Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Friday Feast: ‘Shrooms Va-va-voom and Friends

Not everybody is a mushroom fan, but this baked stuffed portabella has been known to win over a few non-fungus eaters!

‘Shrooms Va-va-voom

Recipe by Joy Held

2 large portabella mushrooms, wiped clean with the stems cut out and the gills scraped out

¾ cup fresh spelt bread crumbs

½ cup low fat mozzarella cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan

¼ cup minced onion

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp dried thyme

2 Tbls melted butter, salt free

1 Tbls olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan, onion, parsley, butter, and spices together well in a bowl. Cave out the mushrooms a little if necessary to make room for the filling. Divide filling evenly between the caps  and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. In the last five minutes, turn off the oven and turn broiler on high. Sprinkle mushrooms with mozzarella and broil to desired melty deliciousness. Don’t take your eyes off! Burns quickly!

After this treat, take a walk around the block then settle down and visit these web friends of mine. Tell ‘em I said hello. And feel free to share this recipe and spread the fungus among us (couldn’t resist.)

Writer mom NATALIE MARKEY

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/2011/07/understanding-writing-mommy-mind-with.html

Hot romance scribe MEREDITH ELLSWORTH

http://www.meredithellsworth.com/

Fav social media chicka KRISTEN LAMB

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/big-six-publishing-is-dead-welcome-the-massive-three/#comments

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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Monday Meditation: No Blog Is An Island

A 2011 reflection for me includes a shout out of “thank you!” to the following cyber pals who made last year great for Writer Wellness.

 

Joanna Aislinn for hosting me as a guest blogger and always having interesting things on her blog that I like to read.

 

Miriam Allen for writing a great review of Writer Wellness.

 

Wendy Hines for writing a great review of Writer Wellness.

 

Paty Jager for writing a great review of Writer Wellness.

 

Kristin Lamb for her incredible non-stop blogging energy. I don’t know how she does it but her insight, humor, and support of WW are like treasures.

 

Natalie Markey for being another great reviewer of Writer Wellness and swapping guest posts with me.

 

Cat Masters for hosting me on her blog in 2011 with a very fun interview.

 

Bob Mayer for being a wizard with the vision to create Who Dares Wins Publishing and to believe that Writer Wellness was worth the second chance.

 

Linda Rettstatt for writing a great review of Writer Wellness.

 

Amy Shojai for being the most cheerful animal lover and blogging pal I have.

 

Jen Talty for ALWAYS being there no matter what. She’s amazing.

 

Beth Trissel for hosting Writer Wellness at her blog and getting an amazing number of hits that day!

 

Sandy Tritt for being my bestest buddy in the real world and the cyber village it takes to keep the Writer Wellness world afloat.

HUGS EVERYBODY AND HERE’S TO A GREAT NEW ERA IN WRITING, PUBLISHING, AND BEING.

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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Friday Feast: Guest Natalie Markey’s Inspirational Writing Space

 

 

 

Constructing an inspirational writing space for the New Year

By Natalie C. Markey

 

As 2011 reaches an end many of us are starting to think about our New Year’s resolution. For writers, many of our New Year’s resolutions are writing related but it doesn’t have to be about craft specifically. Sometimes the smallest and simplest things can make the biggest differences in the way you live your life. I know some of us don’t have an actual office but wherever you work, you should take it as seriously as you take your writing.

 

Before I had a spare bedroom I use to write from our kitchen table. For the record, I DO NOT recommend this! Every time we ate all of my notes had to be moved and things always got out of order. I spent the most of my time trying to make sense of my stuff. You really need to have a space of your own to devote to your craft. Even if it is a small card table in the corner of a room, it is better then nothing.

 

But this space should not be just about writing. While cleaning this week, I noticed and smiled at the pictures on my desk of my daughter playing on the beach at Lake Michigan. I laughed at the picture of snowflakes on my dog, Oscar’s nose on the very picture that was published in my first book. Now yes, the last picture ended up being career related. I have no intentions of writing about my daughter and the fun we had at Lake Michigan but whenever I hit a snag in a scene it makes me smile and takes some of the stress away when I see her trying to figure out how that sand toy works.

