Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

“What’s at the Library for You?”

Monday Meditation: What’s At the Library for You?


The library is a great place, but not everyone knows what a treasure trove of wonder it is.


Honestly, go to the library and once you get past the humility of the massive collection of knowledge and ideas all in the same place, look around at everything available to everybody from the casual reader catching up on the daily news to the college professor checking on resources for a class he’s teaching next semester.


The point is that EVERYBODY belongs at the library. Everybody, that is, who respects the principle of freedom to access information. Lack of respect for the contents, the people, the equipment, the facilities, or the ideas will get you rightfully tossed out the front door by the gatekeeper known as the Librarian.


It’s a tough job monitoring knowledge, keeping it as safe as possible from abuse, staying on top of current information techniques, and exploding technology. But most librarians are fantastic people with a lot on their plates but always willing to help when asked a question. Granted, we’ve all run into the crusty book warden who is a bit ragged around the edges, but the librarian is a precious jewel and should be treated with appreciation. After all, she opens the doors every day and believes in the same thing writers do: knowledge and ideas are only valuable when they are shared.


I have soooo many great librarian stories to share. So here is a brevity list of all the ways libraries and librarians have been a great help to my careers as teacher and writer.


#A librarian near my hometown helped me access a primary source that inspired my first romance novel. If it weren’t for this particular special collection and this wonderful woman who let me read “The Message to Garcia” by Elbert Hubbard (1899), my novel wouldn’t have the historical accuracies it does.


#When my children were young and learning to love reading and writing, a wonderful junior librarian named Brenda made a point to find out what interested them and ordered books year after year that kept them coming back until they moved away for college.


#My favorite aunt is a school librarian.


#Doug at the college library where I teach never fails to amaze me at how quickly and efficiently he responds to my requests for materials no matter where on Earth they’re located.


#My FAVORITE librarian is my youngest daughter!


I’ll save more library/librarian kudos for later. What’s your library story?


Hug a library and a librarian every day. They are the protectors of one of the 20170311_103909most important freedoms: speech.




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.)


Be well, write well!


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Wednesday Workout: The Consequences of Exercise

Wednesday Workout: The Consequences of Exercise


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.)



Lots of people look at exercise as punishment for eating. That’s too bad because the brain can be overwhelmed by the message of payback for the triple cheeseburger and might not recognize the good side effects of the workout. If we regularly view physical activity as retribution for taking in nutrition, then our workouts and mental attitudes about exercise suffer. Eating and exercise should go hand-in-hand, but we taint the value of the workout by viewing it negatively before taking the first step on the treadmill.

Exercise Benefits Your Brain Too

One of the many benefits to anyone who exercises is a positive outlook on life. After an exercise session, the body is pumping all kinds of good stuff around and around inside like blood and oxygen helping revive and cleanse internal organs. The brain is super happy because it’s churning out endorphins and spilling them into the bloodstream contributing in part to the good feeling also known as “the runner’s high.” As an extra bonus, the brain literally grows new cells as the result of a good, heart-pumping cardio session because exercise breeds brain derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which, according to Dr. John Ratey in his book SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, is like “Miracle-Gro for the brain”.


Happiness, improved muscle tone, weight loss, and cardiovascular support. Why look at exercise as the demon and not the darling? Regular physical exercise isn’t a penalty, it’s a privilege, and the consequences of exercise far outweigh the side effects of avoiding it. But it’s important to go into a workout with a positive mental attitude. The negativity associated with regular exercise could easily negate the benefits.

Try Keeping A Fitness Journal

Keeping a fitness journal for a short while might help when we see the positive results written down. Note these things for a few days or weeks then review the notes. Think about the positive results while tieing on the walking shoes and add extra benefits to those workouts.



Feelings/thoughts BEFORE working out

Describe the workout (i.e., twenty-minute walk in the park)

Note anything interesting that happened during the workout

Feelings/thoughts AFTER working out


Physical exercise shouldn’t be punishment for anything but viewed as a way to stay happy, balanced, and healthy.


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Be well, write well.


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

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

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

Here is a story about how life impacts art. jh

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

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


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?

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

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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

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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 my school. I was poor and…

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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.




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




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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 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

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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