Aliens and guillotines- 6 reasons to break the editing rules.

Editing programs are great – but you’re still in charge! 😉

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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I was curious. Being a writer, I keep seeing articles about the editing software available online to help writers and, over coffee, I thought I would have a quick look. I browsed a number of them, duly pasting a chunk of text into their little blank boxes to see what they had to offer.

After five minutes, my blood was boiling.

Writers, it seems, are being encouraged to use these programmes. Not, as I mistakenly supposed, in order to check their grammar, spelling and punctuation… say, as an extension to spellcheck or as a different perspective on work we are too fond of, and too involved with, to see clearly. No. We are being encouraged to use them in order to erase our personal voice.

Okay, I know… that probably isn’t entirely fair.

There are those who swear by their usefulness, though these, I suspect, are writers who use such…

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Fibromyalgia and Visceral Pain

Fibro Cloud

If there’s one thing someone with fibromyalgia knows, it’s pain. After all, anyone living with the kind of chronic, excruciating pain that fibromyalgia causes quickly finds that their life becomes all about it.

But did you know that there are actually several different types of pain?

Doctors spend a lot of their time trying to help people in pain. And they’ve developed a system for classifying it over the years. One of these categories is something called “visceral pain.” Visceral pain can be one of the most painful kinds and is often an indication that something is seriously wrong with the body.

So, let’s talk about visceral pain. What is it? What causes it? And what can you do about it?

What Is Visceral Pain?

The most widely accepted system for classifying pain breaks it into two large categories: nociceptive and neuropathic.

Nociceptive pain is a normal response to injury or disease that arises in the tissue of the body. Meanwhile, neuropathic pain is rooted in the nervous system. And within those categories are subcategories, including visceral pain.

Visceral pain is classified under nociceptive pain because it comes from within the tissue of the body. Specifically, visceral pain affects the inner organs, or viscera. This category usually refers to organs inside the abdomen like the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart.

Doctors used to believe that these organs were actually unable to feel pain. But we now understand that these organs just feel pain differently than the rest of the body. If you were to say, slice your liver with a knife, you may not actually feel that much pain. But if you were to twist or stretch your liver, you would experience a great deal of pain.

That’s because of the way the nervous system around these organs is structured. These nerves are very sensitive to certain types of pain and insensitive to others. And visceral pain is often felt very differently from other types of pain as well.

The pain is often described as a sort of vague, unpleasant sensation that seems to spread across the abdomen. And it is often hard to identify by the feeling where the pain is actually coming from. In addition, visceral pain can produce symptoms in your mood. Many people who suffer from this type of pain report feelings of malaise or anxiety.

That’s not to suggest that visceral pain isn’t as physically uncomfortable as other types of pain. In fact, when someone develops a medical condition that leads to visceral pain, it can be truly agonizing.

What Causes It?

For instance, one source of visceral pain, kidney stones, is considered by many to be the most intense physical pain that someone can experience. People have even described it being worse than the pain of childbirth. Kidney stones are caused by a build-up of minerals in the kidneys that grow into solid masses inside the organs and have to be passed through the urinary tract, a process which can be miserable to go through.

And generally, any condition that leads to inflammation or distention (being pulled out of place) of the organs can lead to extreme visceral pain. For instance, a heart attack is one of the most common conditions that lead to visceral pain. And conditions like inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) or clots in the veins that prevent blood from flowing to organs are common causes of visceral pain as well.

There are many different, less-common sources of pain in the organs, and a doctor will be able to give you a diagnosis of what is causing your pain. And that diagnosis will determine how your pain is treated.

How Can You Treat It?

The first step in treating visceral pain is to help the patient with the pain itself. There are a number of ways to do this, like opioid pain-relievers or a nerve block, where medication is injected directly into a group of nerves to cut off the sensation of pain.

