My thinking board
My thoughts about this & that...
Is chocolate good for you?
The benefits of cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate:
Once a year we kinda OD on chocolate
The stores are loaded with Halloween candy already, and I usually stack up on the best ones in time, before they sell out. I love chocolate, and I treat myself to a piece of my favorites, every day.
However, I'm ashamed to admit that my most favorites, the creamy, melt in your mouth scrumptious truffles usually don't make it into the treat bowl.
Okay, I’m a little selfish when it comes to my chocolate.
When is it too much?
Cocoa itself, unlike chocolate, is low in sugar and fat while offering potential health benefits.
However, most commercial chocolate has ingredients that add fat, sugar and calories. And too much can contribute to weight gain, a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Are you a chocoholic?
A chocoholic is a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate. The word chocoholic come from playfully blending the words "chocolate" and "alcoholic".
The term is used loosely or humorously to describe a person who is inordinately fond of chocolate. However, there is medical evidence to support the existence of actual addiction to chocolate.
Is chocolate a drug?
Chocolate is not a controlled substance, and it cannot be prescribed, which means, it is not a drug.
Why does chocolate make you happy?
Researchers have found that cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, causes the brain to release the “feel good” chemicals, called endorphins.
The sugar in the chocolate also plays a role in this. Because the insulin released in response to the sugar facilitates the release of tryptophan to the brain, the effect is the feeling of happiness.
Is it okay to eat a chocolate every day?
You can eat chocolate, even on a diet, and yes, it is okay to eat chocolate every day. Thinking of a diet as daily deprivation makes people feeling sad, cheated, and unsatisfied. Instead, look at diet in a different way. Take all the foods you eat into account.
How much chocolate is healthy?
Even though quality dark chocolate is a better choice than milk chocolate, it is still chocolate. It's high in calories and saturated fat.
To avoid weight gain, it’s been recommended eating no more than 1 ounce of chocolate per day, dark chocolate is a better choice.
I'm totally addicted. What should I do?
You can beat your excessive chocolate cravings by filling up on something else before you treat yourself. Once you aren't hungry anymore, the intrusive thoughts about chocolate should subside, and you’d be satisfied with eating a small piece.
Look for foods that are low in sugar and high in protein or whole grains. These foods will keep you full longer, and also prevent a sugar crash.
Perhaps your body lacking something that causes to crave chocolate. Chocolate cravings are often caused by low magnesium levels, just like cravings for meat or cheese are seen as a sign of low iron or calcium levels.
You can lessen food cravings by providing your body with the vital nutrients it needs to correct the nutrient deficiency.
Historically chocolate has been reported to exert several effects on human sexuality, mainly acting as an effective aphrodisiac by increasing desire and improving pleasure.
I've earned my RN license long ago and have administered thousands of intramuscular (IM) injections and vaccines.
In the past, when administering IM injections, aspirating was standard practice to ensure that the tip of the needle had not hit a blood vessel.
IM injection technique
Pay close attention to step 1 and 9
1. Locate injection site
To isolate the muscle and target where you’ll place the injection, spread the skin at the injection site between two fingers.
Read the atricle
Symptoms from improperly administered vaccinations - known as SIRVA, for "shoulder injury related to vaccine administration'' - include chronic pain, limited range of motion, nerve damage, frozen shoulder (the inability to move the shoulder) and rotator cuff tear.
Read a patient's story
2. Clean injection site
Clean the site selected for injection with an alcohol swab and allow the skin to air dry.
3. Prepare syringe with medication
Remove the cap. If the vial or pen is multi-dose, take a note about when the vial was first opened. The rubber stopper should be cleaned with an alcohol swab.
4. Draw air into the syringe
Draw back the plunger to fill the syringe with air up to the dose that you’ll be injecting. This is done because the vial is a vacuum and you need to add an equal amount of air to regulate the pressure.
5. Insert air into the vial
Remove the cap from the needle and push the needle through the rubber stopper at the top of the vial. Inject all of the air into the vial. Be careful to not touch the needle to keep it clean.
6. Withdraw the medication
Turn the vial and syringe upside down so the needle points upward and pull back on the plunger to withdraw the correct amount of medication.
7. Remove air bubbles
Tap the syringe to push any bubbles to the top and gently depress the plunger to push the air bubbles out.
8. Insert the needle
Hold the needle like a dart and insert it into the muscle at a 90-degree angle. You should insert the needle in a quick, but controlled manner.
Do not push the plunger in.
9. Check for blood!
Pull back on the plunger slightly, looking for blood in the syringe.
If you see blood going into the syringe, it means the tip of the needle is in a blood vessel. If this happens, withdraw the needle and begin again with a new needle, syringe with medication, and injection site.
