Tag Archives: present moment

What’s On My Nightstand: July 2017

Adult Fiction

A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay

 

Memoir

Abandon Me, by Melissa Febos

Sunshine State, by Sarah Gerard

 

Short Story

The Swan as Metaphor for Love, by Amelia Gray

Housewife, by Amy Hempel

The Huntress, by Sofia Samatar

Aubade, by Joy Williams

Unlikeable, Deb Olin Unferth

 

Poetry

Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur

32 Poems Magazine

 

Magazine

Lesbian Connection – Free to Lesbians Worldwide! “but the suggested donation is $7 (more if you can, less if you can’t)”

The New Yorker

 

Lip balm

HURRAW! sunbalm, SPF 20

 

Children’s Picture Book

The ABC’s of Thomas Merton, by Gregory Ryan and Elizabeth Ryan (read my review)

 

 

About

Publications

Postage

Teaching

“Test Tank” (New Short Fiction)

My most recent short fiction piece, “Test Tank” is up at Corporeal Writing. Read an excerpt below, or read the full essay here. 

Coming in July: If you’re a writer of any kind and you’re looking for community and feedback on your writing, join the newest section of my online writing workshop at Viva Institute. Class begins July 17.

 


 Excerpt: “Test Tank”

 

1.

“I missed my deadline.” It’s the first thought.

 

“Hey.” The sound is thick. “Welcome back.”

 

Drifting.

 

“How are you feeling?”

 

I missed my deadline. Again.

 

“Can you tell me your name?”

 

Ocean glass. Blue-green.

 

“I know it’s difficult, but can you wiggle the finger on your left hand?”

 

Certainly.

 

“Great,” you say. “You’re doing really great.” Warm and soft, the way I love. “Now can you tell me how you feel?”

 

“Like the ocean,” I murmur. “Without the waves.” I stretch my left arm and flex the fingers, swirling. I stretch the right, but it’s all wrong. Stretch left, stretch right – nothing. “Something’s wrong.”

 

The scrape of a chair. “Naia, listen. There’s not much time before we need to send you back, so I’m going to explain quickly, OK?”

 

“Back?”

 

“There’s been an accident.” You clear your throat and start again. “You were in an accident, but you’re going to be OK.”

 

“Back where?” I reach again, but everything is ocean. “Why can’t I see?”

 

“It’s part of the process. Just one of the stages of regeneration.”

 

I wince. From somewhere deep.

 

Thirty seconds, says a voice. [Read “Test Tank” here.]

 

Publications

You say, write something hopeful, Corporeal Writing.

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul, Corporeal Writing.

You Can Do Anything, Corporeal Writing.

The Right to Bare Arms, ENTROPY Magazine.

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted), The Manifest-Station.

Upcoming Classes

Online Writing Workshop: The Illuminated Narrator – begins July 17

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Postage

LeighHereNow

PO Box 27771

Philadelphia, PA

19118, USA

You say, write something hopeful

My most recent essay, “You say, write something hopeful,” was published yesterday at Corporeal Writing. For the month of June, I have the incredible fortune of living on one of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, and I’ve included some of my personal shots of the places mentioned in the piece below.

Read the full essay here.

 


 Excerpt: “You say, write something hopeful”

Something that makes people feel as hopeful and beautiful as this moment is, and even though that seems like an impossible thing to do, although it actually seems like the very worst thing to do, I say OK, I’ll try, because at this moment the sun has just done a kind of magic trick on the water, everything shimmering layers of gold and blue, and then I wonder how many times people have used the word shimmering to describe sunlight on water, and I stop.

Later, I say. I make a mental note that once we have walked back along the pebbled road, away from the darkening cliffs and spiked green shrubs, past the farmer who herds the goats to their night pasture, bronze bells clanging around their necks as they shuffle and call, once we have stacked the dishes and shuttered the windows and poured two glasses of water for bed, I will make a list of hopeful things, just to remind myself.

But as I stack the dishes, I am thinking of this morning’s hike to a remote beach on the north side of the island, how when a cheerful woman called “kalimera!” followed by “good morning!” (just in case I didn’t know) I slowed my gait and responded in kind, and then, because we are both travelers, I asked the question travelers ask: “Where are you from?” and she smiled “Australia,” and I nodded and smiled, and she asked, “You?” and I answered “The United States,” and I dropped my head. [read more]

Publications

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul, Corporeal Writing.

