Celebrate The Small Things: SP Anthology

Celebrate blog hop

The small thing I’m celebrating today is that I got up the courage to volunteer to write a story for an anthology called No Award, a science fiction and fantasy anthology for supporters of Sad Puppies, which is an attempt to push for a more diverse set of authors getting recognized by the Hugo Awards.

I don’t normally volunteer to write stories for anthologies. I don’t normally know about anthologies I could possibly write stories for. But this time, since I’m now a member of an online writers group for conservative and/or libertarian writers, I found out about this one.

I even mentioned the idea I had for the anthology story. It will be set in the not-too-distant future and center around a scientific discovery— a gene that causes homosexual orientation. And the social fall-out as gay people discover they are biologically straight, and straight people discover they are biologically gay. A situation made hellish by an intrusive government which keeps DNA records on all citizens and which also requires that one-tenth of government jobs be filled by licensed and registered homosexuals.

Anyway, I mentioned a bit about my idea and a couple of group members told me to go for it. And since they are group members I respect, that’s really encouraging to me.

I know I have no guarantee that my short story will get published in the anthology. But I feel optimistic that I could come up with something well-written. And since I’m a gay woman I add diversity to the anthology— not that this ought to be a major consideration.

My life has been a history of writing attempts failed due to either writer’s block or writing avoidance. I think I may have a handle now on improving that, but it’s a little fragile at the moment. I’m going to be starting the story this morning, and I hope my writing day goes well.

If you are a writer, how is your writing life going? Any new projects you are feeling enthusiastic about? Or is your writing energy waning lately?

 

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

IWSG: Why Is There Just One ‘First Thing in the Morning?’

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2This is a post in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. Click on the link to see more.

Some days I think we need more than one ‘first thing in the morning.’ Because one just doesn’t cut it for me.

First thing in the morning is the best time for me to write poetry, so some days I do that. But since people don’t much read my poetry (even when the poetry e-book is free at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/480237 ), sometimes I work on my prose writing. First thing in the morning is also the best time for that. Recently I actually completed a bit of prose, which is rare for me, by tapping in to the power of first thing in the morning. You can read the next-to-final draft of the story here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/nissa-annakindt-poet-aspie-cat-person/the-skin-shirt-a-short-story-thats-not-about-race/449762488528479

But first thing in the morning is also essential for other things. When I have gone off my ketogenic/low-carb diet and am having difficulty getting back on, I need to read inspirational bits from one of my ketogenic diet books, and perhaps discover a good low-carb recipe to try out. If I do that first thing in the morning, I am more likely to have a successful day.

First thing in the morning is also a good time to handle essential paperwork, or to get my bill paying chore over with. I don’t handle these things well— just ask my gas company— and so doing it first thing in the morning is best.

First thing in the morning is also the right time to tackle a big project around my house, either indoors or outdoors. Like a couple of days ago when I got serious about hauling some manure out of the barn to make a better living area for my 9 year old mama goat and her two out-of-season newborns.

First thing in the morning is also the right time to write blog posts. My writing energy is at its peak and morning-posted blog posts are more likely to get read.

It’s also a great time to attend to spiritual needs. To get in there and read my daily readings from the Bible and Catechism, and to pray a rosary or two. On Wednesday mornings I can even tap into the power of mornings to make it to the daily Mass before I go to the Legion of Mary meeting.

Some days, though, my first thing in the morning is taken up with things I didn’t plan for. Like Sunday morning when I got up early, looked out the window, and noticed that my sheep had escaped. Rounding them up, I noticed that my elderly female goat had given birth so I had to get her set up in a private location. (My goat seems to do her best work in the evening, when she must have jumped the fence— perhaps while already in labor— led the sheep to escape with her, and got into the barn through a door left open for the free-ranging ducks and turkey, where she had her babies.)