After finding a way to manage the pain, the doctor will try to identify what is causing it. Treatment will then focus on fixing the underlying issue. For a condition like kidney stones, for instance, doctors can use a machine that sends shockwaves into the kidneys, breaking the stones up into smaller pieces that are easier to pass.

Ultimately, what type of treatment you get will depend on what condition you have. Always consult a doctor as soon as possible if you’re experiencing severe pain. They will be able to recommend effective treatment.

The preceding article is from and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement intended. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your physician.


Song Lyric Sunday | “Sugar, Sugar” – The Archies

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Song Lyric Sunday is sponsored by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word At a Time. For the guidelines or to suggest a theme, start here.

This week’s theme is “sugar/candy.”

I went totally old school… and revisited my childhood with “Sugar, Sugar” from The Archies! Betcha can’t dance like Betty and Veronica! 😀

“Sugar, Sugar”

by The Archies

Written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim

#1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 August 1969

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended

Sugar, ah, honey, honey
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you

Honey, ah, sugar, sugar
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you

I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you
(I just can’t believe it’s true)
I just can’t believe the wonder of this feeling, too
(I just can’t believe it’s true)

Sugar, ah, honey, honey
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you

Oh, honey, ah, sugar, sugar
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you

When I kissed you, girl, I knew how sweet a kiss could be
(I know how sweet a kiss could be)
Like the summer sunshine pour your sweetness over me
(Pour your sweetness over me)

Pour a little sugar on it, honey
Pour a little sugar on it, baby
(I’m gonna make your life so sweet) (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Pour a little sugar on it, yeah

Pour a little sugar on it, honey
Pour a little sugar on it, baby
(I’m gonna make your life so sweet) (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Pour a little sugar on it, yeah

Sugar, ah, honey, honey
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you

Ohohohoho (Honey, honey, sugar, sugar)
Sugar, sugar (Honey, honey, sugar, sugar)
You are my candy girl (Para, papara)


Marriage is Like a Football Team (Part 4)

Part 4 (and 4A!) PLEASE click through and leave Jerry a like , comment, or both! 😉

Jerry Brotherton

A Man’s Guide to Relationships

My Five Rules of

Football and Marriage – Rule 4

Let’s start off by saying that I am not a licensed therapist or a professional counselor. My observations of my mother and father, who were married for over fifty years before my mother’s death and my own very happy marriage to the same woman for forty five plus years is my only source of expertise. I believe that I have learned some very valuable lesson in that time and feel it is my duty as a fellow man to pass these things on to whoever might benefit from it.

You’ve spent years preparing yourself for the day. You’ve trained, tried out for the team and have been selected. Now what? It turns out that when you were in school and your coach was teaching you the fundamentals of football, he wasn’t just teaching you football…

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Fibromyalgia and Insomnia

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Got fibromyalgia? Chances are you have fibromyalgia and insomnia. At the very least you probably deal with really crappy sleep. Insomnia for fibro patients means sleepless nights, tossing and turning, sometimes due to pain or discomfort. On other nights it’s due to racing thoughts. You probably also have problems simply falling asleep or even waking in the middle of the night, but unable to go back to sleep. And, of course, when you “wake” in the morning, you’re exhausted.

Maybe it’s because you have restless leg syndrome (RLS), which is very common among fibromyalgia patients. In fact, for some people, it appears that insomnia came first and then led to fibromyalgia. But there is so much mystery with fibromyalgia due in large part to the inconsistencies. That is to say, everyone’s fibro experience is different. And so is the reason they developed it in the first place. With that in mind, your insomnia probably looks different than mine, but it nevertheless effects 86% of fibromyalgia patients.

What causes insomnia when you have fibromyalgia?

Well, that’s a good question. Partly because it’s possible that insomnia can actually lead to fibromyalgia for some people. Furthermore, there are so many symptoms and conditions associated with fibromyalgia, that it’s almost impossible to determine the actual cause.