What happens if you give an IM injection in a blood vessel?
"When injecting, ensure that no blood vessels are touched. If blood is visible in the syringe when pulling the syringe plunger back towards you, immediately remove the needle and press on the injection site to stop the bleeding.
A broken blood vessel causes internal bleeding within the muscle. You may feel pain and stiffness in the muscle. When a blood vessel breaks, scar tissue or blood clots can form and if a blood clot starts to wander and reaches the heart or lungs, the consequences can be life-threatening. Injections that hit an artery can be particularly dangerous."
"Recent global studies suggest that wrong injection techniques used to administer Covid-19 vaccines may be a reason behind incidences of blood clots being reported post vaccination.
If the technique of administering the injection is wrong, the vaccine could get injected into the blood stream instead of reaching the muscle. This can lead to blood clots, health experts said."
“Unfortunately, many updated guidelines [from pre-pandemic days] suggest that ‘aspirating for blood return in the syringe’ is no longer necessary. This leaves a small chance of missing an inadvertent intravenous injection. In the past, aspirating was standard practice to ensure that the tip of the needle had not hit a blood vessel,” Dr Jayadevan said.
Knowledge is Power
Request a copy
Send me a message in CONTACT which audiobook you'd like to listen to for free.
Limited codes are available, first come first served.
Reviews are greatly appreciated.
How do you create a mental picture of book characters?
I'm in the middle of rewriting my historical suspense story, Unbroken Curse, that I published in 2016. The past 5 years I've grown a lot as a writer, so I thought that it's about time to revisit the old story.
In my early books, The Ancestor's Secrets series (2012), which is next on my needs-rewriting-list, I had a tendency to keep going on and on about parts that didn't really move the story forward, but later on my writing style turned into a more minimalist scene and character description.
What is your opinion?
The overdetailed description
Personally, when I read a story, I get easily annoyed by extremely detailed descriptions.
If the story plays out in present time and the author describes the character's outfit in minute details, it doesn't even give me a chance to use my imagination.
This is not from an actual book, but I've read something similar:
She had shoulder length, platinum blond curly hair. She was tall and skinny with long legs. Her face oval shaped, sky-blue eyes large with long lashes. She stood in front of the walk-in closet selecting her outfit for the meeting. She chose a teal-blue knee length dress that accentuated her womanly curves. Next, she picked her black Italian leather open toed high-heels that showed off her freshly pedicured, coral-pink nails.
You get the picture. For me, it's too long and way too detailed.
The minimalist descriptions
In most of my stories I give little detail about how the characters look, but I think the reader can picture the characters with ease:
The excited murmurs of a group of archeology students at the bottom of the large, six feet deep hole sounded muffled. But when a lanky young man in dusty overall climb the stepladder and yelled out to the lead archeologist standing by the tent, his voice boomed, “Helen, you have to see this!”
The plump woman with salt and pepper hair pulled into a tight bun froze for a second, and then started running toward the student.
Here is another example of the minimalist description:
The tall security guard walked down the path between the thick bushes to the clearing where the archeological team parked their cars. Despite his promise, his porky partner’s chin dropped to his chest as soon as he was out of sight. I’ll just close me eyes for a moment. He though. His breathing slowed as he fell asleep.
What do you think? Do the two characters need more detailed description?
When details are much needed
In this part of the story that plays out in the 400s, I felt like a lot more description was necessary because readers are not familiar with the style of this age in central Europe.
Elana hurried up to the entrance of the tent-like building, called Jurta, with a few long strides. Parting her kaftan-like dark blue overcoat, she pulled up her baggy trousers and smoothed her tunic that her mother had adorned with delicate flower designs. Pulling the leather entrance cover aside with a heavy sigh, she braced herself mentally for the long lecture of her mother that she knew she must endure.
As usual, she was late for her herbal lessons with her mother, a beautiful, statuesque, dark-haired woman who slowly rose from a curved sofa-like piece of furniture. Soft light coming from the opening at the ceiling shone on her green, delicately decorated calf-length tunic that she wore with loose black trousers. Her hair was braided with thin leather thongs and hugged her shoulders.
Do you think it's unnecessarily too detailed?
When the personality of the character revealed in dialogs
The old stone mill quarry in the mountains on the Northeast side of Hungary had been buzzing with activity for days. Archaeologists found 16th century artifacts the year before, but when they restarted the site in the spring and dug deeper, they’d unearthed an ancient burial site in the six-foot-deep layer. As the initial assessment estimated, this layer had been buried since the 5th century.
