It’s So Monday. Plus Shiny New News.

Happy December, my dears!

It’s hard to believe the year is quickly nearing its end. Is it any wonder that we often fill the last few weeks of each year with celebrations and time spent with people we care about? After a long year of hard work and challenging news, it’s good to reconnect and re-center.  I’m traveling this week, and so it’s still Thanksgiving back at my house. But I’ve been doing a little decorating at my parents’ home, having a wonderful time. Of course their small tree is now covered with many of the ornaments I remember from my childhood, because I’m probably the most sentimental daughter in the family and couldn’t help myself. On Saturday, I even braved Cincinnati’s busiest mall. Living in a small town, I’m not used to crowds, but I found it inspiring. No one was being impatient and there were many, many smiles, along with hundreds of excited children.



Two important books showed up in the mail this week: Louise Penny’s latest, KINGDOM OF THE BLIND, and Twyla Tharp’s THE CREATIVE HABIT. I can hardly believe that the Penny book is still in its package–but it is. This is the first time her annual book was released in November, rather than August. (Having lost her husband two years ago, it’s amazing that she’s released one at all.) I usually have a book draft to finish in the fall and so make myself wait to read Louise Penny’s book until I’m done. This year, I’m off schedule, working on a new project right now. I’m torn! Should I wait months until I complete my current project? Or should I read it right now? I’ve started the Twyla Tharp book, and it’s marvelous.

Last year at I wrote about my deep affection for audiobooks.(Audiobooks: Is Listening the Same as Reading?) When I say deep, I mean DEEP. If I’m not writing or interacting with other humans, I’ve got one in my ear. Books I listened to this past week and a bit beyond:

MASTER OF THE MOOR, Ruth Rendell –Classic Rendell, agreeably intense and quite atmospheric. Possibly the grimmest collection of characters I’ve come across.

STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN’S GRAVE, Ian Rankin– Book 18 in the Rebus series, so he’s kinder, gentler, sober(er), and more self-effacing.

SAVING GRACE, Jane Green–My first Jane Green book. Lovely, slow character revelations.

I’M THINKING OF ENDING EVERYTHING, Iain Reid–Artfully written.

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, Helen Ellis–(Essays) Died laughing, then drank sweet tea and wrote my overdue thank you notes.

Speaking of habits…

For me, 2019 is going to be all about creating habits. Goals don’t fulfill themselves magically. Habits make them happen. And in my ADHD life they make all the difference. What are the habits you have that make a big difference in your life?



THE STRANGER INSIDE is getting rave reviews! And the latest news is that–as of this week–the book trade’s must-read sheet, Publisher’s Weekly, has not only given THE STRANGER INSIDE a fabulous review, but gave it a shiny star as well!

This book is so close to my heart. I’m delighted that the word is getting out about it.

Did you know?

–You can read the first two chapters of THE STRANGER INSIDE right here on my website?

–If you pre-order, tell your friends, or even post about THE STRANGER INSIDE on your favorite social media site, you will not only have my undying gratitude, but it will get the book into more stores.

–You can check out the Publisher’s Weekly review for yourself!


Hope you all have a terrific week!

3 thoughts on “It’s So Monday. Plus Shiny New News.”

  1. You did a good job on your parents’ tree.:-)

    Hmm my habits? I have a cleaning routine. Yeah, that’s banal, but I can’t think straight if there’s clutter and dirty dishes. I say a prayer have daily affirmations which i know sounds rather New Age-y, but I gotta shush the demons from my past. And to write or edit, I turn off all notifications and go to a desk where I only do writing-related tasks. I’ll have to read Tharp’s book to see what she has to say on the subject.

    I have The Stranger Inside on my February TBR.:-) I am especially interested in reading the story from a POV character who . . . has an imperfect past.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Priscilla, I identify with the cleaning routines. If I didn’t have my 14 year Flylady habits, we might have dishes in the sink every day and no clean clothes. Sounds like you have very useful habits. Do you find it hard to not check email and messages? I am so worried if my family can’t reach me! (ego much, lol?)

      Every person has an imperfect past–some are just more imperfect than others. Thrilled you’re looking forward to the book!

  2. The Flylady rocks. My kitchen sink is shiny as I type this.:-)

    No, that’s not ego. That’s momhood. Family who are desperate will call or text me, so I can put off email for hours. My longest fanny-in-seat is 30 minutes followed by a 5 minute break (usually a coffee refill). During those 5 minutes I can check the phone, but I won’t return any texts/calls unless they are from family, a terrified neighbor saying the house is on fire, or the president.

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