 

I also incorporate quotes around my office to inspire me like, “I’m convinced fear is at the root of most bad writing,” said by Stephen King. New York Times bestselling author Bob Mayer recently mentioned that quote on his Write It Forward Blog and I loved it.

 

We are so easily influenced by our surroundings. We often focus on the outlines we make and our plots and characters but our surroundings can impact our work just as well as all those craft books we read.

 

Construct an influential and inspirational workspace for your writing. Incorporate craft, humor and family. What do you have around your writing space that keeps you going during a rough day?

 

Natalie C. Markey is the author of ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog.’ She is a freelance journalist for multiple publications and also writes young adult and middle grade fiction. You can learn more about her at www.NatalieCMarkey.com her blog, Pen to Publish and @NatalieCMarkey.

 

And for this Friday Feast don’t forget a tasty sweet, especially around the holidays!

 

Oat Mill- Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Filled with chocolate chips and toasted walnuts, these cookies are just right with a glass of cold milk.

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 12 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

Directions:

Prepare the baking sheets
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the dough
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in the oatmeal, chocolate chips and walnuts.

Bake the cookies
Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Makes about 60 cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).

My thanks to Natalie and Oscar. These cookies will be tested in my kitchen soon!

 

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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Thursday Thought: “A-Musing” Guest Post by Natalie C. Markey

Thursday Thought: What’s in a muse and other “writerly” motivations?

By Natalie C. Markey

 

All writers have their thing. That thing that keeps you going, keeps you writing. For my non-fiction, ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’ and now the second book in progress, my muse is my dog Oscar. He is always on my feet and serves as a constant reminder of how wonderful dogs are. I want to do well by him so that I can donate more money to the Neurological unit at Texas A&M School of Veterinarian Medicine.

            For my fiction work, I just love to read fantasy. I love the escape into a new and exciting place. When I was little I use to sit in my closet and pray that I would find my way into Narnia. I should have known at that moment that I would be a writer with an imagination like that!

With my freelancing, my motivation is my general curious nature. I love writing about anything and therefore learning about so many topics. I enjoy variety and avoiding boredom.

Sometimes that leap into becoming a writer takes a while to make. For me it was a gradual transition. I recently wrote on “taking that leap” and how I wish I had done it sooner. What is your becoming a writer story? What is your muse or motivation? Everyone has a story to tell other than the ones we write. I’d love to hear your story in a comment below.

 

My non-fiction CARING FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS DOG is currently available for $2.99! A percentage of the profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.

 

Thank you again to Joy for allowing me to be your guest. For more information on my projects you can visit my blog, Pen to Publish and my NatalieCMarkey.com

 

Love your work, Natalie! Thanks for the inspiration today!

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Thursday Thought: Guest Natalie Clark Doesn’t Believe In Writer’s Block

The Cure to the Dreaded Writers Block

A common stress for many writers is writers block. A great way to ease your stress, of course is through meditation as Joy E. Held discusses in her book, ‘Writer Wellness.’ I offer another solution that writers can implement in addition to meditation. First of all, let me tell you—THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WRITER’S BLOCK! I do not believe in writer’s block. I believe in setting your mind to the task of writing and it will come. Whenever I am stumbling with a scene, I simply move on or switch projects. When I go back to the troublesome scene I see that it wasn’t the scene, just my mindset at the moment. Only you can find your own answer to curing “writer’s block.” Mine? Exercise. Yes, I have deadlines, a baby, a high maintenance dog and a husband who has a limited selection in his cooking repertoire BUT I schedule time for my fitness. It’s amazing what an hour in the gym can do to my mind. I also make time to laugh. Put something humorous around your workstation. The attached picture is something I found in my Grandfather’s office after he passed away. It never fails to make me laugh.

I also love to love on my dog, Oscar. Taking a few minutes off to hug and play with him is another great way that I clear my mind. Recently, fellow dog author, Amy Shojai wrote on the health benefits of having a dog. She focused on actual health conditions such as high blood pressure but I know that Oscar helps me with my stress. To read Amy’s article click here. I also encourage writers to experience with other genres. This is easy for me since I dabble in many writing areas such as my freelance work, non-fiction book series and my YA and MG fiction novels. By switching projects you will find that you never get bored or stuck on anything. If you only write in one area that is fine but try out another style of writing. You will be amazed at how you will grow as a writer. What do you do to limit your stress during a deadline rush? How do you battle with “writer’s block,” if you even believe it exists? Thank you, Joy for allowing me the opportunity to share this information with your readers.