The excited murmurs of a group of archeology students at the bottom of the large, six feet deep hole sounded muffled. But when a lanky young man in dusty overalls ascended the stepladder and yelled out to the lead archeologist standing by the tent, his voice boomed, “Helen, you have to see this!”
A middle-aged plump woman with salt and pepper hair pulled into a tight bun froze for a second, and then started running toward the student. “What did you find?” she wheezed, her chest tightening by the sudden excitement and anticipation.
“Come down and see!” The student hurried down the stepladder giving space to Helen to descend into the deep, large space.
“Damn!” she exclaimed when her shaky legs missed a step, but the young man broke her fall and steadied her on her feet. “Thanks,” she mumbled.
“Look!” One of the female students pointed at the white horse skull poking halfway out of the soil. “Look at that beautiful bridle!” She looked up at Helen beaming with joy.
“It’s magnificent!” Helen whispered. “The finest craftsmanship I’ve even seen.” She carefully ran her fingers through dry, hardened leather. “The usage of gold and alloy of copper and zinc proves that this warrior had a funeral fit for a noble leader.” She knelt by the skull and took the brush from her student. “I got this. You three start unearthing the rest of the skeleton,” she pointed and added with a stern look on her face. “Be careful!”
The other two holes they dug days ago were occupied by students kneeling in the dirt, brushes and fine chisels in their hands. They carefully scraped away the dirt layer by layer. Next to them laid out on a weathered tarp were weapons, jewelry, and everyday items from around the beginning of the 5th century. They had been working in the hole since dawn knowing it would be too hot to work close to midday when they would be forced to take a break until around mid-afternoon.
What are they buzzing about? A gangly, middle-aged man in a security guard uniform peeked into the deep pit planting his feet firmly to the ground. Good! Them keep finding stuff is my job security. He straightened up with a grunt and turned to find his partner. That fool is sleeping again! He walked over to the tent and punched his stocky partner’s shoulder who was softly snoring in a fold-up chair under the shade of the tall oak tree by the tent. “Hey, sleeping beauty!”
“Uh, what? Jesus! I ain’t sleeping. Just restin’ me eyes,” the balding man sat up straight and wiped spittle from the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand.
“If they catch you snoozing, you can say goodbye to this well-paying cushy job,” the lanky man warned his friend.
“Yeah, yeah,” the heavyset man mumbled. “They’re in the holes busy brushing dirt off of old stuff. And who would come up to this place to steal anything, anyway?” He stretched his hands over his head and let out a loud yawn before reclining once more on the fold-up chair with obvious intent to resume his slumber.
“Just keep your eyes open! I’m gonna drive down to town to pick up the breakfast from the coffee shop.”
“Okay, hurry up. I’m starving.”
The tall man walked down the path between the thick bushes to the clearing where the archeological team parked their cars. Despite his promise, his porky partner’s chin dropped to his chest as soon as he was out of sight. I’ll just close me eyes for a moment, he thought. His breathing slowed as he fell asleep.
As a reader, do you need a detailed description of the character's body type, outfit, and personality?
Or you like to create your mental imagine from a few vague details given by the author?
Let me know in comments!
I was browsing to find summer slippers and...
I clicked on a few websites to find comfy slippers, but, don't ask me how, I ended up looking at badly translated signs and funny bumper stickers. No, I didn't find slippers, but, do you know how painful it is when you try not to laugh with coffee in your mouth but you can't hold it back and coffee comes out of your nose when you burst out laughing? Yeah, it is painful!
So, have a good laugh, but drink your coffee after you're done laughing!
Hm... a meat lover perhaps?
Okay, got it, it was easy. Don't step on the grass.
Thanks for the advice, I'll just slip into the water very carefully.
A bit too much for fish crap, even when it's fresh. Don't you think?
So, I assume the translator doesn't know a word in English.
Wonder how to "mang out". I usually wipe or use the bidet.
Yeah, I got that. If you want to live, don't jump over the rail.
The prime example of why we must use comma.
The cleverest sign I've ever seen!
Um... I wonder what for?
Time to change some bulbs.
Oh, good! Thanks for clearing that up. I started to wonder...
Haha! Yes, I did read the first line wrong.
If every car would say that, there would be no accidents.
Gotcha! Let me slow down a little.
Knowing people's rebellious nature, most would only read the first line and...
Hey, while you're here, click on a few pages. You might like some of my fiction, short story, or children's books.
I write what I like to read and according to most readers my stories a good, but the truth is:
My books may never reach the bestseller status because I don't have the money to spend on advertising and marketing.
You could make me very happy by reading my stories and leave a few words review. If you like my books, tell your friends about them and ask your local library to order them.
Thanks a million!
Click below to see your favorite genre books
Women are all sugar and spice. True, but...
