I Can’t Think Like Steinbeck without My Coffee!!

By on 10-16-2017 in Writing

I Can’t Think Like Steinbeck without My Coffee!!

Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, Francis Bacon, and the legendary coffee drinker and author Honore de Balzac all could not begin to get their creative juices flowing without coffee. Balzac drank, on average, 50 cups of coffee per day or he could not write! He even wrote about how coffee was part of his daily morning ritual before he even picked up a pen and wrote anything:

“Coffee glides into one’s stomach and sets all of one’s mental processes in motion. One’s ideas advance in column of route like battalions of the Grande Armée…Were it not for coffee one could not write, which is to say one could not live.”

Johann Sebastian Bach actually wrote a short opera about his obsession with coffee entitled, “The Coffee Cantata”. In it, he tells the story of a young, energetic woman, named Aria, who loves coffee so much she pleads with her father, who is against her drinking the caffeinated devil, and tells him it is, “…more delicious than a thousand kisses.”

Benjamin Franklin hung out at coffee shops centuries before it was popular with millennials. He carried out political meetings, played chess, and even sold his own coffee beans! When he stayed in London, he instructed his sister to send all of his mail to one of his favorite coffee shops there where he would be doing all of his writing and other correspondence.

And if coffee alone doesn’t seem to give an author enough energy to get their creative juices flowing, think about Soren Kierkegaard who added thirty sugar cubes to each cup of coffee he drank.

Those are some seriously committed coffee-drinking authors!

A Lesser Vice

Caffeine is considered one of the “lesser” vices for authors compared to many who chose much more potent alternatives such as alcohol or Benzadrine for the authors Jack Kerouac and Jean Paul Satre.

The Atlantic Monthly published an article in June 2013 that debunked the idea that coffee had an adverse effect on creativity. It talks about the molecular makeup of caffeine and one of its main ingredients, cyclic AMP, which gives your body energy. Phosphodiesterase, an enzyme our body manufactures, breaks cyclic AMP down. Caffeine blocks this enzyme, thus allowing the cyclic AMP to stay around in our system even longer. Hence, more creative juices for a longer period of time the more caffeine we drink.

You can check out the entire article at: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/caffeine-for-the-more-creative-mind/277069/

Slight Drawback – Nothing that Can’t Be Fixed

If you follow this advice, and coffee becomes your author’s vice of choice, you will need to be extra diligent in your oral hygiene. Coffee’s “extra juices” also include more opportunities for your teeth to succumb to dental issues.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), flossing daily is one of the best ways to alleviate oral hygiene problems caused by excessive coffee consumption and tooth-decaying bacteria. Most dentists have found that people do not use the proper technique with string floss, so, they have found better results with water flossers. Water flossers can reach areas where tooth bristles can never reach. Water flossers also help remove plaque and food particles from under the gum line that brushes usually miss. I personally prefer a water flosser over airfloss and string floss.

The ADA also discusses how many of us are improperly brushing. They say that this specific part of our daily oral hygiene needs to be done twice daily, (morning and bedtime), and with the proper technique for the best deterrent to tooth decay. The motto of the ADA is “Two minutes, two times daily”.

A Perfect Pair

Authors and coffee have a history together. Some authorities have tried to disprove the creative element that coffee contains for a writer, but many great authors, passionate about coffee being the foundation of their creative juices, seem to count among them an overwhelmingly successful group of authorities as well. Who would argue with the coffee-driven content of Balzac or Beethoven? Would you?

Change Your Scenery to Find New Ideas

By on 6-04-2017 in Writing

Change Your Scenery to Find New Ideas

Looking for inspiration for your writing? Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to find what you need in order to truly find your inner voice. One my favorite places to go when I’m looking to get my writing on is the great outdoors. Something about sitting under a tree or by a lake or river really gets my creative juices flowing.

When getting out into those far-off places, though, you’ll want to have a few things. Electricity can be scarce, so you’re probably going to be better off taking a writing utensil and something on which you can write. A laptop can work, for sure, if you’ve got a way to charge it in your vehicle, but that limits your ability to go where your inspiration takes you. On top of that, there’s something incredibly satisfying about writing directly onto paper.

Lighting

If you typically write at night, you’re going to need some sort of light source. For the full natural experience, you can definitely start a campfire and write beside it. In an area where you can’t have a fire, or if you just don’t want to deal with it, an electrical light source can work. A lantern or even a lightbar on your car could be helpful for your needs. Lightbars are especially interesting as they can provide a great amount of light over a large area. You can learn more about them at lightbarliaison.com.

