The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #100



Getting Started with Mindfulness | Mindful
Learn how to get started with mindfulness. We’ll show you how to start, feel better, reduce your stress, and enjoy life a little more.
Research on How Mindfulness Changes the Brain (and How It Doesn’t) | Mindful
How mindfulness changes the brain: mindfulness stress reduction may not change the structure of our brains, but that may not be a bad thing.


Migraine Home Remedies | American Migraine Foundation
Learn more about the home remedies that can help manage migraine symptoms, provide relief and prepare for attacks. Treatment and medication prescribed by your…
15 home remedies for migraine relief | Medical News Today
There are many strategies for treating and preventing migraine symptoms. Here are 15 home remedies for migraine relief and prevention.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

Recognizing and Treating Child Traumatic Stress | Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Learn about the signs of traumatic stress, its impact on children, treatment options, and how families and caregivers can help.
Best Types of Therapy for Trauma: PTSD, Childhood Trauma, and More | Psych Central
Many types of therapy can support mind and body healing after trauma. We look at some of the most effective techniques.

Mental Health

Caring for Your Mental Health | National Institute of Mental Health
Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others.
5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life | Very Well
Self-care is essential for good mental and physical well-being. You cannot control everything life throws your way, but you can learn how to practice good self-care.


The 25 Top Historical Fiction Books Of All Time | Forbes
From WW2 novels to historical romance novels, our guide to the best historical fiction books will transport you through time.
100 Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time (Updated) | Shortform
The world’s best historical fiction books of all time. Recommended by leading experts like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Walter Isaacson.

Cooking and Baking

25 Classic Jewish Foods Everyone Should Learn To Cook | Tasty
Matzoh ball soup is just the beginning.
The Best Cooking Advice We Ever Received | Southern Living
There’s an infinite amount of cooking tips on the Internet, so to simplify things, we narrowed down this list of the best pieces of cooking advice we’ve ever received. Even expert home chefs could use a little refresher on the basics. These are our favorite pieces of cooking advice.

The Alexandria Papers Newsletter on Substack is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts by email and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. I’m committed to having the entire archive free, but paid subscribers help cover the costs of research each week.

My Books

BusMan (a short story)

They lied when they said I killed my mother, but that didn’t stop Betty from leaving me and taking the kids. She even flipped me off after she slammed the car door. Yeah, like I believed they were my kids in the first place. She was probably having an affair with Mr. Ft.-Wayne-Detective-of-the-Year, and I’ll bet he was proud of himself after he hounded me out of my job. But I don’t give a damn about them anymore.

I got a new face, a new name, a new life. They can’t touch me here because they don’t know where I am. Hell, I don’t even know where I am — some godforsaken place surrounded by cornfields and cows that got more brains than the local broads. I light up a cigarette and drive to the first stop on my shift.

Nobody’s there. It starts to rain. I pull my paperback from above the visor and lean back to enjoy my cigarette. Halfway through Raskolnikov’s first job, some guy in a suit taps on the door of the bus. He’s holding a newspaper over his head, but Raskolnikov’s just been caught in the act by the demented sister, so I pretend I don’t hear Mr. Suit hit the doors harder and yell about the rain. He keeps on pounding. Jesus H. Christ. I pull the lever so the doors whoosh open. Mr. Suit glares at his fancy gold watch and stares at me. He drops his token in.

My foot slips off the airbrake, and I have to slam it down real hard so nobody boarding gets hurt. Despite my quick reflexes, Mr. Suit and his briefcase are thrown back down the steps into Bag Lady. She lets out a big toothless laugh and clamps her arms around him. Probably a long time since she had any. She smacks her big lips and coos real romantic-like. Suit whips out a handkerchief and wipes himself and his briefcase as he staggers to a seat. Serves him right. These glasses are a disguise, not an indication of my IQ. Bag Lady doesn’t pretend to put any tokens in, but as long as she doesn’t grab my thigh again, I could care less.

(read more)

Naked, with Glasses (short stories)

Edgy, memorable, and engagingly written, these award-winning stories display another aspect of Szeman’s talent — that for short fiction. Filled with distinct voices, unique characters, surprising plot-twists, and successful experimental writing innovations (such as “Sorry, Wrong Number, Redux,” which is entirely in dialogue), this prize-winning collection secures the author’s critically acclaimed reputation in this genre as well, adding to the accolades she has already garnered for her novels, poetry, and non-fiction.


• Grand Prize
UKA [United Kingdom Authors] Press
International Creative Writing Competition
• “Naked, with Glasses,” 3rd Prize, Story Magazine “Seven Deadly Sins” Contest

(Get your copy now)

The Kommandant’s Mistress, (a novel)

Part One: The Kommandant, Chapter One

“Then I saw her. There she stood, in the village store, her hair in a long braid down the center of her back, her skin white in the sunlight, and my hand went to my hip, seeking the weight of my gun. As the girl spoke, I stumbled back against one of the shelves, my fingers tightening at the leather around my waist. While the shopkeeper arranged the food in the bag, the morning sun glinted on the storefront windows, illuminating the girl. The wooden shelves pressed into my shoulders and back. Sweat dampened my forehead and ribs. Another shopper spoke, frowned, pushed aside my arm to reach a jar on the shelf behind me, but I didn’t move. My hand slid down over my hip and leg. No, I’d forgotten that I no longer wore my gun…”


The rumors spread by the Camp’s inmates, other Nazi officers, and the Kommandant’s own family insist that she was his “mistress,” but was she, voluntarily? Told from three different perspectives – that of the formerly idealistic Kommandant, the young Jewish inmate who captivates him, and the ostensibly objective historical biographies of the protagonists – this novel examines one troubling moral question over and over: if your staying alive was the only “good” during the War, if your survival was your sole purpose in this horrific world of the Concentration Camps — whether you were Nazi or Jewish — what, exactly, would you do to survive?  Would you lie, cheat, steal, kill, submit?

Flashing back and forth through the narrators’ memories as they recall their time before, during, and after the War, and leading, inevitably, to their ultimate, shocking confrontation, “Szeman’s uncompromising realism and superb use of stream-of-consciousness technique make [this novel] a chilling study of evil, erotic obsession, and the will to survive” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

New York Times Book Review “Notable Book” and one of its “Top 100 Books of the Year,”  Winner of the University of Rochester’s Kafka Prize for “the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” the tales told by the Kommandant, his “mistress,” and their “biographer” will mesmerize and stun you, leaving you wondering, at the conclusion, which, if any, is telling the complete truth about what happened between them.


• New York Times Book Review “Notable Book”
and “Top 100 Books of Year”
• University of Rochester Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize
“the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman”
• Publishers Weekly (* review) “Outstanding Merit”
• Talmadge McKinney Award “Excellence in Research”

(originally published by HarperCollins / HarperPerennial NY)

(Get your copy now)

My Other Books

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Filed under #CSA, Baking, Books, chronic pain, Chronic Pain Treatment, Cooking, CPTSD, healing, health, Health and Wellness, hemiplegic migraines, Meditation and MIndfulness, Mental Health, migraine, migraine self-care, Migraine with Aura, Migraine Without Aura, migraines, Newsletters, PTSD, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence, The Alexandria Papers Newsletter, Trauma, Trauma and Sexual Abuse

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