Appointment to the Board of Directors of the IBPA Feb09

Appointment to the Board of Directors of the IBPA...

In early February, while innocently sitting in a cafe writing, I received a message from the IBPA informing me that I had been nominated to their Board of Directors. The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is a not-for-profit membership organization serving and leading the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. With over 3,000 members, IBPA is the largest publishing trade association in the U.S.. In short, it is a honor you don’t turn down! Come August, I will venture West to L.A. and begin my two-year term. I am beyond excited to start this new chapter. Any offer that brings new opportunities to connect with creative minds, is something to treasure. Photo below: Kelly Kancyr | Read the Full Press...

The Power of Hope | Make-a-Wish CT Jan29

The Power of Hope | Make-a-Wish CT...

In early December, Homebound Publications received a call from the Make-A-Wish Connecticut. That was the first time I heard about Lauren Telesz, her book, and her wish. Lauren is a senior in high school, a cancer survivor and an aspiring author. Her wish was to become a published author. Even though it meant taking on a great deal of work at the last minute (condensing 18 months work into 10 weeks), the staff agreed that we should accept the project and offer Lauren a formal contract for publication. I know from personal experience that, when facing life-threatening illness, a wish is more than a desire. It is a reason to go on. During the long stretches of surgeries, tests and treatments, such hope is a very precious commodity. Last night, at a Make-a-Wish event, Lauren gave a speech. She thought she would be signing 50 copies of the book printed for friends and family, little did she know that I was waiting in the wings with a full contract for publication. Surprising her and playing a part in helping her wish come to fruition was sincerely a highlight of my career. On March 25th, THE EXCURSION by Lauren Telesz with illustrations by Sharee Miller, edited by #1 Bestselling author Brad Meltzer will be available wherever books are sold, including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and local indie bookstores across the country. In addition, our publishing house has a global reach. With printing bases in London, Sydney and here in the United States, Lauren’s story will be distributed to over 20 countries. …so, here’s to the power of hope. —Leslie Founder Homebound Publications and Owl House Books Learn more about Lauren’s story and pre-order her book here. Photos by Kelly...

Appearance on Citywide Blackout WEMF Radio...

Just a little over a week ago I gave an interview on Citywide Blackout, Boston’s home for musicians, filmmakers, and authors on WEMF Radio. You can catch the show below. My interview starts at the 1hr 5min mark and my good friend Kelly Kancyr’s interview follows directly after that! Listen to Interview on Archive.com...

Summer’s Passing | Poem...

        An excerpt from Fleeting Moments of Fierce Clarity: Journal of a New England Poet   Sparks from the fire were cast into the sky— for a moment able to live as red stars of the Milky Way. The balance tips and we pass into the darkness. the days of long-daylight, spent. The trees surrender their leaves, laying themselves bare— exposed nakedly unto those who dwell around. The clinging leaves ripped away violently from their mother bough— orphans falling to earth; Some to wither where they fall, others to have their mulchy ashes spread across the four directions— borne away by the gusts of wind unto a new shore.  ...

Submitting Your Manuscript to a Publisher 101 Jan10

Submitting Your Manuscript to a Publisher 101...

by L.M. Browning Award-winning author, Founder of Homebound Publications and Owl House Books, Partner in Hiraeth Press, Founder of The Wayfarer, Co-Founder of Written River Step 1: Getting to the Real Final Draft Before you consider submitting to a publisher, you must put the manuscript through its courses. Many manuscripts that cross my desk that are termed “final drafts” are nowhere near ready to be seen. While it is true that a good editor will help you hone your manuscript, you should still send your proposal to the publisher in the best possible shape you can. Once you have what you think is your “final draft” you should do the following: Step Away: Let the manuscript rest for at least 3 months. Don’t read it. Don’t work on it. Don’t even think about it! This is a hard step. After working for months—even years—on a manuscript the first thing you want to do when you are done is submit to the publisher, not sit on your hands but you must! You only have one chance to make a good impression on an editor and you have to let yourself get to the real final draft. There is a difference between finishing the book and actually having your final draft! You’ve worked it and worked it and worked it and now you need to step away from it so that you can return with fresh eyes to make those final crucial tweaks—to polish. The only way to gain a fresh perspective on the manuscript is if you give yourself some distance from it. Peer Review: Before you send the manuscript to an editor, you should choose at least 4 friends/colleagues who can review your manuscript and give you honest objective feedback. Not only are you...

The Sacred Landscape | Coastal Connecticut Magazine Jan05

The Sacred Landscape | Coastal Connecticut Magazine...

Look for my essay “The Sacred Landscape” in the latest issue of Coastal Connecticut Magazine! You can find Coastal Connecticut Magazine online, at Barnes&Noble and on newsstands throughout New...

Citywide Blackout Appearance Jan05

Citywide Blackout Appearance...

