Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - June 2 .png

Happy Sunday! What a lovely (short) week it’s been. With the garden fully in after Mr. Ellison’s tender ministrations over the three-day weekend, I have some beautiful flowers to look at, and the veggie patch is flourishing. We have Romas, naturally, and carrots, butter lettuce, potatoes, mint, basil, rosemary—all the staples. I’m going to put in some thyme and scallions this weekend. My Gardenia is blooming like mad, but she reminds me of a shy, southern lady—her blooms come to life and are gone the next day. No hummingbirds yet, but I learned they’re in bug-catching mode right now, so hopefully they’ll be back to drinking nectar soon. The hydrangea is starting to flower, the delphiniums are bursting at the seams. Waiting for my lavender and the butterfly bush to get going. And there are now lots of petunias, as suggested.

We have a rule. I do the flowers, Mr. E does the veggies. He has the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen. I do not. It’s crazy.

Did a lot of editing and organizing and idea-gathering this week, too. I know I’ve mentioned the Writing Excuses podcast before, but I’ll direct you to it again. I’m on season 11, with three more ahead. Like watching the Masterclass, listening to experts in their field talk about writing always shakes loose some excellent ideas, and plot thoughts. I spent Thursday organizing and listening, and it gave me a great idea for the new book that is going to be sustainable.

Good Girls Lie Galley

And some GOOD GIRLS LIE galleys came! I am beside myself excited. I know it’s seven months away, and that’s a long time to wait, but we will be doing some giveaways, and the PR machine will gear up in the fall.

I have to laugh, though, looking at this picture. The galley sits atop my notebook for the next book. My work is a metaphorical literary garden, without a doubt. Some parts are perennial—the process, the notebooks, the stages of writing. Some are annual—the unboxing of books, the sudden rush of emotion seeing last year’s garden bloom out so vigorously. And with any garden, once it’s finished blooming, you turn the soil and lay the groundwork for next year. That’s exactly what I’m doing right now, enjoying the blooms, getting ready to prepare the soil so it can lie fallow and grow something new.

Oh, the knee surgery is scheduled for later this week, so if I’m a little less responsive than usual, it’s because I’m tucked up in bed, drooling. I will be back on my feet quickly, the doctor assures me. I am holding him to it.

So with that, let’s check out the links!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Looking for a good book? Here are 8. (So cool to see our A Word on Words episode with author Delia Owens included in this lineup from PBS Newshour’s Arts Beat, Canvas, especially to point people to such an incredible book!)

50 of the Best Books to Read This Summer. I don’t know about you, but I will never be able to read all the books I want to. And here are some more great ones. Time to fill up your TBR! 

Cat furniture dragon franchise, anyone? Cat Owner Makes A Cardboard Iron Throne For Her Maine Coon Cat, And The Lord Of The House Loves It. OK, this is too fun. I love the creative spirit, and would love to see this commercialized.

Mary Laura Philpott Answers Bustle’s New Feature "Ask An Author": I'm About To Get My Degree From Grad School — Now What? Lots of super advice here.

The All-Star Closer Who Is Trying to Save Bookstores. I am a Dodgers fan by marriage, so it’s always hard for me to root elsewhere, but Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle has gained a fan for life.

NPR's Summer Movie Guide: 27 Films Coming Soon To Theaters. Rocket Man, Late Night, and Dark Phoenix are all on my list. What’s on yours?

Are There Any Subjects Too Dark For Crime Fiction? 6 Crime Authors Debate the Possibilities & Limits of Noir...And Also Dinosaurs. This was one of the most fun interviews I've ever done. Hannah Mary McKinnon brought us together and set us free. You can imagine the thread that was happening as we were answering the questions and talking to each other. It was an absolute delight and I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

Get an In-Depth Look at a Barnes & Noble Concept Store. Have you visited one yet? I like this set up, and the refocus on books.

5 Ways to Improve Your Focus and Productivity with Exercise. “You’re probably aware of the physical benefits of working out. Whether it’s lower cholesterol, increased longevity, or just fitting better in your clothes, exercise is great for all of it. The mental benefits, however, are often overlooked. These can translate into a huge edge at work.”

For those of you who enjoyed THE LAST SECOND, here’s a fun little article that popped up Friday on the Navy’s secret alien documentary. For reals.


What I’m Reading:

OUT EAST by John Glynn

The divine Mary Laura Philpott recommended OUT EAST in her sweet tiny newsletter, and I jumped on it immediately because A - MLP knows whence she speaks when it comes to book recommendations, B - I'm trying to read more non-fiction, and C - Montauk. I've always been obsessed with the northeastern beach scene, being a Florida beach girl myself. I went in expecting a light read about the Hamptons and WHOA. John Glynn's style is amazingly evocative. This is a wonderful coming-of-age memoir, beautiful, lovely, heartbreaking, and inspiring. I gobbled it up in two days. While John's day job is editing for Graydon House, I really hope he writes a lot more, he's a true talent. What are you reading?


That’s all for now. Cut some flowers for your counter, put out a bowl of water for the unseen neighborhood beasties (it’s getting HOT out there), invest in some lightweight running shoes to motivate you to get out and walk, and I’ll see you next week!

peace and hugs,
J.T.