My book, ‘CARING FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS DOG’ is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my publisher’s site, Who Dares Wins Publishing. A percentage of profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.

 

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

 

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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Monday Meditation: Time and Herding Cats

 

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.)

“Time management” is an oxymoron. We can’t possibly manage time. It does what it wants regardless of our efforts to wrangle it into submission. It marches on no matter what. Trying to manage time is frustrating because it’s a little like herding cats or nailing Jello (trademark) to a tree. Time has a mind and a mission of its own. Time cannot be told what to do and it cannot be beat into submission. But time rules the world and we will continue to know frustration until we develop a different relationship with time.

We can either work with time or we can compete against it. The competition idea is largely responsible for our feelings of frustration. “There is never enough time to get everything done,” we say out of habit. “I make lists, but there isn’t enough time to get it all done in a day.” While lists are a proactive method for dealing with our frustrations about not enough time, they too can cause us to “grrrrrr” at the end of the day’s allotted time when we realize how much of the list did not get accomplished.

Try feeling time instead. It’s a practice born of meditation’s ultimate lesson in patience. Begin by, and I hesitate to say it, setting a stop watch or timer when you practice meditation. Do not set the timer for ten minutes, close your eyes, and breathe until the timer goes off. With the timer at zero, first close your eyes, then push the button, and breathe. Meditate until the feeling arises that the session has come to an end. Open your eyes and see how long you have practiced. Regardless of how many minutes have passed, end the session. Do this daily and the time you meditate will gradually increase on its own in a natural way. Putting a time limit on your daily meditation practice is contradictory to the purpose. The purpose is to love your time here, not manage your time here. 

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 

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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Thursday Thought: Kind Words To Share

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.)

Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity has received some really nice reviews from two wonderful readers lately. Here’s a sampling of their thoughts and links to their sites. Visit and read the reviews and leave a comment!

From Linda Rettstatt, One Woman’s Write:

“I haven’t posted book reviews here on my blog, but I wanted to share this review because many of my readers are also writers. Here is my review…”

(read more)

http://onewomanswrite.blogspot.com/2011/04/review-writers-wellness-by-joy-e-held.html

From Natalie Markey, Pen To Publish:

“Since this blog is devoted to writers’ craft, industry hot topics and my journey from pen to publish, I rarely post reviews. I have said before that reading is one of the most important tools…”

(read more)

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/2011/04/craft-book-recommendation-writer.html

I am humbled by your kind words, ladies. Thank you!

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

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.

Leave a comment »

Thursday Thought: National Poem In Your Pocket Day

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.)

 Even if you aren’t much of a poet yourself, you can take part in the very civilized and very literary National Poem In Your Pocket day today (April 14, 2011.) The promotions explain it this way:

 The idea is simple: Select a poem, pocket it, carry it, and share it with family, friends, and coworkers throughout the day.

 The Academy of American Poets sponsors this activity and have free poems to download just for your pocket.

http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/406

 Here’s what I’m carrying in my pocket today:

“To Save The Glen”

How soft the morning mist of Glens,

How quiet the raging, howling winds.

The Id repose to praise and thanks,

But all are not amiss these ranks.

La Sola rise to mark the start,

In trade and deed to show our smart.

September 11 steals the stage,

The Universe convulsed with rage.

A mighty clash of dark and light,

The former struck, the latter fight.

Visions and words impart the horror,

Innocence and peace denied the Moor.

Thy sheath is bared; they steed is clothed,

Our light is set to right the loath.

The Glen erupts, the light blaze bright

Now Heavens ROAR with rockets might.

So, Id must choose twix light and dark—

To save the Glen or lose our mark.

~George A. Gunter, Jr. (1933-2007)

 What poem will you share today?

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

Be well, write well.

2 Comments »

Wednesday Workout: Yoga Is Accessible

 

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.)

