Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - January 27.png

Happy Sunday, y’all! Grab a cuppa and let’s chat.

I hope your week was wonderful. Mine wasn’t bad at all, I saw two dear friends IRL - in real life, one of them twice! Had a couple of lovely long phone call catch ups, too. The writing is going as well as can be expected for the second half of the second act. I truly believe books hinge on this moment. With all the outlining and planning, it’s what I like to call the push comes to shove moment when the protagonist has to make a choice that changes the course of the remaining story. Problem is, two of my characters made choices I wasn’t expecting. Yeah. To say things blew up is to put it mildly. I went through my seven stages of grief: this sucks; there’s no way I can make the deadline; I should send my editor a note and tell her I’m not going to make it; I might as well bag the whole book, it’s never going to work; I’ll never have a decent idea again; screw dry January, I’m having a glass of wine.

And then… a new possibility opened up. It does take the story in a slightly different direction, but things are working again.

My biggest issue is I know what the end is. I’m trying so hard not to telegraph it, I’ve almost handicapped myself, but I finally feel I’m at the point in the story that it’s okay for the reader to start getting an inkling of what’s happening. Makes my life so much easier. I normally have no idea what’s going to happen until this moment in the book, so it’s been a bit of a slog to try and get here. Had a nice 4k day Thursday and another on Friday, so the crisis is past and things are moving forward. No lamentable emails sent, either!

But yes, that means I didn’t make the whole month for Dry January. But I’ve made so many positive changes to my habits and well-being this month that I’m not fussed about it. I’ve designated the last two weeks wine-only. Good enough.

Onward! Time for the latest links…


Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

A WORD ON WORDS is back for Season 4! We’ve already taped a whole slew of shows. Check out my co-host Mary Laura in Writing A Mural with Rebecca Makkai.

The single best thing you can do for your reading life. Shorthand: you don’t have to finish a book if you’re not enjoying it. And trust me, as hard as this is for many, myself included, it does up your reading happens quotient. I probably abandoned 20 books last year.

Hate Your Current Life? Start Waking Up Early. I’m trying... I’m trying... But… I also have been working on an entirely new schedule based on my Wolf Chronotype and my productivity is surging! More on that next week.

Could a Daily Poetry Podcast Save Your Mental Health? “Even if you don’t think you’re interested in poetry, a podcast that asks you to spend a few minutes sitting in thought is good for the mind and the body.”

Back to the Basics. Absolutely fabulous piece. Bullet Journaling has become the “in” thing, and I was so sad to read that some BuJo people have lost sight of what the experience is designed for. It’s a true allegory for how social media can wreck us. If you’re doing it for “them” you will never be happy. Do it for you.

Book Lover Arranges Her Huge Library of Novels Into Imaginative Scenes. Incredible! I especially like her wings.

Want to Know the Greatest Determining Factor of Your Success?  Hint: It's CONSISTENCY. Consistency is the key to life. To determination. To discipline. It’s all you need to become a success if everything you do.

How to Host a Soup Group. Who’s in? Might bring this idea to my supper club.

Build Productive Writing Habits: How to Write More in the Time You Have. "Priorities set the rhythm of your life." Another excellent piece.


What I’m Reading:

INHERITANCE by Dani Shapiro

This was not the easiest book for me to read, if only for the amount of time spent on the aspects of infertility, but the spirit of it was so beautiful and pure. That Dani was able to write about her experiences at this moment in time, when DNA and ancestry databases are helping to solve crimes and helping families find their truths, it’s true serendipity. I think it will help a lot of people who are searching for their own identities. A must-read.


That’s it for now. Snuggle your fur babies, start dreaming about summer vacation, buy yourself something nice (and by nice I don’t mean expensive, new pencils are nice!) and I’ll see you next Sunday.

peace and hugs,
J.T.