Women are not easily fooled either.
A woman gets a local call. She doesn't recognize the number, but it's local, so she picks it up.
"Hello," a pleasant male voice with a heavy Indian accent greets her. "Are you Mrs. (so and so)?"
"Who's calling?" she asks, knowing that the caller, if it's a scammer, might record a "yes" answer and could use it for money scams.
"Ma'am, this is Brian from (whatever company) refund center. Our records show that you've overpaid for an item you've recently ordered. Are you close to your computer, ma'am?"
The bell goes off in her mind but she's alone and has a lot of time on her hands, so she decides to play along. "Oh, my!" she pretends to be surprised. "I'm getting on my computer right now. How much are we talking about?"
"Great!" the man calls himself Brian but most likely called Babala or something replies. "I can tell you the exact amount in a minute, but first I have to verify a few things. In order to do that, you need to search for this address on your computer: www.xxxxx.com. Sign in with this email: email@example.com and enter the password 12345."
"Okay, give me a minute. I'm almost there. You said the password is 12345, right?"
"Yes, ma'am. No problem, ma'am, I'll wait."
The woman puts her phone on speaker, places the phone next to the keyboard and starts typing while mumbling to herself, "That's interesting. Oh, I see," she giggles.
"Ma'am! Are you there, ma'am?" he starts to sounds impatient.
"Yeah, I'm here," she giggles.
"Ma'am! Did you sign in? I need you to download the app so I could refund you the money. Do you understand?"
"Oh, I understand. Say, are you the cute young man with that neatly trimmed dark beard, or the chubby one in the white t-shirt?"
"What? How?" he mumbles nervously.
"Oh, didn't I tell you? I just hacked into your surveillance system. I can see your entire office on my computer screen, and I see your building on Google map."
"What? Fuck!" comes the man's voice. She hears him shouting to someone in rapid Hindi, and then a lot of commotion and a few seconds later, the phone connection goes dead.
The moral of the story:
Of course, most of us have no clue how to hack into anything, but we're clever enough to fool a smart scammer nicely with wits and quick thinking.
What is a symptom?
The meaning of the word symptom in medicine is: any sensation or change in bodily function that is experienced by a patient and is associated with a particular disease.
Subjective symptoms are what you feel such as headache, nausea, anxiety, abdominal cramps etc.
Objective symptoms are what your doctor can observe such as abnormal heart or lung sounds, thyroid gland enlargement, palpable tumors etc.
Symptoms can be clear and simple, such as half sided blinding headache; sensitivity to light with nausea is most likely migraine headache. Or sudden pain under the right ribs, which refers to the back and accompanied by nausea, is most likely a gallbladder problem.
Other conditions are signaled by more complex symptoms, yet still easy to diagnose, such as increased appetite with weight loss, nervousness, faster than usual heart rate, increased sweating, tremor of the fingers and tongue with heat intolerance. These symptoms are usually the signs of hyperthyroidism, and the cause is easy to diagnose.
Symptoms can be unusual and even bizarre at times.
You might ask, “What on earth does my earlobe have to do with the condition of my arteries”, or “If I have frequent hangnails do I really have vitamin C deficiency?”
Well, most bizarre symptoms are not proven scientifically. Instead they are the result of careful observations by people who paid attention to their own bodies, or by doctors who made the connection between symptom and disease. However, some unusual symptoms are proven by studies and tests. For example, an extensive study was completed in the US and China regarding the presence of a wrinkle on the earlobe and its connection to atherosclerosis. They found that 90-95% of the people who had a wrinkle on their earlobe had ischemia, (an inadequate supply of blood to a part of the body, caused by partial or total blockage of an artery) caused by atherosclerosis (deposits plaques form on the inner surfaces of the arteries obstructing blood flow). If the earlobe is not getting enough blood, the rest of the body is not getting enough either.
Your nails tell a lot about your health
Changes in nail shape, color, and texture can be especially useful in diagnosing illness. Below you will find some nail signs and the problems possibly causing them. These are only indications, and these are not all inclusive. Some people have never had moons on their nails, but you should check for a problem when you have had them, and they have disappeared. Discoloration, splitting or peeling of nails might be caused by harsh chemicals. However, if you do not use chemicals, it might be a signal of a disease.
Small indentations on nails, which resemble gnawing marks, can be the symptom of psoriasis (a common skin disease that affects the life cycle of the skin cells causing buildup rapidly on the surface of the skin).
No half-moons or ridged nails might signal vitamin A deficiency, kidney disorder or protein deficiency. Also, there is a possibility of autoimmune disease such as Lupus (the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s cells and organs) or scleroderma (progressive tightening of the skin and connective tissue) as well as thyroid disease.
