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Showing posts from March, 2013

Pregnant Belly Fitness

Pregnancy is an important time to stay fit and active, but of course there must be balance. And I don't mean just avoiding extremes here. I mean literally, balance. Your center of gravity is shoved a little further out each day, you might be dizzy, and your joints and tendons do wild stretchy things that you never imagined. In terms of awkwardness, pregnancy is a lot like a second puberty.

Be aware that your body will change constantly and feel weird, sometimes in a fun way and sometimes not. You will have unforeseen health complications and discomforts that arise suddenly and sometimes just as suddenly go away.

Moderate exercise is the best way to prevent swollen cankles, charlie horses, lethargy, depression, and a host of other babymaking side effects, but extra caution is also needed at this special time. Pregnancy hormones make your tendons and joints all loosey-goosey in preparation for childbirth. This can help you achieve deeper stretches than normal, but it's also easi…

Orienting the Beast

So writers, where are you in your work in progress? It's a question to ask yourself often--and I don't just mean, how far along are you in your draft? Also, do you know exactly when and where each scene takes place, and have you told the reader?

Chapter Nine of Briars and Black Hellebore opens three miles and a hundred years from where I started the book, and every character that appears in Chapter Nine is completely new to the reader. When I brought Chapter Nine to my writing group, it opened with a scene of a monster guy sitting at a table crying as he counted spoons. A handful of people wandered about in strange attire making snarky comments at each other.

Of course, my reading group was a bit disoriented and confused about what was going on--and who, and when, and why. In a first draft, it's easy to forget to orient the reader in time, space, perspective, and mood. (Also, sometimes, in key plot points.) But it is essential to keeping the reader's attention and ca…

Safe Products for the Uncrunchy Mama

When I got pregnant, I became ultra-paranoid about toxins. (Haven't you heard? Pregnancy is the best time ever to become a paranoid schizophrenic!) At first I was drawn to everything "crunchy," from home organic gardening to no-poo hair care. I actually loved gardening and no-'poo, but they are not as simple or easy as you might be led to believe. Then I realized that all that crunches is not wholesome (there is just as much consumer-swindling, hazardous and unscientific BS in the "crunchy" sphere as in mainstream marketing toward women) and besides, I was too tired to make all my own soaps and cosmetics. And I didn't want to smell like patchouli and vinegar every day, much as I do love those two things. And I like my hair and skin and nails smooth, totally unlike my nut butter.

Fortunately, I found three great brands that offered everything I wanted: convenience, quality, reasonable price, and safety for me and my unborn child. Their products are luxu…