Water

Creativity can come from situations you may not expect. Letting the world around you influence your writing is a great way to find a story. For instance, if you’re leaning against a tree, watching the river flow by, you may catch something special. Someone may go by on a boat or something could float along to inspire your writing. Suddenly, you’ll be writing about the mysterious spy who rowed down a backwoods river to get into some villain’s hidden forest base.

Fire

Or, if love stories are your thing, sitting by a campfire could inspire tales of love between two people. They may have found each other on a rainy night and, as they sat beside a campfire to warm themselves, they fell in love. Your story can start anywhere, it just takes that initial spark. If you sit in your office at all hours of the day waiting for writing inspiration to strike, you may find yourself waiting far longer than you’d like.

Conclusion

The great outdoors doesn’t have to be your source of inspiration, of course. Sometimes just going anywhere new can provide you with what you need. Writing at the library or at a coffee shop among other people can bring thoughts of stories never before written, which is the goal of every author, I believe. You don’t ever want your writing to feel like somebody else’s, so do everything you have to do in order to find those ideas which can be uniquely yours. Feel for your inspiration. Get out of your comfort zone. Go on an adventure, even a small one, so you can tell the world all about your story.

How Good Sleep Promotes Creativity

By on 5-18-2017 in Health

How Good Sleep Promotes Creativity

We have all heard that we are supposed to be getting eight hours of sleep every night, or else it will be detrimental to us. Some people do not believe this to be true, while others simply believe they do not have enough time to get this much sleep every night. After all, is it even true that we need this much sleep? It turns out that this is very true. Getting a good night’s sleep can benefit us in a multitude of different ways. For example, good sleep can actually promote our internal creativity.

How Does Sleep Help Promote Creativity?

One of the main contributors to creativity is REM sleep. This is when the person is so deeply asleep that they begin to vividly dream. The brain starts collecting images that were processed during the day, and performs a pattern recognition on them. The brain will eventually start connecting ideas that seemed otherwise unrelated. This is turn is beneficial to creative problem solving. The user has a better ability to take ideas that were not thought to be of any use, and turn them into viable solutions for problems.

How to Achieve Better Sleep

Lots of things factor into creativity like poor posture, lack of inspiration, diet, etc. But one reason that some people have issues with creative thoughts is because they are not getting a good sleep. This can be caused by many reasons. For example, allergies can cause someone to stay awake most of the night sniffling and sneezing. If a person is awake for hours every night, they will not have a chance to fall into a deep REM sleep. Allergens such as dust and mildew are commonly found in mattresses. A good way to prevent these from bothering you would be to add a mattress protector to your bed.

Mattress Protectors

Mattress protectors are made from cotton, polyester, vinyl, and other similar materials. They are great for use in the home, and can easily fit over any type of mattress. Protectors will prevent spills, stains, or other accidents from ruining your mattress. That is important in case you ever need to return the mattress or enforce the warranty. As well, mattress protectors are a great defense against allergens that keep you up in the night. They are fitted over top of the mattress, and keep things from coming through and bothering you. People who were previously unable to stay asleep for an entire night quickly became sleep addicts after applying a mattress protector to their bed.

Conclusion

Creativity can easily be improved by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle. If you are getting a better sleep at night, you will be more likely to succeed at activities that involve creative thinking. As well, being well-rested during the day is sure to improve your overall quality of life. You will be able to enjoy the world as people should be able to, and will not spend all your time yawning. Try a mattress protector as a start, and note the difference that it makes!

Increase Your Health By Bettering Your Indoor Air Quality

By on 5-12-2017 in Health

Increase Your Health By Bettering Your Indoor Air Quality

The indoor air quality of your home plays an important role in your health. If you aren’t monitoring things like the carbon monoxide levels in your home, it can result in immediate death. Other indoor air pollutants have an effect on your body that can range from short-term to long-term. Right now, federal scientists are ranking indoor air pollution as one of the most important environmental issues in the United States. Fortunately for you, there are ways to better your indoor air quality without spending a fortune or moving.

Using A Dehumidifier

Not only can humidity ruin your wooden furniture, but it can also cause a variety of health effects on you. The best way to keep the humidity out of your home is to invest in a dehumidifier such as the ones on Good Air Geeks. These machines suck in the air that surrounds it and pulls it through a filter and releases it back into the room. The humidity that is sucked up turns into water and is collected in a container.

Dehumidifiers are ideal for those with asthma because they have the ability to reduce the symptoms of it. If you are allergic to mold, there’s a good chance that your symptoms will become worse in a humid environment. Mold loves humid places and can be dangerous to those with allergies. If you live in a naturally humid environment, a dehumidifier is your best option for keeping the extra moisture away.

Natural Remedies

Increasing your indoor air quality can be as simple as investing in some houseplants. A few plants that really have a huge impact on your quality of health and ridding your home of nasty pollutants.

