Sitting Is The New Cancer

Sitting is the new cancer. Really? Because I’ve never heard of anyone going through chemotherapy for excessive sitting. Still, when I hear the stat of 9.3 hours a day sitting for the average person,versus 7.5 hours sleeping I see a problem.

I even see a link. Let’s face it, it’s hard to get lean and buff – in a chair. And obesity is linked to cancer, heart disease and a whole host of degenerative diseases which fell us on a regular basis

Most of us could use a little more time walking. But when? The average work place isn’t designed for walkers. And when we’re not working writers write. Add in family duties and going to the gym during the slim piece of time we have left – isn’t going to be top priority.

This is where Nilofar Merchant’s idea comes in. Have meetings where you walk.It’s an idea I for one, could embrace. I like the idea of having meetings where we walk, rather than sit in a stuffy room. She explains it brilliantly in the following video:

I can see where being outside in fresh air would engage our senses, possibly allowing us to come up with fresh ideas and solutions to our problems, whatever they might do.

I suspect taking notes or writing as you walk might not work so well,so walking meetings might work better when they are only between one or two people. And should decisions have to be made, including a brief wrap up session, in a seated area might be of benefit.

Perhaps combining the two with a ten to fifteen minute walking portion where people walk and brainstorm together and then another ten or fifteen minute portion at the end, where business is taken care of, decisions made, voted on and recorded, where necessary, would work best.

I think I’ll propose this for our next meeting. So, if you see a bunch of us walking along and talking you’ll know, we’re having a meeting. Important stuff happening here. Don’t let the odd bit of laughter fool you. It’s a meeting!

WHO WOULD YOU BE?

Some of the most popular shows on television right now are based on Marvel Comics. Whether it’s the agents of Shield or Arrow these characters are larger than life.

They’re escapist entertainment for sure. But I think they’re particularly popular when people are feeling stressed and over-whelmed. Super-heroes don’t have the same problems mere mortals do. They’re stronger, smarter, faster, and bigger than life. Whether they’re able to leap the tallest building, transform themselves or harness the forces of nature their special powers mean they’re not subject to the same limitations as ordinary people. And their powers are used to protect the innocent.

In the Xmen we have Storm able to harness the powers of , well, a storm, to wreak havoc when necessary. Then there’s Rogue, Jean Gray and Emma Frost. In Batman, Cat Woman has been known to give him a run for the money although I’m not sure her big screen incarnation truly captured her abilities.

I’m having a hard time thinking of a major motion picture and box office hit whose main character has been a female superhero. Have I missed one or is it time for someone to create such a character?

What super powers do you think would make a great female superhero? Women are better known for being nice and able to get along with others than for their destructive powers. But could some of those powers be made into super powers?

What would these be? Empathy, intuition, caring, mediating are strong female characteristics but how would they work in a superhero? X-ray vision, super-wealth and the ability to harness the forces of wind, water and other elements could also come in handy and are not male only traits. In fact I think any small child would tell you his mother can see things in the back of her head….lol!

Marvel has a free Create Your Own Superhero page.It’s fun to play with!

So tell me, what super powers would you want if you could have any? And which super powers would you like to see in a superhero?

Chocolate Marble Cake

photo 1 (3)

photo 2 (2)

The cake on the cover of Chocolate Worth Dying For is a stock photo but the following recipe is how I think it would taste and the pictures are of this cake. It’s delicious and really not that hard to make.

4 oz (113 gr) dark chocolate melted – allow it to cool so it’s no longer warm to the touch but still fluid

1 cup (250 ml) sour cream with ¼ cup separated.
6 egg yolks at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
2 sticks (1 cup or 250 ml) butter at room temperature

3 cups (750 ml) cake flour sifted into cup and leveled off
1 ½ (375 ml) superfine sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
• In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks, ¼ cup sour cream and vanilla until combined.
• With flat beater of stand beater mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed.
• Add butter and remaining sour cream beating on low speed until ingredients are moistened. Beat at medium for 1-2 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl.
• On medium low-speed add the egg mixture a little at a time beating until ingredients are mixed together.

• Remove 1/3rd of the batter (1 ½ cup (375ml) and mix in the melted chocolate until evenly mixed.
• Put 1/3rd of batter in 10” pan that has been sprayed with pan.
• Top with half of chocolate mixture spreading evenly
• Put other 1/3rd of batter on top
• Top with remaining half of chocolate mixture spreading evenly.

• Use teaspoon to marbleize batter. Dip the teaspoon in without touching the bottom or sides and lift up and over in a roll like waves.
• Smooth the surface

Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool and then remove from pan

TO GLAZE

4 oz (113 grams) dark chocolate
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp cognac of raspberry vodka

Melt chocolate and slowly whisk in heavy whipping cream. Add another Tbsp if it seems to thick or you might want to add in a Tbsp of cognac or raspberry vodka. Pour over cake.

Serve with strawberries and whipped cream if desired.

Yoga For The Desk Bound Writer

Ashley Dowle,  Yoga For The Well Writer

Ashley Dowle,
Yoga For The Well Writer

I love writers. Their stories, fictional and otherwise, feed our souls and provide endless hours of entertainment. But many writers, myself included, find themselves lacking time, or sometimes the inclination, to exercise, eat well and do all those other things that keep body and soul together.

