Writing Channel

Health Policy Valentines

The best thing about Valentine’s Day, in my opinion, is that it inspires people to create poetry.  One would expect the topic  of the poems to be love, or lust, or something about romance.  That’s not what happened on Twitter this year.

There are many people in the United States that are very freaked out, and rightfully so, about what will happen if the Republicans in Congress repeal the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) without replacing it with something else.  On the other side of the pond, some are concerned about what will happen if the government privatizes the National Health Service (NHS).

Put this all together, and you end up with a multitude of #HealthPolicyValentines.

I decided to select the...

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My Year in Books – 2016

Goodreads is a social media site for book lovers.  People who use it can opt-in to a yearly challenge called “My Year In Books”.  It is a reading challenge that encourages people to read more books.  Each person gets to choose for themselves how many books they want to have read by the end of the year.

I like that this challenge is individuated.  You pick your own goal.  You spend the year competing against yourself to complete that goal.  One of these years, I hope to be able to successfully complete the challenge.

The first t...

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Things That Never Were – by Matthew Rossi

One of the things I love about books is that they are an excellent place to escape to when the real world seems dark and dire.  In Things That Never Were, Matthew Rossi gives the reader plenty of interesting, incredibly detailed, glimpses into what the world might have been like if you take what we know of history, twist it around, and see where it goes from there.

The full title of the book is: Things That Never Were: Fantasies – Lunacies –  & Entertaining Lies.  I like to think of it as a series of essays that could be described as “intelligent conspiracy theory”.  That being said, Rossi is not really trying to convince you that the essays in this book are factual (and this is where he differs greatly from actual conspiracy theorists).  These are “things that never were”, after all.   ….Right?

It took me a long time to read through Things...

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Twitter Haiku: Still Counting the Pollen

This year, I decided to document my struggle through the fall pollen season in the form of haiku. If you’re going to complain about your health – you might as well do it in a creative way.

I also wanted to share how bad my allergies were due to the fall pollen season and give people a glimpse into what it is like to be me. This year’s fall pollen season started August 9, 2016, and it continued through September 30, 2016. That’s a total of 53 days of being sick, in a row, with no end in sight.

You may want to read th...

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Blood Sky – by Traci L. Slatton

Blood Sky is the fourth part of The After Series.  I highly recommend that you read the first three books: Fallen, Cold Lightand Far Shore.  You will get much more out of Blood Sky if you take the time to read through the earlier portions of the story first.  Relationships are made, and broken, and sometimes repaired along the way.

Traci L. Slatton does a good job of reminding readers about the most significant things that happened in the previous books.  This is not meant as a replacement for reading them, though.  It is important that you “live through that” with the characters before jumping into the fourth book of the series.  One of the things I love about Slatton’s books is that she makes the reader truly care about what happens to the characters (both major and minor).

In Blood Sky, t...

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When Optimality Isn’t Optimal and Gluten-Free is Optional

It all started with a news article that was retweeted into my  Twitter feed.  The article was very short, and reported that many people were going gluten-free even though they had absolutely no medical reason to do so.

The person who was retweeted into my Twitter feed is someone I do not know. She commented: “I’ll say it again, Unless you have a diagnosed condition, gluten free is not a “healthier” option”.  According to the person’s Twitter bio, she is a PhD Researcher (Molecular Nutrition). I’m inclined to believe that she knows what she’s tweeting about.

This got me to wondering about something. Why would a healthy person willingly choose to restrict their diet unnecessarily?

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Twitter Haiku: Counting the Pollen

In 2015, I suffered through the worst pollen seasons I’ve ever experienced.  The spring pollen season went away – and the fall pollen season started not long after that.

I knew I would be going through the same allergen induced agony again this year.  I believed it would be easier since I had lived through it before and kind of knew what to do to alleviate the worst symptoms.  You can probably tell from the “selfie” that was in a ton of pain by the end of August.

Here begins the “Saga o...

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Camille Preaker works for a daily paper in Chicago that can be described as “second-rate”.  Her editor, Frank Curry (who is also a friend in a parental kind of way) sends Camille on her very first assignment.

A murder happened in Wind Gap, Camille’s hometown.  This wasn’t news, as the murder happened long enough ago to have already passed through the news cycle.  A pre-teen girl was found dead in a creek with a rope around her neck and all of her teeth missing.  Now, another pre-teen girl has disappeared.

Editor Frank Curry sends Camille back to Wind Gap, where she is expected to stay with her mother, as she investigates what happened.  Just the thought of returning home puts Camille’s mind back into unhealthy places.  She is freshly out of a stay in a psychological hospital, and it is clear from the start that returning to Wind Gap is going to do bad things to Camille’s mental health.

Sharp Objects is the perfect name fo...

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Twitter Haiku: Whistles, Pops, and Booms

At the end of every month, I gather up all of the haiku that I posted on Twitter and put it into a blog. Sometimes, the haiku end up telling a story. Such is the case this time.

All of the haiku in this blog were written in July, a month where I typically freak out about fireworks. I’m a fan of fireworks displays that are done by professionals. I’m strongly against fireworks done by random people in a mobile home park where all the homes are very close together while a drought is going on.

The thing i...

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Ms. Marvel #3 – Super Famous (Part 3)

Ms. Marvel #3- Super Famous is the third part of a three part story.  You should go read part 1 and part 2 before reading this one.  This issue was published in March of 2016.

It’s hard to write about the third part of any trilogy without giving away too much.  I will say that the story line comes to a nice conclusion while leaving some things open just enough to perhaps be developed in future issues.

In this issue, Ms. Marvel gets to beat up some bad guys by using her superpowers.  One important part of this story is that Ms. Marvel ends up working with her best friend Bruno’s new girlfriend, Mike, on something very important.  Mike, like everyone else in Jersey City, knows who Ms. Marvel is – but she doesn’t have any idea that Ms. Marvel is Kamala Khan...

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