Confession: I read “too much” and I don’t care by A Novel Glimpse (BLW Contributor)



This past weekend was the first weekend in a couple of months that my family had some down time. We weren’t camping, vacationing, birthday partying or sucked into any other commitment. I actually got to stay in my pajamas and read one day.

It was probably around noon that lounging day when my husband said something to me that he’s said to many times before:

“You read too much.”

I always hate when he says that to me. Partly because I know it’s true. Partly because it makes me feel guilty and embarrassed. It makes me feel like I need to stop reading so much.

I mean, I get why he thinks I read too much. Reading is a physically lazy hobby. You’re sitting or lying there with a book in your hand. I do try to read while walking on the treadmill a lot just to make up for the time I spend sitting with a book.

I’ll admit I spend a ton of time reading. It’s probably too much. Most of it is at night after my daughter goes to bed and my husband’s watching T.V. I explain it to people by saying he watches stuff I don’t like, so I read instead of watching with him. While that’s true, there are better reasons.

I really do love to read. I try to explain it is like watching a movie, only better. Non-readers don’t get this. Wouldn’t it be better to have an actual picture of what’s going on instead of imagining it? My answer is no, it’s not. There are so many emotions that cannot be shown simply by acting. Unless there is a narrator, you’re not in the characters heads like you are in books.

A prime example of that would be Fifty Shades of Grey. I remember reading the book and becoming sucked in by Ana’s emotions. They made the book for me. Her emotions are what kept me reading. I recently watched the movie. I have to be honest. The movie and its lack of emotions made me rethink how I felt about the book. (I don’t like it as much as I did before.) Instead of it being about the emotional connection Ana and Christian had, all I saw was the sex. And it wasn’t a pretty picture. Lack of emotions ruined it.

Also, books usually include more than movies. Anything imaginable can happen in a book. Not everything can physically happen in a movie. It’s gotten better with the special effects that are being created, but it’s not as good some authors’ imaginations. Then, there is the time constraint of two to two and a half hours. Most books take longer than that to read.

But that’s not even the real reason I read.

I read to feel.

Some people might label it escaping the norm, but it’s about feeling something for me. In my early twenties, everything was new and exciting. Once I started working full-time things started changing. Every day was similar. I used to yearn for the weekends and finding something exciting to do. Then, I got married, had my daughter and became a stay-at-home mom. While there were many exciting milestones, there was also a lot of boredom. My mind was used to the fast-paced work environment. Now, there wasn’t a lot of mental stimulation. I turned to reading to keep my mind sharp.

As I started reading, I discovered new authors and books. I found authors like Colleen Hoover, Jessica Park and Ginger Scott, that had me feeling. I felt so many emotions that I hadn’t in such a long time: first love, longing, heartbreak, etc. While I wouldn’t want my life to be any different from it is now, it was nice to be reminded of feelings I felt in my younger years when everything was new and exciting all the time. It made me appreciate my current life even more.

So, what I guess I’m trying to say through this long and rambling post is that I’m okay with reading “too much.” I’m not going to stop because it truly makes me happy. I know not everyone will understand my love for it, but that doesn’t matter. And the next time my husband says I read too much, I’m going to say,

“You spend too much time in the garage, snowmobiling, watching T.V., on the computer…”

Maybe that will help put things in perspective because life is too short not to do the things you love. And I love reading.

**Update: I feel the need to add to this post that my husband is an amazing guy. We normally “get” each other.  My obsession with reading is one area where we don’t always see eye to eye. He’s not a reader, so how could he understand? I hope my comeback at the end of this post doesn’t seem too sassy. It’s really just my way of putting my love of reading in a way he would understand.

Check out other great articles from A Novel Glimpse

Benefits of Drinking Coffee before Exercising – Happy Espresso Day!!!




The study basically simulated your average morning: a mug of coffee to wake up, a little gym time, another cup with breakfast, followed by lunch. Fourteen participants completed two moderate workouts on a stationary bike: one where they took caffeine (equal to two 8-ounce cups of coffee or 4 cups of black tea) 90 minutes before the workout, and one where they took a placebo. When caffeinated, the participants reported the ride as way easier than it was without the stimulant.

Coffee before Exercising:

1) Enhanced Performance 

Time and time again, caffeine has been proven to be a powerful ergogenic aid – that is, something which contributes to improved performance during high intensity exercise. 

Studies reveal that after caffeine consumption, athletes can train for much longer and with more power/speed.

2) Boosts Focus

A pre-workout cup o‘ Joe can also boost mental focus during exercise.

Combined with the increase in endurance and power/speed provided, this can lead to extremely productive workout sessions, as you huff and puff with the seeming intensity of an international athlete.