Yellow, thick nails and the moons are missing signals lung problems.
Splitting, peeling nails might signal vitamin A and D deficiency, poor circulation, thyroid problems, hydrochloric acid deficiency, iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, or protein deficiency.
Nails curve up might signal iron or zinc deficiency, thyroid problems.
Nails curve down past fingertips can be the signal of heart and liver disorders, respiratory problems, or Vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Dark, spoon shaped nails might signal anemia, Vitamin B-12, and iron deficiency.
Flat nails can be the signal for iron or protein deficiency, Vitamin B-12 deficiency, Psoriasis, and Diabetes.
Wide, square nails can be the sign of hormonal imbalance.
Thick and deformed nails signal poor circulation, thyroid disease, or fungal infection.
Pitted, fraying, or split nails are a sign of vitamin C and protein deficiency.
Poor nail growth signals zinc deficiency.
Frequent hangnails can be the symptom of vitamin C deficiency.
Nail color changes
White spots signal low thyroid hormones and zinc deficiency.
White bands on nails can be the sign of zinc and protein deficiency as well as heart disease, liver and kidney problems.
Too pale nails might signal liver problems, poor circulation, kidney problems, anemia, multiple mineral deficiencies, and excess copper in the body.
Yellow nails can be a sign of vitamin E deficiency, poor circulation, lymph congestion, diabetes, or fungal infection.
Green nails are the sign of fungal or bacterial infections.
Blue nails signal lung and heart problems, circulatory problems, drug reactions, and blood toxicity from too much silver or copper.
Blue colored moons are the usual sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
Black bands on nails signal low adrenal function, chemotherapy or radiation reaction.
Brown nails can be the sign of renal failure.
Half brown and half white nails are also renal failure signs.
Brown or black streaks are visible from the base of the nail to the tip or uneven brownish spot signals melanoma.
Dark nail tips signal vitamin B12 deficiency.
Nail bed bleeding signals autoimmune disease.
Unable to straighten finger without known injury can be a sign of liver cirrhosis.
Read about more unusual symptoms in the eBook
More eBooks for a dollar
Are you persistently waking up at night at the same time?
Although this article contains some medical facts, it’s mostly my own observation of patients and talking to patients throughout my nursing career.
Can’t sleep 6-8 hours straight without waking up?
If you’re persistently waking up at night at the same time, it might be because your body and mind are trying to tell you something. Our bodies and minds work like an amazing computer system. The body is “resetting” the physical body, and the mind is organizing the previous day’s events, thoughts, and feelings. We need a restful sleep to help our body, but sometimes our sleep is interrupted.
Waking up 10 Pm – midnight:
Waking up at this time of the night might be due to stress and anxious thoughts throughout the day that hasn’t been resolved before going to sleep. You might be feeling pressured at your job, in your family life, or you have a lot on your “to-do” list and having a hard time keeping up.
Take a warm bath before bed, watch, or read a relaxing story, or listen to calming music. Think about the positive things you’ve accomplished. Next, put the unresolved issues and to-do list in your mind to a mental file “to be solved another day”.
Waking up midnight – 1 Am:
This is when your mind is dealing with anger issues and the pent-up, unresolved anger tends to wake you up at this time of the night. Anger might manifest itself as a bad dream or nightmare.
Before bed try to stretch, do some light yoga exercises, and think about what made you angry throughout the day. Remember, some things you cannot change, follow the philosophy of a dog. If you can’t change it, don’t waste time being angry about it. Piss on it, kick some dirt on it, and move on.
Waking up 1 Am – 3 Am:
The feeling of hate is keeping you up around this time of the night that related mostly to self-hatred. You might hate your aging or sick body, weaknesses of your personality, or situations you got yourself into.
Have a good talk with yourself and point out what you like about your body and personality. Embrace the positive things and make fun of the negative ones. Yeah, my boobs have been taken over by gravity and moving to the south, but with the help of a push-up bra, they can still look perky. Remember, just because people put on a cheerful mask, every single person is dealing with problems that life throws at us, even with occasional self-doubt and self-loathing. You’re not alone. Accept yourself, the whole package, and don’t pick on little things that are only temporary.
Forgive others who hurt you. Remember, when you keep a grudge alive, you carry the much-hated person with you 24/7 in your mind. Drop them like a hot potato and move on.
Waking up 3 Am – 5 Am:
Oh, the witching hour. In folklore, the witching hour or devil's hour is a time of night that is associated with supernatural events, whereby witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and be at their most powerful. Nah, that’s just folklore, but I guess waking up feeling anxious and scared, especially after a frightening nightmare, people thought it was the devil’s doing. Waking up at this time of the night most like is due to the suffocating feeling of being trapped and you wish to break free from something constricting. Maybe trying to end a bad relationship but you don’t know how, or it could also be fear of something such as the result of a medical test.
