Nutrition for busy people is a conundrum

Last week I took a 93 year old woman grocery shopping and here is what she bought for the week:


Deli turkey slices

Marble Rye Bread (the store sells half-loaves)

Dried prunes

2 cans of mandarin oranges

Fiber cereal


Chips (popcorn)

Cheese Crackers

Frozen lean dinners (2) and a small cheese pizza

Moose Tracks Ice Cream

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Paper napkins, tissue, and light bulbs

No nuts or seeded things like tomatoes (allergy)

Her energy and common sense always inspire me and I think she did well nutritionally. She is 93 and knows a thing or two.

For many of us, however, this list wouldn’t do. Where are yogurt,  dark leafy greens, avocados, and protein? Well, I don’t know what she already had at home but I did say she was 93 right?

Working people have a harder time achieving nutritional balance for sure. I only work part-time (in a grocery store no less) and I get stressed about it. Here are some suggestions for coping:

  • Stop trying to make every morsel you eat a superfood. Everyone knows breakfast is important but if you get up late or spend too much time packing the children’s lunches, grab a yogurt drink and some fiber crackers or fruit (I don’t eat it) or a piece of chicken to eat on the commute. Even better, that healthy lunch you’re packing for the kids ought to be good for you, too. Pack an extra one. If their lunch has too much sugar or carbs for you, rethink what you’re giving them. Finally, eating too much fiber, avocado, or cruciferous vegetables can cause weight gain and the worst – gas. Which leads to the next suggestion: The time of day when eating some foods (even superfoods) matters.
  • Many of my customers buy bananas and eat them in the morning because they can grab and eat them quickly when they awake.  I cannot tolerate them on an empty stomach and fix oatmeal (1 minute in the microwave) instead. Everyone is different and finding your way is key. Let’s face it, some superfoods just don’t work at 6:00 a.m. for many people, though. Cauliflower, salmon, sardines, shiitake mushrooms, and collard greens on an empty stomach may lead you to call off sick. If you have the time before work, you can add many of them to an omelet; it’s up to you. I like mustard greens with morning egg, but maybe you are allergic to eggs. The point is to include good food when you can and don’t stress if you use half your sugar allotment for breakfast.
  • Because we don’t always know what we are going to feel like or want to eat later at work, I suggest packing a contingency bag to take when you’re rushed in the morning and keep it handy.

It can be a plain grocery bag or a designer tote. What matters is that you put in something with vitamins, something with sugar (yes, you might need it if blood sugar drops), something with carbs for energy, and a non-refrigerated protein and  drink.


Here’s my stash:

Doritos (no sugar tasty carbs)

Kind Bar (cherry cashew)


Fig cookie (or Thin Mint GS)

Veggie Rice crackers

Bai antioxidant drink

Vitamin Water ( w or w/o sugar)

Jar of Baby Food (pumpkin, carrots, etc)



You may be saying “Oh no, I’m not eating baby food – it tastes bland and awful”. Well, some of it does and I’m not suggesting a “baby food diet” to lose weight like the ones some celebrities (e.g. Jennifer Aniston) have used. I wouldn’t eat the meat ones but squash, pumpkin, and carrots are a quick, even tasty, boost in a pinch.

  • What about when you want something warm and comforting? Invest in a thermos and bring your own homemade soup.Thermos
  • Finally, sometimes you just can’t avoid buying lunch or dinner out. Unless you eat out everyday, cut yourself some slack when your meal isn’t ideal but be aware that the fast food salad is loaded with sodium and the fancy restaurant’s entree is high in sugar and fat. Adjust and balance when you can.


I stressed about work food for over six months, thinking I had to take a perfect lunch with me. I  made mistakes and sometimes I chose poorly, resulting in having to carry a small tin in my pocket full of ginger mints, xylitol gum (good for mouth but can cause gas), digestive enzymes, aspirin, antacid, and more. I’m still convinced that sugar is public enemy number one though. By keeping sugar (it all its forms) under 25 grams daily and reducing use of white flour and processed foods, I lost 30 pounds and I will not stop reading labels. A popular brand of protein drink advertises “no added sugar” but the label reveals it has 53 grams of sugar in a  serving. Even one cigarette brand has sugar (glycerol) in it. A woman next to me, shopping at Trader Joe’s, said aloud, “They all have sugar in them”. She was buying lunch meat. Caveat Emptor.