3) Accelerate Fat Loss

Another benefit of taking a cup of coffee prior to lacing up your trainers is that caffeine is proven to provide a range of fat loss benefits.

Coffee can help burn fat as, during exercise, it causes the body to use fat cells for energy as opposed to glycogen.

What’s more, a caffeine intake correlates with increase metabolism, which forces your body to burn more calories during the day, and it also suppresses appetite, satiating those cravings which are oh so bad for your waistline!  

4) Diminished Muscle Pain

Studies also show that a pre-workout injection of caffeine can lead to decreased muscle soreness when exercising.

So whether you’re pumping iron or racing down the tarmac, a cup of coffee will help you perform more reps and allow you to run for further with less muscular pain, resulting in a much more effective workout.

Credit: Cafe 2 U



The Dragon’s Philosophy – Bend but do not Break



Never Too Old by Dave Dyer Coaching (BLW Contributor)



What do you want to be when you grow up? This question is asked a lot when you are in your youth. Some of us find the answer easier than others. Some of us are living a life quite different than what we had envisioned for ourselves in our youth. Myself, I did not see the life I have today. Nor most of the adult life I have had for that matter. Goals change over time. Everyday life and the choices we make sometimes pre-empt any pre-conceived visions for ourselves that we may have had for. Other factors such as self-doubt and lack of confidence can often play a huge part in the makeup of our lives.

I for one, have suffered with these issues for most of my adult life. I never had a clear vision of what I wanted to do. I have had several different careers over the years. I have gained valuable and marketable skills from some, and others that really got me nowhere. I have been down the road of addiction and thankfully was able to finally strike that course out under my own power.

A couple of years ago I started really taking a hard look at myself. I had been married for 26 years, had raised three wonderful children, had a job that was paying the bills. Overall I was comfortable. But I think that was the root problem. I had become complacent and resigned myself to the “This is as good as it gets” mindset. I think a lot of people in my age group can say the same if they chose to really take a hard look at themselves. I love my children dearly and I have never had one regret about being a parent. However, when I started digging into myself, I discovered that I wasn’t happy in my marriage, my career, even my location. When I really started reflecting back, the marriage had not been satisfying to me for a lot of years. I suspect the same held true for my wife at the time as well. We put on a good show most of the time, but there was definitely something missing from the equation. When the last child left for college, that is when it really hit. When you realize that the only thing you really have in common with your significant other is the three lives that you brought into this world, and now that they are up and out, well what’s next?

I walked away. It was not an easy decision by any means. But it was one that I needed to make. Now I am not by any means advocating divorce here. Just giving a little background on my situation. Everyone has their own unique circumstances when it comes to desiring change in their lives. The point I am trying to make here is that if you reach that point when things just do not seem to be as they should, you have the ability within you to change your situation. I am not a Dr. or Psychologist, I just know what has worked for me. We have to be careful at our age (fast approaching 50) that we do not give up on dreams or aspirations because of the lack of confidence in our abilities to achieve them. Just because you have done the same thing for thirty years does not mean you cannot do something else equally well or better. It just takes the right mindset.

Do not let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you are too old, or not qualified to do anything else. You may find on reflection and self-evaluation that you have abilities and talents that have been there all along, just untapped because of making time for everything else all these years. I spent the better part of my adult life in Retail management. I am now a professional photographer. Did I go to school for this? Nope. I have a degree in Management and Marketing. My free time now allows me to pursue my other love. Writing. All of these discoveries came when I started looking at what I could do for myself, and make myself a happier and better person. There is nothing wrong with lifting others up and being a support system for them when needed. But you cannot lose yourself in the meantime. Again it is all in the mindset.

All of these articles on my blog have a pretty recumbent theme. Self-Confidence and how to obtain and maintain it. Ultimately that is what all of this comes down to. Your belief in yourself to be able to accomplish what you want. This holds true with any age group, but as I said I think a lot of us get to this point in our lives and the levels of confidence that we may have had, are not as strong anymore. Just like exercising the body to maintain physical fitness, we need to exercise our minds to maintain emotional fitness. Maintaining positivity, conquering fears, seeking new opportunities for personal and career growth. We all have these abilities. We just have to use the right strategies to implement them.

Please feel free to read my other ramblings on this site and if you find them helpful, feel free to share with others that you think might benefit from them.

