Author's Blog

A New Member to Our Family

We recently had a new addition to our family – a Siberian Husky.

Naiya Pic close up


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.

What do you think about this?

Health and Writing

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.

“The greatest wealth is health.”  -Virgil 



I’ve been asked about how I came up with my author symbol, so here’s its story.

During the design of my website, I searched for a symbol or icon that was unique to me as an author, something to use to authenticate my original work. I decided on a coat of arms. I’m an admirer of family and official crests, so I thought a personally designed coat of arms specifically for an author was a good solution.

  • I wanted various qualities to my coat of arms, so I put considerable thought into its layout
  • I wanted to use a shield for my coat of arms since heraldry has always been an interest of mine
  • I wanted it simple, so that with a single glance, its meaning was clear
  • I wanted it authentic, a coat of arms that depicts my personal message as an author

Considering the above points, I began to select images for the various parts.

Crest – I omitted for simplicity.

Top mantle – I adorned with my initials, ACL.

Shield supporters – I also omitted these for simplicity sake.

Shield plate – I put as my charge, a quill that symbolizes a writing implement for a writer and has been used as a principle writing tool for many centuries. Without a tool to get the words out, the words would remain locked in the writer’s imagination. As a collector of quills, it seemed an appropriate insignia to use.

The banner – Not all coats of arms have banners, but I have always found it to be one of the more attractive features. I omitted the top banner and settled only for a bottom one. Rather than just put my name on it, I wanted the banner to convey what I, as a writer, wanted to share with my readers. The words I had inscribed onto my banner were Socius Scientiae, Latin, meaning to share knowledge.

Knowledge is all-powerful. It eliminates fear, it makes life easier, it can save lives, and it paves the road to freedom. As a writer, it’s not just about sharing knowledge, it’s about using those wise words to entertain readers.

So there you have it; the creation of Alandra CL’s coat of arms.

Writing Security

Everywhere you look, sadly, there is some form of security to protect our valuables. Alarms and motion detectors for the home, anti-auto theft devices for vehicles, heavy duty locks for bikes, safes for money and valuables, passwords and encryption to protect data, and the list goes on and on.

Computer and Network Security

I wonder if there is anything of value nowadays that doesn’t get secured?

Regrettably not unless you’re asking to part with it.

Because of high theft, we have become a locked up, secured, and highly protected society. Anything valuable must have security to protect it.

So what do I use to protect my writing?

My hard-earned labor of love gets only the best of security from my trusted Iron Key.

iron key

The World's Most Secure Flash Drive

What’s an Iron Key?

It’s a type of heavy-duty memory key that travels with me wherever I go, protecting all my written stories. It’s the world’s most secure flash drive with military-grade encryption. Comes with a secure private browser that protects your password when online and cannot be disabled by worms, viruses or other malware.

I accidently put it to the test when I used my son’s infected laptop. Although I ignorantly worked on the laptop for a number of hours, unaware it had a virus, nothing on my key was compromised. Phew!

Should I lose my key, ten incorrect passwords tries will literally disintegrate the data, meaning no trace of recovery and  insuring my work doesn’t get into dishonest hands. As well, a rugged, tamper-resistant, waterproof, metal casing that protects against physical damage should I accidently subject it to the elements.

drop boxFor Backing Up and Storing Files

Of course, in addition, all my writing is backed up to a secure hosting service like Drop Box and a personal hard drive. Unfortunately, once my stories are published or distributed, the protection is minimal. Plagiarism is a thriving industry, but at least, I have the peace of mind of having it under lock and key until it reaches my readers.