Flake-out Friday–BLOGIVERSARY!!!!

Wow. I’ve been blogging for ONE YEAR! My, my, how time flies!!!

(Thank you, internet search for “blogiversary” for such great pics!)

To celebrate, I’m having a super-fun, hopefully interactive, giveaway. You see, I found this super cute ornament at the Yankee Candle Flagship Store in Deerfield, MA a couple weeks ago and automatically thought of my writer peeps, blog buddies, and writerly pals.

The ornament is approx 4 inches long, 3 inches tall, and 2 inches wide. It’s hard to see, but there’s glitter on the wings and horns.

Here’s how to enter the contest if you’d like to have this charming little guy (or gal) grace your home:

  • 3 points for: Use your creativity and NAME and develop a SHORT bio (like a sentence or two is fine!) for the dragon–he or she needs a name and story, right?
  • 3 points for: blogging about the contest.
  • 1 point for Tweeting the contest.
  • 1 point for Facebooking the contest.
  • 1 point for following my blog (either via subscription or NetworkBlogs).

Feel free to tally the number yourself.

The contest will run for ONE WEEK–It ENDS November 5, 2010 at MIDNIGHT EST! Then, a winner will be selected by random.org.

Thanks for celebrating with me!


Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog AND Who’s Doing NaNoWriMo???

So, writerly peeps, who’s gonna do NaNoWriMo? Show of hands please.

I signed up and “won” last year by completing over 50,000 words of a manuscript within the month of November. What an exciting–and exhausting–endeavor.

This year? My goal is to PACE myself and take time with refining my craft. If that means spending six hours on one paragraph or thirty minutes writing ten pages, then so be it. Since my focus has shifted more to quality rather than quantity, I’m gonna sit out of NaNo. That doesn’t stop me from feeling the collective momentum of other writers gearing up for the great race of words.

So, good luck, dear friends! November 1st is only days away!!!

Please share whether or not you’re doing NaNo and what your focus for this next month is.


Every Wednesday The sisterhood is on hiatus this week. We’ll return in November for another tour. Stay tuned!

Mental Health Monday–ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

The teacher calls your name. You blink, vaguely aware twenty pairs of eyes are on you. Your fuzzy mind snaps back into focus. Sure enough, you’ve been called on. But you have absolutely NO idea what the topic is.

Your teacher’s eyebrow arches so much you think it’ll break in half.

*sigh* You’ve been caught not paying attention again. It’s not fair. It’s not your fault…

Two hours later, your sitting in study hall and your leg is shaking so bad that Richter scales 100 miles away are catching the vibration. Tapping your pencil a million times a minute only annoys the teacher’s aid. Even though you’re supposed to sit quietly and get your homework done, sticking your butt in the chair is WAY too hard. You get up and wander the room, touching everything as you go by–much to the dismay of the TA. She tells you to sit down, but you keep meandering. After the third warning, you get sent to the office.

Sitting outside the principal’s office isn’t any easier…

After supper, you literally CAN’T sit still. But it’s after dark, so you can’t go outside. You run up and down the stairs until your mom yells at you, then you try doing backflips off the couch. Without enough leverage, you land in a heap, striking your head on the coffee table.

You need stitches…again…

Classic signs and symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (formerly Attention Deficit Disorder) include:

  • Symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattentiveness before age 7
  • Symptoms continue for at least 6 months
  • Symptoms affect at least 2 areas of functioning, ex. classroom, home, playground, social settings

Inattentive symptoms include:

  • Being easily distracted, missing details, forgetting things, frequently switching from one activity to another
  • Having difficulty maintaining focus
  • Becoming bored
  • Having difficulty completing tasks
  • Not seeming to listen
  • Daydreaming, becoming easily confused, and moving slowly

Hyperactive symptoms include:

  • Fidgeting and squirming in seats
  • Talking nonstop
  • Blurting out inappropriate comments
  • Being impatient
  • Having difficulty waiting for your turn

Treatment includes medications (stimulants such as Ritalin, Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant that has been shown to alleviate ADHD symptoms, and/or Strattera, a non-stimulant medication) as well as behavioral modification (such as consistent routines, structure, consistent parenting with good boundaries and limit-setting, using lists, and schedules/calendars).

So, writer buds, do any of your characters have ADHD? Rick Riordan’s character, Percy Jackson, did. He really did a fine job of describing what it was like for poor Percy to have ADHD.

What other examples can you think of?

Don’t forget to check out Lydia’s Medical Mondays post!

Also, this information is for writing purposes only and is NOT to be construed as medical treatment or advice.

Blog Chain–Out to Lunch

  Thoughtful and poignant Michelle H starts this round of the blog chain with this question:

If you could dine with any author, and I do mean any whether alive or dead (yes, we’re going into the realms of time travel – but hey, we have science fiction writers on this chain so we can always ask for them to write up the time machine specs), who would you want to dine with? And if you can ask them for advice on one writing element you feel you might be struggling at, what would it be?

My goodness, when I first saw this question, I was like, “Cool!” and “Oh, crap, I have no idea,” all at once.

I’ve often thought about what it would be like to pick the brain of an author. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to find out how they create, how they determine a plot, how they envision their characters, and how the heck they keep hundreds of plot threads straight? (I’m also curious to learn how they handle days, months, years of revising the same words over and over and over and over…well, you get the idea.)

But who would I chose?

Ahem, excuse me while I have an indecision attack. *walks away from computer and retuns hours later*

Yeah, still no clue. *leaves computer and returns the next day*

Uh, yeah, I suck. *gobbles chocolate bar, then forces self to write something*

I think it’s painfully clear by now that I have a really hard time picking my ultimate, favorite, everyone-else-pales-in-comparison, author. Actually, I just might pick JK Rowling, but I’ve seen so many interviews of her, I feel like I know her already. I could say Clive Barker, Anne Rice, or any other horror novelist. I could say Mark Twain–he’s got some great sayings, don’t he? But really, when it comes down to it, I’m gonna have to pick…(drum roll please)

…Somerset Maugham.

