Daily Tao ☯ 6.28.17

After the writer’s death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.
— Day One Inspirations


Interesting creative day today. Reworked a scene that’s been bothering me in the manuscript, then dealt with a lingering annoyance. I’ve had a To Do on my Wunderlist for a few months called “Create a mental inventory.” I don’t know why lunch today became the moment to tackle this, but tackle it I did. You see, I’ve been offloading ideas as they happen into my Day One journal, but I’d neglected to mark any of them in a specific (read searchable) way. Well, now they are. Thirteen solid, doable, interesting story ideas, all coded and tagged so I can pull them up at a moment’s notice. And offloaded, and backed up, and printed out.

Maybe it was the malware attack that launched yesterday, maybe it was some weird premonition that my computer might freak out, but I knew I needed to do this immediately. I feel much, much better now. (Hello, OCD.)

I used to write these ideas down in a notebook, but with the advent of Day One, which syncs across all my devices, being able to access this anywhere is too cool, and so it became my go to for story creation. 

I blog in it, too. I actually have entries dating back to 2004. You know what that first post is? My first major rejection, by a leading NY editor, on the book that 12 years later was published as FIELD OF GRAVES. (Awww… admittedly, poor kid J.T. was pretty well crushed that day.) 

It’s kind of nice to be able to look back and see this, and know that things were soon to change. It took another year, but things did pick up. And here we are now, a career underway, more ideas than I have time to write. Pretty cool.

I have to admit, though, when I opened Day One to do today’s blog, I was a bit shocked to see the weird quote at the beginning of the blog. It’s true, absolutely. These daily entires,my daily devotions, whether I share them online or keep them private, really are a love letter, left behind. 

On that note, sweet dreams — and be sure to come by the blog tomorrow for some fun news!

 

 

 

 

Daily Tao ☯ 6.27.17

We have such a huge surprise for you later this week I can hardly stand it. But stand it I shall, because time is fleet and in just a couple of days I’ll be sharing some very fun news. 

First day home was a good one. Dentist this morning, so I’m all bright and shiny, but the gas always makes me sort of dopey for the rest of the day, so I’ve been handling business stuff and emptying email and prepping for the big Internet vacation that starts Saturday AM.

In wonderful news, my BFF is coming to stay this weekend, and my tiny little writing group will be joining us at the house for a retreat this weekend. I expect tons of words, a few great movies, some scotch and champagne, boatloads of salami and cheese and fruit, and bonding time that is long overdue. 

Writer bonding is very important. This group in particular is very small and very intimate, and we keep each other on track to meet our deadlines and push ourselves to new heights. I’m so incredibly blessed to have these women in my life. They are the place I go to celebrate, to cry, to gnash my teeth. We are separated so much of the time––physically, by our genres, by our familial obligations––that having almost everyone together in person will be amazing. (One of our brethren can’t make it. We are crushed and will miss her dreadfully. ☹️)

So no new fiction words, though I did do some editing, and thinking, and bullet journaling, and transcribing of notes for the scenes to come tomorrow. I feel big word counts ahead…

Sweet dreams! 

Daily Tao ☯ 6.26.17

Evening, folks! How's tricks? 

My weekend at ALA was wonderful. I met a ton of awesome librarians, signed a wad of books, had another (!) gorgeous banner on display. I also had a chance to hang with a bunch of Team JT folks and bond with two fabulous authors: AF Brady (THE BLIND) and Kaira Rouda (BEST DAY EVER). Our panel was a blast, and the three of us became tight friends very quickly. There’s really nothing better than finding super smart, super funny women writers to play with. Especially when there is champagne and ice cream bars involved. 

But I am so happy to be home. And I don’t have to go anywhere until the RITA Awards at the end of the month. Which means I have four weeks of WRITING ahead of me, and nothing else. I can’t wait.

It’s been a glorious afternoon on the porch. Amy and I had our weekly staff meeting, the kitties are napping in the sun, hummingbirds are zooming about, and I just saw a pair of gold finches who I think might be taking up residence in the “SEE ROCK CITY” birdhouse. It’s rather idyllic here today. 

Hope your day was lovely, too.

4 Comments

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.

Sunday Smatterings

Hello, chickens, Happy Sunday. How are you doing? I write to you from ALA, the conference for America's literary superheroes: librarians! I haven't been to this conference before, and I'm delighted to be here. Librarians are my people, and between panels and cocktails and talking about our favorite books, I can tell we're going to have a lot of fun together before the weekend is over.

