The First Brain

You know, y’all are an unusually quiet bunch of readers. I would bet money I don’t have that a freakishly high percentage of you are Introverted Intuitives on the Meyer’s Briggs Personality Test. Which isn’t a complaint, of course. I’m an Introverted Intuitive myself. But it does mean that I know far less about y’all than most writers with an audience my size.

However, a few of you have been bold enough to reach out and make yourselves known to me. And I have to assume that the rest of you are really awesome because my readers who I’ve gotten to know have turned out to be some of my favorite people. I even consider many of them friends.

One of the first readers who connected with me is a professor of biology at The University of West Chester Pennsylvania named Oné R. Pagán. Over the last nearly two years, Oné has become a friend and has been a source of encouragement to me. I’m certain he would be shocked at just how often certain things he has said to me have kept me going when selfdoubt and discouragement came prowling. He has been a true blessing.

The reason I am telling you about dear Dr. Pagán is because not only is he a professor and great guy, he’s also a blogger and a newly published author who I think you should know about. You can find his blog at Bald Scientist where he writes mainly about science with an aim to make it understandable and interesting to lay people. A new Carl Sagan in the making.

PLUS, Oné’s first book was recently published by Oxford Press (he’s a fancy, impressive guy that way). It’s called The First Brain. It’s about brains. And flat worms. And drugs. And aliens. Ok, not aliens. But if you like reading about science and have any interest in neurobiology, you should check it out. Because then you’ll be smarter and the world will be a better place. And we all want the world to be a better place, don’t we?

Anyhow, I wanted to pass that along to you, my dear, mostly silent, anonymous audience. And offer a proper congratulations to Oné for the publication of his first book. You can learn more about the book as well as get a code for 20% off a hard cover copy of The First Brain here. I would put up a picture of the super cool cover for y’all to see, but I’m having no end of technical difficulties, so you’ll just have to follow the link and be impressed.

And, reader? It’s OK to speak up from time to time, k? 🙂

Spread the Joy – Enjoying the Hard Life

hardlifecoverBack in college I briefly dated a guy who taught me how to drive a stick shift. We borrowed my friend Romi’s little Ford Escort and drove around deserted back roads so I could practice. I was awful. My date was very sweet and patient but after several hours of me stalling at every stop and losing speed as I struggled to find the next gear and the occasional grinding, he finally said, “I don’t want to make you feel bad, but it seems like you should be catching on by now.”  Shortly after that, I dropped him off and drove back to my dorm without a single hitch. I never had another problem driving a stick shift after that night.

The story always makes me laugh because it’s so typically me. It’s like I have to make every mistake possible before I can figure out the right way to do things. And then I’m golden. The downside is it’s probably best to steer clear of me when I’m learning something new. The upside is that on the other end, I can tell you about any mistake a person can make and how to find your way out of it. And it’s in this spirit that I wrote The Upside Down World’s Guide to Enjoying the Hard Life.

If there’s a counter-productive, neurotic or unhealthy way to approach life, it was probably a habit of mine at some point in the past. In this book, I share 45 of my favorite ideas, practices and attitude adjustments which have allowed me to overcome my worst tendencies and enjoy my often difficult life. The essays are quick, easy to read, good humored and practical. No lectures or theological treatises. Just lots of ideas for how to be more mindful, self-compassionate, forgiving, happy, grateful and at ease with yourself, your life and the people in it. There’s even an index to help you find which essays to turn to when struggling with everything from anxiety to guilt to forgiveness to relationships and more. Continue reading

Now Available For Kindle: The Upside Down World ~ A Book of Wisdom in Progress

Last summer, after my husband left me with 5 kids and very little money, I did what any logical woman who hasn’t had a real job in 12 years would do.  I decided to publish a book.  The Upside Down World ~ A Book of Wisdom in Progress was the result. It came out almost exactly a month after the ex left.  I still haven’t decided if this was a stroke of genius or the work of a crazy person, but the family computer did die the moment I sent the final revisions off to the pubisher.  Which may not have been a vote of great confidence on its part.

All the rest of life also seemed to be conspiring against me as well.  Due to unrelentingly bad luck and finances, I didn’t even have the money for gas to drive to local bookstores to get it on their shelves, much less set-up events.  The Kindle version was a problem as well.  It takes much more formatting to produce an ebook than a simple PDF file.  It’s not difficult, but I wasn’t exactly in any state of mind to learn how to do something new.  The resulting ebook was pretty messy and I eventually pulled it off the virtual bookshelf. 

I still don’t have the money to promote the book properly, but I do now have the mental wherewithall to learn how to format an ebook.  So, I am pleased to announce that the Kindle version of The Upside Down World ~ A Book of Wisdom in Progress is now available.  In it you will find essays, stories, poetry, spiritual memoir, quotes, art work and more.  It’s an easy read, but my goal and hope is that the ideas you encounter will remain with you long after you are done reading it. 

So, if you have been wondering about me or are looking for solid, spiritual lessons to carry you though your own challenging times, I hope that you will consider downloading your copy of The Upside Down World ~ A Book of Wisdom in Progress from Amazon today. 

For those of you who regularly read the blog, you can have new posts delivered straight to your kindle with a $.99/mo subscription from Amazon.  Even if you aren’t that into your Kindle, I could really use some reviews.  If any of my regular readers would be willing to head over and put in a good word for me, I’d be mighty appreciative!


The Upside Down World Is Here!!!!!

It seemed to take forever, but my book The Upside Down World, A Book of Wisdom in Progress is finally available for sale on Amazon.

It is a collection of essays, poety, art work by my lovely sister Cindy, quotes, stories and more meant to help people find a better view of what Wisdom looks like and how it can work in our lives.  This isn’t just a vanity project for me.  It is my sincere hope that people will be inspired, comforted, challenged and entertained by the book.

And for those of you who have slogged through some of my long, complicated posts, rest assured that the book is easy to read and understand.  It is meant to be read, thumbed through and picked up and put down over and over.  It would make a great gift for a college student heading off to school (or anyone else you love!).

A word of warning for those with Kindles: due to formatting issues and such, the Kindle edition is a scaled-down version of the book.  It is missing the artwork, notes and the story “What to do when you wake up in hell”.

Please join me in spreading the word about the book.  I know that there is so much noise and so many voices out there competing for your attention.  However, this book isn’t quite like anything you have seen before and the voice comes from a lifetime of learning wisdom which is all-too lacking in our world today.  I hope you will purchase the book yourself and be blessed by it.