Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nociception


Nociception

Any idea what that word means? I didn’t either when I first saw it in my morning reading. The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder and Noah D Oppenheim.

Nociception is the perception of pain. Simple huh? It’s essential to human’s survival.
Children are born every so often that have, what is called, a congenital insensitivity to pain and anhydrosis (CIPA). These children seldom live past the age of twenty-five simply because they don’t feel pain. If they survive the stage of teething without biting off their own fingers or something worse, they still are not out of the woods. They don’t know when they’ve injured themselves or have an infection that is eating them up.

We should be thankful for the sensation of pain. Seems like an odd thing, but it is essential as you can see from this one example.

The brain has a pain matrix that sorts out the intensity, location, duration and type of pain. This matrix is called anterior cingulated cortex. The funny thing about this brain center is it doesn’t distinguish between physical pain and emotional pain. This matrix responds equally to a broken leg or a broken heart.

So then, if I follow this logic (there’s that word again) a person could die from a broken heart. I used this emotional context in my mystery suspense novel The Pink Lady Slipper. The mother of the protagonist died from extreme fear. Emotional reaction can be as deadly as actual physical harm. I researched if it was possible to die from extreme fear at this time. I found it was. Amazing!

If all that follows as true, then there is truth to the clich├ęs “Act as if,” “Fake it until you make it,” See it, believe it, achieve it,” wouldn’t you say?

BUY NOW! The Pink Lady Slipper
Billie A Williams
www.billiewilliams.com
http://printedwords.blogspot.com
http://cricketshearth.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What do you think of when you hear Gothic?


What do you see? I think of pictures of KISS or The Bat Man's Cave or some other dark and scary thing -- Yet in the late 1100's and early 1200's it meant enlightenment. It meant the opening up to the sunlight and color,of churches and those structures meant to honor the rulers it meant letting in the light. They would build outer walls on huge pillars and enclose them but the windows were huge stain glass features to let in color and light.

It wasn't until the 18th century when in fiction Gothic became associated with grotesque and mysterious in literature.

It wasn't until the 1980's when music and dress were the dark Gothic - music such as Siouxie and the Banshees created an almost evil darkness that became associated with looking Goth in vogue with some.

What do you think when you think Gothic?

The book I'm reading The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder & Noah D. Oppenheim and it certainly does spark your imagination, your curiosity and your wonder about what you believe and what is truth.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"All men by nature desire to know" Aristotle


Aristotle knows - curiosity is a natural thing. We want to know everything about everything. Aristotle believed philosophy should be studied in a precise order. Learning logic allows us to explain how facts about the world relate to each other. He actually developed the theory of syllogisms - you probably remember :
All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Therefore, Socrates is mortal
That represents the sequence of logical thought.
After logic Aristotle says Science - or natural phenomena should be next and the final study should be practical philosophy which includes ethics and politics. Putting those two words, ethics and politics, in the same sentence seems a bit - well, like an oxymoron. Ethics - combined as it should be with politics, is it ever? We can always hope.
Mean time Arie would make a good hero in my next novel perhaps - he was a very clear thinker - do his thoughts go with love? lust? or sex? Perhaps not. Does logic come into play in these circumstances? Perhaps not. Ethics? Politics? well maybe politics...
Some food for thought none-the-less.
www.billiewilliams.com

Friday, January 16, 2009

Words to the Wise


BODY BUILDING and VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS

You need to keep your mind alert to write. But you also need to keep your body in shape even while you are leading this more sedentary life. For body builders, you are to be congratulated for taking care of your body. This work is making you stronger. It is important to remember however, that as you increase your ability to lift things, and you increase the strength of your muscles, you need more vitamins and minerals as well as more energy in order to use these enhanced muscles.

First of all, you should not start bodybuilding before you have talked to a doctor or a nutritionist about what you should do to make sure that your body can maintain the muscles that it has. If you are not able to consume enough of the foods that have the right vitamins, you are going to need to take supplements. This is because it is extremely important that you have enough of the right things if you are going to be bodybuilding. If you are building your muscles and not feeding your body properly, there is not going to be anything left over to keep you healthy. Vitamins help to build your immune system, make hormones and much more.

The best way to get your nutrition is through eating the right diet. There are certain aspects of the vitamins and minerals that go along with food that just can’t be found in the supplements. It is always best to eat as well as you can. However, if for some reason you aren’t able to get all of the needed vitamins and minerals, it is better to have them via vitamin supplements that not to suffer a shortage of what your body needs to maintain optimum health and virility.