The National Sleep Foundation attributes the comorbidity of fibromyalgia and insomnia in patients to pain. “For people with fibromyalgia, the combination of pain and sleep disturbance is a double-edged sword: the pain makes sleep more difficult and sleep deprivation exacerbates pain. The good news is that reduction in sleep disturbance is usually followed by improvement in pain symptoms. This also highlights the importance of healthy sleep and to find a sleep professional in treating this disease.”

They reference a study consisting of deliberately sleep-deprived middle-aged women. Over the course of three days, their pain tolerance decreased while their pain and fatigue increased, “suggesting that such sleep disruption may play an important role in the development of fibromyalgia symptoms.” Many studies have been conducted to examine the connection between fibromyalgia and insomnia, as well as a myriad of other symptoms and related conditions. But nothing is conclusive. Again, we are back to the mystery.

What can I do for my fibromyalgia and insomnia?

The first thing you need to do it is have your sleep history thoroughly evaluated. You may be experiencing sleep disturbances without realizing the source. For example, for some reason sleep apnea affects many fibromyalgia patients, causing them to wake constantly because they aren’t breathing. Additionally, RLS is so disturbing to sleep that it is actually considered a sleep disorder.

Another issue to get checked for is verifying whether you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Or, worse yet…. both. In fact, you may be dealing with something else entirely, like hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. These will be treated in a very different way than fibromyalgia and that’s why it is important to officially rule them out.

Medications may be an option, but keep in mind that sleeping pills are not meant for chronic insomnia. A clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Mary Rose, explains that sleeping pills are only meant for short-term relief, often to get your sleep cycle back on track. Dr. Rose adds that she cautions her fibromyalgia patients struggling with good sleep against napping. Taking a nap during the day robs you of sleep at night.

Of course, there are other options that include making sleep a priority in your life. Dr. Natalie Dautovich of the National Sleep Foundation says that “making sleep a real priority can help you get more out of it.” She offers four tips to do this:

  • Limit or avoid caffeine altogether
  • Limit alcohol, especially at night
  • Use medications when needed (Talk to your doctor about how and when to use them.)
  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery training

When I was 19 years old, I developed insomnia and that led to excruciating headaches. To make matters worse, I am highly sensitive and didn’t know it. All of this is likely tied to my fibro symptoms. I spent years trying various options to help me sleep. Of them all, the two that have worked most consistently for me are calcium (combined with magnesium for absorption) and valerian root. As long as I take one or the other, I usually have a relatively decent night of sleep. If I skip more than two nights of taking it, I’m awake for hours and hours. And I feel like death the next day. Have you found something that works especially well for you? Tell us about it, please!

The preceding article is from and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement intended. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your doctor.

As someone living with chronic illnesses, is one of my preferred sites to follow. They’re consistent with factual information and supply hyperlinks for further browsing.

I shared the article above because it emphasizes the necessity to see a physician if you’re dealing with insomnia. Having a chronic illness and insomnia is not unusual but insomnia can be a sign of something else–and I found this out for myself in 2007.

The rest of the article annoys me. Below is the response I posted on’s website.

I’ve found many articles with valuable information on your website – this isn’t one of them.

She may be a clinical psychologist, but Mary Rose cautioning her fibro patients against napping during the day is one of the most craptastic things I’ve heard yet.

I don’t believe I’ve ever met a fibro sufferer who took (or scheduled) regular naps. However, I have met many who spent 8+ hours in bed only to get two good hours of sleep–and I’m also one of that lucky group. We get up and attempt to go about our day, but at some point, the body is going to rebel. It wants sleep and it is going to win. Staying awake is not an option, no matter how busy or active you are. Someone who understands chronic illness with the added burden of insomnia would understand this and not issue such insipid warnings to their patients.

