Category Archives: JT Ellison

Sunday Smatterings

By J.T. Ellison

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.


Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.23.17

By J.T. Ellison

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!

Vulputate Commodo Ligula
Elit Condimentum
Aenean eu leo Quam
Cursus Amet
Pellentesque Risus Ridiculus
Etiam Ultricies
Vulputate Commodo Ligula
Elit Condimentum

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Via: JT Ellison


5 Things I'm Into This Month (June 2017)

By J.T. Ellison

Running with Mic

Wireless Headphones

I have always preferred wired headphones because of the sound quality. I have an over-eat set of Bose for airplanes, and a noise-cancelling pair of Beats for the gym. But the technology has improved so much that I decided to give the some inexpensive wireless ones a try.

After a few fails, I settled on these from SoundPEATS. They are comfortable, the sound is good, the battery life is okay, and it frees me up to wander my house without the phone when I’m cleaning or folding. Win, win.

Deli Tray

Deli Trays

I have so much on my plate that food prep is the last thing on my priority list. Enter: the deli party tray. Fruit, cheese, meats, precut and ready to eat. I grab a bowl, dump in what I want, and voilà, lunch is served. 30 seconds from fridge to plate is my kind of set up.

Eileen Fisher Sport Platform Sandal

Eileen Fisher Women’s Sport Platform Sandal

Like my ongoing search for the perfect bag, I am constantly looking for the perfect summer shoe to wear with dresses and pants. I have very sensitive feet with high arches, so heels have to be really, really comfortable (i.e.: Dansko clog-style sandals, which are clunky) and flats must have some sort of support. Tieks just haven’t been the answer for me. I wear a lot of Toms, but they are sometimes too casual for business casual.

Enter Eileen Fisher. My last royalty check, I splurged majorly and got myself a pair of these.

They are possibly the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. The neutral color, the suede, the funky sole — all serve to be a great, stylish, fun summer conference shoe. I plan to be in these beauties at ALA!

Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene

My guru suggested Adriene as a stop gap between our session and she is simply wonderful. Yoga for everyone, she is fun, irreverent, with just the right amount of spiritual. No hard sell, heck, she’s free on YouTube and her website. I’ve now become a member so I can have access through the app, and I love it.

Photo Credit: Huntingdon Spa

Photo Credit:
Huntingdon Spa

Lash Tinting

I’m a blonde, and that means I have the ubiquitous problem of most blondes — our lashes disappear. I have plenty of them, you just can’t see them without mascara. I have friends who do extensions, but I’m so sensitive to chemicals I’m sure I’ll be allergic to the glue. The solution? Tinting.

I just did this for the first time this week, and I can’t tell you how cool it is to be able to skip mascara for day-to-day! FACE Nashville has a specialist, Kara, and it is quick, inexpensive, and worth every dime.

Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.20.17

By J.T. Ellison

Not a bad day. 400 words of fiction, 500 words of non-fiction, decisions made on a couple of soon-to-be-in-your-hands projects, and, because of your fabulous response, Amy and I decided that yes, we shall shut down the world for the two weeks between July 1-16. I think we both need some time to regroup, reset, and Lord knows that girl deserves a vacation. I’ll be doing mine writing style — which means I’ll be shutting off socials, email, and Internet and really going to town writing.

I am so excited! A writing vacation! In the middle of the summer!

I am simply going to write as much as I can on the novel in a 14 day period, and see what happens. I don’t think I’m even going to set goals. I mean, I have my daily word count goals that must be met, but I’m not going to say — I’ll write X number of words, or X number of pages. I will simply write. No appointments. No blogging. No socials. Just deep work on the novel.

It’s going to take some prep beforehand, but I have to say, I am SO EXCITED!!!

The remodel is going well, too. The visions are starting to come together. Can’t wait to share some pics — they’ll be done Friday on stage 1!

Hope your day was great!

Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.19.17

By J.T. Ellison

You know it’s been a long day when you sit down after a reheated pizza dinner and look at property to buy in other countries.

Though I am half Italian, I have an ongoing love affair with Scotland. It’s in my blood too — I’m a Wallace on my mom’s side, and my husband is a highlander — Clan McBean. My friend Brandee likes to feed my addiction, and is a terrible influence, regularly sending me stunning island and cottage real estate listings. I lost a good hour tonight running numbers on a property on the Isle of Skye (a favorite Scotch, Talisker, is made just down the road — talk about heaven!)

I am feeling a strange desire to run away from home for a while. There’s so much going on that I can’t give anything my proper attention. The Kerr is going on vacation for a couple of weeks at the end of the month, and I might just take a small internet sabbatical at the same time myself. Would you forgive me if I disappeared for two weeks?

It might save me a LOT of money — two weeks of sabbatical versus a downpayment on a small Scottish village….

The last pass of LIE TO ME is finished and into production. I won’t see it again until it’s between the covers. I might have vapors, but it’s done.

Hope your day was lovely — sweet dreams!

Via: JT Ellison


Sunday Smatterings

By J.T. Ellison

Hi, chickens, welcome to Sunday. Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy, and my friends who are dads, and you, too! If you didn’t know, Father’s Day originated as a day of remembrance for fathers who were gone. I’m so thankful I have mine to celebrate with.

What a week it has been, a hard one, a sobering one. The attack in Washington, intensive work, and a bevy of life’s little things that need my attention have drained me physically and emotionally. Time and again, I have gone back to the words of my friend, Rev. Katie Ladd, who shared how to begin to cope with tragedy and grief, and how we work for a better world after. Her words are still bringing me comfort and love in this hard week. I hope you find some light in them, too.

Here are a few other things that happened on the Internets this week:

BookExpo: Females as Strong as Hell Edition. Thank you, BookRiot, for rounding up the books with strong heroines we need to look for soon. We need more badass heroines, in fiction and real life.

2017 Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year: Nashville Public Library, TN. From sports to books to libraries, Nashville rules. Yay, NPL!

James Michener’s Nomadic Pursuit of Depth. Author of DEEP WORK (one of my favorite books ), Cal Newport, profiles the author’s great lengths to pursue his art. “If you want to produce big things, you need to be willing to go big with your work habits.” So true.

How Deep Work Can Change Your Life Forever: 3 Strategies to Overcome the Distractions. Speaking of Deep Work, productivity and publishing guru Michael Hyatt is a fan of Cal Newport, too. This is why.

Pain, satin and paper towels: What it takes for ballerinas to dance on their toes. It is amazing to see the lengths people will go, the sacrifices they will make, in pursuit of their art. Ballerinas sacrifice so much. Talk about true grit.

7 Books to Devour on a Plane. A fabulous reading list for your summer travel.

And closer to home:

Review: Lie to Me. I’ve seen reviews of LIE TO ME begin to trickle in, and I’m so pleased to find readers are enjoying it! I particularly enjoyed this review from Stacy Camp. Thank you, Stacy! (PS click here to read the first three chapters of LIE TO ME!)

That’s it from me, y’all. I hope you have a great week, drink plenty of water, pick some flowers for your Dad or a friend, and we’ll talk again soon.


Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.15.17

By J.T. Ellison

I have a friend who signs off his emails “As you were, busy but happy…”

I love that, because that’s pretty much my life, busy but happy.

Though the busy overwhelmed today.

My page proofs are in for LIE TO ME, so it’s all stop on the new book to get them into shape. I missed most of the day working on them, though, because I had a luncheon commitment, at which I was the emcee. (I was a nervous wreck but managed to get through without either falling down or fainting, or even putting my foot too far down my throat. We call this a success.)

