Thursday, March 19, 2015

Brainpower Boosters

No matter what your task, you’ll need to use your brain to complete it. And, if you’re like me, sometimes it seems the old noggin just isn't up to it. That’s when I wish I had a little help---something to reconnect and fire up all my synapses. 

Here are thirteen things a person could ingest to hopefully incite a brainstorm.

  1. Broccoli- has potassium, Vitamin C and K and a sluice of other nutrients and antioxidants that help the whole body. reports that, “research suggests that broccoli could help contribute to the brain healing itself in the case of injury.”
  2. Curry- More than one study indicates that the curcumin in curry helps memory, slows the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and may even stimulate the creation of new brain cells. Don’t believe me? Check out this study.
  3. Water-It’s hard to stay focused if you’re dehydrated.
  4. Whole grains-Because whole grains release glucose into your bloodstream slowly, they can help you stay mentally alert longer than a quick jot of a caffeinated beverage.
  5. Green Tea-Along with its antioxidants which help ward off heart disease and cancer, it may even help create new brain cells. Something neurologists had long believed impossible, but just may happen according to this study posted on Science Daily.
  6. Salmon and pretty much all fish really,
  7. Nuts,
  8. Seeds,
  9. Asparagus,
  10.  Other leafy green vegetables,
  11. Olives,
  12. Eggs,
  13. and sage, contain an essential fatty acid, Omega-3. Perhaps my explanation is oversimplified, but this nutrient is important because to think a person needs the electrical signals that make up thought to travel through the brain. These signals must pass from one cell to another through each cell’s membrane, which is made almost completely of fatty acid. Omega-3 helps the membrane stay elastic with enhances the flow of those electrical impulses.

Well, I’m off to the kitchen for water and a brain-stimulating snack, but before I go I’d like to hear from you. What else could I eat that would be beneficial to my brain? I look forward to your suggestions.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

To Spring Ahead Or Not? Thoughts on DST

At 2:00 am on Saturday, March 8, 2015, I’ll lose an hour of sleep and I won’t be alone. According to Time and, “DST aka Daylight Savings Time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year. 

DST is an hour change in standard time that was ordinarily implemented to conserve energy. When it’s in effect, it creates the illusion that the sun rises and sets later. I like the sunlight-stretching effect, especially when I can drive home after work and still have some daylight hours to walk or garden, but I don’t like losing the hour of sleep and I’m not alone in having mixed feelings the time change.

There’s a lot of debate about whether DST actually saves energy now that people have replaced the old tungsten bulbs with CFL (compact fluorescent lights) and LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs, which are more energy-efficient. Also, DST doesn’t factor in all the other electronics people routinely use that require more electricity than lights.  So many argue that DST might actually be consuming more energy than it saves.

Other people complain about the confusion that DST causes because not all countries implement DST and each country sets its own date for this strange clock resetting.

Yet, every year, most of us buy into DST and dutifully spring forward and fall back. That said we don’t do it without voicing our opinions. Here are thirteen.

  1. Daylight Saving Time: Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket. ~ Anonymous
  2. I don't mind going back to daylight saving time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I've saved all year. ~ Victor Borge
  3. Daylight savings time is tonight and is one of the best excuses for not being on time, needs to happen more often. ~ Anonymous
  4. I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves. ~ Robertson Davies
  5. Daylight time, a monstrosity in timekeeping. ~ Harry S. Truman
  6. I wish daylight savings time worked the other way in the fall...We could fall forward. Sunrise about 10am. Sunset, 9pm. Cool with me. ~ Anonymous
  7. Don’t forget it’s daylight savings time. You spring forward, then you fall back. It’s like Robert Downey Jr. getting out of bed. ~ David Letterman
  8. I know when it’s daylight savings time because it is pitch black outside and my body refuses to leave the bed. ~ Anonymous
  9. I say it is impossible that so sensible a people [citizens of Paris], under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known that they might have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing. ~ Benjamin Franklin
  10. Instead of daylight savings time, we just need to shorten the workday, so I don’t have to get up while it’s dark. ~ Anonymous
  11. An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later. ~ Winston Churchill
  12. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe “Daylight Saving Time.” ~ Dave Barry
  13. It seems very strange ... that in the course of the world's history so obvious an improvement should never have been adopted. ... The next generation of Britishers would be the better for having had this extra hour of daylight in their childhood. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

What do you think? Are you for DST? Against it? Or still deciding? Please share.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Message From The Beyond

by Eilis Flynn

Ideas are everywhere, but recognizing them when we see them is the challenge. Writers plumb every little thing they can to come up with workable ideas, and of course, sometimes it takes a long, long time for those ideas to blossom and come to fruition. Dreams, naturally, are a wonderful source to come up with some ideas, and it's not even a source that we can generally control. (I say "generally" because not everyone can do a lot of lucid dreaming. Not without practice, at least. Lucid dreaming. Fun idea!)

Like the other night. I woke up with the memory of a complete scene from a dream. It was a scene of nothing I'd written, with characters I didn't know, of a situation I knew nothing about. But it was complete, and so clear, even after I woke up and stayed awake, that I knew my subconscious, weird thing that it is, was telling me to write it down and work it in. Work it into something that I hadn't written yet and had no other information on. My subconscious has a sense of humor. Its name is Ralph, incidentally.

So I wrote it down and admired the details that had been provided to me, but it wasn't until I had another dream, with the same characters and even in the same setting, but from the POV of the second character, that I realized that my subconscious has an efficient sense of humor. Because I was getting the goal, motivation, and conflict of the second character from the same conversation. 

Interestingly, not the names of the characters. I was typing in placeholders as I transcribed the conversation both times. I can only guess that my subconscious was giving me choice about that. Nice of Ralph. 

The third dream I had continued the same characters and finished the immediate plot arc. And that was it. It's been a few weeks and as I put all the pieces together, I can thank Ralph with a little nudge for me to start a new story. I have a snippet of story to start with, but it's an intriguing snippet, and clearly it's something that Ralph thought was ready to be expelled from my treasure chest o' ideas and make use of!

Elizabeth MS Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic book stories, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies and short stories, a young adult novel, and a graphic novella (most published under the name of Eilis Flynn). She’s also a professional editor and has been for almost 40 years, working with academia, technology, and finance nonfiction, and romance fiction. If you’re looking for an editor, she can be found editing at and reached at If you’re curious about her books, check out In any case, she can be reached at