Yup. That’s right.

Confession alert: I grew up in a pretty small, boring, hick town and the school curriculum, well, wasn’t very, um, enriching. Sure, we had French and Spanish for foreign languages, we had advanced Calculus and Biology, and we covered Shakespeare and stuff. But I left high school thirsting for more exposure to the classics.

I didn’t get to indulge myself until after medical school. That’s when I “met” Somerset.–The Razor’s Edge, in particular. The prose in that book is so beautiful, I read the sentences several times, just savoring the flow of phrases and reveling in the selection of words. It’s been a couple of years and I have to say that the story has stuck with me. I may forget the subtle nuances of which character did what, but every time I hear or see someone discussing “fav’s,” this book comes to mind.

Final answer: Somerset Maugham.

And I wouldn’t necessarily have any questions for him. I’d just want to sit and listen to him talk…or maybe read from his books.

Check out Sarah’s post from yesterday in case you missed it, and stay tuned for Michelle M’s post tomorrow.

Flake-out Friday–Grover Does Old Spice AND A Blog Award

I have to thank Natalie Fischer (literary agent for Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency , blog host of Adventures in Agentland, and of WriteOnCon live chat fame) for posting this link on Twitter a couple weeks ago. SO funny.


Grover Old Spice Remix:


Switching gears…

Amparo Ortiz, blogger & writer extraordinare, has gave me the Cherry On Top Award–Thanks, Amparo!!

The rules state I have to answer this question: If I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my life, would I, and what would it be?

Hmmm, this is a tough one. I  gotta say I’m pretty content with what I’ve got. School/college/post-grad work is done, I’m board certified now, I find my job enriching, and I LOVE writing! Perhaps I’d go back to high school and actually go to my prom. Yup, I didn’t go. Not for any awful reason–other than I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, yikes!!!! Plus, dances aren’t really my thing. But on the other hand, prom is a sort of right of passage, right? So, maybe I’d go back and do that. Then again, if really given the opportunity, I think I’d pass, LOL!

Now, to give the award to six other lucky bloggers…

Amie Borst

Lydia Kang

Danyelle Leafty

Clarissa Draper


Stina Lindenblatt

Be sure to check out Amparo’s blog, No Rest For The Lazy. She also contributes to Operation Awesome–which is undeniably AWESOME!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog AND Writerly iPad apps

I got an iPad for my birthday–sa-weet!!!! Anywho, I’ve been fiddling around with how to use it for my writing endeavors. I am, as always, open to suggestions, so feel free to comment with any and all info you have about apps.

In an effort to stimulate the convo, I’ve linked to a SUPER blog post about iPad apps just for writers!

Macgasm (LOL, what a title!): My NaNoWriMo iPad Toolkit

Highlights of apps (many around $5-10, some free!) detailed include:

  • Notebooks–syncs with Scrivener 2.0; allows you to set up folders, chapters, scenes, etc
  • Simplenote–for a quick note
  • Writer–resets the keypad to type easier; provides a “focus” mode to highlight only three lines of text at a time (bye-bye Internal Editor!)
  • Index Cards–for notes to organize scenes
  • iThoughts HD–map your ideas and connect scenes
  • Outliner–outlines (yeah, pretty self-explanatory, LOL!)
  • SoundNote–allows you to record while you write!
  • Noteshelf–allows you to handwrite  notes without a keyboard
  • Kindle App–SO cool!
  • ArtStudio–doodle or sketch a scene if you’re artistically inclined

AND you can get a wireless keyboard for you iPad for around $70.

M’kay, folks. Do you have an iPad? If so, how do you use it for writerly type things? What apps have you found most helpful?


We’re well into our travels for the sisterhood of the traveling blog. This week, Danyelle answers her question about the importance of stories (see link below).

Every Wednesday

Lydia’s post here.

Danyelle’s post here.

Mental Health Monday–Impulse Control AND Contest Winner for Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students

Drum roll please! The contest winner (generated by random.org) for Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students by Christine Fonseca is:


Please send your address to my e-mail (laurabdiamond@yahoo.com). I’ll forward it to Christine and she’ll send you signed copy of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students!



The DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines a subset of disorders called Impulse Control Disorders. Little is known about the specific biologic basis of these disorders, but they are considered part of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder spectrum, a subset of Anxiety Disorders.

They include:

  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder (sudden, minimally provoked episodes of rage, anger, verbal outbursts, physical violence, and/or destruction of property)
  • Kleptomania (stealing, not necessarily shoplifting, though)
  • Pathological Gambling
  • Pyromania (fire-starting), and
  • Body-focused repetitive or compulsive behaviors such as trichotillomania (a compulsion to pull one’s hair out), onychophagia (biting nails), and dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking).

The individual is unable to control their impulses and as a result, they can face significant disruption in their functioning and quality of life because they act way before they take the time to consider options or consequences. In many cases, the individual can feel regret for their behavior, but before hand, it’s almost like they can’t stop themselves.

Various treatments include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, medication management (with SNRI’s or SSRI’s/anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, even anti-psychotic medications in some cases). The success of therapy and meds is largely dependent on when symptoms started, how severe they are, and how long the person went before seeking treatment. Symptoms often fluctuate with the amount of perceived stress.

So, have any of your characters developed or displayed any of these impulsive behaviors? How did it get expressed?

Remember, this post is for writing purposes only and is NOT meant to be construed as medical treatment or advice.

Check out Lydia’s post for Medical Mondays!