The Healthy Diet Dilemma I

set with different bottles

Maintaining balance in what you eat to satisfy hunger takes work but another dimension may make it even harder  – THIRST.

I haven’t been asked to leave a convenient store yet, but I’ve received a few glares from clerks for holding the cooler doors open too long while I check labels. A woman reaching for an antioxidant drink at the same time as I did asked “Which one did you want?” I said “coconut” and she replied, “I know it’s good for you, but I hate the taste.” I understood because she chose “cherry”, which I hate. Taste is an important consideration.  Watching other customers open and grab a can or bottle quickly makes we wish I could be sure what I’m thirsty for and often I just grab a water, unsweetened tea,  or cucumber line energy drink (if they have it). With a dozen drink cooler sections, fountain drinks, lattes, coffee drinks, and even make-it-yourself milkshakes, some stores boggle the mind with the possibilities. However, most people, myself included, can usually narrow their choice  by eliminating certain sections depending on their tastes and what they want to avoid.

Speaking of avoidance, here are some ingredients that sound like you should avoid them, but are not necessarily bad.

  • niacinamide – Vitamin B3
  • riboflavin – Vitamin B2
  • cyanocobalamin -Vitamin B12
  • pyridoxine hypo chloride (HCL)  – Vitamin B6
  • pantothenic acid – Vitamin B5

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

  • Glucuronolactone – is a normal human metabolite formed from glucose and is found in most connective tissue. After extreme exercise it can detoxify (liver) – Good. Most people don’t need this and should probably skip it. – Bad. A popular energy drink with glucuronolactone (and a lot of caffeine) has been banned in France after deaths from drinking 3 or more drinks. – Ugly.
  • citric acid – is not the same as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) but is found in many citrus fruits. Most of it passes through the body when consumed. It enhances flavor and acts as a deterrent to bacteria (like botulism) that cannot live in an acidic environment -Good. Sensitivity or allergy to citric acid can cause mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, and headaches – Bad. Citric acid can come from fruit but it is also produced as a byproduct of mold (Aspergillius niger).  There is no way of knowing how the citric acid in beverages was produced unless stated on the label.- Ugly
  • inositol – A vitamin-like substance that may help fight depression, infertility, OCD, insomnia, weight gain and other conditions – Good. Side effects may include skin irritations, nausea, and too much can make bipolar disorder worse (although in combo with taurine and caffeine) – Bad. There appears to be no “ugly” to it but again pregnant and nursing woman are cautioned to avoid it.

GRAS – Generally Recognized As Safe:

The Food and Drug Administration maintains a huge database of GRAS food additives at  (you will have to click on Food Additives Status List on the left and chose the first letter of additive or scroll down for complete list.) You can check such ingredients as inositol, guar gum, guarana extract, sodium citrate, panax ginseng root, calcium casein ate, sorbic acid and more. However, just because an additive is likely safe and on the list doesn’t mean it is safe for you. Individual health issues, especially diabetes, heart and kidney problems,  pregnancy and/or nursing, and prescribed medications can drastically alter the safety of many of them. I check a number of sites online –  google the name of the additive then click on sites like webmd (uses, side effects, interactions, and dosing) everyday health, livestrong, healthline, and the World’s Healthiest Foods (enter food or supplement in search box).

OR you could drink:

Ranked in order by American Society for Clinical Nutrition (cited at end of blog)

  • water
  • unsweetened tea
  •  coffee
  • low-fat or skim milk or soy beverages
  • non-calorically sweetened beverages
  •  beverages with some nutritional benefits – fruit and vegetable juices
  • whole milk
  • alcohol
  • sports drinks
  • calorically sweetened nutritionally poor beverages

This Proposed Guidance System in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was published in 2006 and an opposing view can be read in a later issue (cited below). Interesting that alcohol is ranked above sports drinks. Today, there are many  new drinks to choose from – probiotic drinks, dozens of energy drinks ( no calorie, with caffeine, milk, coffee, juice, vinegars, sugar, extracts, protein, and more), and waters (flavored, carbonated or with electrolytes, Sucralose, the dreaded Aspartame, sodium, and more.)