Just a little over a week until my interview on Citywide Blackout! Tune into WEMF Radio January 14th from 8pm-10pm to catch the show. Citywide Blackout is the home for Boston’s local entertainment. Max Bowen and Matt Zappa feature the city’s musicians, filmmakers, authors, event organizers, comedians and much more. New episodes air every Thursday at 8 p.m. on WEMF Radio. Podcast interviews can be found at...

Intimacy without Interference...

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations Since my curiosity concerning the great mystery first emerged, I have believed that we are meant to gather an understanding of the divine from firsthand experience. While I hold a reverence for the wisdom of the past, I do not believe that insights of previous generations should go unscrutinized or unprogressed. Knowledge cannot be set in stone; for it is ever-evolving. Blind acceptance of unprogressed insight leads to a morally and spiritually stunted population. Such rigid thinking leaves us with religions that cling to outdated ideals and struggle to find their relevancy in a progressing world. It is my belief that if we follow the heedings of our heart—follow the best instincts of our soul—we will be led to the answers we are in need of. Every soul is born connected to the divine—the immortal sacredness from which we came—and through that connection we can come to appreciate the deeper unseen workings underlining our life, and the world around us. We use religion as an interface between us and the divine. Yet, as children of the divine, we need no interface. We need only develop our ability to listen and live in a soul-oriented...

Holiday Sale! Dec02

Holiday Sale!

We’re kicking off our winter sale! Save 25% off your entire order in the bookstore with coupon code HOLIDAY25. Orders over $35.00 receive free shipping anywhere in the United States! So pick up a few stocking stuffers for the book-lover in your life (and maybe a little winter reading for yourself). All books will be signed by the author! Visit our Store Or add a touch of the New England landscape to your stocking. Visit Leslie’s Fine Art’s America page for prints, painting, and cards. Visit the Fine Arts American...

Allow the Infinite to be Infinite...

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations   Life doesn’t have a singular purpose and yet we try to pigeonhole this infinite gift by searching for a single meaning behind our existence. We hunger for meaning the way a starving man does food—convinced we will waste away without it. As though to experience what it is to be alive weren’t enough to justify drawing breath. Life is a multi-layered practice in exploration, self-definition, connection, and realization. The greatest challenge presented to us as human beings is to allow the infinite to be infinite; to accept that we will always be the student never the teacher, and allow the truths we’ve gathered to evolve because what we seek to understand is a living thing and is in a perpetual state of change. Humanity’s progression of understanding is open-ended. Anyone who professes mastery only shows their ignorance of the infinite procession of enlightenment of which they are a part. Each of us get to add a line into the coverless tome of understanding, which has no beginning and no...

My Flesh and Blood | A Poem Nov27

My Flesh and Blood | A Poem...

A selection from Vagabonds and Sundries   My ghosts rattle through the house, The same now, as they did decades ago Upon the nights of their creation. Once tormenting me with the memories they carry, I have grown accustom to their presence, Tending them as if they were my children, Rather than my captors. Once I laid awake trying to undo them. Now I sit with them, tending to their survival, Afraid of what life would be without their...

Luminaria

Winter in New England is a mosaic of luminous pieces. It is a warmth felt about the chest—a radiance. As gifted a wordsmith as I am, I cannot convey a New England winter here in this small space and do it justice. I find, all I can do is conjure the images and memories I have gathered over the thirty winters I have spent here and leave you to assemble the great picture in your mind.

Know thy Self

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations   There are so many things that distort our character. Fatigue, emptiness, anger, trauma, illness, addiction, the media… So many things are pulling on us—twisting us to become someone we are not. When we achieve balance and are at peace within ourselves, we are not affected by the pulling of the distortive forces at work. We need to achieve balance if for no other reason than we can finally be free of it all and can at last know who we...

The Cure

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations   The cure for what ails is not to be found in a capsule. Our renewal must instead come from within. Synthetics are administered to the body yet they cannot reinforce the heart or re-weave the fibers of the fraying mind. The cure for our modern maladies is dirt under the fingernails, and the feel of cool grass between the toes. The cure for our listlessness is to be out within the invigorating wind. The cure for our uselessness is to take up our stewardship of the earth; for it is not that there has been no work to be done, we simply have not been attending to...

The Nature of Our Relief...

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations   We all have those things that help us carry on through life. It is important that these things upon which we depend for daily strength are healthy for our character rather than harmful. We must ask ourselves whether the comforts we reach for each day are vices or virtues? Do they feed the best parts of us or do they rob us of them? Even when we are at our most fatigued and are tempted to reach for self-destructive things, we must try to seek out and take solace in those things that will lead to our eventual renewal; rather than those things that will only serve to bring us...

Simplicity

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations   There are days when life is complex and I require some answer to the how’s and whys that surround the mysterious forces at work in my life. And still there are days when life is simple, and all I need is a heavy coat to wrap around me, a sturdy pair of boots, and a bag big enough to carry my load. There are those days when, emptied by the hardships to befall me, I require a great deal for happiness. Those dark days when the worth of being alive eludes me in my haze of weariness. But then there are those moments when small joys bring a soothing warmth to my numb heart. Those days when my suffering recedes, the gray curtain rolls back, and the beauty of what it is to draw breath pervades. Those days of gratitude, appreciation, and...

