Thursday, April 25, 2013

Inspired by the Remarkable, the Unusual and the True: Facts about the Human Body

When we know something really well, we sometimes say, 

“I know it like the back of my hand.” But how well do we really know our bodies? 

Each person has a body. A thing we’ve grown up in, a thing we might be trying to downsize and a thing we will grow old in. But how much do we really know about our own bodies? I bet I can share an anatomy fact that’s new to you.

Header courtesy of samulli

  1. Every hour an average person sheds about 600,000 particles of skin. That equals about a pound and a half each year.
  2. Hair is also shed. On a daily basis, an individual loses 60-100 strands of hair.
  3. Skin and hair aren’t the only human part that’s renewed. Apparently, a person’s stomach lining changes every three to four days. This continual rebirth keeps the strong acids used for digestion from eating up the stomach. One source declared stomach juices strong enough to dissolve razorblades.
  4. The small intestine is also involved in digestion. It’s the largest internal organ and can be 18 to 23 feet long.
  5. Another amazing organ is the lung. Although the human lung is about the size of an American football, inside it has a surface area as large as a tennis court. Lungs have thousands of branching airways and hollow cavities that hold air.
  6. Speaking of air coming in and out, it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. Sneezes regularly come out of the body at 100 mph.
  7. That’s pretty fast. A cough is slower. It clocks in at 60mph.
  8. And now we’re talking about the mouth. Know what the strongest muscle in the human body is? The tongue.
  9. Teeth are the only parts of the human body that can’t repair themselves because their outer layer is enamel, not living tissue.
  10. People need saliva to taste food. You can test this theory by drying off your tongue and trying to catch your snack’s favor.
  11. Know how much saliva you’ll probably produce in your lifetime? Enough to fill two swimming pools.
  12. If that fact makes you grin, you’ve just used 17 muscles. If it inspires a frown, you’ve used 43 muscles.
  13. Depending on when you’re reading my blog you may be taller or shorter. If it’s evening, you’ve lost about centimeter in height. That’s because standing, sitting and all the things we do daily compress the cartilage between bones.

Did any of these amazing facts surprise you? Which ones? Do you have any to share? If you’d like to learn more, check out my sources. Thanks.
A weekly blog where writers share their inspiration.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Time Travel and Knights and Dragons, oh my!

Please forgive the blatant self-promotion, but today is release day for the first book in my Bestiary Series, Fire of the Dragon. If you like time travels, be sure to check it out.

Being sent back in time to the Middle Ages wouldn't be so bad if the knight in shining armor who comes to your rescue didn't swoop down in the form of a fire-breathing dragon. Unfortunately for Jill Donahue, that's just the way things have been going in her life lately.

A Maiden

Wrenched back in time through the magical power of an old dragon tapestry found in a vintage clothing store, Jill Donahue lands in an ancient medieval town where the villagers decide to sacrifice her to the local dragon. As if the threat of being eaten alive by a giant flying lizard isn't bad enough, she learns there’s a curse surrounding the tapestry and she has to break it in order to get back to her time. But she isn't the only one whose fate is tied to the ancient weaving...

A Dragon

Baelin of Gosforth is a valiant knight who has been cursed by a vindictive witch to live as a dragon for eleven months out of each year. Now he has thirty days to break the curse or he turns back into a fire-breathing beast and, as much as he hates to admit it, he needs Jill's help to do it.

And A Curse

Forced to face many challenges along the way—from the harsh world they travel through to the fiery passion they both try to deny—each is determined to break the curse so the other can get their happily-ever-after. And it just might work, if Jill can manage to overlook the fire-breathing, bat-winged remnants of Baelin's dragon half long enough to see the man beneath the beast and get the job done.

Barnes and Noble

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On Vacation

Who doesn’t love vacation? This weekend I’m going to the Atlantic City beach. I’m giddy with anticipation and, of course, there are so many things I should do before I go.
Here are 13 things I need to remember to pack.

  1. My camera
  2. Sunscreen. You can never be too careful.
  3. A light coat
  4. Some fun money
  5. A sweater
  6. Jeans
  7. Good walking shoes. I want to walk up and down the boardwalk for sure.
  8. Tea.
  9. My Nook.
  10. My computer, in case I feel like a little work.
  11. A swimsuit
  12. My phone
  13. Makeup

Help. I’m so excited I’ll probably forget something essential. What else would you suggest?


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Steampunk and Victorian Vampires

By Eilis Flynn
A touch of the future, set in the past. Pure attitude. And the awesome fashion. That’s only the start of the charm of steampunk.

That was basically what I thought when my friend and occasional writing partner, Heather Hiestand, persuaded me to consider writing a steampunky story with her. Now, mind you, I’m not a big one for writing historicals. And at the time, I knew virtually nothing about steampunk—just that it seemed to have a lot of style. The only thing I knew was the term was probably a variation on the science fiction neo-term “cyberpunk.” But Heather has a nose for these things, so I figured I’d look at what steampunk really was. I dipped into “Girl Genius,” the web comic/graphic novel created by Phil and Kaja Foglio (Google it—you won’t regret it!). I read whatever else I could grab on short notice. And I was astounded.

Holy cow, it was a whole culture. There were conventions and websites and a whole lot of literature. And I was sucked in!

Okay, I was in on the concept, I told Heather. Now we had to create the story! Now, I’d always wanted to do a story in which vampirism was a product of science, not just legend and lore. This seemed to be the perfect time to use that idea, using the sciences that were on the rise in the Victorian period. Combining all that with the secret societies that we’ve both found fun, using all that British history that Heather has jumped into for her own work (not steampunk at all is her Kensington historical romance, Marquess of Cake, coming up in July), spinning a story out of a historical figure who has been forgotten—we came up with an adventure story with a bit of romance, a bit of history, and even a bit of vampires (made of science, not legend or lore!).

So we came up with something that was fun. And if you can enjoy writing the story, I figure you’ve got a great start! Here’s what Wear Black is all about:

Death did not end his service to the British Empire: Beneath Windsor Castle, a shadow network of immortals keeps the British Empire safe. Army captain Lucas Fitzrobbins becomes one of them when the cure for his mortal wound turns out to be a vampirism potion. He is abruptly inducted into the secret St. George Protector Society…and it’s not long before the Society’s newest recruit discovers it has dark mysteries as well…

Marked as a target: Hampering Lucas’s efforts to adjust to his after-life is An Tighearn operative Nellie Clifton, a beautiful and enigmatic assassin, who has marked Lucas as her latest quarry. But then…

Secrets are threatened to be revealed: A brutal killer stalks the seamy underside of London. Protectors and assassins alike must leave the shadows to find the fiend before their existence is revealed to the world. Tasked with the job of tracking down the murderer, Lucas discovers that the crazed butcher may have connections that go to the heart of the British Empire. One thing is certain:

The Queen must never know!

Got questions? They’ll all be answered in WEAR BLACK, on sale now at, Smashwords, and other online retailers!

Eilis Flynn can be found to argue with at Facebook, Twitter, or her website at Come visit!