A fellow LDS Author is spreading some cheer to our brave military men and women this season. Basically if you know of someone in the US military who’s going to be deployed over the holidays you can browse the books, pick one for them here, and if their name is drawn, the book will be sent to them. I’m participating in the event, so if you’d like one of your buddies to get An Uncommon Blue, go check out the giveaway on Donna Hatch’s blog.
Today I’m please to welcome Michelle Peterson to the blog. Michelle is a recovering addict and her mission is alligned with Recovery Pride, which is to celebrate sobriety and those who achieve it. She’ll be taking a look at the link between substance abuse and eating disorders. Take it away Michelle!
It means a lot to have the opportunity to write a guest article. Today I’ll share with your visitors some of the advice and resources we’ve culled from our research.
Substance abuse disorders can affect many age groups, but when they are combined with another disorder they can be deadly. Studies have found links between drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders, depression, and PTSD, all of which are exacerbated by the interaction. In fact, research suggests that up to 50% of those living with an eating disorder also abuse drugs or alcohol, substances which increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and depression, not to mention negative physical effects such as stroke, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis.
Eating disorders–the most common of which are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating–eventually have negative impacts on physical health as well. The esophagus, teeth, and digestive tract are all affected by these disorders and can leave the sufferer so weak and ill that they cannot function normally.
Eating disorders commonly begin during the teen years, when many sufferers begin to have body image issues. They can affect males or females, and researchers believe there are many complex factors at work behind them: biological, genetic, and psychological, to name a few.
Each type of disorder affects the individual differently, and they will find different ways to cope with their daily activities; for some, food intake is highly restricted and a strict, excessive exercise regimen is implemented. For others, binging and purging makes them feel in control. Drugs and alcohol are often used to help the individual curb their appetite, or to help them purge. The addiction to both the substance and the eating disorder affects the brain in a very particular way, making the individual feel as though they have achieved what they want and simulating happiness.
It is difficult for many people to talk about these disorders; in several cases, it is swept under the rug because it is an uncomfortable subject. However, it’s extremely important to know the warning signs of a person who is suffering from an eating or substance abuse disorder and to know how to start a conversation about it in order to get the individual help. These warning signs include:
- Extremely restricted diet
- Excessive exercise
- Weight loss to an extreme level
- Anxiety over gaining weight
- A distorted body image
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Leaving the table, sometimes more than once, during a meal
- Changes in skin’s appearance
In severe cases–or cases in which the eating disorder has gone on for a long time untreated–the individual may experience low blood pressure, heart, kidney, and brain damage, or even death. If someone you love is exhibiting any of these behaviors, make an effort to talk to them about your concerns. Don’t be afraid to bring up the term “eating disorder”; sometimes, hearing the words spoken aloud is jarring enough to make the individual face what they are doing, and once their secret is out on the table they might realize it’s okay to talk about it. Offer to help them find a counselor or healthcare professional who can help them find a healthy way to cope.
There are many different therapies available for those suffering from an eating disorder, but if substance abuse is also involved, it will need to be addressed separately. Let your loved one know they are not alone, and that there are ways for them to get healthy.
Photo of girl via Pixabay by Unsplash
Adrienne and I met when we both had debut novels in the works. Now she’s beaten me in getting her second book out, but it’s hard to be bitter because it’s so good. I literally read it in two days and loved it even more than the first. (But you def need to read the first first if you get my meaning.) Please support indie authors, ESPECIALLY when they’re actually GOOD!!
Here’s what publisher’s weekly said about book one: Quintana’s debut is a standard fast-paced techno-thriller, its momentum set more by intrigue than action as her characters question each other’s motives and loyalties.
(And for publisher’s weekly to take a look at an indie author you know it’s cause she’s amazing.)
Now you see what I’m up against.
It’s hard to get any writing done when you’d rather be spending it with these guys. But despite my addiction to my wife and kids, I do have a little progress to report.
Just finished an arrangement of COME THOU FOUNT for my aunt. If you’re into religious music you should check it out here. Or click on the BORED PRIMARY PIANIST tab at the top of this page.
The number one question I get is when the sequel to BLUE is coming out. Short answer: It’s written and waiting for book 1 to sell a thousand more copies before the publisher takes on book 2. So the fastest way to see the sequel is to share how much you enjoyed book 1. (And then guilt your friends into buy a copy….or twelve.)