Many times it is a good idea to go on a general multivitamin if you are going to be working out and working hard on your body. This is a good idea because as you work out you are burning energy that your body would otherwise use to protect itself. Therefore, your immune system might be compromised as you work out. You should try to do whatever you can to make sure that your are getting the correct vitamins and minerals that your immune system needs to function properly.

There are so many benefits to getting a proper amount of nutrition that there is now ay to list them all. For people who are working on building their muscles, there are certain things about vitamins and supplements that you should be aware of. There are many books to consult as well as your physician. Don’t leave your good health and well-being to chance.
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Feel free to share this article in its entirety as long as you leave this resource box with it. Thank You!
Billie A Williams, Author
www.billiewilliams.com
billie@billiewilliams.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If Rejections ever get you down...


CELEBRATION OF REJECTION
From the pages of, How to Get a Literary Agent by Michael Larsen

1. 112 Books Louis L’Amour though he received rejections. He received 200 rejections before he sold his first novel. During the last forty years Bantam has shipped nearly three hundred million of his one hundred twelve books, making him their biggest-selling author.
2. 600+ rejection slips wall paper Jack London’s home.
3. 774 rejection slips for John Creasy who went on to publish under 13 pseudonyms 564 books
4. 14 rejected Pearl S Buck finally published The Good Earth
5. 20 rejections didn’t stop Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s publication and you know how famous it became, written by Richard Bach
6. 40 rejections before she sold her first book didn’t stop Mary Higgins Clark
7. 200 rejections Roots by Alex Haley was published.
8. 15 publishers and 30 agents rejected John Grisham’s A Time to Kill before it was finally published.
9. 375 publishers rejected naked in Deccan over seven years before the Baltimore Sun deemed it a classic.
10. Dr Seuss – 24 in his file of rejections before his first books was published
11. 8 years after the novel Steps won the National Book Award, Jerzy Kosinski allowed it to be send out again with a name change to 13 agents and 14 publishers – all of them rejected it, including Random House, which originally published it. Proves the plight of new writers trying to get recognition or a publishing contract.
12. The New Yorker rejected a short story by Saul Bellow after he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

So there you have it. Don’t let a little pile of rejections stop you from persevering in your desire to be a published author. The three P’s of getting published Polish, Persist, persevere.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Early Valentine's Day Sale -- are you ready?


Extra, Extra – Special Valentine Bundle Sale
VALENTINE BUNDLE
In celebration of Valentine’s Day
From now until February 14, 2009

Buy either
Angeni from Red Rose Publishing OR Dark Thunder from Erotique Press

(Angeni The e-book edition available now.
Dark Thunder is available in Print or e-book now.)

And as a Bonus from the author, Cricket Sawyer, receive:
1. Valentine Express (Erotique Download)

2. Hunks and Heros from the Valentine Express Booklet (PDF file)

3. Spaghetti Variations Cook Book (PDF file)

4. Angeni Book Marks (PDF printable file)

Send your proof of purchase to Cricket at cricket@cricket-sawyer.com and she will send you your bonus items. Hurry while all the items are still available. Do it Now while you are thinking of it before the offer disappears.

ANGENI Buy Link
http://redrosepublishing.com/bookstore/product_info.php?products_id=357

Angeni weaves her web to entangle evil in its own cocoon of destruction. Shape-shifter, singer, protector her life is in turmoil, is Kaus Borealis soul mate or an evil that won’t be trapped?


DARK THUNDER Buy link
http://www.erotiquepress.com/direct/buy-erp-cs-dt.htm


Dark edgy romance, a vulnerable woman plucked from a loveless marriage. Saved, she thinks, by her dark knight. The dark knight becomes a dark warrior with problems of his own. Sucked into a spiral of bizarre behavior and terrifying consequences, she soon realizes what her vulnerability has cost her. Is there a way out?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SHE'S HERE Come and visit - ask questions...




Hi Phyllis,

1. What an exciting title, The Sinner’s Guide to Confession. It really grabs your attention. The most fascinating thing for me is where authors get their story ideas, but the grabber title has to be the exact hook a publisher needs to push a story. Where did the idea for the title come from? Was it something in the story or did you start with the title and then write the story?