It is good to have choices, of course. Personally, I choose filtered water first, and then try to vary my drink selections as much as possible to avoid obsession with any one particular brand and balance different daily needs. Staying informed, reading labels and seeing how drinks affect me, I choose my “poison” selectively. What’s your choice? Now, what kind of container do you want it in – plastic, glass, ceramic, paper or styrofoam cup?


Popkin, Barry M. et al, “A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States”, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, 2006 URL is unavailable but you can search the title to view the text.

Weaver, C. et al, “Opposing comment to A new guidance system”, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, 2006.



The Healthy Diet Dilemma






There will be NO lengthy discussion or video here that requires a lot of your time before you can find out what those “5 foods you must not eat” are. I write a lot but most of my income comes as a cashier in a large, world-wide grocery retail store. I am neither a nutritionist/ doctor, nor do I have an inspiring personal story of how I lost weight, stopped the aging process, or grew a new kidney (I was born with only one) by following a certain diet. My aim in this article is to pass on information and hopefully provide help to anyone who finds reading ingredient labels, planning what to eat, and choosing foods that are right for you (not necessarily for everyone) as difficult a task as I do.

The advice to consult your doctor is of course most important because as your personal advocate and expert, he or she can tell you what foods you should eat and what to avoid. A really good doctor will take the time to analyze your diet and even offer advice about small details such as whether you should eat tuna or a brazil nut (both high in selenium) or, in my case, what foods to avoid to prevent kidney stones.Unfortunately, this may add to your medical expense or not be available under your health plan.

That said, where do you go from there?

There is an interactive tool for Health Care Professionals that you can use to get recommended daily amounts of calories, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals by typing in your height, weight, age, and gender. (No names) You will have to search Google for it.

My Plate Daily Checklist is another site which you can use to track eating habits. Select, say age 4-8. then calorie level desired (1200 – 2000) for your personal analysis.

Button code: SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity.

Now that you have your requirements, you can do research (I did a lot) to find out which foods have which nutrients. I kept a journal but found it a problem to keep looking back and forth every time I was hungry, or going to shop. I did make the mistake of buying a lot of “superfoods” (seaweed, dark chocolate, brown rice, salmon, exotic vegetables etc) only to find I either didn’t like them or couldn’t use them up before they spoiled. I should mention that I gave up sugar, bread, baked goods, and most processed food eight months ago which complicated things. I learned to “pare down the pantry” and use what I already had to make meals. Some people like cereal for breakfast and can find low sugar, high fiber choices there. I cook vegetables and  egg for breakfast adding hamburger, quinoa, Tostitos tortilla chips, turmeric or ginger, as wanted. The point is: balance.

If you are already a lacto-vegetarian, follow a paleo diet, or one that is gluten-free, diabetic, IBS-friendly, or heart-healthy — good for you. You probably already read labels and know the rest of this.

An overview of food ingredients. additives, and colors can be found on the FDA government site with a  list of sweeteners but it does not include stevia, xylitol, and inulin. The last one has started showing up in organic foods and sugar-free pudding. While inulin is not bad for you, some research shows that it can “free” bacteria which cause pneumonia. Xylitol has been shown to prevent ear infections and cavities by killing staph germs but it can also kill lacto-bacillus and may have a laxative effect. Store and dispose of gums properly as it can be fatal dogs.

Food Babe posts A Full List of non-organic ingredients allowed in organic food.

Also Christina Guyanese of Shape Magazine, wrote an article,14 banned foods still allowed in the U.S.

Frankly, reading labels lengthens your shopping time but it often results in people putting things back on the shelf and making better buying choices. I see an increasing number of customers buying healthier products. One man in a wheel chair bought only scads of fruit. I don’t judge, but for me, while fruit has a lot of vitamins, it also has sugar (fructose). Consumers of organic meats, vegetables and yogurt are willing to pay considerably more for those products, but should be aware that not all organic products (and energy bars/drinks) are the best – better – but again, read the label. A roll of corn meal mush (cornmeal, water, salt) costs $1.54 while organic corn cereal can run $5.98. Healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. If you love chips, you should know that Doritos have no sugar and Lay’s potato chip ingredients are simply potatoes, safflower oil, and salt. Also frozen vegetables are equally nutritious as fresh but cost much less and some “healthy” foods, like miso and capers, have high sodium content.