So sometimes I get frustrated. I’d really like to get my writing done first thing in the morning every day. But there are so many other things that also need the first thing in the morning treatment. We really need more than ONE first thing every  morning.


If you have a Twitter account and would like to help me out, you can click on the link below to send out a Tweet that promotes this blog post— I’m trying to get more blog readers. Thanks.
Click to tweet: Tweet: Need more than 1 ‘first thing in the morning?’ http://ctt.ec/pbacU+ #amwriting #IWSG

Is Donald Trump Lying about his Church Attendance?

TrumpMany people who favor Donald Trump as a presidential candidate excuse some of the harsh and cruel things Trump says from time to time by saying that Trump is just being honest. But is he?

Trump, when asked about his church affiliation, named a church and says he goes there ‘a lot’. But the church says he is not an active member. He also claims to love the Bible but couldn’t name a favorite Bible verse. My concern about that is that he may be deceiving people by making these claims about his church activity and Bible reading to get votes.

I think a truly honest man would say ‘I only rarely get to church because of my business activities’ and ‘I don’t have time in my busy life to read the Bible as often as I should.’ Because if a man is any sort of a faithful Christian he certainly would not want to claim a level of church attendance and Bible reading he hadn’t achieved.

I wish that some fair-minded reporters who don’t hate the GOP and who want to give Trump a fair chance would look in to some of the claims Trump makes. For example, Trump says he has given up his former pro-abort position and now is prolife— though he won’t defund the Planned Parenthood abortion mills.

Someone should find out which prolife organizations Trump has given donations to, and which prolife protests and events he has attended. And which prolife leaders he has met with personally.

I am bothered when prolife Christian people proclaim that Trump is the only honest candidate and the only one who will take prolife actions such as defund Planned Parenthood. These people need to do their homework and investigate Trump and the other candidates. Christians believe we live in a fallen world, tainted by human sin. We should keep that in mind and not give any political candidate automatic trust. As Ronald Reagan said, trust but verify.

Even if Trump turns out to be a honest Christian man who has developed strong connections with the prolife community, it is wise at this point in the political game to have more than one candidate on your list. Any one candidate could have to drop out of the race for any number of reasons. Or pass away from an unexpected heart attack. We need to be prepared to support other candidates in the event our guy isn’t the nominee. Remember, it may have been people who stayed home on election day because of a dislike of Mitt Romney that gave us a second Obama term.

Source Article:

The Blaze: The Church That Donald Trump Says he Goes To ‘A Lot’ Says He’s Not An ‘Active Member.’

To be fair to Trump, we must remember that the church may have a different idea of what going to church ‘a lot’ means than a busy businessman like Donald Trump. And there may be a political ax to grind, especially if the congregation is affiliated with the liberal Presbyterian body that accepts abortion, gay marriage, and varying definitions of the role of Jesus Christ. We have to ‘trust but verify’ with church spokesmen, too.

Celebrate the Small Things: The Power of a Little Human Kindness

Celebrate blog hopCelebrate the small things: a blog hop.

This week our parish is hosting two Sisters from the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. These Sisters have a charism (spiritual gift) for going out into the community to find fallen-away Catholics who have unmet spiritual needs.

What they are doing in our parish is going door-to-door and asking if anyone in the household has been baptized Catholic. If there are any Catholics, we ask about their needs— if there are children who haven’t yet had religious education, if there is a couple in a mixed marriage who might like to get their marriage blessed by the priest, or a sick person who needs a visit from the priest.

The Sisters take members of our parish out with them on this mission so that we can learn to go out into the community as they do. I’ve gone out twice so far— once with each Sister.

We have talked to several people. Some of them are older, sick people who just seem to welcome someone to talk to. In one household we encouraged a man to talk to his adult son about having a child baptized. This man talked to us for close to an hour. I think he was lonely, and I think reaching out to him— to let him know that the Church cares about him personally— was a good thing.