Work to be Done

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations   Do not hold a lazy faith. Miracles are not spontaneous events we must wait for helplessly. Miracles are an achievement—a breakthrough accomplished by those who pushed themselves beyond what was thought possible while holding a belief in a better life. Get up off your knees, and roll up your...

The Seed

A Selection from Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations   Dreams are the gestation of a future reality. We do not come into being fully formed; rather, we gather, build, and grow. So too our matured identity—what we will be and do in this life—grows as well. Our reality begins as aspiration—vague dreams that sharpen over time until at last tangible. In nourishing our dreams we enable our future self to be born. In protecting that which is still taking root, we allow beauty to enter, and flourish in this...

September Along the Quinnipiac River | A Poem Nov15

September Along the Quinnipiac River | A Poem...

The honey resin varnish painted across the pine floorboards glowed in the dawn light.

My Religion Is New England | A Poem Nov14

My Religion Is New England | A Poem...

A selection from Vagabonds and Sundries   My feast days come When the apples are ripe And the blueberries Hang heavy with juice. My communal wine Is the crisp salty liquor sipped From the oysters that grow Along the black rocks in the bays. On the afternoons when the molted leaves Float in the air like bronzed snow flakes And the gnarled pumpkin patches Yield their copper bounty. Walking across the wide floor boards, Parched gray with dust, Bending for the low horse-hair plaster ceilings, Following the cramped stairways leading up to bed. When the smell of the smoldering hearth Beckons me home As I walk through the village On the first chilled winter night. Having a heavy mug of hot cider, A bowl of hearty fish stew. And watch the fishing boats come in at dusk, Their hulls loaded down heavy. Sitting from my place along the shore, Looking out unto tall masts, The smell of the brine When the wind is high in the east. Driving down wooded roads, Following the unending thread of stonewalls, Winding along beneath the bower Of Oaks, Maples, and Walnut trees. I find that my home is my church. And my heaven, a chair by the hearth. In the dearness of it, I find the sacred at work. In partaking of it —Belonging to it— My heart swells With a joy not to be...

Dormant Answers | A Poem Nov13

Dormant Answers | A Poem...

A selection from Vagabonds and Sundries   I sat for a time by the burning bush. A naked child among the harsh winds yet, while the flames were high, they gave no warmth. I sat for a time at the foot of the mountain waiting for the prophet to descend, in need of understanding only to find, I wanted to live the truth not receive it secondhand. I sat for a time outside of the tomb waiting for love to be resurrected that I might be healed. Only to learn, what has passed never returns exactly as it was. I sat for a time among monks draped in maroon and saffron robes that I might understand my suffering and come to terms with the nature of our existence. Only to admit that I could not concede life is meant to be pain. All this I did that I might learn. Yet am left knowing less now than I did when I set out. Coming to see, that we need not seek. We need only find those things that help us remember....

In the Wake of the Attacker | A Poem Nov12

In the Wake of the Attacker | A Poem...

A selection from In the Hands of the Immortal Weaver: Poems of Sacredness and Belonging   The knife goes in up to the hilt twisted by a hand once taken in trust, and life must change. Do not fear what comes next. Let the attacker flee, betrayal heavy on his conscience. Pull the knife out and let the wound bleed. The room will spin as the world turns over on itself. You will fall to the floor, shaken, and fearful. And if the wound runs deep enough you will die. But that is not the end. You will go from death back into the safety of the womb. There to regather, redefine, and then to be born anew, Emerging slightly scarred but stronger having fought your way through the fever of betrayal. We must die once if we are to learn we are...

After the Flood | A Poem Nov11

After the Flood | A Poem...

by L.M. Browning | Visit the Bookstore»   Sweet songbird, vibrantly passing midst the drab and the silence of this small room of resignation sing for...

The Familiar Mystery | A Poem Nov10

The Familiar Mystery | A Poem...

A selection from Vagabonds and Sundries   Within the muddle of influences I listen for my voice. Extracting myself from all that I was taught So to be free to remember what I knew. Do we ever see our own face? Wipe off the thick make-up of parody So to be free to see the stunning authenticity. To think, we might live a lifetime in this skin But never know who we...

Unwanted Bedfellows | A Poem Nov08

Unwanted Bedfellows | A Poem...

A selection from Vagabonds and Sundries I live in a house filled with ghosts. The cat sees them, waking from a dead sleep to stare out into the emptiness where the demons dance, disembodied. I used to see them, when I was a child, unaccustomed to being haunted. Their presence now common, they blend into the backdrop of the pale white walls. Resigned that I shall never be rid of these dark bedfellows, each night, I crawl into bed with the jilted figures of the inescapable ill memories staring out into the black, longing for comfort which seems only a transient —coming unexpectedly, always to...