Archive | July 2014

Blind Man Walking or A Writer’s Leap of Faith

canstockphoto1552332Have you ever been walking and decided to shut your eyes and see how far you could walk without peeking? I used to do this while walking home from school. I’d pick a spot up ahead: a line in the sidewalk, a bush, etc., close my eyes and try to reach that precise spot before opening my eyes, letting my senses tell me when I reached that spot.

Amazingly, most of the time, I was able to do this. I’d open my eyes and I was right there or within inches. While walking, in my mind, I’d see what I knew was there as I headed toward my goal: the grass, a fence, etc. as I’d walked the path so often. My mind was able to see what my eyes could not and my body, my instincts, felt when I reached my goal. In a way, it was my own leap of faith that I could do it. Don’t ask me why i ever did this <g>. Walking home from school in the days when moms did not pick us up was boring!

Every once in a while, I still do this as an adult while out walking and find it enlightening to rely on other senses, not my eyesight. It’s a great way to really see the detail around me and feel my world, not just see it passing by. Of course, you do have to be safe—no cracks in the sidewalk, not close to a busy street, no hazards, etc. Being aware is key! It’s a way of letting go of the rush, stress and the sheer responsibility of our lives for just a few minutes. Instead of being in control, in the driver’s seat, we give ourselves up to just feel, not think.

1080361_53804077 As writers, we take a lot of leaps of faith, relying on our other senses instead of our eyes. We close our eyes and draw up on our other senses to write our stories. We aren’t seeing a live picture of what we write about but instead, draw from our memories and our senses and even call up on instinct, sensing the right words or tone for our stories.

But do we really see what we are writing about? Do our readers? How many times have we read that a day is beautiful or that our hero leaned against the trunk of a tree or have an author tell us how green the grass is? While we can all call upon our own life experiences to paint those pictures of tree trunks, green grass or beautiful days, a good writer lets us feel and see her vision of these examples in her writing, whether fiction or non-fiction.

By telling us what kind of tree, or how the trunk feels (smooth, rough, sappy, ants crawling up it, etc.) we become immersed in the story. We see each scene not through the author’s eyes, but the author’s ability to use his or her senses. How wonderful it is when we can close our eye and see those vivid images and details. That writer/author took a leap of faith and asked us to close our eyes and see what she felt.

louis_12_bg_101202 My challenge is to take a walk, somewhere safe and try to see your world using your other senses. We see so much yet we often aren’t really seeing what’s there. We take our world around us for granted and we miss so much.

With your eyes open, study the area around you, choose a spot, and walk slowly toward it. I’m not about to suggest to anyone to walk with his or her eyes closed just because I do this crazy thing, and always have. But let your senses guide you to that exact spot and once there, sit and record what you see? What you feel? Why did you pick that spot? Did something draw you to it?

Look close, at what is not obvious to the eye. An ant trail? A hidden bloom? Are the blades of grass tall and thin or short and wide? What do you feel? The sun on her face, on your back, a soft breeze? The buzz of a bee. What do you sense in this area that you cannot see? Now as writer’s we can have great imaginations. Is there a body buried in the ground, is it the perfect place for lovers to meet and make out (I do write erotica here), can you imagine the children who ran across the grass with their puppy? You can’t see any of this but I bet you can both imagine it and sense some of it. Well, maybe not the dead body!

Take off your shoes. What do the soles of your feet tell you? Can you feel vibrations, warmth, cold? How about your toes. Do they curl into the grass or sand or avoid contact? Why? Use your hands. Are the rocks warm or cold, rough or smooth? What does the grass feel like? Is there a tree in the area? What do you see and hear? Close your eyes and really listen. Do you hear the leaves rustling or birds or squirrels?

canstockphoto0480047 Every time you repeat this process, close your eyes and see what you’ve miss by only relying on your eyesight. This exercise can be done anywhere: your backyard, a park, a beach, in your house (okay, maybe you’ll fall asleep but hey, naps are one of life’s greatest pleasures, right?), office (maybe when the boss isn’t around). Any setting works. Then use what you discover in your writing. Maybe a short story about why you think a body is buried in the park next to your home.

Have you ever closed your eyes and just felt life around you?



Erotic Food-Asparagus


asparagus_183111
This  month’s entry in my Erotic Foods blog is Asparagus which has been said to stir up lust in men and women. Aside from it’s phallic shape which make it an obvious choice for an erotic food, asparagus in high in potassium as well as fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin as well as thiamin and folic acid. Asparagus is full of nutrients that can boost histamine product which Is needed to reach orgasm in both sexes. So, let’s get to know this spear of delight .

First, this is a food you are allowed to eat with your fingers. Let  your inner caveman/woman out. There’s something to be said for picking up that yummy spear and eating it in a teasing manner that is sure to get your man in the mood. Asparagus is available for about 8 weeks so enjoy while you can.

