Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - December 9.png

Hello, friends! It’s that time again, to set aside an hour, pour a steaming mug of tea or coffee, and do some Sunday reading and contemplation. One of my goals for 2019 is to take Sundays to read the articles I’ve “clipped” during the week, pieces that look interesting but I don’t have time to read immediately. I use Instapaper, and I will be the first to admit my reading list has grown a forest of saplings in my absence. I spend a lot of my holiday time culling lists, organizing files (mental and physical) and otherwise doing year-end tidying up. My plan is always to move into 2019 with a clean slate. Instapaper is first on the list to prune back.

The December newsletter came out this week (if you didn’t see it, please check your Spam or promotions/updates tab.) In it, I do a bit of year-end contemplation, and I am always so touched by the responses I receive to these ruminantions, how readers are always willing to say hey, I got your back. It’s something so very important for our society to look at right now — finding those connections, new ways to love, new ways to communicate. This is what the season is about for me: kindness, love, charity. Stepping away from your own problems for a moment to consider the needs of someone who has less than you, who might be suffering quietly, who might be lonely. We’re all in this together. Be the light.

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


Here's what happened on the Internets this week: 

The Lady Hero’s Journey. Spit tea on my keyboard, I was giggling so hard…

Lee Child: How to write – and get revenge. Tons of great advice here. True confession: most of my career has been spent asking myself—what would Lee do? It steers me right.

A lovely list of things to make you happy. Because we all need a little extra happiness, don’t we?

Rockin’ Around the Book Tree: A Roundup of Festive Ideas for Decorating with Books. Do you decorate with books? So many cool ideas…

This Company Has 'Office Kittens' And Here's What They Do All Day. Make sure you watch the video! I think we could all stand to engage a few new furry interns, yes?

4 Steps to Starting Your Novel. Sage advice from the brilliant Signe Pike. THE LOST QUEEN is a really fabulous novel, too.

Hard Knock Life: What Are the Turtles Telling Me? “It’s just that assigning meaning to events is so satisfying. I want themes, threads, a plot that proceeds toward resolution. I want people to learn their lessons and change their ways.” Great piece from Mary Laura Philpott, who’s hitting her stride as an essayist, to all of our benefit.

20 Years of The Strand Magazine. Crime fiction's best is celebrating! The Strand has been a staple of my career for over a decade, and is always full of brilliance. I remember my debut year when a couple of Killer Year mates were named to their best of list, and we all celebrated! I was blown away to be included this year. Check this out!

Beautiful Wooden Bookshelf Inserts by Japanese Artist Monde. These are absolutely incredible!

The Competitive Book Sorters Who Spread Knowledge Around New York. How’s this for an interesting story….


And closer to home:

One of my favorite accomplishments this year — turning people who don't care for anthologies, like A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog, into lovers of A THOUSAND DOORS.

The Real Book Spy included TEAR ME APART in his Best Thrillers of 2018 list!


What I’m Reading:

A heads up – you’re going to see THE WINTERS on my Best of 2018 list soon. It is sheer and utter perfection. A modern retelling of REBECCA, with incredible writing, character development, and a modern edge. I loved it, and you will too.

Would love to see some of your 2018 favorites in the comments!!!


That’s it for now. Bring your neighbor their paper, or take in their packages if you know they won’t be home for a while (sadly, thieves abound this time of year, filching packages off front porches), buy some fresh marshmallows for a mug of hot chocolate, try smiling at someone you don’t know, and I’ll see you next week!

peace and hugs,
J.T.