The air conditioning went out upstairs, and we’ve so far entertained two repairmen in two days. And the renovations chug along… the new bathroom floor is in and it’s divine, we have a new mantel, and I have SHELVES in my master bathroom — OMG, y’all, my linen closet is literally 10 inches deep and is out in the hall, so a place to have towels in my bathroom is mega-exciting! Plus, a new rug sample arrived — so far, the minions have given it the cold shoulder, though I think that’s just because of the scent, and not the look or feel. I hope.

Plus, two other smaller projects in the works needed attention, and… and… and…

I did stop and take a few nice, deep breaths this afternoon. I’ll do some yoga later on tonight, to ease myself out of the day, and all will be well in the world.

So a short one from me today as I work on my juggling skills! Hope you had a good day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Sweet dreams!

Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.14.17

By J.T. Ellison

Another rough day. Another terror attack. In our backyards, this time. Or at least, my old backyard. Maybe that’s why it hit me so hard.

I was feeling (understandably) bleak this morning. Though I stayed away from most of social media, I did post about the shooting early on FB, and a pastor friend of mine, Rev. Katie Ladd, with whom I went to college (yes, we’ve been friends a very long time) commented back. In turn, I asked her for spiritual guidance, which she graciously gave. I asked if I could share it because it is so beautiful, and gave me a more than a small measure of peace. I hope it helps you this evening, too.

Sometimes feeling bleak, as difficult as it is, is the only thing to do in the face of overwhelming sorrow and heartbrokenness. The spiritual challenge is not to linger there too long. Mourn today – for those wounded, for those compelled to see violence as an answer for anything, for our country, for the already hard hearted and hateful sentiments springing up online. Mourn. Our country needs to pause and mourn for so much.

Here’s the spiritually challenging part. And (or “then” – it’s up to each of us is we can do this at the same time as mourning or if we need to wait) reach deep inside and reach out to community that serves as a reminder of the goodness in life. There is also that at work in our lives and in our world. I mean, look at us. We haven’t seen each other in a long time. Our politics are pretty different. I still love you and value our connection. I give thanks to God for you. Love and community can exist in this world – in the midst of difference and distance, in the midst of mourning and brokenness, in the midst of it all.

And then work. Work for a better world.

The best resistance to the powers of violence, death, and despair is laughter. Evil is prepared to fight righteousness. It has no idea what to do with joy. So laugh along the way.

You already know all of this. I hope these little reminders don’t come across as trite. Mostly I want to say that I understand why you would feel bleak. It is normal. And I care.

“Evil is prepared to fight righteousness. It has no idea what to do with joy.”

These are words to live by.

Sweet dreams.

Via: JT Ellison


Daily Tao ☯ 6.13.17

By J.T. Ellison

I got upset with Facebook this morning for the ridiculous way they “serve” me to the people who have liked and follow my official J.T. Ellison page. I don’t normally pop off but it’s been really bad this past week, literally a fraction of people being served the posts, so I complained—and more than quadrupled the past few post’s engagement.

It made me wonder… yes, Facebook wants me to advertise, but on a more personal level, I see this happen elsewhere. I post something happy and inspirational, and get a lovely, but intimate response. I lose my temper or bitch about something, and it’s like opening the floodgates.

Are we all so dissatisfied with our worlds right now? Or is it something else entirely—people are so ready to comfort, to jump in and say hey, you’re going to be okay, it’s all good?

I prefer the latter, and it certainly feels that way to me.

I loved that the majority of the comments today were “I see you.” In a fast-paced world with a ton of distractions, it was very cool to not only have people comment, but to use that particular phraseology.

Sometimes, it does feel like we aren’t seen. We’re talked to, we’re preached to, we’re forgotten. To be seen, to really be top of mind to a virtual friend—it takes effort, on both sides.

I see you. I see all the comment, the likes, the messages. I am glad to hear you see me, too.

Fun writing day today — great progress on THE BLOOD CABAL, the outline is officially submitted and the story is working well—and edits on a new short story I will have in your hands pretty soon! (How’s that for a tease???)

Sweet, non-grumpy dreams!

Via: JT Ellison


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