Check out other great articles from Dave Dyer Coaching 

Photo Credit: The Berry

The Beauty of a Cemetery by Life of an El Paso Woman (BLW Contributor)



After visiting a friend in the area recently, I decided to take a walk through the historical Concordia Cemetery in central El Paso. This was the first time I visited. The cemetery began in 1856 when Juana Ascarate, the deceased wife of Chihuahuan trader Hugh Stephenson was buried there. The area was the couple’s home. Around 40 years later, the cemetery increased in popularity. Settlers, civic leaders, ranchers and politicians are also buried here. Concordia was nicknamed “El Paso’s Boot Hill” because it accommodated outlaws and gun fighters. It carried the nickname because a number of them died with their boots on.

Concordia also includes a Buffalo Soldier Memorial dedicated to African American Civil War veterans and various other sections. A section is also dedicated to the Chinese who immigrated to El Paso to help build the intercontinental railroad. The cemetery has separate Catholic, Jewish, Mormon and Masonic sections. According to a radio segment by National Public Radio, the cemetery is 52 acres and around 60,000 are buried at the cemetery. My grandmother’s baby sister, Margarita and other friends of the family were buried there around the late 1930’s or 40’s.

Although I looked on the map, I was confused and unable to find certain graves. Some infamous outlaws who are buried in the cemetery include: “Shotgun” John Collins, L. Bass and John Wesley Hardin. The cemetery hosts events such as ghost tours, a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, history walks and other special projects. The cemetery, located at 3700 East Yandell Drive, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer. For more info, check out, and/or

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This is your chance to post on BLW!!! – Share your Thoughts, Stories & Ideas with us!!!






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You are what you’re feeling – The Effects of Negative Emotions on our Health



Humans experience an array of emotions, anything from happiness, to sadness to extreme joy and depression. Each one of these emotions creates a different feeling within the body. After all, our body releases different chemicals when we experience various things that make us happy and each chemical works to create a different environment within the body. For example if your brain releases serotonin, dopamine or oxytocin, you will feel good and happy. Convexly, if your body releases cortisol while you are stressed, you will have an entirely different feeling associated more with the body kicking into survival mode.

What about when we are thinking negative thoughts all the time? Or how about when we are thinking positive thoughts? What about when we are not emotionally charged to neither positive nor negative? Let’s explore how these affect our body and life.


Is there duality in our world? Sure, you could say there is to a degree, but mostly we spend a lot of time defining and judging what is to be considered as positive and what we consider to be as negative. The brainis a very powerful tool and as we define what something is or should be, we begin to have that result play out in our world. Have you ever noticed, for example that someone driving can get cut off and lose their lid, get angry and suddenly they are feeling negative, down and in  bad mood? Whereas someone else can get cut off while driving and simply apply the break slightly and move on with their day as if nothing happened. In this case, the same experience yet one sees it as negative while the other doesn’t. So are things innately positive and negative? Or do we define things as positive and negative?


After thinking about it for a moment you might realize that there are in fact no positive or negative experiences other than what we define as such. Therefore our very perception of an experience or situation has the ultimate power as to how we will feel when it’s happening and how our bodies will be affected. While we can always work to move beyond our definitions of each experience and move into a state of mind/awareness/consciousness where we simply accept each experience for what it is and use it as a learning grounds for us, we may not be there yet and so it’s important to understand how certain emotions can affect our health.

“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” ~Hippocrates


The connection between your mind and body is very powerful and although it cannot be visually seen, the effects your mind can have on your physical body are profound. We can have an overall positive mental attitude and deal directly with our internal challenges and in turn create a healthy lifestyle or we can be in negative, have self destructive thoughts and not deal with our internal issues, possibly even cloak those issues with affirmations and positivity without finding the route and in turn we can create an unhealthy lifestyle. Why is this?

Our emotions and experiences are essentially energy and they can be stored in the cellular memory of our bodies. Have you ever experienced something in your life that left an emotional mark or pain in a certain area of your body? Almost as if you can still feel something that may have happened to you? It is likely because in that area of your body you still hold energy released from that experience that is remaining in that area. I came across an interesting chart that explores some possible areas that various emotions might affect the body.

When you have a pain, tightness or injuries in certain areas, it’s often related to something emotionally you are feeling within yourself. At first glance it may not seem this way because we are usually very out of touch with ourselves and our emotions in this fast paced world, but it’s often the truth. When I’ve had chronic pains in my back, knees, neck or shoulders, it wasn’t exercise, physio or anything in a physical sense that healed it, it was when I dealt with the emotions behind it. I know this because I spent the time and money going to physio and even though I wanted and believed I would get better, something wasn’t being addressed still. The more I addressed the unconscious thought pattern and emotions throughout my body, the more thins loosened up and pain went away.

When you get sick or are feeling a lot of tightness and pain, often times our body is asking us to observe yourself and find peace once again within yourself and your environment. It’s all a learning and growing process we don’t have to judge nor fear.