Yesterday we were warned by a lady not to bother going to a certain house because the man who lived there didn’t like organized religion. Sister Mary Lucia went and knocked on the door anyway. It turned out that the man who lived there had become Catholic when he married, had raised his children in the faith, but after his wife died of cancer did not go to church and considered himself agnostic. Yet he was willing to talk to the Sister for quite some time. She made it clear that he would be welcomed back at the church if he chose to go back.

What impresses me is how a small thing like going to visit with a person in their home can be a help to lonely people. I know that when I am suffering from lack of human contact, I don’t always go out of my way to do things like go to church or ask people for attention. It’s hard to do that. But if someone comes out to such people and is willing to listen to them and shows concern— well, even if you don’t believe there is a God you can see how this can help some very lonely people.

I’m going to be going out with the Sisters again today. This will be the last time, and the Sisters will be leaving soon. But I hope other members of the parish will continue with the work of home visits. We just don’t know how many people there are in our community, suffering from loneliness, that we could help.


Please consider visiting my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats

Even Satanists Admit Planned Parenthood is Satanic

SatanistsPPDuring the protests against Planned Parenthood, one group jumped in to the rescue of the abortion clinic chain— Satanists. They poured milk over people for some reason— which is a waste of good milk. But I suppose wasting food rather than giving it to the poor is a Satanic ‘virtue’.

You can read more about the story at the Washington Examiner’s post here: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/satanists-drown-women-for-planned-parenthood/article/2570695

This is interesting. Satanists— people who for whatever reason worship the guiding spirit of evil, Satan— recognize what Planned Parenthood does as something their ‘god’ Satan would approve of.

What does this mean? Either the Satanists are dumb as rocks and don’t know that support from Satanists would hurt the image of the Planned Parenthood that they love— or they are in their hearts as offended by what Planned Parenthood does to unborn children as the rest of us, and they are using their theatrical devil-worship as a tool to express what Planned Parenthood really is.

Either way, this revival of Satanism— and the MSM support for it in covering their demonstration with a straight face— is a troubling thing. Back in the day of Anton LaVey’s Satanism, most kids had some degree of religious education, if only second-hand from their more blessed companions. But today people are so ignorant they will literally sign away their immortal souls to Satan in order to get in to a much ballyhooed event, the dedication of a Satanic statue in Detroit.

Actions like signing your soul over to Satan or involvement in literal Satan worship cause long-term damage purely in a psychological sense. If you can admit to yourself the possibility that God, Satan, angels and demons might exist and be carrying on spiritual warfare around us, the damages done will be seen to have an even greater effect.

Faced with such evils as literal Satanist milk-wasters and PP baby-murderers who DON’T waste the bodies of their victims, but sell them, all we can do is pray:

Spiritual Warfare Prayer:

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

Adaptation for Non-Catholics

Heavenly Father,
send Michael the Archangel
to defend us in battle.
And to be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
Oh, Lord, rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and send
Thy prince of the heavenly hosts,
by Thy power,
to thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

Celebrate the Small Things: Short Story Finished

Celebrate blog hopThis is my first time with a new blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things, and what could be smaller than a short story? Once there were so many short story magazines that many writers made a full time living at them. Then the magazines disappeared, and the few who were left didn’t raise their pay rates in decades.

Author and writing-coach Lawrence Block in 1979 wrote in ‘Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print’ that young writers ought not to bother writing even one short story. They should go straight to the novel.

I followed that advice with the result that I’ve written a large number of novel-beginnings with no endings. Not surprising. As a poet I mostly write short poems. I’ve even started writing haiku in the past couple of years. And so for many years the only thing I’ve published were poems and I felt like a failure.

Recently I was sick and a kindly doctor actually prescribed some hardcore pain pills for the accompanying pain. In the drug-fog I watched television reports of the race riots in Baltimore and I thought that the color of people’s skin was about as significant as the color of their shirts. There might as well be headlines: ‘Green-shirted Man Dies in Custody of Red-shirted Police Officers’.