Running away from seemingly unsolvable problems simply creates more problems and anxiety. This is where a good support system or counseling proves to be helpful. Talking things over with a trusted person and looking at things from a different perspective often solves the most difficult situations, or at least gives you hope that you can break free and move toward a brighter-looking future.
Why do most heart attacks occur in the morning?
As you wake up, your body releases stress hormones to get your body up and going for the day. In addition, your body tends to be dehydrated by the time you wake up and for some people, this combination of added stress hormones plus dehydration may be enough to trigger a heart attack.
Drinking lots of water too close to bedtime can interrupt your sleep cycle and negatively impact heart health. You must drink enough water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and prevent excess water intake at night.
I hope you've found this article helpful!
Please share, and don't forget to click on my books on the sidebar or read my portfolio below.
You might find something you like.
Read my portfolio:
Annual eBook Sale
Download Mobi files to read on your Kindle,
or download ePub files to read on any eBook reader
99 cents books
Books for $1.49
Words cut deeper than knives
Image credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
My mom often warned me about the old saying, "Words cut deeper than knives."
While developing a dialog between the main character of my new book and the bitter, jealous, old woman who tries with all her might to stop her, I remembered the encounter between two women when I was a young child.
My mom was browsing at the flea market with me in tow. I wasn't interested in the porcelain teacups and plates, so to occupy myself, I was watching the people around me. I spotted an old woman by the next table. Her deformed fingers caught my eyes because I've never seen a person crippled by advanced arthritis before. As she stood holding onto her cane in front of the table, she picked up rings and necklaces with trembling fingers, but some of the smaller pieces slipped from her fingers, and she dropped them.
The saleswoman, who looked to be about my mom's age, didn't say anything but with angry, annoyed expression on her face, she kept adjusting the jewelry pieces in the display cases that the old woman dropped.
Customers kept coming and going. They had to walk around the old woman and reach in front of her to pick up the jewelry they wanted to buy. After the old lady picked up and dropped ten or so pieces, the saleswoman asked her hardly containing her annoyance, "Are you going to buy anything or just messing up my table and holding up my customers?"
The old woman didn't say anything just quietly dropped the ring she was holding. "Move over already!" a young woman standing next to her snapped turning toward the saleswoman giving her a conspirator's wink and said in a hushed voice, "Being old is just a burden on everyone. I don't want to grow too old. You can't do anything or enjoy anything when you're old and sick."
The old woman looked at her, and then raised her head staring into space. She blinked, shook her head and turned her eyes back the young woman. "You don't need to worry about growing old, dear," she said in a sweet tone with a smile.
"What?" the young woman looked at her surprised. 'What are you talking about?"
The old woman turning away slowly said to her, "You won't live to celebrate your fortieth birthday."
I'll never forget the shocked expression on the young woman's face. She turned to the saleswoman and let out a nervous laugh. "Crazy old bat!" she exclaimed.
The saleswoman stared at the old woman's back, as she walked away, deep in thoughts. "Yeah, maybe... but maybe not."
What are your thoughts?
Did the old woman scare the young one on purpose?
Was she a psychic and had a vision?
Was the old woman cruel and revengeful?
Imagine the young woman's feelings getting close to her fortieth birthday.
Would you tell anyone something like that?
The Author-Narrator Team
The Author: Erika M Szabo
My stories are definitely not literary masterpieces. I don't use a lot of metaphors and flowery language in my writing. I write easy flowing, engaging stories for people who just want to relax after a hard day of work and escape reality for couple of hours.
A reader described my writing style perfectly:
"We all remember cozying up in our warm comfortable beds and settling while a bedtime story was read to us. The fun of the stories centered on the variety - not even a single book was the same, but they all represented a vivid imagination and a memorable tale. Erika M Szabo refers to her imagination as her 'superpower' - I can't think of a better description of her creation of stories that span many different genres, yet they all have that touch of magic that resonates with us from those old-time fairy tales. These however are adult tales with adult themes such as rising to find your dreams following loss and suffering and rising up despite hardship and fear."
Finding Pat to narrate my bundle of novelettes felt like hitting a jackpot.
After I posted my book for audition on ACX and listened to countless auditions, I started to get discouraged. But when I listened to Pat's audition I thought, he's the one!
Although he's new to the technical part of audiobook narration, he's a seasoned composer, musician, actor, and a great voice actor. You can find some of his work on his YouTube channel.
