12.31.13

My last journal entry of 2013. I can't believe how quickly this year has gone. But I greet 2014 with joy in my heart, and fingers flexed for a whole new year of creativity.

Spent the day finalizing my year-end goals and writing counts. That blog will go up first thing Friday morning. I do love the retrospective, looking at what went right, what went wrong, and how to fix things to work better in the future.

We're clearing the ashes out of the fireplace, doing our last minute charitable contributions, cleaning out the closets. A little Hogmanay action to appease our Scottish roots. Tonight we have a dinner reservation at a fancy downtown restaurant, and will drop in to a friend's New Year's Eve party. And then we will come home, light a new fire, have a sip or two of champagne (there's a bottle of Veuve Cliquot chilling as we speak) and meet the new year head on, counting our blessings as we go.

From our hearth to yours - slàinte!

 

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give me a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

 

J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

12.27.13

Golf this morning - and I have to say, I am quite proud of my performance. I haven't played since August - I'm having some shoulder trouble - and I birdied the first hole, had a couple of pars, won 2 skins, and we ended up in positive point territory, though we lost the day's game. Yes, I gamble on the course. It's just a dollar here and there, but it makes it more interesting. When I was a competitive golfer, the edge I got from needing to win was all the impetus I needed. Now, much older and humbler, I play for skins, and love it.

Playing down here with my dad and his friends is always fun, too. We had a good time, and if it doesn't rain, we'll be back at it tomorrow morning. 

Spent a couple of hours working on my year-end wrap up, setting up my new day runner, then we went to see THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. Fabulous, vulgar, funny, sobering movie.

It strikes me there is a certain expansiveness in the movies I've been seeing this week. Between WOLF and AMERICAN HUSTLE, the performances were absolutely stunning - actors unleashed, allowed to mine their parts and work with such freedom, completely unrestrained. We need to praise the screenwriters for this as well, for creating characters that force actors to take chances. It's very inspiring to me. I feel a few chance-taking short stories coming on...

Sweet dreams!

J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

12.26.13

Back to work today, part time, at least. 624 words, plus a walk on the beach in a gale and a run out to see American Hustle, which I thought was excellent. A lot of really different performances from some fabulous actors. I predict several Oscar noms for this one.

Knocked a few things off the to do list, and packaged up Christmas to ship home. Tomorrow we are supposed to golf, but it's looking like it might rain, so if it does, I'll snatch that time to work some more. Sucks having to work over the holiday, but I know I'm not the only one, and I'm finding time to visit with the family, and eat, and eat, and eat. The kittens have acquitted themselves so well. They are going to be bored when we go home.

It was a fitness Christmas. New sneakers, running tights, yoga stuff, an Aria Fitbit scale, and the pinnacle, a recumbent bike. I am creating a yoga studio in my spare bedroom, and I can't wait to set up the bike and read while I pedal. 2014 is the year I get back into good shape. I lost ten pounds this year, but I want to lose more. So happy my whole family came together on this for me. I feel like everyone wants to see me meet these goals, which is half the battle. I also got a compound bow - I plan to play Katniss in the backyard! Totally stoked about my fun, healthy holiday.

Off to read. Sweet dreams! 

Comment

J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

12.24.13

Nothing says Christmas Eve quite like watching Anchorman with your parents.

Our Christmas Eves change from year to year. Most years, I go to church, and come home to light the bayberry candles. It's a tradition in our family, one that is sacred. The flame helps us remember those who can't be with us, in person, or in spirit. Then I like to watch It's a Wonderful Life whilst wrapping stocking stuffers. 

That's the perfect evening. But as so often happens, plans go awry. Hence - Anchorman.

All that really matters to me is being able to hang with my family. One of my brothers is here, and Randy, and the kittens, who insist of being the alphas of the house, and keep parading into my parents' room to torture their cat. We lit the candles, and I had that moment of peace I have every year, a blessed moment of unity and thankfulness.

But the rest of the day was nutso. I put nearly 4 miles on my FitBit running last minute errands, and rushing up and down the stairs, moving presents from place to place. I'm stuffed full of chocolates, I dropped my phone in my perfect pumpkin pie, and I'm still hurting from the man at the Publix this afternoon who needed money and offered to do yard work for it - God, we are so blessed. I hope he has someone tonight who is thinking of him, and a warm place to sleep. At least I know he has a few extra bucks in his pocket because of our meeting.

Like I said, a strange day. And I somehow managed to get 1000 words down, and did 1700 yesterday. Writing in the middle of Christmas prep is the very definition of insanity. 

So the day winds to a close. The house has grown silent around me. I can hear the waves breaking in the distance, and the candles' flame grows low. Christmas is nearly upon us.

Whether it's finding out about angels getting their wings, or watching Ron Burgundy french kiss Baxter; watching football or kneeling in church, getting goosebumps and tears from hearing all the wavering voices sing Silent Night; walking on the beach and writing; realizing one stocking stuffer is missing in action and there's probably a hundred things I've forgotten - it's all Christmas to me.

On this slightly non-traditional Christmas Eve, I leave you with one of the completely irreverent songs from my childhood, one I've been singing all day. I can't seem to escape it; perhaps by writing it down, it will leave me alone. 

Jingle Bells,
Batman Smells,
Robin laid an egg.
Batmobile, 
Lost a wheel,

And the joker got away - hey!

Merry Christmas, everyone, and sweet dreams!

1 Comment

J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

12.21.13

And so it is Christmas... and it is finally done! Randy is on the way to the post office to mail our family cards, the presents have been wrapped and shipped. Now I have to set the house to rights, and prepare the girls for their trip - over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go.

But there is news. We have a new title for the second Brit in the FBI novel - drumroll please......

THE LOST KEY

You have no idea how perfect this title is - I don't often do literal titles, but this series really lends itself. And that's all the hint you're going to get out of me. 

I've only gotten about 1000 words down in the past two days, and I promised myself I wouldn't freak out about it. There's a lot of holiday merry making that needs to happen over the next few days, and while I'll have some quiet time to work, enforced by locked doors and such, I am also going to enjoy being with my family.

Plus I need to do my year end wrap up, and set up my new planner for 2014 -- I am digital all the way, but I still use a paper planner for weekly to dos and mapping out travel and conferences. And there's the class I'm teaching that news to be addressed - I have a loose plan, but it needs some polishing. And I have so much to read, I'm suffocating under it. Lots to do over the holiday. 

I'm looking forward to the year in review - setting my goals and such. Which reminds me I need to pack that notebook...

Sweet dreams!

 

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J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.