The physical component of yoga is called “hatha yoga.” The word “hatha” is Sanskrit for physical. There are essentially 24 basic poses in yoga and many, many variations on them thus creating hundreds of poses all together. There are also ways to modify the basic poses so anyone can participate in some level of hatha yoga. This is where yoga therapy comes into play. All yoga is therapeutic in a sense because of the breathing, stretching and mental practices, but the physical acts of the poses, also called asanas, can be changed up slightly to make them accessible to some persons with disabilities.

Disclaimer alert: this article is not meant to replace the guidance of your health care practitioner. Always consult such persons before engaging in activity to be sure your condition warrants participation in an organized exercise regime of any kind.

That said, besides talking with your doctor first, here are three books to give you an idea of what might be available to you.

Recovery Yoga, A Practical Guide for Chronically Ill, Injured, and Post-Operative People, Sam Dworkis, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1997. This book covers breathing and movements in a variety of positions. Once you have understood any limitations your doctor recommends, you can choose exercises done sitting, standing, lying down, and on the floor. Dworkis is an Iyengar trained yoga teacher and the B.K.S. Iyengar tradition of hatha yoga originated the practice of modifying yoga poses through the use of props such as chairs and bolsters. His program is called Extension Yoga.

http://www.extensionyoga.com/

Yoga As Medicine, The Yogic Prescription For Health and Healing, Timothy McCall, M.D., Bantam, New York, 2007. McCall is a doctor and a yoga practitioner and the medical consultant for Yoga Journal Magazine. It includes practice routines and advice on using yoga to help with several conditions such as back pain, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.

http://www.drmccall.com/

Yoga for Movement Disorders, Rebuilding Strength, Balance and Flexibility for Parkinson’s Disease and Dystonia, Renee Le Verrier, BS, RYT, Merit Publishing International, Florida, 2009. The author of this book suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and practices what she preaches. Every pose is prop assisted and the system is explained very clearly. The photos are very clear and the poses are adaptable to more than Parkinson’s. Highly recommended.

http://meritpublishing.com/

My book Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity includes chapters on yoga for writers. Basic poses like Triangle are shown modified in Writer Wellness for use by persons other than writers. Best wishes to you for continued health through movement. Have you found an interesting way to keep physically active?

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

Be well, write well.

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Thursday Thought: Procrastinaor Juror Beware

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.)

Three weeks after sitting in a court room for over two weeks as a spectator in a murder trial, I get a jury summons of my own in the mail. I’m being “considered” as a juror for U.S. District Court. Well, okay. I believe in the civic duty of serving on a jury but I have personal and moral issues with being the person who casts judgment on another human being. Granted, there are human beings who have committed deadly sins, as in the case I attended in February, and their problems and actions warrant judgment. I am just not thrilled with the prospect of making decisions about the penalties someone should suffer because of their choices. I believe karma will take care of it for me.

So I had blocked out the questionnaire sent in the mail decreeing that I must answer the questions and return it in the prepaid envelope considerately provided within ten days or suffer my own consequences. The explanation of the penance is I may have to go to the office of the U.S. Circuit Clerk and answer the questions there if I miss the deadline.

As a journalist the word deadline has great meaning to me and always has. The history of the word includes the fact that California prisons in the 19th century didn’t have enough money for fencing and guards were told to shoot fleeing prisoners once they reached “that line of sage brush, that’s the dead line.” Not wanting to be shot in the back, I have always made it my business to meet deadlines in a timely and cheerful manner no matter how much I prefer to procrastinate. That’s right, put it off until tomorrow.

Years of meeting deadlines and making daily to-do lists have empowered my brain to overpower the lazy limbic system where the urge to be easily distracted is created. Yes, our brains are wired to find the easy, comfortable way out of everything and that contributes to why it is so easy to procrastinate. But in my case, years of alternate brain training woke me up at two o’clock in the morning from a dead sleep to remember I hadn’t filled out the damn questionnaire yet.

After searching the house for a bloody number two pencil (I seem to only have disposable mechanical pencils in the house,) I have successfully finished my jury questionnaire in pencil which unnerves me. What if somebody changes my answers? Worry. That’s another blog.

I plan to put the questionnaire in the mail TOMORROW.

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

Be well, write well.

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