You Can Do Anything, Corporeal Writing.

The Right to Bare Arms, ENTROPY Magazine.

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted), The Manifest-Station.

Upcoming Classes

Online Writing Workshop: The Illuminated Narrator – begins July 17

Subscribe

To receive blog updates, subscribe to LeighHereNow.

Postage

LeighHereNow

PO Box 27771

Philadelphia, PA

19118, USA

 

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What’s on my nightstand: March 2017

Paperweight

“The knack to flying lies in the throwing yourself at the ground and learning to miss.” – quote by Douglas Adams, rock inscribed by my friend Matt

Adult Fiction

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Contents May Have Shifted, by Pam Houston
Dora: A Headcase, by Lidia Yuknavitch

Non-fiction

Whip Smart, by Melissa Febos
The Places That Scare You, by Pema Chödrön

Short Story

Bloodchild, by Octavia Butler

Poetry

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, by Joy Harjo

Young Adult Fiction

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Children’s Picture Book

A Handful of Quiet, by Thich Naht Hahn

Magazine

The New Yorker
The SUN
The Week

Newspaper

The New York Times

Bookmark

The New Yorker subscription card

Lip balm

HURRAW! moonbalm

FullSizeRender (5)

 What is Postage?

Send a
postcard
or letter.
Tell a story.
Write a poem.
Ask a question.
Scribble, doodle,
pontificate, divulge.

Be yourself.

When you write to me,
I’ll assume that your post
may be published on my blog.

Subscribe @LeighHereNow
and watch for my reply.

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA 19118

What’s on my Nightstand: February 2017

Adult Fiction

Contents May Have Shifted, by Pam Houston
Dora: A Headcase, by Lidia Yuknavitch

 

Non-fiction

The Places That Scare You, by Pema Chödrön
Unnatural Selection, by Mara Hvistendahl
The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan
Citizen, by Claudia Rankine

 

Short Story

Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin
Bloodchild, Octavia Butler

 

Poetry

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, by Joy Harjo
The Art of Peace, by Morihei Ueshiba

 

Young Adult Fiction

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli

 

Children’s Picture Book

The Blue Whale, by Jenni Desmond

 

Magazine

The New Yorker
The Week

 

Newspaper

The New York Times

 

Bookmark

The New Yorker subscription card

 

Lip balm

HURRAW! black cherry lip balm

 

Bowl with apples & peanut butter

Field Day organic crunchy and salted peanut butter

 

Model

Zuca
Jack Russell Terrier (age 9)

What’s On My Nightstand: January 2017

Adult Fiction

Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
The Small Backs of Children, by Lidia Yuknavitch

Poetry

Call Me By My True Names, by Thich Naht Hahn
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, by Joy Harjo
ORIGINAL CHILD BOMB by Thomas Merton

Non-fiction

The Places That Scare You, by Pema Chödrön
Unnatural Selection, by Mara Hvistendahl
Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson
Break Every Rule, Carole Maso

Young Adult Fiction

The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin

 Children’s Picture Book

A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Phillip and Erin Stead
Lon Po Po, by Ed Young

Magazine

The New Yorker
The Week

Newspaper

The New York Times

Bookmark

Shout Out Philly – Raising the volume on progressive activism in Philadelphia

Lip balm

HURRAW! black cherry lip balm

Bowl, palo santo wood

Patagonia, AZ

Stones

gift of Kelly Moreno

originalchildbomb_tmertonsignedcopy

“Original Child Bomb,” by Thomas Merton, c. 1961 (signed copy)

GET YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT.

This morning I woke up to this email in response to yesterday’s post:

getyourheadonstraight

My second reaction was to share the story my friend told me last night over sweet potato tacos. On Saturday as she and her husband turned onto 14th and Constitution in front of the National Museum of African American History – pressed body to body, sign to sign – a man wearing a red “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat drove a motorized wheelchair at a diagonal through the crowd, in the direction opposite the marchers. They simply smiled and parted to let him pass, where he continued to press through the crowd, against the tide.

Free expression has its place. So do civility and kindness and respect.

I’d say more about this, but I just made a really beautiful zucchini frittata. I’ve got petitions to sign and phone calls to make and friends who build bonfires in their backyards and host sign-making dance parties in their living rooms, kids and dogs included.

LOVE, baby. That’s where it’s at.

Featured image: Make America Love Again patch from Pins Won’t Save the World, Sagmeister & Walsh