The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #101


Mindfulness

How Meditation Supports Health and Healing | Mindful
Studies show that mindfulness is ultimately an effective, low-cost way to manage (and maybe even improve) physical and mental health and well-being.
Free Yourself from Reader Ghosts for Deeper, More Mindful Writing | Mindful
When we’re caught up in what an imagined audience will think about our writing, we are much less likely to actually write anything. Mindful writing teacher and former state poet laureate Alexandria Peary explores how we can (re)discover the joy of writing by freeing ourselves from the judgy reader…

Migraine

Is There a Connection Between Migraine with Aura and Stroke? | Healthline
You may be at an increased risk of stroke if you have migraine with aura (ocular migraine). Learn more about this link.
Product Review: Which Are the Best Migraine Glasses? | Migraine Again
Light sensitivity can exacerbate migraine attacks. We review some of the most popular brands of migraine glasses so you can find out which ones might be right for you.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

Grounding techniques for anxiety, PTSD, and trauma | Medical News Today
Grounding techniques can help manage trauma and emotional distress. They are useful in anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions. Learn more here.
Does Meditation Release Trauma from the Body? (and PTSD) | Mindworks
Trauma is the result of a very stressful event which we don’t have the resources to process. Meditation can help release trauma in ways we don’t expect.

Mental Health

The Key Skill We Rarely Learn: How to Feel Your Feelings | Psychology Today
We are wired to avoid our emotions, not mindfully embrace them.
Best Mental Health Podcasts | Very Well Mind
Mental health podcasts differ based on focus, background, experience of the host, and style of episodes. See our list of the best mental health podcasts and how they compare.

Books

The best memoirs of all time, as chosen by our readers | Penguin UK
These true-life tales are irresistible and eye-opening reads.
32 Compelling Memoirs You Have To Read | Refinery 29
Maya Angelou, Mary Karr, and David Sedaris are among our favorite memoirists.

Cooking and Baking

Cooking and Baking: Are They the Same Thing? | Chef’s Vision Knives
Have you ever attempted to cook a roast and discovered that the recipe instructed you to bake it in the oven? With cooking terms used interchangeably, you may be wondering what’s the difference. Are cooking and baking the same things? What about roasting?
The 35 Greatest Cookbooks of All Time, According to Some of the Country’s Best Chefs | Food and Wine
We asked chefs from all across the country to share their picks for the best cookbooks of all time. From titles that cover easy weeknight cooking to classics that explore the intersection of culture and cuisine, here are the best cookbooks to turn to for culinary inspiration.

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My Books

When I was little, Mama and Daddy tole me nobody but old folks died. Before I was even growed, I found out my Mama and Daddy lied. Anybody cain die. Even folks young as me. Folks cain die right smack in the middle a playing with they doll babies, right smack in the middle a eating mashed potatoes at supper, right smack in the middle a Saturday night bath. Folks cain die right smack in the middle a anything at all. Ain’t no way to stop it neither.

The day I found out my Mama and Daddy done lied to me was the day of the church picnic. Mama done went off early in the morning, to be with her pies and her lady friends. Daddy carried us there later, just before lunch. He pulled right up to the front gate, and give us each a quarter.

“Y’all get on out now,” he says. “Go say ‘Hey’ to the Reverend. I’ll be in directly.”

Annabelle Lee and Clyde Junior they just jumps right outta the car, before he even finishes talking. You sure cain tell they’s twins. Even though they’s boy and girl, they’s identical selfish. To the very bone. My own self, I am more polite. I waits till he finishes before I opens the door.

‘Course Annabelle Lee and Clyde Junior don’t pay him no never mind. They’s already at the gate, jumping up and down in fronta the preacher, almost wetting they own selves in they excitement. I act more dignified. More growed-up. Lotsa folks is pushing through the gate. Some of them boys ’bout run me down, and don’t even say ‘scuse me neither: they’s just like the twins. Lotsa folks knows Mama and Daddy, and they all says, “Hey.”

(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.

Awards:

• 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…”

About:

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.

Awards:

• 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, Cooking, CPTSD, healing, health, Health and Wellness, hemiplegic migraines, Meditation and MIndfulness, Mental Health, migraine, Migraine with Aura, Migraine Without Aura, migraines, Newsletters, Panic Attacks, PTSD, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence, The Alexandria Papers Newsletter, Trauma, Trauma and Sexual Abuse

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