The title is taken from a scene in the novel. Gertie, Kaye’s mother, recounts a story of how on the train, she notices a very plain woman reading a pamphlet on the train. When Gertie sees that the pamphlet is titled The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, she wonders what such a plain-looking woman has to confess. I actually had this experience while riding Metro North into Manhattan. I was fascinated by the woman sitting across from me and began to take notes. If this woman had something to confess, imagine what others might be hiding? Anyway, that’s where the idea for the title came from. However, I cannot take credit for it since it was my agent’s brainstorm. We went back and forth over it for awhile with my editor and with the publisher before everyone agreed.

2. Your book starts out with a look in the mirror. I mean, when we see the young 15 year old faces pretending to be 20 acting like they’re 40, we remember our own youth and wish it were possible to cross that barrier we left so long ago to back there when things were perfect. Your characters seem so true. Each one is at a perfect age, a perfect place, a perfect psychological time to be, say and do what they are, say and do. You show a masterful use of story telling here. A reader just feels what they feel. How did you arrive at such incredible reality?

Well, first I must thank you for such a lovely compliment. I am flattered. As for arriving at such an “incredible reality,” I am weeks away from fifty-six, so I’ve had my share of experiences at different ages. When I see a twenty-some or a thirty-something who struggles with issues I have already experienced, I often feel compelled to share my own sense of reality. After all 20/20 hindsight is not really anything more than introspection. It’s not about regrets, but it is about knowing what you might have done differently.

3. How did you go about developing these characters?

I approach character development the same way each time. Long ago, a good friend told me that one needs to know everything about each character even if you don’t use all the information. I start out by writing a character sketch—physical characteristics, age, religion, education, family, friends, political views, childhood, quirks, anything and everything. The character then begins to take form. I can actually see each character as he or she emerges from these details. It’s all very exciting at that stage. I love that part of the process, and since I don’t do much in the way of outlining, it makes me feel very virtuous. After this, I tab a notebook—a section for each character and begin to compile my notes. It’s no longer preliminary work. The characters evolve. As I write, they allow me to create them.

4. Perfect – is not what your book is about. Flaws, mistakes or life choices that you would change, if only…seems to be the essence of your book. What drew you to explore these three secrets in particular?

Perfection is so much less interesting than anything that is flawed. The mistakes we make have so much more to offer than anything else. Would life be interesting if we were all perfect and always did the right thing? Perfection is boring.


5. You hear author’s put themselves in the hero, or heroines make up. How much of you are in the three women whose lives we are wrapped up in?

I think there are elements of me in every character I create. I see certain elements of myself in each of these women. I have Barbara’s cynicism, Kaye’s resilience, and Ellen’s perseverance. I have other qualities that we see in these women, but those qualities stand out for me at this moment. However, everything of me is in those women in one way or another.

6. My first thought when I read about your book and the three women who play the major roles in your story was the title “The Three Faces of Eve”. Each of these women hordes a secret. The hiding is as much of the story as would be the revealing…this seems a precarious balance that you manage to hold through out the book. The secret doesn’t make them evil. Did you know this at the outset, did you have the story designed this way or did your characters form the story as you went?

My characters form the story as I go along. I almost never know where I’m going when I first begin. It’s all about taking a chance. I have to believe that the story will unfold and that the characters will tell me what to do.

7. Women are such nurturers. Do you think guilt over choices made in her youth influences the way people, especially women, lead their lives?

I really don’t know about other women. I do know that for myself by the time I reached a point where I no longer gave much credence to guilt, I had wasted a lot of time doing things I really didn’t want to do and being with people I didn’t want to spend much time with when I really don’t even like socializing. So, in answer to your question, I learned from the wrong choices I made in my youth and corrected them in adulthood—a good thing, no?

I think when we are young we make choices for a lot of the wrong reasons, including guilt, but I don’t believe that it is the overriding deterrent for women to making good choices. I think poor self-esteem is the plague of women at every age. We just don’t see how much we are worth, or we don’t accept ourselves as we are, or we think we’re too fat or not pretty enough. It’s exhausting.

8. Did you have a friend like one of these women that you could or would confide in no matter what the secret revealed about you?

Of course, don’t you? I certainly hope you do. I have a few women in my circle. I couldn’t survive without my women. My closest friends know most everything about me, but always to a degree. Some things simply shouldn’t be shared.

