Monday, March 28, 2016

Free and Bargain Books- Some by Award-Winning Authors

This Friday, on the most foolish of April days, more than forty authors from the Support Indie Authors Goodreads group present the Spring Into Indie Free and Bargain Book Event. Over 65 books in a variety of genres will be available to download for free or on sale for just 99¢. Best of all, we've gathered all of the links on one conveniently located website. Bookmark and get ready to load up your kindle with these great deals.
Until then, you can learn more about these talented authors and the books they are offering by clicking on the links below:


Sunday, March 20, 2016


There’s an old vaudeville joke about the guy who goes to the doctor, raises his arm above his head, and says, “Doctor, it hurts when I do that!”  To which the doctor replies, “So don’t do that!” Ba-da-boom. Drum bump.
Some years ago, I was conducting a stress reduction seminar and an administrator I knew personally rose and said, “No matter what I do, I toss and turn for an hour before I can get to sleep.”
“Do you go to bed roughly the same time every night?” I asked
“Right after the eleven o’clock news.”  
“How does it make you feel?” I asked
“So don’t do that,” I told him. “Take a week off. Avoid negative stimulating activities like TV news, work-related reading, and watching or reading thrillers just before bed. Fill the time with a relaxing bedtime routine, like a warm bath or shower, light reading, pleasant music or a sound spa. Don’t worry,” I said when he furrowed his brow, “I sure there are plenty of people who will make sure you’re aware of the daily disasters.” Ba-da-boom. The entire seminar group laughed. We all knew about that.
A week later he called me. “I can’t believe the difference,” he said, and asked me to put on the seminar for his staff.
We’re surrounded by negative news. And TV news is a crushing load of highly charged, negative stimulation in full color and high definition, designed to disturb you emotionally. Awful stuff that you really have no control over. Can you change what’s happening somewhere across the world?  Bring that murdered person back to life? Undo that house fire? But now you’ve been made an eyewitness! You’re involved! And you’re upset. Ba-da-boom.
Research shows that allowing yourself to continually get upset about something you have no control over is a proven path to clinical depression. 
Focusing on what you can control is a way out.
You can take control: laugh more; depress yourself less. You can laugh your way to physical and mental health improvements. Laughter increases key immune system components and reduces stress hormones. In a University of California, (where else?) study, immediately after viewing a self-chosen funny video, subjects’ depression and anger both dropped 98 percent, fatigue fell by 87 percent, confusion was down 75 percent, and tension decreased by 61 percent. But wait, there’s more: two days before viewing the video, levels of depression among the subjects dropped 51 percent, confusion went down 36 percent, anger fell 19 percent, fatigue 15 percent, and tension 9 percent!
Depressed? Angry? Fatigued? Confused? Tense? Try taking a news vacation for a week. Change your pre-bed habits for a week Ba-da-boom.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Killing In Bananas

I was able to find some red bananas at the supermarket about a week ago. Red bananas are small and very sweet. But of course, these were shipped unripe and so I put them out on the table for about four days and tried one. Nope. Two days later, well. . .  Today, okay, but not really there.

And it reminded me of when we lived in West Africa. We arrived in the rainy season, their winter. And it rained 24 hours a day, rain as hard as anything I’d ever seen. Some of the expats went around the bend during the rainy season. We were all joyful when it ended. And shortly after that, I got my first lesson in what a ripe banana was. A ripe banana, our houseman explained, was not that hard yellow thing we somehow (it was beyond him how we could) peeled and bit into. That was like eating a piece of wood. A ripe banana was brown and soft, and you cut the top off it and squeezed it out into your mouth one delectable, sugary glob at a time. I tried it. I was unable to change my habits, though I will admit to letting bananas get quite a bit softer and sweeter since then.

And in due course, I decided that buying bananas a bunch at a time at the market was not as efficient as buying a whole stalk. So I asked our houseman what a whole stalk would cost. What he told me was that I could obtain one for about the price of four or five bunches. What a deal! How could I refuse? A few days later, he and I traipsed over to the house of a friend of his and the man cut a huge stalk of bananas from a tree for us. It was almost all we could do to lug the thing into the passenger seat of my Volkswagen and get it home. I gave my houseman a very large bunch and we put the stalk (it was big stalk, almost as tall as I was) into the pantry inside the house. For about two weeks, I reveled in making a killing in bananas. In a few days, we took some and made Pina Coladas.  Then a few more and we made banana pudding, and bananas Foster. But then, they all began to ripen at the same time. Did I say it was a very big stalk? We made banana bread, which my houseman loved (he took quite a few loaves of banana bread home with him). Finally, we gave away as many bananas as we could to whomever would take them. And I learned a lesson about getting too much of a good thing.

But tomorrow, those red bananas on the table should be delicious.