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Some weeks, I can spot a trend in my Slow Sunday Jam articles. I can look at a grouping of the best things I read during a particular week, and I can say, “Ah, yes, we’re really talking about _______!” If it were a library, all the items could go on the same shelf. They’d be in the same drawer of the card catalog.

This is not one of those weeks.

I have been scattered, working on Christmas preparation, cleaning, writing, reading, gift-making. And my brain has likewise been scattered, jumping from thing to thing, unable to maintain focus. Therefore, this week’s Slow Sunday Jam jumps around as well. Welcome to the inside of my brain. Enjoy.

Slow Sunday Jam

  • A friend and I were talking about the pressure to tailor our art to what the industry seems to want. There’s a temptation for writers to say, “Ah, yes, vampire novels are hot right now” or “I”m going to do ____ for a year, and blog about it, and that blog will become a book because lightning has to strike twice, right?” But the truth is:  industry doesn’t happen on its own. Industry is formed by individuals doing something cool that they were passionate about. It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true. So after that discussion, I happened on this post about Jane Austen’s refusal to sell-out and write what someone wanted her to write (something that would have been very counter to her true passions and interests) – (thanks, to Nicole of Eat This Poem, for sharing that article).
  • In 1985, the year I was born, the word “gobsmacked” came into the world (according to the Oxford English Dictionary). Gobsmacked makes me happy; I think it’s a wonderful word that very much sounds like the emotion it conveys. Want to know what word emerged during your birth year? Find out here. 
  • All the book guides, right? So many of them! But somehow, I can’t get enough, and I am still working my way through this lovely bookish gift guide from the fun folks at Book Riot.
  • Have you ever wondered how we came to keep cats in our homes? Sometimes, when Otis insists on sleeping directly on my legs and therefore makes it difficult for me to turn over or get comfortable, I shake my fist at the heavens and say, “What fate brought this infuriating feline to me?!?!” (Not really, but close.) Well, new archaeological research from China shows that agriculture seems to have kicked off the relationship between cats and humans, paving the way for domestication of cats and really, ultimately, leading to the sheer volume of Instagrammed kitty photos we have today. It all started with millet grain, mice, and kitties on the hunt. And that’s how Otis came to interrupt my sleep.

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