Childhood monsters of loss, sadness, and pain might hide under the bed.

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Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

I never expected it to be this hard. Possibly, writing a memoir while feeling lonely during the forced isolation of a pandemic is not the wisest choice I’ve ever made. Or, just maybe, it’s given me the time to dig deeper than I might otherwise have done.

“In some ways, writing a memoir is knocking yourself out with your own fist, if it’s done right,” Karr writes in The Art of Memoir.

I was born in July 1953. In August, Alfred Kinsey released his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. …

5 simple techniques to create a reader persona or avatar.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Have you ever published something and gotten a resounding echo in response? Nobody read your article, the editor rejected your book, or you sold one lonely e-book?

What went wrong? You thought your writing was interesting, structured properly, and your grammar was correct. I’ve had this happen, and it sucks!

I’ve learned to ask this essential question, “Why should my reader care about what I’ve written?”

The answer, “Because I think it’s good,” or “Because I think it’s funny, interesting, or educational,” won’t work.

Next question. “How do I discover what my reader cares about?”

Most of my writing is for business blogs and websites. I must know what my reader is interested in. …

Live longer and better, with ​The Blue Zones® project.

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Historic Sardinia, Italy. One of the original Blue Zones. Image by Stephanie Albert from Pixabay

Are you ever puzzled about how to maintain healthy body weight, blood pressure, and fitness? Cholesterol and other health indicators not where they should be?

What about your state of mind? Are you lonely or having a hard time finding your purpose in life? Feeling too much stress?

Are you wondering what the heck these things have in common?

A lot, as it turns out. Many of us have a general sense we could be healthier, but somehow it’s become so complicated, we rarely know where to start.

Should you eat keto, vegan, paleo? Lift weights or run? Cross fit or yoga? How do you stay well and have a long…

“No man is an island”.

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Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

I’ve only lived in Texas for 20 years, but as the saying goes, “I got here as fast as I could”. Some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, beautiful natural vistas, and the kind of self-sufficient folks I love to hang out with. There’s a reason I stay. And let me say, we are all helping each other right now.

In my apartment building, a lady on my floor set up a table with a sign “Free”. Leave some food, take something if you need it. This week I’ve seen a rotation of soup, tuna fish, Cheerios, cookies, and…

Marketing is a lot like matchmaking, after all.

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Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I love marketing! Lots of people don’t — especially writers. Perhaps you’re shy, or it just feels weird to sell something you’ve created yourself.

When I first started writing, I was uncomfortable charging for an ethereal product—something conjured out of my head. But if we want to make money, we must acknowledge we are selling something, which in this case, is our writing.

When I opened my first bookstore, advertising intimidated me.

I imagined begging people to buy what I sold, constantly being annoying.

All my money had gone into buying books and getting the store open. I’d delivered flyers, had yard sales, painted houses, and worked two jobs…

Yes, there’s hope to fight Garden Enemy #1.

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Image by Sh2587 from Pixabay

Seed catalogs, calendars, and graph paper with garden sketches cover my table. Peat pots with teeny tomatoes cram the window sills — you know the signs, spring is around the corner.

Here in Central Texas, the gardening discussion boards seem to be especially full of complaints about the dreaded squash vine borer (SVB) this year. Many people say they’ve given up on growing zucchini since it’s one of the insect’s favorite targets.

Supposedly, these awful insects are only a pest east of the Rocky Mountains, but I’ve heard isolated reports of damage in New Mexico.

Borers have their favorite plants.

They prefer plants in the…

They transform lives and strengthen communities through education and hope.

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Image by Aline Dassel from Pixabay

I often say, “I grew up in the library.” Growing up on a homestead in Alaska, with long nights and no electricity, books were my inspiration and entertainment.

Homeschooling my five children on a budget, we depended on weekly trips for books, research, and the outstanding programs in the children’s room.

Now, as a writer, I rely on the library for books, electronic databases, and access to the New York Times. I’ve made new friends through the writing group and book club sponsored by the library, too. …

And she is my Higher Power.

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My childhood home in the Eagle River Valley, Alaska. photo credit M.C. Lloyd

As a child, I did not learn Mother Earth creation stories from indigenous people yet I knew her as the one who held me close, that nurtured me with her essence. Now older, I call her Gaia, the ancestral mother of the earth, and she remains my higher power.

My mom’s temperament was mercurial, and I craved the consistency I found in nature. The natural world is predictable and dependable. Rock will be solid and heavy today and tomorrow. The river will always run downhill, the sun will rise and set today and again tomorrow.

Nature was a place of safety to me as a child.

I escaped to the soft…

Sitting. Snacking. Working alone. Try these tips instead.

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Image by Angela Yuriko Smith from Pixabay

As writers, we spend a lot of time indoors and not moving. It’s easy to keep filling up our coffee cup and add a snack. Hours go by, and there we stay, sitting and typing or reading and writing—or Zooming.

No fresh air, no exercise, and often no human interaction.

Until a couple of years ago, I was a full-time organic vegetable farmer. My days were spent digging, weeding, bending, and carrying. Getting enough fresh air and exercise was never a problem.

But once my life changed, so did my body. I’m still working on it, but here are some…

Learn how to save and build muscle as you get older.

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Image by Barroa_Artworks from Pixabay

For two years, I lived in a travel trailer without a full-length mirror. I worked on a farm, and trips to town involved putting on a clean shirt, hitting the feed store, and perhaps the grocery. So, I seldom dressed up or needed that last glance in the mirror before heading out.

I needed new clothes for an upcoming vacation. It had been so long since I’d shopped for jeans, I had no idea of what size I was.

Picking up a pair, I turned to the clerk, “What do you think? Do these look about right?”

“Now, honey, you…

Cindy Heath

Nature and learning inspire me. People and writing make me happy. Follow me at: https://medium.com/@cindyheathwrites.

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