Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?

Sharing this post because of its general applications and importance in the cyber world and in the real trenches of life. And because I want to support a friend. Be well, write well. jh

Tuesday Tickle: Summer Health and Safety Tips for Writers

Summer creates a host of diversions and dangers to writers. To prepare you to guard against the pitfalls, I’ve designed some summer health and safety tips for writers. Just because we are a solitary group (do oxymorons distract you like they do me?) nonetheless we have to be careful in the summer just like anyone else.

 

 

Sunburn

While it’s okay to get some vitamin D rays from the extra potent sun, don’t overdo it. Go ahead and take the lap top or the notepad and pen outside, but stay out of the sun. Writers in the zone always lose track of time and trying to keep on a deadline while your burned skin is flaking away painfully is not my idea of summer fun. Research sun screens (look at the Blue Lizard line of products) and enjoy the healthful benefits of the sun but don’t stay out too long.

Caffeine Overdose

While coffee is the writer’s drink of choice, the caffeine is extra problematic in the warm months. It acts as a diuretic, that is, it increases the body’s inclination to release fluids. In the summer this can inadvertently contribute to dehydration. Drink more alternative fluids in the summer such as those that replace electrolytes (think: what do they dump on the winning coach at football games?) Try iced coffee for the caffeine buzz but double up on the good, pure water for every glass of caffeinated beverage you inject just to be safe. Self-check your hydration level by pinching the skin on your forearm. If it snaps back into place quickly and does NOT remain pale, then you’re doing okay. If the whiteness where you pinched yourself remains white, get some more fluids quickly.

Eye Strain

With the extra daylight hours comes the desire to read more. That’s good! Read more in places where other people can see you read. It helps keep reading on people’s front burner to-do list. Summer reading lists are great but added to your regular writing workload could increase eye strain. Take regular breaks, meditate with an eye mask on (like the one you wear to sleep) or take a short power nap with a rice filled eye pillow over your eyes to relieve the tension in your eyes.

Writers need extra care and attention in the summer. Please leave a comment about what do you do to avoid summer troubles and keep safe as a writer.

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Cool Gus Publishing.

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

 

Joy E. Held

joyeheld@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/Joy_E_Held

 

 

 

Wednesday Workout: Bodybuilding Between the Books?

National Library Week, you belong at your library, April 8-14, 2012

National Library Week 2012

I don’t see many exercise classes taught at libraries, do you? If you know of a library that sponsors a regular exercise class, send us the link. The lack of workouts at the library doesn’t surprise me because most facilities don’t have the space or equipment. Some do not want to run anything longterm because it keeps other patrons from accessing the space. This all makes sense, but so does offering courses on hatha yoga, meditation, and walking at your local library.

Here’s an example of a hatha yoga class in a library http://www.myacpl.org/events/yoga-people-50-and-2012-04-11. The course is ongoing and has been a success for several years. However, like most library settings, the space is limited. Namaste to instructor Linda Cochran for continuing this great program in the Athens Public Library, Athens, Ohio.

Here’s a very good article about the rationale for libraries extending their services to include fitness courses http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/Libraries-Now-Offering-Books-and-Workouts.html

Put this way, it makes a great deal of sense in spite of the limitations and hesitations to blend your books with your bodybuilding by getting it all at the local library. In his fab book SPARK, Dr. John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman, (a book I require in my college courses,) explains the benefits of exercise to brain health and overall wellbeing when he recommends exercise first then hitting the books. Exercise improves brain elasticity and grows new brain cells capable of absorbing new information.

So the next time you’re at the library, look around for a fitness offering and let me know what you find.

“Be well, write well.”

Joy E. Held

Tuesday Tickle: National Library Workers Day

National Library Week, you belong at your library, April 8-14, 2012

National Library Week 2012

It’s National Library Workers Day. Be nice. Make them smile by returning your books on time and by clicking over to the archived site of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions for some really fun humor to share with your favorite library worker today!

