Sunday Smatterings

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Greetings, salutations, and warm hellos! I come to you from the land of new kittens! No, I didn’t add to the minions, I’m visiting my parents and their new baby, who is adorable! Her name is Jazelle and she has very similar marking to my girls. And just as much of a troublemaker as her cousins. And loud! My goodness, she is a squeaker. I’m besotted.

Last night, I sat down with my bullet journal to plan out my holiday break. There are 11 to-dos. 11. 🙄 It included two new habits I want to start (meditation and yoga) and the annual review compilation, clearing out email and Instapaper… nothing that can’t wait for a week. So… I scrapped it. Tossed it out. Yes, I have a few things I need to do, but I am going to wait until after the holidays. Take a few days to lounge on the couch and read. Eat some Christmas cookies. Play with the new kitten. Stow away my relentlessness.

One of the most common questions I (and every other author) gets is: how do you come up with your ideas? Because everyone has an imagination and impulses, which is the heart of story ideas, I interpret this question slightly differently. I think it is actually a genuine curiosity about how I can marshal said story into days on end spent at the laptop. Where do you come up with your ideas becomes how do you have the discipline to take a random idea and create a novel out of it? Did you see the D-word in that sentence? It’s about the discipline. Writing is discipline. Any creative endeavor is.

But… it can be taken too far. So that is one of my major goals for 2019, allowing myself to take time off, to recharge, without the crazy guilt that permeates the lives of every self-employed person — too often, if we aren’t working, we feel like we’re shirking our responsibilities. And when your office resides between your ears, it’s sometimes hard to turn it off. But I will try (see meditation and yoga, above.)

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. One of our family traditions is to burn bayberry candles in memory of those who can’t be with us, those who’ve passed. It’s clearly a pagan solstice tradition that’s been coopted into our Christmas, which I love. Lighting the candles makes me cry, but it also brings such peace and strength. I’m sending you all wishes when I light the candles this year. Wishes for your own peace, and strength. Love, and harmony. Happiness, and joy. This is a hard time of year for so many. Just know someone is thinking of you.

Now, let’s take a look at the latest links!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

Seattle high-school teacher shares ‘the wonder of books’ with students on a different kind of field trip. Such an incredible idea!

The Bigger, Badder 2019 Book Tracking Spreadsheet. This is super thorough, if you’re curious about tracking what you read.

 Watch the First Trailer for Marie Kondo’s New Netflix Show. What do you think? I can only Kondo my things so much before I push the box back into the closet…

Your 2019 Literary Adaptation Preview. So many books are being adapted for TV and film! Which are you looking forward to?

New study gives some handy tips on how to survive on Game of Thrones. Where are my dragons???

Female-Led Movies Have Outperformed Male-Led Movies for the Last Three Years. I would love to see some book stats with these parameters. There have been a LOT of hugely successful female-driven genre books this year….


What I’m Reading:

Speaking of new habits…. let’s talk about habit. I’ve now both read and listened to this beautifully compiled work of art. Twyla Tharp takes an intellectual approach to building habits, with a deep dive into the history of art and its greatest creators. I adapted her one box for each project method years ago, and still stick to it.

You must read it. Do the exercises. See what comes of your newfound enlightenment. Let your mind dance. You won’t regret it. 


That’s it for now. Eat some gingerbread men, cozy up with a blanket, some tea, and an excellent book, remember to breathe, and I’ll see you next week!

peace and hugs, and Merry Christmas!
J.T.