Which in my drug-altered state led me to a weird idea of a city with people in all sorts of exotic skin colors, blue, violet, aqua, orange, red…. and the people change their skin color by means of skin shirts. I wrote the story and have now got with it to the point that I put it up as notes on my Facebook page, so a few friends of mine could read it and perhaps give me reactions before I do the final edits before e-book publication.

You are welcome to read it also (and more than welcome to ‘like’ my author page): https://www.facebook.com/notes/nissa-annakindt-poet-aspie-cat-person/the-skin-shirt-a-short-story-thats-not-about-race/449762488528479 As of this moment the first two parts of the story are up, and the third and final part will be published tomorrow. I also have a book cover— simple, but functional.

I’m wondering if perhaps the new publishing age we live in will create a renaissance for the short story. We can self-publish them as e-books, and even make them available for free (on Smashwords at least, Kindle insists on 99 cent minimum.) And writers of novels can write a short story in the same world as their novel, and make the story a ‘free sample’ for their full-length book.

Do you read short stories? Have you written one? How do you feel about short stories, as a reader or as a writer?

Find the other ‘Celebrate the Small Things’ blogs here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html


Commercial message: feel free to ignore

Are you a writer, and do you feel your author blog could be better, or have more traffic? I feel the same way. And so I’ve started on a massive blog-improvement project which I am documenting in my blog post series Antimatter Blogs: How to Make your Blog Explode.

Each week (or so) I will post about something practical in relation to blog improvement. For example, next time I think I will cover how to use Twitter to get more blog readers.

‘Antimatter Blogs’ also has a linky list, which is at: http://linalamont2.blogspot.com/p/antimatter-blogs-linky-list.html It’s on a Blogger blog since WordPress.com is notoriously uncool about making these type of lists appear in posts. Once we get a few ‘Antimatter Bloggers’ on the list, it will be a great place to consult if you are looking for blogs to comment on.

To participate in the Antimatter Blogs blog improvement project:

  1. Follow this blog, using whatever method you use to follow blogs.
  2. Sign up on the linky list.
  3. Begin to follow the suggestions to help your blog improve and get more traffic.
  4. Suggestion One: Comment on other people’s blogs daily
  5. Hashtag #AntimatterBlogs

 

 

Low-Carb Diet: How to Do it Right

Keto ClarityI knew the low-carb diet had finally gone mainstream when General Hospital mob boss Julian Jerome stopped eating carbs. It was about time. Low-carb first became part of American diet culture in 1972 when Dr. Robert Atkins’ book, ‘Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution’ made the best-seller lists. Atkins created the diet for himself, based on things he’d read in medical journal articles, but the medical establishment called him a heretic for not promoting a calorie counting or low-fat approach.

Low-carb, also called ketogenic, diets are different from temporary weight loss diets. You have to change your eating patterns for life to reap the benefits.

The problem with low-carb is that everyone has heard of it but precious few people know how to do it. Look at this scene, which takes place at a buffet:

Husband: Look at those bread rolls! Don’t they look great?

Wife: We can’t have them, dear. We are eating low-carb now, remember?

Husband: Then let’s have these buttermilk biscuits, then. Or that corn bread.

Wife: We can’t have those, either. They are bread, too. Sort of.

Husband: Well, what can we eat, then?

Wife: Well, how about this mashed potatoes? It’s a vegetable. Surely no diet can restrict our vegetables? And this fruit salad— I’m sure we can have as much fruit as we like.

Husband: What about this macaroni and cheese?

Wife: Well, it’s got pasta, but pasta isn’t bread. And cheese is a low-carb diet food— go for it!