    • Aloe Vera: This plant is one of the best you could possibly have, especially in your bedroom. It is highly effective in clearing the air in your home of benzene and formaldehyde and it does a great job of absorbing CO2 levels that the darkness makes.
    • English Ivy: According to NASA, the English Ivy is the number one houseplant for air purifying. In an experiment conducted in 2005, this plant removed a stunning 94% of airborne feces and 78% of mold in the air in only 12 hours. It can also improve asthma symptoms and allergy symptoms.
    • Bamboo Palm: This plant loves shady indoor spaces. It works well for filtering trichloroethylene and benzene. So if you have a piece of furniture that emits formaldehyde, place the plant near it in bright, indirect light.
    • Peace Lily: The Peace Lily does a great job of removing ammonia, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. It really packs a punch when it comes to cleaning the air.

 

There are a bunch more plants that have air purifying qualities, it’s just a matter of finding the one that works best for you and your home.

Conclusion

Not only is improving your overall health about maintaining good posture and a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also about keeping the pollution in your home down to a minimum. Your indoor air quality plays a large part in your health, so keep it clean and make sure you have your CO2 detectors working and your houseplants handy.

Unexpected Ways Improper Posture Impacts Creativity

By on 2-04-2017 in Health

Unexpected Ways Improper Posture Impacts Creativity

You have probably been told from a young age that you need to pay better attention to your posture. We understand that proper posture allows us to stand tall and appear confident and alert. However, all too often we limit our understanding of posture to aesthetics.

While it’s true you can increase your appeal when you exhibit the right posture, there are a number of even more important reasons you should start making efforts to increase the quality of yours. Especially if you are trying to make it as an author, there are a few things you need to understand about how posture impacts your creativity.

Increases Depression

San Francisco State University conducted a study which revealed slouching can lead to increased feelings of depression. It’s really no surprise, however, when you consider our natural body language. When we say someone has a backbone, this means they are confident and strong. On the other hand, if they are spineless, this reflects them being weak and cowardly. It only makes sense that someone who tends to slouch would have a lesser feeling of self confidence and pride, and this can make it difficult to open your mind to allow your creativity to flow with ease.

Disrupts Digestive Flow

In order to foster your mind and encourage it to think of new and exciting ideas, it’s important that the rest of your body is comfortable. When your digestive system is backed up, you can experience a number of negative side effects including:

  • Swollen or painful stomach
  • Trouble making a bowel movement or having the feeling that not everything came out
  • Hard stool
  • Vomiting

Consider the stance you typically make when you slouch. Your body falls forward and causes the intestines to fold. Naturally, this can slow things down when it comes to your digestion and make it really difficult to focus on other things, such as your writing.

Increases Your Chances of Developing Disease

Few things will disrupt your life like finding out you have a disease. This is a shocking moment when you realize your own mortality, and it’s likely you’ll need to start spending more of your time at doctors’ offices and focusing on treatment. What you may not realize is that poor posture can increase your chances of the development of a number of diseases including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

A large contributor to the fact that a growing number of people are developing poor posture is that we are living more sedentary lifestyles. From working long hours at a computer desk to daily commutes and more, it’s likely you spend a large amount of your time in a seated position, and it can be easy to find yourself slouching while seated. A few great ways to decrease the amount of time you sit in any given day include:

  • Invest in an office desk that allows for elevation so you can stand throughout the day without compromising your work
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot so you’re forced to walk a little further whether at work, the grocery store, or anywhere else
  • Ensure you get up and take a walk around the office for at least ten minutes for every hour worked.

Taking Proper Posture to a Whole New Level

If you thought proper posture was no big deal, you can see now that there are a number of reasons why you should put thought into yours. With so many potential negative side effects, you face a lot at risk when you don’t exhibit proper posture. It’s estimated that around 85 percent of the population will suffer with some degree of back pain at some point in their lives, and this is largely attributed to poor posture.

Now that you understand just some of the unexpected ways in which improper posture impacts your creativity, you are likely much more motivated to increase the quality of yours, and there are a number of ways in which you can accomplish that including:

  • Put most of your weight on the balls of your feet
  • Allow your arms to hang naturally at your sides
  • Tuck in your tummy
  • Focus on keeping your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Consider the purchase of a posture corrector that will help you assume proper posture without even having to think about it and maintaining a strong, healthy back

There are so many things to consider when it comes to health and well-being, and you only have one life to live. By making yourself aware of these negative side effects of poor posture, you can be on your way to better enjoying yours.