Once my new book “GROOMED: book one in the HUSBAND TRIALS” is finished editing I plan to use it as bait to lure in a new agent. Here’s a taste if you’re curious.
35 word pitch: In 2987 women are scarce and dating is complicated. To win his childhood crush, teenage Travis enters the deadly Husband Trials and unwittingly befriends the boys he's supposed to kill. First 250 words: Mr. Candace was three hundred years older than his wife but he certainly didn't act it. When he learned he'd be required to attend his son's childhood graduation he made such a fuss that all of Travis's younger brothers came into the kitchen to watch. "I don't have time for this!" he shouted. "I'll miss my shows." Eventually the tantrum wound down and Mr. Candace retired to his room to change into his tuxedo. The nine younger boys wandered back to their telegame and Travis, who'd been dressed and hairsprayed since three o'clock, followed his mother into the entryway. After a few minutes, Travis asked, "How do you tell a clone from an original?" Candace furrowed her eyebrows at the strange question. "Your father is no different that you or I. First or second body, the mind is the same." "But I'm only fifteen and I'm more mature than him. Does he even have a belly button?" Candace smiled. "He has a very handsome navel. Which you see every summer at the lakehouse." "Could be fake. Wendy thinks she saw her da's come off once when-" Travis fell silent as Mr. Candace emerged. "If this thing lasts more than an hour, I can't promise I won't hit anyone." There was a time when Travis might have laughed at such a statement. Now he knew his father was completely serious. Despite their late start, Candace insisted they take the triple bicycle. "It's our last ride with my number two," she said, turning misty eyes on her son.
My WIP (work in progress) is called THE TIME TRAVELER’S SEWING KIT. I’m about 7 chapters in. Here’s the first couple paragraphs:
The library basement reeked of blood. When patrons complained to the head librarian, she blamed the rusting pre-civil war shelves. When they mentioned the smell to Od, he told them the truth. That Al Capone's victims were rotting inside the walls. Some patrons laughed. These were the ones who knew corpses rarely smelled of blood and that the crime boss had done most of his murdering in Chicago. "But he did time in Philly," Od would insist. "Nine months in Eastern State Penitentiary." With the addition of a few grisly details, Od could usually elicit an uneasy smile, or even a shiver. Once a patron headed straight back to the elevator without any books. It was the small things that made Od love his job.
I’ve also been busy helping my CPs (critique partner’s) hone their masterpieces. In fact I just connected with one who lives in NY that I’m super excited about. You’ll be seeing her name on the NYT Bestseller list one day.
I’ll be attending LDS storymakers in Utah this May. Super excited. I’m going to pitch GROOMED to one of the lucky agents there. 🙂
Still working with the guys from PureMedia. I’ve been slacking in my social media job, but to tell you the truth I think they’re having the same problem I am. Our priorities are way out of wack. We put stuff like our family and careers before our side hobbies. Still. One day, I hope to see the eREader become a reality.
My card game COMMUNIST BARNYARD is pretty much ready to be processed. Just waiting on an extra couple thousand bucks I find sitting around my house.
Contest is now closed. Congrats to Grand Prize Winner:
A year ago today, I gave birth to a rectangular, 275 page baby. Here are two ways you can help me celebrate it’s first birthday:
- Download the digital version FOR 99 CENTS at Amazon, Books & Things, and Nook . That’s right, for a limited time, it’s LESS THAN A DOLLAR! (It’s also on sale at the itunes store and Google Play.)
- Share, like, and comment on my FB celebration video for up to three chances to win a book package. (That will be up as soon as Amazon gets it’s act together.)
The Grand Prize Winner will receive a total of TEN different books, ALL SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. In addition I will NAME a character in BOOK 2 after you.
Here are the SIGNED books the grand prize winner will receive in the mail:
A word about the giveaway books. A few of them are signed specifically to me (sorry). Naturally, I want to keep all these signed books to myself. (I’ve read them and they’re great, and I want to show off all my author friends when people visit.) But as a new author I know how much more good a book does when it’s passed around as opposed to gathering dust on a shelf. So as much as I’d like to hoard all these signed copies, I want to share them more, and I want you to write glowing reviews for them. (Especially mine.)