This, as you may have guessed, is NOT the way to do low-carb. In order to do it right, you have to get a sound low-carb diet book with good instructions on how foods fit in to the low-carb eating plan. In this plan, there are three classes of foods:

  1. Foods to eat freely: meats (beef, pork, lamb, venison, chicken, turkey), fish and seafood (salmon, tuna, cod, smelt, perch, shrimp— all kinds except clams, scallops and oysters), eggs, mayonnaise, butter, coconut oil, olive oil.
  2.  Foods to ration: salads, non-starchy vegetables, heavy whipping cream, cheese, nut products such as almond flour, coconut flour. (A good low-carb diet plan will tell you how much of each you are allowed.)
  3. Foods you may not eat: bananas, figs, candy, cake, bread, muffins, pasta, milk, pancakes, corn, cornstarch, sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, jam, honey, potatoes, raisins, sweet potatoes, yams, sweetened yogurt.

The low-carb diet is a trade-off. There are some foods you just cannot eat at all— unlike the calorie-counting approach where you can have tiny portions of such food. In exchange, there are foods you can eat without restrictions.

When you are consuming no more than 20 or 25 grams of carbohydrate per day, your metabolism changes. It stops running on glucose— sugar— and starts running on ketones. Ketones result when your body is running on fat instead of sugar. It’s very healthful, not just for weight loss but for many other conditions. A ketogenic (ketone producing) diet has been used to treat epilepsy for decades, and helps in diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, kidney disease, and other conditions. Read ‘Keto Clarity‘ for more information, much of it contributed by doctors.

When choosing your Basic Diet Book for your eating plan, beware of these things: first, some ‘low-carb’ diets are not low carb. They just reduce your carbs a little. So you don’t get the benefits of a low-carb/ketogenic diet.

Also, the Atkins approach has steps. You start at a healthy 20 or so grams of carbs, and then after two weeks you start adding more carbs back. This triggers your food cravings for carb foods and can lead to food binges on carb foods. This is why people go off Atkins and swear it didn’t work for them. Advice: ignore the instructions for the steps, except that if you are healthy you might try the first addition of 5 more carb grams, which you can use on nuts or certain fruits (berries, mostly).

The ‘Carbohydrate Addicts Diet’ is another plan to avoid. On it, you eat two meals a day of low-carb food, and one reward meal in which you can eat any foods you like, so long as you finish the meal within one hour. This plan doesn’t work on some people at all, and with others it works initially but then quits working. It can lead to food binges on carb-foods. Remember, for most people who go on diets, carb foods are like alcohol is to an alcoholic. They must be avoided.

The Paleo diet is NOT a low-carb ketogenic diet. It does not restrict fruit consumption, for example. The book Neanderthin is a more low-carb approach to the Paleo diet, but even there you will have to get another eating plan to provide your carb restriction plan. It adds more restrictions to the diet— you will have to give up cream, butter and cheese— but some people like a low-carb Paleo approach.

Some recommended diet plan books:

Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution

Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution

The Diabetes Diet

The Four Corners Diet

How to use the diet plan books: Buy one or more of the books above. Everyone should probably have a copy of the original Atkins book, even if your eating plan is based on The Diabetes Diet or Four Corners. Read them cover to cover. Find the section of the book that is the ‘diet sheet’ — that sums up what foods you can and can’t eat. Make two copies of it. Keep one in your billfold or purse. Put the other up on the refrigerator or somewhere else handy in the kitchen. You can put it on the inside of a cupboard door if you like.

Make a point of reading in your diet plan book for ten minutes every day. This will keep your enthusiasm up, and it will help you remember all the things you need to know about your new diet.

You will also need other books for your low-carb/ketogenic lifestyle. Books like Keto Clarity which show you the benefits of the diet. Recipe books, like those by Dana Carpender.  But you don’t need all that to start with. I started out with just the original Atkins book which I bought at a St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop. Later, I added an early Atkins recipe book.

Have you ever tried Atkins or another low-carb diet plan? Did you commit to it as a lifelong eating plan? Did you try it for weight loss or for one of the other health benefits? Are you still on it? Do you think it helps you?