9. Ellen is thinking during a conversation with Bill that, “… Behind every woman who has been betrayed is a confused man.” I found this an interesting comment. Of course it fits very well in their conversation at this point. Do you feel this statement is true? Do you think that misunderstanding – perhaps the men are from mars women are from Venus type mentality causes rifts that could be solved if couples were more open and express themselves better?

Well, of course, more rifts would be solved if everyone, not only couples, could express themselves. I’m not sure about being open. I used to think that “being open” was always an advantage, but I’ve come to the logic of the less is more theory. I don’t think there is always more to be gained from full disclosure. In answer to the men are from Mars and women are from Venus reference, my answer is yes. Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, and that is just the way it is. We are simply different.

10. What about Phyllis Schieber? Who is she on Saturday morning when the dog wants to be walked and the kids want breakfast, the phone refuses to quit ringing with one more request for your undivided attention? Who is she at the PTA meeting or the Red Hat Society or perhaps none of these fit you…Tell us about the * real * you.


First of all, I have a cat, and my son is away at graduate school, and I don’t belong to anything that requires my physical presence—no clubs, no meetings, no regular sort of anything. I never did like groups. On a Saturday morning, or most any morning for that matter, you’ll find me in my office at my computer with a cup of tea or coffee, answering emails and writing. I love my own space. I don’t like to socialize much except for the occasional lunch or dinner with one or several of the girls. The real me is very funny, a loyal friend with loyal friends, delightfully irreverent, a devoted wife and mother, and someone who tries very, very hard to remember to count her blessings.

11. Finally, where can we find out more about you and your work? Do you have a blog or website? How can readers connect with you?

www.thesinnersguidetoconfession.com


http://phyllisschieber.blogspot.com/

Facebook
Shelfari
Goodreads



Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. I’m sure my readers will have many more questions for you as they read and re-read your wonderful book. Can they reach you by email or snail mail with comments or questions?

phyllis.schieber@gmail.com




About Sinner’s Guide to Confession:

Kaye and Barbara are longtime friends, now in their fifties. Ellen, who is several years younger, develops a friendship with the other two women years later, solidifying this close-knit group. The three women are inseparable, yet each nurtures a secret that she keeps from the others.

About Author Phyllis Schieber:

The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. .In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights. The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. Her first novel, Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam and in March 2008, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.

Win A Free Book from Phyllis Schieber – Its very easy to be entered in a drawing for a FREE book by Phyllis Schieber. Post comments on any blogs during the virtual tour and you will have a chance to win a book from Phyllis. One random person will win – but we are also asking visitors to share a secret and one secret will also win a free book. As a bonus the blog owner that hosted the winning comments will also win a book. Share some interesting stories and questions with Phyllis Schieber during her tour – and have a chance to win a book.

For full details about Phyllis Schieber’s virtual tour, visit her tour home page - http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/12/sinners-guide-to-confession-by-phyllis.html

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

She's Coming tomorrow - A Sinner's Guide to...



You won't want to miss this. A Sinner's Guide to Confessions by Phyllis Schieber you won't want to be the only one not talking about this exciting look at how a novel should be written. You'll constantly be asking yourself is this fact or fiction. The characterization, the conflict, the drama is all there. You will want to meet Barbara, Kaye and Ellen. You'll want to become part of their intimate group - you'll want to be friends and share with them. You will not put it down once you start reading. The world looks so different at 40, 50 or even 60 than it did at 16 - Do you dare tell - or do you take your secret to the grave?
Look here for an interview with Phyllis tomorrow.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Ironwood Daily Globe has found me!




Perhaps not me but my book Ghost Music of Vaudeville - As a young sprout I delivered the Daily Globe in a little place called Jessieville it was an adjunct to Ironwood..fond memories that helped me name a character and a place for my book - you can check out the article at this link
Ghost Music of Vaudeville
Ironwood Daily Globe Article
http://www.ironwooddailyglobe.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=27140
Please go check it out
If you go today you can just go to http://www.theIronwoodDailyGlobe.com and it starts on the front page - just look for Ghost Music of Vaudeville by Billie A Williams.

When you are done there go check out some video trailers for new releases from both me and my sister Cricket Sawyer
Lavender Lust
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RFv1VugU1s

Angeni
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGvrVn

The Capricorn Goat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pl0JMoY05M

Enjoy