Reading, Writing, and Taking Care of You

Hello everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here and I hope that you are all finding ways to get through these crazy times. I have been doing alot of reading and focusing on my health. I wish I had some amazing news of a new release, but alas, like many of you, concentration has been lacking of late. I do have three stories in the works, though. For fans of my western, Sarah Sawyer’s third adventure is about half way through. Then, I have two modern day romances ongoing. There is also a scifi idea with some notes to try in the future. Fingers crossed one is ready before the end of the year.

If you’d like new material from me, I do have a free short story to download called The Chemistry Test when you sign up for my monthly newsletter. Sometimes I post excerpts in there or do giveaways. Also, you can view some recorded readings I have on my YouTube and if you are a Facebook user, the Lesbian Campfire Share has tons of author/reader book readings, Q&A’s and fun events to engage in.

Side note: I love it when readers find my older books! Thank you to LESBIreviewed for the wonderful review of Somewhere Between Love and Justice, Sarah Sawyer’s first book. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to post a review or to reach out and tell me what you think.

For anyone looking for a chance to turn all that reading into free books, be sure to check out Jae’s crossword challenges and Maggie’s Book Bingo on Facebook. Currently on Jae’s one of the question involes Sarah Sawyer. See if you can guess the right answer.

So, since I have been taking time to focus on my health, today I wanted to address a topic other than lesfic, one that is of growing importance to women around the world, especially now. Women are responsible for so much on a daily basis that we often put ourselves last. I have been guilty of that to the point I did land in the hospital five years ago. It was an eye opener. And it can happen to anyone at any age, especially the stay at home moms, whose daily schedules are most often overlooked since they are not in a “workplace.” But caring for a family is no easier task than running a large corporation and both women are equally as at risk.

Please welcome Dr. Candace McMillon-Dantley, author of the book Woman, Take Off Your Cape! who is here to help us better recognize the warning signs and give us tips to live a better quality of life.

Hello and thank you for taking the time to chat with me. First, I have to ask, so many people have these kinds of moments when a realization strikes, myself included, but almost no one writes about it. Publishing a book is no small feat. What made you want to tackle the endeavor?

Thank you for taking the time to invite me. I would have to agree with you on this one.  For me, an opportunity to write for a health and wellness website reignited the passion that I have for writing.  I hadn’t written anything creatively in years, but I’ve always had a love for writing. 

Writing the book started out as a “nagging” thought in my mind.  Then, God spoke to me clearly and told me to write “Woman, Take Off Your Cape!”  I knew that this book would bring to light what so many woman experience, but no one ever truly sees the struggle of wearing the cape. After realizing the positive impact it could have on women, I was determined to get it done.

This book is not just for the Go-Getter women who try to do it all, it is also for those in their circle. What advice would you give friends and family of those “Superwomen” to guide them on when help might be needed?

You are exactly right in saying that this book is just as much for the people who surround the cape-wearing woman.  I would advise that the family and friends of the woman who saves everyone’s day is to offer to save hers.  Don’t wait for her to ask you for help because she won’t.   Don’t take “no” for an answer when you offer to pick up her kids or take her out to lunch.  Look past when she says, “I’m fine,” and do something nice or thoughtful for her anyway.

These days, both men and women work more hours and health is on the decline all over America due to our lifestyle choices. What factors do you think make it harder for women to take initiative to address their own needs first? What are the signs that we need to take a step back?

I think that it’s harder for women to make their health and wellness a priority because so many people are depending on them.  As a working woman, the team is counting on her to execute and deliver.  As a mother, spouse, and friend she is nurturing, compassionate, and dependable.

Often times, she is the one who schedules the appointments, goes grocery shopping, and provides counseling to her friends – somewhere in between her morning coffee and lunch.  By bedtime, she’s thinking of all the things she has to do the next day and she usually never makes the list. To summarize it, being all things to all people in her life is a major factor in women skipping out on self-care.

The are several signs that will reveal that you need to take off your cape.  Your body is usually first to let you know that you need to take a step back.  Some of the first hints your body will give are fatigue, depression, aches and pains. 

Speaking of lifestyle choices, diet, exercise, and wellness are often set aside for time and convenience. What are a few easy ways people can make changes for the better?

The phrase, “lifestyle choices” is a hint that your health should be incorporated into your day-to-day routine.  The idea of going to the gym and changing your diet all at once can seem overwhelming.  So, I suggest that you make simple challenges that won’t feel like additional stress.

One thing that I incorporate i, only drinking water during the day and having one 8 oz drink of my choice at the end of the day.  Another simple change is to incorporate more steps into your day by parking your car at the end of the lot or using a fitness tracker with remainders to walk after you’ve sat for an hour or more.  I encourage you to make changes that can be accomplished on any day of the week. 

Great suggestions. When you take off your cape, how do you like to spend your down time? 

Currently, my “No Cape Zone” is a space in my garage where I work out for 30 to 45 minutes.  Working out helps relieve my mental and emotional stress and it gives me a burst of energy to start my day.

Favorite guilty pleasure?

My favorite guilty pleasure is any brand of cookies and cream ice cream!  To make the pleasure as guiltless as possible, I only use my “ice cream cup” when I eat it to control portions and to avoid overeating.

That’s a great idea, having a special serving size cup for those indulgent foods. Thanks for the tip! Do you have any plans to write more books?

It’s funny that you asked this.  I don’t have any plans to write another book at the moment, but I do think that I have more to write that will help women in the near future.

Thank you for the insightful interview. If anyone is interested in her book, you can get it on Amazon. I highly recommend this one.

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed the interview and learned a few things to keep you and/or your family and friends healthy. Stay tuned, I will have a few lesfic authors coming up before year end. Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and happy reading!

S.W.

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