As for Dautovich’s advice to make sleep a real priority… is she making this up as she goes along? This type of ‘sound’ advice is what makes fibro sufferers leery of medical professionals. Everyone is listening… and not hearing one word we say. This type of ‘sound’ advice… and $1.79 will get you the large coffee at Burger King. But it won’t get you any closer to a restful night of sleep.

True, of the millions who suffer from fibromyalgia, it’s difficult to find just two people with the same symptoms. But you don’t have to be a medical professional to know there *IS* a shared component that encompasses the fatigue, pain, insomonia, appetite, motor skills and cognitive thinking. However, that component will remain hidden as long as patient concerns aren’t taken seriously; as long as empty words like “make sleep a real priority” are considered part of patient care, and as long as there are still physicians who refuse to recognize fibromyalgia as a ‘real’ illness.

#LyricalFictionFriday | You’re So Vain

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Lyrical Fiction Friday is sponsored by Marquessa Matthews of Simply Marquessa. For more info and to join the challenge start here.

Today’s lyric prompt is:

He looks like a cool drink of water but he’s candy-coated misery…

This was not the New Year’s Eve she’d planned.

She should be in Crete, enjoying a breezy winter day while sipping dry martinis.

Those were the plans she and Rod talked about. Guess she should have known even then it was just talk.

Glynnis Crawford moved through the sea of bodies, smiling and greeting faculty members who knew it was best to stay on good terms with the school’s Registrar. Male staff members, emboldened by a few drinks, didn’t miss the chance to brush up against the buxom thirty-eight-year-old.

Reaching the bar, Glynnis ordered another martini but hadn’t taken the first sip when the noise level in the room rose.

Think of Satan and he appears… in a tailored suit.

Like some upscale version of Cheers, Rodrick Lincoln was warmly greeted by all as he crossed the foyer of the university president’s mansion.

Glynnis glanced over her shoulder to see men clustered around the American literature professor, handshaking and back-slapping. Rod beamed as women pushed in close to solicit promises of a dance… or more.

Was that Mira Kennedy from the Physics Department squeezing Rod’s arm? She had to be at least seventy.

Glynnis couldn’t blame her though. Rod’s model good looks of light, caramel skin complimented by a head of tiny, silken black curls lured women of all ages. His signature day old stubble gave him a rugged Miami Vice appeal and screamed Philip Michael Thomas. She’d noticed more than a couple men around the campus attempting to imitate the look.

Smirking, Glynnis made her way to the staircase. Rod was a beautiful package covered in the personality of a troll. He may not live under a bridge, but Glynnis knew his shortcomings.

The billiard room sat at the bottom of the stairs and Glynnis knew her small office team would be well into their third game by now.

She also knew Rod hated the game—because he always lost—and wouldn’t set foot in there to seek her out.

She’d leave Rod to the masses. He needed the attention and near-fanatical adoration.

Even at forty years of age, Rod needed the constant affirmation that he was unique and special. And worthy.

Glynnis tired of being on Team Rod after only a few weeks. It was exhausting playing to his massive ego. After deciding she’d had enough, Glynnis pulled away, becoming unavailable for lunches and dinners.

Rod upped his game though and turned on the charm. Fresh, yellow roses appeared on her desk, a gourmet catering service delivered her breakfast, and sonnets written on linen parchment filled her mailbox.

Glynnis pushed her irritation aside and gave Rod another chance, convincing herself she’d judged him too harshly.

When a server crashed the Friday before fall classes were scheduled to begin, Glynnis and her staff put their lives on hold and worked around the clock to rebuild and restore data and avoid chaos on Monday morning. So, it was an exhausted, dressed down Glynnis who arrived for Sunday Brunch with Rod. He was not pleased.

“You didn’t do your hair.”

“No, I didn’t.” Glynnis signaled the waiter for a mimosa.

“No makeup, yoga pants… since when do you show up looking like something dogs wouldn’t fight over?”

Something in Glynnis’ head snapped. Tilting her head from side to side, she stretched out the muscles in her neck. The waiter arrived with her cocktail and she took a long drink before responding.

