. There’s a difference between what these writing excursions consist of. The words may sound the same, but I assure you, the definitions vary. Retreats: Typically a (long) weekend of writers (often with an instructor/mentor) who convene at the same location to talk craft, have write-ins, maybe some readings …

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: Writing about nostalgia, exploring film, motherhood, ambition, and more with T. Greenwood plus…a fall check-in, establishing goals & boundaries, where to submit, what I’m reading, listening to, working on

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 is your fall shaping up? Has it been a whirlwind? Utterly relaxed? Oh, I know…you’ve been twirling through the streets as fall leaves rain down, a book tucked under your arm, and a PSL in your hand, right? Completely and totally unencumbered, a little nostalgic and pensive, and productive, too, right? Maybe not. I don’t what it is, but fall should be a slowing down, but sometimes isn’t. Not everyone gets the summer off or Summer Fridays or holidays of leisure. I enter fall eager for all the coziness, but I’m often exhausted. Just being honest about that makes me feel better. And that’s why I write these words. Writing works that way for me. It’s a fabulous little tool to process. And also, I write because I want YOU to write, too. If I feel a little run-down and worn-out, maybe you …

Musings & Meanderings: Does a writer need a room of her own? How about two desks? Plus: where to submit, what I do with the books I review,

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 bought a desk. Another one. Because what writer needs two desks? Apparently, this one. For months I avoided my messy office in lieu of working at the kitchen table (chaos, distraction), or maybe going to the coffee shop (not a bad alternative if I had the time), but then fall hit and it was like–bam!–I gotta do something about this junky office. In all reality, it wasn’t that bad. But it was cluttered and there might have been a cobweb or two in the corners–eek! Scraps of paper with scrawled notes and ‘good lines,’ were everywhere. Notecards with scenes were taped to the wall. Cords were strung everywhere to illuminate spaces and power the heater. I know: it’s not winter. That’s how long it’s been. There was a real, psychological reason I wasn’t in my creating space. I was burned out. It was …

Musings & Meanderings: taking Rilke’s advice to ‘ruthlessly compress,’ what to do when Mercury is in retrograde; plus how visual art isn’t all that different from written art, motherhood, acceptance, and what books I recently read and loved

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: Mercury is in stupid retrograde again. I know how it sounds: hoodoo voodoo and and magical weirdness. But there’s something to it! As a writer, who is no doubt a ‘communicator’ in every sense (I am the family connector/communicator/organizer), I try to get everyone on ‘the same page,’ I like coordinating and organizing things…to say this can be a trying time is an understatement. What does it mean when… ‘Mercury is in retrograde?’ It started September 9 and will go through October 2. Mercury is the planet of communication. When it’s in retrograde (appearing to go backward), appliances tend to run haywire, scheduled things run late, miscommunications run rampant. You might have ‘good’ problems, but mistakes will happen. Things might be more exaggerated than ever, but there might also be goodwill. Learn more about Mercury retrograde in this Bustle article. For …

Musings & Meanderings: Kayla Maiuri has one ritual she must do when actively working on a project; plus: mothers, home decor, vintage stuff, where to submit, disco music, book recs, 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! My mother was a super-talented self-taught interior decorator. She also struggled with severe mental illness. I’ve never been formally trained in home design or decor, but those skills sort of emerged unbidden. Maybe they are part of my DNA. One may argue that mental illness is entwined in one’s DNA, too. Sure, I can get a little anxious or run-down, or maybe a little depressed from time to time, but who doesn’t? Especially in this day and age with constant posting, re-posting, sharing, scrolling, etc. It’s a constant barrage of…keeping up and comparisons. Kayla Maiuri’s debut novel tackles many of these exact concerns, braiding the past with the present, a mother resistant to change, family secrets, architecture, and more. It’s an emotionally and psychologically astute character study that reads almost as if it could be memoir. Interestingly, all of this stuff: mothers, home, decor, …

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 …