Last week, Team JT put the final touches on LIE TO ME, and it's safely off to the printer. The next time I see those words, I'll be able to slide my fingers across them as they sit on printed pages. I can't tell you how much lighter I feel with this book officially out of my hands. The story is no longer mine—now it belongs to you, dear reader. I do hope you enjoy it.

Yesterday we shot the first episode of A WORD ON WORDS Season 3. I can't tell you who the guest was, but suffice it to say I was beyond thrilled to interview this giant in the publishing sphere. I can't wait to share this one with you later this summer!

Without further ado, here are the links you came for:


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

The Washington Post: kitten nursery saves tiny lives in a city aiming to become ‘no kill’. Talk about bringing a kitty mama to tears. Adopt, adopt, adopt.
 

The Kill Zone Blog: Empowering History? I always fall on the side of the empowered female heroine. Just sayin'.
 

Travel + Leisure: This Is the Ultimate Nanny Job Abroad — If You're Not Afraid of Ghosts. Let's  look at the trade-offs here: beautiful Scottish wilderness. Haunted house. I think I know what I'd choose...
 

theSkimm. If you don't read theSkimm, I highly suggest you begin to. Smart, to-the-point news that keeps you informed on the important things, and stuff on the lighter side, too.
 

The Guardian: Buying houses in cash and selling millions: meet self-publishing's 'hidden' authors. Because there's room for everyone at the table—even if you fashion the chair yourself.
 

Bustle: 14 Careers For Readers, Because It Is Possible to Make a Living Off Your Love of Books. Chin up, English majors. There are many opportunities to use your degree that don't end with "do you need room for cream?"
 

New York Public Library: Pencils At Dawn! 6 Writers and the Duels They Fought In. I really enjoy the New York Public Library's Twitter feed (follow them here, if you don't already). I'm always learning new, fascinating tidbits from them. This article was no exception.
 

YouTube: Game of Thrones Red Keep in Lego. Perfect for nerds of today and yesteryear (less than a month until Season 7, folks!!! Have you seen the new trailer? #WinterIsHere).


And closer to home:

5 Things I'm Into This Month (June 2017). From my zero-prep lunch to fashionable and comfy sandals, these five things are making me breathe easier.
 

Click here to read the first three chapters of LIE TO ME. Mwahahahaha. 😈


That's it from me, darlings. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, stay in the shade, put on plenty of sunscreen, and we'll talk again soon.

xo,
J.T.

Daily Tao ☯ 6.23.17

First day in a long time I’ve had to myself. No appointments, no shows to tape, no editorial fires to extinguish. Peace and quiet and words — it really doesn’t get much better than that.

Phase 1 of the remodel is wrapping today. The main guest bath is complete, and gorgeous. Master bed and bath, living room, and kitchen are repainted. We almost have everything in place (living room rug and a side table to come for living room—and OMG, this rug! It’s hide, it’s ombré, and it’s stunning!) and a trunk needs to be repaired and painted in the master. And of course, the curtains rehung, the paintings put back up. The touches, the finishes. I’m ready for it to be done. I do have to empty the bookshelves and put them back together by color. That’s going to be a fun project!

Phase 2 is ripping out the tile in our master bath and putting down fresh. It’s ten times the job the rest of this was — removing old tile is not for the faint of heart — and won’t start for a couple of weeks.

So when the painters leave and the run-through is done, we can start putting this house back together again. The kitties will be most pleased by this—their brush and some favorite toys are under plastic, soon to be unearthed; the couch has been out of commission for several days; their beds and trees have been moved around. They’re more displaced than us, I think. 

Once I can find the floor, it’s packing time again. I’m off to Chicago tomorrow for ALA — the American Library Association annual meeting —to talk about LIE TO ME. It’s my first time and I’m very excited — but I did decide to do a very business casual look this weekend. Jeans, blazer, boots. My new uniform! Part of that is comfort, the other — I can’t get to most of my clothes! Lord knows I’m not folding my unmentionables in front of the contractors…

All that said, I’ve managed to accomplish more today that most of the week combined. Lots of words. I wrote most of the day on the porch, in the rain, as TD Cindy came through. Breeze, humid, rainy—it was almost like writing at the beach. Almost. 

Have a lovely weekend!

2 Comments

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.