So beware and check labels. It doesn’t mean that you can’t eat well or enjoy favorite foods in moderation, it just means YOU choose what is right for you and not eat whatever a food company thinks you should have or want.




We want it NOW

polaroidcAMThe Polaroid Camera was an early source of instant gratification. You snapped a picture and out popped the picture. Of course you had to wave it around in the air and wait for whatever chemicals were present to dry, but it was fast. Have we become a new generation of consumers who want something immediately when we click a mouse or push a button? Yes and no. Our frustration with the spinning wheel on our Mac computer or the hourglass on Microsoft grows every minute it is on the screen, doesn’t it? You could microwave a pizza or make gourmet coffee in a Keurig in the time it takes for some files or pictures to load. Is the answer faster computers or cable service? Or do we need to find a balance between quicker and better?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????© Xochicalco | – Chef And Slow Cooker Photo

Is this you at work, in the kitchen, or on your computer?


Waiting can be productive sometimes, though. Often I hear someone say, “I’m thinking or doing this and that because I have to wait for such and thus to finish anyway.” (Well they don’t use those exact words – who says “such and thus”?)

In the race for faster, some pleasures are denied. Here’s some examples of tradeoffs:

  • Using GPS vs. the adventure of getting lost and finding your own way in a new city
  • Microwaving wings vs. partying with friends enjoying the aroma of slow basted wings on the grill
  • A cell phone snap of an Hawaiian waterfall vs. sketching the scene
  • A quick scroll through Twitter feed vs. reading a book or even writing one
  • Ensuring you have phone, tablet, & electronic keys etc. before a trip vs. leaving them all behind and going canoeing
  • Enhanced video game playing vs. learning to use your vocabulary with word games

I’m not one to say we should go back to old times or stop using the latest technologies. Google has saved me hours of racking my brain to remember an actor’s name or a football MVP. Innovation is useful –


Browniecam:mac Obsolete Brownie Camera on old computer tower.

However, we run the risk of becoming addicted to toys like the one where you have a short time to enter a sequence of musical notes by pressing colors to compete with the toy. I can’t mention the name but you may remember the family on American Dad became addicted to playing it. Quality work, meals, and writing take time but once you find how long it should take, you can relax and do something valuable while you wait. The recipe that follows is a joke but feel free to use it.

Elephant Stew

  1. One medium sized elephant                              Cut elephant into bite sized pieces (takes about 2 months)
  2. 50 gallons broth or gravy                                   Add gravy or broth to cover. Boil 4-6 weeks
  3. salt & pepper                                                         Season and serve to 3600 people
  4. Two rabbits (optional)                                        If more people are expected add two rabbits*

* Do this only if necessary because some people do not like to find hare in their stew.

OR you could read my book in under three hours – Mystery at Pima Point available on Amazon.

There are .001 microseconds in a nanosecond and 60,000,000 microseconds in a minute. It’s safe to say you have a lot of nanoseconds left to do something worthwhile starting NOW. Thanks for reading my blog, Jeanie

More promotion, reviewer, and tweet sites


Cats BookstoreWhen I’m writing I put aside lots of information to use for marketing when I’m done. This blog is the result of checking out book promotion and other sites from new twitter follwers/following. For a list of sites I visited previously see Top Promotion Sites – Sell, Book, and Kindle on Multi-musings. I like to share, but if you appreciate my efforts here, I’d love it if you’d read and review Something Fishy in Manhattan – it’s free in Kindle books on Amazon, August 2 and 3. Just sayin’.

I visited each site, but don’t  endorse any of them and am not responsible if your favorite tweet service isn’t included. I just want to make it easier for authors to find the type of site they need.