Davis Suzuki wrote in ‘The Sacred Life’, ‘condensed molecules from breath exhaled from verbal expressions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, contain toxins. Accumulated over 1 hr, these toxins are enough to kill 80 guinea pigs!’ Can you now imagine the harm you are doing to your body when you stay within negative emotions or unprocessed emotional experience throughout the body?

Remember, you have all the power in you to get through anything life throws at you. Instead of labeling with perception the concepts of negative and positive as it relates to each experience you have in your life, try to see things from a  big picture standpoint. Ask yourself, how can this help me to see or learn something? Can I use this to shift my perception? Clear some emotion within myself? Realize something within another and accept it? Whatever it may be, instead of simply reacting, slow things down and observe. You will find you have the tools to process emotions and illness quickly when you see them for what they are and explore why they came up. If you believe you will get sick all the time, and believe you have pain because it’s all out of your control, you will continue to have it all in an uncontrollable manner until you realize the control you have over much of what we attract within the body.

Credits: Joe Martino of Collective Evolution

Ten Years Down the Road by From the Soul to the nib of the Pen (BLW Contributor)



Ten years down the road, while finding your old favorite books, your hand will accidentally land on the piles of letters I had written to you, worn down by the time, hidden away from you and the world, continuing with their shallow breathing under the mountain of newly written pages. You’ll choose one letter randomly from the stack, while your body shuddering with realization that you cease to remember us and the memories of me etched into the letters. You will begin to read few lines, and you’ll fathom out the reasons of those scribbled words. As you will continue to read, you will realize that the events that had happened were stupid and that I was immature, but nonetheless, I did love you. The words that you’ll read won’t make any sense, but you will pick up the threads and your eyes will shed a tear of remembrance making the sight all blurry.
The love will travel slowly in your body and bones, and you will miss me more than you ever did.

Ten years down the same road, while rummaging through my closet, the well organized piles of clothes will fall down making a view for my eyes to see the jute pursue hidden beneath the multiple layers of clothes. My hands would reach the purse with frayed edges, however, still protecting my most precious belonging.  The silence around will let me hear my heartbeats remembering you. Taking out that black and white photograph of yours, the one you gave me when the situation was in our favor. My heart will skip a beat and the eyes will roll down the tear settled at the corner, when they will look fixedly at the photograph of you. I’ll look vividly at the long neck, that big nose, those deep and dark eyes, some stubble and will wonder how you are. Kissing the photograph I’ll leave imprints of my lips and moisture of my tears that will continue to roll down, till someone will knock on the door of my room asking me to hurry up.
The same love will rush through my veins and skin, and I will miss you terribly than I ever did.


Eventually we both will realize that the road had bumps and that we had fallen. We tried to help each other, to hold hands, but we had fallen quite far, and your hand couldn’t hold mine and my hand couldn’t reach yours. The only way to bestir ourselves was to stand up all alone and to complete the rest of the journey without holding each other’s hand.
Our hearts keeping alive the love and our souls still coupled.

-Kritika Vashist

(PS. That piece of art is a painting by me, reflecting Radha and Krishna, the eternal lovers as per Hindu mythology.)

Check out other great articles From the Soul to the nib of the Pen

We’re the Worst from Recoil by Rory Waltzer & Ryan Fu (Happy Veteran’s Day)


We’re the Worst – a short story from an upcoming book called Recoil: From Baghdad to Beverly Hills, the Making of a Paparazzi from Rory Waltzer & Ryan Fu

It was a balmy and humid night in Camp Freedom in Iraq. The temperatures were dropping during the night but not that much because it was still over 100 degrees. Skuba, Seth and I are all on watch because we are getting punished for playing Russian roulette with our M4s during another drunken night while on base. 

“I would give my left nut for a slice of goat pizza,” Skuba says.

“How do you not have cancer by now?” I say.

“Hey, what are your guys thoughts on the Spice Girls?  I mean if you had the chance to be one of them, who would it be?” Seth asks us on the walkies.

“Oh my god, any kind spice on a pizza besides Mohammed’s sweaty balls would be awesome,” Skuba says.

“I think I would be a mixer of Posh and Sporty Spice because I’m fashionable but active,” Seth says turning his M4 into a fashion statement.

“I hope a sniper just shoots me between my eyes,” I mutter to myself while I get on the binos looking for any suspicious activity. 

I stand on top of North tower of the main wall that is 15 feet high made out of pure concrete that surrounds the whole base. Seth is on the South side and Skuba is in between with the sniper rifle going North to South. It’s the wall, a couple of gates and a few barricades that is stopping any would be invaders coming through our camp. Usually, I would be totally confident for the men, who were on watch but tonight is not one of those nights.

