SELF HELP REVIEW: ATOMIC HABITS

About a year ago, it seemed as if everyone was reading this book. People I knew claimed it was life changing. There was a wait list at the library.

I wonder how many people were as disappointed in the book as I was.

I found the book little more than a rehash of other books I’ve read. Now granted, I’m older and at one point in my life was deeply involved in a corporate career, so I read as much as I could about worker smarter not harder. Many of the suggestions in this book have been a part of my routines for years.

I have to ask myself why I keep looking for a magic solution.

The Winter Side of No Make Up

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I stopped wearing make-up several years ago. It happened one hot July day, when I realized how much money I was wasting wearing makeup that would be melted off an hour later. The time, effort, and money weren’t worth the outcome. I figured I’d start again after Labor Day. But Labor Day became Halloween, became Thanksgiving, and so on. After a year (or maybe two) passed, I ended up chucking most of the cosmetics taking up space in my house.

Recently, I’ve discovered a winter upside of no longer coating my skin with color: my winter coats and scarves stay cleaner. I can pull the fabric up against my face for warmth and nothing happens except warmth. In past years, makeup on the collar was always a winter-coat issue. Never again.

 

Book Review: Linda Howard-Mr. Perfect

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

I recently learned some people have stopped reading Linda Howard due to alleged racist comments she’s made on social media. I haven’t seen the comments, so I’m not going to judge.

I’ve also read that people think Mr. Perfect  is a dreadful book because of the way she treated one of the characters who some might consider marginalized. As an author, I’ve often been told as long as something is well-motivated, an author can do anything. And that is the case in this book. The motivation is . . . perfect.

Mr. Perfect is one of my favorite books of all time. It starts out with a group of friends–co-workers–who get together every Friday night after work for dinner and drinks. This circle of women reminds me of my friends and how much fun we have when we get together. One Friday night, these women laughingly put together a list of what they think would constitute the perfect man. Some of the items are ribald and made in jest; others are serious and thoughtful.

Little did these four women know their fun time was about to turn deadly.

The main character has just purchased her own home and is having issues with her cranky neighbor, who turns out to be a cop. A sexy cop. A sexy alpha male cop.

My biggest complaint about this book is the negative portrayal of a cat. It’s well known that Howard is a dog person. She doesn’t understand cats.

Five stars anyway.

 

Self-Help Review: The Artist’s Way

When I first joined RWA and started writing with focus in addition to serious intent, I heard about Julia Cameron’s seminal book The Artist’s Way everywhere. Blogs, Private chat rooms. Other books  People raved about their Morning Pages habit.

I bought a copy to see what the worship was about. The book is about creative recovery. Cameron has come up with a method for artists of every type to tap into their deepest reserves of creativity. It is a twelve-week program.

I’ve read the book several time. What many people don’t realize, is The Artist’s Way is book one of a trilogy, all of which are twelve-week programs. I own all three. I’ve read all three. (Walking in the World and Finding Water are the other two).

Cameron has solid advice in the books. The first step, the most important part of the process is Morning Pages. The first thing everything morning, an artist is supposed to write three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts. Even if one writes nothing but I have nothing to write for three pages, one must write it. Every morning. Three pages.

When I was the Book-in-A-Week Babe for my local RWA chapter, I used many quotes from the book as inspiration for the BIAW participants. One said to me, “Oh! I love The Artist’s Way!”

I tried Morning Pages. Actually, I’ve tried The Artist’s Way several times. Cameron’s way is not my way. I have learned I am a writer who must jump feet first into her work-in-progress first thing every morning. I don’t have time for Morning Pages. Tapping into the personal me distracts from the stories I’m trying to tell.

That’s me. Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates, and other Cameron prescriptions might work for you.

 

Size Matters

I like to cook. I like new recipes. Sometimes, though, the recipes I newly discover are older recipes, and call for things I can no longer find. Particularly when it comes to sizes.

Whatever happened to four-ounce packages of cream cheese? I distinctly remember peeling back the foil on a small block of Philly. Perfectly sized for a recipe. Now I have to hope I can cut an eight-ounce block exactly in half. And what do I do with the other half? Bagels?

Remember when sour cream came in one cup (eight-ounce) containers? Maybe it still does somewhere, but not at my supermarket. A recipe calls for one cup. Yes, I can measure it out, but then what do I do with the remaining eight ounces? Tacos? Baked potatoes?

My husband would prefer I purchase milk a gallon at a time. But it goes bad. And it takes up too much space in the refrigerator. So I buy half-gallons. If the store carried quarts, as they did in my younger days, that’s what he would get.

Dairy, like produce, tends to go bad after a while. Smaller sizes would be helpful.