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Showing posts from September, 2013

Virtual Sanity for Writers

Do you have Writer's Happiness Block? There's something about being a writer that inspires, or maybe even requires, misery. We all know the stereotype, and probably some true examples, of the brooding, antisocial writer. Maybe writers are inherently moody. Maybe something about the writer's lifestyle breeds unhappiness. And maybe unhappiness inspires good writing. There's probably some truth to all of those surmises, but are we writers doomed to a life of gloom? Isn't happiness a choice?

Martin Seligman, "father of positive psychology," estimates that our happiness is only 40% within our control. The majority of our happiness level arises from our genes and the life circumstances that are out of our hands. But we have enough power to tip the balance, and one thing we can do is view that empowerment glass as 40% full and forgive ourselves for the remaining emptiness--because it's not our fault--and move on. Seligman offers 21 things we can do to become…

It's a... Surprise!

Before I had my own child, I didn't understand pregnant women who chose not to find out whether they were carrying a girl or a boy. When I went in for my first ultrasound, I wanted to know everything possible about my baby--including the presence, absence, and condition of every single body part. I wanted to watch the ultrasound screen in real time and listen to the technician narrate everything they saw. There was no way I was going to ask my medical caregivers to withhold any information.

After giving birth, I still didn't understand. Some women say that not knowing the baby's sex motivates them to push. Me, I couldn't comprehend not wanting to push under any circumstances. I'd been thinking of my child as her, a real person, not just a something, and I couldn't wait to meet her. Not to mention the physical motivations to push that have nothing to do with mental curiosity.

I know that the appearance of the genitals doesn't necessarily give a clear or accu…