Writing About War

By on 5-04-2016 in Writing

Writing About War

War makes up most of the content in history books everywhere. It can be tough to write, talk, and read about war, especially if it plays a significant part of a person’s life. The very first war noted in history was the battle between Sumer and Elam in 2700 BCE in Mesopotamia. From then on out, war seemed like a frequent occurrence up until today with the most recent and escalating conflict with ISIS. As the years progress, weapons and strategy change, so let’s take a look at what has been used in past and recent conflicts.

Red Dot Sights In War

As technology advanced, guns advanced. One of the attachments for certain types of guns were the red dot sights or reflex sights. These sights illuminate the target through the reflecting glass to give an accurate target. They were used in WWI to bring down fighter aircraft, they were commonly found on guns in WWII and are still used on different kinds of head-up displays. They are mainly used in war to acquire a target on a fast moving person or vehicle such as tanks and aircrafts. Today, they are used for target practice and people can save a large amount of time looking for the best red dot sight for the money if the look on Gun Gods so they can always be as accurate as possible when shooting.

World War I

 

World War I or better known as The Great War, was centered in Europe and lasted from July 28, 1914 until November 11th, 1918. Over 9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians perished as a result of the war. Now, we must ask, what made this war so deadly? Well, here is a short list of who used what kinds of weapons:

  • Germany- Germany had the most powerful weapons which included 150 mm & 210 mm Howitzers and Austrian 305 mm & 420 mm guns.
  • France- France had less powerful weapons which included 75 mm and 105 mm Howitzers.
  • British- They used less powerful weapons such as the 152 mm Howitzer. Although their weapon was smaller, it was so heavy that it had to be assembled in the field.

 

This was one of the deadliest multi-conflict wars in history which ended in a stalemate with the help of machine guns, trench warfare, air reconnaissance, barbed wire, and modern weapons with fragmentation shells.

World War II

World War II was the deadliest war in history with 60-85 million casualties which spanned from 1939-1945. Involved were most of the world’s nations which included all of the great powers. Eventually, it was split into two alliances which were the Allies and the Axis. Since it was the most widespread war in history, there was definitely a wide array of weapons that were used:

  • Rifles- M1902 Springfield, M1 Garand, M1917 Enfield, M1941 Johnson, and the M1 & M1A1 Carbine.
  • Shotguns- Winchester M1897 Trench Gun, Winchester M12, Browning Auto-5, Winchester Model 21, Remington 31, and the Ithaca 37.
  • Machine Guns- Browning M1917A1, Browning M1919A4/A6 and family, B.A.R, M1941 Johnson Light Machine Gun, and the Browning M2HB.
  • Sub Machine Guns- M3/A1 Grease Gun, Thompson Submachine Gun, M50/55 Reising, M42, M2 Hyde.

 

These are just some of the weapons that were used and there are so much more. This is one of the reasons why this war was so deadly. Almost every area had their own group of weapons, one being stronger than someone else’s. There were also tanks used and armored vehicles.

Pursuing A Career As A Writer

By on 7-30-2015 in Writing

We live in a generation where living is so fast-paced, it is very difficult to keep up, at times. The times has also become so modern, almost everyone can be anybody, in seconds.

When you are sick, you check the Internet and you become a “doctor” in an instant. When you need to repair something, you turn on your computer and search how to do repairs, easy as pie. When you want to sing a song and sound good, apps are available to edit your voice and bring it to perfect – instant singer!

There are a lot of things that people can do now, but despite the easy access, it does not mean that the performance and expertise of a person instantly becomes at par with those that actually gave time and effort to be in the profession they are in.

When you check Google for answers to your medical situation, you can never classify yourself as a doctor. This is also a dangerous practice because misdiagnosis is very possible when you do this kind of self-diagnosis. It is still always best, and proper, to consult a real doctor.

When you can edit your voice, it does not make you an instant singer. Even if you get a shot at fame, sooner or later, that edited voice will sold you out and you’ll lose fans even before you get them.

This situation is also drowning real authors and writers. With a lot of applications that allow free publishing of written works, it becomes difficult for those writers with actual talents to penetrate the writing industry. There are a lot of amateur writers that still need a lot of work when it comes to writing, but their books are getting more hits than those that actually have great content and flawless grammar.

This implies not just a bad possibility for aspiring writers, but also for the readers. Children love reading books, and if they read low-quality books, their perception of high quality will be changed because of the notion that published works are “great” “number 1” “the best.”

Published works equal great books, but that was yesterday. Now, not all published books are great. Hence, writers have to double their efforts to make their books reach their target readers.

Image Credit: usabilitygeek.com

Image Credit: usabilitygeek.com

I have no idea how we can weed out the unworthy books circulating the Internet that should not be wasting people’s time. The answer just lies in the hands of the readers. They have to be more careful and critical in choosing the kinds of books to read, especially if they plan to give a particular book to their children.