Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - November 25.jpg

Blessed Sunday to ye!

Well, we’re officially easing into December this week. I know many author friends who’ve wisely wrapped their writing year and are taking December to enjoy family, friends, and the holidays… I am not one of them. I don’t have a Christmas deadline this year, for which I am extremely grateful, but I do have a book due at the end of February, so these last 5 weeks will be apportioned — 5 days a week to writing, 2 days a week to the holidays. I already have my cards, have done a bunch of the shopping, and we’ll snag a tree sometime this week. My decorating is relatively minimal, I can do it in a couple of hours, so I don't stress about it too much. It’s more switching out the relatively minimal fall decor for the minimal Christmas decor, rather than going mad with everything. I had a big party last year so I finally bought organizers to make it super simple — this goes on the mantel, this goes on the dining room table, and this goes on the coffee table — done. And then I can get back to work and enjoy the fruits of my gentle labor.

In the weeks to come before the end of the year, I also get to start thinking about my annual review, which I generally do over my Christmas break. 2018 was my Year of Change, and I do believe I’ve lived up to that challenge. I can’t wait to revisit all my goals and see how I did.

Oh! I read my first Agatha Christie this week. Abby at Crime by the Book said ENDLESS NIGHT was her favorite, so I gave it a try. I’ll tell you, it freaked me out so badly. I don’t know what it was about it, but it took me all week to read, because I normally read for an hour before bed and I found myself putting it down after a few pages because I knew it was going to give me nightmares. I both hate and love books that touch me like that, but I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting ENDLESS NIGHT to wig me out so badly. I even figured it out 3/4 of the way in and it STILL unnerved me. I moved directly on to JANE DOE by Victoria Helen Stone and feel much more comfortable. Both stories of sociopaths, but the modern versus the gothic makes a huge different for me.

To balance all this, I’m listening to Stephen King’s ON WRITING. I’ve read the book a few times, but there’s something special about hearing him tell his own story. It’s magnificent, and touching. I’m going to listen to Twyla Tharp’s THE CREATIVE HABIT next. I only have 5 weeks left and I’m a few books short of my 100 books this year goal!

I’ve kept you long enough. On to the links!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

Business Musings: Positive, Pleasing, and Optimistic. “Being positive is a decision.” It truly is. When you decide to look ahead instead of behind, when you decide to do what’s right for you, not for everyone around you, when you shed the guilt and fear and everything else holding you back, you will find great contentment. I swear it.

Big Little Lies Author Takes Intrigue to the Spa in New Novel. I was lucky enough to see Liane Moriarty in person a few weeks back and she was simply magnificent - so self-deprecatingly funny. She Reads picked Nine Perfect Strangers for their book club selection so definitely join in on the conversation there.

17 Things I Do Every Day To Totally Eliminate Stress. I wish I could say I do all 17 of these… but I do try…

What We Owe to Wilkie Collins' The Woman In White. Oh, the gothic novel. My favorite to write, and to read. PBS has a new show of this great book, too.

Out of the Classroom and Into the World: 70-Plus Places to Publish Teenage Writing and Art.  Start them early, start them young, and help them flourish. You will have happier kids who grow into happier adults!

26 Lazy Girl Hairstyling Hacks. So many great ideas! I’m a big fan of the messy bun… but options are everything.

'Why Buddhism Is True' Explores Links Between Evolutionary Biology And Meditation.  Since this whole post has been about finding happiness, this is a wonderful read.

New podcast alert! Helen Ellis stars in Southern Lady Code, and friends, it is simply glorious. Bonus points for subscribing to What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel, too.


And closer to home:

I’ve been exceedingly grateful for how y’all have stuck with me through the craziness that has been the 2018 release schedule. the original books, the reprints, the sales — I know this space has been overwhelming of late, and I admit, I am thrilled to have all this draw to a close so we can get back to normal things. Like my favorite instagram of the week:


We ran a fun Match The Song To The Life contest and the answers have been added to the post. Go see if you guessed correctly and the listen to the book’s soundtrack while you’re there!


This deal is still going on! Book two in the Taylor Jackson series, 14, is only $2.99. It’s aptly placed in the series, too, because it is my second darkest book! (I think COLD ROOM is the darkest of them all, but you tell me…)

Synopsis:

Ten victims, each with pale skin and long dark hair. All have been slashed across the throat, the same red lipstick smeared across their lips.In the mid-1980s the Snow White Killer terrorized the streets of Nashville, Tennessee. Then suddenly the murders stopped. A letter from the killer to the police stated that his work was done.

Now four more bodies are found, marked with his fatal signature. The residents of Nashville fear a madman has returned, decades later, to finish his sick fairy tale. Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson believes the killings are the work of a copycat killer who's even more terrifying. For this monster is meticulously honing his craft as he mimics famous serial murders...proving that the past is not to be forgotten.


That's all for now! Buy a little present for a four-legged or two winged friend, take a few nice deep breaths, don’t feel at all guilty if you don’t feel like putting anything holiday-themed together just yet, and I’ll see you next week!

peace and hugs,
J.T.