It’s Been A While! Here Is an Update, of Sorts

This is going to be the first random post in the four years since my blog, folklore & literacy, went live on November 30, 2014. The reason why I am doing this is because I want to break the spell of not having posted anything since September of this year.
I’m not sure what to say, though.
Especially since I have been awake since about 3 a.m. thinking about things and writing in my journal and knitting. I’ve had a lot of insomnia in recent months….

me with a stack of books, wearing some stuff I knit

To my friends in the blogging community: I hope you will forgive me for not having read your blogs, lately. My book reading feels like it has slacked off, as well, even though I still live with stacks of unread and partially-read books all around me. In my head I have things that I want to write about, but for some reason I seem…..

….to have lost steam.
This makes me feel a bit anxious and insecure; but, also: curious.

I do love my blog.
It has been a laboratory of sorts: an autonomous creative space where I’ve been able to flesh out thoughts and ideas about things that interest and move me, share them with others, and receive feedback. But when I first started it, the idea was to have an online portfolio of my writing. I didn’t set out to be a blogger, per se.

Sometimes I read over past posts and I think to myself: not bad!
But, you know, I am not a fast worker. I marvel at people who write captivating posts on a regular schedule. Some of my posts have taken days, weeks, and even months to materialize while I sought out the the right approach to the content, wrote and re-wrote about it, experimented with cross-referencing and decided on accompanying images.

If you’ve become a fan of the Black Men Reading Series, thank you!  I’m happy to be able to say that there are more installments in the works, and I intend to publish at least one more before 2018 comes to a close.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out what direction I want to go with myself, with the blog, and what type of book(s) I want to write.


  1. Dear Leslie, It’s good to read your voice! Your uncertainty about the subject made me look up at my curio cabinet, next to my writing desk. There’s a china figure of Peter Rabbit there to remind me that Beatrix Potter once wrote to a child she’d been babysitting, and she wrote that she didn’t know what to tell him that day, so she’d tell him a story about four little rabbits, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter. That was the beginning of Peter’s story, and she might not have tried writing anything at all. I cling to that at times and keep Peter in sight on my shelf. Keep going, and keep writing. Another inspiration I’ve seen in several forms is that we see all of our own notes and rough drafts — but we see everyone else’s highlight reel! Hang in there!

    1. Thank you, Margaret! Both the Beatrix Potter anecdote and the bit about not being privy to other writers’ notes and rough drafts are neat little packages of encouragement. Hugs!

  2. Leslie- you’re not the only one! A lot of us have been experiencing prolonged reading/writing/blogging slumps for a while, and its okay. A break is always needed and it’s healthy, especially so you can re-group and set new intentions. We’ll be here waiting for more of your writing when you return! In the meantime, I will be re-visiting the Black Men Reading Series 🙂

  3. I can relate to feeling somewhat burnt out, even though I love my blog, just as you do yours. As someone who follows and admires your writing, particularly the Black Men Reading Series, I will gladly read anything you have to offer. I personally enjoy when you summarize non-fiction books, such as The Cooking Gene, but that’s because I’m a foodie. 🙂 Anyway, I look forward to your next post, even if it’s just musings on the weather. Also, your knitting is beautiful. I love your Instagram posts that showcase your work. I can barely thread a needle, much less combine yarn into patterns, so I am doubly appreciative. Hope you have a wonderful holiday, Leslie.

    1. Vanessa – I always appreciate your participatory readership (is that a word?)? on my blog. You may be challenged to thread a needle, but you’ve made your culinary talents and writing about books into a winning combination! I’m a fan!

  4. We all need a break from blogging every so often. I’ve slowed down considerably with my reviews in the last few weeks, which is why I have decided to have a period of undisciplined reading. i.e. a time to read for enjoyment rather than because I have some sort of obligation or deadline to do so. Once the pressure is off it’s also easier to collect one’s thoughts and make sensible (or so I tell myself) plans.

    Anyhow, it’s lovely to see you back, Leslie. Don’t feel guilty for being human – and please have some fun with your writing and reading.

    1. Paula, thank you for taking the time to share some important gems about PURPOSELY taking the pressure off oneself, “and please have some fun with your writing and reading” – I needed these!

  5. It has been a real pleasure following your work Leslie, and I am a fan of your “Black Men Reading” series. Good luck and looking forward to more from you.

  6. If it is a natural process of not writing, then I say don’t write. You “owe” us nothing, the writing must come when it is ready to come out true, rich, and your own. Having no desire to write/nothing to say for weeks, months, years at a time is part of many, many writer’s process. Write when you truly feel it is the right time. Write what feels right, no matter how profound or mundane it seems. Your true readership (“fans”) will still be here!

  7. We all need a break from blogging so I totally understand what you’re going through. Can’t wait to see your next installment of Black Men Reading. I hope you’ll maybe do more posts on your teaching too. We’re all waiting patiently, so when you’re ready we will be ready to read whatever you decide to write about.

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