***

Overheard from two library workers going into the library.

“Are you going out with the library staff tonight to celebrate the director’s birthday?”

“No. I’m going to book it home right after work.”

***

A chicken walks into the library. It goes up to the circulation desk and says: “book, bok, bok, boook”.

The librarian hands the chicken a book. It tucks it under his wing and runs out. A while later, the chicken runs back in, throws the first book into the return bin and goes back to the librarian saying: “book, bok, bok, bok, boook”. Again the librarian gives it a book, and the chicken runs out. The librarian shakes her head.

Within a few minutes, the chicken is back, returns the book and starts all over again: “boook, book, bok bok boook”. The librarian gives him yet a third book, but this time as the chicken is running out the door, she follows it.

The chicken runs down the street, through the park and down to the riverbank. There, sitting on a lily pad is a big, green frog. The chicken holds up the book and shows it to the frog, saying: “Book, bok, bok, boook”. The frog blinks, and croaks: “read-it, read-it, read-it”. 

Be well, write well!

Thursday Thot: Matches

 

“Women with clean houses do not have finished books.” ~Me

There is a wonderful chapter in the classic writing text by Brenda Ueland titled “Why Women Who Do Too Much Housework Should Neglect It for Their Writing.” The title is enough to liberate me from the toils of the home but others may need a bit more convincing. Before I encourage you, male or female, to reduce the amount of housework you do so you have more writing time, I will qualify my remarks with saying that complete abandonment of the necessary tasks to keep a dwelling sanitary is not what I’m advocating. It’s a matter of accepting other people’s help.

Ueland’s chapter is in her inspirational book If You Want To Write, A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit first published in 1938. The copy I never let get too far away is a 1987 edition, and even though she was a turn-of-the-century woman, her advice is applicable to anyone who wants to write today. Her ideas have influenced my belief that everyone is a writer to some degree. Some take it farther than others. In this clever chapter, Ueland presents the work of former writing students from her classes and shows how as women they are quite talented writers but the demands of being mothers and wives seems to prohibit them from knowing the satisfaction of publication.

Online chats and luncheon table conversations at writing conferences never fail to spend some time bemoaning the fact that women have too many household responsibilities and civic chores to get any writing done. Whooey seems to be my word of choice this week, and I repeat it here. I homeschooled my two daughters for 18 years and published a non-fiction book, finished a historical romance novel, wrote weekly columns for three regional newspapers, published many poems, published book reviews online, and wrote 1-4 articles monthly for a trade magazine all while they were sitting at their desks beside me doing social studies and English. When it was time to focus on work where I couldn’t be interrupted, I made sure they were safely ensconced and closed the office door. The sign read “Do not disturb unless it’s bleeding, broken, or on fire. Love, Mommy.”

Ueland’s advice is similar: “If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say: ‘Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!’ you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.”

What strikes me the most honestly about her comment is that my daughters reacted this very way to this very practice. My oldest called me this week to tell me she has arranged for me to speak to the undergraduate playwriting group in her college theatre department to talk about Writer Wellness and how it applies to their future careers as writers. I didn’t intentionally set out to raise more writers. Both daughters write really well. I set out to respect myself and model what a woman with a passion for something looks like so that when they find their passions they’ll know it.

If they grow up to be writers, I won’t be disappointed. I just hope I still have their rooms relatively “clean”. It’s a feast or famine career but one that even a mother can be proud of doing.

Of course, there’s the story where one day I heard the youngest child saying, “I don’t think Mommy likes matches,” and I flung the office door open pretty quickly.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Wednesday Workout: Sweat’s a Bore

 

Even if it’s producing results, exercise can be boring. When you think exercise is boring it’s time for a change. Time to shake up the workouts or possibly time to get started with a fitness plan you can manage that will reap solid benefits.

