Sunday Smatterings

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Happy last day of Mabon Sunday, friends. 

It is a Sunday of mixed emotions for me. As some of you already know, we had to make a decision about my knee, which isn’t healing properly. Whether a screw up in surgery or a too-aggressive physical therapy or me simply not respecting my limitations (Ha! When do I ever do that?) it seems the meniscus is retorn, and it needs to be repaired again, properly this time. Surgery is again on my radar, scheduled for Thursday. 

I admit to a few moments of extreme and mixed emotion at this news. Obviously, I’m not looking forward to the pain. To starting all over, as if the past three months didn’t happen, to be back on crutches going into a huge fall of events and work. I’ve already cancelled my out of town commitments and will be cutting back dramatically on everything local, too. I’m not going to make the mistake of pushing too hard again. 

I refused to stop my life this summer just because I was having issues with walking. But now I’m going to nest, and heal properly. I have a book due, I have oodles of reading material, I have lots of shows to binge. I’m going to turn inward, set boundaries for myself that truly limit me. I might get a little stir crazy, but it has to happen.

So in better news, I had a brilliant time this week with the divine Lisa Unger. I’ve been a fan for years, her thrillers are just about perfect—deep, dark, menacing, character-driven, and intellectual—my favorite aspects in literature. It is truly a gift to have so many incredible authors to call friend., probably the most rewarding aspect of this career. And when you find the ones you can open yourself up to, it’s even more special. Lisa did the show and we did an in-conversation at Parnassus (if you missed it, there are signed copies waiting...) We toured the town a bit, had some delightful meals, and in general caused trouble whilst delving into the meaning of life. It was a blast. 

On the Homefront, we’ve been doing some lovely autumn Mabon decluttering. It’s felt so great getting everything organized (using The Home Edit as a guide). With all the corners cleaned, boxes broken down and taken to recycling, unused shampoos and toiletries packed for the shelter, the creative energy is swirling, and that has made for a great writing week. My creative energy is very much tied to my environment. When everything is clean and tidy, I work so much better.

We might have an abbreviated Smats next week, depending on how much energy I have over the weekend, or I might resurrect some writing advice. We shall see.

And oh yeah, this happened… 😜

NO ONE KNOWS came out in mass market paperback! Go grab a copy—it has the original ending, and this packaging is gorgeous.

With the same page-turning suspense as The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison’s No One Knows is a “riveting…skillfully plotted” (Publishers Weekly) thriller that questions if the narrator’s husband really has returned from the dead—or if she’s merely losing her mind.

Aubrey Hamilton has been mourning her missing husband for five years, despite being the prime suspect in his murder. When he is officially declared dead, there are still more questions than answers: Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered, or did he run away? And is the new, mysterious man in Aubrey’s life as familiar as he appears, or have years of loneliness and confusion finally driven her mad?

No One Knows is an evocative mystery that explores the complex darkness within all of us, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins.

Now, without further ado… let’s take a look at the links.

The Latest On The Internet:

Baking Shows Are Secretly Reality TV for Frustrated Writers. "Writing, like baking, is beholden to the vicissitudes of everyday life." It’s a creation thing, isn’t it? Create a story with words, create a cake with flour and sugar — how different is it, really?

I Spent the Night at a Library in Wales, and You Can Too. I want to go… I visited Wales as a teenager and it was one of the most fun places I have ever been.

Most Haunted Places in North America. Who's up for a road trip? These are seriously spooky spots.

Rachel Cusk Said She Was Done With Autobiography. These Essays Suggest Otherwise. “The ego, of course, does not die so easily, nor is it possible for modern writers to avoid speaking and writing about their private lives.” Read that quote again. I am so interested in this phenomenon, this moment in the artistic wheel where our egos drive us to the socials, and we interact directly with the readers. It’s a necessity. Isn’t it? Or is it?????

Spooooooky: 25 of the Best YA Ghost Books. ‘Tis the season! What’s your favorite on this list?

How Beatrix Potter Pioneered the Art of Merchandising. Such an interesting history.

Books are Heavy. "If a weighted blanket is supposed to help you sleep and provide comfort, then a similar case can be made for the weight of a paper volume on your lap. Even a slim book can still pack an emotional wallop." #Truth.

A Midcentury Modern homeless shelter rises in an abandoned Hollywood library. A repurposed library is still a safe place for those who need it. And that’s the best news.

The Wine of the Week at The Wine Vixen starts with a duel—also, going forward, I’ll probably be posting far more on the Wine Vixen Instagram rather than the blog. Part of the fall self-care ritual is backing away from commitments that take too much time away from my writing.

What I’m Reading:


I wanted to wait to read this book until I was in Scotland proper, since it takes place at a renovated smart home in the Highlands. I started reading on the plane over, and by the time I reached the Highlands myself a few days later... I was so damn freaked out I had to put it down and read nonfiction for the remainder of my stay. This is a stellar book, hand's down my favorite of her yet. Moody, atmospheric, and chilling, it's a tour de force from Ware, who has become one of my all-time favorites. What are you reading?

That’s it from me. Clean out a drawer, a closet, a cabinet, put up some fall decorations, send me some good healing energy, and I’ll see you next week.

peace and hugs,

PS: I heard you about the comments. We have a new system in place and you should be able to comment without problem once again. Thanks for letting me know there was an issue!