I have dreadlocks and I love my cowboy boots and I love wearing my husband’s big ol’ belt buckle. I’m saving my pennies for an old pickup truck and I’m currently working on my second short story collection manuscript the same way I’d work on my country album. Little stories set in the south with running themes of both sugar-sweet gentle and hard-ass crooked men and feisty ladies and loss and love and all the stuff in between. I have a story called “Making Cowboys” and one called “Ladies Love Outlaws” (named after a song made popular by Waylon Jennings) and one called “Put Your Wild Heart Between Her Teeth.” I wanted all of the story titles to sound like country songs.
PS: If you asked me for a country music summer sampler mixtape I’d put these songs on there and draw some hearts on it too. I’d hand it over with a little box of sparklers, a lighter shaped like a tube of lipstick and a little bottle of Maker’s Mark. Xo, Leesa.
Country Music Sampler for Summer:
Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland
Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
Leave the Pieces by The Wreckers
Country Girl by Rissi Palmer
Barefoot Blue Jean Night by Jake Owen
Drunk On You by Luke Bryan
Boys From The South by Pistol Annies
Hungover & Hard Up by Eric Church
Tattoos On This Town by Jason Aldean
Undermine by Kacey Musgraves or Hayden Panettiere & Charles Esten from Nashville
Long Hot Summer by Keith Urban
Look At Miss Ohio by Gillian Welch
Goodbye Earl by Dixie Chicks
Fist City by Loretta Lynn
Shame by The Avett Brothers
Snowden’s Jig (Genuine Negro Jig) by Carolina Chocolate Drops
A Song For You (feat. Emmylou Harris) by Gram Parsons
Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
Our Song by Taylor Swift
That’s How Country Boys Roll by Billy Currington
Uses For Boys isn’t a cozy YA romance and I don’t even know if there are any real answers in here for the big questions about teenage-girl loneliness and teenage-girl sexuality and teenage-girlishness, but I don’t think Scheidt is trying to give us answers. I think she’s opening a teenage-girl’s diary, flipping through and showing us a sad heartbreaker mixtape playlist amidst the blank pages. We also find a pair of worn-out Converse sneakers, a couple expertly-rolled joints, some sticky-pink lipgloss kiss prints, some handwritten loveletters from a boy. Scheidt is sitting next to us with this book in her lap, flipping and flipping through the pages, showing us things. She’s simply pointing and saying look. Look at this.
_I review USES FOR BOYS over @ The Female Gaze and I also posted the link over in my YA/New Adultishness section!
I have a YA summer planned! So Lord willing & the creek don’t rise, I plan on writing reviews of all/most of the books I read. Yes, yes. I’ll make a list of them soon. I also need to write abt NASHVILLE & COUNTRY MUSIC & THIS RAYNA/DEACON FANVID I LOVE & A ONE DEACON CLAYBOURNE & how I taught myself to play “Telescope” on the guitar & how I added LORETTA LYNN’S HONKY-TONK FEMINISM to my interests over @ the ABOUT ME page + also, my feels! Next weekish. xo
+ BASEBALL! Went to the ballpark yesterday. MAJOR LEAGUE FEELS! I need to write abt my favorite batting stances and favorite players and whyyy. And just, Baseball Things. I will. Soooon.
+ AND! My Q&A is up @ Carve Magazine! I talk about my story “Whiskey & Ribbons” and also, stuff. <3
+ BUT FIRST! Peep the red soles of Justin Timberlake’s Christian Louboutins in the “Mirrors” video. This song, that album, those shoes. And also, everything.
+ AND NEXT! So much YA goodness. I loved Easy by Tammara Webber so much, so much. And The Fault In Our Stars by John Green so much, so much too. I ordered The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crawley and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve also been reading reviews and stuff over @ Clear Eyes, Full Shelves. You know how I feel about FNL and Tim Riggins. I prettymuch only wanna read YA here lately. YA SUMMER!
+ I’m gonna be writing abt my YA/New Adult loves over here.
+ I wrote about McNeese Review for The Review Review.
+ I wrote a chapbook review for the Sundog Lit blog.
+ Dawn West and I had a long convo abt our love for Sons of Anarchy.
+ I also wrote about the last season of Felicity for The Female Gaze.
+ My story IS THAT RAIN is in the Spring issue of Spartan Lit. Thank you so much to the editor, Ross McMeekin, for including me!
+ My story KNOCK OUT THE HEART LIGHTS SO WE CAN GLOW will be in the Summer issue of Gigantic Sequins. Thank you thank you to Kimberly Ann Southwick and Zach Yontz for including me!
+ My story MAKING COWBOYS will be a Little Fiction title in the fall. My stories IN THIS ROOM WHERE WE PRACTICE DYING EVERY NIGHT and COLD, SWEET GRAPES are already lucky enough to be in the Little Fiction Family. Thank you to the editor, Troy Palmer, for being kind and awesome and such a pleasure and joy to work with. SO STOKED TO WORK WITH HIM AGAIN LIKE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.
+ Loran and I wrote a choose your own adventure-ish story abt UNCHARTED for the special games issue of Sundog Lit and Justin L. Daugherty and guest-editor Brian Oliu liked it enough to include it! Excited, excited! Loran and I loooove video games and had so much fun writing it. Loran, Justin and I play Uncharted online together too, so it gets real meta up in hrr.
+ Interviewed the beautiful Rissi Palmer for this essay I’m writing about black women + country music. I REALLY LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC. You know this.
+ Also THE LOUISVILLE CARDINALS are in the FINAL FOUR. !! Again. Love them boys so so much.
+ Also MLB OPENING DAY !! Baseball y’all!
+ So many exclamation points and so much so much-ishness in this post and hopefully you expected no less! I am Southern & Sentimental.
“William, let me tell you how I feel (small and high-up!) when I look at your cuffed cerulean shirt sleeves, the expensive, slippery-silver watch sliding over your wrist bones. I daydream about a time when you will make my entire body feel like an ear, like a fallen eyelash; a fingertip, pointing.” My story SMALL AND HIGH-UP is in Nib Magazine this week! Thank you super-much to the editors for always being so kind to me. On the reals.
Also check out Midwestern Gothic‘s spring sale! Print copies are $6 and ebooks are $1. I bought their entire back catalog b/c I love them so much and I love reading all of the things. Got so many books in the mail this week! And a new lit mag to review for The Review Review. I also wrote a review of They Used to Dance on Saturday Nights by Gillian Devereux for the Sundog Lit Blog. I’ll holler back when it goes live. SPOILER: I loved it!
In YAishness, I’ve got The Fault In Our Stars by John Green on my list as well as Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia (thank you to my friend Chad Simpson for the rec!) and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. And I’m stoked to preorder How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski and The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston. But after I finish Easy by Tammara Webber, which I am just loving and loving…I’m gonna read Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt.
In non-YAishness, I’ve also got Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins and I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying by Matthew Salesses on my list.
BOOKS! And love. I wrote a new story I love a lot and I’m saving it until April to submit it to a place I love a lot. And I’m so excited abt the new Justin Timberlake album coming out this week. Srsly. I’ve been loving me some JTims since he was on Mickey Mouse Club. I TOLD Y’ALL WHEN I STARTED THIS BLOG THAT I LOVE LOTS OF THINGS. Like spring and windows down and cherry slushies.