Concerning the naming: it may just be a passing mention, or it could be a main character. It depends how French sounding your name is and how much I like it. 2nd and 3rd place will receive only a signed copy of my book. (Don’t look so disapointed…Christmas is coming you can always regift it.) Grand Prize winner can give me the name of a friend or loved one in place of theirs, but I reserve the right to tweak, or reject names if they’re rediculous. As long as you don’t tell me your name is Butts McFannypants, we probably won’t have a problem.
THE END: The digital version of my book will be $0.99 from Dec 9th to the 30th, then will go back to $6.99. The FB video contest will end when no one has liked, commented, or shared it for 48 hrs. (Or on Dec 31, 2015 whichever comes first.)
On of the funnest thing about being a writer is connecting with other equally insecure and quirky authors. Especially when we get together and publish short story anthologies! What this means:
I now have TWO new books on Goodreads with my name on it.
You have two new collections of short stories to read. (FOR FREE!)
You have 9 chances to find a second favorite author. (Obviously I’m your first.)
Introducing…. my NEW BOOKS!
And now a little about the awesome authors that made it all possible.
TYPERACTIVE is a group of mostly AZ authors who write clean fiction. Here they are with some of their books.
Stephen J. Sterling
Adrienne Quintana (doesn’t appear in anthology)
Shersta Chabot (doesn’t appear in anthology)
The authors who contributed to OVERCOMING HISTORY are newer acquaintences, but still incredible writers. Here they are:
So, what are you waiting for? Download the books and get reading. And if you particularly enjoy one of the stories, click on the link to find other books by that author. (Then make sure to rate these anthologies on amazon and goodreads so others can find them.)
Now do it. Or suffer my wrath.
Join me on a journey to embrace your inner unicorn.
Visit a magical place called Comic Con, where nerds are applauded for their indiscretionary spending and celebrated for their refusal to get real jobs. By the end, you’ll desperately wish you were one of them.
The Journey to UT
Then on to…. UNDILUTED NERDERY!!
Awesome, amazing, photogenic authors
And finally, Making a fool of myself in public
Introducing my fellow panel members (Don’t ask me why the photos are wonky, I’m a beginning blogger!)
Congratulations on scrolling all the way to the end of this post! You must either really want to go to comic con yourself, or you find me strangely attractive…
The literary world is constantly evolving. (Or devolving as the case may be.) PubCrawl recently posted an insightful article about the disturbing trends of sexual violence in books written for young adults. You can see from the comments that the public is split as to what teens really need and more importantly (sarcasm) what they’ll spend money on.
So I’ve pitted two best selling novels, comparing content and sales, in an effort to determine what teens really want in their books.
(Yes, they’re different genres and this is an oversimplification, but it’s my blog, so deal with it.)
FAULT: 315 pgs – published 2012
POTTER: 870 pgs – published 2003
FAULT: Main Character’s age – 16
POTTER: Main Character’s age – 15
FAULT: Hazel and Augustus go to his hotel room and have sex. Mention of removing clothes being awkward because of her oxygen tank and his fake leg. Mention of “condomy problems” and that it wasn’t too painful or ecstatic. 1
POTTER: Harry and Ron try to enter Hermonie’s room. “A loud, wailing, claxonlike sound” starts and the stairs turn into a slide. “‘Er- I don’t think we’re allowed in the girls’ dormitories,’ said Harry, pulling Ron to his feet and trying not to laugh.”
FAULT: “Do you know what Dom Perignon said after inventing champagne? He called out to his fellow monks, ‘Come quickly: I am tasting the stars.’” (p. 163 Before the “cool” enabling adults facilitate underage drinking.)
POTTER: “You know what?” Ron murmured, looking over at the bar with enthusiasm. “We could order anything we like in here, I bet that bloke would sell us anything, he wouldn’t care. I’ve always wanted to try firewhisky–” “You — are — a — prefect,” snarled Hermione.” “Oh,” said Ron, the smile fading from his face. “Yeah…” (pg. 337 before they order non-alcoholic butterbeer.)
- 20 + sh**
- 5 Hell
- 9 godda**
- 1 bada**
- 2 bit**
- 2 a**hole
- 1 a**clown
- 2 a**
- 1 fu**
- 2 damn
FAULT OF OUR STARS: Total books sold -10.7 million
ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: Total books sold – 55 million
One of the writing blogs I follow recently published an insightful article about how much ‘grit’ kids can handle in their literature.
I spent a good while composing and posting my thoughts on the subject, so I thought I’d share it here as well:
Many recent YA contemporary novels, if made into a movie (with dialogue and graphic content intact) would be rated NC-17 or even higher.
