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From the Writing Desk Of: Leesa Cross-Smith


1. Our cat, Mindy. But we call her Mimi. She loves sleeping and warm things. I do most of my writing on my made-up bed.

2. My newish MacBook with Badlands + Blue Ridge Parkway stickers. My old one broke prettymuch at exactly the same time I sold my novel. Life, right?

3. A California mug of rooibos tea. I drink a lot of rooibos tea and I love California.

4. The current manuscript I'm working on.

5. An ARC of my debut novel Whiskey & Ribbons because I like looking at it/having it around.

6. My Kindle.

7. My hoop earrings.

8. Some Post-Its.

9. Pen.

10. My heating pad. I love my heating pad. I have a relationship with my heating pad.

11. My twinkle light lantern. I hate overhead lighting! I only like natural light and lamps and candles and salt lamps.

12. My window. So I can get some sunlight, see the trees, watch the squirrels and birds, etc.

13. My favorite soft, stripey blanket

Sounds like:

1. I aggressively listen to Bach's Cello Suites

2. Also, Father John Misty's I Love You, Honeybear album

3. Also, the soundtrack to Far From The Madding Crowd

Not pictured:

1. All the books on my nightstand. My Bible. Sylvia Plath, Marilyn Monroe, Gwendolyn Brooks, Eve Ewing, Samantha Irby, Elizabeth Ellen, Diana Gabaldon, Silas House, Dana Johnson, Lydia Davis.

2. My lipglosses, coconut oil, my bottle of Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, pens, pens, pens, highlighters, some more earrings. Two other manuscripts I'm working on. A copy of the Kentucky Music issue of Oxford American because I wrote an essay about Sturgill Simpson that's in there and he's on the cover! 3. All the inspiration I have hanging on my walls: Lana Del Rey, Harry Styles, Misty Copeland, Serena Williams, Jim Morrison, Kip Moore, Sufjan Stevens, Aaron Tveit, postcards from my girlfriends, photobooth pics of me and my husband, pics of me and my husband on our honeymoon in New Mexico, the congratulations this is happening email from my literary agent re: selling my novel, some paper cranes, some drawings from my kids, etc.

4. Our Lady of Guadalupe candles/figurines

5. Hanging on the wall: a cow skull with gold horns

6. More twinkle lights

7. My oil diffuser: lavender + lemon + one drop of patchouli

8. My weighted blanket, some more blankets I knit

9. My light therapy box

10. Some baseballs

11. My air filter

12. Pictures of my babies

13. A painting by Jeremy Okai Davis that was the cover of my short story collection Every Kiss A War

14. A poster by Ron Davis for my reading at Wild Fig Books in Lexington, KY

15. My alpaca lamp

16. Books & books & books & books


Leesa Cross-Smith is a Kentucky girl, a homemaker and the author of Every Kiss A War (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Whiskey & Ribbons (Hub City Press, 2018). Her work has appeared in places like Oxford American and Best Small Fictions, among many others. She is the founding editor of WhiskeyPaper and can be found @

Whiskey and Ribbons is available for preorder now:


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