 Sites that promote your book to subscribed readers

  • digital book today     –     need 18 reviews to list for $15
  • Noveltunity                 –     go to ‘contact’ upload 3 chapters only. synopsis, cover and video link
  • BookGoodies              –     submit free Kindle days $15 for 2 day highlight (One of my favorites)
  • Cheap books daily    –     $4.99 or less books with 5 reviews listed free
  •  –     they send a daily email (too much for me) to promote books
  •     –     need 10 reviews
  • eBooksGOT                –     eBooksGrowOnTrees – $20 to advertise ( need 3 days before promotion)
  • The Indie Spotlight  –     Banner $30 or $15 for 1 mo. block ad $20 or $10/mo – link to book or website
  • Kindle Promoter       –     Beware – you can enter your URL immediately but site goes to $167 – $497 pkg
  • 99cent books             –      actually is Cheap eBooks site; easy to add books but must be approved then
  • Book Buzz                  –      $99 promo; $199 in depth promo; $299 adds extra media coverage
  • Freebooksy                –      $50 featured post to 129k Fb, 8k twitter followers; add $100 for daily email
  • Libiro                          –      Indie only Bookstore; pays 75% royalty on the price you can choose
  • Goodkindles              –      Bronze pkg – $7.95; Silver – $13.95; Gold – $19.95
  • 4FreeBooks                –      actual site is    $19-$30
  • Book Viral                  –      promotion for approved book (they say 10%) is British $58.99 pounds
  • Sweet Mystery Books-    $10 feature or $20 for multiple books
  • Beach Bound Books  –     Social media pkgs 1 -90 days (Various $) or book ad only $5/15 days and up
  • Authordb                      –    added last but it’s a keeper I think. Approval at each step is fast

Sites that tweet and retweet your book details

         @Book Plugs                 @eBook Price Drops                @Book Tweeters                       @Ebooks Daily

@freebookdude              @Free_UK-eBooks                 @voice of indie                           @words.spnagaloo

@Free2kindle                 @BookYourNextRead  – this one will retweet if you include #BYNR in your post

You can enter your book blurb in the “tweet” box on the Twitter profile page for each of these. Some will suggest hashtags for greater reach.

Sites that review books

  1.   is the most comprehensive – listing tons of reveiwers, their preferred genre, and review policy.
  2. Many bloggers offer reviews. Here are a few:     @everyfreechance (Chrissy)        @Shelireads   Red City Review            Geri’s Book Reviews              Angie Edwards, blogger              Getting your Read On      Book Review Diva (Romance & Paranormal)  (at least 1 guaranteed review)

Other sites

         Speaking volumes – traditional publisher with help for banner ads, trailers, and audiobooks

         BooksGoScial         – author Laurence O’Bryan helps other writers with marketing

          Worldwind & TSR – tours for authors and bloggers – promote through The Serious Reader –    $90 mini tour (10 stops in 4 days) but also only $15 for monthly ad with TSR

         Candace’s Book Blog –  Book a tour for $225; also review packages for less

         Penniless Authors –  Resource for authors with How-to books for sale
 – contests and poetry

          Henery Press          – publishers of mysteries among other things

          AuthorRise              – tools for authors to track sales, market, and gauge social media

          IndieAuthorAlliance – support for authors

          DIY Author             – If sales are good and you can splurge, they offer a Media Kit for $897

         Indie-visible            – claim literary “justice for all” but I’m not sure how

That’s all I have

I hope you can use it

Jeanie Clemmens

I suppose it would be nagging if I reminded you that Something Fishy in Manhattan, a Lieutenant James Mystery, is free on Amazon August 2 and 3? I don’t mean to pester, but I think you’ll like it.

On Writing, Sports, and Money – Getting from Lack to Knack

JBCfootball     Multi-musings by Jeanie Clemmens 6/4/14

Loud clapping and shouts of “Give me a W-R-I-T-E” woke me very early this morning. My inner cheerleader wouldn’t stop and continued, S-H-A-R-E. You can see what she looked like at 6 a.m.


beauty cheerleader

I said I can’t (and don’t want to) jump as high as you do, but I’ll put you in my blog, if you go away.

Here’s the result:


So your well-written and meticulously edited book hasn’t captured the attention of an agent or sales are not as good as you’d hoped – FORGET ABOUT IT and WRITE ANOTHER BOOK.

“What,” you say, “how can that work? Wouldn’t I just end up with even more books that don’t sell? What about the money for producing, publishing, and marketing additional books?”

You can find reasons (ad nauseum) to not move on and you can question why your book is not a best-seller when you know it’s good, but who hits a home run their first time at bat?

Well, to be fair, 28 major league baseball players have hit a home run in their first appearance in the big league. See who  First time writers have produced best-sellers, granted, but what are the odds? (I don’t know and it’s shameful that I do know the odds of hitting a hole-in-one in golf  are 1 in 12,000 or 1 in 3756, if you’re in the PGA.)

