Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

True Lies 3: Outsmarted by a 2 year old, A Diary, and Poetry at West Point

Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog:

Tuesday Tickle at Writer Wellness courtesy of a great post from Bob Mayer and Cool Gus Publishing. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Write on the River:

Leaving the Bronx far behind, well not that far, I traveled up the Hudson to what we charmingly refer to as our “Rockbound Highland Home.”  Aka West Point.  Officially known as The United State Military Academy.

The Jefferson Allegaince

4.99 on Amazon

Since we talked about libraries in the last True Lies post, here’s an interesting thing:  they just built a new library at the Academy and named it after Thomas Jefferson.  Which is pretty cool, considering he’s the one who founded the Academy.  Which is pretty weird since he really didn’t trust the Military.  Which is exactly why he founded the Academy and it’s unique way of getting cadets from all over the country.  You see, he was afraid of the military becoming politicized for one party or the other.

But here’s a scary thing.  We had to memorize a lot of stuff as plebes, but I never really knew Jefferson founded…

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How Cancer Influenced a Ghost’s Tale by Author Juli D. Revezzo

Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog:

Here is a story about how life impacts art. jh

Originally posted on One Writer's Way:

benefitsalebannerFrom Juli: Cancer. The big C. Chances are, you’ve known someone in your circle that has had it or you know someone who knows someone who does. It’s something no one wants to think about. There are several strains of it researchers know quite a bit about—breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer—and many more that they don’t. Fibrolomellar type Hepatocellular carcinoma it’s called. Ever heard of it? No? I’m not surprised. It’s a rather rare form of liver cancer and only seems to affect young people and has a very high death rate. One in particular, my little brother, dealt with it for many years. He went through every damned form of chemotherapy the doctors had for him, and quite a few experimental ones. A few years ago, the cancer killed him. Yet before that day came he enjoyed all the usual pursuits for a young man. He was…

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Door, Propped – Wide Open

Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog:

Good tip on keeping your yoga mat warm! Enjoy. jh

Originally posted on CultFit:

Good resolutions are like babies crying in church. They should be carried out immediately-

If this is your first time visiting CultFit? Welcome and I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit. If you came in search of some prophetic wisdom pertaining to life, yoga, mediation and whatever else tickles your fancy? Don’t let the door slam your tush as you scurry away

Wanting to be a super flexible yogi and actually being a super flexible yogi are two entirely different “things“. After a restless nights sleep, a twenty-five minute drive to the studio, biting morning temperatures and sitting on a frozen yoga mat (Top Tip: Bring your mat in the house …), morning yoga practice is the last thing I feel like doing. Although, on these days when I’ve given up and decided to cut myself a break to head to Dunkin Donuts instead…

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New Year’s Resolutions? What Is Real Change?

Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog:

Change can be so messy sometimes, but a necessary of life. This is a great thought about the “moment of enlightenment”. Read on!

Originally posted on Write on the River:

If I’m not where I want to be, then I must change.

My question to you is how many people do you know who have really changed?  This gets down to the definition of what change is.  I can tell you what change is not:  change is not simply thinking differently.  Many people believe this, but thinking doesn’t change anything in the world outside of you.  Here comes the paradox though—one of the first steps to change is to think differently.  However, note I say it is one of the first steps; it is not the end.

Can people change?  If the answer to that is no, then we all might as well quit now.  However, history has proven that people can change.  However, change is very difficult and very few people can manage to achieve great change in their life and sustain it.

Studies have shown that among people…

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

Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog:

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

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 1.36.10 PM

Image via the movie “The Purge”.

Today is a tad of a touchy subject, but in this New year, I want everyone to have a the greatest gift any of us can have…peace. Bullies, in my opinion, are among the lowest known existing lifeforms. I wouldn’t want to insult cockroaches and fleas by drawing a comparison.

Kristen’s History With Bullies

I grew up most of my life being bullied. I switched schools at least once a year and there was always a new gaggle of Mean Girls to make my daily life a veritable hell. I think this is why I grew to love books. I skipped school so much (to seek sanctuary at the public library), that I’m fairly certain I’m the reason for the current Texas truancy laws.

I couldn’t get out of bed. I became ill at the thought of even walking through the front doors of…

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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

 

 

 

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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