Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Just Write the Damn Thing

Steven Pressfield writes a lot about Resistance, sometimes called procrastination.

When Pressfield got back from Israel after conducting interviews for the film The Lion’s Gate, he had almost five hundred hours of tape from about eighty interviewees—soldiers, tankers, and airmen who had fought in the Six Day War of 1967.

He wanted to be accurate, he wanted to give justice to the men who fought. And he found he was loitering.

He said all he saw was confusion. I kept waiting for the picture to come into focus. But it never did. I could’ve spent a year transcribing interviews and been just as uncertain as I was at the start.

Sometimes you have to fly straight into the chaos.

And as writers, sometimes you have to tell yourself, “Just write the damn thing!”



Monday, September 27, 2021

Vitamins of the Air?

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” 

― Albert Einstein

Well, I tried to explain to my 12-year-old grandson that his showers make him feel better because they were giving off negative ions. 

He thought that was the funniest thing he had ever heard. That was until I pressed upon him that it was real science, not some pie in the sky stuff.

Of course, I couldn’t explain ions because I didn’t understand them. My physicist husband said something about the rushing of water creates negative charges in the molecules of water. That rather turned my grandson to my side, but understand it? I still don’t.

To quote Einstein once again, “Never memorize something that you can look up.” 

According to my grandson, if the internet doesn’t confirm it, it can’t be valid. Lucky me. Internet confirmed that, yes, running water somehow charges the charge of an atom or molecule.

And those negative ions have a magical effect on our bodies.

Vitamins of the Air?

Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,” says Pierce J. Howard, Ph.D., author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind-Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.

“They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation.”

And for a whopping one in three of us who are sensitive to their effects, negative ions can make us feel like we are walking on air. You are one of them if you feel instantly refreshed the moment you open a window and breathe in fresh, humid air. (Shucks, I thought everyone could feel the effects.)

“You may be one of them if you feel sleepy when you are around an air-conditioner, but feel immediately refreshed and invigorated when you step outside or roll down the car window,” Howard tells WebMD. “Air conditioning depletes the atmosphere of negative ions, but an ion generator re-releases the ions that air conditioners remove.” 

There’s something in the air, and while it may not be love, some say it’s the next best thing.

Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in specific environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase the mood chemical serotonin level, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy. 

By Denise Mann Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD From the WebMD Archives 

Science 101

Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. They are created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, moving air, and water. You may have experienced the power of negative ions when you last set foot on the beach or walked beneath a waterfall. While part of the euphoria is simply being around these wondrous settings and away from the everyday pressures of home and work, the air circulating in the mountains and the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions — Much more than the average home or office building, which contain dozens or hundreds, and many register a flat zero.

“The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions, and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods,” says ion researcher Michael Terman, Ph.D. of Columbia University in New York.

Updated September 04, 2019

Generating Negative Ions: Every home has a built-in natural ionizer — the shower.

While we are on the subject of science, I would like to introduce my husband, Neil. 

Here is his new website: If you are an inventor, a hobbyist, or a doodler, you might be interested.

“When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”

― Albert Einstein

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Drip, Drip, Drip

In his book, 
See You at The Top, Zig Zigler tells the story of how years ago he invested in a computer he believed would handle his inventory, payroll, mailing list, and labeling. He figured that marvelous machine, for which he had paid an enormous sum, would even make the morning’s coffee. 

Six months later, he would have sold it for a fraction of what he paid for it.

 At the time of his writing, he would not part with it for ten times what he paid for it.

What happened?


 The answer is simple. The first people he hired to program the computer would have fouled up a two-car parade.


But then, in walked a couple who said they could make that computer sit up and sing. Zigler hired them, and the result is history. It was doing all he wanted and more.


 Input determines output.


 We, humans, are very suggestible, and although we pride ourselves on being independent and free-thinking, the truth is skillful inputters can easily program us.


 When we hear or see something over and over, it tends to stick. It’s the drip, drip, drip that wears down our defenses, and pretty soon, we are saying, “That seems right.”


That’s brainwashing. 


We are built that way. It is no dishonor or weakness on our part. 


 If we don’t brainwash our own minds, someone will do it for us.


Knowing that puts the power in our hands. It allows us to do our own brainwashing. It is, however, a challenge. When we say, “I am a masterful creator. Money comes easily and abundantly. I always have enough.” We are apt to say, “That’s baloney. Look at those bills that I cannot pay. Look at my life. It sucks.” Those are powerful words, but we continually use them.


 We’re afraid to say, “I have the life of my dreams. I have the relationship I’ve always wanted. I am financially secure with more than enough to supply all my needs.” We see that isn’t true, but our brain, like the jury, still hears the words, “I am.” 


 It’s the drip, drip, drip that allows us to believe in events not yet ours. Wayne Dyer said, “We’ll get it when we see it.”


 This programming ourselves is tricky business. We have a gatekeeper at the door, throwing out what we put in. That’s the reason we need to see it, hear it, whoop it up, laugh outrageously, play make-believe, and write notes to ourselves so we can stay in a positive zone. We can overwhelm the gatekeeper by a continual drip, drip, drip. We can be so positive old gatekeeper won’t stand a chance against us. 


If we don’t brainwash ourselves, the world will do it for us. Media tells us and retells us. They put their horrendous stories on the news on the hour, between hours, and people soak it up—why is that? Why are we attracted to bad news?


My husband says it evolutionary. We are on the lookout for enemies.


When I was reading about Africa, I found that they liked “talking trouble.”


Oh, I’m getting it. It’s emotional. We hear something bad about someone, and we feel empathetic. It’s genuine. “Oh, that’s terrible,” we say and truly mean it. “I’m so sorry for them.”


It’s not so emotionally pleasing if the hero breezes through to success. 


 We’d say, “Yeah, sure. Okay.” Then envy sets in, “Lucky dude, why is it so easy for them?” We begin to feel bad about ourselves that we don’t measure up. 


 But if the hero struggles, and we’ve struggled with him, if he loses, it’s emotional, and we’re chest fallen. If he wins, we feel triumphant. We know he has earned it.


One reason the media is so bad for us is that it’s too much. We are tribal by heritage. We care about our tribes. We take care of those close to us, but to hear the bad news of the entire world is overwhelming.


 Another part of our make-up is that if we repeatedly hear something, we will come to believe it. 


 That can work for us or against us.


It’s easier if someone else is telling us, for then that something will stick with us. If we tell ourselves we are magnificent loving creatures. We know that isn’t true. “But master,” said the student, “the table is empty.”


“See it as full.”


 Like a writer being in the GAP, there is a gap between affirming for something and getting it. Perhaps that’s a safeguard. That gap gives us a chance the rethink some of our wants. If our thoughts were created instantly, we’d get buried in a lot of ridiculous rubbish. 


If we go way out on a limb, it might take a long time before we can accept it. 


 Give yourself powerful thoughts. Accept your own good. “Nothing is off-limits for me.” “The only person who can stop me is me.”


“Everybody wants me to win.”


“All is well.”


 “The Universe buries strange jewels within us all and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt is to uncover those jewels—that’s creative living.”

 --Elizabeth Gilbert