The point is: the players don’t stop swinging when they miss. Now, you could argue that some of them  get paid a lot of money  to keep trying , but if it’s only money you’re interested in when you write, this blog won’t help. (Advice giving is not my specialty and I only share what’s written here because my inner cheerleader threatened to land on me if I didn’t).  Others have advocated the “Write More” philosophy and I didn’t really get it until I tried it.  The main problem with writing more books seemed to be:


In between paychecks or after a budget killing expense is the worst time for a lot of people. “I need to get this” or “We can’t even go to…” are statements you don’t want to hear from your family, or even yourself. Some say finding things to do that don’t require money is “fun” but deep down you’d have more fun if you had more money, right?

Reading books and magazines (I already have) over again, baking the stale brownie mix from the back shelf of the pantry, or hitting practice golf balls in the backyard help me to pass the time until money arrives, but everybody has their own distraction and you should use what works for you.

Girl from support group, cheerleader with flag, silhouette

It helps if you put a LOCK on negative thoughts, adjust, and get through it. Forget what you consider lack of success with your first book, take what you’ve learned and write another. If you can’t afford to edit/publish/market the second one, write a third one while you’re waiting for (or working for) extra money. LOCK on a destination and head for it.*

LACK       LOCK       KNOCK      KNACK *

* Note for word puzzle fanatics, I know of no way of going from “LOCK” to “KNACK” by only changing one letter. Therefore, I bent the rules and changed “l” to “n” and added a “k”).

KNOCK yourself out, figuratively, and work harder at improving little things in your writing. While you should forget about the voices in your head that say “I’ll never get an agent”, “I was foolish to think I could write” or “I  LACK” such and such”, pay extra attention to the ones that say “I should expand my characters” or “Maybe I could edit better”.

Whatever honest criticism you give yourself has to be transformed into a better writing experience the more you write. (I won’t even address the issue of writers who have such a high opinion of themselves that they don’t see that they need to improve, let alone know how to do it. The ones who continually put out trash or keep trying to write the “perfect” bestseller are also excluded. They are the extremes; not the mean).

While you’re at it, KNOCK on doors (query agents, use promotion sites that are free, and ask for reviews). You don’t have to completely ignore your previous books to focus on the new one.

I’m far from a seasoned writer, but the more I write, the more I believe I might someday acquire the KNACK (I wasn’t born with) to write. I don’t ever expect to get the KNACK of doing splits and waving pom-poms, however. I will leave that to my cheerleading muse – but if she wakes me before 7 a.m.on a Saturday ever again, I’m going to take those pom-poms and _______ well, I’ve said enough.

A soccer field with an energetic cheerdancer Have a good write! Jeanie

Photo credit: All images here were purchased from Golf statistics are from kidzworld.

What Time in the World Are You?

world-time     Multi Musings by Jeanie Clemmens

40.4417  Latitude 80.000  Longitude

16:27 hours – 4:27 p.m. EST

Social Media success and SEO may be influenced by Time Zone considerations.


I’ll be as brief as possible because it’s Friday – OR IS IT?  For my son in Japan it’s Saturday and almost five in the morning instead of afternoon. I’m sure most people know enough about time differences to avoid making an important call to someone in the middle of their REM sleep. ( Except my spouse who will never live down calling my brother in LA at 4:00 a.m. – 7 a.m. EST) But what about posting on Twitter, Facebook, LInkedin, Instagram, or other social sites. It may be “tea” time here now, but it’s “tee” time in Britain; almost summer in the US but winter in South America.

Why does it matter for social media?

If you’re trying to reach an audience to sell your book or service, posting it on Twitter only when you’re awake will result in half the world (or more) missing the post. And if you have a lot of people you follow, you can easily miss their tweets as well. I have Facebook friends in Australia, other UK countries, Japan, Alaska, Bali, and other places. Do you ever wonder why the posts from foreign friends are always at the bottom when you scroll down? Or why none of your faraway connections on Linkedin comment back when you post a link or tell an amusing story? For me, it could be that they want me to go away, but sometimes I think it’s because we are not synchronized either in mood or time. How much does a person’s attitude change from when they just get up to cocktail hour (also known as attitude adjustment)? If someone posts angrily and you don’t understand why, couldn’t it be because they’re up in the wee hours writing and cranky while you are humming along in the prime of day?

