Growing up in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s and 1970s, my Uncle Stan called me Les the Best, or sometimes Swee’ Pea (after the character in the Popeye The Sailor Man cartoon). If I wasn’t getting on my mother’s nerves she sometimes called me Sugar Lump; while Dad called me Shawty. Grandma Essie often shook her head at me and said I was too big for my britches. When I showed Uncle Colvin I knew how to do “The Temptation Walk,” he told Aunt Joni (whose nickname was Twink and pronounced Twank) that I sure could cut a rug! Raise cain was something my mother threatened to do in a department store or restaurant if a supervisor or manager had to be summoned; while a five-star compliment on someone’s delicious home-cooking required her to proclaim:  “you really put your foot in it!” Grandma Mary Elizabeth always excused herself to go to the bathroom by saying that she was going to see a man about a dog. On the school playground, me and my classmates gave each other five on the black hand side, and taught each other a dance called “The Watergate,” while Stevie Wonder’s “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” played in the background. I had been introduced to the public library early on, and few things rivaled my greedy desire to borrow stacks of books and escape into their worlds built of words. Teachers scolded me for daydreaming or talking too much in class. I decided to become a writer.  folklore & literacy is the 21st-century online incarnation of those early seeds. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Leslie, I follow your reviews on goodreads and comment when settings allow me to. I have been reading your blog too and wanted to ask what folklore means to you. And why did you choose it as half of your blog title?

    1. Hi Bea –

      Generally speaking, I often think of folklore as culturally-specific sayings and stories belonging to previous generations. One dictionary definition of folklore that I like is: “traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people.

      Years ago, when I first read works by Zora Neale Hurston and learned that she was a folklorist and anthropologist as well as a writer of novels, short stories, and essays – my ideas about the kind of writer I aspired to be was enlarged. Zora Neale Hurston’s folkloric work also helped me appreciate how the voices of my family and our lived experiences were/are in conversation with my love of reading and writing.

      “folklore & literacy” just popped into my mind one day and I snapped my fingers: “That’s it! That’s my thing!” For me, it brings together oral traditions, lived experiences, dreaming, reading, and writing. It’s about the many facets of storytelling.

      Thank you for visiting my blog and posing a great question❣️ Even as I post this response, I’m still thinking about what folklore means to me….

    1. Thank you for visiting, and introducing yourself, Marty! I am not only following your reviews, but your blog, as well. I look forward to checking out your writing and photography.

  2. you showed up in a dream…..i see you are still as beautiful as always!..and i see you are living the dream!..always sooo talented! wanted to say hi and thinking of putting together a page on facebook to look for more of our past “family members”! (okay…i know by now your’re thinking….”who in the hell is this?”)…it’s brian wells….ram’s horn waiter and old friend! (nickki stevens)..hope to hear from you!
    all my love!

    1. Greetings, Nickki! You know it has taken me a few days to go back in time to remember our days waiting tables at Ram’s Horn! I can’t believe you found my blog, but thank you for coming by to say “hello”! I am not currently on Facebook, even though everyone tells me that I could increase traffic to my blog – among other things. Peace & blessings to you in 2018!

  3. Hi Leslie, I just hit the follow button after reading this delightful about page. I am looking forward to getting to know you better and I would like to invite you to participate in the Senior Salon on Wednesdays.

    1. Bernadette – thank you so much. I’m working on some new content, and if I can’t participate in this upcoming Wednesday’s Senior Salon, I’ll definitely aim for next week’s. Your round-up is a great idea, and generous! Thank you for subscribing to my blog?!

  4. Leslie, I love your snapshot about – travelling from childhood to present day in a lively paragraph. Yeah, another library fan as young…don’t know what I would have done without our local one!

    1. Thank you, Annika. I’ve actually been thinking about writing a new “about” page….but, yes, I LOVE libraries, and whenever I visit a new place I want to see what the public library looks like!

  5. Ha! I remember hearing many of the expressions you cite here. Thankfully, not too much Cain and Able was raised in my childhood home, but it was mentioned. I also talked a lot in school, still do talk quite a bit. I believe communication is key. I’m glad I can now use it to inspire others, and have also learned the most appropriate time and place to do so.

    Am I “too big for my bitches?” My beloved Mother always thought so, but when she had a stroke I had to get gone before being placed in yet another foster home. I’ll bet she’d be glad to know that I could be grown when I needed to be.

    Another great share!

    1. So you recognize some of these expressions, eh? I wonder if you find yourself using “old expressions” without even thinking about it? I’m glad you could relate, Sparkyjen, and took that time to share comments.

  6. May I also say how proud of you I am, having known you since you were the little girl to whom you refer in your bio. I look forward to working with you to inspire more little girls and boys to write with confidence and passion, as you do.

    1. Bless you for visiting my blog site and leaving these heart-warming comments. It feels great to be remembered and recognized by someone who “knew me when…” Thank you, Mrs. Silverberg Master. Hugs!

    1. Hi Daphne – Count on you to cloak an interesting question inside a garment of what appears to be wonderful compliments! lol! Well, all I can say is that I am grateful to have readers. Many people who leave comments have blogs themselves. Being new to the blogging community, I am still in the learning curve. But I hope that anyone who reads my posts and finds reasons to comment will feel free to do so. xo, Leslie

  7. Well Leslie I’m so proud to welcome you to the family of bloggers. Your bio inspires me already and I can totally relate to all of what you wrote. Can’t wait for your first post!

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