Think of “boring” as a symptom of repetitive stress syndrome. Exercise bores you because your muscles are no longer responding to the actions because you do the same treadmill, the same bike, or the same yoga practice over and over again. You have created “muscle memory,” which is good, but the average person’s muscles respond better to a variety of workouts. Muscle memory is important for dancers and athletes who have to perform consistenly under stress. Games and performances are stressful and these folks rely on muscle memory to carry them through, but the same exercise routine day after day for the average person causes muscle fatigue because after a certain point muscles stop improving they tire and do not improve. This is the feeling that leads someone to think, “This is boring.”

Variety is the secret. Create a fitness program that includes a number of varied options. Exercise reaps more benefits faster and maintains results longer if the body and the brain are regularly challenged by variety. Mix it up. Yoga, treadmill, aerobic dance, walking, martial arts, kickboxing, recumbent bike, and weights can make for an interesting week of productive exercise. And change the locations. That helps also.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Thursday Thot: Jenni Talty Guest Post “Think Tank”, What’s Yours?

 

 

 

Everyone has a place where they “think”. It’s a place where our mind just wonders deep into thought about anything and everything. I have two thinking places. The first one is in the shower. The problem is the moment I step out of the shower, the intense thoughts have left me and that’s a problem when those intense thoughts are great dialogue for my book. Or anything else having to do with my book.

If I happen to have a light bulb moment I have to run out of the shower and go write it down. Otherwise, gone forever or until my next shower. The original idea for Jane Doe’s Return came to me in the shower. I remember because I thought it was such a great idea that I felt it necessary to step from the shower and write the idea down. I got so involved in the idea that I sat down in front of the computer and started writing out my steam of conscious. I had shampoo in my hair. It wasn’t until about 2 hours later that I realized I hadn’t finished my shower.

I sometimes try not to think in the shower. That’s interesting…and impossible. It’s like my brain goes shower…think…shower…think and there is no stopping it. I do believe I have some great ideas that occur to me while in the shower.

The second place my brain thinks is in the car while I’m driving somewhere. This too poses a problem. I have a voice recorder on my phone, so the problem isn’t necessarily that I don’t have the ability to get my thoughts down, its that the thinking aspect is so intense I don’t think to get the voice recorder out until it’s too late and my brain and I have left the vehicle and the thoughts behind.

The bigger problem with my brain thinking in the car is that I have a tendency to forget where I’m going. I also sometimes forget there are “real” people in the car with me. For example, driving my children to hockey rinks. They will yell “mom, mom, mom, mother, mother, JENNIFER!” and they yell this a few times until they finally have my attention and they tell me I drove right past the exit about 8 exits ago. ARGH!

There are other places I like to think. When I walk. Or when I’m at the gym. I used to play golf and I’d think a lot out there, but then I’d walk right past my ball on the fairway, up to the putting green and realize I hadn’t take a swing at my ball to get it to the green…yeah, that’s a problem. When I’m cleaning, I’m thinking. And thinking, and thinking. When I’m doing cleaning, I go to the computer and type out my thoughts. However, these other places the thoughts tend to linger with me longer.

I have to wonder if the intense thoughts I have in the shower or while driving have to do with some sort of “safe” feeling my brain has. It’s like my brain has it’s own free will and does whatever it wants. Any other place I think, including while cleaning or just going for a walk, I feel like I have control over my brain, but in the shower, or driving, nope, it just wonders off were it wants to and then the moment I stop, it stops too. But worse, it hides those wonderful thoughts deep and then I have to play “mind” games with myself to find them. Most of the time the brain gives them. It as if the brain understands how important they are to me, but either enjoys watching me freak out that I can’t remember what I was thinking, or is trying to teach me a lesson to pay attention.

The mind is a wonderful thing. Now, I must go shower…I need to write, so hoping the brain works its magic so I have something to work with when I sit down in front of the computer.

Where are your favorite places to think?

My thanks to Jenni for this “thot” provoking, clever post.

 

 

 

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well