So what? (There’s a group of quilters in my community that use Sew What? and I don’t want to infringe) Make that so what can you do?

Post your blog, book link, or service more often and at unusual times. If you don’t want to wake up to do that, there are many tweeting services that will do it for you.

Change the phrasing of your PITCHES to accomodate the other hemisphere. I eliminated Australians and South Americans when I tweeted my book as a “great book to read by the pool” – Maybe it distracted them from the snow, right?”

Always be aware of the day of the week and time of day when calling an agent or publisher. Obvious, I think, but you never know.

Don’t take offense if it takes a long time for a return comment or post (well, a month would be too long). Not everyone monitors their email all night and I won’t admit it even if I have done it once.

Finally, use your location occasionally as a keyword for Search Engine Optimization. Caution: Use a general geographic location UK, US, Nihon, India, New York, or Tokyo not your address or phone. People base their buying decision on many things including the demographics of the seller. For those in Pittsburgh and Ohio, my book JIGSAW is an intrigue about women who walk from Dayton to my city (at the above co-ordinates).

DSCN0250_246It’s attitude adjustment time in my time Happy group of finger smileys with social chat sign and speech bzone and I’ll just say I hope you have/ had/ are having a great weekend. Jeanie

I was going to say, comment if you’re awake when reading this – I know, right?  I bet some people sleepread somewhere, though.



Author page                     End: 17:31 p.m. World Time Zone picture purchased from  – Other photo Dreamstime

Seafood Comes From the Sea, Right?

If you’re not lucky enough to live on a coast and have to buy your seafood inland, your choices are limited to supermarkets and maybe a fish market in a downtown strip district. I’m a writer, so why aren’t I writing my book like I did Something Fishy in Manhattan? Because sometimes I get stuck writing and my mind strays to what kind of FISH or SEAFOOD I’m going to make for dinner.  I started my research  by searching our supermarket’s weekly ad. A number of specials were IQF Salmon, fresh farm raised tilapia, and Alaska Sockeye Salmon: wild, natural, and sustainable; previously frozen.

I pictured dinner like this:Grilled salmon and vegetables Photo: Fotolia

What I didn’t know until I looked it up was that IQF wasn’t the company that provided the salmon but stood for Individually Quick Frozen instead. I had a lot to learn about fish, especially where it comes from. I’d finally gotten used to swai being sold at Walmart – it’s a “river-farmed catfish” of the Pangasius family – but according to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in California (an authority on seafood and supplier to Whole Foods) the swai could be from the Mekong Delta or the Mississippi Delta which could make a difference in whether I bought it or not. Clearly I needed to research some more and find out the difference between farm raised and wild caught seafood.

50% of seafood worldwide is farm raised, according to NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), by aquaculture.

Opponents of this type of breeding claim substances like antibiotics and chemical polutants can be added and prove as harmful as mercury levels which can be higher in wild caught seafood. Fortunately in the U.S., companies like Whole Foods practice responsible aquaculture as do their suppliers, Blue Ocean Institute and Monterrey Bay Aquarium. But the U.S. imports 91% of the seafood that Americans eat and only inspects about 2% of it. It seems best to buy farm raised seafood from Whole Foods or at least look to see where it was raised. That is not to say that farm raised seafood from other countries is necessarily bad. You have to trust that your local supermarket is careful, that’s all. One of ours had an ad for Snow crab from the icy Bering Sea. I would have no problem buying that. Here’s an aquaculture farm:???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Photo: Dreamstime

The water looks clear and on the right, aerators add oxygen and provide flow.

50% of the world’s seafood, of course, is wild caught. I sometimes hesitate to buy it because you hear about higher mercury levels but the truth is that the health benefits (omega-3 acids) far outweigh the risks, and because the fish are not confined and swim freely they are less fatty than most farm-raised ones. That Organic Girl recommends wild caught seafood even though it can be 3 to 4 times more expensive. Incidently, there is not yet a standard for organic seafood so it is an incorrect usage if you see fish labelled “organic”.