Utilizing his mesmerizing voice and acting talent, he's doing a fantastic job to bring my stories to life.
My written words trigger emotions, but to feel the intensity of the emotions is up to the reader's personality and imagination. An audiobook read by a narrator with average talent could sound flat and impersonal that allows the mind of the listener to wander off losing the momentum of the story.
However, a great narrator reflects the deep emotions depicted in the scenes, brings the characters to life, and keeps the listener engaged throughout the story.
Pat proved to be one of the great narrators. Having read my stories a great number of times while writing and editing them, I know every sentence and word by heart. However, listening to the chapters as Pat records them, I'm not only listening to make sure the technical part of the recording is correct, but I'm immensely enjoying the stories as well. The way he reads my written words feels as if he's in perfect tune with the emotions I felt when writing the stories and perfectly reflects the personalities of the characters, just as I imagined them. Moreover, he took the initiative to add little personal touches to my stories as well such as reading parts of one story with a slight accent.
Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with his work and looking forward to having the finished audiobook published.
Pat narrating a short part of one of the stories
The Narrator: Pat Mahoney
"The COVID-19 Pandemic has hit all of us hard, and in strange ways. For me, it has been an opportunity for introspection and deep thought. I'm 32. I've been blessed with a loving wife, a supportive family, and soon, our first child. We've both had stable careers and a life filled with warmth and love. But in my former career, the risk of exposure was too high -- I had to make a tough choice.
In October of 2019, I transitioned out of rehabilitative personal training and pursued my second love: Acting.
Okay... in truth, it was always my first love. I had taken classes throughout high school and college and participated in competitive public speaking. I thought, better late than never to take a leap of faith! After landing a few auditions with the Little Theatre of Alexandria, and starring in 'A Christmas Carol,' it really felt like my dream was finally coming true. But I knew it was a long road ahead.
Enter the world of Audible.
The community is flooded with authors and narrators, all looking to break out into the world.
But I was raised a certain way. I've come to lament the lack of morals and uplifting stories in most literature today, and as someone raised on Shakespeare, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters, I've always had a particular penchant for the theatrical. Finding an author whose stories matched my worldview and really spoke to me was quite the challenge.
Then, I found Erika M Szabo. I'll admit, I'm normally drawn to flowery language, so my standards are sometimes snobbishly high. But something about her work truly spoke to me. Even in the simple, everyday language, I felt connected to the characters in a way that reminded me of the great works I grew up with. I saw an opportunity. With my taste for theatrics and her understanding of humanity, I wanted to blend Shakespearean performance with accessible language.
Erika's life story is pretty inspiring. As a first-generation immigrant and non-native speaker, she tackles a lot of universal themes with the soul of a poet. She brings her own experience to her stories, as I often do in my music. We're so different from each other. I'm Irish, she's Hungarian. I'm a young parent-to-be, and she has a grown family. I've lived in America all of my life, and she grew up abroad. We've both been through a lot in our personal lives, and somehow, our paths merged for this work.
They say that representation is important. In a world divided, I'm proud to lift up the voices of those whose stories are worth sharing. This experience has humbled me, reminding me that we all work better together than apart. And even as educated as I am, it's never too late to learn and grow.
It is my sincere hope that our project, "The Seven Cozy Shorts," will serve as a testament to that.
Stay tuned for updates!"
The Seven Cozy Shorts
The audiobook is coming soon
The seven stories in the book:
The Ghost of Prince Akhmose
The Worthless Painting
Fake it Till You Make It
Thousands of years ago Tanakhmet cursed Prince Akhmose to never enter the heavenly paradise. But after Layla breaks the curse, does he really want to?
Lauren has everything she’d ever wished for. When her Raven spirit guide warns her of impending danger, she knows her life is in danger. Who wants her dead and why?
A potion made with haste out of jealousy puts Dorian into a coma. The rare orchid that could save his life is fiercely guarded by werewolves in the forbidden forest.
Will they succeed to save his life?
Elana’s life was a revolving door of shattered hopes and disappointments. Until she met Luca. Allowing them only a short time of happiness, cruel fate tore them apart. Will they meet again?
Small town mystery:
The snobbish new owner of the Couture mansion brings a worthless painting into Danielle’s antique shop and the town’s future is threatened by the plans of the ruthless, rich owner. Is the painting truly worth nothing…or?
Soulmates across time:
Caleb lost his soulmate, Valerie. Can he find her in a parallel universe? If his father succeeds to open the portal, will he find the same person in the alternate universe or a stranger?
Love conquers fear:
People are not perfect, and we all come with baggage. They might show a picture perfect-family life but hide the struggles, heartache, compromises, and sacrifices they made to get there.