Asparagus  Garlic Parmesan

Olive Oil Cooking Spray (or you can use enough olive oil to coat a 9×13 pan

1 lb Asparagus with tough ends cut off. I break off.  Seems to break where it gets too tough to eat

¼ cup of Parmesan Cheese grated. You can also use Romano or Asiago

1 tsp Salt (I use sea salt) or you can let everyone salt to taste after its cooked

1 glove garlic or more. Or ¼ tsp garlic powder. Depends on your love of garlic!

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Spray 9×13 pan

Sprinkle asparagus with  parmesan cheese, salt and garlic

Roast until tender—approx. 12 minutes.

Basic Nutrition Facts

-Protein. Asparagus claims half its calories from protein.

-Lose Weight. Asparagus Is low calories. Just 4 calories each spear.  Eat 7 of these powerful veggies to get one serving of your daily 5 servings of vegetables.

-Asparagus is high in vit A, folic acid and dietary fibre. Each of these is thought to play a vital role in fighting cancer.

-Asparagus contains high levels of potassium and may help with high blood pressure.

-Asparagus boosts the body’s immune system as it is rich in iron and rutin

-Cholesterol Free.

-Natural diuretic. –Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine which means it is a natural diuretic. Increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. Great benefit for those who suffer from edema or high blood pressure.

– Asparagus is a rich source of glutathione which is a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. Eating asparagus may help fight and protect against certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

-Asparagus is packed with antioxidants and is ranked among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals which may help slow the aging process.

-asparagus is very high in vitamin E, which has long been thought of as ‘the sex vitamin’.  Vitamin E stimulates production of testosterone which is a critical sex hormone in a man’s sex life. The higher a man’s testosterone level, the higher his libido. And women, asparagus can increase your sex drive as well.

Now if all those health benefits isn’t enough, let’s get down to the number one reason to include Asparagus in your diet. It is viewed as a natural aphrodisiac. In other words, it is one horny beast of a vegetable. Here’s the science behind the claim. Lack of histamines has been linked to the inability of both men and women to reach orgasm.  It’s thought that Histamine production is triggered by folic acid which asparagus is high in.

Now this doesn’t mean you can go binge on this lovely, sexy veggie. There are some side effects, including smelly urine or as one article I read said “wiffy wee.” As with any food or change to one’s diet, do your research and check with your doctor.

Great informative links to other blogs about asparagus.
http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/5_powerful_health_benefits_of_asparagus_you_probably_didn_t_know
http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/813240/10-seduc
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/09/13/best-foods-to-jump-start-your-sex-drive/
http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/25-superfoods-better-sex/slide/3
http://www.menshealth.co.uk/food-nutrition/superfoods/four-reasons-to-eat-asparagus-323991
http://www.energiseforlife.com/wordpress/2006/09/20/how-to-kick-start-your-sex-drive-with-libido-boosting-foods/

(This article is for fun. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions)

 Image from http://all-free-download.com/free-photos/

Tweet: Aside from tasting great, did you know Asparagus is an erotic food with amazing health benefits? Check it out http://ctt.ec/4Tf0l+

 
 

Favorite 4th of July Memories

fireworks_blast_185682What are your favorite 4th of July memories? I have a few. The first is a childhood memory, gathering at my grandmother’s house. My dad is part of a large family (13) and I’m the eldest grandchild so I was fortunate to experience many large family gatherings before everyone scattered across the states. I have cousins I’ve never met from the ‘younger’ group of siblings. I wish they could have experienced the “Swenson” madness.

I always enjoyed our family gatherings, all the aunts and uncles and my younger cousins. The 4th was a great time in those days with fireworks and hand held sparklers. People weren’t so “sue” conscious and we had many adults to make sure we weren’t burned.

I always regretted that they were illegal by the time I had children. As a parent of young children, one of our favorite 4th activities was to go to Moffet Field (oops, not NASA) when they parked everyone in their cars on the runways and had a firework display. The kids would run up and down the runway with other kids and the car radio could be turned to the music for the fireworks. It was awesome.


green_fireworks_193088It didn’t last long before we had to find another venue. Great America Park (that’s what it was called then) became our place to go.  I remember the first time. My dau was less than 2 and she screamed. I realized later that the noise hurt her ears. She’d been cursed with many ear infections. Other than that, it was always a lot of fun. We had to stop when it became too dangerous out in the parking lot with gang activity. That was sad.

After that, we didn’t really seek out displays and our families all moved away so there weren’t any gatherings. Today, it’s just a quiet day at home. Much like any other. My grown children often celebrate with groups of their friends, and I hope that with a grandchild on the way, I can find a holiday tradition that they’ll remember  with the same fondness that I have of my childhood, when they grow up.

(Photos: http://all-free-download.com/free-photos)

What is one of your favorite 4th of July memories (or two or three). Share. We’d love to know.