The most enticing ads I saw were these two:

Wild Japanese Hokkaido Sea Scallops

Previously Frozen Wild Caught Fresh Scallops

I love sea scallops. I’m leaning toward getting the Hokkaido ones because we were just in Japan a few months ago. We ate all kinds of fish, cooked and raw, and had no idea where they came from. Everything was delicious including the green caterpillar (avocado and fish sushi) and ayu fish pictured below. Although Lent is over, the U.S. Department of Health suggests that we should eat more seafood – at least 3-6 oz per week or more – and that seafood on shelves at local supermarkets is safe to eat. In 2009, Americans ate 4.833 billions pound of it. Happy seafood shopping.


I almost forgot one more fish thing: Don’t eat fugu (blowfish) unless you have death wish or you could end up like the villian in my book, Something Fishy in Manhattan (It’s less expensive on Smashwords, here, than Amazon above).


What happens when you cry

Photo credit: Fotolia

Beautiful baby cryingThis little boy is in some sort of pain, don’t you think? Tears are starting to form in the glands under his eyelids and will soon drain through tear ducts that empty into his nose. When the tears and mucus mix, his nose will run and what mother wouldn’t give him a tissue? If you’re thinking a hug is called for, too, you’re probably a woman. Studies show that women give support more often to someone who is crying. Here are some other facts about crying:

* The chemicals that are cried out are ones that have built up during stress.

* Emotional tears contain different compounds than those from regular eye watering. The tears from slicing an          onion will be different than those after a lover’s quarrel. Tears when you’re upset contain enkephalin, an endorphin and pain killer.

*When you cry, your body shakes and your temperature rises.

*Your skin becomes more sensitive and your breathing deepens as you start to cry.

*Blinking of eyelids causes your tears to spread.

If you can get someone to laugh when they’re on a crying jag, though, here’s what happens then:

*Laughter promotes increased blood flow

* Stress hormones are reduced and your immune system gets a boost.

*Laughter promotes healing and produces disease-fighting compounds.


Photo credit: Dreamstime

Laughter is infectious and could get you a hug just the same as crying can. It can even get you through a bad work day when you feel like crying.

Thank you Writing Community!

Thank you

In “Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of A Mistress”, Ben Franklin said it is preferable to choose an older woman over a young one because….”they are so grateful”.

This isn’t about sex, but gratitude has something to be said for it as a feeling.

Consider these two recent tweets:

“Gratitude creates a positive attitude” – NotsoAwesomeAlex

“Be grateful. Our energy is increased when we add a little gratitude to all that we do.” – Sean Gardner

When you consider all that writers do, I find it refreshing, and worthy of thanks, that people take the time to support, advise, encourage, and help other writers. Social media alone

Happy group of finger smileys with social chat sign and speech b

is quite a handful, not even counting writing a book, editing, revising, publishing, and promoting it. I have ten toes and  the Writing Communiiy has my thanks for at least that many things.

I hope I didn’t forget anyone, but here is my list of people to thank:

1. To friends on Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, BookandReader, Linkedin, and Facebook, thank you for finding time to comment (“nice blog”, “good review”, “interesting point”). It makes me feel like I’m part of group of people who care about what I do. It makes my day, sometimes, too.

2. Thanks to knowledgeable people who patiently explain things or offer suggestions on Linkedin or other discussions. This “free” learning is invaluable.

3. Special thanks to the people who read my books. I know that’s subjective, but I sincerely appreciate it.

4. Promotional sites may have their own agendas, but so many of them make it easy to promote books for free. I’ve listed them in a previous blog  so I won’t name them here. Many of them have easy to follow directions and even follow-up with an email to let you know what they’ve done. They definitely get a thank you.

5. Thanks to writers who “like” discussions, author pages, comments, and posts. When you recognize the names it strengthens your sense of community and provides new connections  and friends.

6. Kudos to writers who tweet or post interesting news about writing, editing, and publishing.  I also appreciate those who provide humorous and entertaining moments.

7. Thanks to the many professionals – cover designers, editor, publishers, and printers – who help us produce a good product. The self-publishing companies have earned my gratitude for making publishing for free so easy and fast. Whether it takes you 2 or 20 tries to get it right, they don’t judge. Mistakes can be corrected easily, too.

8. I also thank literary agents who send feedback even if they are not interested in my book.

9. Thanks to people who review books for free. This is a wonderful thiig.

10. My most heartfelt thanks goes to all people who read, which includes writers, of course. In this case, the audience deserves the applause for a change. Why else do we write at all?

open book