The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #92


Five Simple Mindfulness Practices For People Who Hate To Meditate | Forbes
Listening is perhaps one of the most valuable gifts we can offer to others. Offer it generously whenever possible and bring your best intentions.
If You Hate Meditating, Try These Alternatives | Life Hacker
You don’t need to quiet your mind in order to achieve inner peace.
Meditation Techniques For People Who Hate Meditation | Fast Company
Don’t have the time or patience for devoting 20 minutes a day to sitting still? You can still meditate with small moments of mindfulness.


Pressure Points for Headaches: Tension, Sinus, and More | Healthline
You may be surprised that the pressure points for headaches aren’t all on your head. Learn more to ease your headache.
15 Natural and Home Remedies for Migraine Relief | Healthline
Migraine symptoms might keep you in bed. Try these natural remedies that might help get you back on your feet faster.
Where Can Migraine Pain Manifest In the Body? | Migraine Again
Migraine pain extends to areas beyond the head. An expert answers questions about migraine neck pain, face pain, eye pain, and more.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

How Do You Know If You Were Sexually Abused? | VeryWellMind
Was I sexually abused? The fact that you don’t recall much of your childhood could indicate that you may have been exposed to a traumatic event.
How EMDR Can Help Adults Heal From Childhood Sexual Abuse | Noora Niskanen EMDR/Trauma Therapy
Remembering is not a requirement for healing nor is it the primary sign that you have experienced sexual abuse. Trauma and even traumatic memories come back as reactions in your current life.
10 things to know about healing from childhood sexual abuse | Johns Hopkins University
Survivors of child sex abuse (CSA) are inundated with untrue stories of their abuse, the aftermath, and what their healing journey should look like. The truth is those stories are a bunch of hot garbage.

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.
7 Self-Care Tips for Mental Health | BetterUp
These 7 self-care tips for mental health will boost your mood and help you find time for yourself. Learn how to build a practice that works best for you.
Caring for Yourself in the New Year | Psychology Today
Strategies for mental and physical wellness.


100 must-read classics, as chosen by our readers | Penguin UK
They broke boundaries and challenged conceptions. We asked you for your must-read classics; from iconic bestsellers to lesser-known gems, these are your essential recommends.
10 Best English Literature Books to Read | Oxford Summer Courses
Literature possesses an extraordinary ability to shape our perceptions of the world and captivate us with timeless stories that transcend generations. The realm of English literature, with its treasure trove of classics and contemporary masterpieces, beckons to be explored.
Join the 2024 War and Peace Read Along | Simon Haisell via Footnotes and Tangents on Substack
Introducing the 2024 slow read of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace,. War and Peace has 361 chapters. So, it’s the perfect book to read a chapter a day over the course of a year.

Cooking and Baking

Slow Cooker Soups | The Magical Slow Cooker
I think the slow cooker was invented for making wonderful soups and stews. There are endless ways you can make these but here are my favorites.
40 Sweet & Savory Quick Bread Recipes | Delish
Bread, biscuits, scones, cornbread, and muffins—we’ve got them all.
75 Easy Quick Bread Recipes You Should Bake Today | Taste of Home
Check out our best easy quick bread recipes, from sweet and savory, that are a snap to put together. Find flavors like banana, zucchini, chocolate and more.

My Books

Heaven and earth, the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places, that distance is even shorter. ~ Eric Weiner, “Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer”
for Max or Alex or, maybe, James

Last night I dreamt of you, after all these
years, and you were lying in my arms, in

the middle of the day, the sunlight showing
the first strands of silver in your hair, and

your eyes blue, so blue, heart-poundingly
blue, like something out of a romance novel

only better because, at last, you were mine…

(read more)

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)

As powerfully written, darkly humorous, surprising, and accessible as Szeman’s short stories, these poems let you glimpse into the hearts, lives, and minds of ordinary people — whether they be mythological, biblical, literary, or contemporary — as they struggle to make sense of relationships, family, marriage, divorce, children, spirituality, faith, and the existence of God. As they struggle to comprehend the very things each of us experiences every day.

All of the poems in the collection have been previously published in literary and university journals; several were part of her dissertation, Survivor: One Who Survives, winner of the Elliston Poetry Prize and the Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship. Along with her Holocaust poetry collection, Where Lightning Strikes, this collection, Love in the Time of Dinosaurs, was unanimously accepted for publication by all outside readers of UKA (United Kingdom Authors) Press.


• Grand Prize Winner, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship
• First Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Second Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Centennial Review Prize for Poetry
• Honorable Mention, Non-Rhyming Poetry,
Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Contest

My Other Books


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Filed under #CSA, Baking, Books, Childhood Sexual Abuse, chronic pain, Chronic Pain Treatment, Cooking, CPTSD, healing, Health and Wellness, hemiplegic migraines, Meditation and MIndfulness, Memoir, 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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