WIs it different to read through dozens of ‘F’ words? Why do we have the move rating system in the first place? (clue: it’s not because a bunch of outdated prudes want to keep kids from knowing the truth about life.)
It’s no secret that the bar for protecting children from “realistic” content has dropped and shows no sign of slowing. Many would rather congratulate themkselves on finally achieving free speech and liberating young minds than face what this “realistic” conditioning is actually doing to these liberated minds.
Until about their twenties, children’s brains are not fully developed. The last thing to develop is the frontal lobe (which helps with determining what it socially acceptable.) Funnily enough, a stroke in this area will release foul language.
So big deal, right? Teenage swearing and sex is a part of growing up.
What about bringing guns to school? What about murder? Now, I don’t believe that kids who read Forgive Me Mr. Peacock will set out to murder their father. And I don’t believe kids who read bad language in books will necessarily began to speak that way themselves.
The problem is that with their immature frontal lobes, they’re still trying to figure out what is right and wrong, healthy ways to deal with problems, and what is normal.
Although most gritty books have some sort of moral lesson at the end that the kids may or may not pick up on or agree with, the more sure (conscious or subconsious) lesson they are getting through this deluge of realism is that it’s normal to sleep with your classmates, to use the F (or C) word in everyday conversation, to use violence to deal with your problems, to abuse others, to commit suicide, to shoot up your school as a revenge for the way you’ve been treated.
Adults reading this may think me absurd. Whether they believe underage drinking is the norm among teens (It’s not, only a small percentage do) or that no one actually graduates high school a virgin, adults understand that the other problems I mentioned are certainly not normal or even common.
But adults know this because they have a fully developed frontal lobe. They (most of them) understand how to seperate their morals and decision making from what they read in their free time.
It is scientifically documented that kids cannot. So before you call me a censoring prude, or a blue-nosed a**hole (as did Cory Doctorow) ask yourself if you want your teenage daughter to subconsiously think cutting herself is a common, legitimate way to deal with her emotional problems.
What adults read is of no concern to me. (Well, that’s not entirely true, pornographic content leads to violent sex crimes, and trafficking of children, but that’s a debate for another day.) But is it realistic for us to ask teens to keep their language and behavior clean at school, while we fill their books with deviant behavior? No wonder they’re confused.
Yes, kids can easily get their hands on adult novels, but when you package and market a book specifically for young minds, you’re sending them a very clear idea of what is acceptable. Children should learn about the problems of real life eventually (when they are emotionally mature), but from a parent or responsible adult and not glamorized as entertainment.
My blogger friend’s book is finally out and it’s got some rave reviews. You definitely need to check this one out. (Thanks, Krista for all your help with Blue!) And thanks to Brenda Lee Drake for this ready-made post. 🙂
Buy it at one of these reputable establishments:
About the book …
Twelve-year-old Ella Mae Higbee is a sensible girl. She eats her vegetables and wants to be just like Sergeant Friday, her favorite character on Dragnet. So when her auntie Mildred starts spouting nonsense about a scientist who can bring her cousin Robby back to life, Ella Mae doesn’t believe her–until a boy steps out of the scientist’s pod and drips slime on the floor right before her eyes.
“But the boy is not Robby–he’s Japanese. And in California in the wake of World War II, the Japanese are still feared and mistreated. When Auntie Mildred refuses to take responsibility, Ella Mae convinces her mama to take the boy home with them. It’s clear that he’ll be kept like a prisoner in that lab, and she wants to help.
“Determined to do what’s right by her new friend, Ella Mae teaches him English and defends him from the reverend’s talk of H-E-double-toothpicks. But when the boy’s painful memories resurface, Ella Mae learns some surprising truths about her own family and, more importantly, what it means to love.”
–Tricia Springstubb, author of MOONPENNY ISLAND
“Ella Mae is a scrapper in the tradition of Harper Lee’s Scout”
“Recommended to fans of historical fiction who enjoy a mix of history and ethics”
–School Library Journal
Krista Van Dolzer
Krista’s a stay-at-home mom by day and a children’s author by bedtime. She lives with her husband and three kids in Mesquite, Nevada, where she watches too much college football and looks for her dead people online. She’s the author of THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, May 2015) and DON’T VOTE FOR ME (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, August 2015).