“I’m sure you’re aware, Rodrick, of the mainframe crash just after lunch Friday. I’ve had six pots of coffee and no sleep. I know how you hate to be kept waiting, and in the interest of time, a shower was all I had time for.”

“That’s a lightweight excuse, Glynnis.”

Her hand tightened around the glass. She took a deep breath before responding, emphasizing each word. “Did you miss the part about no sleep?”

Rod waved her off. “Oh, please. Any number of women would lose sleep to share a meal with me.”

The buzzing began at the base of her neck.

Heat suffused her body as her mind warred with itself. Fed-up Glynnis wanted to put the self-centered hack in his place. But cool, composed Glynnis refused to give him the satisfaction.

“You’re right, Rod.” Turning up her drink, she emptied the glass and returned it to the table with a thud. “I’m not worthy of a man like you.”

He smirked, and all Glynnis wanted to do was slap the taste out of his mouth. Instead, she stood.

“I’ll do the honorable thing and step aside to make room for the throngs of women craving your time.” She looked at the area around the table. “I believe you have room to form a line on the right.”

The confidant Registrar took two steps away from her brunch partner before turning around.

“Oh, and Rod? Your poetry sucks.”

She sauntered from the restaurant elated, no longer weighed down by the grueling tasks of the past forty-eight hours… or the middle-aged narcissist who’d never been worth her time.

Rod made several attempts to get Glynnis back during the semester, all to no avail. When the month between Halloween and Thanksgivings had no calls, texts… or overpriced gifts from Rodrick Lincoln, Glynnis believed—hoped—he was anywhere else annoying someone else.


Glynnis reached for the door handle, about to enter the billiard room, when she heard her name called out.

Damn! What did he do? Run across the room and down the steps? Might as well get this over with. She turned as Rod descended the last few stairs.

He approached her looking like sex on legs. Glynnis thought it was a shame that a man who looked better than men ten years his junior was such an asshole.

His eyes roamed her body, taking in the knee-length, silver cocktail dress with its low-cut bodice. Her thick, dark brown hair was pulled to one side and rested on her right shoulder, held in place by a comb which matched her earrings.

“You look amazing, baby. But then, you always do.”

Her smile was pure saccharine as she let his term of endearment slide. “Funny. I remember a time when you thought I looked like something dogs wouldn’t fight over.”

“Glynnis, you know I didn’t mean that. If you’d taken my calls… or answered my texts… or your front door, I could have explained I was having a bad weekend and took it out on you.”

“It’s all water under the bridge, Rod.” She caught herself before she could laugh out loud at her own joke. “Happy New Year.”

Glynnis turned to enter the room and join her staff, but Rod caught her arm.

“Please, wait.”

She turned back, her eyes focused on his hand gripping her arm. He removed his hand and took a step back.

“We are a couple of hours from a new year… new beginnings. A chance to start over. I was hoping you’d give me another chance… that we could start over.”

Glynnis looked up into his deep brown eyes. She saw nothing… and felt nothing. He looked like a cool drink of water, but she knew he was just candy-coated misery.

She smiled, shaking her head. “No, Rod. I’m not the woman for you.” Glynnis reached out and squeezed his hand. “But I do hope you find her.”

She left him standing in the hallway, his eyes clouding with malice and contempt, as she joined her friends, ready for a new year… without him.

How Some Writing Advice Can Actually Hurt You

A Writer's Path

by Chloe-Anne Ross

What Should I Write About?

Whenever I’m listening to another writer’s Q&A on writing, this question seems to pop-up every now and again. I never understood why it would be asked or what kind of answer was expected until I got stuck.

I would love to be a writer and I would love to be published so it’s important to me that I remember it’s not an impossible dream by listening to those who have done it. So I listen to their advice, I learn that I should know my target audience and my genre and if I want to be a writer I need to engage with writing communities and get my name out there. 

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