We were the guys on watch that was responsible for everyone’s safety, which I’m not sure we were up for it because lets face it, we don’t have the best track record for being the “best we could be.” There are hundreds of soldiers and insurgents out in this desert, which our best doesn’t equal their worst, that’s how bad we are. If the world really was depending on my crew to save them, then there is no hope because we are the worst.

Seth confirms my notions about us as he tells me he forgot his ammo for his gun because he wanted to look good on watch.

“What do you mean, you don’t have any ammo?”

“I was rushing to get on time and I just forgot.”

“You don’t carry extra ammo?”

“No. Too many accessories is awful for this uniform,” Seth tells me.

“Did you just fucking say that?”

“Hold on.”

“What if we get busted dick?”

“Wait one.”

“You know what would happen to us if the Captain found out?”

“Dude, shut up. I think I see something out there,” Seth tells me.

“What? Where?”

“South side my 10-20, 2 o’clock.”

“What is it Specialist?”

“I’m not sure asshole, you’re the spotter.”

“Skuba, head over to the South side get eyes on.”

“Copy that.”

I don’t call it in because I have to make sure it’s not any threat to us because we are already in trouble with the Cap. We don’t want to look more incompetent than we already were. So, I sprint over to the South side hoping that Seth is just losing his mind and this wasn’t a real threat because we are not ready for this shit.

“Skuba, you got eyes on?”

“Wait one. There’s definitely something in the brush. Moving and a shiny object that kinda looks like an RPG?

“Say again. Confirm you last.”

“Serg. There’s something definitely moving out there and it looks like an RPG.”

I pick up the pace heading towards to the South side.

“Fu, it’s moving quickly towards us. What the fuck do you want us to do?”

“Almost there.”

“Bro, it’s 50 yards and closing in make a call.”

“Fuck it. Execute Specialist.”

As I get closer to Seth and Skuba on the South side when I hear the .50 cal round echo around the base.

“Target is down.”

I finally reach Seth and Skuba I see them high-five each other looking like those dorks I saw in all those military propaganda commercials telling us that we can all be what we want to be if we just signed our lives away.

I quickly get on the binos to see their kill. I scan the brush to see what Skuba put the hammer down on.

“What’s up bro, think I’ll get that sniper medal?” Skuba asks me feeling confident on the kill.

“Yup. You’re our number one goat killer.” I tell Skuba still looking thru the binoculars.

“What?” A confused Skuba tells me. “A goat. What about the RPG?”

“You mean the goat’s shiny bell. Unless it has a ton of C4 in it, I don’t think it’s going to kill us.”

We all stand there, some laugh the rest are quiet.

“We’re going to eat it right?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“You know what, I change my mind. I would be Baby Spice because I’m cute as a button.”

“Seriously, we’re going to eat the goat right?”

“We’ll never get off this wall.”

We were lucky it was an unarmed goat, because honestly I didn’t see us holding this post against actually human beings. They say you get the real test of what you are made of when you have your first combat, but I didn’t need any insurgents firing rockets at us to know where we ranked. I came to the desert thinking all I wanted was to see action, to actually fight and being honest, I wanted to kill a motherfucker. I mean if you ask every soldier in uniform what he really wants to do, half of them will say kill somebody and the other half will be lying.




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Why I read a book a day & the Law of 33% by Tai Lopez



Why you should practice the Law of the 33% because it will lead to more success in your life:

This is the Law of the 33%:

Spend a third of your time with people below you. This will help you to stay motivated, feel better about yourself, help you to acknowledge your privileges and accomplishments, express gratitude and much more. It’s cool. Also, since these people are inferior to you, this means that you are now superior to them, so you might also use your knowledge and wisdom to help THEM! It’s a cool feeling. Try it!

The next 33% of your time spend with people on your level. This is where you can partner up with somebody, push each other, compare results in a non-threatening way and also stay on track. It usually boosts your learning curve and keeps you in the game if you have somebody next to you who has the same values and ambitions as you have. Think about it just like a gym buddy: you might not always feel like going to the gym and work out, but you still have your buddy who relies on you going with him. You are pushing each other through the hard times where either one of you lacks the motivation to do it by himself. You back each other up. It’s cool too.

The last third of your time you spend with people superior to you. Because you have already spend two-thirds of your time with people below or at your level you feel a lot of happy feelings, which is great. The last third now inspires you to go beyond what you are currently achieving. It opens up new possibilities in your mind and gets your winner mentality going. It puts excuses and hardships into perspective and oftentimes this is more than is needed to overcome the hard times along your journey.

Credit: Thomas Mondel