My Well Writer series seeks to correct that. And in this first ever post in this series I’m introducing a video by Ashley Dowle who teaches me, as well as countless others at Fitness World, Henderson Rec Centre and VI Fitness. She trained at the Ajna teaching center for Yoga in Victoria which is a therapeutically based teaching school.

As she says, “a healthy mind and body is the key to a happy life.”

With that in mind we have created a short (nine minutes) video that can be done in your chair specifically designed for writers. Or really, any desk-bound worker. It’s short, easy to do and can be done to start the day off or end it, possibly both. You'll feel better for it. And who knows what masterpieces will flow from your fingers!

Belle’s Beastly Valentine

A Beastly Scandal 600
My Dearest Pat,
Thank you for your very kind invitation to compose this “blog,” I hope I have that term correct, on the subject of Valentine’s Day celebrations. We call it Saint Valentine’s Day in my time, and it is a day of sweet joys when ladies and gentlemen share their deepest feelings.

There are shops along Bond Street where one can purchase Saint Valentine’s Day cards that have words already inscribed to give to those for whom we have a particular partiality, or, as is more common, we purchase special gilt paper on which to craft our personal messages.

This is also a day of gift giving, of sweets, jewelry, flowers, or, if adequate funds are unavailable for such luxuries, perhaps a simple love knot made of straw. I have heard that you have a wonderful sweet in your time called chocolates. I absolutely adore hot chocolate, that drink is my weakness. I can only imagine what it would taste as a solid, scrumptious comfit. I will not tell Lord Terrance of this, for if he ever discovered the secret of such a decadent pleasure, he would be sure to torment me with another game involving winning chocolate as a prize. It would be my Death by Chocolate for certain.

This blog would not be complete, however, if I failed to mention that there is a darker side to this festive day of love. This may no longer be the case in your time. Perhaps people have evolved past such petty actions, but there are a few in my society who take joy in inflicting pain on others. They send Saint Valentine’s Day cards with the deliberate intention of causing hurt, simply because a lady might not be as pretty or well spoken or from a suitable family background.

I am the granddaughter of a Marquis, and considered a beauty by some affectionate friends, yet I, too, once received a beastly Saint Valentine’s Day card. I share this distressing memory, dear Pat, to show that no one is immune to life’s arrows. My crime was that I have a knack to hear what most people cannot discern, and see what is opaque to others’ gazes. So people paint me as different, odd, leaving me open to being flayed by sarcastic wit.

My advice to others who might be the recipient of speech so atrocious in content on this day set aside for lovers, is to smile, for you have been commemorated on Saint Valentine’s Day for the very thing that made the saint infamous – he, too, was perceived to have behaved improperly, simply because he was a priest who believed his subjects were entitled to love, to marry and to live happily ever after, even if his Roman Emperor forbade such luxuries in a time of war. Sometimes, as with drinking (or eating) chocolate, forbidden conduct, especially if done for the purest of reasons, such as love, has an allure that’s simply impossible to resist.

I would be thrilled to hear from some of your readers about their feelings regarding this fascinating holiday. What do you like or dislike about Saint Valentine’s Day? I leave you with my Valentine’s gift for one randomly chosen commenter, a Kindle copy of A Beastly Scandal.

Affectionately,
Lady Annabelle (Belle) Marchant

—————

Belle Marchant is the heroine of
A Beastly Scandal by Shereen Vedam

For a chance at some chocolates or possibly a copy of Belle’s book, A Beastly Scandal, sign up for my newsletter which will periodically give you news on such things as new releases!

 



 

A BELLE OF THE BALL…
Lady Annabelle Marchant was a belle of the ball in London until she used her psychical senses to save a man’s life. She failed miserably, leaving him dead and her disgraced. All she wants now is a chance to comfort his widow by cleansing the woman’s home of her husband’s restless spirit. But the widow’s son, the beastly Lord of the Manor, accuses her of coming to the wilds of Cheshire to snag him as a husband. Thoroughly disgusted, she is bent on proving him wrong.

…BECOMES PERSONA NON-GRATA…
Lord Rufus Marlesbury, the Earl of Terrance, is suspected of murdering his father. He has come home to clear his name by finding the real killer before the new year or Rufus will be called in front of the House of Lords to answer for the crime. He does not have time to waste fending off a marriage-minded miss who has inveigled an invitation to his home by playing on his grief-stricken mother’s worst fears.

…WHEN A MURDERER IS ON THE RAMPAGE
With an unruly manor ghost terrorizing the occupants and corpses piling up in the village, Belle must find a way to see the man beneath the beast and Rufus must learn to believe in the love of a woman who has no reason to trust him. Only by working together can they stop a vengeful ghost before it torments the guests or before the killer strikes again.

A Beastly Scandal’s Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/TzFVC4czHOw

————-
About The Author

Shereen Vedam was born on a tiny paradise island called Ceylon, later renamed Sri Lanka. After she arrived in Canada, she moved across the provinces until she landed in British Columbia where she found a new paradise all her own, filled with people and pets and plants (including an awesome giant Weeping Sequoia) that nurture her love of reading, writing and dreaming.

Shereen’s website: www.shereenvedam.com
Her upcoming fairytale-inspired Regency romances (from ImaJinn Books):
A Devilish Slumber – (a sleeping beauty inspired tale) – October 2014
A Scorching Dilemma – (a Cinder “fella” inspired tale) – December 2014
A Perfect Curse – (a Snow White inspired tale) – 2015