We recently had a new addition to our family – a Siberian Husky.
Life in our home has certainly changed due to this one and half year old pet that my son has adopted. I’m certainly getting more exercise with needing to take her for frequent walks. Better yet, with her energy, she is walking me.
We have only had her for a few weeks, but she already has become a family member. Amazing how quickly we all fell in love with her.
I read a quote the other day about dogs and their personalities that I found interesting.
“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.” – Arthur Conan Doyle
I wondered if there is truth to this statement? As a new dog owner, I went to “Cesar’s Way” website and found this article written by Nicole Pajer that says what your dog’s behavior says about you.
Today was a special day for me – my fantasy novel, “The Alkahest” was published!
This book has been a long time in the making – many years in fact and to finally have it published is a dream come true. The characters are dear to my heart, and it’s a privilege for me to share their story with you. The epic fantasy was initially written as one long story, which I have broken down into numerous books. The Alkahest is the first of the Thoughtmover series, starting the characters off on their extraordinary journey.
My web-designer and I worked many long hours on designing the map of where the story takes place – The Land of Kaldanien. It went through several iterations over a period of a year until we were satisfied with the end product. Likewise with the cover, which also went through numerous iterations.
A few people were instrumental in helping me to ready my book for publication. I would like to thank them for their help.
My web-designer, Alex for his great work and long hours on the website, book cover, and map.
Pat LuBruto, my New York editor for his outstanding editorial skills and helping me to become a better writer and for allowing me to keep my own writing voice throughout the process.
My characters who inspired and guided me down this enjoyable and rewarding path of writing.
I’m currently working on book two of the Thoughtmover series that continues my characters’ epic journey, which I look forward to sharing with you in 2014.
One day, I began to think about how well I really took care of myself as a writer, one who spends hours slouching behind her computer desk, constantly focusing on the screen, and forgetting everything around her.
Of course, nutrition is important and so is a regular exercise program; however, I was looking more so at my habits while writing and finding remedies that I could incorporate that would contribute to the betterment of my health, during my writing hours.
During my long days and often nights of writing, I began to critically access myself from the top down.
Do I clear my thoughts enough?
For someone, like me, who often writes many hours straight through, forgetting to take any descent breaks, the thought seldom occurred to me.
I alleviated this problem by getting out of my office for a short time after two or three hours of writing, to refresh my thinking . This distraction enhanced my creativity, often giving me a new perspective on my writing.
Do I give my eyes enough breaks from the hours of staring at the bright screen?
Being so absorbed in my writing, I seldom gave my eyes any consideration other then when they screamed from dryness or ached from tiredness.
Every fifteen minutes, it is recommended to look away from the screen and stare at a distant object to change your focus. Of course, being so absorbed in my writing, how was I to remember to look away every so often.
As a reminder, I used a timer that I set for fifteen-minute intervals. After each fifteen minutes, I take a few minutes to look out my office window and focus on something farther away. I know that without an alarm reminding me, the task would be next to impossible. Those fifteen minutes would slip to an hour, probably more like two or three.
Do I sit up straight?
I discovered my posture, too, needed improvement. I couldn’t believe how many times, I caught myself slouching.
Slouching was a more difficult point to conquer. I often didn’t realize that I was sitting in that terrible hunched position. A good chair helps, but it can only do so much. I needed to be consciously aware of my posture at all times. I did get help from my family. When they see me sitting hunched over, they come and press my shoulders back as a reminder to sit straight. I also started doing weight lifting to strengthen the muscles that help keep your back and shoulders straight. What really helped was setting a book on top of my head. Yes, I know it looks ridiculous but it works! I have noticed that sitting straight makes the long hours of writing more comfortable.
Do I treat my typing hands with respect?
This was one thing I did do.
When I began to write longer hours, I invested in a proper keyboard to take away the strain on my wrists, I got a proper mouse and key pad for support, and often during my writing, I give my hands a light shake or stretch.
Do I get enough movement into my legs while I write?
Who thinks of their legs when they are absorbed in their writing?
Sitting for long periods is terrible for the legs; in fact, it has many ill effects on your health. It is claimed that extreme sedentary is worse than excessive smoking. I never knew that my long hours behind my desk was so unhealthy. Inactivity is such a problem that an organization exists that fights against it, called Researchers against Inactivity-Related Disorders (RID).
Due to the importance of regular movement, I put a stair-climber right beside my office desk. Using my trusted timer again, every half hour, I step onto my climber to exercise my legs for a short time, enhancing my circulation.
Now that I treat my body with care, it rewards me with feeling better and having a clearer mind with improved concentration. I hope, I can continue to enforce these points for the betterment of my health and my success.
When my husband told me what he had experienced on his way home from work the other day, it touched me so profoundly that I needed to share it.
My husband was driving down a six-lane highway, with three lanes going in his direction, all covered with heavy rush-hour traffic. He already noticed from a ways back a disabled man, having difficulty crossing the road. The man whose arms were all bent and crooked and whose twisted legs wobbled had almost fallen into traffic as he tried to get down from the curb and failed. Having missed a couple of pedestrian lights, sadly none of the dozens and dozens of cars that passed him had stopped to help.
Approaching the walk, my husband put on his four-way blinkers and stopped his car. He got out of the vehicle, walked up to the man, and asked if he needed help. The man gave an appreciative, “Yes!” My husband then escorted him across by stopping the other two lanes of traffic as well. With the man’s difficulty of movement, it took some time before they reached the other side of the highway.
The interesting thing was that once my husband had stopped all the lanes of traffic, every car waited until he returned to his own vehicle before any of them drove off again.
Tears came to my eyes when my husband told me what had happened that day. First, I had tears of sympathy for the man. How frustrating and helpless he must have felt. What we take for granted as simply crossing a street, for him it becomes a nightmare.
Then I replaced those sympathetic tears with ones of joy not only because of the depth of kindness my husband had displayed in helping another human being but the respect the other drivers had shown him for doing so.
It made me realize that despite the appearance of nonchalant, busy, and antisocial lives people portray, they still process the desire to support others. It only takes one to show the way but others soon follow.
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” By Howard Zinn