The stories in the book
Click on the covers below to read about the stories.
Every story is available in eBook, and some of them in short audiobooks.
How can I implement this in my writing?
Read the rules on the link, I added a short quote here:
"In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, gendered terms, such as “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or granddaughter, he, she, her, him” will be removed.
In their place, terms such as “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild, them” will be used, instead."
Authors help me out here!
I dare you to rewrite this short story
6 books per page promo is free
How to get your book into the magazine?
Follow the Bookish Magazines page on Facebook.
Every month, on the 15th, I'll add a post where you can add your book link in comments.
I published this short story in my October online magazine.
In this issue:
Spooky stories and poems
Halloween treat recipes
Awesome Halloween decoration ideas
Books for Halloween
My new release book
Honored people in the Hall of Fame
Intrigued, a young Egyptologist, Layla, deciphers a powerful curse. By reading the hieroglyphs, she inadvertently breaks the curse and frees the ghosts of both Prince Akhmose and the Grand Vizier, Tanakhmet, who cast the curse thousands of years ago.
Why did Tanakhmet curse the prince to never enter the Field of Reeds, the heavenly paradise? Why did he want him to linger as a restless ghost among the living, forever?
Will Tanakhmet succeed, or with Layla’s help, can Prince Akhmose finally cross into the afterlife? Or perhaps, because of the charms of the mortal woman, he doesn’t want to…
Author of urban fantasy, magical realism novels and children's books,
10 Self-publishing Tips
5 Audiobooks To Listen For Free
99 Cents Book Sale
99 For 99
About Free Books
A Brand New Week
A Dear Friend Wrote A Poem For Me
Animals Always Find Me
A Sweet Christmas Tradition
Blood In The Syringe. Is It Dangerous?
Book Formatting #1
Book Promo Fees Gone Too High
Book Promo For Authors
Book Review Craziness
Can You Recognize Narcissistic People?
Cats Love Stories Too!
CHILDREN LEARN HATE AND INTOLERANCE FROM US
Children's Books For Halloween
Complimentary Audiobooks: Get Your Copy
Critique Or Criticism?
Decades Late Apology
Did She Deserve It?
Ebook SALE March 7-13
Emotional Stages Of Becoming A Writer
Every Life Is Precious
Favorite Internet Pastime
Fundraiser For Animals
Garage Sale Surprise
Genderless Characters In Books?
Good Old Fashioned Romance
Got Money? Buy Votes!
Halloween Stories #1
Help! I Can't Choose
High Hopes And Deep Disappointments Of A Writer
Holiday Book Sale
Hopeless Love - Secrets - Magic - Oh My!
How Did I End Up Here?
I Love My Job!
I'm A Better Person Today Because...
I'm Better Than You!
Inferior Or Equal?
Is The Lovely Shade Of Romance Turning Dark?
It's Easier Than You Thought
It's My Birthday
I Would Love To Have A Shiny Sticker On My Resume!
I Write Children's Books Because...
Just 16 Minutes A Day
Little Tree Walking
Makes Sense Or Batshit Crazy?
Mask Or Muzzle?
MBR Bookwatch Review
Message From A Pissed Off Reader
Mom's Scary Dolls
My Green Thumb
New Edition=New Cover
Nightmares And Witching Hour
Omen Or Silly Superstition? Part 1
Omen Or Silly Superstition? Part 2
Omen Or Silly Superstition? Part 3
Omen Or Silly Superstition? Part 4
Omen Or Silly Superstition? Part 5
Past And Present Connected By A Curse
PRESS RELEASE: AUTHOR ERIKA M SZABO
Rainbows And Clouds
READING IS GOOD
Re-blogged: 5 Reasons Why Authors Should:
Re-blogged: Full Moon Dare
Re-blogged: I Don't Speak Spanish
Social Site Animals
Stuck At Home?
The Birth Of An Audiobook
The Danger Of A Quiet Simile
THE JOY OF GETTING OLD
The Magic Of Blackmire Forest
The New Kind Of Book Hoarder
The Quiet Smile Of A Wise Woman!
There Is So Much More To Communication Than Just Speaking
The Scammer Swallows His Own Medicine
The Warning Signs Of Vanity Publishers
Those Dreaded Negative Reviews
Uncle Frank Looks At Me Funny
Unusual Signs And Symptoms
Watch Live: 2019 Celebrations Around The Globe
When The Raven Calls
Which One Is Your Favorite?
Who Are You Jared?
Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?
Why Do I Tell Stories?
Why Do People Lash Out In Anger At Others?
Why Should I Write Book Reviews?
Write A Book They Said
WRITING A STORY IS EASY
You Make A Hungarian Flinch When...