Mover & Shaker: Laura June Topolsky

In my beloved collection of autographed books is a small hand-crafted volume of poetry by Laura June. I received it back in 2010, and was immediately mesmerized, inspired, and blown away. What an amazing thing, to turn your work into something tangible. Back then I was busy running a business and taking care of my first child, so the thought of writing and painting for pleasure was years and years away in the distance. But to this day, I constantly think of Laura as a source of motivation.

laurajune

Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff

Laura worked with my husband in the tech industry for a while, and I would be SO JEALOUS when he would take NYC trips and come back saying, “Yeah, you should really hang out with Laura.” Well, I’ll do one even better: I’ll let us ALL hang out with her, virtually.

Laura’s memoir Now My Heart Is Full: A Memoir comes out this summer, published by Penguin. So excited for it!

heartisfull

  • Current City: Armonk, New York
  • What did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher.
  • What are you now? A writer, which is like a teacher, but without the students.
  • How did you get to this point? About ten years ago I got a job blogging. It was in tech, which was sort of the first wave of professional blogging, and I did that for several years over two websites. I worked with my husband, and over the years moved from blogging to writing longer pieces about subjects which interested me a lot more than technology, but which were still related to technology. Pretty much everything *is* related to tech, somehow, now! After I gave birth to my daughter I began writing essays for The Awl about motherhood, and eventually got a full time job as the parenting editor at The Cut, which is part of New York Magazine.
  • Current project(s): Almost exactly when I was hired at The Cut, I sold my first book to Penguin. I’ve spent most of the last year and a half writing and editing that. It’s done! It’s a memoir about my daughter and my mother called *Now My Heart Is Full: A Memoir* and it’s coming out in July.
  • What are you reading/listening to/watching/making: I just read *The Custom of the Country * by Edith Wharton. It was, I think, the *last* Wharton I hadn’t read which has put me into a period of mourning. It might have replaced *The House of Mirth* as my favorite of hers. Now, I’m reading *Kudos* by Rachel Cusk, which is not out yet but soon, and is SO good. It’s also the last of HER books I’ve not read, so I need to slow down on my most beloved authors, I keep running out. I don’t watch very much TV anymore but at night my husband Josh and I have been working our way through the several seasons of Black-ish very, very slowly. I love it.
  • How do you express yourself creatively? Almost exclusively through writing. I’m a terrible visual artist, I can’t even furnish rooms well. I keep several diaries and notebooks, one which records my daily activities and the others which I use to take notes on reading and write longer stuff. I have never published fiction before, but in the past few months have started trying to write a few short stories. It’s hard but very fun. A lot different than writing about myself.
  • Have you ever written a fan letter? If so, to whom? Yes! The only one I can remember writing and sending was to a British band called Lush. I have no idea what I said, and I was *not* even that young — I’d say about 17? Anyway, I mailed it then proceeded to feel very embarrassed about it for years. Weirdly, a few months ago I began a correspondence with one of the members and she’s become someone whose emails I look forward to most.
  • Three little luxuries in your life: Books, Perfume, Pens.
  • Who inspires you, and why? My daughter. She is endlessly energetic, original, and hilarious.
  • Favorite tool to stay productive: My daughter. Lol. She has made me, late in life, an adept time manager.
  • Something you have learned this year? That the soda Tab is still made, and it’s very good.
  • How can people find you? I’m on Twitter @laura_june but I’ve met a lot of amazing people who commented on articles I’ve written. I’m all over the internet.
  • What can people do to make the world a better place? Stop eating meat. But I don’t say that much because what people eat is very much a part of who they are, culturally, and saying it implies a judgment which I don’t really have. But still, it’s the best thing we could do for the environment, hands down.
  • Brag about yourself. It’s okay. If you don’t, I will. I have excellent handwriting.
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